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Author Topic: Info on microphone for instrument  (Read 5752 times)
bobw
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« on: April 24, 2014, 06:26:21 PM »

This is all new to me.  I know there are voice mics and instrument mics.  I have a Shure voice mic but want to get as nice as possible instrument mic for less then $150.

I want to record my playing so I can use the recording as a tool for improving and to share music with family & friends.

I know $150 is low end ... appreciate all suggestions... Thks... BobW
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2014, 07:32:15 PM »

Bob,

what is the Shure mic that you have?  It might be just fine for recording.  What do you have for a mic pre-amp, because that is going to be as important in making a decent recording, as is the room you intend to record in - as the mic choice itself.

The mic is only one element in the recording chain.  The whole chain is:

Player-->instrument-->room-->mic-->preamp-->recording device.

Both of those things on each side of the mic matter a whole bunch.  Often times for us home recordists, the pre-amp is built-in to the recording device.

Here's an old adage once said to me, that I have found to be true:

"You can make a crummy mic sound decent with a decent pre-amp.  You will make every mic (crummy to high-end) sound crummy with a bad pre-amp."



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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 08:30:24 PM »

I'll assume you have an SM-58 for vocals. $150? You should be able to get an SM-57 for less than that. Good versatile instrument mic. 
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 11:11:29 PM »

I'll assume you have an SM-58 for vocals. $150? You should be able to get an SM-57 for less than that. Good versatile instrument mic. 

For that matter the SM-58 is just fine on instruments as well.  Nearly zero difference between the 57 and 58, same capsule, body - just the windscreen added to the 58.
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 02:01:35 AM »

Agree. At that price range, Shure's 57 or 58 way to go.
 If you move up, I got this mic a couple months ago and it's just killer. Looked at it for a while and found it for 350.00 but man it's nice and not as picky about where it's placed.  http://www.spectrumaudio.com/akg-c214.html?gclid=CNrHzc-qnLwCFQjxOgodbHAAHg
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bobw
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2014, 02:17:46 AM »

RockStar_Not & Ducktrapper & Flatlander....  Thanks to all 3 of you for the input.

I am limited $$ wise.  I'm also limited mentally.... I have an inexpensive audio-technica M4000S that I have used for vocals, my voice is so bad I would not be able to tell if it is a good/bad mic.  It came with my Fishman Loudbox that I bought a few years ago.  I must have been looking at the Shures....  Old man issues... loss of mental faculties....

The Shure 57 looks like it will do the job.

I would like to hear more about the other considerations that you mentioned RockStar.

I have a K&K XLR preamp going into my Fishman amp.  My guitars have different p/u's... K&K, Fishman, JJB 330.

All of your help is appreciated... thanks to all of you... BobW...
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 02:49:16 AM »

Hunt around for a nice ise condenser mic either the large diaphragm type or the pencil type {these look like tube if you didn't know as you mention that you where old,like me}.You will phatham power to run these.I've seen some in the $50-$75 they were MXL which was a GC package that had both.The 57 is a great mic and is the same cartridge that's in the 58.
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2014, 01:09:37 PM »

For that matter the SM-58 is just fine on instruments as well.  Nearly zero difference between the 57 and 58, same capsule, body - just the windscreen added to the 58.

Of course, but if you sing into a 57, it thinks you're a high hat.   
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rockstar_not
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2014, 07:19:27 PM »

Of course, but if you sing into a 57, it thinks you're a high hat.   


True - but there is also this - used these in the 80's for 4 years in a singing group.  http://www.shure.eu/dms/shure/products/accessories/user_guides/a2ws-user_guide/a2ws-user_guide.pdf

My fave mic for hi-hats is an AKG C430 - little tiny thing that you can hide pretty much anywhere.
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2014, 10:38:20 PM »

IMHO, for accurate recording, a mic w/wider response will sound better. The Shures are great for live performing..they kinda give you a middle of the road response, which is usually more than the speaker response range. Matching all those Hertzs etc are a pain. Matter of fact I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.  Ha Ha
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2014, 11:28:09 PM »

Nice mic for recording, Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone  

IMO best you can buy in your price range.
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2014, 03:42:23 PM »

There are many considerations besides just a microphone for recording at home - the OP states that this is all new to him.

If you choose to buy a condenser mic, particularly a large diaphragm condenser, then there is the reality that it has more off-axis sensitivity than the venerable SM-57/8.  Why care about this?  It has to do with the acoustics of the room and the amount of reflected sound from the guitar or other instrument that can make it's way into the recording.

If you have an existing place to record that is rather 'dead', carpeted walls, absorptive furniture, bigger than a walk-in closet, etc. - then the LDC is probably going to be fine - if you have phantom power available - another thing to consider when recommending a condenser mic.  Dynamic mics are significantly more forgiving in this regard.  I have a nice LDC microphone, but lately I've preferred using my Electro-Voice PL80a (a very nice alternative to the SM58) when recording other than in my treated studio.  I have a thread somewhere here at the forum with a demonstration of the PL-80a, designed as a 'vocal' mic.  And with an even less expensive Samson Q series (SM58 knock-off).  Found it:  http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?topic=44634.0;prev_next=prev

So, for the first timer, here's a breakdown of what you need to consider, in my opinion.

1. Dynamic mics like the SM5x:
Recording device/interface - does it even have XLR connections?  Mic-preamp specs - how much gain is available in the preamps and their S/N ratio.

2.  Condenser mics like the AT recommended above, the MXL cheapies from Musician's Friend, etc.:
Recording device/interface - does it even have XLR connections?  Mic-preamp specs.  Mic-preamp specs - how much gain is available in the preamps and their S/N ratio.
Phantom Power source if not available in the interface
Room acoustics - where can I record where I won't have a bunch of reflections in the recording
Shock Mounting
High Pass Switch?
Pad switch?
Multi-Pattern or not?

Maybe you did, maybe you didn't consider these when you bought your first mic.  You can get lucky, or if you do a good job thinking about them ahead of time, you can avoid an oops.  Many fewer decisions with a decent dynamic mic.  And the SM5x series can make very beautiful and detailed recordings of acoustic guitars just fine - with much less hassle.




Room acoustics
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2014, 07:19:03 PM »

WOW...  Rockstar...  my head is swimming....   wacko ...  I appreciate the thought you are putting into your reply...  I also appreciate everyone else's input...

My original quest was for a relatively simple & inexpensive way to make clean recording for personal use.... 

Here is the gear I have.... 

Fishman mini loudbox  (dual channel  1-voice & 1 instrument)

K&K Pure XLR preamp  (2 channel  1-voice & 1 instrument)

Digitech Vocalist Live 4 (harmony & effects processor)

Audio-tecnica M4000S (unidirectional dynamic mic - came with amp)

Larri OO-03R  JJB 330 p/u  (same as a K&K)

Larri P-09 Maple  K&K  p/u

H&D CM  Eng/EIR   no p/u yet

RK RP@-626  Eng/Mah   no p/u yet

RK ROS-06 fe ( Fishman p/u)  it's forsale- 1 13/16" nut is too big for me...

If you fellows would lead me on how to proceed it would be fantastic.

This system will only be for personal used...  I'm 67 yrs young and am definitely not going to become a Rock star or any other kind of star...  2 reasons....  my age & my wife....

I don't want to waste $$$ on cheap things but I am limited on what I can spend....  I DO appreciate everyone's help with this  .... Thank you... BobW...



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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2014, 09:17:10 PM »

If you're a total rookie ( like me )  you can plug the Larri staight into the fishman and set up in any room . Then you can record it through an old boombox or cassette recorder. If you want to save it online record it on a samsung galaxy or iphone. Famous hits have started this way ' even for old guys.   I think you'll get better sound recording on a laptop with special software...Thats what I'm going to try next....but the cassette deck of android phone is super easy..just plug the shure mic into the Fishman amp and plug the Larri into the other side..you have good gear,,,,should sound good through a phone video recording then sent to yourself with email (use share video).. +1...use video to record the sound settings on your amp too.
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bobw
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2014, 02:24:09 AM »

If you're a total rookie ( like me )  you can plug the Larri staight into the fishman and set up in any room . Then you can record it through an old boombox or cassette recorder. If you want to save it online record it on a samsung galaxy or iphone. Famous hits have started this way ' even for old guys.   I think you'll get better sound recording on a laptop with special software...Thats what I'm going to try next....but the cassette deck of android phone is super easy..just plug the shure mic into the Fishman amp and plug the Larri into the other side..you have good gear,,,,should sound good through a phone video recording then sent to yourself with email (use share video).. +1...use video to record the sound settings on your amp too.

Abaloney... thanks.... I have a Tascam DR-07 MKII linear recorder. I can download files from it to my computer.   Could I somehow plug the output of the amp directly into the recorder???  or   just place the recorder in front of the amp???

Again, Thanks for your help... BobW...
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2014, 03:18:25 AM »

Hey Bob...if the Tascam has a built in mic...set it directly in front of the Fishman about 2 feet away...again that is this keep it simple way...you singing into the dynamic mic and you playing the Larrivee , both through the Fishman....post some songs for us once you get the hang of it...
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2014, 03:27:22 AM »

Hey Bob...if the Tascam has a built in mic...set it directly in front of the Fishman about 2 feet away...again that is this keep it simple way...you singing into the dynamic mic and you playing the Larrivee , both through the Fishman....post some songs for us once you get the hang of it...

If you don't need to record your singing, leave the Fishman out of the whole chain and just record the Larry into the Tascam - you'll have to fiddle around with finding where the best position for the Tascam will be but that's the easiest.  You can make great recordings with that unit alone if it's just to share around.

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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2014, 07:28:19 PM »

Hi bobw,

I've been reading along with interest.

Short thoughts:

Based on what you've said, I'd suggest that you find a quiet room, your favourite guitar, and your Tascam DR-07 MKII and make some recordings.  Use those recordings as "a tool for improving" both your vocals and your playing, and as necessary, your recording techniques. You may well find that what you get is fine to "share music with family and friends".

I probably wouldn't spend a nickel or a dime until you've reached a point where you're sure that the gear is the limiting factor in the results.  


Longer thoughts:
I have a tonne of recording gear and a drawer full of microphones, but when I want to use "recording as a tool for improving" I'm just as likely to my Boss MicroBR BR-80. In your case,  I think that your Tascam DR-07 MKII would serve you just as well.

I often use the Boss MicroBR BR-80 to record my live rig (what I use when performing) while I'm rehearsing. I record live, in the air using the unit's buit-in microphones. I find that this is completely adequate and representative, and tells me things that I might not pickup up if I had recorded by wiring up to my rig.

In short: I think that you may already have everything you need to meet your initial goals. Adding gear to the mix at this point may just be a distraction.

This is all new to me.  I know there are voice mics and instrument mics.  I have a Shure voice mic but want to get as nice as possible instrument mic for less then $150.

I want to record my playing so I can use the recording as a tool for improving and to share music with family & friends.

I know $150 is low end ... appreciate all suggestions... Thks... BobW

Abaloney... thanks.... I have a Tascam DR-07 MKII linear recorder. I can download files from it to my computer.   Could I somehow plug the output of the amp directly into the recorder???  or   just place the recorder in front of the amp???

Again, Thanks for your help... BobW...

PS - here are some notes I picked up along the way.
Notes about the Shure SM58 and Shure SM57 from Shure Customer Help

SM57 vs SM58

SM57 vs SM58 - proximity effect

Do the SM58 and SM57 mics have the same frequency response curves?

Comparing sensitivity of SM57 and SM58
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