Academy Dashboard Forum Production Analog Recording Which microphone

  • This topic has 7 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by David Michael.
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    David Michael

      Hi everyone,

      I want to record both acoustic guitar and saxophone. I am hoping I can do this with the same microphone.

      I've been looking at the Lewitt LCT 440 Pure and the Røde NT1.

      Does anyone have an opinion on which would be the better or if either is actually better than the other?

      I know I can get the Lewitt through the academy but, as I am in Scotland, the price is an unknown until I get that from Lewitt. Over here I can source the Lewitt for £205 (approx $270) and the Røde for £195 (approx $255). The Røde is in a sale!

      I can't make up my mind here and I have no direct experience with either, so some opinions would be valuable to me.


      Guido tum Suden

        Hi David,

        Nice avatar image 😉

        No vocals, only acoustic guitar and sax?

        I'm certainly no expert, but the mics you picked could be a bit harsh for sax, depending on the sound you prefer and your room.
        So, which kind of sax are you playing and how (more soft or more hard aggressive bursts)?
        How do you like your sax sound, hard and aggressive or soft and mellow?
        How is your room sounding? Do you get unwanted reflections when you play a short loud staccato note?
        Do you already have some mics?


        David Michael

          Hi Guido,

          Thanks for replying.

          I wasn't necessarily intending to record vocals. Mine are fairly terrible ?.

          I play tenor with a dark sounding mouthpiece and I would either play ballads or bluesy stuff. I like subtone kind of sax playing so I would say that would equate to "soft and mellow". I wasn't really intending to add sax to any stuff I write myself, really I want to record myself playing against backing tracks to hear (make sure of) how I sound so I can improve my playing.

          My room is my bedroom!! Not in anyway treated. I have nowhere else to record so I'm stuck with that. I wouldn't particularly say there were unwanted reflections as such though.

          I do (or did, as I can't find it) have a Shure SM57. I've had that mic for decades. I was also thinking of the AKG C519 which is a clip on condenser, much more suited to recording sax. I couldn't really use that for anything else though.

          Guido tum Suden

            First, I want to let you know, that I only had a sax player in my home studio once. So what I write comes from research.

            If you use a large diaphragm mic for sax you tend to go away from the instrument. Some like placing the mic over the shoulder, others make a triangle with mouthpiece and bell. So you get to record a lot of room. Your bed room might actually sound good, especially if it has lots of filled book shelfs in it.
            I had to treat my recording room a lot. If I clapped, I got a lot of very fast reflections, which gave the sound a metal feeling (difficult to describe).
            If you have a carpet, it will probably, together with the mattress, steal some high frequencies.
            But maybe that's just what you look for in you sax sound.

            As I found out, a lot of known sax players use SM58 and some SM57. Some even for recording. Maybe you should try to find you SM57. 😉
            The room is not so important in that case, because you won't go halve a meter away from the mic.

            You can also think about a small diaphragm condenser like e.g. the Oktava MK-012 or something similar so you have a mic to record guitar.

            David Michael

              So, do you think that really I should be looking at two mics?

              I mean that's OK. I'd rather that having a mic that isn't appropriate for the task. I'm happy enough buying another SM57/58 if I can't lay my hands on mine.

              Do you think that something like the Oktava (I'd never heard of them until now) would be more suitable than, say, the Lewitt for recording acoustic? I would still like to have the leeway to record vocal should I wish. The Lewitt seems to fit that bill and if the academy deal works out, could be a cheaper option.

              I don't have bookcases!. I was thinking that during Warren's live feed yesterday cos that came up when they were talking about the Kalis. I [i]do[/i] have a wardrobe (and of course a bed!!). I know what you mean about the metal sound.

              Guido tum Suden

                Sorry, I did not mean to unsettle you.
                Actually I do like Lewitt mics a lot. I have the big drum case (7 mics) and a LCT 550.

                Of course you can make very good recordings with the LCT 440 Pure recording sax, guitar and vocals. I would prefer it to a NT1.

                But it is more dependent of the room than the SM57. So, if you lost your SM57 and your bedroom sounds okay, go for the Lewitt.

                For what it's worth:

                Of course the LCT540 costs almost three times as much, but the Techgraphs are very similar.

                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

                  David Michael

                    Guido, you didn't unsettle me.

                    I [i]was[/i] hoping that I could get away with one mic that would cover both scenarios. I have done a little more research in to dynamic vs condenser and that, along with your advice and now Niki's, has convinced me that a condenser is not really best suited to recording saxophone.

                    Which means that I [i]am[/i] looking at two microphones. And that's OK.

                    I've looked at the t.Bone RB500. The only thing that puts me off it (the SM57 on Thomann is exactly the same price), is that the XLR is attached to the mic. If I have two mics I'd have to swap out the cable too. I think that I am going to give up trying to find the SM57 I have (or had). It's actually in a place I can't access - my old house. I am going to be getting an Audient iD4 this week so I'll throw in the for the SM57 at the same time.

                    I wouldn’t mind the Lewitt LCT 540S, looks like it would [i]possibly[/i] cover all angles. But, like you say Guido, it's an expensive mic so I can't really justify the cost for my purposes.

                    Niki, given how you have described the room treatment, I can't do what you described. The way my room is set up with everything in it, I have no corners to put panels in or any real wall space to attach to. Would it work if they were free standing?

                    So, by the look of it, I'll start with getting a new SM57. I like the idea of having the Lewitt LCT 440 Pure and together they would cover all the bases that I need covered.

                    Thanks guys for taking the time to reply, I really value the advice you have given. Although I have recorded using 4 tracks in the past (with my missing SM57!) and have recorded using DAWs in the past too, I am putting a bit more effort into properly learning this craft of recording/mixing. I still feel like a complete beginner and all advice is worthwhile.

                    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by David Michael.
                    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by David Michael.
                    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by David Michael.
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