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  #1  
Old 02-16-2012, 05:40 PM
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Default Mic reccamendations for home recording?

I'm looking to spend around $500 on some drum mics. I need a good snare sound and bass sound 2 overheads and a few mics for toms. My price range is flexible a bit I already have all the other stuff. I just need mics. Let me know what you reccomend. Thanks!
P.S. I am going to mic a pdp x7 maple with many cymbals.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

For $500, your best option is to go with a minimal approach. I would go for a large-diaphragm condenser (like a Rode NT1000) for the overhead and a nice bass drum mic (like an AKG D112, Audix D-6, Shure Beta 52, etc...). That would put you right at $500, maybe a little over, and get you a great sound. If you buy used, your money can stretch farther, and maybe get a second overhead (a pair of AKG C1000s instead of a single Rode), or perhaps a good snare mic (like a Shure SM57 or an Audix i-5). If you HAVE to have tom mics, you'll be sacrificing quality to stick within your $500 budget, although I DID score a used Shure drum mic kit (3 SM57s and a Beta 52) for $200, so deals ARE out there. You get the main drum sound out of the overheads, though, with tom mics acting as merely "accent mics", so make sure your overhead(s) is/are good, and have a good bass drum mic. From there, everything else is nice, but unnecessary...

Good luck!
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
For $500, your best option is to go with a minimal approach.
Yeah, you won't get a lot of mic for $500. I'd go with something like caddywumpus said, and then rent whatever else you need for the actual tracking date. Later, as money allows, you can buy more mics.

As with cymbals, cheap price = cheap sound.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

@Caddywumpus
-Thanks for the reccamendations. My guitarist is getting an sm57 so that will be good for the snare. We just need whats neccessary to get a good drum sound. Are Mic kits that you can find on sweetwater.com any good?
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

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As with cymbals, cheap price = cheap sound.
Yes, except for Rode microphones. I recommend the NT1000 ($300) because you can't distinguish it from an AKG 414 ($800) in a side-by-side comparison. Yes, the AKG has the option to change polar patterns and a pad, but that's not $500 worth of features, in my opinion...
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

@Anduin
- I have nice cymbals so that shouldn't be an issue...Hopefully :)
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

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@Anduin
- I have nice cymbals so that shouldn't be an issue...Hopefully :)
He was comparing mics to cymbals. They both fall under the realm of "you pay more for quality".

Mic kits? It depends...which ones are you talking about? STAY AWAY from CAD mics--they will make your X7 kit sound like a CB700! The Shure drum mic kit (3 57s and a Beta 52) and the Audix D-series kits (NOT the f-series) are nice, and a *decent* deal for the money. But, like it said before, it's not about the close mics. If you record properly, the close mics should be used very lightly and only to bring out the attack of the drums. DON'T use them for the tone of the drums. Leave that for the overheads...

Good-sounding kit + good-sounding room + decent mics w/good placement + a clean signal path + a good recording medium = a good recording
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

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Yes, except for Rode microphones.
I have a couple or Rode mics too, and Iím quite happy with them. But to fully mic a kit not even Rode mics will come in under $500.

Thatís why I suggest renting: better to rent and have reasonably good quality temporarily than to buy a bunch of cheap junk to have forever.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

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I have a couple or Rode mics too, and I’m quite happy with them. But to fully mic a kit not even Rode mics will come in under $500.

That’s why I suggest renting: better to rent and have reasonably good quality temporarily than to buy a bunch of cheap junk to have forever.
100% agree. Don't get cheap junk. Buying used will stretch your dollar, and renting is a good way to experiment to find out what works (or not) for your project.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

Okay. Thanks for the help. I want a sound that is like Portnoy's but thats gonna cost a lot lol. I'm gonna see what I can come up with.
So Far:
Bass drum: AKG D112
Snare: sm 57
Overheads: AKG C1000's
Now, will the tom's have a good amount of cut and attack without individual mics?
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

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Originally Posted by dtrushr30dw View Post
Okay. Thanks for the help. I want a sound that is like Portnoy's but thats gonna cost a lot lol. I'm gonna see what I can come up with.
So Far:
Bass drum: AKG D112
Snare: sm 57
Overheads: AKG C1000's
Now, will the tom's have a good amount of cut and attack without individual mics?
Sounds great so far! You won't need any more than that.

If you know how to play your instrument, then yes, the toms will have plenty of cut and attack. There are plenty of people who just bash on their drums, and if you do that then the snare and cymbals will be much louder than your toms in the mix, obviously. If you know how to PLAY your instrument and balance your sound, then they should have PLENTY of presence in the final mix. You seem like a fellow who cares about his drum sound, so I'm assuming you are already a conscientious player...
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

Thanks so much for the advice. My drum instructor has been working with me a lot to play with a bit more dynamic, mainly with snare solo's and on the hi hats. I am very particular about my sound and equipment so this is important to me and your advice means a lot. Thanks
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Sounds great so far! You won't need any more than that.

If you know how to play your instrument, then yes, the toms will have plenty of cut and attack. There are plenty of people who just bash on their drums, and if you do that then the snare and cymbals will be much louder than your toms in the mix, obviously. If you know how to PLAY your instrument and balance your sound, then they should have PLENTY of presence in the final mix. You seem like a fellow who cares about his drum sound, so I'm assuming you are already a conscientious player...
Beg to differ on the tom sound, if you want a modern rock feel. You won't get a full, deep, and present tom sound without the close mics, no matter how hard you spank 'em (and/or how lightly you play everything else). Being a balanced player will take your recorded sound up a big notch, but it won't get you all the way up the mountain, at least in this case.

Of course, none of this matters if you don't have an 8-channel recording interface. If you've multi-track recorded everything well, you can learn about EQ, gating, compression, panning, and reverb when it's time to mix.

I would suggest buying a pair of large diaphragm condensers for overheads. You'll get more use out of them for other things down the road.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

I have been using 2 sets of the audio technica kit packs which gave me a total 6 of the snare/tom mics, 3 for my toms, 1 on each of my 2 snares and 1 on hats and the 2 kick mics I used 1 for my kick and 1 for the floor tom and have got really good results with them plus they now have a set that includes 2 overheads. I originally bought them with plans to upgrade later when I had more money but for live and home recording the quality and results have been good enough that I still havent bothered upgrading after 10 years. For a professional studio recording better mics will be needed but are usually supplied by the studio.

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...80f/index.html dk4 retail price $199
http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...937/index.html dk6 retail price $459

dk4, $109 http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-AUDIO-TE...item45fa2b553d
dk6, $229 http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-AUDIO-TE...item5add8ab793

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Old 02-16-2012, 11:54 PM
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Yes, except for Rode microphones. I recommend the NT1000 ($300) because you can't distinguish it from an AKG 414 ($800) in a side-by-side comparison. Yes, the AKG has the option to change polar patterns and a pad, but that's not $500 worth of features, in my opinion...
Sorry, bit I beg to differ also. Just about anyone who is a tune to audio subtleties will be able to hear the difference between those two microphones. No way is the Rode 1000 as linear in response as the AKG 414 B ULS and what really handy with the 414 is that it has a three position low frequency roll off switch which is excellent to be able to roll of the lower frequencies of the kit, especially the bass drum. I usually always keep the 75 hz roll off in line and a lot of times use the 150 hz roll off if the room or venue has a lot of low energy nodal problems to contend with. The Akg 414 ULS also has almost 20 db of more head room before distortion compared to the Rode 1000. I still own my four AKG 414 ULS microphones and long since traded the only Rode 1000 I had towards another API microphone pre-amp. Don't get me wrong, some of the Rode microphone have their place in the studio, but I wouldn't compare the 1000 to any of the variety of 414 available, The only Rode that I still own is the Rode NT2000 and sonically I wouldn't compare it to a 414 because of its non linear frequency response.

The only other thing I disagree with is with the use of the overhead microphones. If you are close miking the kit, the tones of each drum will have much more influence on their close mic than with the overheads. Here again is the argument for low frequency roll off controls on the 414 microphones. At this point the main characteristics of the cymbals will be captured by the overhead microphone. Again this is where the knowledge of microphone placement is key. What will tie this altogether is a room microphone or microphones when mixed in a very small proportion with the other kit microphones.

I know were really not talking major studio quality on this thread, buy I just couldn't see lumping hear say with the facts.

Dennis
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: Mic recommendations for home recording?

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Sorry, bit I beg to differ also. Just about anyone who is a tune to audio subtleties will be able to hear the difference between those two microphones. No way is the Rode 1000 as linear in response as the AKG 414 B ULS and what really handy with the 414 is that it has a three position low frequency roll off switch which is excellent to be able to roll of the lower frequencies of the kit, especially the bass drum. I usually always keep the 75 hz roll off in line and a lot of times use the 150 hz roll off if the room or venue has a lot of low energy nodal problems to contend with. The Akg 414 ULS also has almost 20 db of more head room before distortion compared to the Rode 1000. I still own my four AKG 414 ULS microphones and long since traded the only Rode 1000 I had towards another API microphone pre-amp. Don't get me wrong, some of the Rode microphone have their place in the studio, but I wouldn't compare the 1000 to any of the variety of 414 available, The only Rode that I still own is the Rode NT2000 and sonically I wouldn't compare it to a 414 because of its non linear frequency response.

The only other thing I disagree with is with the use of the overhead microphones. If you are close miking the kit, the tones of each drum will have much more influence on their close mic than with the overheads. Here again is the argument for low frequency roll off controls on the 414 microphones. At this point the main characteristics of the cymbals will be captured by the overhead microphone. Again this is where the knowledge of microphone placement is key. What will tie this altogether is a room microphone or microphones when mixed in a very small proportion with the other kit microphones.

I know were really not talking major studio quality on this thread, buy I just couldn't see lumping hear say with the facts.

Dennis
Thanks Dennis,
I'll keep that in mind when getting the equipment.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

I've had good results with Apex 125s

http://www.apexelectronics.com/categ...oduct/Apex125/

which are discontinued... but were cheap! They are a kick mic, but I also used them for toms. Recently recorded my band's EP with them, kicks have a triggered sound and the mic sound both mixed in, but I think the toms are just the mic sound. here: http://maelstrom.bandcamp.com/. They are pre-EQed to cut out low mids, which may limit you... but that's the first thing you do when you EQ anyway.

had 57s on the snares, top and bottom, but again, the snares are half-triggered, overheads were 2 apex 185 pencil condensers, an apex "medium" diaphragm condenser (forget the model #), and the engineer's large diaphragm condenser (never got the make/model).
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

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I've had good results with Apex 125s

http://www.apexelectronics.com/categ...oduct/Apex125/

which are discontinued... but were cheap! They are a kick mic, but I also used them for toms. Recently recorded my band's EP with them, kicks have a triggered sound and the mic sound both mixed in, but I think the toms are just the mic sound. here: http://maelstrom.bandcamp.com/. They are pre-EQed to cut out low mids, which may limit you... but that's the first thing you do when you EQ anyway.

had 57s on the snares, top and bottom, but again, the snares are half-triggered, overheads were 2 apex 185 pencil condensers, an apex "medium" diaphragm condenser (forget the model #), and the engineer's large diaphragm condenser (never got the make/model).
Dude that was some cool stuff and I thought your snare sounded like the one on Unfortunate Snort Pinkly Smooth album. Very cool stuff and I see what you mean about the bass drum. For the bass drum I'm looking for more a mike portnoy sound like on The Dark Eternal Night. Thanks so much and I enjoyed listening to your songs I might buy the EP :)
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:36 AM
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Beg to differ on the tom sound, if you want a modern rock feel. You won't get a full, deep, and present tom sound without the close mics, no matter how hard you spank 'em (and/or how lightly you play everything else). Being a balanced player will take your recorded sound up a big notch, but it won't get you all the way up the mountain, at least in this case.
Placement and a good room sound gets you more of a full and deep tom sound than close mics. Close mics get a more "present" sound, yes, but sound waves need space to develop. Half of the time I record the engineers don't even close-mic the set.

Quote:
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No way is the Rode 1000 as linear in response as the AKG 414 B ULS
Except for, maybe, the fact that it is. Just look up the frequency response specs...you'll notice they're remarkably similar. But, that doesn't matter--only the fact that they do sound identical when you record them, side-by-side, without any processing/effects/coloring preamps does.

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I just couldn't see lumping hear say with the facts.
My thoughts exactly...
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Yes, except for Rode microphones. I recommend the NT1000 ($300) because you can't distinguish it from an AKG 414 ($800) in a side-by-side comparison. Yes, the AKG has the option to change polar patterns and a pad, but that's not $500 worth of features, in my opinion...
Im sorry but im going to have to disagree with that one also. Having frequently used both these mics, the Rode just doesnt have the spearkle and transparency of the 414. Also, the 414 has much less self noise than the Rode. And it can handle higher SPL.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

I hate it when people compare the quality of a microphone to its "flatness." Flatness is not necessarily good, and good is by no means flatness. And even so, flatness does not mean two microphones will sound even remotely the same.

You want ruler-flat, reference-grade, totally uncolored sound? Get an omnidirectional reference mic. And yes, it must be omni - every single polar pattern outside of omni colors the sound depending on the distance of the mic from the sound source. (In other words, the farther away the mic is from your toms, the less satisfying low end you'll get.)

Even with the same polar pattern, two "flat" microphones can sound totally different depending on the design and size of the microphone diaphragm - a smaller diaphragm picks up shorter waves (higher frequencies) faster, which will make cymbals sound considerably brighter. A larger diaphragm will take a slightly longer time to react to high-frequency attacks (transients) and will seem to "swell" in a way that a small-diaphram condenser mic does not.

And of course, circuitry pays a huge part in the sound of a microphone. Tubes, FETs, transformers, etc. will shape the sound of the microphone, adding the tiniest amounts of distortion that we perceive as enhanced harmonic content or warmth. AKG's Perception line offers a tube mic that appears to have a similar cardioid frequency response to that of the Perception 220 and I guarantee you that the two will not sound the same. And there's a reason AKG offers two models of the 414, which also appear to have very similar frequency response.

So stop piddling on about how one mic is more flat than the other. It's like arguing over which wood is best for drum shells, when we all know it really doesn't matter; everyone has stuff that they like and what they think will sound good for whatever situation is at hand. A Neumann U87 has a mid boost that makes it great for vocals; AKG condensers have a high-frequency boost that make them great for cymbals.

The NT1000 suggestion is a good one for the price. Rodes are made very well and sound great.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:42 PM
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Im sorry but im going to have to disagree with that one also. Having frequently used both these mics, the Rode just doesnt have the spearkle and transparency of the 414. Also, the 414 has much less self noise than the Rode. And it can handle higher SPL.
Hmm...I didn't notice any considerable noise difference between them when I compared them side-by-side. Then again, I was in a pretty nice studio, and the noise level of these two mics was very low. Also, I didn't do an SPL check, but I don't think I've ever recorded something loud enough for that to be an issue. Let's see what the specs online say, from their own company websites:

Rode NT1000: self-noise: 6dba, SPL handling: 140db
AKG 414: self-noise: 6dba, SPL handling: 140db (or 146 with a -6db pad, 152 with a -12db pad, or 158 with a -18db pad...)

...I dunno, that looks pretty similar to me...
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: Mic recommendations for home recording?

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Placement and a good room sound gets you more of a full and deep tom sound than close mics. Close mics get a more "present" sound, yes, but sound waves need space to develop. Half of the time I record the engineers don't even close-mic the set..
What if you were in a less-than-ideal room, and you told those engineers you wanted a "Dream Theater"-ish sound? They would most certainly close mic the toms.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Mic recommendations for home recording?

Check out the frequency response of both microphones. They both state it as 20 to 20,000 cycles, but that is were all similarities end. The Rode NT1000 is based on a + or - 6 decibels which in layman's terms means their microphone is functioning to factory specifications as long as it is within 12 decibels at 1 kilohertz on their plot chart, which they don't even plot every microphone coming off their line to be able to include it to the customer, I wouldn't want to either if I were them. A response curve as large as + or - 6 db can play havoc with anything that it is pointing at. It could come down to possibly a very shrill top end or one that is rolled off. Same with its mid range and bass response.

AKG sends a frequency plot with every one of their 414 series microphones showing the exact response on all four of their polar patterns. According to factory plots, the 414 are within + or - 2 decibels in reference to 1 khz. In the first example the actual response shows a -1 to a +3 decibel range in reference to 1 khz. Both of these microphones were exactly within specs. My other two 414B ULS microphones are also within the + and -2 disciples range. I really would like to see the graph from a Rode NT1000. Like I said, Rodes are not bad microphones, but there is no way anyone can directly compare the two and with a straight face say they cannot hear a difference.

I personally own two Neumann U87ai microphones and one of the studios where I work have five others, none of them sound exactly the same, maybe some of the same characteristics, but sonically not the same mostly because of the way the capsules are hand made and tensioned. As expensive as U87's are, and a staple in every major recording studio around the world, they don't work for everything. Maybe a Rode NT1000 might outshine a U87 in some situations, lol.





Dennis

Last edited by audiotech; 02-17-2012 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

Great debate guys, but all that being said the OP is looking for enough decent quality mics to do home recording on a $500 budget which is not going to happen with some of the mics suggested. For the quality, quantity and price I dont think you can get a better package than the audio-technica drum mic kits.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:21 AM
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jingscrivenshelpmaboab jingscrivenshelpmaboab is offline
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Let's see what the specs online say, from their own company websites:

....

...I dunno, that looks pretty similar to me...
I use both these mics frequently, ocassionally side by side, and the difference between them is immediately apparent, and quite obvious. The self noise of the rode is substantially greater than the 414.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

keep in mind that I'm going to be staying within a budget. Around 500 bucks
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: Mic recommendations for home recording?

I never really like recommending something that I've never used, but i searched through some of my equipment manuals and found that Audix has a seven piece microphone kit, it's the Audix FP7 kit. Sweetwater Sound has them for about $460 USD. It does include two F9 condenser microphones for the overheads. Another package that I found is the Shure PGDMK6. It consists of six microphones including two PG81s for over head use. This too is sold by Sweetwater and has a US price tag of about $400. I couldn't find any information on the Audio Technica kit that was mentioned. Sweretwater Sound is a pro gear supply house and they are not known for selling junk.

Check these out, maybe one of these kits will be what you need. I do own Shure, Audio Technica and Audix microphone products, but the ones I use are not in these kits. All of these companies do make fine products.

I hope this helps and I apologize for the part I played in the thread hijacking.
Dennis
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Mic reccamendations for home recording?

I cant say about the Audex but I tried the Shure set before buying the Audio Technica set, quality wise the Audio Technica sounded the best in that price range..
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Mic home recording - AKGs

I'd wait for a used AKG Rhythm pack to show up used on guitar center or ebay.

D 112
3 - D 40
2 - C 430

You do need a SM57 for the snare, or EV N/D 408 is nice too but hard to find.
Here's a link: AKG Rhythm Pack
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