New microphone suggestions

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by RobZ69, Jun 30, 2021.

  1. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm looking at buying a new microphone fit for both vocals and guitar amps. It is going to be used in my (dare I call it that?) 'home studio' (aka the room all my gear is in).

    I'm leaning towards a ribbon mic. But I would like to keep it below, say, 500 Euro-ish. (give or take a few)

    Does any of you have experience with 'budget' ribbon mics?

    sE VR1 Voodoo?*
    sE X1R?
    Beyerdynamic M160?
    Royer Labs R10?*
    MXL R77?
    Avantone Pro CR14?
    Rode NTR?*

    Recommendations / experiences are welcome.

    * these seem to come highly recommend on the wider wild west world wide web....
     
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  2. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    A ribbon mic may sound a little "warm" on vocals, but they are hugely popular on guitar cabs (as I'm sure you know).
    I don't have their ribbon mic, but I have a rode condenser, and I think it's extremely well made. Good company
     
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  3. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    Sontronics Sigma. Amazing.
     
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  4. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Strat-O-Master

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    I love ribbons , the Royer would be my choice, with what is listed.

    a ribbon will need a very good mic preamp, with clean gain…

    cloudlifters and other work arounds people use, do not really work out all that well….I went down that road many moons ago.

    good mics, need good preamps, good talent , and good rooms…

    even more so with condenser mics that pic up everything.

    with a so so room, and a so so mic pre…the sm57 can not be beat.

    it covers vocals and cabs well. And is $100 bucks.
     
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  5. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah, Rode is a big name. Currently I am in dubio on either the Rode or the sE Voodoo.

    I have good experience with sE too, having used a sE condenser mic for over a decade.

    A little warmer is something I suspect my vocals could benefit from... hence the focus on ribbons.

    Another question for me is whether or not to go for an active or passive ribbon mic. I own a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (2nd gen) which (if I'm to believe the marketing) has pretty good pre-amps. But does it have enough to get a good signal level with a passive ribbon mic?
     
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  6. rolandson

    rolandson Dr. Stratster

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    Seconded.
    However, if you buy the $1149 one from Adorama, remember to 'take the plastic off'®️™️
     
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  7. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks! I'll have to look into that one. I haven't come across it yet!
     
  8. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    Okay... 1149 US is about 900-1000 euro (I'm guessing). So that is a little more 'give' than I had in mind....;)
    But I'll check them out.
     
  9. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    You can find them used for around 500USD.
     
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  10. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    I think I'm ok in the preamp department... (see previous post) Room-wise probably not so much, but it's no bathroom either.

    I have a Shure beta 58a. Is that very different from the 57?
     
  11. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    No, not really. But a 57 is a long, long way from a ribbon mic. Despite the common knowledge, I don’t think an SM57 on the grille is an optimum guitar cab recording solution. There are dozens of mics I’d try first.
     
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  12. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    I agree. I haven't been able to get satisfactory results with the 58a.
     
  13. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yeah, SM57/58 have the advantage of being sturdy & cheap, and they sound ok. These are big advantages, they'd be my first choice for live sound--especially if I need a bunch of mics. If you need 8 mics and there's cigs & beer, $100 mics are MUCH preferable to $400 mics. But for recording, I'd rather use a mic that sounds better. Unless I'm trying to capture that specific lo-fi dive bar kind of sound and energy.

    MD421s can go anywhere an SM57/58 can, and to me they sound better. And that's just one of many choices.
     
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  14. rolandson

    rolandson Dr. Stratster

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    The exchange goes up and down, when the € is up, the $ will be down...and € will buy more... :thumb:
     
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  15. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    Royer SF12, R121 ( https://royerlabs.com/microphones/ ), Neumann TLM 102/103 ( https://en-de.neumann.com/u-87-ai ), the venerable shure SM57 SM58's. Sennheiser - MD431 for vocals, an MK8 probably a bit over budget - the e609 for cabs and cheap but excellent. plenty of

    Stick to brands that have been around at the top of industry for a LONG time. Shure, Royer, Neumann, Sennheiser etc.
     
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  16. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy CERTIFIED HACK Silver Member

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    In my company I have tons of 57’s, 58’s and the Beta versions. They are completely different mics. The 58 is exactly the same as a 57, the difference being that the 58 has a ball screen on it so you can’t get that close to the diaphragm so that the voice (over the p.a.) doesn’t get explosive voice pops, and making it harder to cover up the venting on the diaphragm ports (with your hand). The 57 was meant to be a general purpose instrument mic where the 58 a general purpose vocal mic each with the same presence peak at around 6Khz. The Beta versions are higher output and sound completely different with much more edge to them. The sound engineer picks the type of sound based on the edge needed for the vocalists (58 ball screen types). If you have male vocals that are dark, the Beta can help give some clarity to those types of muddy singers. The normal 58 is much more “general purpose for use on many types of singers. The Beta versions sound absolutely terrible on most female singers who start with a shrill voice because it just makes them that much more shrieky. Personally I hate the Beta versions except for a small percentage of known male singers who mumble when they sing. One advantage the Beta versions have onstage is that they tend to not pickup everything on stage (like cymbals) like the normal ones do. The stock 58 makes a really good podium mic due to its excellent “general purpose” design and wide cardioid pickup.

    SM81: while never regarded as a vocal mic for live use, the fact that you’re not singing right into it in studio applications the SM81 is my favorite Shure (condenser) mic. It sounds excellent with just about everything, drums, cymbals, hats, pianos, acoustic guitars, etc. I would highly recommend the SM81 to have for a mic to own as it just doesn’t do anything bad. I’m not a fan of ribbon mics, most can be easily damaged, or degraded.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
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  17. wak atak

    wak atak Strat-Talk Member

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    sm57and 58,those are standard gotta have em
     
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  18. mexicaster

    mexicaster Strat-Talker

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    If you're seriously looking at the ribbon mic. The Royer R10 would be the go to in that price range.

    No one has mentioned a Shure SM7B. A dynamic mic, but a very good all around selection for vocals and instruments. Plus it's shielding against electromagnetic interference.
     
  19. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Strat-O-Master

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    About a zillion records over many years used a sm57 on a mic cab.

    if you can’t get a good tone, with a sm57, on a cab, better keep trying, history proves this. It is a studio staple, it works, it works well.

    is it a ribbon? Nope, but like I said, you best have a ton of clean gain to use a ribbon, like an outboard pre. And have a interface that has an insert so as not to gain stack.

    I use neve style 1073s that I build.
    And have built for a few working studios.

    An interface mic pre is not the same.
    Will it work? Sure. Will it be optimized?
    Nope!

    this is one of only a handful in the world, two channels of neve 1073 style mic pres with eq, stuffed into only a 1u rack…still working on the set. The case is very much full…
     

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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
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  20. Daddy Do Thang

    Daddy Do Thang Strat-Talk Member

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    If your room isn't treated, and you don't have a Beyer M88, save $100. You can get an open box for $300. I use it on everything except acoustic guitar and snare. It's crazy versatile.

    If I lost all my mics, I would replace this FIRST, and then worry about the rest.