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Speedmonk42
12-18-2008, 01:39 PM
Hi, I really don't know much about audio and just getting started. Any good places to start?

I just want a quality mic for a wide range of puposes. I am just wondering if there is any clear winner in this category.

Using it on a couple of different small prosumer camcorders.

I will probably buy a Beachtek for the XLR inputs.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Jamie

sbrandt
12-18-2008, 02:32 PM
WAY under $1,000.

Dynamic or Condenser?

I guess the defacto standard dynamic mic is the Shure SM58.
...about $100 bucks.

Condenser mics are more of a studio mic.
They require a 48V phantom power supply.

My audio interview table has two studio worthy condenser mics and get their 'phantom' power through my mixing board.
They're just MXL990's (about $70 bucks), but if I could crack the nut, I'd get some Neumann TLM 49's...that ain't likely to happen.

I also have an Azden SGM-2x shotgun on a fishing pole with a quick-change short tube that turns it into an interview mic. It gives great service and I think was about $200.

...and 5 Sennheiser lapel mics on transmitters. About $600 per complete set.

Since you want yours on the camera, a decent shotgun is probably in order...
How about...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/497310-REG/Azden_SGM_PDII_SGM_PDII_On_Camera_Short_Shotgun.ht ml

Dexter2999
12-18-2008, 03:11 PM
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/73100-REG/Sennheiser_ME66_K6_COMBO_ME66_K6_Super_Cardioid_Mi c.html#accessories

It is a workhorse of the video industry. You will also want to consider the boom pole, shockmount, rycoat (tribble), possibly a zepplin. If you are using a boom person, a seperate audio feed, cables for that feed and headphones.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/421933-REG/Sennheiser_ME66BK_ME66_K6_Shotgun_Microphone.html

Good Luck

Liber777
12-18-2008, 03:50 PM
Another vote for the Sennheiser ME66/K6. I also have the ME64 head, and a range of other mics for various purposes.

adamredwoods
12-18-2008, 05:29 PM
I also have an Azden SGM-2x shotgun on a fishing pole with a quick-change short tube that turns it into an interview mic. It gives great service and I think was about $200.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/497310-REG/Azden_SGM_PDII_SGM_PDII_On_Camera_Short_Shotgun.ht ml

I use an Azden as well, since it comes with the shockmount. Works well enough for most of my needs (documentaries). And it can be powered with a battery if the camera does not have phantom power-- but make sure to turn it OFF when not in use, and ON when in use!

This enabled me to use the mic without a beachtek. I use an XLR to mini adapter. Works fine.

Hopper
12-18-2008, 05:44 PM
I use a Sennheiser/ME66 and an Audio Technica AT3035 for recording acoustic sets and a fleet of Shure SM57's for mic'ing amps and other direct sound sources. I used to use the Shure SM58's, but I found they drop a lot of high end frequencies. But they ARE excellent microphones nonetheless - just not what I needed them for.

I have two Neumann BCM705's and I'd pay for them all over again if I had to. They are really one of the lower end Neumann's, but it's still quality stuff. Luckily I got mine on eBay for a steal - brand new and paired for $600.

I think I paid about $150 for the AT3035, but that was several years ago.

Are you recording music, vocals, both? If you're recording more or less for music production, I recommend a good tube/solid state combo preamp.

CC Rider
12-22-2008, 01:39 PM
The Shure SM57s are pretty much indestructable too!
They are good mics to have around. You can use them for sound recording or use them on your next construction project to drive nails :D
very versatile!
Industry standard in the Rock and Roll world...ask anybody who has ever performed with a live band

Hopper
12-22-2008, 01:51 PM
The Shure SM57s are pretty much indestructable too!
Except for when you have it plugged directly into the mixer and hit the phantom power on the wrong input. That sucked.

GregMalick
12-22-2008, 02:13 PM
I happened to like the SM58's - probably because of the ball windscreen.
But yeah, I think you can pound nails with an SM57/58.
Back in my band days, the mic cords used to wear out faster.
And they still only cost about $100.
No worries if someone drops one.
They don't have the most pristine sound, but for general use they are great.
Keep one in case your principal mic gets somehow ruined.

For the best sound, consenser mics are great.
But the DC power supply can be a hassle.

I use an old Sennheiser for indoors recording (singing and such).
I think they stopped making my model though - can't find it online.

CC Rider
12-22-2008, 02:28 PM
We used a mixture of 57s and 58s as well.
Mostly used the 58s for vocals because of the ball windscreen...just seemed more "vocal friendly"... in loud R&R stage settings you pretty much had to have the mic in your mouth or you would get serious feedback...the ball just tasted better too ;)
we used the 57s for snare drums, speaker cabs etc...
I don't remember ever having one actually break on us after countless drops, drunks and smoke filled rooms.
Of course we never zapped them with 48v either
:D

Those were the days...

:rock::rock::rock:

Hopper
12-22-2008, 02:34 PM
Of course we never zapped them with 48v either

I think it actually would have survived had I not realized it about two hours later. That's what I get for taking a break.

Dexter2999
12-22-2008, 02:43 PM
To clarify for the OP

The Shure SM 57, 58 and Beta mic's of this line are used primarily for mic'ing instruments (in the case of 57's) or for vocals like singers or lecturers. They are hand held mic's, dynamic microphones with a cardiod pick up pattern, meaning it is largely omni-directional (not totaly however).

The 48v power they are talking about is Phantom power provided to run most Condenser mic's. Condenser mic's tend to be more responsive...and more expensive.

If you were shooting a news anchor. An SM58 would be appropriate, as the reporter often uses a handheld mic. with a station ID marker on it.

A shotgun mic like the one I posted before, is for when you don't want the mic in the shot, like when shooting a film.

CC Rider
12-22-2008, 03:39 PM
Sorry to have strayed off subject like that Speedmonk...it didn't really help you.
a little more info might help us give you more specifics though.
Not all mics are suited for all purposes.
Do you need a good studio mic, hand held, lavalier, on camera, boom?
Give us an idea of the environment too such as studio, indoors, outdoors, loud or quiet. All of these factors will influence your decision. But you should be able to take care of just about anything you need for well under $1000. You can certainly spend more than that if you want to, but you won't have to. If you plan to go with brands like Schoeps or Lectrosonics be prepared to drop some bucks, but Shure and Sennheiser as well as others have plenty of mics within the price range that will work for you.
You may need to get a few mics to cover all your applications. A few more details and I can help you with some specifics.

:)

Hopper
12-22-2008, 04:40 PM
Also keep in mind that you can get virtually the same results with less expensive mics, it may just take a little post processing or signal cleanup after your recording. There's no substitute for quality, but you can do a LOT for under $1,000.

Tom Wood
12-22-2008, 07:18 PM
I started out using an AT3035 to record voiceover for my animation, but the microphone is too 'hot' and picks up -everything-. I did some more study and switched to an EV RE-20 which is known as the broadcaster's microphone. Much more forgiving, and no phantom power required. The preamp needs to be able to handle it though. I use a RNP/RNC preamp-compressor combo.

Hopper
12-22-2008, 07:40 PM
I started out using an AT3035 to record voiceover for my animation, but the microphone is too 'hot' and picks up -everything-.
So very true. This is why I use it for acoustic recording. Usually about 3 feet away, perpendicular to the neck, and the SM58 about a foot away from the bridge. Sounds great when you have a nice 'bouncy' room with some angled walls and noone standing on the dorrbell (had that happen once with the last chord ringing out perfectly... it soooooooo pissed me off because I couldn't filter it out).

And yes .. I installed a disable switch on my doorbell. Man, everyone needs one of those.

Dexter2999
12-23-2008, 11:42 AM
I started out using an AT3035 to record voiceover for my animation, but the microphone is too 'hot' and picks up -everything-. I did some more study and switched to an EV RE-20 which is known as the broadcaster's microphone. Much more forgiving, and no phantom power required. The preamp needs to be able to handle it though. I use a RNP/RNC preamp-compressor combo.

This is VERY true. You can spend more on a Condenser mic. But that mic will pick up every smack of the lips, sniff, even if you swallow hard. It will get the hum of the lights in the room and the air conditioning. It gets EVERYTHING. And for a good part of the time all you want is the voice or the instrument.

So you can spend $300+ for a good Condenser then need to spend another $1,000 on soundproofing a room to use it in.

The RE-20 being a Dynamic mic. won't catch every subtlety but if I were to guess 8 times out of 10 it does what you want without needing alot of sound treatment. It is great for recording spaces.

But like another poster said. It depends on what you are using it for. The RE-20 is not a great mic for on set filming. It doesn't work well if you need it off screen. It isn't a hand held microphone.

A mic. is a tool. Different mic's for different applications. There isn't really a "swiss army knife" of microphones.

Liber777
12-23-2008, 12:35 PM
There isn't really a "swiss army knife" of microphones.

Soooo true. Sometimes a mic will be good for more than one purpose but there's never one for everything. My Sennheiser MD-421 mkII has been as close as it gets; it's great for voice-over work and vocals, and it's also really good for recording amps and a great range of instruments, but not all.

Best,
Stivan