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Author Topic: Mid-range microphone recommendations.  (Read 1493 times)

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Offline entertainment

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Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« on: May 26, 2022, 10:40:58 PM »
I have been recording shows using the built-in microphones on my Tascam DR-07 MKII.
I don't go to shows that often but I have come to want to invest in a better microphone.
Usually I record loud rock shows in small to medium sized venues.

Since I don't go that often I don't think pro gear like the SP-CMC-XX, DPA6XXX, etc. are quite worth my while.
Audio Technica AT9901 and Sony ECM-719 are often recommended as lower end microphones but I feel like they are not much improvement from the built-in microphones, though I have no experience with them.
Another mic I've been recommended is the CX-500 by JTS which seems like a good bet apart from being an omnidirectional mic.
I'm wondering if someone has an opinion on these or could point me in the right direction for an alternative recommendation.
Additionally, it is quite a hassle and expensive to get a hold of equipment from Europe and the US (like Church Audio) due to my location so it would be appreciated if only microphones from Japanese makers like Audio Technica are recommended.
I am familiar with Sound Professionals' SP-CMC line that modifies Audio Technica models but again they are based in the US and thus not really a good option.

Any advice is appreciated. First time poster here, so be gentle...

Offline Elana

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2022, 03:18:27 AM »
I wouldn't use any of the AT mics in the SP-CMC line at loud shows. You need mics that can handle a higher spl or you will get distortion.

What do you consider mid range? Are you looking for stealth or open taping?

Offline entertainment

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2022, 03:53:33 AM »
I wouldn't use any of the AT mics in the SP-CMC line at loud shows. You need mics that can handle a higher spl or you will get distortion.

What do you consider mid range? Are you looking for stealth or open taping?
Thanks for the response!

Yes the SP-CMC versions of the AT microphones have a sensitivity modification that make them ideal for loud shows. Without the modification they don't seem to be a good option.

Specwise I would say mid-range is something that is not professional level but is a clear improvement over the built-in mic. Pricewise a ballpark figure would be around $100.

The shows I go to are friendly to tapers but I was thinking something more in line with a stealth setup as it is tiresome to hold the recorder in my hand pointed at the band for the entire show and I don't really want to cause a nuisance to other patrons with the equipment.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2022, 04:03:16 AM by entertainment »

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2022, 10:35:37 AM »
A few general thoughts that may help-

Within the limits of the budget, its much less about how often I record than it is about determining the recording quality that will be satisfactory for me.  Personally, if not good enough its not worth making the effort.

Determine what will work best for your type of music, venues, your location in them, and recording techniques.  If jazz / classical / seated venue stuff with respectful audiences, omnis may be the best choice, either worn or placed on-stage- not only are they often the appropriate choice for those situations, they tend to have a higher return on investment with regards to sound quality verses cost.  They can also work really well for "stack taping" in less than ideal rooms (standing close to a PA speaker or stage fill) or standing right at the stage lip for instrumental and non-PA amplified stuff.

If dealing with louder or less engaged standing audiences, less ideal locations in the venue, and not so great sounding rooms, directional mics may be the better choice, but be prepared to pay more for a similar sound quality to you would get from omnis, properly used.

Any microphones used will need the right combination of sensitivity and max SPL capability for the situations in which you expect to record.

Lots of good microphones out of Japan.. Audio Technical is likely your best option  and commonly used by tapers, Sanken is the second brand that comes to mind, but there are numerous others too.   For small directional microphones, those intended for hanging in front of church choirs are often appropriate.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2022, 10:38:07 AM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline entertainment

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2022, 09:44:19 PM »
What I meant is that because I do not record often I will be satisfied with something that is less than professional quality (i.e. the best possible quality) as long as it is better than the type of recording my current microphone will produce.

Initially I was concerned about capturing the guy who claps too much, the guy fumbling a plastic bag, the guy shuffling through to the front, the guy coughing, the guy who constantly shouts, the guy with the noisy clothes, etc. since omnis would pick that up better than directional mics, but after reading your reply and searching a little bit more about omnis myself I've come to realize that using them isn't such a detriment to the recording at all.  As for the location and audience, it is often basement level, with seating, and the audiences are fairly docile.

I was not familiar with Sanken so I appreciate you mentioning them so I could check out their line. One of the hurdles that warranted me making this thread is that I don't have a wide knowledge of the variety of microphone brands that are worth checking out like a veteran does, and for my purpose people are quick to recommend Church, DPA and Sound Professionals so searching is quite troublesome.

Thanks for the advice!

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2022, 12:08:05 PM »
All else equal, I find unwanted sounds tend to show up regardless of the mic pattern used.  Sure there are things one can do to do to mitigate it (including choice of pattern), but it's mostly about getting the the mics farther away from those unwanted sounds, if that's up higher, in closer, or whatever.  Because of that, I tend to select pickup pattern based on things like the room sound and how I'm using the mics, rather than specifically with rejection of unwanted audience sound in mind.

Often unwanted sounds end up on the recording regardless, and the question becomes how much attention it draws. And if that stuff is there regardless, how natural it ends up sounding despite the efforts made to minimize it.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline heathen

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2022, 09:57:42 PM »
I'm not sure what the used market is like these days, but if you can get a pair of used AT853s that would be my recommendation.  Those with the card caps will be more than sufficient and their compact size will allow you more flexibility in where you set up, and location is going to be much more important than incremental differences between mics at that price range.

Something larger but also great for the price is the AKG P170.  There is a local guy who has taped a TON of shows with them and he's gotten some great results: https://thespacefish.com/tag/akg-p170s/

If you can find an old used AT822 I think that's a solid option as well.  Can be battery powered so you don't even need to worry about phantom power.  As I write this I actually see a used one for $80 at the local Guitar Center and I'm tempted to go snag it because an AT822 was my first mic and I still think it made great recordings.

From personal experience some other budget mics that you might find in that price range that I like are the Sennheiser e614 and AT AE5100, though you might need to get really lucky finding a pair at that price range.

Get something competent and then you can focus on the more important things: learning how to squeeze every drop out of it and LOCATION.
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline jnorman

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2022, 07:42:45 PM »
Line Audio CM4s would be an excellent choice in your price range.  I have used them many times as spot mics in my professional work.

Offline hipporu

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2022, 02:51:01 AM »
During the winter, I recorded some budget mics on church bells for a friend of mine.
You can listen to the shootout on YouTube on his channel.
https://youtu.be/uCKFr2rOXfg
Line Audio CM3 CM4 OM1, MKH 416, MKH 406, BP4029, AT4073a, AT Pro 45,  Ferrograph (Reslo RBL), ECM-737
SD MixPre-6, SD MixPre-3II, PCM-A10, Deity HD-TX, Marantz PMD620, Sony TC-D5 ProII
SD MixPre-D, Dcode PS-T, Sound Professionals SP-Preamp, Church Audio ST-20A

Offline DSatz

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2022, 04:51:33 PM »
Gutbucket wrote:

> All else equal, I find unwanted sounds tend to show up regardless of the mic pattern used.  Sure there are things one can do to do to mitigate it (including choice of pattern), but it's mostly about getting the the mics farther away from those unwanted sounds, if that's up higher, in closer, or whatever.  Because of that, I tend to select pickup pattern based on things like the room sound and how I'm using the mics, rather than specifically with rejection of unwanted audience sound in mind.

> Often unwanted sounds end up on the recording regardless, and the question becomes how much attention it draws. And if that stuff is there regardless, how natural it ends up sounding despite the efforts made to minimize it.

I think that the level of information on this board can only be improved by these statements appearing here twice rather than just once; that's why I quoted them back in full.

It's (nearly) all about where your microphones are. Anyone who expects a microphone's directional pattern to filter out unwanted sounds in a reverberant space is categorically expecting too much. The advantages of supercardioids over cardioids with P.A. systems is based on just a few dB advantage in gain before feedback. True suppression of an unwanted sound source can be expected only if you're recording in an anechoic chamber AND the unwanted sound source is smack on the null angle of the microphone's pattern AND close to a pinpoint source AND is not too loud to begin with, AND of course if you're using just one microphone--because if you have two of them, surely you're orienting them differently from one another, no?

Even a small, single-diaphragm figure-8, which potentially has the deepest null of any first-order directional microphone, suppresses sound by only 25 - 30 dB, and requires the above conditions in order to do so.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2022, 05:04:01 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline jcable77

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2022, 04:57:52 PM »
I have naiant XR's with all the capsules and a tiny amp that work great with a dr-07. Ill give you a good deal if interested pm me. Under $200 and you could go from there.

Offline jefflester

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2022, 07:55:11 PM »
Specwise I would say mid-range is something that is not professional level but is a clear improvement over the built-in mic. Pricewise a ballpark figure would be around $100.
$100 is entry/budget level, not mid-range.

One thing to remember, there are very few options that will immediately plug-and-play with your recorder. A pair of small microphones with a stereo 1/8" plug directly into your recorder will likely overload. Although it has has plug-in-power (PIP), it is too low for most mics. You either need a mic that is explicitly battery-powered (like AT822 mentioned above) or you will need some sort of power module (battery box) to go between the mics and the deck. One advantage of the Sound Professionals and Church choices is that they are all configured that way - 1/8" plugs/jacks, a 9V/12V battery box > plug and play. If you just go and look at various Sanken or Audio-Technica microphones, they will generally be designed to work with XLR (or mini-XLR) connectors and 48V phantom power or with wireless transmitter packs with different connectors and voltages and you end up needing adapters or additional power supplies or replacing connectors, etc.

If you are not set on new, your best bet is buying AT853 + battery box from someone in the yard sale, whether they be the SP version or not, and make sure they have the low-sensitivity/4.7K mod. jcable's naiants above would be a good choice as well.

These (minus the deck) would be great:
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=199905.0



« Last Edit: June 29, 2022, 08:09:59 PM by jefflester »
DPA4061 HEB/AT943 -> CA-UGLY -> R-09
Samson C02/Superlux S502/iSK Little Gem -> DR-680MKII
AKG CK63 -> AKG C460B -> DR-680MKII
AKG CK63 -> nBob actives -> Baby NBox -> R-09/DR2d

Offline mcfoster

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2022, 09:23:25 PM »
My 2 cents, I used to own those naiants and they are VERY good for the money, Jcable got them to me and got me back into taping around the time of this recording. It's a nice setup, because there are multiple microphone patterns in that package is a real nice feature. Here is a couple recordings from right when I bought them from Jcable

https://archive.org/details/pppp2018-09-02.pppp2018-09-02.FLAC24

https://archive.org/details/JJ2018-07-31.JJ2018-07-31_161
Recording:
AKG CK1X,2X,3X,8X>Modded MK46's>PFA's ADK-51's>Zoom F6 and or F3
Sennheiser MK2E gopro elements> DR-05

Playback:
Peachtree Nova? Topping D70?Marantz NA6006?>Inspire Audio SET EL84 tube amp?Hafler SE-120's? Amp Camp Nelson Pass designed 8 watt Class A (building now)>Klipsch Custom KLF-20's, RF-7's it depends on the day.

Offline fandelive

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2022, 05:23:27 AM »
I wouldn't use any of the AT mics in the SP-CMC line at loud shows. You need mics that can handle a higher spl or you will get distortion.

What do you consider mid range? Are you looking for stealth or open taping?

That's not totally accurate. Some AT mics are offered a low sensivity option that you absolutely have to check if you want to record loud shows.

Example: https://soundprofessionals.com/product/SP-CMC-8/

SP-CMC-4U especially might fit OPs request: https://soundprofessionals.com/product/SP-CMC-4U/
Mics : Sony ECM-717, MM-HLSC-1 (4.7k mod), SP-CMC-4 (at853), 2x DPA4060, 2x DPA4061
Battery box : SP-SPSB-6524 w/bass roll-off filter, MM-CBM-1
Preamp : Church Audio CA-9100
Recorders : Sony MZR-700PC, Edirol R-09HR, Tascam DR-2d

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Mid-range microphone recommendations.
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2022, 07:44:48 AM »

SP-CMC-4U especially might fit OPs request: https://soundprofessionals.com/product/SP-CMC-4U/

Yes, except the OP wrote:

Quote
I am familiar with Sound Professionals' SP-CMC line that modifies Audio Technica models but again they are based in the US and thus not really a good option.

 

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