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mistrad37
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Joined: 28 Nov 2001
Posts: 87
Location: Indianapolis

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What microphones do you guys use? Any brands that you recommend. I have Sennheiser studio headphones that I adore and was wondering if their instrument microphones live up to the same name. Mars Music is the only store by me that has numerouse microphones in their inventory so if you look at their website you will see what I am looking at. Thanks in advance.

This microphone will be used for live performances. I do not want a clip on so that is out of the question.

[ This Message was edited by: mistrad37 on 2002-04-09 22:39 ]
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Quadruple C
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[ This Message was edited by: Quadruple C on 2003-09-29 14:30 ]
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tom turner
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I went to the Mars site and will give you my recommendations on the mics they sell that I've used and are familiar with.

I always base my comments on how accurately (sonically) that a mic is. As the former manager of two high end audiophile stores and a commercial music store, high fidelity is very important to me. A mic should make your horn sound exactly like what it sounds like "live."

Sennheiser MD421
This mic is a wonderful DYNAMIC-type microphone with a really rich yet clear sound. This is a larger mic than most "stage" mics and has an awkward mic release system from its stand holder but a wonderful mic nonetheless. We use one of the original MD421 mics for our lead vocalist in a seven-piece combo I play in.

E-V RE-20
Another larger diaphram DYNAMIC-type mic, these are used in a lot of studios. It has a fine sound and can handle the dynamic range of a trumpet. Several studio gigs I've done had the studio's engineer choose the RE-20 for my trumpet. You'll see lots of RE-20 mics also used in broadcast radio for high quality talk mics.

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATM-33a
This is a light, slim CONDENSER-type microphone that is the evolutionary result of my beloved (and now discontinued) ATM-11 mics that I like so much (I have THREE). For both stage use and personal recording I really like this mic's realistic and crisp trumpet sound. Neither dark nor bright, it is my choice for most application over the first two I wrote about . . . although the ATM-33a is also cheaper! These mics do a very accurate job also on piano, guitar . . . and mic'ing live music concerts. I'll been using them this spring making, and selling recordings of high school band concerts.

SHURE SM57
Used by lots of working trumpet players and soundmen for trumpet pick up, I bought two once for my horns . . . and HATED 'em! These are super rugged DYNAMIC mics.

The SM57 has an unnatural rise to the upper midrange area of the frequency response . . . right in the center of the trumpet's range . . . and it can turn a bright trumpet sound into "razor blades in the wind." Sure, you can "EQ" this nasty bump out . . . but tone controls introduce "phase shift" into the sound waves of different frequencies which smears the clarity of sounds.

These dynamic mics are really "lazy," meaning they do not pick up distant sound that well making the SM57 and its brother the SM58 idea stage mics for vocals in front of snarling guitar cabinets . . . these suckers won't hardly feed back. As long as you keep your trumpet about 4-6" from the mic the "proximity effect" of a very close sound source will introduce "bass boom" which sort of levels out the abnormal extra mid range volume. However, these mics are terrible for use as distant mics in a live recording setting--not picking up precise detail in overtones of instruments and sounding VERY "trebley."

SHURE SM81
This is a VERY crisp sounding CONDENSER mic requiring phantom power (not good if you don't have a phantom power source on a mixer). Again, this mic is a little too bright for my tastes but it is a really fine mic.

Hope this helps a little. Try the AT ATM33a--your best all around choice in a mic for both stage, casual studio and live recording functions . . . at a wonderful price!

Sincerely,

Tom Turner

[ This Message was edited by: tom turner on 2002-04-10 00:32 ]
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Halfnote
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Joined: 18 Mar 2002
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Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom,
You seem to be pretty knowledgable when it comes to microphones, so I hope no one minds if I use this space to ask you a quick question. Do you know anything about the Audio Technica AT822? I was doing some recording with a brass quintet and the guy playing 1st trumpet was doing the recording with one of these mics. We were on a stage and he had the mic out in front of us on a boom up over our heads and angled down toward the middle of the ensemble. I haven't heard the out-come yet but he was swearing by this mic for this kind of application. Any feedback would be great. Thanks a bunch...

While I'm here I might as well say that I am one of those guys who use the Shure SM57 for most of my live applications. I agree that it can be a bit harsh and therefore I always try to, like Tom said, stay back at least 4". I bought it mainly for the price and durability. There you have it.

[ This Message was edited by: Halfnote on 2002-04-10 09:59 ]
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_bugleboy
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom,

How do you think the Shure KSM32, KSM27 and the Audix OM-5 compare to the mics you recommend?

Charly
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_Don Herman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know it wasn't addressed to me, but what the heck...

(1) I like the SD421, too, but for whatever reason use the SM57 more often. Probably just because I've always had more of the 57's laying around. It's a large diaphragm dynamic. It costs more than the 57 but generally gives better sound.

(2) The SM57 sounds better with a windscreen on it -- tends to flatten the hump a bit. I use 'em because they're cheap, rugged, and have decent response.

(3) The SM81 is pretty flat, which tends to make most people think it sounds "bright". Truth is, it has a more extended upper range. I like them on guitars and cymbals/snares. (For measurements, I use a very flat Earthworks mic, which I also use for ambient pickup. Pricey for a general purpose mic, though.)

(4) The AT822 is s stereo X-Y mic -- two capsules in one (wide) body. Condensers, but there's a spot in the case for a battery so phantom power isn't needed. Nice for simple setup of a stereo feed, but not nearly as flexible and/or versatile as having two mics. I don't know of any inexpensive (<$300US) M-S stereo mics (does anybody else?)

(5) The KSM32 is a nice large diaphragm condenser somewhat above the other mics listed in price and performance. I finally heard one, and it is a sweet mic. Seems to have a better high end than my cheaper AKG3000s, though I kinda' like the warmth of my AKGs... I don' know anything about the KSM27 (i.e. I haven't heard it).

Tom, I've heard the newer versions of the ATM33 aren't as good as the earlier -- comments? I've not listened myself so can't say. I do know AT's reputation has been rising over the past few years.

Mics have been covered numerous times and places, and you'll get as many opinions as soundmen in the world. Find a place which has some, or even better some you can try out, and see what you like! I know I've posted, and I'm sure Tom has too, ways to test mics.

HTH - Don (still wishing I'd never sold those old 47's )

p.s. A number of players are using small mics targeting binaural applications. See e.g. http://www.core-sound.com/ for more info.

p.p.s. Corrected Shure 25 to 27 (tnx, Charly -- old eyes!) Same answer. Also, for live work, I must note that generally condensers (large or small, though small usually better) and large diaphragm mics (and ribbons even more so) do not in my experience hold up as well. Not as rugged, generally, and require a spider (isolation shock mount) for isolation from handling and stage noise. Shure puts the KSM line in the recording (studio) category, not live use category, FWIW. I have never heard the Audix.
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Don Herman/Monument, CO

[ This Message was edited by: Don Herman on 2002-04-10 12:37 ]
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Quadruple C
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[ This Message was edited by: Quadruple C on 2003-09-29 14:31 ]
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Halfnote
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Joined: 18 Mar 2002
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Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

QuadC - Man, I'm still working on Double C!! I've hit it once - and it was hardly more than a squeal. I suffered from a hernia about two years ago so I've got to watch myself. Like you say (in other threads) I use my high register development more to make the "more musical" register easier and more enjoyable. Thanks for the feedback on the mic. I heard the results of our quintet recording and it was a very crisp sound - impressive. He also used a Sony mini-disc recorder. Until next time, HalfNelson.
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Quadruple C
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[ This Message was edited by: Quadruple C on 2003-09-29 14:31 ]
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tom turner
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2002 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote]
On 2002-04-10 09:52, Halfnote wrote:
Tom,
You seem to be pretty knowledgable when it comes to microphones, so I hope no one minds if I use this space to ask you a quick question. Do you know anything about the Audio Technica AT822? I was doing some recording with a brass quintet and the guy playing 1st trumpet was doing the recording with one of these mics. We were on a stage and he had the mic out in front of us on a boom up over our heads and angled down toward the middle of the ensemble. I haven't heard the out-come yet but he was swearing by this mic for this kind of application. Any feedback would be great. Thanks a bunch...

While I'm here I might as well say that I am one of those guys who use the Shure SM57 for most of my live applications. I agree that it can be a bit harsh and therefore I always try to, like Tom said, stay back at least 4". I bought it mainly for the price and durability. There you have it.


Hi Halfnote,

Sorry for the delay in response but I've been out of town. Actually, two very distinguished posters on this forum have given you "right on" advice about the 822. It is a stereo microphone with two directional mic elements mounted in one capsule. Stereo mics can make some outstanding acoustical recordings if positioned properly with musicians who know how to really balance between themselves and are in a good hall.

STEREO MIC RECORDING
This concept, opposite in philosophy from the multi-track method is still used in very serious recording of fine symphonies, primarily in Europe. With a very musical group in a fabulous hall a stereo mic will give such stunning realism that you'll think you are in the real concert hall if listening on great speakers or headphones!

There are several slightly different variations of how to set up mics for stereo recordings (O.R.T.F., X-Y, Binaural, etc.) but the principle is the same . . . to position two directional microphones pointing roughly 110 degrees apart, with their microphone elements either in the vertical line (one above the other) . . . or at least within the width of the typical human skull.

Why? So that each directional mic can be the same as a human "ear" . . . picking up all instruments across the soundstage (AND from front to back on the stage) with a stunning 3-D effect that comes from having the mics "hear" like the human head does.

So many people take a pair of recording mics and spread them many, many feet apart when making a stereo recording. Just like if you could somehow place your real "ears" 20' apart, the sound is "confusing" and it ruins the sound field image on the playback of the recording.

Why? The slight time delay amount from the sound to one's right being received in the left ear after the right allows our brain to "pinpoint" where the spot is that the sound was coming from. This natural time delay, which each of us has learned, gets ruined when the mics begin to be spread out past the width of the human head!!! Additionally, the farther you spread 'em, the greater the chance of nasty "phase shift" problems that can REALLY screw up a recording!

WHAT IS PHASE SHIFT IN RELATION TO RECORDING?
Each note of music produces a sound wave. Low notes have L-O-N-G sound waves (sometimes 30' or more in the pipe organ range) and high notes have very, very small waves.

A soundwave's (up) positive side creates a positive electronic signal in the mic and its down side produces a negative electronic signal. Here's the problem . . . if a certain pitched note hits the right mic at it's full + wave . . . but is at its full downward wave when it gets to the well spread out left mic you'll experience that certain note being CANCELLED OUT! Yep . . . +2 electrical units added to -2 units = 0! In other words, that specific frequency will be totally cancelled out. We call that an "out of phase signal."

If one signal is 90 degrees off that note will be boosted by 3dB. I don't want to get super technical here. Basically, the sound gets murky, diffuse and smeared. You don't get this problem when you set up the stereo mic array correctly!

STEREO MICS
Actually, you don't need a true stereo mic to use the benefits of stereo mic placement. You can use two identical directional mics and do the same thing! There are several ways to set them up.

1. The "ugly" way #1 - Mount each mic on a separate stand and point the fronts of each mic IN towards each other, one mic head just above the other at about a 110 degree area. This will give the best sonic imaging usually when playing back the recording on loudspeakers since each mic head is in the same vertical plane (thus NO phase shift problems)!

2. The "ugly way" #2 - Mount 'em on the stands the same way but point 'em AWAY from each other 110 degrees so the mic heads are about 7" apart (like human ears are). This isn't quite as good (I'm splittin' hairs now) through loudspeakers but will totally blow you away on HEADPHONES!

3. Stereo Mic Rail - This device allows one to only use a single mic stand. The "rail" screws onto the top of the mic stand and has two spots on it to mount your two mic clips. You can use the two mics now in either configuration #1 or #2 above.

4. Stereo Mic holder - This is another holder that screws on the top of the stand but allows the two mic holders to be mounted on opposite sides of a short vertical post--thus allowing an even cleaner "look." Again, technique #1 or #2 can now be used.

MIC PLACEMENT
This is SO critical to stereo mic recordings. Too far from the musicians picks up too much hall and the sound gets muddy. Too close to the musicians means not enough ambience. If the hall stinks you must position the mics CLOSER to the musicians to avoid the crappy sound that hall adds. If the hall is georgeous and the musicians are NOT . . . pull the mics farther away to "hide" their imprecision! If there are many musicians, "fly" the mics pretty high too so you don't get the front rows too loud and the back rows hidden!

Stereo mic'ing of live recordings is really FUN and you must experiment with your equipment and locations to discover the "sweet spots."

MULTI-CHANNEL RECORDINGS . . . THE OTHER WAY . . .
Most albums today are recorded in sound-proofed studios with a mic literally crammed next to the instrument or voice to try to eliminate EVERYTHING but the basic, pure sound of the instrument or player. Using empty tracks later, a single trumpeter can go back and re-record all missed notes and poor phrases and the engineer can then assemble the final take (THAT NEVER HAPPENED) together to use the best little "parts" of the instrumentalist different takes.

WHY THIS METHOD?
Time, money, precision and ego! In a multi-track studio even mediocre musicians can eventually be "made" to play a "perfect" take . . . and in less time than having to re-play the entire song over and over (continuing to screw up)! Also, the master can even be flown to different parts of the world to add various musicians to the recording.

THE MULTI-TRACK "DOWNSIDE" . . .
When all takes are recorded the engineer must then "pan" each instrument to a different position on an artificial soundstage from far left to far right . . . and then add in fake room ambience (delay, etc.") to try to make it sound "real." It is impossible to recreate totally convincing ambience this way.

ALSO . . . I feel that a trumpet's sound has been designed to be heard some distance from the bell . . . just like an audience will hear. The sound directly in front of a trumpet bell doesn't have that same "charecter."

Sorry for the long post . . . but I hope it helps without splitting too many technical hairs!

Sincerely,

Tom Turner
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tom turner
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2002 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2002-04-10 10:01, bugleboy wrote:

Tom,

How do you think the Shure KSM32, KSM27 and the Audix OM-5 compare to the mics you recommend?

Charly


Hi Charly,

I really think you would love the bigger diaphramed KSM-32. I've had engineers use these on my trumpet on recordings before and I really liked its warmer, more sonically accurate sound (vs. lower priced mics of all kinds). This sucker isn't in the same price range as an ATM-11, SM-57, etc. but it is still reasonable enough that you would probably also want to take it on many gigs!

I'm not familiar with the KSM-27 or the Audix line (which is discounted heavily). If possible, see if your favorite dealer will consent to allow you to take the models you like home to record on. Your recordings will "tell" you which mic does the best job on making your trumpet sound "real." A mic should be considered just like your loudspeakers . . . both these devices totally shape the sound you hear and the best ones cost lots of $$$$$!

BTW . . . what is the ULTIMATE mic to use on trumpet in a great studio? The awesome and very vintage RCA 77-DX ribbon microphone. A really fine one will cost many thousands to purchase but most top studios have one or two. Ribbon mics give the richest, warmest sound of any type mic and tone down all that harsh trumpet brightness and edge that most condenser mics only accentuate. The drawback of ribbon mics? . . . they are extremely fragile! Usually, if an ignorant musician even "blows" air out of their lips into one to see if it is "working" it will destroy the expensive ribbon element . . . and dropping them is also a "terminal" problem that will kill the mic until a new (and expensive) ribbon is installed!

Hope this helps my friend!

Warmest regards,

Tom
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jsieverdes
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Joined: 14 Jan 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old thread I know, but there may be some need of suggesting more mics.
I had a Beyerdynamic M88TG, and it was a work horse. I know Botti uses a wireless version of the Shure Beta 98 H/C. I saw him in concert last fall. Allows a lot of movement as it's clipped to the bell.
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