Vocal Mic Advice For New AE

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Vocal Mic Advice For New AE

Post by benisraelthompson » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:20 am

I am brand new to recording and am wanting to make mostly live recordings, with sparse arrangements. Going for old tones, hopefully using tape one day. I currently have a cheap interface (Tascam US-1200, 6 channel), one 58, one Sennheiser equivalent of a 58, and a Beta 52. I want to get another mic and was between getting a 57 first, or a better vocal mic. What do you think?

I was reading this SOS article-

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul10/a ... almics.htm

The AKG C414 UL B seems like it could be a smart choice. They list it here as a $1k mic, but it's available on EBay BIN for $700 easy. Am I looking at the wrong mic? It's discontinued now. To be 300 under a quoted price, after being discontinued seems rare. I just don't want to buy the wrong thing, thinking it's what they used.

Anyone want to share thoughts/experiences with this mic? I'll obviously buy 57's soon, but since 58's are pretty similar, I figured a better vocal mic that would be better.
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Post by JWL » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:37 am

Nothing at all wrong with a 414. Great, versatile mic, and if you buy it used it will hold its value pretty well.

There are other options that work well and won't cost as much.... but everyone will likely have a different opinion as to which ones these are.

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Post by kslight » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:09 pm

Mics are often a good value used IMHO...almost everything I own came to me that way for a small fraction of retail. If you stick with quality brands they often have a good repair/refurb policy if and when you need that kind of thing... And I personally would suggest buying used name brands over brand new cheapos...not to say there aren't some okay cheapos...but I would get some standards first...

I'm a really big fan of the Shure KSM44 especially if you can find a good deal on one (I think I bought mine from a studio closing for $200), one of my favorite non-vintage vocal and overhead mics under $2k.

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Post by blungo2 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:56 pm

Not sure how relevant this will be, but you might consider an ear trumpet labs microphone. I have an Edwina that usually works on almost anything. Not always my first call, but it always seems to work.

Another route might be a a used long ribbon like and aea-r84 or a cloud, both of which i have much love for.

Also you can get an absoulutely killer dynamic that will work on pretty much everything for from reasonable to dirt cheap: EV RE-20, 635a, Beyer m-88, etc. they are amazing.

Just my two cents...

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Post by floid » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:48 pm

A while back folks were talking about the CAD m179 so i picked one up. It's cute, it's cheap, and it sounds good. That, a 635a, a 664, and a Nady ribbon could all be had used for the price of a couple new 57's. Screw the headbasket off your 58 and you've got that base covered as well.
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Post by vvv » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:50 am

The AKG C414 UL B is said to be a good mic, but at $700 it may be more than you need to spend - BTW, " To be 300 under a quoted price, after being discontinued seems rare" - hmm, not so much, mebbe.

If you really want a decent condensor for vocals, there are tons available at US$300 and even well under that price; I usually reco the AT4040 or the KSM27 for nuetralish, or even a CAD GLX3000. For an "older" type sound, I think something like an M-Audio Luna or Solaris, or the tube Sputnik. There are many tube mic's, of course, but I've been very happy with the MXL M69ME that you can find used; I usually reco that as the easiest to find, most flexible inexpensive tube mic that "sounds tube-ish", and I reco that means it could fit yer requirement for "old tone".

Dynamics - again, there are many. Usual reco's include the Sennheiser MD 421 (orig. or II) or really, just about any Senn MD mic; the 500 series handhelds I've used are all cool. The EV RE20 (I like the transformerless 320) or somewhat similar to what you already have but generally considered superior, the Shure SM7b.

I have never met an EV mic, other than broken ones, that I don't like, and some of the handheld N/D's sound great on vocals, even the 267, and all of the RE's I have used have been very cool and kinda "old tone".

I have only really used the Audix OM2, but like that, as well as the AKG D5. Those and the above EV's are not totally dis-similar to the 57.

Also, floid mentions the CAD M179 condensor and it is very nice and very flexible, and I have even seen it compared to the 414; it's a great mic not even considering it's awesome price. There is a cardoid-only version called the 177 that might be cheaper, yet. Altho' I would mebbe feel weird calling any mic, "cute"... :twisted:
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Post by Scodiddly » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:35 pm

If you just have dynamics then a multipattern condensor is probably your best "need something different" microphone. I like the AT 4050, though the AKG 414 or Shure KSM44 are nothing to sneeze at either.

Another choice could be a cardioid small diaphragm condensor - Shure KSM141 (also does omni!) or 137 are really nice, and there are plenty of others out there.

I haven't seen any Ear Trumpet mics in person, though I understand that they're very similar electronically to the mics I build and sell. If so they're probably pretty nice.

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