Author Topic: Searching for the best microphone bundle.  (Read 2326 times)

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Offline SFDonovan

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Searching for the best microphone bundle.
« on: November 04, 2014, 03:49:59 pm »
Since Christmas is coming I'd like to put a challenge out there.  Find the best large diaphragm condenser microphone bundle for a new acoustic recording artist under $250.  I've seen them bundled with XLR cables, shock mounts, pop filters, another small-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone, mic stands, ...etc.

What in your opinion stands out as the best price/value ratio.  Would the inclusion of a small-diaphragm cardioid condenser mic along with the large diaphragm mic be a must have, or can you get acceptable results from a single large diaphragm mic?  Is the XLR cable, pop filter, protective case something you look for as a must have?   Would you stick with Audio Technica, or go with MXL, or another brand?  Does the XLR have to be a minimum of 20 feet?  Would the mic stand have to be telescopic?

What I don't want to do is buy a bundle and find that half the gear will need replaced for better stuff.  Some of these vendors pad their bundles with junk, or they create bundles with stuff that is being discontinued.
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Searching for the best microphone bundle.
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 05:01:29 pm »
CAD M179 multi-pattern condenser mic is a good start. If you're lucky, you might find an Audio-Technica AT3035 for even less. Both are fine mics and you'll be fine with just one. I do recommend getting an audio interface over an USB mic, this way you can always buy more mics. The MXL V69G is also supposed to be a fine mic, but I've never tried one myself.

You need an XLR cable, as this both carries the signal and the 48V DC current (phantom power) that a condenser mic needs. You sure do need a stand.

Everybody says a pop filter is essential, but if you get the placement right, you don't need one and you get slightly more high end in return. Like I tend to sing 'over' or 'under' the mic instead of right into it. True, if you want to get up close to the mic for some intimate vocals, then sure, you do need a pop filter.

This isn't a mic review, but you can kind of get an idea for what the M179 sounds like:




This IS a mic review, but it's the other mic:


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Offline Steve St.Laurent

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Re: Searching for the best microphone bundle.
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2014, 12:57:41 am »
This guy: http://www.homemusicstudio1.com/home-recording/ has excellent information on home recording including audio interfaces and mic's.  You can spend a lot of time on his site and video's.  Here's his video on his mic recommendation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhXMuwzq108&list=UURFl9qy6w6rIhWVZAHjIjwQ

Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Searching for the best microphone bundle.
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 08:47:08 pm »
Since Christmas is coming I'd like to put a challenge out there.  Find the best large diaphragm condenser microphone bundle for a new acoustic recording artist under $250.  I've seen them bundled with XLR cables, shock mounts, pop filters, another small-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone, mic stands, ...etc.

What in your opinion stands out as the best price/value ratio.  Would the inclusion of a small-diaphragm cardioid condenser mic along with the large diaphragm mic be a must have, or can you get acceptable results from a single large diaphragm mic?  Is the XLR cable, pop filter, protective case something you look for as a must have?   Would you stick with Audio Technica, or go with MXL, or another brand?  Does the XLR have to be a minimum of 20 feet?  Would the mic stand have to be telescopic?

What I don't want to do is buy a bundle and find that half the gear will need replaced for better stuff.  Some of these vendors pad their bundles with junk, or they create bundles with stuff that is being discontinued.

What do you intend to use the mic for?
Vocals? Male? Female?
Acoustic guitar?
Electric guitar?
All of the above?
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Offline SFDonovan

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Re: Searching for the best microphone bundle.
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2014, 03:51:59 pm »
What do you intend to use the mic for?

Vocal, male , acoustic.

And could double as O/H on my son's drum set.
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Searching for the best microphone bundle.
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 05:36:36 pm »
Vocal, male , acoustic.

And could double as O/H on my son's drum set.

OK, you'll definitely want it to be a condenser mic if you're going to be using it on all three.. Just had to check...

I was impressed with the results that Digger was getting on Katja's vocal recordings a while back and asked him what mic he had been using. He told me that he had been using a Rode NT1 so I went ahead and bought one. I had read reviews that it had brittle-sounding highs, but I didn't find that to be the case. If I did, I would have simply eq'd it or used the BitterSweet plugin to take the edge off a bit. It's a quiet mic with a low noise floor and worked well on both my acoustic guitar and my sister's vocals. I don't sing and haven't used it for male vocals, but I imagine it would work well. The package that I bought came with the mic, a decent XLR cable, the shock mount and wind screen and was around $200.00 US. You'd still need a mic stand. The NT1 (and most condenser mics) require phantom power so you'll need an interface that has 48v phantom power - or some other source of phantom power - like a console or inline phantom power supply.
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Offline justinguitar

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Re: Searching for the best microphone bundle.
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2014, 06:49:17 pm »
I always remembered  "buy cheap buy twice" when buying things like stands and cables that'll be around a long time - so I buy K&M brand stands and pop shield, good but not a certain brand cables.

Regarding mic, I always found the Rode brand good value for money... if you got a bit more the Neumann TLM104 is a great mic that I still use a lot though it was the 2nd large condenser I bought... lot of people prefer it to a U87 which is a lot more dosh.

Go try some though - especially for voice often it's not the most expensive that suits you voice - I like the Shure SM7B for myself these days, great mic but not for acoustic guitar!
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Searching for the best microphone bundle.
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2014, 08:57:08 pm »
I want an SM7b too! :D

JamStands (from Ultimate Support) are fine too, I've got four of them and the only things breaking on them are the cable clips (that many stands don't even have) and the jam nuts (that prevent mic monts from rotating on their screw mounts). I got replacements easily (from Ultimate Support who makes them).

That said, K&M is an excellent brand for pretty much anything that they have.

If you don't want to break the bank and don't bother soldering, get Cordial cables - you should be able to find those anywhere. They're not the cheapest (or the most expensive), but they're excellent with quality connectors and a surprisingly flexible cable.
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Production and mixing

 

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