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omnidirectional microphones

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Mike Byers 25 Nov 00 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Sarah 25 Nov 00 - 11:53 AM
bbelle 25 Nov 00 - 12:18 PM
pict 25 Nov 00 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Sarah 25 Nov 00 - 12:38 PM
bbelle 25 Nov 00 - 01:33 PM
mountain tyme 25 Nov 00 - 01:56 PM
pict 25 Nov 00 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,Mike Byers 28 Nov 00 - 02:20 PM
Bernard 28 Nov 00 - 02:44 PM
Bernard 28 Nov 00 - 02:54 PM
wilco 06 Jan 03 - 09:56 AM
Dave Bryant 06 Jan 03 - 10:55 AM
BTMP 06 Jan 03 - 04:23 PM
treewind 06 Jan 03 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 06 Jan 03 - 06:11 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 07 Jan 03 - 11:09 AM
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Subject: omnidirectional microphones
From: Mike Byers
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 09:36 AM

Does anyone have advice on an omnidirectional microphone to use for recording a small (four person) group? I know this type of microphone is more expensive--the ones I've seen run from $400 to $1200--but I'd be interested in what brands might be best.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 11:53 AM

Mike,

Suggest you go to www.musiciansfriend.com and ask for one of their catalogs. Be sure to compare prices between the printed catalog and the online catalog. I don't know why, but sometimes one is less, sometimes t'other. But they run about half the price of my local music stores, even with s&h charges.

Sorry I'm too computer illiterate to make a link for you.

Sarah


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: bbelle
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 12:18 PM

Also try www.marsmusic.com. I don't buy any of my guitar gear locally ... way, way, too expensive. I usually do a price comparison between the two, online, and whichever has what I want, for less, is where I get it.

Sarah, didn't realize there could be a price difference between the catalog and musiciansfriend online. I have the catalog, but usually just use it for reference. Thanks for the tip.

moonjen


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: pict
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 12:21 PM

I'd recommend the Rode classic 2 it is a multi pattern valve microphone with 9 pickup patterns ranging from bi-directional through cardioid to omni it is a superb sounding and flexible microphone.I've had one for about a year and I love it.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 12:38 PM

Moonjen,

I bought some JBLs from them -- the price difference was almost $100 each twixt the catalog and online. The catalog, in that instance was less costly. So I started really checking them both.

'Course, both were several hundred $$ less than the local shops...about half the cost. All I buy locally, now, are strings, and those only in 'emergency' situations.

When listing blessings, one ought to include the internet, eh?

Sarah


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: bbelle
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 01:33 PM

Strings are what initially sent me to check out the online music guitar gear prices. The local acoustic shop charges an arm and a leg and I'd never have extra sets of strings at their prices. Even in an emergency I'd be hardpressed to have to get them locally because their shop hours are so erratic and they are closed weekends.

Of course, now I'm going to check out string prices between the catalog and online.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: mountain tyme
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 01:56 PM

Mike, IMO your on the right track. An omni mike will do the job and do it well/best. A $50 mike is as good as any if you hook it to the right accessories for your intent. More details about your intent will bring more details for you to consider from those of us that do it all the time. I am assuming you want to make a studio sound recording. First you need a "soft" quiet room (no need to EQ) place the loudest voices/instruments at a greater distance to the mike. If that is not possible you will have to move about and "work" the mike. Probably a circle with an omni mike hanging centerally from overhead would be a good beginning. A Sure SM 58 is bulletproof and the most popular so one can easily be found used. New they are $99 including 20" Lo-Z cord, internal windscreen and "pop" filter. Condenser mikes are more sensitive and expensive and more hassle so need more study more accessories such as "phantom power", EQ, parametrics, & db's of preamp. Skip learning all that for now and concentrate on your music. Just be sure the mike cord [up to 16 to 20 feet] terminates with a 3-pin "Lo-Z" plug. (Don't use 1/4 inch plug, ever) There are three types of mikes. Type 1. Sound reinforcment. 2. Studio. 3. Broadcast. 2 & 3 are easily damaged and require much study and many accessories. If hanging a "58" overhead gives a "hard" sound [from celing reflection] I suggest hanging it vertically over the back of a "soft" chair [only half the pattern is then used and "extra sound" is absorbed by the chair. Position your "band" in front of the chair. A very clear soft detailed sound will be recorded and you can work from there. Your recorder need have 3-pin Lo-Z input, that is where the money is best spent. If later you want to do "field recordings" or "studio" work the Sure 58 is still surely the right choice. Just put an external foam windscreen on it out of doors. I do a weekly 2 hour radio 30's/40's Barndance stage/studio show with live bands/audience and use only this single mike (announcer uses a $$$ "broadcast mike") with less hassles and better results than the absolutely GREAT & versatile CAD E-200 it replaced. Check the price difference. If you have specific questions just post them here. Give a listen to the show on WWW Radio. http://WWW.WDVRFM.ORG Sat eves 6 - 8 PM EST "Heartlands Hayride" :) Lots of luck! mountain tyme.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: pict
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 04:05 PM

The sm58 is good for live work or miking guitar cabinets but it isn't the best sounding mike for recording vocals although it will do.For recording vocals a large diaphragm condenser mike of which there are many competing brands around now will sound much better the Rode NT1 (a reasonably priced example but is a cardioid pattern as is the SM58) is a favourite of many home studio users but there are lots of other brands to choose from.Rode have also recently produced an NT3 small diaphragm condenser that doesn't require phantom power and no I don't work for Rode.Condensers always have a much more detailed sound than dynamic mikes like the sm58 but are generally not so robust(in other words don't try a Roger Daltrey act with one).If you want your vocals to sound their best go the condenser route.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: GUEST,Mike Byers
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 02:20 PM

Many thanks for the info. I'll be recording instruments only and no vocals, so I've got some good ideas on what I'll need. I also do a radio show now and then ("Acoustic Blend" on Purdue's WBAA at www.wbaa.org for those who might be interested) and had determined that while the broadcast microphones will do a fine job on individual voices and instruments, they weren't what I needed (or could afford) for recording a group.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: Bernard
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 02:44 PM

It seems to me you are looking for a boundary microphone, also known as a PZM.

Radio Shack/Tandy/Realistic used to sell one, made by Crown (owners of the PZM trademark), which was quite cheap.

You can make your own, however, by fixing a tieclip microphone to a polished board (plastic would do, or even metal), which is what we used to do before the manufacturers got wind of the idea!

AKG do a C562 'ceiling mic' which is ideal for the purpose - it was designed to screw into a hole in a board... it is, however, 'phantom powered' - needing at least 9v DC from the mic input, or an external power supply.

You can make it cardioid by lying the mic on its side, or omni by poking the mic up through the middle. Experiment for the effect you require.

As to the SM58 - it is an excellent close vocal mic (industry standard), and has a 'peak' in the midrange to help eliminate feedback. The sound is, therefore, 'coloured' when recording - I'd avoid it, sorry! Although it's good on drum kits...

As to EQ, etc. You are far better off recording 'flat', and doing any EQ or other processing on the mix down. Once it's recorded you can take it out, but it's hard to put back!!

Boundary layer microphones pick up direct and reflected sound, and noise is rejected by phase cancellation.

This type of microphone is good, for example, on a church altar, as it can be used by a number of people simultaneously, or by the same person moving around the altar.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: Bernard
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 02:54 PM

Sorry - my cat managed to submit this before I'd finished!

Rather than a Shure SM58, try the SM57 - basically the 'loose' version which is great for instruments, but pops too much for vocals.

'Proximity effect' is the reason why the same microphone can sound totally different depending upon the distance between the sound source and the mic. This is because of the 'inverse square law' - sound pressure decreases by the inverse of the square of the distance as you move away from the mic.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: wilco
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 09:56 AM

What is the latest on omini-directional mics? best buy for small acoustic group, with four or five insturments?

Thanks!!!!


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 10:55 AM

If you want to get any stereo separation, you'd be better off using a pair of cardioid (directional) mics, or a single point (usually condensor) stereo mic - some of which have a "wide" setting. Most cardioid mics are not that directional and have fairly good pick-up for at least 120 degrees in front of them - they usually have a diagram of their characteristics with them. Nearly all recording devices of any quality (MD, Tape, or PC) will have a stereo input so you will have to make a "Y" connector up if you use a single mic - mind you you will need to make up a lead if you intend to put two mics straight into a single stereo jack socket.

It's strange thinking of omnidirectional mics as expensive - what used to cost the money was the degree of directional response that a mic had.

Most of the boundary microphones which I've seen, are intended primarily for speech and don't have a very wide frequency response for music.

I would recommend using a mixer between the mic(s) and the recording device - this will help you to set a suitable gain (sensitivity) level.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: BTMP
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 04:23 PM

There are a lot of good mics out there. I have the Oktava MC012 condenser mic which comes with 3 capsules - cardioid, super cardioid, and true omni directional (360 degrees). We have a bluegrass band, all acoustic, and have used the mic for both recording and PA work. It runs about $250 from Musician's Friend, and you will need phantom power.


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: treewind
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 05:05 PM

The Shure SM58 asnd SM57 are NOT omnidirectional. Nor, as has been said, are they good recording mics and they are designed for close miking anyway.

I'd use my AKG blueline with the omni capsule, but that's because
I already have one. I think it would sound pretty good - I haven't used it yet but as a cardioid they make nice XY stereo recordings and I can use a 12V battery box for phantom power.

You need either a very absorbent studio acoustic or a very good natural sounding acoustic that you can use as part of the recorded sound. It won't be stereo, of course.

Omnis don't have to be expensive - the cheapest mic you can buy is a Panasonic electret capsule and they sound remarkably good for the price are omnidirectional. For about $2 you can hardly go wrong!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 06:11 PM

You might consider a good condensor mic. Best for vocals. I guess it depends on what you want to record, voice or instruments or both.
I've heard that AKGs are good. Neumans are best but terribly expensive. It's even hard to find the old tube mics (U47) for a warm sound. The company has a new one on the market.

The Shures will not give you the best recording. They are best for live performances because they are workhorses.

Recording four people who are both singing and playing is a tall order. Getting a balance will be a chore. The better mics (condensors) generally would be best.

RCA ribbon mics are good for recording voices. Cole, an English mic I think, is good.

Go onto the producer lists on-line and get expert advice there.

Frank


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Subject: RE: omnidirectional microphones
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 11:09 AM

For a low-buck start, Radio Shack has an "edge boundary' omnidirectional mic (which I think is a PZM) under their "Optimus" name for $89 (here in Canada). Take a look:

Here 'tis

I just got one this past weekend, will report results.


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