Basement studio: buy dynamics?

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percussion boy
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Post by percussion boy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:05 pm

One other point:

Different mics "hear" the room in different amounts. You can't just choose a type (dynamic vs. condenser) and a pickup pattern and predict what will happen. Off-axis response matters.

I seldom end up using my "best" condenser mic for apartment recording, because it hears too well what a crappy untreated space is involved. My other two LDCs (one widely ignored and the other universally hated) actually get better results than the fancy condenser or several good dynamic mics (441, 421, re15).

Sometimes the nice high end and minimum honk of a condenser is what flatters the instrument best, as long as most of what's beyond and around the instrument is artfully concealed.

but ymmv.
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Eric Blackmer
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Re: Basement studio: buy dynamics?

Post by Eric Blackmer » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:01 am

Addendum: I love to hear the sound of a room in a recording, and some very non-traditional sounding rooms can sound great in the right context, but I think for my purposes and with my set of clients, I would be better of trying to minimize the basement sound rather than embrace it.[/quote]
IMHO, you are thinking of the issue incorrectly... The fact of being dynamic does not make a microphone pick up more or less of the room. The only general truth about dynamics is that they are slower than condensers. The way a mic hears a room depends on the particulars of it's pick-up pattern and its relationship to the primary source in comparison to the room.
Microphones are often subdivided into different pick up patterns- omni, cardioid, hyper-cardioid, super-cardioid, figure 8 and differential. Omnidirectional, a pressure mic, means it picks up from all directions. Omnis, in general, do not suffer from the bass proximity effect; ie you can position them very close to the source without bass build up. Directional mics, phase gradient, use tuned rear access to aim the pickup pattern. The downsides of this method are the bass proximity effect and off axis coloration, phase distortion. Figure 8s are great for some things but are not widely used. Differential mics are good for sports announcers and airplane pilots.
You said you work in a studio. While there listen to as many mics as you can during set up. It is normal to listen to the sound of what it is aimed toward. I suggest that you listen also to the color of the leakage. The SM57 fails in this test because at over 6" the off axis coloration competes with the on axis sound, and at 3 feet it overwhelms it. Also you will find that most mics become less directional at the diaphragm resonance. A large Neumann, or any large diaphragm mic, will resonate in the 1 to 2 kHz range and will tend to be very open in this range. Listen also to how a range of mics deals with bass- proximity, rumble, popped 'P's, air movement, etc. This knowledge will aim you towards a few mics that are more useable in your poor sounding basement setting.
Then you have to choose between them according to what you hope to get from the source.
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David Piper
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Post by David Piper » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:09 pm

I regularly go to my RE-20 on trumpet and trombone instead of a condenser.

I also think that while you can probably get a corner of a basement sounding okay with fiberglass or blankets, dynamics are good to get some isolation happening in lieu of real booths. I have one room and a vocal booth, so recently I did a song with female lead vocals in the booth, me playing acoustic guitar near my desk, and male harmony vocals a few feet away from me. I opted for the RE-20 not because of the room but to make sure the guitar didn't bleed onto the male singer's mic too much.

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Post by japmn » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:54 am

With the basement and recording with no money the mikrofon preamplifiers is the more rigorous choice for the decision. With the low noise on the floor you can better utilize the mikrofons be they both types. You will be making the better sounds with both.

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