Looking for a good quality mic

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eisprl, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

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    Hey all.

    I downloaded "Audacity" (a free recording software program). I'm not looking to record in studio quality or anything but I was wondering if anyone uses a Macbook to record. If you do, which mic would you recommend for recording the trumpet? The built-in mic is ok, but I'm looking for something a little better. (This is just for practicing purposes)

    Thanks
    Eric
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Here we go again. First question - how are you going to get the signal from the mic into the computer? That's the first consideration unless you use a USB mic, and most USB mics are condenser mics which aren't the best for recording trumpet - they pick up too many highs, and often times the volume of the trumpet overdrives the mic.

    My suggestion would be the ubiquitous Shure SM57, but you'll need something to convert your analog signal into digital. There are dozens of interfaces on the market at various price points, and everything from your basic XLR/USB converters to USB and Firewire interfaces with decent quality preamps that can run the range from under $100 to a couple of thousand, depending on the interface.
     
  3. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

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    yeah, for just demoing, 57 is fine. If you need really 'good' and have $700, try the AMT P800 or AMT P800 Studio.
     
  4. Aussie Matt

    Aussie Matt Pianissimo User

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    Oct 12, 2010
    I do a fair bit of recording through a Macbook. I run a variety of mics through Behringer pre-amp. Really cheap and easy. Run the mic via a 3-pin XLR cable into the pre, and take a 1/4 inch line out of the pre into the 1/8 mic input jack on the side (or back) of your Macbook. You'll need a little converter jack for that. Record through Garage Band which comes bundled with Macs. It doesn't get any easier.
    You will need to go into your system preferences and change internal mic to external mic for sound input source otherwise it will continue to use the built-in mic.
    I've yet to record trumpet but anything will be fine for demo or just to listen back to your practicing. I've heard that SM57's aren't too good on trumpet but they're cheap and bullet proof. If you want to spend a bit more, I would recommend a Rode M3. They are an amazing mic for very little money.
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    How good is the analog to digital conversion when you go that route? Is there any quality loss doing it like that? I never thought to do it that way - I had it in my mind that I HAD to get the signal into the computer either via USB or Firewire. Interesting.
     
  6. Aussie Matt

    Aussie Matt Pianissimo User

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    I've never used USB or Firewire, never had need to. The quality is superb. The thing with recording too is to keep it as simple as possible. When you use too many cables, interfaces, boxes etc, is when you get signal loss and colouring to the sound.
    The only problem is that by doing it that way, you can only record a single source at a time, so nit won't work if you're recording a whole band or if you have a multiple mic set up. If you're recording multiple channels simultaneously, then you will need an interface that's going to run via Firewire or USB.
    I simply record one track at a time and build it up that way and then mix it. As long as the levels are good, the quality is fantastic.
     
  7. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

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    If you're looking at $700, look into the AES R84. Excellent ribbon.

    Also, an good inexpensive mic for horns is the Cascade Fat Head II, assuming your preamp has sufficient gain for a ribbon, not that a horn requires that much.

    Never liked SM57s for recording trumpet. personal choice I suppose, but for live, yeah, they're pretty much indestructible.

    I'm a bit of an audiophile when it comes to A/D - I have Aurora, Mytek, and Lucid converters here, but the converters on the Edirol UA25 are not bad a all : http://www.zzounds.com/item--EDIUA25.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    That's not necessarily true is it? Couldn't you theoretically record multiple channels and do the mix prior to the output and then output it to one channel? You'd lose the ability to do editing to the individual parts after the fact, but couldn't it be done that way?

    I know this has gotten off the beaten track a bit here from the original subject of what mic a person could use, but it's important to know how to get the signal into the box in a usable format. Ultimately I bought a Firewire interface that has 8 individual preamps with all kinds of signal routing because I want to be able to record multiple tracks at once - something that to date I have only done once, and mainly in experiemental phases. Most everything else I have recorded I have done as single tracks, mixed after it's in the box, and for that I could have gotten away with a pretty basic setup. I already own two Behringer XYNYX 502 mixers, and that would have been good enough to get the signal into the machine, and probably would have worked better than what I did intially with a Blue Icicle XLR/USB converter.

    Getting back to the subject of a mic, you could do this:
    Buy Behringer XM8500 Microphone | Dynamic Microphones | Musician's Friend


    [​IMG]

    Plus this:

    Buy Behringer Xenyx 502 Mixer | Unpowered Mixers | Musician's Friend

    [​IMG]

    And run it into your computer's mic line, and probably have something decent, all for under $100.
     
  9. Aussie Matt

    Aussie Matt Pianissimo User

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    Absolutely true Trickg. I started writing that but deleted it because I didn't want to get too complicated. But yes, you could run multiple lines into a mixer, and then output it into the single computer input. As you say, you lose the ability to edit and further mix, as it will all go onto the one track, but it can be done.

    Sorry to hijack your thread Eric, but I hope this is useful to you anyway.
    Matt.
     
  10. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    "Firebox" is the more or less an ideal way.

    I have a Behringer mixer(the one with two XLR inputs) and a B2 microphone, a higher end condenser microphone.

    I like that route, because I play a track from the laptop, send it to the mixer, mix in my live recording so that I can hear myself in the mix, then only record the microphone track, for processing later.

    I believe the firebox is an improvement to the recording with digital but lacks the live mixing ability.
     

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