Good Mic for Audio Recording?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by JOD8FY, May 7, 2005.

  1. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    Hello Everyone,

    I've been playing the piano for the past 10 years now and have recently decided to start recording some of my work so I can share it with family and friends. So far, I've been using Garageband and the internal microphone on my PB to do this, but the quality of the recording isn't that great. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good quality external microphone that I can use with my PB.

  2. asif786 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2004
    London, UK.
    to be honest, the line in ports on the pb arent erribly powerful- it may even be of a lower volume than the internal mic.

    if it's a new piano/keyboard, it may have a line out or a midi interface, which you can import into GB and make it sound different etc. of course, using things like that will cost you more.

    basically, i'm just trying to say that using an external mic plugged straight into your pb wont sont particularly good.
  3. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    Try getting an Mbox, or some other USB powered 1/4" input device. Then buy a SURE SM58 if you want decent sound for a decent price.
  4. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    M-box is a good call, but too expensive for GB and the mic-amps are underpowered by the USB, look at the M-audio FW410 or on of their other pre-amps.

    The SM58 is a good close mic on high level instruments, but it has neither the sensitivity nor the frequency response to cope with an acoustic piano.

    Check out the Rode range, the NT2 particularly, SE do some very good mics and Samson have recently come in with some good cheap mics too.

    AKG do some classic mics, the C414 is a doozy, but expensive, their C3000 is worth a look.

    If you can find them, Oktava do some good mics, the MK219 for instance.

    The key is to buy a condensor (sometimes called a capacitor) mic, these mics generally have the frequency response you'll need, plus they are very dynamic and sensitive.

    You will need a 48v power supply (usually called Phantom power) but that usually comes as part of the pre-amp.
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    what Wintermute said...
    plus if you get a Firewire or USB interface with 2 mic inputs, consider getting 2 mics and positioning them over the mid-treble and mid-bass sections of the soundboard. Also consider how you are going to position the mic(s), some boom stands may be required

    If you use one mic at a distance from the piano, you will get a lot of colouration from the room's ambiance, plus other noises. If you mic the piano close to the strings, you will get a predominance of one range over the others, unless you use multiple mics. Having said that, even a Griffin iMic plus a single inexpensive microphone will be an improvement on the built in mix.

    If you go to the library and look up magazines you'll find articles on microphone technique, recording piano (an other instruments) and reviews of mics and interfaces - check out Sound on Sound, Recording, Electronic Musician, Keyboard, Computer Music, Future Music. There are also some good books, including Home Recording for Musicians by Craig Anderton.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    American Musical Supply spoke to me for nearly one hour and ended up recommending the M-audio FW410. I would recommend it as well.
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    How long have you been using the FW410? I am wondering if they have sorted out the compatibility and stability problems on it? It has gained a bit of a dodgy repuatation on other fora.

    The M-Audio FW410 is a firewire audio and MIDI interface. Other units in the same price range are available from Edirol, Mackie, PreSonus and there looks like a sweet new one just released from Focusrite. Hercules and Lexicon/Creative have some as well but I'm uncertain of Mac compatibility

    If you are choosing a large-diaphragm condensor microphone, you will have to check and see that the audio interface/preamp does support phantom power - not all of them in the lower price range do.

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