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Microphones Saxophone mic shootout poll

Your favourite sounding microphone

  • Mic A

    Votes: 6 42.9%
  • Mic B

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • Mic C

    Votes: 4 28.6%
  • Mic D

    Votes: 2 14.3%

  • Total voters
    14
  • Poll closed .

jonf

Well-Known Member
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I actually preferred the Shure, but was too late to vote - some of us have work to do;} I placed the cheapy one last, but not by much, and I still thought it was perfectly good. Two caveats. I'm a bit deaf, and I was listening through Creative Zen PC speakers - not bad, but not proper hi fi either. Maybe through a decent pair of headphones I'd have thought the first one came closer to justifying its £3k price tag.
 
OP
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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Ok, well I've opened the poll up again, I can trust you all to vote without peeking at the answers!
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
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1,849
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Breakfast room since '06 UK
I actually preferred the Shure, but was too late to vote
Eh?
I just voted, and nothing told me i'm too late and how did you know which was which?
Two caveats for me as well...
I'm a bit deaf and a bit stupid (no response required thank you!)

EDIT.....

Ha that medaling webmaster reopened it huh!
 
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Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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To know which is which you click on the info button on the music player.

Yes, the poll is reopened.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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21,997
Location
Just north of Munich
Well I'm amazed at how good the cheap mic sounded. Was the most expensive the best - probably, but there's very little between that and the second most expensive. Was disappointed by the Shure. Preferred the cheapo.

Maybe my ears are shot, I don't know.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,859
Rather interestingly you used a Shure SM58 and not the 57, which is billed as the instrument mike, what differences between the two, if any, do you see?
 
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Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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Rather interestingly you used a Shure SM58 and not the 57, which is billed as the instrument mike, what differences between the two, if any, do you see?
None.

The only differences are the grill, which is supposed to have alight effect at around 13 kHz, which is too high for me to hear.
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
None.

The only differences are the grill, which is supposed to have alight effect at around 13 kHz, which is too high for me to hear.
Before Christmas I was doing a little teaching, in one session I was covering microphones and post production sound, so I dug out my old tube driven tone generator and did the mad old science teacher bit. I don't think anyone in the class could hear much beyond 15kHz! Either that or the speakers couldn't reproduce much sound over 14.5kHz.

Anyway I thought the AKG and cheap Realist sounded the best, I was disappointed by the ribbon mic, I thought that would be much smoother.

Thanks for doing the comparison, quite an eye, or rather ear opener.

Chris
 

Gallen

Senior Member
Messages
407
Location
Montreal, QC, Canada.
I thought mic A was the most detailed and piercing of the 4, but my gut tells me that all of them may be usable in different mixing contexts. Like if I wanted a track in a smokey bar I'd probably pick mic C or D. B just sounded very mushy. This is through my workstation's crappy audio out through a pair of Grado SR80s. I'll see if I can remember to listen again on my 240MKIIs through my audio interface. I notice my SR80s tend to emphasize the upper mids wheres the 240s tend to be relatively natural.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,306
Location
leicester
I preferred B, the Oktava ribbon mic - nice and fat and "soulful" - not an accurate mic, but all that low-mid colouration flatters the instrument and makes it sound nice and old fashioned. Coleman Hawkins would be happy with a sound like that.
Ribbon mics are coming back into fashion nowadays, to impart a bit of vintage character and warmth to sterile digital recordings. Valve pre amps and vintage tape machines are also making a comeback (and rapidly going up in price). For years recording engineers complained about the hiss and lack of dynamic range, now they're going back to the old gear to make things sound just like the good old days...
personally i just use the EQ and compression plugins in Cubase to get the same effect, without the negative impact on my bank balance

For some reason, I've never got a decent recording out of an SM57/58, except on rock vocalists or Marshall amps - they're ok for live work due to the feedback rejection and the midrange peak that helps things cut through the mix.
Maybe if you wanted a Sanborn type sound you could point it down the bell and use a lot of compression, but as dynamic mics go, i'd rather use an Electrovoice RE 20, Sennheiser 421 or a Beyerdynamic M69 or M201.
Of course if you want a clean accurate recording, you can't beat a good condenser mic, preferably with Neumann written on it, although there's plenty of other choices.. many of them you could actually afford.. eg Audio Technica

As your article so rightly points out, mic placement can have a great effect on the sound - I prefer it a couple of feet to the right a bit below waist height, pointing up towards the centre of the instrument, But as you may have noticed, I don't like the modern bright sound that you hear on a lot of recordings these days, sad old git that I am

one thing that should be noted is that mics will tend to pick up all the rattles and noises from the keywork, so if you're doing a lot of recording, keep yer horn well maintained..
 

jonnie

Member
Messages
62
Location
Ireland at the mo'
Thanks for a really useful article - particularly the mic comparison.

The first one sounded hugely better to me than the others so much more depth and detail.

I was surprised just how well the cheapest scored against the SM58.

My current mic is an oldish ( ten years at least ) SD systems LCM 85 clip on - it must have been just over 100 pounds when I purchased it, I wondered how it might rate in the line up as I am wondering whether to invest? I had been thinking SM58 but I am not so sure after hearing that test, in some respects I think the cheapest mic beat it - the SM58 sounded rough at times to me.

Could we have more info on which model of the Blue Yeti was being recommended? The website gives a number of options.

I listened through my PC with moderately good Sennheiser head phones.

Thanks again for a great article.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
24,424
Location
Cheshire UK
@jonnie thanks for reawakening this thread, I'm looking to buy a new mic in the near future. I was surprised that no one mic jumped out as a favourite. Perhaps because I'm tired but I don't think one jumped out as significantly different to me either on speakers or headphones.

Might listen again tomorrow.

@aldevis have you seen this thread?

Jx
 

GJ77

Senior Member
Messages
626
Location
Dunmow, Essex.
To my ears the AKG was streets ahead...as it should be. I'd also like to hear an RE20 amongst these as I'm considering getting one soon.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Subscriber
Messages
1,257
Location
Hampshire
In preference, I had A - C - D - B

PC speakers couldn't distinguish much difference, but listening through the headphone out of an external DAC/preamp A and C sounded superior (to me) with more definition and depth. D and B just didn't sound as good - a bit flat and lifeless is about as close to a description as I can get..
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,296
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
I think it does. The vintage look suits my style. Charity shop chic :rolleyes:.

Some how it seems to work better for me sound wise. The shock mount inside helps hide the rumble when switching the angle between sax and vocals.
 
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