Ribbon or Condenser?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet Dreamer, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Brad,
    when close miking as typical in the studio (or bedroom) we ARE less than a foot away. The same happens with clip ons. Omnis are a non issue in the brass world - feedback on stage as well as too much surrounding noise. 30 to 50 feet gives a very nice perspective as well as a "feel" for the room. It is also far enough that the directional qualities of the trumpet do not cause sound issues with the recording. The LF roll off of the mike does not solve the tubbiness. I don't know of any decent stage work or recordings made without EQ.
     
  2. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

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    Yes, I know close-miking is less than a foot away. It's just that I interpreted you to have said that 1. ALL mics have proximity effect (to which I answered that omni mics do not...and by the way, I also know they are of little use on stage, but perfectly usable in studio/quiet bedroom), and 2. The only way to avoid proximity effect, is to place the mic 30-50 feet away. Sorry if I misunderstood.

    And yes, I also understand the concept of ambient miking....and also that it just might work really well to use a distant mic approach as you described....though, probably not very much on stage.

    And of course eq is always in use, to some extent, but the goal usually should be as minimal as possible...especially with most trumpet-based music. You wouldn't mic or eq an orchestra nearly the same way as a rock/metal band. A jazz ensemble isn't much different from an orchestra. And, nearly always, when using EQ, you want to use it in a subtractive way (take off what you don't want, as opposed to turning up what you like) to 1. preserve the most natural performance possible, and 2. reduce frequency masking in the overall mix.

    And, while LF roll off might not solve tubbiness, it also just might, and should be one's first step. That way, you have to rely on board EQ less. ....But of course, the step before that, is choosing the right mike, and positioning it optimally.. hopefully in carefully controlled acoustic conditions...if possible.
     
  3. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    Just spoke with a rep at CAD Audio. He suggested the Trion 7000, a dual ribbon mic that he claims great for trumpet recording.

    Just did a side by side test with a cheap ($40 - dynamic) Radio Shack mic and a Blue Yeti ($145 - condenser) mic. The Radio Shack mic sounded far more like a trumpet than the Blue Yeti. The Yeti is awesome with strings and vocals, though, and is very sensitive.
     
  4. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

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    The simple solution is to buy the same microphones used in the Van Gelder studios...
     
  5. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    Maybe a mic designed for higher volumes might be appropriate. Maybe like drum mics, depending on how loud you play.
     
  6. duanemassey

    duanemassey Piano User

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    All things being equal, the mic you choose would depend upon your needs. Cheap mics sound, well, cheap, compared to $2k studio mics. I'd try a variety of dynamics first, including an EV N/D468, as they also work well in live performance. Your room can have a significant effect on the recording, and the greater the distance from the mic the more important the room becomes.
    Phantom power has nothing to do with gain, unless you are not providing adequate voltage to the mic. If a mic requires phantom, it will not work without it. If it does not require phantom power, applying phantom to it will either have no effect or a negative (possible serious damage) effect. Preamps have nothing to do with phantom power, other than normally providing it if needed.
     
  7. amzi

    amzi Forte User

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    Shure SM57--inexpensive ($100), rugged and they work. If you need a USB mic get the Shure X2u adapter--they're sold as a kit for about $200. Used the SM57 for years--never had any complaints. Recently bought the X2u and it works really well to. Don't think you can go wrong for your purposes with this set-up.
     
  8. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

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    ^......what Amzi (and Rowuk) said......^

    Fancy, $100 per-hour world-class studios/touring companies may have $2000 condenser mics, but they are just as, if not more likely to stick a 57 in front of you, and without a consideration for the cost of the mic, but instead for the sound.

    It will only cost about 100 bucks. It will never fail you. And it will last you a lifetime. Drop it off the roof of your house, run it over with a truck...it will be a bit less pretty, but put it on a stand, and it will still perform flawlessly.
    If it gets wet, let it dry out, and it will be fine.

    Use it for speech (the president does, exclusively), use it for vocals (Tom Petty uses it, exclusively on-stage and yes in studio, on his bazillion-selling albums). People who can use any mic they want, use it. Use it on drums (great on snare), and all manner of instruments...let your kids goof around with it. It will stay around longer than your wife.

    ...That, or the SM58. There's a saying in the engineering business, "No one ever got fired using a 58 (or 57)."

    And even if you are going to get fancier mics, and build a collection, it's vital to start it with these two.

    Just make sure you're getting the real deal....I've heard there's some chinese clones going around these days.
     
  9. duanemassey

    duanemassey Piano User

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    Brad, I have yet to have anyone put a 57 or 58 in front of me in a studio. I know they do get used (I own 3 or 4 myself) for a lot of applications, but there are better choices out there. By "cheap" mics I was referring to the PG58's, Behringers, Samsons, etc, that sell for $35-50, and do not sound just as good as an SM57/58.
    I carry my own mics to gigs (a pair of EV 468's for horn and vocal), but I always trust the engineer in the studio exclusively.
    We all have had a variety of experiences in the business, which is why forums like this are so valuable.
     
  10. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

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    Yes, of course there are better choices. But if I can prevent just one poor soul from throwing money away on a CAD mic (TERRIBLE mics for the money...and they break like...fast), or all those waste of money, junky cheap mics, like the ones you mentioned, or those Blue mics that are made for people to goof around, doing podcasts on (I think some of the higher-end Blue mics are ok), then I have done my job (dramatic tone).

    I'm talking about bang-for-the-buck, for people who aren't in the know, who are thinking about making their first step into Mic-world. It's just like, when someone comes on here, asking what horn they should start with, asking about the $99.00 Chinese colored ones. Well, they're not ready for a Monette or Strad, but they still need a good, solid horn, and a bunch of people will shout out "Olds Ambassador," or "Getzen 600...(or whatever)," or "Kanstul 700" ...something that isn't fancy, but is solid, and good, and is rewarding, and a good value for time and money.
    ...it's about being pointed in the right direction, and not wasting money and frustration on crap, or spending too much on boutique-but-beautiful items, the first time out.
     

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