1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

What mic to buy next

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Ajak, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    So I'm looking to get myself a new mic for recording. I mainly want a large diaphragm condenser to record Death and Black Metal vocals as well as clean vocals. But I'll also need it for recording drums (I'll start experimenting with room mics) as well as acoustic instruments and amps. But mainly I want a vocal mic. I'm looking for something for a natural soft sounding mic with articulate highs without sounding harsh. I'm looking to spend 1k or less. So far I've been looking at the Audio Technica AT-4050 and the AKG Perception 820 Tube.
    Here's a list of what I got, it's possible that I'll ned to upgrade somewhere else first. I'll mainly (but not exclusively) be recording metal.

    my mics:
    -Shure SM-57
    -Shure Beta 56 (non-a)
    -Audix i5
    -Sennheiser e606
    -Sennheiser e945
    -Sennheiser e902
    -Heil PR40 (ordered)
    -Shure KSM-137
    -2x Audio Technica AT-4041
    -2x AKG c451b (matched pair)
    -Se Electronics Se2200a II C
    -Audio Technica AT-2050

    other mics I have access to:
    -2x Shure PG-52
    -6x Shure PG-56
    -2x Shure PG-81
    -Shure SM-58
    -Shure Beta 58a
    -Shure PG-58
    -Beyerdynamic Opus 29S

    I also have a Tascam DR-40 which I'll try as a pair of room mics.

    So what do you think? I'm looking to spend 1k or less. So far I've been looking at the Audio Technica AT-4050 and the AKG Perception 820 Tube.

  2. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    You have a nice selection of mics. I have not used the Audio Technica 4050 or the AKG 820. One mic that I would recommend that is below the $1K range is the Rode K2 Tube microphone. I have one and have been very pleased with it. It is a large diaphragm tube condenser microphone with variable pickup pattern. It comes with the a remote power supply and 25 foot connecting cable, AC cable, a very nice shock mount all in one case. You can sweep between omni, cardioid, and figure 8 and everything in between. It's a very solid construction and it sounds excellent. It costs about $800 in the USA. Go to
  3. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    How about a Shure SM-7? Commonly used for vocals in those musical realms.
  4. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    You hankering to spend more than you need to?

    I've been using a pair of AKG Perception 400s for several years and gotten terrific results. These are manufactured in China. Underrated, in my opinion. The model has since changed slightly. They're a very good value.

    I use them for vocals, acoustic guitar, and as side/overhead mics for a drum kit. Sometimes use them on a bass cab, too.
  5. get a Brauner Phantom Classic. Best condenser under €1000.
  6. yeah, I like the Rode stuff as well. good stuff for the money, and if you swap out the tube for something nice, then you can have a really great sounding mic.

    Looks like you have a good mic box now, you can't get what you want out of all that stuff?

    SM-7 might suit you like someone else suggested. good mic for growling.
  7. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    The 4050 is a great go to mic for all around use. Can't go wrong with it.
    Also check out the Neumann TLM193...pretty flat freq curve and in your budget range.
    And don't forget the good old Shure SM7...$350 anywhere
  8. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    Thanks for your posts so far.

    I've seen a mic comparison including the Rode K2 and the AT-4050 and the AT-4050 sounded much fuller to me. Could depend on the tube though as Slough Feg Bass mentioned.

    I've checked out the SM-7b and thought about getting that one. But I'm looking for more an allround mic, also to record jazz vocalists for example. I think the SM-7b works better for rock/metal sound right? And I've also read that it needs a lot of gain from the preamp and I'm not sure my gear can deliver that without making too much noise. Here are my interfaces/preamps:

    -Motu 896 Mk III Hybrid
    -Behringer ADA8000 (doesn't sound bad if you don't expect anything fancy, don't love it but it's usable)
    -ART MPA digital (haven't tried that one out yet)
    (-M-Audio Fast Track Pro)
    And I've also ordered a Heil PR40, which is also a large diaphragm dynamic mic. I'll get it in 2-3 weeks, not sure how that'll work with vocals.

    Would getting a preamp be a better idea?

    I'll check the Perception 400 and the Brauner Phantom Classic out, thanks for the tip. The Perception 420 (current version) would be cheap enough to get a pair, which would allow me to try out LDCs as overheads. Tempting...

    I still need another mic for our drummer's huge kit. :D Thought I might as well get something nice, like a good vocal (/allround) mic.

    The TLM-193 would be very nice, but that costs around 1300.- in switzerland and I have to draw the line somewhere... :meh: and the SM-7b costs 485.- here. I think I'll have to move to... duh ...planet earth... :D

    Does anybody have experience with the Perception 820 Tube?
  9. knarleybass

    knarleybass Commercial User

    Apr 6, 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    EV RE-20
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    re-20, pr-40. kinda overlap I think. i like the re-20 better but Given the OP's existing mic closet, Sennheiser 421 would be high on my list.
  11. yes, sounds like all you need are a couple of cool preamps and it will open up your mic box!
    Try the ART Pro-channel II, it is pretty cool sounding and doesn't cost much.
    or the Presonus Eureka thing. Both very versatile and sound great.
    A new preamp will do wonders for some of those mics you have there.
  12. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    The great thing about a pair is you also can use them in a Blumlein Pair to record an entire room in stereo. This works GREAT!

  13. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    I think I'd get the SM-7b before one of those. But I'm more looking for a condenser anyway, because I'll need it on some cymbals.

    Interesting. Though when I invest in a preamp I'd prefer one without that much EQ and compression stuff in it, because I won't use either of those while recording. I'd rather go with something simpler but with 2 or more channels.

    I've been looking at the Audient ASP008 ADAT but that's over my budget again. Other preamps that might go well with these mics? And for which mics would you use another pre? Which ones would benefit the most? I haven't had the time yet to check out the effect of different pres on different mics so I'm not experienced at all in this.

    And I noticed that the AT-2050 is in a similar price range as the Perception 420. Does anybody know both of those mics? Because I could just get a second AT-2050 and I'd have a pair of LDCs for overheads or room-mics.

    I think I'll get either one of the cheaper mics (Perception 420 or AT-2050) and a preamp or one of the more expensive mics (AT-4050, Perception 820 Tube/K2, Brauner Phantom Classic)
  14. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    There are very few things an AKG C414 won't excel at. It's the swiss army knife of LDC mics and you'll find them in practically every professional recording studio on the planet. The Neumann TLM103 is also excellent.

    As for the SM-7, don't dismiss it too quickly as a mic for hard rocking screamers. Next to the RE-20 it's probably the most popular broadcast mic in the US and Michael Jackson recorded all his vocals on Thriller through an SM-7. It's also very good on guitar cabs.
  15. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  16. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Cool concept. But a typical live band recording session can require many many microphones. So while the idea of virtualizing unique sonic characteristics of classic mics can reduce the cost of a single (otherwise exorbitantly expensive) mic, you're still going to have to buy many physical mics from Slate Digital in order to capture all the instruments and vocals. Wonder what all that will cost?
  17. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    I will someday get a C414 but that's over my budget right now and I think I'll save up vor a matched pair. Same for the TLM-103.

    I don't dismiss the SM-7 and the RE-20, but I'm looking for a condenser because I'll need it for drums too. And again there's the preamp issue with the SM-7.

    I'm not sure about the Slate stuff. I'm generally sceptical about modeling gear and try to not use more digital stuff than necessary. And also what Ukiah Bass said.
  18. gricko


    Mar 29, 2004
    drums - room only?
    if it's for room only and vocals - shure ksm44.
  19. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    I'd try out and see where it fits best. Maybe I'll use something else for room or as an extra overhead (maybe I'll try putting an additional mic over the drummers head to catch the whole kit with and then put heavy compression on it. I've heard of people doing that, but I'm not sure what it's all about. I'll just check it out. :))

    So I'll either get another AT-2050 because I need it for drums (and I'd also have a pair of those to do all kinds of things with) and a preamp (like the Audient Mico maybe?) to get more out of some of the mics I have. Or I'll get the AT-4050, the Perception 820 or the Brauner Phantom Classic.

    It's really hard to tell what to get of these things. My reasons for each of those possibilities:

    -AT-2050 & Audient Mico: I already have an AT-2050 so I'd have a pair of LDCs with buying only one mic. I like the AT-2050. ;) The Mico has the same pres as the ASP008, which means transparent clean gain, which also means I could use a SM-7b in future. The Variphase feature seems like a great idea for recording any sorts of instruments or room mics.

    -AT-4050: very nice, full sounding allround mic, works on pretty much anything, doesn't really have a strong character.

    -Perception 820: I don't have a tube mic yet, also seems to be very nice bang for the buck.

    -Brauner Phantom Classic: great bang for the buck LDC, a bit more costly though.

    What would you guys get if you were me? Thanks already, this has been very interesting so far.

  20. PuddingFingers


    Jul 8, 2013
    I wouldn't go NEAR the perception mic - they tend to be real junk. truly. The AT mics are pretty good but won't touch a Brauner Phantom. Not in the same league at all. The Phantom is a bit bass heavy though - you'll have to be pretty careful with placement.