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    Microphone Advice -crisp warm recordings


    Hi freesounders

    Common question but I would really appreciate some advice on buying a new microphone.

    So far I have been using a pair of omni directional binaural stereo mics. But there's a lot of noise on my recordings and I can hear that the quality is not so good. They seem to be lacking body/low end and sound quite sharp and flat or "boring". My friend and I recorded some crackle from bending a dvd cover and the recording made with his SE Electronics vocal condenser mic was much better than mine. It sounded crispy and warm and had much less noise.

    So these are the qualities I am looking for when buying my next microphone: Warm, crispy (airy?) and just real great sounding.

    I am going to use them mainly for recording all kinds of sounds for making electronica/IDM such as hitting different kinds of objects, percussion, smashing a bottle, crackle and whatever.

    I'm considering the AKG 451B which is for drums, percussion, guitar etc. but a little less expensive one would be fine too.
    It must be cardioid.

    This description sounds quite nice:

    "The C 451B is an excellent tool for accurately capturing signals rich in transients such as drums, overhead miking, or other instruments with a percussive sound. The airy sound, high overload limit of the capsule and electronic circuitry, and improved engineering details of the C 451B are a solid foundation for creating another legend."

    Will this mic give me a warm, crispy, full and great sound?

    Or do you have a better suggestion?

    Hope you can help, Thanks.

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    Hi.

    I often use two C451Bs for recording drums as overhead. The sound is pretty good. It suits almost all music instruments. C451B is a special microphone that makes you happy with the sound. You may be thinking of less expensive one, but my advice is that you should manage to get C451B. Ordinary cardioid microphones can't match it. The price is high, yes, but you'll be able to understand the reason.

    Sound counts.
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    Thanks. Now I am wondering if it would be better to get a mic with a larger diaphragm like that SE condensator mic
    in order to get that crispiness and warmth? The C 451B is said to be precise and not coloring the sound. That's fine but if I can get
    more warmth and crispiness I'd rather have that. Anyone know if I can even get that? Maybe I've gone too obsessed with this...

    I have been able to take an AKG C451B mic home from the shop to try it out.
    It sounds great and it definitely has low end. I really like that it is very low noise and small too.
    Makes it great for field recordings. I'll have to compare it with other mics.

    More comments are most welcome. I am quite lost here...

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    Are you using the binaural mics in your ears or next to your head, or just dangling in the open? They have to be used in/near a boundary like the sides of your head, to have any low end sensitivity.

    Also, the noise is going to be quite a bit a function of the pre-amp that you are using with them. How are you amplifying the signals from them?

    -Scott

    My Website My SoundCloud Tracks
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    My only option has been using the binaurals with my minidisc because of the plugin power. I then use to record that into my computer. I always recorded with the mics clipped onto a pencil for stereo rec.
    They do have low end but my recordings sound quite weak compared to those from the condenser.

    Their s/n is 65 db. The AKG 451 is 76 db. Quite a difference! And it's very easy to hear on the recordings.

    I'm quite certain by now that I'm not going to buy the AKG 451's. Their sensitivity is low and they seem to be better for drums.

    I am going to have a look at the Audio Technica AE5100. It's a large capsule condenser which is supposed to have a warm, rich and accurate sound. Their s/n is 83 db! That must be very low noise if I understand correctly.

    Also the Rode NT-3 and NT-4 look interesting and they are battery powered so that means that I can take them outside for field recordings.

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    Soarer
    I always recorded with the mics clipped onto a pencil for stereo rec.
    They do have low end but my recordings sound quite weak compared to those from the condenser.

    This is one of the main problems. Binaural means that the mics are designed to be used in ear or in the vicinity of the ear, relying on the larger surface of the sides of the head to provide some pressure zone for lower frequencies.

    In a way, binaural microphones function as a type of pressure-zone microphone; particularly for low frequency response. In fact, Crown makes a nice binaural microphone using two PZMs, called SASS.

    Binaural microphones also rely upon some type of barrier between for stereo separation. Clipped onto a pencil, you would not have that. Mounted in someone's ears, you have a very nice barrier.

    Also, if you had them clipped to a pencil, chances are that you were not getting the required separation.

    That does seem to be a pretty crummy signal to noise ratio, but even with these mics, you would get much better sounding recordings if you used them in the fashion they were designed to be used in.

    If you don't like the idea of putting the mics in your ears, or if they don't fit, try clipping them to the temple pieces of a pair of glasses, with the elements as close to the ear position as possible. You'll be much happier with the result and the sound will sound much 'bigger' than co-located mics on a pencil.

    -Scott

    My Website My SoundCloud Tracks
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    For general purpose field & studio work - the Rode NT4 is an excellent choice. I really love that mic!!

    Very low self-noise too.

    If you're going to be doing lots of work in various locations, it performs great.

    If you're after an amazing studio condenser, then my very first and highest recommendation would be for the AKG 414. I've yet to use a finer mic - and that includes lots of high-end gear too!

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    Thanks for your comments.

    I want a new mic but I am definitely going to try what you have recommended Scott.
    I really like stereo recordings.

    I had a look at the AKG 414 a few days ago but it's too expensive for my budget.

    I'll be able to try out the NT3, NT4 and the AE 5100 in a music store in a few days.

    The Audio Technica AE5100 is a large diaphragm condenser so would that not mean
    better, warmer sound eh? Anyone heard it?

    But the NT3 and 4 are battery powered which is a big plus.

    Any owners of these mics come forth and speak up!

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    Sounds like the NT4 has your name all over it. Try it out...I guarantee you'll be blown away smile

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    I've never read one bad review of Rode microphones before. I just think you need to try a few more things with your binaural set before you spring for the Rode or AKG.

    Best Wishes and please contribute some recordings to freesound with your results!

    My Website My SoundCloud Tracks
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    rockstar_not
    Best Wishes and please contribute some recordings to freesound with your results!

    I will!

    I have tested the Rode-NT4 and the Audio Technica AE5100.

    The Rode mic picks up quite a lot of background noise. It's almost omni directional. I can hear cars from the street etc.
    Makes nice stereo recordings but it is huge and there's definitely some audible noise in the recordings. Not much but compared to the Ae5100...

    The AE5100 is the best mic of the 2 I think. No noise!!! Really incredible. This is a luxury when being use to the noisy binaurals. Even when I boost the signal a lot I only hear background noises but no noise. I recorded some water being poured in a glass. Sounds almost like a Coca Cola commercial! So it makes real clean recordings. If I really want stereo recordings I'll get a second one :wink:

    So whether it's warm and crispy or not is hard to say but it has full body and low end and it sounds great.

    So I think I've found my mic.

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    Soarer
    Any owners of these mics come forth and speak up!

    get a matched pair of DPA 4060 and you'll be very happy in most of all cases...

    F

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    I agree with the NT4, Sweet mic, decent price.

    Vance Sound Designer Bioware Corp www.masseffect.com
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    AE5100 is my first mic for field-recordings. I didn't notice it's so nice. When I got it, I actually knew nothing of what the recording is all about. After reading Soarer's, I feel like using it again.

    Sound counts.
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    It's a large capsule condenser which is supposed to have a warm, rich and accurate sound. Their s/n is 83 db! That must be very low noise if I understand correctly.

    There is a lot of mystery spread about microphones due to lack of knowledge or plain vanilla ignorance smile
    You might want to read this article:
    http://dpamicrophones.com/Images/DM00670.pdf

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    A question on the NT4: can it be used for hand held operation without having handling noise?

    --Peter

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    pcaeldries
    A question on the NT4: can it be used for hand held operation without having handling noise?

    --Peter

    do not even think of it, it gets each and every rubbing from your hand. At the very least you need to hold it with the mic clip they provide.

    saludos

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