Academy Dashboard Forum Production Analog Recording Which microphone Reply To: Which microphone

Niki Pichler

    Heho David,

    if you have an sm57/58 already it would suite most situations nicely for the first recordings. The problem is that you normally like to take a mic to "recompensate" too harsh frequenzies to get a more natural sounding recording of the instrument. Mics aren't working like our ears that are adapting to situations so we have to change the mic for the "natural" adapting sound for our ears (or process it more afterwards) to make the instruments we record sound more like we normally would hear them.

    So the problematics of the 2 instruments you wanna record are way different. you want to have a round brassy sound out of a sax without harsh highs so a ribbon or dynamic mic would be better suited than a condenser mic. my suggestion as i think your budget is limited, go get a t-bone rb500 ( for your sax (is 100 euros) or use your sm57/58 for it the rb500 for me is a really nice budget ribbon mic, i use it as overheads in a small room as the figure 8 characteristics make the room sound larger on the overheads and the frequency response make the cymbals sound more smooth than splashy which i love. if you use the ribbon mic: IMPORTANT NOTE: dont put it directly in front of the soundhole as it will kill the ribbons and your mic will be broken, experiment with the position. and DONT!! ever put phantom power on, this will also kill the mic!

    the acoustic guitar on the other hand, has way more low end on recordings than we normally hear and to cut trough a mix, the acoustics normally need a good resolution in the high end to not let it sound harsh but present. so for acoustics, the best mic category is a condenser but you can for sure use your sm57/58 for it too! for me there is also a difference between large diaphragm condenser and small ones. i tend to like the position on the korpus below the fretboard more with a small condenser and the position on about the 12-14th fret more with a large condenser. so my suggestion would be to get a large condenser for it like the lewitt lct 440 pure as you can also use it to record really nice vocals. if you dont want to invest in other things than recording acoustics take a look at the lewitt lct 140 which is a really good small condenser mic.

    for room treatment: there are simple ways to make your own acoustic penals for cheap with rock wool and some fabrics around it covered on the back with a thin woodplate (i made 120cm x 60cm panels at the price of 20 euros per piece) and place them on the first reflection points at the walls and the ceiling and in 2 corners. lastly put a carpet in and you will be good to go ^^ if you have a couch or/and a booklocker, these 2 work as well for treatment instead of a panel.

    it is really important to have a bit of treatment as the roomsound will effect your recordings significantly!

    hope that helps you! dont let gear hold you back! you can make good records with just one sm57/58 but if you have the budget, getting more into the matter with a bigger mic locker will for sure improve your results!

    cheers, Niki