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Looking at Mics....need help/opinions

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by saxnbass, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Hi guys,

    I'm trying to get some mics together for various uses. I have a Shure SM57 and a Sennheiser e902. I'm looking at the following mics:

    CAD GXL3000 Pro
    M-Audio Nova Large Diaphragm
    MXL 990s


    I'm also looking for something to mic drums with, like an overhead or two (I'm on a budget, so please take that into consideration).
    What do you guys think of the Samson C02s?
    Any other suggestions for overhead drum mics?

    Also, what's the big difference between dynamic and condenser mics?
  2. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Outside of the $300 and up stuff, I haven't used anything that sounds better than the MXL 603s.

    http://www.humbuckermusic.com/mxl60mistpak.html (with shockmounts and case for an extra $80)

    In a nutshell: dynamics typically do a better job of handling higher volume and don't need phantom power while condensers are more geared toward lower volume and require phantom power. In this case, high volume situations are guitar cabs close-miced and cranked to 11, close-miced snare drums, etc. Everything else (within reason) tends to be "low volume", but where condensers shine is their ability to pick up sonic subtleties. For instance you wouldn't put dynamics up as drum overheads unless you were looking for a specific sound. With condensers you are going to get more of the drum kit's dynamic range and frequency range.
  3. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    OK, the 3 mics I put up there are not for the overheads. Those would be for vocals, acoustic guitar and such.
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The CAD GXL3000 is the only only one with the switchable polar patterns. This can be very handy. Omni is great for picking up everything in a room. Figure 8, when another set to cardioid give you an MS configuration where you can play with the stereo field.

    These would also probably work fine for drum overheads.

    The CAD doesn't come with a spider (holder) but search the net there's plenty of DIY using small bungee cords.
  5. Umm... since I regularly use condenser microphones on high volume sources (trumpet, snare drums, toms), I'd kinda have to disagree with your characterization.

    Here's a good (if somewhat basic) article on the different types of microphones; US readers might want to note that 'capacitor' mics are the same as 'condenser' mics; also, since the article is more than 10 years old, it was written before the influx of cheap chinese microphones into the audio market.
  6. I have posted a few recordings I made of my band here
    http://myspace.com/3mileshighband There is one labeled "stereo mike"
    that's from a camera mic.
    This rest was to be a quick and dirty Demo. The room was a 40' x 40'
    empty studio, carpeted floor and a wrap around curtain covering 2 walls
    and the other 2 walls (90 degree curved wall) I used 2 B-2pros about
    25 feet apart and 15' out and 7' high in front of the band. One each
    B-1s 15' apart and 3' in front stereo guitar amps and 1 B-1 about 3' in
    front of my homemade (custom rubber drivers) 4x10'/tweeter. For the
    drums I used 2 c-2s on a stereo bar just above and behind the drummers
    head and an floor stand B-1 about 8' in front of the kit. 8 total mics.
    It was all recorded to 2 track. I was surprised at how well the drums
    turned out. remember these are 96kbps mp3

    Thanks for listening
  7. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
  8. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Since I routinely put condensers on guitar cabinets which are cranked to 11 and snare drums, I would have to agree with your disagreement. But only if I'd said "absolutely" instead of "typically". Which I didn't.

    The original poster's question should really be asked on a recording forum. I gave a simplified answer because it wasn't.

  9. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Any input? I need something sub $100. At least an LDP Condenser, even nicer would be an LDP and overhead package, but I don't want garbage. I want something at least decent.

    I just started recording, so I don't need anything high end, I'll upgrade later if I enjoy recording/record enough to justify a more expensive mic.
  10. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    You might consider buying used mics, usually at half (or less) cost. (ebay/craigslist/etc.)

    As far as entry level condensers go, I've got a Studio projects C-1 (and their multi-pattern B-3), plus a pair of Octavia 0012 that don't suck to badly.
    (when new, all these were out of your price range)

    Microphones are just like bass gear, if you buy the cheap entry level products, you'll probably be wanting to upgrade before you know it, and you'll also end up with very little resale value.
  11. Excellent advice!
  12. chrisp2u

    chrisp2u Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    That is very good advice. If you skimp on an LDC that you intend to use for vocals and acoutic guitar (typically 2 things that tend to be fairly difficult to record well in the first place), and you're picky about your sound, then you're probably setting yourself up for disappointment.

    I'd also throw in the Studio Projects C4's in as a good pair of SDC's for overheads. Bang for the buck, the SP stuff is about as good as it gets.

    If you can save up a bit (or quite a bit) more for an LDC, perhaps an Audio-Technica AT 4033, or even better, a 4050. Used is a good way to go... check out the www.gearslutz.com classifieds (need to register to view them)... there are always used mics flaoting around there.

    If you're really set on staying on the cheap, check out cascade mics (http://www.cascademicrophones.com/), Their Fathead ribbons get pretty good reviews for a budget ribbon mic. I had a pair of the m37 SDC (think CAD offerfs the same thing under their own brand... not sure of the model #), and they sounded surprisingly good for drum overheads, but you'll probably need to pick up a dB pad for them when using them for OH's since there isn't one built in and they tended to clip easily without.
  13. eb76


    Jun 8, 2007
    Fort Wayne
  14. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'd spend all of the money you're trying to invest and put it on one mic.

    For a LDC - you might be able to find an AT4033 used for $175-200. I have used a 4050 quite a bit, and would hope they are in the same ball park. I heard that Sufjan Steven's "Illinoise" was mainly recorded using his 4033.

    For budget mics, I really like Pacific Pro Audio LD1s. They are generic Chinese-made mics, so you can probably find them under a number of different names. I think they go for $100 new. I bought a couple for $50 a peice. They don't quite have the clarity of more expensive condensors, but I think they sound great for what they are.

    Overheads are a tough decision. I have never tried PPA LD1s as overheads, but they might work well. You might want to consider buying a second sm57 and use those as overheads until you get more money. You will probably always get use out of SM57s.

    Do you have a mic to use on a kick drum?

    For cheap small diaphram condensors, I've heard good things about Oktava MK-012s. I have no experience with them. Personally, I'm saving up for a pair of Shure KSM-141s.
  15. bassbrock


    Feb 20, 2007
    Callahan, FL
    I can vouch that all of Behringer's mics sound great.
  16. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Aaron, yes, the Sennheiser e902 is a kick drum mic.
  17. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Have you tried micing drums with a 57 as the overhead and the e902 on the kick? If so, how does it sound? You never know. I've heard of some people making recordings using sm57s on everything. If the room you are tracking in is not treated and less than ideal, a 57 as an overhead might work better than using a cheaper condensor. Also keep in mind that mic placement is more important than what mic you use.
  18. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Nope, haven't tried that. The SM57 isn't a very powerful mic; by that I mean that it doesn't pick up everything around, it's more of a close range mic (from what I've found).
  19. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I've never tried using a dynamic mic as an overhead, so I can't speak from experience. I generally use omni mics, as well. SM57s do have a definite proximity effect, so it might lack in lowend as an overhead.

    Using a 57 as an overhead goes against conventional wisdom, but it has been done before, and successfully.
  20. eb76


    Jun 8, 2007
    Fort Wayne
    IMO, SM57 lack both the reach and detail needed to be effective overheads. One of the best budget condensers I've used is the Perception series from AKG. I own a Perception 200, and have had good results with it on acoustic guitar and as a single drum overhead on a small kit.
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