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Author Topic: Rig on a budget  (Read 1067 times)

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Offline drfunkenstein2k

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Rig on a budget
« on: September 21, 2020, 03:55:13 AM »
I was always the kid asking to be patched in with my Sony-D8 DAT

I know have a Zoom Hn4 Pro
I have a few questions

1. quality mics for a budget price?
2. do i need a preamp? zoom has a built it preamp is it enough?

any other recommendations?

please and thank you!

Offline heathen

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2020, 12:53:34 PM »
How much is your budget?  Also will all the accessories (mic stand, cables, windscreens) need to fit within that budget?
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 drfunkenstein2k

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 03:57:29 AM »
1000 usd

Offline heathen

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 10:14:47 AM »
Go on Live Music Archive and listen to as many recordings as you can, preferably of the types of bands you plan to record.  Take note of the gear used in the recordings that sound best to you.  If you notice a trend of specific mics sounding the best, shoot for those.  Let your ears decide, not what other people think.  And if they're above your budget now just keep saving...it's not like there are a lot of shows to record now anyway.
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 voltronic

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 12:10:38 PM »
Another question: What kinds of music are you recording, and in what types of locations?
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853  //  Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24  //  Zoom F6 | Sony PCM-M10
MOTU M2 // KRK Rokit RP5 // Sennheiser HD 650

Team Line Audio

Offline daspyknows

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 12:40:47 PM »
Another question: What kinds of music are you recording, and in what types of locations?

This is the first question to ask once a budget is decided IMHO.  Will it be 100% open taping, some open some steath or 100% stealth would result in 3 completely different rigs.

Offline perks

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2020, 12:41:06 PM »
If I was in the OP's shoes (and of course I once was) I would be looking for used gear that holds its value so that he/she has the ability to resell the gear if they want to try something different or when they are ready to upgrade their gear. For $1000 USD you can certainly put together a solid rig that may be all the gear you need to accomplish your goals.

While I do agree that doing some listening on archive.org can be helpful in making a selection. Yet I would take this information with a grain of salt as this method of research does not account for many of the variables that can make a recording sound great or sound terrible. Just as a for instance when listening to a random show on archive.org you don't know if the room always sounds terrible or if it has the potential to sound great under the correct circumstances. Or maybe the taper did not set up their mics in the best spot in the room and while the gear worked as designed the recording is less than optimal.

If I had $1k to build a rig I would keep the Zoom in the signal path for now and put that $$ to work on mics and powering those mics. Used DPA 406X's do pop up in the yard sale for $500 and then you would be looking at purchasing a batterbox or a preamp to power those mics. Right now there is a Shure FP-24 in the YS and I believe there is also a Naiant preamp available both are under $300. Paying attention in the Yard Sale to new For Sale offers will certainly land you a decent preamp or battery box. Church Audio and Naiant have sold a lot of gear to tapers over the years and their products do frequently pop up in the YS for a good low budget option. I think the DPA 406x's would be the highest quality microphones that fit your budget but you have to live with 100% omnidirectional recordings and that may not be what you want. Otherwise I'd look at putting together an Audio Technica 853 rig which is another good low budget mic and it gives you the option of purchasing capsules that use different mic patterns so you could figure out what mic pattern works best for your recordings. Paying attention to ebay is another good option for the gear I mentioned. I personally would rather buy used equipment off a taper than ebay but there are great deals to be had in ebay auctions yet you do have to take into consideration the risk associated with purchasing electronics.

Good luck!



Mics: Schoeps MK5's (matched), Schoeps MK41's (matched), AT853u's (C,SC,H,O), DPA 4061's
Preamps/converters: Schoeps VMS52UB (x2), Nbox (x2), E.A.A. PSP-2 (x2) Grace Lunatec V2 (for sale), Sound Devices MP-2 (for sale), DPA MMA6000, Naiant Tinybox v1.5, Naiant PiPsqueak, Church Ugly, Apogee Mini-Me, Benchmark AD2k+
Recorders: Tascam DR-680, Korg MR-1, Edirol R-05, Sony PCM-M10 (x2), Tascam DR-07, Marantz PMD-661, Sound Devices Mixpre-3

Online DavidPuddy

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2020, 12:52:41 PM »
Another option is getting 2 used akg ck61 caps and nbobs/pfa, which should be doable with that budget. These are a 'standard cardioid microphone and one that many tapers have used for 30+ years. I have a pair of them and their omni and hyper cardioid siblings, the ck62 and ck63 respectively. The cardioid ck61 will get you a nicely balanced recording if set in the right spot.

I wouldn't bother with buying the microphone bodies at this point. The nbob active cables are made by two guys here on the forum and they're a top quality product.

The Zoom preamps should be adequate for now. As you gain experience, you may want to upgrade to better preamps.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 10:06:30 PM by DavidPuddy »
Mics: nbobs/480+ck61/62/63; C568EB; MKE2
Recorders: MP6; A10

Offline heathen

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2020, 01:28:35 PM »
While I do agree that doing some listening on archive.org can be helpful in making a selection. Yet I would take this information with a grain of salt as this method of research does not account for many of the variables that can make a recording sound great or sound terrible. Just as a for instance when listening to a random show on archive.org you don't know if the room always sounds terrible or if it has the potential to sound great under the correct circumstances. Or maybe the taper did not set up their mics in the best spot in the room and while the gear worked as designed the recording is less than optimal.

The more shows (or even just parts of shows...it's not necessary to listen to the whole concert for this purpose) one listens to, though, the less impact those outliers have. 
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 voltronic

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2020, 07:24:33 PM »
If I was in the OP's shoes (and of course I once was) I would be looking for used gear that holds its value so that he/she has the ability to resell the gear if they want to try something different or when they are ready to upgrade their gear. For $1000 USD you can certainly put together a solid rig that may be all the gear you need to accomplish your goals.

While I do agree that doing some listening on archive.org can be helpful in making a selection. Yet I would take this information with a grain of salt as this method of research does not account for many of the variables that can make a recording sound great or sound terrible. Just as a for instance when listening to a random show on archive.org you don't know if the room always sounds terrible or if it has the potential to sound great under the correct circumstances. Or maybe the taper did not set up their mics in the best spot in the room and while the gear worked as designed the recording is less than optimal.

If I had $1k to build a rig I would keep the Zoom in the signal path for now and put that $$ to work on mics and powering those mics. Used DPA 406X's do pop up in the yard sale for $500 and then you would be looking at purchasing a batterbox or a preamp to power those mics. Right now there is a Shure FP-24 in the YS and I believe there is also a Naiant preamp available both are under $300. Paying attention in the Yard Sale to new For Sale offers will certainly land you a decent preamp or battery box. Church Audio and Naiant have sold a lot of gear to tapers over the years and their products do frequently pop up in the YS for a good low budget option. I think the DPA 406x's would be the highest quality microphones that fit your budget but you have to live with 100% omnidirectional recordings and that may not be what you want. Otherwise I'd look at putting together an Audio Technica 853 rig which is another good low budget mic and it gives you the option of purchasing capsules that use different mic patterns so you could figure out what mic pattern works best for your recordings. Paying attention to ebay is another good option for the gear I mentioned. I personally would rather buy used equipment off a taper than ebay but there are great deals to be had in ebay auctions yet you do have to take into consideration the risk associated with purchasing electronics.

Good luck!

This is all solid advice.  Much as I love my DPAs, I would strongly recommend against buying them as your only mics for the short term, unless you know really know how to use them and can ensure you will always be in a location where they perform their best.

I am a classical / acoustic recordist.  Even though I am usually in auditoriums and churches with relatively quiet audiences, can usually place my stand up high right behind the conductor, etc., I definitely cannot use my 4061s for every concert.  While the may not have the highest sensitivity, they are ruthless with picking up any noise from the audience / house you didn't want to capture (especially the HVAC hum you didn't notice during the concert).  iZotope RX is almost always required when I run them, even if the hall seemed silent at the time.

You have to be careful about placement in very reverberant spaces, because they will grab tons of the room sound.  For acoustic recording, they usually need EQ correction if used with the stock short boost grids unless they are covered by clothing or beyond the critical distance from the sound source (85% direct-to-reflected sound ratio).

Then you have to get powering adapters for them or have Jon/Naiant build you a set of PFAs.

Bottom line: They are absolute magic when the right combination of factors come together, but there is definitely a learning curve with them and they are not the best in every situation.


Still waiting to hear about what OP is recording, but I think the AT853 will get you pretty far.  There is also the Line Audio CM3 (now CM4) which I have found to be the most forgiving in terms of placement.  Naiant makes solid mics also. The AKG option David mentions is very good.  Avoid Church Audio.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853  //  Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24  //  Zoom F6 | Sony PCM-M10
MOTU M2 // KRK Rokit RP5 // Sennheiser HD 650

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Offline drfunkenstein2k

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2020, 03:34:09 AM »
I do believe in paying for quality.

I am recording 100% allowed situations. A lot of Orchestra music.
Also, Phish when i make it to them.
Currently i am in china.

Phish 11-22-1997 - Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA
Schoeps CMC641 > Sonosax SX-M2 > Sony SBM-1 @44.1kHz
Front row/center  OTS, by Craig Hillwig

to me this is the holy grail! this show is crisp and sounds great!
I am into the crisp sound.

but the schoeps are crazy expensive...... but tbh i think about making the dive sometimes.....

also are capsule mics the way to go? is this due to the various combinations it can allow?

i see people selling "paired" mics , does this have an advantage to buying one mic then another mic later?

i use the zoom H4n Pro for recording.... do i need another preamp for better sound?

SUGGESTED MICS?

SUGGESTED PREAMPS?

Offline drfunkenstein2k

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2020, 03:44:49 AM »
Another option is getting 2 used akg ck61 caps and nbobs/pfa, which should be doable with that budget. These are a 'standard cardioid microphone and one that many tapers have used for 30+ years. I have a pair of them and their omni and hyper cardioid siblings, the ck62 and ck63 respectively. The cardioid ck61 will get you a nicely balanced recording if set in the right spot.

I wouldn't bother with buying the microphone bodies at this point. The nbob active cables are made by two guys here on the forum and they're a top quality product.

The Zoom preamps should be adequate for now. As you gain experience, you may want to upgrade to better preamps.

could u explain more please? If i got the aky ck61 dont i need the body for them?

ok did some reading hope i am right here

capsule > active cables > preamp > recorder?

where do you buy active cables?

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2020, 05:22:29 AM »
the following rig can be had for under $2K

a used pair of mk4 capsules
nbob active cables
naiant IPA
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 capnhook, daspyknows, Melanie, morst, Rob D., Scooter123, Sloan Simpson, Walstib62, Dr. Bickart

Offline fotoralf.be

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2020, 06:28:42 AM »
Bottom line: They are absolute magic when the right combination of factors come together, but there is definitely a learning curve with them and they are not the best in every situation.

If only there were cardoids with the same sensitivity, low noise and bass response.

Ralf
Photography and industrial audioscapes from Western Europe. - Sound examples: http://aporee.org/maps/projects/fotoralf - Blog (German): http://the-real-fotoralf.blogspot.com

Offline voltronic

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Re: Rig on a budget
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2020, 06:34:44 AM »
Bottom line: They are absolute magic when the right combination of factors come together, but there is definitely a learning curve with them and they are not the best in every situation.

If only there were cardoids with the same sensitivity, low noise and bass response.

Ralf

I assume you mean the 4080.  I have no experience with them, and you don't see them on the used market that often compared to 4060.  Gutbucket is the person I would ask about the directional DPA lavs.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853  //  Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24  //  Zoom F6 | Sony PCM-M10
MOTU M2 // KRK Rokit RP5 // Sennheiser HD 650

Team Line Audio

 

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