large diaphragm condenser mic? (under $4k-$5k)

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by thebeesknees22, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. thebeesknees22

    thebeesknees22 SS.org Regular

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    Hi!

    I'm looking to expand my mic options. I currently have an sm57 and a beta sm58a.

    Trying to figure out what might be good for my voice is a bit daunting since I can't really try out a bunch of mics very easily.

    I'm cool with going something high end. (but under $4k-$5k) I've looked up what singers used that had sort of similar voices to mine and it's a bit all over the place. ...and there seems to be a huge range of preferences on what's "best." ...it really just depends on the singer.

    I attached a freq curve of a vocal test if that helps. It's through the beta sm58a.

    I'm thinking maybe a neumann m49, or u87ai (since they don't make the straight 87 anymore), or maybe something like the soundluxe u99, ...or maybe just an sm7 lol I dunno. I just want a large diaphragm option and something high end to have an extra tool in my pocket.

    The sm57 and 58 aren't half bad for me. maybe a tad muffled sounding on the 58 if I sing quiet, but if I belt it out it's ok.

    ...i feel like this topic will open a can of worms haha

    thoughts?
     

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  2. thebeesknees22

    thebeesknees22 SS.org Regular

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    ah F it. I have money burning a whole in my pocket. ...I'll just get the U87. lol

    nvmd. Nothing to see here.
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I mean, not my business, but you have a SM57 and a Beta 58, and for your third mic you're thinking a $4k condensor?

    If I were in your shoes, and I had that kind of budget, I'd be looking at:

    *a more vocal-oriented dynamic mic - something like a SM7
    *a "good" but not insanely priced LDC - something like an AKG C414, although I'e got a pair of sE Electronics 4400a's that I've been extremely happy with
    *a good mic preamp/preamps - maybe a 500-series box and a couple Rupert Neve Designs pres

    You should be able to buy all of that for less than a Neumann U87, and you'll have some money leftover still burning a hole in your pocket. Say, to grab some rack EQs or compressors, or a few more pres, to have some more tonal colors at your disposal.
     
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  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    This is like saying I don't like my bicycle, it's a little inefficient, so I'M GOING TO BUY A ROCKET SHIP. You'll have all the cool points, but aren't going to make it to work much faster.

    A $4k mic is going to be useless to you if you don't have the monitors, treated room, preamps, etc etc plus the experience to know why you would need all of those things.

    There are plenty of LDC mics for much cheaper that do a perfectly good job. I use a CAD m179, and it's a little "boring" but it does the LDC thing well. Same with the small condensers I have, they're "cheap", but they sound fine.

    If you have THAT MUCH money to spend on recording gear, get two or three reasonable priced mics, make a small collection, get some room treatment and good monitors, and on the whole you'll be better off. SM7 is a good recommendation, maybe something like the CAD I mentioned, etc.
     
  5. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    4k for a microphone?

    Did the inflationary spiral take off at zimbabwe-beating speeds???
     
  6. thebeesknees22

    thebeesknees22 SS.org Regular

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    yeah, lol true. But who wouldn't want a rocket ship instead of a bike? lol Elon Musk didn't send people to space on a fixie! haha

    I still haven't pulled the trigger on a mic yet. I got distracted and started looking at new audio interfaces instead.... and I fell into a black hole. lol

    I was looking at the sm7, m49, and akgC414, and a soundluxeU99 (but i can't find it in canada), and a slew of others etc... I'll eventually get a good collection, it's just a matter of what to get first and what I'll have in 5-10years. ..Start at the top and work my way down or vice versa. I'm pretty well set on guitars and basses except maybe at some point getting an extended range bass....so I'm focusing on other gear now.

    ...anyway, all purchases are put on pause while the US is a giant Covid dumpster fire.... I'm watching things down there from Canada...and... If film/tv productions shut down again then I'm looking at unemployment by fall..... yay! ....but at least i have lots of time to shop and come up with a plan

    But what do you guys think about an apollo interface + a more reasonably priced mic, and a slew of UA plugins for this years big purchase? Then next year I'll do some more mics and some pre's. ..probably have to upgrade my computer in the next year or two as well.

    Room treatment and the rest is my year 2-3 plan.

    @Adieu - i have canadian dollars...they're essentially like zimbabwe dollars at this point. Just add 30-35% on anything in the US...it adds up quick.. :(


    /sadface
     
  7. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    U47's and 87's are really nice. It's the kind of mic you record Whitney Houston with. If it's not something you need to use a lot or for business, your budget may be better off buying a less expensive condenser to keep and use a lot , and for those really critical needs just rent the mic for that project. There's a lot of u87 clones for far less money and when used properly and mixed right I doubt even golden ear'd people can tell the difference. Since it looks like you already went for the u87 then congrats!
     
  8. thebeesknees22

    thebeesknees22 SS.org Regular

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    lol yeah not yet. I got distracted by other things. It's just a matter of me either starting at the top and working my way down or start in the middle and work my way up with mics. I tend to look at things in 5 year plans and 10 year plans etc... So I'll have something to keep me busy in retirement lol

    I tend to work a crazy amount of hours during the year so music, music gear.. It's all just stress relief for me. Some people drink... I buy gear lol
     
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  9. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I'm not sure that "top down" studio building is a great strategy to get full enjoyment out of the gear you're buying. You'll feel good the day you bring the multiple-thousand dollar mic home, but then the next day..... it does what? Nothing a $200 mic couldn't do. But if you start at the bottom and build up, you can enjoy everything as you get it. Grab an interface and you'll have tons of stuff to play with all the sudden. Plugins are immediately useable if you've already got a workflow. Room treatment is an immediate result. New monitors are immediate.

    I mean, you could buy a whole set of drum mics for that, and start recording full bands or something. There's soooo many better paths when you have that much of a budget to throw around.
     
  10. thebeesknees22

    thebeesknees22 SS.org Regular

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    lol yes, top down with a mic isn't wise. The endorphins you get from it are fun for a little while though haha, and you can always sell if need be.

    Anyway, so OK! So say monitors are fine. headphones are fine. Daw is fine. Guitars/basses etc.. all fine for now. Computer is fine, but due to newer interfaces moving to thunderbolt 3, the computer will need to be upgraded in the next year or two. Current interface is fine for now, but needs to be upgraded with better mics and whatnot.

    Let's play a game here. You have a budget of $5-$7k a year to build until you retire. (pending you don't end up doing something crazy like getting married and having kids lol) What do you buy first before upgrading monitors? (let's say upgrade monitors on year 5)

    I'm thinking:

    year 1. Apollo interface + plugins. some other mics of your choosing. mic pre?
    year 2. more mics + computer upgrade (either year 2 or 3) more plugins
    year 3. more mics, more pre's. room treatment. new desk. more plugins
    yeah 4. new headphones. more plugins. more..
    year 5. new monitors. more plugins? disco ball?
    year 6. fancy mic?
    year 7. therapy

    and on and on.. actually on that much budget it wouldn't take me long to have a pretty decked out home studio. lol
     
  11. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    The one element I see missing from that list is the room. Some room treatment might go a long way, and make everything that comes after it more worth it.
     
  12. thebeesknees22

    thebeesknees22 SS.org Regular

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    ah yeah, I won't know about how much I'll need to do with the room yet until I buy a house. I'm all set to get one, but with this covid stuff... sigh... I need productions to get back in full swing before I pull the trigger on that and feel safe about it.

    My job is tied to Cali, and it being so infected makes me nervous. Plus the market here in Montreal right now is red hot as crazy as that sounds. So I'm hoping the prices dip when the extra covid assistance stops. If prices dip to what they were a year or two ago then I could get something super nice for a reasonable price. As of right now it's doable, but.. expensive. If prices don't dip then I'll just try to find a less nice house and be content in that for a while.
     
  13. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    You’re on the right line of thinking now moreso. Grab an Apollo; get the big plugin bundle they offer when you first register your interface; get Soothe 2 to help with any nasty room resonance, and maybe grab a Warm Audio WA-47 (not the jr) or WA-87 for a nice, but affordable, new mic.
     
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  14. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    Fewer plug-ins more outboard gear.
     
  15. AwakenTheSkies

    AwakenTheSkies SS.org Regular

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    Sure, just let me finish recording my song with my Blackmachine B2 using my Digitech RP90 plugged into the line in of the computer's motherboard
     
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  16. thebeesknees22

    thebeesknees22 SS.org Regular

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    I've debated doing that in the past, but never pulled the trigger since digital stuff was making so many advancements. It always just seems like we'll eventually get to the point where digital would catch up well enough and so as long as the signal going in is clean and had high enough samples, then we could do whatever post and it will be pretty much indistinguishable to the average listener in a mix.

    I'll keep it on my list for year 2-4 though. I suppose it's worth trying out at least.
     
  17. thebeesknees22

    thebeesknees22 SS.org Regular

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    ok. I think I'll pull the trigger on an apollo twin x + plugins.

    I'll wait a few weeks on the mic choices + (soothe maybe) just to get another paycheck or two.
     
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  18. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Do you know how to ride a bicycle? Yes? Now, do you know how to fly a rocket ship? The analogy isn't as crazy as it might seem - knowing HOW to work with a LDC is going to be very important for getting a great sound out of one, and right now you have two small diaphragm dynamics. At least learning how a LDC responds in different scenarios, hands on, might make a lot more sense before you start really pushing the pressure limits of one with your brand-new $4,000 mic.

    What's your current interface?
     
  19. thebeesknees22

    thebeesknees22 SS.org Regular

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    hahaha I'm not saying. lol You'll yell at me! hahaha

    I never said it was wise. Fun yes! Wise ...no lol

    I have an apollo twin x on the way. Should get here next week give or take how the mail is with Covid. The interface vs mic purchase was really just a matter of what to get this year and what to get next year since things seem to be changing quite a lot on the computer front. ie. thunderbolt 3, me being a mac dude and them I guess changing to AMD next year etc.... I probably should update my computer next year, but I'd rather wait and see how the first run of AMD goes etc... so.. that's why I was originally wanting to wait on a new interface. But the twin x should be fine for quite a while, and @DudeManBrother convinced me. lol
     
  20. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    If you're thinking of running a Neumann into something like a Scarlett, you're thinking of wasting your money. :lol:
     

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