Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk Building a mic locker

  • This topic has 12 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by Magnus Johansson.
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    Magnus Johansson

      Hi fellow plapanears. I would like to start a discussion about building a mic locker or in a better word, a mic collection. What to buy, in what order, model suggestions.

      I was thinking about this the other week and made myself a wishlist of only microphones over at thomann.

      Short thereafter I found a substantial price drop on a stereoset of one of the mics in my wishlist. But, a matched pair of LDC was to be fair very far down on my wishlist but it gave me the idea for this discussion. I hope will be a popular one. Maybe a video from Warren.

      So what do we want in our mic lockers and in what order would we build/collect it. Naturally it´s very much a subjective matter. Depends on what you already got, what to replace, deals to good to refuse and so on. Let's start the discussion from a clean empty lockers point of view. So what mics do we want and at what point could be a good point upgrading your pre-amp? Do we need more than one in the year of virtual everything, mics and pre-amps.

      My first thought was to start off my collection with a good single pattern LDC. As I saw it you don't have that much benefit from a multi pattern LDC until you get your second LDC and want to do some stereo mid/side recording. Therefore my thinking was to do that with your first cardiod only LDC and your second multi pattern LDC in figure eight. Later, a different, better approach came to mind. Wouldn't it be better to first get a multi pattern LDC and let your second expensier LDC replace your first primary LDC. Meaning that you will upgrade your primary “mid” mic and degrade it to a decent secondary “side” mic. I mention mid/side recording here. That´s because matched pair microphones is not crucial when it comes to mid/side stereo recording and stereo recording is fun and something you want to do dive in to sooner than later.

      But, before you get your second LDC you probably want to get a dynamic workhorse. Of course I'm talking about the Shure SM57. Question here is.. how many to get? I would settle with two to three mics. One question.. what alternative is there?

      At this point maybe it's time to instead go on and make a short list what we want to record. Primary it will, in most cases be vocals and some acoustic guitar (1). Then some electric guitars (2). Bass (3). After that we probably want to be able to track some drums. There are some routes to take here but with an additional new primary LDC we can get a nice stereo (mid/side) recording of a kit (4). If you got two dynamic workhorses then you might use them top bottom snare. If you got three you might choose top snare and two toms. Your choice. After this I would choose a pair of SDC (5) Benefit of SDC would be to be use them as hihat and ride close mics or replace the overhead side mic. The multipattern LDC could then be used as a room mic. After this you probably want to get some more umph from your toms, time for some close tom mics (6).

      (1) LDC Multipattern
      (2)Dynamic workhorse(s)
      (3)Kick (Bass)
      (4)LDC New primary, multipattern or cardiod only.

      Now I think we have come to the end of the basic mic locker. What do you get/buy from this point to color up your mic collection? Virtual mic(s), a matched pair of LDC, a ribbon, additional kick mics, additional dynamics? Is this the natural point to look for some fun mic pre-amp? Add your thoughts to the basic and additional list.

      Here´s a short, brand limited, ever changing suggestions list of mics, on a budget and more expensive.

      (1)AKG P420
      Lewitt LCT 441 Flex
      (2)Shure SM57
      (3)AKG D112mkII, Shure Beta52A
      AKG D12VR, Shure Beta91A
      (4)Lewitt LCT 240 Pro, AKG C214
      Lewitt LCT 440 Pure, AKG C314
      Slate Digital ML-1, AKG C414 xls
      (5)AKG P170, Slate Digital ML-2
      Lewitt LCT 140
      Lewitt LCT 340
      (6)AKG D40, Lewitt DPT 340 TT
      Shure Beta56A

      (7)Matched pair LDC
      AKG C214
      AKG C314
      (8)Tube LDC
      AKG P820
      Avantone CV-12
      Telefunken Copperhead

      face (chris) Janton

        I don't record in my home studio. If I need to record more than 1 person/instrument I book time at a local studio (with a great mic locker!)

        I decided that I would have a set of mics that would allow me to record live groups in various ways, along with enough mics to do home recording as well.

        I started with a Shure SM58. Still have it.

        I added a wonderful Advanced Audio DM20 as my RE20 clone for "voice-over". This is the mic on the boom at my desk and the one I talk to the most.

        I went "live" recording with direct inputs to my mixer. Decided to carry some mics "just in case". Welcome to the Pyle PM58C 58 clone - $10 each, behave like a 57 or a 58. I have 3. I can lose them and not whine. They work fine on live amp cabinets.

        I have a pair of LDC multi-pattern mics so I can do all the LDC as well as Blumlein.

        I have 3 SDC mics (Behringer B5) mics with omni and cardioid capsules. I use these to build a Decca tree when I want to cover a large group like a choir or an orchestra.

        A couple of other LDC U87 style clones from China, nice mics, low cost, they just work.

        Got a low cost ribbon (MXL) just to have the proper coloration on horns or percussion.

        None of my mics are expensive. They all do what they are "supposed" to do.

        I got over my gear lust after I fell in listen with an SE VooDoo VR2. I could buy one for a few hundred dollars. I really wanted to. I figured out that I could get 8-10 studio hours for the price of the mic, and I really didn't have a room that could be used to take advantage.

        I'm done buying mics, but if I ever get crazy I'll probably get a pair of Townsend Sphere L22 and "solve all my problems" 😉 a pair of modeling stereo mics...all the sounds, so little time.

        Magnus Johansson

          @Chris, have you seen the latest additions to the edge family. Looks really neat..

          Greg Stewart

            You could consider purchasing the Shure drum package, which comes with 3 57s and a beta 52a. That would meet your needs for your dynamic workhorse mic, your kick mic, and your tom mics. If you're looking at the P170 and other SDCs, you might consider getting two of them and spending more of your budget on a versatile LDC like the C414 instead of getting two C214s or 314s. I traded in my C214 and a couple of my hardware synths for a used 414 and couldn't be happier.

            Magnus Johansson

              Great thoughts Greg.

              I checked Thomann about the Shure bundle but it was a very bad deal at thomann may I say. About 650€ cost and only 1€ cheaper than buying all stuff seperatly. Also it´s not a go for me with sm57 as toms mics, well it could in the studio when recording but my next tom mics need to be used live as well and I´d prefer something smaller. Leaning towards the Lewitts there. As an secondary alternative kick mic the beta52 is great. used it once and it was very good. I do have one close at hand so as to additional kick i think I personally will go for the AKG. Just because I can borrow the other Shures. But it´s for later. My ATM25 still kicks.

              In my list I do mention the C414 as a primary choice of weapon, in the upper class. When I wrote this down it more or less took the form of a small article, something for all to talk around. It´s not my personal buying list, well sort of, I just added some cheapier and some expensier models, just tried to keep brands to a minimum. [5] SDC, didn´t mention pair in the list but did so in the text. It was my intention. Or in my personal view, a new pair of SDC as the pair I currently use is both cheap and bad. Will happily retire them, I will probably go for a pair of SD ML-2

              My next buy though... right now considering SD ML-1 or C314 stereo pair, just about the same price.

              Magnus Johansson

                Black friday has come to and end. Slate digital had a great offer so I got my virtual mics covered. Got myself 1x ML-1 and 2x ML-2.

                Diogo Stolfo

                  Hey guys, I'm wondering if I could ask for some advice. I've got a SM58 and a LDC AT2020. I'm looking to buy some mics to record drums, so I want a pair of overheads, a snare and a kick mic. I'm starting out and also I live in Brazil (very high taxes), so I'm looking for entry level price here. Can you give me your opinion on these points:

                  1. LDC or SDC for overhead pair ?
                  2. Is it worth buying some kit ?
                  3. Maybe I could start out just with the overheads and kick mics and use the SM58 for snare ?
                  4. What mics would you buy in my situation ? Also considering them being useful for other purposes.


                  Magnus Johansson

                    1: thats depends 🙂

                    2: sure, there are plenty kits on a budget. I have used a $250 for years, only the kick mic was total rubbish. Actually so bad I took it back to store and said, this must be broken. Got a new but it was as bad as the first:D

                    3: absolutely, try it. check this shures own words. I would try out the akg d112 mkII as a kick mic.

                    4: I would get a kick mic first. Probably som tom mics next. Next thing would be stereoizing the overheads... I would go for a couple of sdc. Option would be a second ldc, the same for conventional stereo ovead micing. What talks against that would be.. would you really want to buy a second at2020? another option would be to get another ldc with figure 8 and use a mid side mic configuration. This is the main point why to first get a mic with figure 8 then upgrade with a better cardiod only ldc. You probably want to use your new fancy mic for the mid part and your first cheapy mic for side.

                    Diogo Stolfo

                      Thank you for your response. Yeah, I thought about your points. A second AT2020 isn't really worth it. I thought about getting a multi pattern for mid/side micing.

                      The thing is, I'm aiming to get a good balanced sound just with the overheads and blend in the kick and snare. In this case probably a pair of SDC would be too bright right ? And the mid/side solution isn't good enough.

                      As you said in another post, you can get the Shure 4 mic bundle, but that's not a huge saving from getting separate mics.

                      So I'm concluding I should start with a D112 or Beta 52 for kick and a pair of LDC overheads, use the SM58 for snare and leave the AT2020 for room if I want. After that I could improve to tom mics and a figure 8 for room and other purposes.

                      So the big question right now would be wich LDC pair should I get. Or if there's a SDC warm enough to get a balanced sound between cymbals and drums.

                      • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Diogo Stolfo.
                      Magnus Johansson

                        sdc too bright?, i guess not neccessary and theres always possible to add some eq. I´m sure there are sdc that will work for you. Was searching the youtube Creative Sound Lab channel, had a memory of that they had a great comparison video on the different oh micing technices. Could not find what I was looking for but I found this... interesting.

                        Diogo Stolfo

                          Yeah, I've watched both the videos you're talking about. But still I see in a lot of videos and comments that SDCs are bright and if you're going for overheads that pick up the drums as a whole you should go with LDCs. These videos of Creative Sound Lab were actually the only ones I REALLY liked the SDCs. It seems like the SU-013 is just really warm and has awesome color, but it's very expensive haha. Anyways, thanks Magnus!

                          Dirk Richardson

                            So I made the decision and pulled the trigger on creating a deep mic locker for a microphone rental business as a retirement gig.  Warren's YouTube video on "6 Microphones You Need." pointed me in the right direction but I had already started collecting mic for recording my own band.  One of the subjects I'm trying to get my head around is recording Bass amps and what mic's are "industry standards" and which are highly recommended for low Hz and high SPL.  I'm new to the tribe and still have @ 2 years of YouTube videos to sort through so I thought I would try a short cut ;-).

                            • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Dirk Richardson.
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