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Mic Comparison Test

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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I've had a bit of an epiphany with recording recently. Having recently posted the following thread


I've been having a play around and taking the recording of my playing a bit more seriously. To cut a boring story shorter, I've used a Blue Yeti USB mic in the past. It's very 'hot' on the gain and I've struggled to control it. However I wasn't aware of the extent it was affecting my recorded sound with distortion! Following a comment from @Pete Thomas I thought I'd invest in an Audio Interface so I could plug in one of my Dynamic Vocal mics, to see if it made a difference. It did!

Around the same time @randulo shared an article on how I could adjust the input sound from the Yeti on my Windows laptop! It worked as it immediately made my Yeti, that more workable for recording! Mmm, having just forked out £80, was this a good or bad thing to find out!!

So, I thought I'd run a brief, non scientific experiment. I've recorded three versions of the same ditty! (I've taken inspiration from the current video experiment on the forum!) Each version is recorded on one of my 3 available mics. 2 are Dynamic Vocal mics plugged into my new Komplete Audio 1 Interface. The other is the Blue Yeti. I will keep the order a secret for the moment.

I've applied no EQ or other effects, so any reverb is from the room (I'm in my Kitchen!). I didn't really spend much time balancing the gain input, but none of the mics clipped during recording. The two Dynamic mics were placed on the same stand, the same distance from me. The Yeti sat on the table, next to the Dynamic mic, the same height and distance from me. I played along to a click track only (no backing music), so it's also a bit of a test of my tuning and timing. For a quick, casual experiment, I was quite pleased with the result. The 4th Recording is all three Tracks together to test my timing, pitch and virtual ensemble playing!

The purpose of this is to get some feedback if there are any noticeable differences in the Microphones. I think I can hear some noticeable differences, but I might be being swayed as I know which mic is which. However, any general feedback on playing, intonation, technique, would be appreciated also! There is a brief wait at the start of each recording as I was following the click

Mic Test 1:

https://soundcloud.com/user-380338591%2Fherbie-mic-test-no-1 View: https://soundcloud.com/user-380338591/herbie-mic-test-no-1


Mic Test 2:

https://soundcloud.com/user-380338591%2Fherbie-mic-test-no-2 View: https://soundcloud.com/user-380338591/herbie-mic-test-no-2


Mic Test 3:

https://soundcloud.com/user-380338591%2Fherbie-mic-test-no-3 View: https://soundcloud.com/user-380338591/herbie-mic-test-no-3


Virtual Section:

https://soundcloud.com/user-380338591%2Fherbie-mic-test-all View: https://soundcloud.com/user-380338591/herbie-mic-test-all
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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My opinion, for what it's worth (which isn't much - I'm a recording amateur)

1. The clearest/cleanest sound of the three. But it sounds a little distant compared with number 3.
2. Picking up a lot of echo from the room. My least favourite.
3. Warm sound. Feels closer than number 1.

Assuming that you are going to add sound effects to your recordings, I think my favourite is number 1. But I like number 3 too.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
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Listening on pc with bose speakers:

Yes there is a difference :)

Mic 1 more natural sound good on the low notes

Mic 2 Definitely more reverb on the low notes on 2 and I liked those notes. the second half was better for the higher notes

Mic 3 very similar to mic 2 to my ears

One of our esteemed pro members records with 2 mics you could try that too :)

It's all a matter of preference, be good to hear them with a backing track too.

Jx
 
OP
Halfers

Halfers

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Some interesting responses, thank you. I'll see if anyone else has any opinions on the Mics before I post what they were. I guess if anyone is considering a mic for recording, the info might come in handy.

It's interesting having recorded this morning and come back to listen again this evening that the riff is probably well off what it's supposed to be. I had a quick listen then played what I thought I heard. Always difficult to decipher a part when there is another horn playing a slightly different part. The higher notes seem a little bit off pitch now than they did earlier in the day.

The most remarkable thing for me was that I managed to play the same thing three times over. That's a Major achievement for me!
 

Wade Cornell

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I can't say that any of the three are that good. #2 is picking up more of the room so is probably less directional than the other two, but it also is better at picking up lower frequencies. # 3 sounds the most balanced to me but would be better if it picked up lower frequencies better. All are probably adequate for now but you'd need to be in less "reflective" room to use #2.

Don't be too obsessed with timing and notes when playing something like Watermelon Man. Feeling is much more important. Play it like you're singing it and enjoy yourself. You'll find that everything falls into place when you're "IN" the music instead of banging at it from the outside.
 

Mark Hancock

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I think 1 and 3 are quite similar.
2 is picking up a lot more room acoustics.
For recording on a backing track, I'd probably go for 3, but do it in a room with less reverb. I'd try all three mics again in that room - you might get a completely different result.

I think you play that line quite accurately (ok - not the "standard" notes") ....maybe slightly too clinical?
 

Colin the Bear

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Whilst it's very good to record oneself to reveal and observe progress, it's very easy to get distracted from the most important thing that will improve your sound. That's practice to improve your chops and musicality. ;)
 
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Halfers

Halfers

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Whilst it's very good to record oneself to reveal and observe progress, it's very easy to get distracted from the most important thing that will improve your sound. That's practice to improve your chops and musicality. ;)
It's a fun distraction though :happydance:
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
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Like some others, one and three. Two has the room noise so it's hard to tell what it would sound like without that.
 
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Halfers

Halfers

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Ok, thanks for responses, Mic and technique related!

I'm sure everyone is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear which Mic was responsible for which recording..:rolleyes: I'll just check my notes...

1) Shure SM58 (plugged into the Komplete Audio 1 Interface)
2) Blue Yeti (on Cardioid setting to match the other mics)
3) Sennheiser E935 (into Interface)

So, none of them are what you would call ideal mics for recording a Sax. Interesting that 1 and 3 came up as quite similar and perhaps marginally better in quality. I can perhaps justify the Interface purchase :p

Agree that the Yeti seemed to record the room, rather than the Sax, but now I've managed to get some control over the input, I might have a further play. Though I think there is an overall lack of refinement to the mic and the extra low end is probably more to do with the fact it was picking up more of the room reflections.

I dislike the SM58 as a vocal mic, but I think its tendency for Mids and lows and a lack of crispness in the high end works in it's favour for Sax. It's the least sensitive in terms of gain input, so perhaps that fits with @nigeld comment about it sounding a bit more 'distant'. I can probably get a bit closer to it.

The Sennheiser is a fantastic Vocal mic. Far superior to the 58. Much more presence and sparkle to the higher end. I think this comes across a little with Sax also.

As @Colin the Bear points out, this is a terrible excuse for not practicing enough, so please expect me to post questions on which Reaper Effect will improve my embouchure, in the near future..:p
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
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I would have guessed the room sound was the Yeti. They are well-known to have the weirdest sensitivity of any mic. Even in podcasting, most people have put them away for something better. If you can control you distance and take pains to set the level, it can work for recording in instrument, but I wouldn't recommend it. I think both 1 and 3 sound fine. Now, back to practicing!
 
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