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Microphones Microphone Comparison

Linky Lee

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180
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Salisbury, UK
I want to record myself more often to help myself improve and it would be quite fun to do some with backing tracks like a lot of people seem to be doing on here. I had a little play with my microphones today to see how best to record myself with what I feel is an accurate reflection of my tone. I used the iMac's built in mic, my Rode NT1-A and my AKG C519 clip on instrument mic.

If you click the link the first part is the AKG, second part is the Rode (built in Mic was poor as expected). I'd be interested to know which you think sounds better!

I added the default "Saxophone EQ" in Logic 8, otherwise the recordings are clean, oh and the second clip is slightly quieter, just to warn you. I know which one I feel is more accurate... and which one I prefer :shocked:

Cheers,
Lee
 

Colin the Bear

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Not a lot in it through the interweb and pooter speakers. I prefer the second one though I couldn't explain why.
 

Chris

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The second one for me. The first has something missing in the sound.
 

Guenne

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Austria
Hi,

you should not add an EQ if you want to judge a Mic, IMHO.
And you should play at the Mic at the same angle and from the same distance.
I own a C519, I use it for my solo gigs.
Compared to my Sennheiser MK4, which is a good Mic at a reasonable price, it is lacking high frequency.

Cheers, Guenne
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,094
Hello there Mr Linky Lee,

Do we have a slight of hand, or slight of microphone, to quote you

If you click the link the first part is the AKG, second part is the Rode (built in Mic was poor as expected). I'd be interested to know which you think sounds better!

And to quote you again from your soundcloud page

First clip is with the Rode NT1-A about 2 feet away, centre of instrument and the second clip is with my AKG C519 cliped on to the bell.

How am I supposed to say the Rode is better if I don't know which one it is? Not that I'm biased ;}

Best wishes, and good to see you back,

Chris
 

Linky Lee

Member
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180
Locality
Salisbury, UK
Chris,
Whoops! You could always say if you prefer clip 1 or 2, what they actually are doesn't really matter ;)
Maybe I shouldn't have said which was which in the first place, could have made things more interesting! Thanks for pointing my inconsistency out, I've changed the soundcloud page to reflect the post here.

To confirm. AKG, then the Rode.

Thanks for all the other comments so far, it's very interesting so see what people go for and why!

Guenne, thanks for your tips regarding EQ and mic position etc. I appreciate that I'm changing multiple variables here but the idea is to see which set-up reflects my sound most accurately how I would use them and which those kind enough to listen and comment prefer, not so much if mic A on it's own is "better" than mic B?
As you know well enough they're designed for completely different jobs, I'd always gig with the clip on for consistent volume regardless of where I am on stage and to help cut through a bit more. Similarly I'd only record with the Rode for it's flexibility of positioning and more natural tones & response. Kind of answered my own question there but am still interested to know which people prefer.

Thanks again!
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,094
Hi Lee,

I've just had another listen, I could not find my decent headphones last night. They are similar, but my preference is for number two, to my ears it is smoother and perhaps more balanced, it seems to handle the treble better, the first mic has a slight zingyness to it (I might have made that word up). Either way, they both capture the tonal qualities of the saxophone, nice to have the option.

A long time ago when talking to someone who really did know his mics, he said they all have their own voice, even two of same mic (that might have been valve mics) and that you pick the mic to compliment the voice and the tone that is wanted. You might find the AkG better on a blast it out number, and the rode for a laid back number.

All the best,

Chris
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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manchester
Sorry it's no 1 for me 2 sounded muffled after 1 but maybe it just needed the volume up to match I who knows ?......John
 

Sue

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I like the 2nd one too - like Colin, no reason personal preference only.
 

Pete Thomas

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St. Mary's
I added the default "Saxophone EQ" in Logic 8, otherwise the recordings are clean,

What Logic call a "default" saxophone EQ is purely there so they can have some presets, there is no such thing as a default EQ for saxophones (or anything really) so I would ignore that totally and make comparisons with no EQ.

Then, if you find one mic requires less (or no) work from you re: EQuing to get the sound you want, then that is the mic to go for.
 

Linky Lee

Member
Messages
180
Locality
Salisbury, UK
Lots more useful points and opinions, thanks all.

Chris, I agree. I was thinking it was buzzier or fuzzier but zingy is good too!

Pete, yes sorry I didn't mean to imply there was a default EQ setting for an instrument, that would be crazy! Poor choice of words on my part, preset would have been much better.

Do you have set EQ levels for your recordings with a certain set-up and say "that's my sound" and use that across the board with simply your own tone from the saxophone changing or do you use a different EQ setting on each different track to help blend more to the tone / feel of the individual piece?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I preferred the second. Smoother, warmer. First was a little harsher.
 

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