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MaKaToM
Only started in November.
Join date: Dec 2009
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#1
Hi guys and gals!

I have decided to pick up a USB interface (Line 6 UX2) and a condenser mic to make recording sounds a bit better, as my current webcam just isn't really up to the job.


For the kinda stuff I do, please see here; http://www.youtube.com/user/MrThomasLawton?feature=mhee


As I'm no Jimi Hendrix, I don't feel as though I need the bestest of the bestest best equipment, but I would like something that isn't going to leave me dissapointed.

I am hoping to spend around £100 ($200) on the Mic, so any advice or input would be greatly appreciated.

Here are 2 mics that I have already seen - http://www.behringer.com/FR/Products/B-1.aspx and I can't find the second...bugger!

Anyways, I honestly know nothing at all about this so any and all help would be superb!

Thank you

Tom
Last edited by MaKaToM at Dec 11, 2012,
chaosmoon
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#2
What will you be recording and what style of music? Also, any particular reason why you're looking specifically for a condenser mic?
SharpSpoon
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#4
I was just about to make a thread asking this very question. My current setup is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, a bunch of amp sim VSTs, and a Samson Go Mic (USB) for vocals.

I'm curious about a condenser mic as well. I guess something comparable to the Shure SM57 in terms of what could be considered an industry standard. I'd be recording both harsh and clean vocals on it.

My budget would be around $150.

Sorry for sort of hijacking the thread haha.
Necronomicon
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Join date: Jun 2004
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#5
My recording setup is an AKG c214 and an m-audio fastrack pro and it sounds fantastic. Vocals, guitar, distorted guitar, everything sounds amazing on it. It's a little pricy but the c214 is the shit. I don't have any recordings I made with it online to show you but if you look it up on youtube you'll definitely get what I'm saying. All my recordings prior to that mic were on a shure sm57 and they just can't compare.
Last edited by Necronomicon at Dec 11, 2012,
Artemis Entreri
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#6
Nearly all LD mics in the $100 dollar range are comprable in audio quality. Construction quality, warranty and the like are usually the real difference though some mics do stand out. The Golden Age Project FC1 in particular stands out to me. I use it for nearly all of my vocal tracks and it's quite durable. If you can stretch a bit, the Audio Technica AT2035 is also a standout.
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MaKaToM
Only started in November.
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#7
Well my £100 budget for the mic is about $200USD so anything around that really.

If you look at the link I placed in the opening post, you will see what I enjoy recording...just acoustic guitar and vocals really. I'm not a loud harsh rock singer...just a quiet finger picking kinda guy lol

The Audio Technica AT2035 looks nice - More reccommendations in that price range please :-)

THANKS!!
Artemis Entreri
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#8
Oh didn't even look at the currency, my bad. If you can stretch a teeny weeny bit the Rode NT1A is KILLER. Lowest signal to noise ratio I've ever heard on a "low price" mic.

Check this out. Bare bones demo but it sounds aight.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zByhzmhbe8
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archtek
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Join date: Jul 2012
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#9
If your gonna spend like £150 on the audio technica I'd hold out save up a few more quid and get the c214. Its no c414 but bet it sounds good. Rode not sure about them as haven't had any experience with them but did see a few at a demo the NT1-a seemed to have the best sound of all the ones there though.

At the £100 range you gotta be carfeful cos you could spend it get a mic and in 6 months to year you'll end up wanting a £200 mic and be kicking yourself you just wasn't patient. Also I would try demoing a few if possible. Expensive isn't always the best, but some of the cheap ones are rubbish.

This mic is pretty good http://www.amazon.co.uk/sE-Electronics-SE-ELECTRONICS-sE2200a/dp/B005SHS76Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1355260492&sr=1-1 but I have found they sometimes sound a little ishy, but you get a good sound out of it.

All sorts of issues can also cause quality issues, like room acoustics, microphone positions, temperature, ambient noise. Condensor microphones will pick all this up a lot more then a dynamic so then acoustic treatment or environment become a problem too.
archtek
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#10
Quote by SharpSpoon
I was just about to make a thread asking this very question. My current setup is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, a bunch of amp sim VSTs, and a Samson Go Mic (USB) for vocals.

I'm curious about a condenser mic as well. I guess something comparable to the Shure SM57 in terms of what could be considered an industry standard. I'd be recording both harsh and clean vocals on it.

My budget would be around $150.

Sorry for sort of hijacking the thread haha.


You proabably won't get an industry standard condensor for $150. A 57 or 58 would do the job fine and is the industry standard.

You've got the interface get a 57/58 for it to start out with be an improvement then the samson go.
Artemis Entreri
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#11
Quote by archtek
You proabably won't get an industry standard condensor for $150. A 57 or 58 would do the job fine and is the industry standard.

You've got the interface get a 57/58 for it to start out with be an improvement then the samson go.


No. Just no.
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Highelf04
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#12
Gotta ask, if people had an opinion
What is the view on the Behringer B-1?
Is it worth the £66 for things like vocals?
SharpSpoon
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Join date: Sep 2006
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#13
Quote by archtek
You proabably won't get an industry standard condensor for $150. A 57 or 58 would do the job fine and is the industry standard.

You've got the interface get a 57/58 for it to start out with be an improvement then the samson go.


The problem is I don't want to use a dynamic mic for recording vocals. As I understand it, a dynamic mic is usually ideal for recording instruments (guitar, drums, etc), but not vocals. For vocals (again, as I understand) a condenser is preferred.

Although a dynamic mic is the common choice for live applications.

I can budge on the price, although $150 would be ideal. Then again, maybe in that price range I'm better off sticking with the Samson Go mic (which is a condenser) until I can afford something a little more pricier than $150.

Any advice is welcome.
kyle62
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#14
The SE Electronics SE2000 is my favourite condenser for under £100.

You can get it for between £70-£80, and when I bought mine a few months ago they were all throwing in a free SE metal pop shield for free too. Extremely capable little budget mic.
MaKaToM
Only started in November.
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#15
That NT1A looks brilliant and it's only £150!!

Gonna do some research on that and possibly pick it up.

As mentioned above, I'm not a great singer or guitarist so I don't require "great" gear - just the best that I can get for my budget.

Thank you guys!
kyle62
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#16
Quote by MaKaToM
That NT1A looks brilliant and it's only £150!!

Gonna do some research on that and possibly pick it up.

As mentioned above, I'm not a great singer or guitarist so I don't require "great" gear - just the best that I can get for my budget.

Thank you guys!

The NT-1A is a nice mic, good pick. I prefer the Studio Projects B1 or SE 2200a, but that's more personal taste than anything.

Most of the budget condenser mics out there will do a great job (even the cheapo Behringer C1 for £30!), go with whatever feels right and have fun.
DisarmGoliath
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#17
Must be in the minority, and it's definitely not a bad mic, but I really was a bit underwhelmed by the Rode NT-1A Probably better than most of the other mics in the price range, but the ADK Thor I ended up getting recently is so much nicer. As for your budget TS - if you can stretch for it, I'd recommend the ADK Odin (little brother of the mic I bought) or the sE 2200.
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jof1029
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#18
are you set 100% on the UX2? the focusrite saffire 6 or 2i4 (not 2i2, you want the pad on the 2i4) are similarly priced and will have better preamps. there are a few other ones, but the focusrite ones are solid and popular.

aside from the mics already mentioned, the at2020 is supposed to be solid. bit on the low end of your price range, so you could probably get something a touch better though. also, dont be afraid of a b-stock item that would normally be a bit above your price range. some of these have nothing more than scratches (though id do this more on the interface than mic).
oneblackened
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Join date: Oct 2007
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#19
Seconding Jof's advice on pres.

Also, I think the UX2 doesn't have phantom power anyway...
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archtek
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#20
Quote by Artemis Entreri
No. Just no.



lots of info there.

3rd Jofs - focuserite = win.


Concerning the line 6 ux2 it's a pretty nifty piece of kit got one myself, but I wouldn't reccomend it to another person. You cant use the line input and mic at the same time and the amp sims are nice but not great.

The problem really with the ux2 is the software and routing and its not very well thought out.

The focusrite gear looks really good haven't tried any but I'm spying one of these http://uk.focusrite.com/firewire-audio-interfaces/saffire-pro-24-dsp as a trade up from the ux2

UX2 does have phantom power, but all the power comes through the usb. This has caused problems with me on a laptop using my midi keyboard at the same time not enough usb power for both. Things with there own powersupply work better then usb powered devices, even though it's less hassle.
Last edited by archtek at Dec 12, 2012,
Highelf04
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#21
Quote by oneblackened
Seconding Jof's advice on pres.

Also, I think the UX2 doesn't have phantom power anyway...

It does, I'm looking at mine right now xD
People just aren't too keen on it...
kyle62
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#22
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Must be in the minority, and it's definitely not a bad mic, but I really was a bit underwhelmed by the Rode NT-1A Probably better than most of the other mics in the price range, but the ADK Thor I ended up getting recently is so much nicer. As for your budget TS - if you can stretch for it, I'd recommend the ADK Odin (little brother of the mic I bought) or the sE 2200.
I agree, that's why I suggest suggested the SE Electronics or Studio Projects instead. The ADK looks fantastic too, might actually be my next mic, cheers!

I don't know what it is about the NT-1A, the sound just feels a bit brittle to me. Certainly capable though.
MaKaToM
Only started in November.
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725 IQ
#23
OK, my Dad has been in contact and told me that he will get my condenser mic as my Christmas present...woo!

He says he works closely with a company called CPC so if they have one I like then he can get it discount from them.

http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/search/browse.jsp?N=411+2005+205102&Ntk=gensearch&Ntt=condenser&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial

Thats the website - is there anything on there that you guys would reccommend or have any experience with?

If not I might just go with the Rode option

Cheers muchly :-)
lockwolf
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#24
I'd go with the AT4040 if you dad is willing to go that high. Otherwise, there isn't much on there id go for
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kyle62
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#25
Quote by MaKaToM
OK, my Dad has been in contact and told me that he will get my condenser mic as my Christmas present...woo!

He says he works closely with a company called CPC so if they have one I like then he can get it discount from them.

http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/search/browse.jsp?N=411+2005+205102&Ntk=gensearch&Ntt=condenser&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial

Thats the website - is there anything on there that you guys would reccommend or have any experience with?

If not I might just go with the Rode option

Cheers muchly :-)

Actually, the Behringer B-2 PRO is pretty damned good.
Sheppola
Sheppola
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#27
Checkout the MXL 990 kit,

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MXL-990-991-Microphone-Recording-Pack-990-991-New-/140891606367?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Other&hash=item20cdcb4d5f

Just under £100 and includes a stick condenser mic as well(991) which can be used to enhance the recording of acoustic guitars.

There's some Youtubes for it,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wno3ZFddGjw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g52Zqf59K24&playnext=1&list=PLFDDB1FC2A84B0C91&feature=results_video

HTH
DisarmGoliath
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#28
Quote by kyle62
I agree, that's why I suggest suggested the SE Electronics or Studio Projects instead. The ADK looks fantastic too, might actually be my next mic, cheers!

I don't know what it is about the NT-1A, the sound just feels a bit brittle to me. Certainly capable though.

Only just saw this, thanks to the bump above, but yeah - I would highly recommend the Thor (and I presume the Odin is identical, minus the presence boost/cut switch, and I can't remember if the polar pattern is switchable, like the Thor, or a fixed cardioid.

I agree about the NT-1A, definitely sounds overly present and harsh to me, in the wrong places.
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diabolical
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#29
Definitely no on the MXL - had all those in my home studio, too brittle and hyped up on the high end. Sometimes work on certain kind of vocals, I use them on overheads sometimes but need to eq heavily to tame the hi freqs. AT4040 is fantastic, I'd go with that if budget allows.
kyle62
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#30
Quote by diabolical
Definitely no on the MXL - had all those in my home studio, too brittle and hyped up on the high end. Sometimes work on certain kind of vocals, I use them on overheads sometimes but need to eq heavily to tame the hi freqs. AT4040 is fantastic, I'd go with that if budget allows.

I agree. The thing about that set is they're both small-diaphragm mics really, which is why the 990 can feel a bit thin. As nice as it is to get two mics for such a low price, you're basically buying the same mic twice.
Artemis Entreri
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#31
Quote by kyle62
I agree. The thing about that set is they're both small-diaphragm mics really, which is why the 990 can feel a bit thin. As nice as it is to get two mics for such a low price, you're basically buying the same mic twice.


This is an erronus statement. Small diaphragms are usually even MORE responsive to low freqs that large. Cheap transistors, preamps and sound sources coupled with poor placement account for the thinness. There's no doubt they sound thin but don't blame it on the diaphragm.
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kyle62
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#32
Quote by Artemis Entreri
This is an erronus statement. Small diaphragms are usually even MORE responsive to low freqs that large. Cheap transistors, preamps and sound sources coupled with poor placement account for the thinness. There's no doubt they sound thin but don't blame it on the diaphragm.

Fair point!

I always assumed it was similar to speakers (which are basically a mic diaphragm in reverse) - go bigger and you get more bass, but a slower response time. Which is why bass players often go for 4x10" cabs for tight, bright tones and 15" cabs for meaty rock.

I'll be reading up and experimenting a bit more with LDCs vs SDCs. I'm suddenly starting to realise that I've only even used small-diaphragm condensers in the usual settings - overheads, hihat, acoustic guitar, so I don't really know what they can sound like given the chance.
Last edited by kyle62 at Dec 13, 2012,
diabolical
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#33
I for one don't agree with Artemis on the statement that small diapragms are more responsive to bass, maybe if we're talking proximity effect but overall that's not true.

There are some soldering mods to make the MXL a better mic but I didn't bother. I switched to AT2020 and only use the MXLs for overheads.
http://jordancolburn.com/2009/07/16/mxl-990-modifications/
DisarmGoliath
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#34
Yeah, I've always heard SDC's have a better high-end freq. response, but LDC's give a warmer sound with a lower extension of the low end.
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diabolical
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#35
Not true either...

It is dependent on design mostly but pencil condensers usually tail off sooner on the bass side. Cheaper mics are not a good way to judge but if you go up in price you'd discover that for the most part things get blurry:

Consider these two Neumann graphs:
KM184
http://recordinghacks.com/images/graphs/_gen/small/1/1091.png
U87 (big condenser)
http://keepapers.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/u87.png

Both have almost the same freq response, with the U87 having more low end range and a bigger lift in the air frequencies.
Last edited by diabolical at Dec 13, 2012,
Artemis Entreri
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#36
SDCs are indeed more responsive to high end. Their diaphragms are smaller and easier to move. The comparison to speakers was good. As for my comment about SDCs and low end, SDCs have a slightly larger frequency range though not in the low end. not that it really matters. While LDCs can pickup MORE bass I usually find it to be less detailed and accurate. SDCs have a way of more faithfully reproducing low end. Saying they were more responsive probably wasnt my best choice of words.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
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Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Dec 14, 2012,
Artemis Entreri
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#38
Quote by MaKaToM
Apparantly my pops has ordered me the 2035 so I guess I'll just have to see what it's like when I get it.

Also gonna pick up a Saffire 6 and a mic stand


All good choices. Love the 2035 and the Saffire Pro 24 is one of my favorite budget interfaces. Different interfaces but similar parts.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
archtek
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2012
98 IQ
#40
Looks like your gonna have a pretty awesome set up, phew you dodged the bullet by getting the saffire unlike me stuck with a ux2! Congrats and happy xmas.