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Offline wforwumbo

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First SDCs for live taping?
« on: November 29, 2017, 12:08:21 PM »
Hi everyone,
Firstly, I just wanna say this is an awesome resource. I've been digging around, and there's a treasure trove of info in here.

I'm mostly a studio production/recording engineer, and I frequent Phish shows; a few years ago, I walked up to the taper's section in an attempt to learn a thing or two about live taping. The tapers at MPP '15 were more than welcoming and accepting, answering all of my questions and taking me through their taping rigs at the gear level. Since then I've struck up a friendship with a few of them, and have continued to discuss taping gear/techniques as well as helping to run their rigs and give my two cents as far as position and room acoustics (I am a doctoral candidate in architectural acoustics, specializing partially in binaural hearing theory and perception of room acoustics). Notably, noahbickart and I have remained in close touch and discuss lots of stuff; he's helped me navigate the live taping world so far, and I've had the pleasure of learning from him while I assist him in running his rig.

With this upcoming Phish NYE run, I've decided to bite the bullet and get myself a rig. So I wanted to ask you guys a few questions about starting mic gear, based on the setup and budget I have in mind.

Firstly, budget. I'm on a graduate student stipend, so I don't have lots of money to throw around right now. I'm already planning on getting the Tascam DR-40, a 32-gig SD card, and a Jackery or RavPower battery pack; plus I have lots of long XLR cables to run up a mic stand. I plan on clamping off other tapers' bars for the time being, so I'll need to get a bar and clamp once I decide on the microphones I want. I'm looking to spend no more than $400 + s/h for a matched pair of SDCs. I know that's not a lot for microphones, but it's what I can afford at the moment and I'll be buying knowing I'll upgrade all of my gear down the line once I'm no longer a graduate student. Eventually down the line, I'm thinking of getting a line-in mic pre/phantom power to run to the stereo line in of the DR40 to use in combination with the XLR/phantom inputs for four channels; and further down the line past that, I'll invest in probably a SoundDevices, Tascam, or Marantz field recorder.

Secondly, what I've heard that I already like (all of it WELL out of my price range). I'm a big fan of the Schoeps mk22, B&K/DPA 4011, Schoeps mk5, DPA 4015, Schoeps mk41v, and Schoeps mk4v. I've also liked tapes I've heard with AKG c480s if the room is dark or direct-to-reverberant ratio is low, Neumann KM84s, Sennheiser MD441s, and a smattering of other tapes that I'm sure are equally a function of location as they are mic/capsule. I know all of these are way out of my price range, and eventually I plan on running a 6- or 8-channel recorder with mk22s, 4011s, and mk5s. For live taping, I like the transient response and bandwidth of SDCs; LDCs, dynamics, and ribbons - while go-tos in the studio for me - are either too dark (LDC, dynamic) or too impractical (ribbons are too fragile) to use in a first live taping rig, I think.

Now, what I'm currently looking at. I know a set of Line Audio CM3s would do the trick, but I don't think I can get myself a pair of those in time for the NYE run. Otherwise, what has my eye right now is:

  • AKG C1000s
  • Electro Voice ND66
  • sE Electronics sE5 (or MAYBE the 8, if I can magically dig up an extra $100 and they're that much better than everything else on this list)
  • Blue Hummingbird
  • Oktava MK-012
  • AKG P170
  • Samson C02
  • Behringer C2

I've all but eliminated the C2, I've used pairs before and I've found they're just too noisy to make a great-sounding tape. But, can any of you speak to the merits of any of these mics, particularly the C1000s and ND66 which are front-runners in my purchase considerations, as far as usage and the tapes I can produce with them? And alternatively, is there anything I'm not looking at that you guys would recommend? I know my overall setup and the tapes I can produce with these are going to be heavily limited, and I will definitely upgrade in the future (expensive mics will definitely have a place for usage in my studio locker), but for a quick and cheap starting rig to start capturing shows, this is what I will be working with.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 12:10:11 PM by wforwumbo »
Audio Technica AT4031 -> Tascam DR-40

Offline noahbickart

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 09:47:17 PM »
Welcome!

You know what I think. Don't buy microphones you'll be disappointed in. Save up for the real things you want and patch, borrow, etc in the meantime.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v, mk4v, mk22, mk3 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Naiant PFA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10
Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> Adcom SLC 505> Marantz Ma500 (x2)> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-400
Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701

Offline jcable77

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 10:36:35 PM »
A dude I sold some Audio Technica 4031's a little while ago asked me if Id be interested in buying them back. PM me if your interested. I could try and connect you guys. Theye under $200 bucks and well worth it in my opinion. djphrays did the whole BD with the same model mics and a zoom recorder somewhat similar to a DR-40 and I think they came out good.
Mics- AT 4041's, akg 460's ck 61's/63's/ck8's, akg active  couplings>naiant pfa's, naiant x-r's (cards,omnis). Pre- SD-302, naiant x-y amp, apogee mini-me X2, Lunatech V-3, Decks- R-44, dr-40,dr-100mkiii,  dr-03.....
ISO- pair of ADK a51 tl's

Offline heathen

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 10:46:26 PM »
If it means the difference between having mics now and waiting literally years for mics, I'd say get something you're reasonably happy with to use in the interim.  I've never owned Busman mics, but I've heard good things.  If I were in your position, I'd think on these: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=184332.0 (I have no affiliation to seller).

Of course, I also think the AT4031 route is a great option because I fell in love with them after hearing the BD recordings.

ETA: I am looking forward to your input on some of the more technical threads on here (though I imagine most of it will be over my head).
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | Countryman B3s | CA-14 omnis | AT853 cards | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
Decks: Zoom F4 | Roland R-05

Offline aaronji

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2017, 08:58:39 AM »
Don't buy microphones you'll be disappointed in. Save up for the real things you want and patch, borrow, etc in the meantime.

I couldn't agree more!

That being said, though, if you are interested in the Line Audios, try Pinknoise in the UK.  Their product page for the CM3 says that they have five in stock.  They are a good company to deal with (in my experience anyway) and they will ship a pair to the US with 3 - 4 day delivery for £191.99 (~ $258)...

Offline EmRR

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2017, 01:51:42 PM »
Studio guy mainly too, though also some live remote work.  I'll only mention the Oktava MK-012 are extremely sensitive to vibration and wind noise, perhaps overly so unless you invest in shock mounts and windscreens.  I've been amazed at the number of times virtually undetectable air movement has destroyed their usefulness. 

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 03:39:38 PM »
Based on your preferred mic list it seems you have an ear capable of discerning quality as most around here would define it.

Within your cost constraint, I'd probably go with that secondhand AT 4031 pair (or search for another secondhand pair of AT cardioids such as 4041, 4021, 4051- the last is preferable and a quite respectable cardioid, but would probably be difficult to find within budget, especially on short notice) or the CM3s.

I know nothing about the EV ND66 so can't comment on them.  I don't care for the AKG C1000, and unless you can find a secondhand pair of AKG 460 (not sure what the going price is there and suspect they may exceed your current budget) I'd lean towards the secondhand AT or new CM3 options.
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 04:31:15 PM »
If I wanted to spend $400 or less on a set of mics for taping I would look for  - in this order -

Used Audio Technica 4031 or 4041 - they are on the bright side but they are very well balanced and not harsh sounding at all. Crisp and smooth.
Used ADK SC T - these are kind of hard to find but they are good mics for the very small money
Used Busman BSC 1 - surprisingly good sound from these, affordable and they come with interchangeable caps - to me they have a Neumann 184 type of sound but darker.

You may be able to find a used set of Peluso CEMC6 with the cardioid capsules for close to that amount - they are fantastic mics with an open, airy, Neumann type of sound with lots of clarity. Best inexpensive SDC on the market. The subcard caps are the (.)(.)

EDIT - if you have access to a studio do have access to borrowing something decent until you save up for what you want?
Also - avoid the Samson and Behringer mics at all costs. Too many inconsistencies in the manufacturing process and parts supply (like - we are out of this resistor let just us this one instead ). Sequential serial number same model mics can sound completely different.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 04:35:50 PM by goodcooker »
MK41 > nBob > PFA > Aerco MP2/RAD MS2 > DR60d/DR2d
MBHO KA300 > Naiant PFA > Marantz PMD706 (currently under construction)
JB mod Nak300 (for sale/side stage)

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/goodcooker

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Offline bvaz

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2017, 07:57:13 AM »
I'll take a different position.

Live recording is a hobby.  I don't agree with waiting until you can afford top name mics.  You can get just as much enjoyment out of the hobby with a starter set of mics.

another thing to consider is what type of shows you attend.  if you just attend Phish, Dead & Co., JRAD, etc., then you know you will be able to find an AUD on bt.etree or archive.org.  I go to at least a dozen local shows a year where I am the only taper.  even though I've upgraded my mics at this point, I still go back and listen to shows where I was the only taper using bsc1 mics.

your future rig will sound awesome, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy the hobby with a lesser rig until that time.  I'd look at it as count how many shows you saw in the last year where no one was recording.  as a grad student, that number may be low for you, but if it is not, I'd buy jcable's mics  ;D

Offline illconditioned

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 08:34:08 AM »
Beyerdynamic MC930 matched pair, includes clamps and calibration charts.

$800 - $1000 street price new, can't beat these for sound, quality and value.

These are great for both PA and studio work...

If you can't afford these, Audio Technica or Studio projects C4 for $200 used are a great deal until you can afford the Beyers.

Good luck!

  Richard
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 08:35:48 AM by illconditioned »
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

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Offline Brian G

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2017, 08:35:13 AM »
I'll take a different position.

Live recording is a hobby.  I don't agree with waiting until you can afford top name mics.  You can get just as much enjoyment out of the hobby with a starter set of mics.

another thing to consider is what type of shows you attend.  if you just attend Phish, Dead & Co., JRAD, etc., then you know you will be able to find an AUD on bt.etree or archive.org.  I go to at least a dozen local shows a year where I am the only taper.  even though I've upgraded my mics at this point, I still go back and listen to shows where I was the only taper using bsc1 mics.

your future rig will sound awesome, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy the hobby with a lesser rig until that time.  I'd look at it as count how many shows you saw in the last year where no one was recording.  as a grad student, that number may be low for you, but if it is not, I'd buy jcable's mics  ;D

I could not agree more....This is what I have done over the years....kept trading up....
Mics: AKG c480b's, c460b's, c452eb's ( A60's, A51's ,A61's CK61, CK63, CK1, CK3 CK22, CK8), AKG C414 XLII/ST,  Church Audio CA-11 ( Card and Omni)
Cables: Segue Dogstar Cables, Darktrain Silver Cables, Canare Starquad Cables
Pres: Lunatec V3, Naiant BiggerBox, Edirol UA-5, CA-9100 
Recorders: Sony M10 x 2, Tascam DR-100mkii,Tascam DR-40, Edirol R-44
Playback: Fiio X5 v2, Fiio A3 v2, AKG 240MKII

Offline Todd R

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 12:48:31 PM »
Beyerdynamic MC930 matched pair, includes clamps and calibration charts.

$800 - $1000 street price new, can't beat these for sound, quality and value.

These are great for both PA and studio work...


Agreed these are nice mics, but above the stated price level for consideration.  Given how much I liked my Beyer MC950's, I keep wondering if the Beyer TG I53C or its predecessor the MCE 530 mics give somewhat comparable performance at a lower price. 

The TG I53C or MCE 530 fixed cardioids can be had for $200-300 a pair or so new.  They don't seem to be used or discussed much here, but given their Beyerdynamic pedigree, I wonder whether they might make a nice, low-cost mic for concert recording.  Made in Germany too, not China.
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
Recorders:  Sound Devices MixPre-6, Sony PCM-M10, Zoom H4nPro

Offline wforwumbo

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2017, 01:01:48 PM »
Well firstly, thanks for the warm reception everyone, as well as the fantastic recommendations so far. For the record, I've reached out on those 4031s and will try to get them, and if it goes through with the money I save I'm thinking of buying a Naiant stereo IPA to run noahbickart's spare Schoeps capsules into the external line in on the DR-40. I'll probably pick up a matched pair of CM3s in the new year, and then start saving for a matched pair of either DPA 4011s, Schoeps mk22s, and/or Schoeps mk5s. In the meantime I will definitely be patching or borrowing capsules with the Naiant.

To respond to some of you directly:

Of course, I also think the AT4031 route is a great option because I fell in love with them after hearing the BD recordings.

ETA: I am looking forward to your input on some of the more technical threads on here (though I imagine most of it will be over my head).

The busmans definitely look interesting, I'll consider those and a pair of CM3s as backups if the 4031 deal doesn't pan out. Yeah, I really liked those AT4031 recordings too, especially after I eq'd them a bit - being a studio jockey I know my way around parametrics and bus EQ's pretty well. And it isn't necessarily over your head - if I'm worth my weight in salt, I can break down complex topics into more easily-understood terms and concepts.

You may be able to find a used set of Peluso CEMC6 with the cardioid capsules for close to that amount - they are fantastic mics with an open, airy, Neumann type of sound with lots of clarity. Best inexpensive SDC on the market. The subcard caps are the (.)(.)

EDIT - if you have access to a studio do have access to borrowing something decent until you save up for what you want?
Also - avoid the Samson and Behringer mics at all costs. Too many inconsistencies in the manufacturing process and parts supply (like - we are out of this resistor let just us this one instead ). Sequential serial number same model mics can sound completely different.

Not a fan of Pelusos - it's not that they're bad microphones, it's just that I find myself fighting Peluso mics more than fluidly incorporating them into my workflow as far as getting the sound I want. Add to that, that I've yet to hear a Peluso tape that I truly love (I'll like a tape well enough, but it's just not my preferred sound signature for playback). And I definitely prefer the Neumann sound over Pelusos. Though that said I haven't heard the Peluso subcards...

I'm currently looking in to borrowing some microphones from a local studio locker or my research labs, the issue is I'm not so sure my superiors would be happy with me borrowing expensive microphones to tape a rock show. I'd LOVE to borrow my lab's Schoeps mk6 and Earthworks M50 to run in m/s, or the B&K 4006s in split omni, but those are literally the only microphones my lab has and I definitely can't afford to replace them if they get damaged. Noted on the Behringer and Samsons, both have been struck from the list, along with the AKGs and Oktavas based on everyone's recommendations... it seems the AT4031s or CM3s will be in my near future.

I'll take a different position.

Live recording is a hobby.  I don't agree with waiting until you can afford top name mics.  You can get just as much enjoyment out of the hobby with a starter set of mics.

another thing to consider is what type of shows you attend.  if you just attend Phish, Dead & Co., JRAD, etc., then you know you will be able to find an AUD on bt.etree or archive.org.  I go to at least a dozen local shows a year where I am the only taper.  even though I've upgraded my mics at this point, I still go back and listen to shows where I was the only taper using bsc1 mics.

your future rig will sound awesome, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy the hobby with a lesser rig until that time.  I'd look at it as count how many shows you saw in the last year where no one was recording.  as a grad student, that number may be low for you, but if it is not, I'd buy jcable's mics  ;D

Noted, and I agree with you pretty much 100%. I'm seeing these mics as more of a future investment in getting me to go fully down the taping wormhole and becoming a part of the community. I expect I'll be MUCH more inclined to buy the more expensive mics/caps down the line if I'm fully invested in the hobby for enjoyment and have some experience under my belt running my own rig.

Beyerdynamic MC930 matched pair, includes clamps and calibration charts. $800 - $1000 street price new, can't beat these for sound, quality and value.

As much as I love Beyer microphones (when I can use one, IMO NOTHING beats an M160 on a guitar cab - good enough for Hendrix, good enough for me!), I've never been a fan of the MC930. Too brittle, and not enough linearity in the mids (I think that's me being sensitive to off-axis response) for my tastes. Plus, at that price I'd probably hold out and pony up for an mk22 capsule.

Beyerdynamic MC930 matched pair, includes clamps and calibration charts.

$800 - $1000 street price new, can't beat these for sound, quality and value.

These are great for both PA and studio work...


Agreed these are nice mics, but above the stated price level for consideration.  Given how much I liked my Beyer MC950's, I keep wondering if the Beyer TG I53C or its predecessor the MCE 530 mics give somewhat comparable performance at a lower price. 

The TG I53C or MCE 530 fixed cardioids can be had for $200-300 a pair or so new.  They don't seem to be used or discussed much here, but given their Beyerdynamic pedigree, I wonder whether they might make a nice, low-cost mic for concert recording.  Made in Germany too, not China.

I'll look at the other Beyers you've mentioned, they might be in for consideration. If they're too similar to the MC930 signature though, I'd probably pass.
Audio Technica AT4031 -> Tascam DR-40

Offline nak700s

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2017, 02:38:21 PM »
Hey there...welcome to taping madness.  I understand wanting to get started and upgrading as you are able, but to compromise the sound quality of your recordings in the meantime, will only create recordings you don't want to listen to later.  That said, buy equipment that you will still want to use, even after you upgrade.  You are clearly heading towards Sound Devices down the line with respect to your aspirations, so buy a deck to use now that you will still use after you upgrade to an SD.  Personally, I would go find yourself a Sony PCM-M10 and call it a day.  With that deck, you will not need any additional power supply, thereby eliminating extra bulk, weight and expense.  That will hopefully increase your microphone budget.
Onward to the mics: If I were you, I'd pick up a pair of simple stealth mics to use for shows you are not allowed to tape at, and not worry about setting up a full rig in a taper section for now.  I, along with just about everyone else, would be happy to give you a patch.  There is a huge advantage to this scenario.  You get to check out all sorts of different microphones at no expense to you, allowing you to make a decision based on your personal preference.  If you are dead set on having a pair of mics now, then, and I can't stress this enough, it is up to you and not everyone else.  There are a lot of different mics because they will perform differently in different situations.  You will need to assess your needs and how you plan you use them.  My opinion, which would piss off a lot of other tapers, may not be one that you share, but the only way to know for sure is experimentation.  If you intend on chillin' back in a tapers section and not be concerned with the better sound that an FOB recording will provide, then you will need mics that perform best from far away.  Sorry, but in that scenario, B&K/Schoeps are not the best choice.  Hate for that statement will be coming to me in spades!  Look into Microtech Gefells for that (hyper cardioid)...they ain't cheap, but they are sweet!  As per my screen name, I'm a fan of Nakamichi microphones, which you can pick up at a decent price, either from someone on here or me.  A nice benefit of the Naks are that they blend well with other mics, so moving forward, you will still be able to use them with your multi-mic set-ups.  If you want to take my advice and grab a pair of stealth mics to use when not patching out of other tapers, save your money and grab a pair of Church Audio CA-14 cardioids with the CA9200 preamp.  This is all food for thought, and I seriously recommend that you experiment with people, narrow your choices, and save money until you can buy what you want.  Most of all, enjoy the process, this is the fun part!  Happy taping...see you in the section for the NYE Phish run  :yahoo:
Normal: Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD 744T (or) Sony PCM-M10
Stealth: CA-14c >> CA 9200 >> Edirol R-09HR
Ultra stealth: AudioReality >> AudioReality battery box >> Edirol R-09HR
Simple & Sweet!

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: First SDCs for live taping?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2017, 05:43:52 PM »
Well firstly, thanks for the warm reception everyone, as well as the fantastic recommendations so far. For the record, I've reached out on those 4031s and will try to get them, and if it goes through with the money I save I'm thinking of buying a Naiant stereo IPA to run noahbickart's spare Schoeps capsules into the external line in on the DR-40.

Solid plan.

Quote
I'll probably pick up a matched pair of CM3s in the new year, and then start saving for a matched pair of either DPA 4011s, Schoeps mk22s, and/or Schoeps mk5s. In the meantime I will definitely be patching or borrowing capsules with the Naiant. [snip] The busmans definitely look interesting, I'll consider those and a pair of CM3s as backups if the 4031 deal doesn't pan out.

Good to invest in microphones fully before spending funds on fancy recorders and ancillary gear.  All the other stuff mostly just needs to work right.  Most of the magic mojo we have control over is found in recording location, the microphones and how you choose to set up the microphones. BUT before you outline too much of a future microphone acquisition plan, consider what, where, and how you plan to record, assuming you have a clear idea of those things (you might not at this point).  Are you always going to be in big venues? Do you plan to do any stage-lip or on-stage recording in small clubs?  Do you plan to mess around with 3, 4, or more microphone arrays or stick with straight 2-channel configurations?  Do you want a pair of mics with which to record everything or are your more of a "horses for courses" type guy who might choose an entirely different microphone pattern and stereo configuration once you get to the venue and scope out the situation?

Those things will determine what microphone patterns you'll be likely to get the most use out of.  You probably won't need multiple sets of cardioids for instance, so it makes sense to think about an upgrade or microphone acquisition path which gives you the most flexibility to accommodate the type of taping you plan to do without simply replacing a set of decent cardioids with a better pair of cards, and then do that yet again.   For instance, I suspect a follow up pair of omnis or super/hypercardoids is likely to expand your options more than a second pair of more expensive cardioids.

Also consider what type of person and taper you are.  Which is a bigger motivation for you- recording so as to quickly and easily sharing your recordings, or figuring out how to make the best recording you can?  Would you be just as happy with someone else's good recording made with better gear than you would be with yours (and the learning process you went through to make it)?

If you plan to record more than two channels, there are two different viable main approaches, both of which I use and recommend- 1) Record two separate stereo pairs for comparison purposes. Basically a known baseline standard and whatever new you want to try. This is the best way to really get a handle on what different mics sound like, what different mic configurations sound like, etc, by way of eliminating most other extraneous variables.   If you want to play around with mixing them and like how it sounds, great.  But recognize that the primary intent is a good basis of comparison for deciding where you want to go.  There are better ways of using four channels if the intent is to make a single recording, which brings me to approach #2) Making a three, four or more channel recording with the intention of mixing that to a single 2-channel stereo recording.  This is more complicated and more work, but provides enormous advantages, opening up options and possibilities which avoid many of the compromises inherent in recording with a simple stereo pair.  This is where live performance stereo recording and studio stereo recording techniques really part ways, the main difference being techniques to accommodate distance, less than ideal situations, and the oddity of recording a PA within a reverberant room, along with a live audience, while keeping everything in balance.  Using different pickup patterns in combination with non-conventional microphone setups opens lots of opportunities there.

A good bit of that choice in approach concerns what type of taper you are, what type of things you enjoy playing around with, and how prolific you plan to be as a community taper.  The first approach is the more conservative and well-trod path, its more straight-forward, quicker and simpler.  If you plan to tape a lot and up-load your recordings quickly, or aren't really interested in the technical stuff, its best to keep the setup and mixing work as simple as possible.  The second is a more creative approach, and a good fit for those interested in figuring out how and why acoustics work the way they do in pursuit of leveraging that to make the best recording possible.  There is no right or wrong choice here.

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Yeah, I really liked those AT4031 recordings too, especially after I eq'd them a bit - being a studio jockey I know my way around parametrics and bus EQ's pretty well. And it isn't necessarily over your head - if I'm worth my weight in salt, I can break down complex topics into more easily-understood terms and concepts.

This is a huge advantage.  Most live music tapers start out choosing mics based upon cost and their native response and have very little knowledge about the power of EQ to greatly level the playing field.  My favorite microphones are not necessarily the ones which have a native response I prefer over all others, but are the ones which are relatively free of resonances, have well-behaved off-axis responses, and have a smooth response which I can easily shape into what I want out of the resulting recordings made in different situations.  To my way of thinking, a primary aspect of good mics are those which provide that kind of easily EQ'able flexibility.  And on the flip-side, those which do not "take EQ" well, are not good mics, irregardless of price or pedigree.  But I'm less of a keep it simple, tape it and bag it type archival taper and am more into exploring they "whys", "hows", and ways of improving things.

Hope that helps.
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