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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:58 AM   #1
trancit is offline trancit
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Hi, I am trying to learn to become an audio engineer. I was looking to purchase a condenser microphone. What is best should I buy something on the cheap from Amazon. I was licking at different manufacturers that can create a custom microphone like Stetron. I want to produce high quality but not sure I am ready for such an investment. Thoughts?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:11 AM   #2
globalplayer is offline globalplayer  Germany
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What do you intend to do with the microphone?
Recording? Measurements? Live sound? Vocals? Instruments?
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Last edited by globalplayer; 3rd January 2018 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:21 AM   #3
trancit is offline trancit
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My attention is to be of use for musicians I am helping during recording sessions.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:36 AM   #4
globalplayer is offline globalplayer  Germany
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OK.
So, instruments then?
Or vocals?
Both?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:38 AM   #5
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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Close miking or distant miking? That makes quite a difference for microphones that are not omnidirectional because of the proximity effect.

Last edited by MarcelvdG; 3rd January 2018 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:52 AM   #6
trancit is offline trancit
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globalplayer, both.
marclvdg, close.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:02 AM   #7
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Trancit, I appreciate you want to learn, but asking this question this way is like telling us you want to have a good tool kit, what screwdriver should I buy?

A recording studio has many different mics, and they are used for different things. Your vocalist would sing into a different mic from the kick drum mic.

Condenser mics and dynamic mics have their different characteristics. Learn about them.

When I did field service, I carried my tool kit with me. I had 12 different pairs of pliers. Screwdrivers: I had slot end, phillips, posidive, square end, torx, allen, and many others. And each of those in multiple sizes, each having a job to do. A mic collection is very much like that. There isn't one mic that does it all. There are some very nice condenser mics that are relatively cheap these days. (Compared to some Neumann model) But I would certainly have a few Shure SM57/SM58 mics in my kit, they are sturdy, versatile, and not expensive.

And having toured as a sound man, I would rather have a half dozen $100 Shure SM58 across the front for vocals, rather than an AKG something, an Audio Technica something, a Shure something, and god knows what, in a mis-matched collection. If everyone sings into the same thing, it is much easier to mix them. Just my opinion.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:54 PM   #8
trancit is offline trancit
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Thank you Enzo and all for your guidance.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 10:05 PM   #9
flysig is offline flysig  United States
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The best advice is generally to buy the best microphone you can afford. However, price doesn't mean quality. In the USA, under $100 is going to be a marginal quality mic. It is fine for an amateur recording in their home, but it isn't anywhere near professional quality.

At around $200 you can get some pretty good instrument mics. Now here is my opinion, that much of what we can buy today in a mid price range for hobby use is better than expensive professional equipment from just a few years ago. The limiting factor in your recording is going to be the interface into the computer, and your skills at producing and mastering the recording. You won't benefit from having a really expensive mic!

The Shure M58 is an industry standard, and surprisingly inexpensive at around $100. It would be a fine first mic. Better yet, buy a couple of them if you can afford it. I have a couple of Rode mics which cost around $200 each and find they are excellent for acoustic instruments and vocals.

I would not spend more than that on mics to get you started. I would avoid the really cheap mics, because you'll end up replacing them with better ones.
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Old 4th January 2018, 04:50 AM   #10
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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With close miking, proximity effect will enhance the low frequencies when you use a cardioid microphone. That's why the frequency response of an SM58 rolls off below 100 Hz; it is measured with the sound source at a large distance, but it is meant for close miking, so in normal use the proximity effect compensates for the roll-off.

Regarding cheap microphones, I rather like the Studio Projects B1 large-diaphragm condenser microphone. At least they work fine as radio announcer microphones, I haven't heard them as music recording microphones.
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