Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ...

Posted by: fredk

Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/22/13 06:24 PM

and mixing software??

My daughter wants to play with laying down some violin tracks and overlaying them.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/22/13 06:36 PM

Shure SM57 or Shure SM58

http://www.axemusic.com/store/product/2097/Shure-SM57-LC-Instrument-Microphone-without-cable/
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/22/13 06:37 PM

I have the Rode NT1-A mic, it's really good for the price. You'll need an audio interface with phantom power, though.

The audio software I use is Reason by Propellerheads. They have an audio interface, Balance (it does phantom power), that comes with an "Essentials"-only version of their software. That version doesn't have all the features, but it does record audio tracks just fine.
Posted by: Kruncher

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/22/13 06:37 PM

There's not too much that you can't do as relates to audio recording and manipulation with the free Audacity software.

No info on a good mic though. I don't think that you'd need to spend a lot for a decent one. The price/value ratio increased greatly of late, imo, because of the demand from podcast producers.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/22/13 07:55 PM

I am using Audacity to transfer my reel to reel and cassette tapes to my computer. It takes a little learning, but, so far, I love it.

For $99, you can't go wrong with the Shure SM58. But if you can go up to $129 you can get a mike more suited for the violin.

Small-Diaphram Cardiod mics on a budget:

Audio-Technica PRO 37 : This is a nice little mic and cheap, cheap, cheap. I bought mine for $99 (itís a great live fiddle mic, and itís super small, so I can keep it in my fiddle case and always have it on hand). Can be a little on the bright side, so some EQ might be necessary, but you could spend a lot more and get a lot less.

M-Audio Pulsar II: A good, neutral-sounding SDC in the same price range as the Pro 37.

Beyerdynamic MC903: This has a reputation for being the poor fellerís KM84, though it seems a little warmer, less bright than the Neumann KM84. Depending on the fiddle, I usually prefer it to the 84. Quality build, excellent sound.

Mic technique:

Finally, a word on where to put the mic. In the studio, fiddle players tend to go with an overhead mic positioned about 8-10 inches from the instrument. Beyond that point, use your ears. Some mics sound better right over the bow, others are better down the fingerboard. Some mics sound better on axis, others are better off axis. Sometimes it depends on the song.

Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/23/13 12:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Ajax
I am using Audacity to transfer my reel to reel and cassette tapes to my computer. It takes a little learning, but, so far, I love it.

...so some EQ might be necessary, but you could spend a lot more and get a lot less.

Beyerdynamic MC903: This has a reputation for being the poor fellerís KM84, though it seems a little warmer, less bright than the Neumann KM84.

Yeah, you can use Audacity to do a lot of things. But once you use a program actually designed for musicians, and not computer programmers (and this is coming from a computer guy), you'll never want to touch that thing again. It's horribly obtuse to get anything done that you'd actually want when just trying to jam, and get a recording of it.

As for mics with less than linear response, as long as the noise floor is low enough, you can totally change the character with an EQ. So don't worry about "bright" or "dull" in reviews, all you need to do it throw a parametric EQ on insert effect chain, and voila (not viola).
Posted by: fredk

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/24/13 12:22 AM

Lots of replys. Thanks.

Jack. I thought you might know a teeny bit about this subject. smile

Hmm. Questions, questions...

With these mics I'm going to need phantom power xlr cable(s) and a way to plug into a computer? That's gonna add up for just foolin around.

Is there a reasonable USB type solution here?
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/24/13 05:53 AM

There are mics that have a USB cable, are their own sound card*, and pull the phantom power from there. But I've never seen one that was really recommended for recording instruments. They are all targeted at podcasters, and recording speaking voice.

Yeah, a USB mic can get you started for cheap, but expect to throw it away if you want to progress any further than recording a single track without monitoring.


*There's another problem with this, USB mics are a soundcard with just an input and no output. This is fine for Windows sounds, but if you end up using a more professional piece of audio software, it is highly recommended that all the inputs, and outputs are on the same interface. The biggest problem is latency for monitoring. If the audio is going into the mic's interface, being processed by the computer, and re-output from another interface, there's no way to minimize the round trip time (professional audio interfaces have local monitoring, that sidesteps the computer completely), and what you hear in the monitors (headphones) is delayed enough that it makes it difficult to play/sing correctly. The other less noticeable problem is clock skew, but that only really applies to combining the input from multiple interfaces into one recording.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/24/13 07:24 AM

For a USB solution, direct to your computer, you might try one of the Samson Mics. I have the Go Mic and it does a pretty good job with voices. Don't know how it would do with violin.

If one of these catches your eye, do a google search for that specific mic and try to find user reviews. They can be helpful.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/24/13 07:29 AM

Oh, wow, some of those Samsons have actual actual interfaces, and monitoring capabilities. I didn't know that USB mics had progressed in that way. Seems the complaints that I had, have been answered.

Jack, does that Go Mic let you listen to playback through the headphone jack?
Posted by: Ajax

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/24/13 07:35 AM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
Jack, does that Go Mic let you listen to playback through the headphone jack?

I don't know. I've never tried to do that. blush I've always listened to playback through my computer speakers.

The manual says "The onboard headphone amplifier allows you to listen to your recording directly from the microphone, plus you can use the output to connect to active studio monitors."
Posted by: fredk

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/24/13 04:05 PM

Thanks for that Jack. It is the Samson G Track that prompted me to ask. There is one for sale locally used for $70 vs $150ish new (Canada, sigh...).

Unless its horrible, seems like it would fit the bill. Still need to find a way to suspend it, but I expect that is not too hard.

I also came across Blue Micrphones which offers several USB options from the Yeti to the Spark Digital.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 02/24/13 07:39 PM

Happy to be of service. grin
Posted by: fredk

Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... - 03/12/13 08:53 PM

Well the guy with the Gtrack never got back to me.

I have a line on a Rode 1000 mic with stand clip, M-Audio MobilePre USB Interface with Microphone Preamp and boom stand for $150

Seems like a good deal unless there is some gotcha. Looking for opinions.