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#390010 - 02/22/13 06:24 PM Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ...
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
and mixing software??

My daughter wants to play with laying down some violin tracks and overlaying them.
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#390011 - 02/22/13 06:36 PM Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... [Re: fredk]
BlueJays1 Offline
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Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4069
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
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#390012 - 02/22/13 06:37 PM Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... [Re: fredk]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
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.
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#390013 - 02/22/13 06:37 PM Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... [Re: fredk]
Kruncher Offline
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Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
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.

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#390016 - 02/22/13 07:55 PM Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... [Re: fredk]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
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 (it’s a great live fiddle mic, and it’s 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 feller’s 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.

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#390026 - 02/23/13 12:46 AM Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... [Re: Ajax]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
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 feller’s 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).
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Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
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#390072 - 02/24/13 12:22 AM Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... [Re: ClubNeon]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
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?
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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#390077 - 02/24/13 05:53 AM Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... [Re: fredk]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
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.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#390079 - 02/24/13 07:24 AM Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... [Re: ClubNeon]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
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.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#390080 - 02/24/13 07:29 AM Re: Need recommendation for decent inexpensive mic ... [Re: Ajax]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
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?
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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