Portable Studio - Mic of choice

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by hukuma, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. hukuma macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #1
    OK...trying to get a nice rig together to take up into the mountains (will be indoors) for some writing/recording. Doesn't have to be 'pro' sound...although it would be nice...unfortunately, my skills wouldn't allow that with even the best gear. I'm simply trying to get some demo sketches together. Ideally, this would be a portable solution that could be carted around easily. I'd like to keep it lightweight and durable.
    Here's what I'm bringing so far...MBP, Apogee Duet, Guitar (trying to keep it down to one), M-Audio 49 keyboard (to lay down beats, piano sounds, etc.) and a mic. OK...that's the issue...what would be a good, multi-purpose mic (vocals, hand percussion (perhaps), guitar). I would like something less than $400. Any thoughts?
    BTW...I'm using Logic Studio and I love it. I'm new to the whole recording thing...I've been a 'pay someone else' recording guy. That gets very expensive, particularly when you're just working out tunes to share with other artists.
    This forum has been very helpful...rock on.
    Also...just saw Van Halen last week...EVH is unreal (still).
     
  2. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #2
    High quality microphones tend to be very specialized. If you're looking to invest in something vocal orientated I really like my AT 4050 which is pretty as opposed to mellow. Vocals recorded on it sit well above acoustic instruments. You can pick that up for about >300 of the puny $.

    To record anything but vocals (but hey I've seen the strokes use them as vocal mics in gigs) I can recommend the sm57 which sells for about 150 $ as a good all rounder and it's tougher than a Polish builder on speed.

    If you elaborate on the sound of the voice you're recording, or the sound you want from it we will be able to make more specific suggestions.
     
  3. hukuma thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #3
    Thanks

    Thanks for the reply. I've got a couple of SM-57's lying around, as I have use them to mic my kit on the road for decades. I have found that they don't serve me well as vocal mics...although it's quite possible that it's me, not the mic.
    As for the vocals...they are mine...I have been told that I sound like Glen Campbell, but I don't let it go to my head. For those too young or not aware of him...he's not so bad.
    That said, I'd like to be able to record female vocals as well. The key here is a 'one size fits all' mic...portability is what I'm looking for.
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    as above, given your budget, i'd say look at the AT line. regarding the mics i have, though, i'd say a shure ksm32. it's over your budget, but it's the only mic i have that has always been at least acceptable on all voices i've tried.
     
  5. USC96 macrumors newbie

    USC96

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #5
    I just bought a Neumann KMS 105 and it sounds great through my Apogee Duet. I got it used on ebay for $400, and it makes me and my Martin sound like a million bucks. :cool:
     
  6. hukuma thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #6
    Thanks

    Thanks for the ideas! Now, if I can just figure out how to better use Logic...I'll be in business.
     
  7. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #7
    I recommend the tutorials from macprovideo.com

    - Martin
     
  8. hukuma thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #8
    Thanks...I'll check out their tutorials for Logic.
     
  9. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

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    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    OT, yeah DUDE! I saw 'em in Chicago in October. Yes, EVH is immortal, but it's those songs... THOSE SONGS!!!!... what a fun, rockin' show.
     
  10. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    #10
    keep an open mind...

    this is an outside the box concept that i learned from a mega-successful engineer friend...

    try the rhode nt4 stereo mic.

    i've worked with him using it as a vox mic, an acoustic guitar mic and, of course, on obvious things such as drum overheads...with superb results. mind you, we have access to all the tubes, fet, etc mics and we've come back to the nt4 time and time again. it's not perfect for everything but it would be a nice addition to your 57's.( and i've done whole freakin records using 57's...).

    if you decide you can throw a few more bones in the budget...i'd highly advise the lautner horizon tube mic....stunning and only about $600.00 street price.

    good luck
     
  11. hukuma thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    Lord Patton - I couldn't agree more...those songs rock. I was actually impressed with DLR...he sounded great and wasn't 'too' obnoxious.
    3rdPath - I'll have a look at the rhode nt4 stereo mic...haven't heard of it, but it's worth a look.

    I'm looking forward to a late night tonight...beers, guitars, beers, apogee duet and MBP w/Logic, etc.
     
  12. mandoman macrumors 6502

    mandoman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    #12
    I would 2nd the at4050 recommendation if you are looking
    for a good all around versatile mic. This is what I like about
    it:

    1) Multiple Polar Patterns - omni,fig-8,cardioid

    2) 3/4" Diaphram - smaller than most LDCs that are 1" gives
    it a little better response to fast transients, not
    as boomy (less prone to proximity effect), and flatter eq.

    3) True Capacitor Mic and made in Japan - higher quality
    than alot of those cheap chinese electret LDCs you find
    out there.

    4) Very neutral sounding - Good if you need versatility
    for both vocal and instruments. If you need character (like
    a high-mids hyped u87), look elsewhere.

    I've got a pair of these and love em! Hope this helps.

    Mandoman

    PS. I think some beers and toying with logic and duet
    after work tonight is a good call! :D
     
  13. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #13
    the at4050 is a good mic for the money ... but as a more do everything work horse I would lean more towards the AKG 414
     
  14. mandoman macrumors 6502

    mandoman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    #14
    I've wanted to own akg 414's for ever. Someday I'll pick up
    a pair.

    What I know about them is they have a bit more character
    to them - they won't sound as neutral as 4050's and
    may not sound good on everyones vocals.

    I'm not saying one is better than the other, just different.
     
  15. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

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    London/Norwich
  16. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #16
    While there are less features, i will say that that at 4060 does sound better than the 4050 ...
     
  17. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #17
    .... And getting punier....
     
  18. mandoman macrumors 6502

    mandoman

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    Nov 8, 2005
    #18
    Mmmm, tube microphone.
     
  19. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

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    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #19
    If you think that's impressive, then you would wet yourself if you saw our Telfunkin 251
     
  20. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #20
    Another good rugged VOX mic would be an SM58. It's no Neumann but it'll last longer in the elements for sure or anything else that's been mentioned.
     
  21. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #21
    The AT 4050 is a killer mic, Although I do not consider it a portable mic. Marshall (no relation to the amps) makes some really nice less expensive mics. You will not find a lot of pro studios using them, but when I need field condenser mic I use them. They cam out with a USB powered condenser mic. Don't know the quality of it but it may be worth a look see.
     
  22. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #22
    if you used a mic that had USB out you would be stuck with that mics pre and coverter. And I believe the op has an apogee. Which would be better than any all in one device.
     
  23. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #23
    USB eats cycles and has a noisy power supply...
     

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