Author Topic: Affordable Condenser Mic  (Read 9196 times)

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Offline Hollywood

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2015, 02:41:25 am »
One thing I need to clarify - my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has phantom power and will work with a condenser mic, correct?


Any experience with any of these?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/MXL/910-Voice-Instrument-Condenser-Microphone.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/MXL/990-Condenser-Microphone-with-Shockmount-273156.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer/B-1-Large-Diaphragm-Cardioid-Condenser-Mic.gc


There's a million of them on GC's website but I kind of have no idea what to look for other than good reviews and a cheap price tag.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 03:01:19 am by Hollywood »
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Offline 12-string_Doug

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2015, 03:51:06 pm »
One thing I need to clarify - my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has phantom power and will work with a condenser mic, correct?
  There should be 48 volt phantom power on the XLR contacts of both of those "combo" XLR/phone (¼") jacks on the 2i2. I think I saw something about the power being switched; dunno if power becomes available when you plug in an XLR, or if there's a separate control for that.

  That 2i2 is a neat little device.

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2015, 04:11:34 pm »
  There should be 48 volt phantom power on the XLR contacts of both of those "combo" XLR/phone (¼") jacks on the 2i2. I think I saw something about the power being switched; dunno if power becomes available when you plug in an XLR, or if there's a separate control for that.

  That 2i2 is a neat little device.

If you look in the docs there is "48V - phantom power switch for mic inputs - enables +48 V phantom power at the XLR contacts of both Combo connectors". The switch is just above the [Direct Monitor] slide switch.

Rachel - at least a couple of those $50 mics you posted are really cheap. One is in fact a small diaphragm capsule!!! One has no pop filter or shock mount. You will have to have those in MHO.  By the time you add those on you might well be over $100 and still have a low end cheap mic. Save a little and aim a bit higher would be my advice. Otherwise down the road you will likely end up replacing the cheap mic with something better and the combined price of both will be the more expensive route to go.

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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2015, 04:32:15 pm »
The frequency response on them are all boosted in the highs as well. One of them looks like a steady slope up from 1K. another starts at about 3K with a strong rise from there.


Also if by chance you did buy a ribbon... you don;t want 48V on them so you need to learn when, where, and how to turn 48v on and off on any interface you may use your mics with.


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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2015, 06:15:12 pm »
From those 3, I'd personally go for the B1 as it's a popular choice.

This should be within your budget as well, and I'd like to have thys myself as well:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Avantone/CK-6-FET-Cardioid-Condenser-Microphone.gc

I'm surprised they don't have the M179 from CAD, but there's plenty on ebay (got mine there as well):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAD-M179-Variable-Pattern-Condenser-Microphone-/261992343947?hash=item3cfff5e98b
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2015, 07:23:52 pm »
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/tube-microphones/mxl-9000-tube-condenser-microphone?rNtt=tube%20condenser&index=9

That would probably work well with your voice too. I think that's the same mic I have under a different name and I really like the way it sounds with my voice.

I also have this under another name.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/condenser-microphones/avantone-cv-12-multi-pattern-large-capsule-tube-condenser-microphone?rNtt=tube%20condenser&index=1

That sounds good too, but they sound totally different.

BTW... this is that same mic....
http://www.amazon.com/Apex-Electronics-460-Tube-Microphone/dp/B000OV4ZRY

What everyone does is buy that mic, then modify it. So when you see that mic for anywhere from say $1,500 down to whatever, it's the same mic. Now what they will do is swap out the transformer ( ~$100), the capsule ( ~$100-$300), and you can modify the circuit to emulate a specific vintage microphone.

These are simply a basic Chinese mic... been around for years. The Chinese capsules have gotten better too so you can use this mic just as it is. If something goes wrong, almost anyone can fix it. ( there are some delicate wires inside and the Chinese don't always pay attention to that. Unscrew the shell, solder the wire back on 5 seconds. )

The other good thing is that mic comes with a variable polar patter power supply. It is also a tube mic so you try various tubes to alter the character a bit perhaps.

This would probably be the most versatile, inexpensive, up gradable, multi-purpose mic you could possibly buy.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 07:40:30 pm by TB-AV »
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2015, 09:45:10 pm »
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/tube-microphones/mxl-9000-tube-condenser-microphone?rNtt=tube%20condenser&index=9

That would probably work well with your voice too. I think that's the same mic I have under a different name and I really like the way it sounds with my voice.

I also have this under another name.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/condenser-microphones/avantone-cv-12-multi-pattern-large-capsule-tube-condenser-microphone?rNtt=tube%20condenser&index=1

That second one is also the same one Cue mentioned.  Okay. So, do those both look like they would work with my voice in terms of where the peaks are?

I'm going to look up some videos of both of these, but I really wish I could try these out first... oh well.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2015, 10:10:33 pm »
That second one is also the same one Cue mentioned. 

Yes..... but it started life as this.....

http://www.amazon.com/Apex-Electronics-460-Tube-Microphone/dp/B000OV4ZRY

and you just never know what people do to them. One of the most expensive version got caught doing nothing, except putting their name and $1,500 price tag on it.

So the question is, can you hear a difference in the $500 one and the $250 one. AND... even if you do, would you like one over the other. Probably not.

That mic, the Apex 460 and incarnations has a variable polar pattern and the response varies, but yes, it's not as peaky in some patterns, flat in others and actually dips in others.

The 460 is the most versatile, there is simply no two ways around that. That is because of the varied polar patterns. You see that black box it has with it? That is a power supply. It supplies high voltage to the mic. That dial you see that looks like a volume knob. That varies the polar pattern between Omni and Cardioid and everything in between. It kinda acts a little bit like an equalizer as it changes the pickup pattern. It's subtle though.

Again, none of these are going to be like magic happening... there's simply more to it than that.

You should wait until you can hear some.

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Offline Hollywood

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2015, 10:47:13 pm »
I was just talking to my mom about it and trying to figure out what I should do.  What I'd like to do is record 4 songs to the best of my ability and do an EP, which I could put on itunes, get copies to try selling at gigs, and be able to take it to some of the smaller radio stations and see if I can get any airplay.  College stations and small country ones, probably. 

I had figured a condenser mic would do a lot better with recording to try to make it a higher quality, more professional sounding.  But there's really not a huge difference in quality between the dynamic and condenser mics in the YouTube videos I watched.  It's noticeable, but is it worth-$200-noticeable?  I can't decide.  I've got some birthday money I can use, but I'm just not entirely sure if a condenser mic is a good purchase at this point or not.  (I turn 21 this week.... when the heck did that happen??)


That being said, if I decide to wait on the condenser, is there any way to make my dynamic mic recordings sound a little better? 
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2015, 12:12:18 am »
Here's the Audio Technica AT3035 (but you'd have to ebay it probably):




Here's a production of a friend of mine with a CAD M179 on vocals:
(incidentally, I"m in this video as well with mandolin and the small Nashville-tuned guitar)


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Offline mike42

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2015, 11:05:45 pm »
I use an MXL 990 for most of my vocals. Occasionally I will use an SM57 because I think it sounds a little more gritty, but unless I'm doubling the tracks it's normally the MXL. I don't think it's a great mic, but I got the 990/991 package for $70 a while back so I feel it's pretty good at its price point.


Offline mike42

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2015, 02:03:32 am »
After doing some research on the CAD M179 that Cue suggested, I decided to order one and will let you know what I think once I have a chance to try it out.

Offline Hollywood

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2015, 02:09:21 am »
Okay, sounds good, Mike!

All of them sound good, really.  Ugh.... I just don't know what to do with this. 
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Offline justinguitar

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2015, 10:14:24 am »
I always thought the NT1 was pretty good myself, used one for years when I got into recording.

But not tried many of the other mics being mentioned cos I went strait into U87's.

The TLM103 is beyond your budget but is incredible at its price, sometimes sounds better than either of my U87s and a quarter of the price! And it's one you'll keep using forever!
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Affordable Condenser Mic
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2015, 03:38:36 pm »
I always thought the NT1 was pretty good myself, used one for years when I got into recording.

But not tried many of the other mics being mentioned cos I went strait into U87's.

The TLM103 is beyond your budget but is incredible at its price, sometimes sounds better than either of my U87s and a quarter of the price! And it's one you'll keep using forever!

Yeah.. a U-47 would be really nice on Hollywood's voice. There's a bit of a nasally peak in Rachel's vocals that a ribbon could smooth out a bit. The NT-1 is a great mic for the price. I have one, and like it a lot, but I don't think it would work well for Rachel's vocals unless it was run through a tube pre and EQ'd quite a bit.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a mic that best suits your voice. I went through half a dozen mics on a vocalist that was in a band I worked for years ago before we finally found one that worked well for him. If there's any way you can get a selection of mics in your price range and evaluate them before you buy one, I think you should.
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