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Tech: dynamic vs condenser

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Dexter 20 Feb 03 - 11:19 PM
NicoleC 20 Feb 03 - 11:41 PM
GUEST,Al 21 Feb 03 - 01:15 AM
Amos 21 Feb 03 - 01:20 AM
Dexter 21 Feb 03 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,JohnB 21 Feb 03 - 12:14 PM
JedMarum 22 Feb 03 - 10:36 AM
Fortunato 22 Feb 03 - 11:20 AM
Richard Bridge 22 Feb 03 - 01:40 PM
Genie 02 Dec 08 - 12:01 AM
Genie 02 Dec 08 - 12:04 AM
Cluin 02 Dec 08 - 12:43 AM
Escapee 02 Dec 08 - 02:16 AM
Genie 02 Dec 08 - 02:30 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Dec 08 - 06:03 AM
mattkeen 02 Dec 08 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 02 Dec 08 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 02 Dec 08 - 06:47 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Dec 08 - 04:00 PM
Bert 02 Dec 08 - 04:04 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 03 Dec 08 - 04:46 AM
Escapee 04 Dec 08 - 04:05 AM
mattkeen 04 Dec 08 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 04 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM
Jim Lad 05 Dec 08 - 04:20 AM
Jim Lad 05 Dec 08 - 04:31 AM
treewind 05 Dec 08 - 05:32 AM
mandotim 05 Dec 08 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 05 Dec 08 - 07:05 AM
Jim Lad 05 Dec 08 - 12:35 PM
treewind 05 Dec 08 - 01:34 PM
Jim Lad 05 Dec 08 - 01:46 PM
Jim Lad 05 Dec 08 - 05:00 PM
Escapee 06 Dec 08 - 12:50 AM
Jim Lad 06 Dec 08 - 03:11 AM
Jim Lad 06 Dec 08 - 05:49 AM
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Subject: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Dexter
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 11:19 PM

What is the difference between a dynamic and a condenser microphone and which would be prefered for sticking in front of an acoustic guitar?
Ignorantly yours,
dex


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: NicoleC
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 11:41 PM

Dynamic mics work like a speaker in reverse -- sound pressure physically moves a little magnetic coil, which translates sound to electrical signal. Condenser mics use a condenser that moves within a mini electrical field. The disturbances in the electrical field are the source of the audio signal.

Dynamic mics can survive loud volumes and physical abuse better.

Condenser mics generally sound better, pound for pound, on an acoustic instrument. But in a live situation they are a wee bit more prone to feeding back and definately DON'T whack them with your instrument! Not much m ore prone to feedback, but in difficult rooms and situations, a condenser may be more of a headache than the extra sound quality gives you, and if you play a lot of different venues you may have a few trouble spots.

Condenser mics require power -- either "phantom power" on the board, a powered pre-amp, or some have a replaceable battery (but they tend to be the lower quality ones.)

In brief --
In a studio, buy a good condenser mic.
In reasonably controlled live environments, a condenser is probably a good idea.
For an all-around, go anywhere, survive anything mic, go dynamic.
If you are clumsy or hard on equipment, go dynamic.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 01:15 AM

Try a Shure Beta 57 dynamic in front of your guitar. But don't point it right at the sound hole. Go more toward the upper bout. You won't be disappointed. This is a killer mic and can be had for about 100 USD. Al


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 01:20 AM

Wow -- great and educational. Thanks!

A


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Dexter
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 12:06 PM

Thank you. Once again, the Mudcatters to the rescue!
dex


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 12:14 PM

I sort of knew all the above stuff BUT I could not have expressed it so well.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: JedMarum
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 10:36 AM

I do not like condenser mics for stage use, unless you've got a pro audio sound tech in front, operating the mix. I agree with Nicole, that they can be managed in live stage situations - but I think they are usually NOT managed! If you've got someone who really knows their stuff and will work with that mic/s - fine ... otherwsie, there are some pretty darn good dynamic mics available; they're cheaper, they hold up better, they don't require power, and they are much easier to work with.

There is one more disadvantage to using a condenser mic on-stage; even f you can control the feedback and get a good mix ... they do pick up much more of the unwanted stage noise. The ring of the room, crowd noise, movements on stage etc ... you'll be amplfying these as well.

Again, I'd say for live sound use, if you have a pro sound tech with you, go for it - condenser mics do offer some great sound - otherwise, good dynamic mics work pretty darn well, and help you avoid many headaches.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Fortunato
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 11:20 AM

what Jed said, and I agree with the Shure beta 57 for the guitar mike and add the beta 58 for your vocal. I don't think most folks can hear the difference in a live perfomance between the condensors and the beta 57 and 58s, at least I don't notice a difference (!?!). cheers, chance.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 01:40 PM

58 sometines better on more human voiced instruments than a 57 - but personally I prefer AKG D880 for vocal and 770 for instrument.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Genie
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:01 AM

What about using a condenser mic to pick up both the vocal and the guitar at the same time?
Isn't that an advantage of a condenser mic - that it will pick up sound a foot or two away, so that if positioned properly it could amplify both the guitar and the voice at optimal levels?

I realize this could be a problem if there's a lot of other noise on stage or in a more informal setting, but if you're the only one on stage, is that still an issue?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Genie
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:04 AM

Anyone familiar with this MXL V63M Studio Condenser Microphone, and does this seem like a really good deal?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:43 AM

Bluegrass bands often play around one condenser microphone to capture the sound of the whole group, They know how to work it for solos.

I have done this and highly recommend it for some types of music. Feedback can be problematic, but a good soundman (and a good mic designed for this application) can deal with that easily.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Escapee
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 02:16 AM

I like a condenser mic (Shure KSM109) for my banjo. I can move a little with it instead of being stuck an inch or so away from a dynamic mic. I've had pro sound guys mic me with the Beta 57A and it sounded good. A good sound operator can get great results out of a wide range of equipment.
Genie, a guitarist at my church plays as you suggest and sounds great.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Genie
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 02:30 AM

That's where I got the idea, Escapee. My church has a couple of condenser mics that I sometimes use when I'm doing a vocal solo with guitar.   I like that I can stand a couple feet away and not have to worry about banging my guitar into a guitar mic or getting feedback from a close-up guitar mic when I move around and the sound hole shifts into the wrong position relative to that mic.    But I don't know how flexible a condenser would be for use with different types of amps, and how difficult it would be to convert my mic stands for use with a condenser mic.

Guitar Center had the MXL V63M Studio Condenser Microphone on sale for $79 tonight, including a clip, I think. That's $320 off the list price.   (Yeah, I know, nobody pays list, but still .. ) I think that deal ended about 30 min. ago, but they might extend the sale thru tomorrow.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:03 AM

My favourite low price large diaphragm condenser is the Behringer B1 - a treat for both voices and instruments and when new they smell delicious! Just on with some new C2s at the moment - good on the fiddles (crwth / kemence) & excellent value for the stereo pair.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:19 AM

Condensor is essential for good sound quality with acoustic instruments.
Most of the negatives expressed are the negatives from the performers perspective.
No doubt that from those in the audience that a condensor is hugely superior.
Learn how to use it well


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:36 AM

Would agree with most of the above.
Mind you. I always try to use AKG C414s as Drum overheads (Condenser mics)
Set in Cardiod mode, their side rejection is pretty good even on the loudest of gigs.
But generally the tight patterns of SM57s SM58s are more conducive to live gigs. But as been stated already. You have to stay pretty close!
SM57s are great on Snare drums. Minimal EQ needed. 58s for vocals, obviously. Personally don't like the Beta versions. Haven't worked out why!! Maybe a bit too smooth.
M88s are very useful, particularly on Kick Drums.
For more controlled studio stuff. 414s, Neumann U87/U47 for vocs. KM100/KM140 for most acoustic instruments.

Ideally I'd want to use Schoeps....but I'd like to buy a house too!

Did record Gillian Welch and David Rawlings once using the one mic technique. Sounds lovely, mainly because they knew when to lean in for the solos. Have seen some old B/W Country vids, using the same technique. You've just got to trust the band to lean in at the right time!
Anyway. interesting subject, and am always keen to learn, so keep the tips coming folks
Regards Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:47 AM

As an addendum, (Out of our price bracket of course!)
I used to use an STC 4038 ribbon mic on guitar cabs, Marshall etc.
You wouldn't think it would work, being so delicate, but. it sounds so amazingly warm, and the fact that it's a figure of eight configuration means that you get the sound of wall reflections as well. Mind you, it would be rubbish in a gigging way.....(But it looks so sexy!!)
Also I'm the proud owner of a Polyphonic Spree carbon granular mic.
Lucky Me!


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 04:00 PM

This was recorded using a Behringer B1 and an ADK A-51; there's a couple of Behringer C2s too, but they were switched down to -10 by mistake (smart boy wanted!) hence the low-level rumble. Anyway - I just slung up the mics in a line during a rehearsal to test the new machine (Fostex MR8HD with 4 XLR inputs) and this was the result - not perfect, but nice detail, and totally unmonitored. Serendipity!

Beware the Fylde Coast Sands - Opening Song (secure MP3 download via YouSendIt)

Ross Campbell - vocal & anglo
Self - Black Sea Fiddle & chorus
Spitting on a Roast - Chorus.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Bert
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 04:04 PM

I used to have a Reslo ribbon mike years ago. You are right about them being warm. It is due to the fact that the lowers frequencies get excessive amplification because the wave crests are further apart and the wave pushes the front of the ribbon while the previous wave is pulling from the back.

You will also notice that a Dynamic mic is warmer than a condenser. But that is due more to the fact that it doesn't amplify the high frequencies so well. So if you have a squeaky voice you might want to go with the dynamic.

You could of course try them out and poll your audience.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 04:46 AM

Ah Reslo....Takes me back!! Nostalgia ain't what it used to be!
And seriously, Looking at the SM58. It has a presence peak in exactly the middle range of the human voice. Jolly useful for live work.
Of course when recording a condenser mic will be cleaner/purer...Which is fine. But I don't know many voices that can sing at 14KHz!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Escapee
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 04:05 AM

Genie, your mic stand will only need a clip that will likely come with a new mic. If you use it with different amps, you'll have to be careful that they provide phantom power, or bring your own. Somebody's always got a deal going, if you miss it at one store you'll find it at another.
SKP


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: mattkeen
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 04:47 AM

QUOTE Ralphie:
As an addendum, (Out of our price bracket of course!)
I used to use an STC 4038 ribbon mic on guitar cabs, Marshall etc.
You wouldn't think it would work, being so delicate, but. it sounds so amazingly warm, and the fact that it's a figure of eight configuration means that you get the sound of wall reflections as well. Mind you, it would be rubbish in a gigging way.....(But it looks so sexy!!)
Also I'm the proud owner of a Polyphonic Spree carbon granular mic.
Lucky Me! "

Can also be marvellous if you use a 57 as well as the ribbon and blend the 2.
The smoothness of the ribbon and the grittier sound of the dynamic can be great.
Ralphie there are a lot of good quality ribbon mics on the market now made by SE and the like and the lovely ones from Cowley and Tripp, though they are dearer, but none as dear as the Coles mics.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM

Hey Matt. Thats exactly what I used to do!!!
The warmth of the ribbon and the prescence of the 57. Great minds think alike Eh??!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 04:20 AM

Here are a few choices if you're looking for some budget MXLs.
As long as you understand (And I'm sure you do) that you get what you pay for. Mind you, these are much better than the dynamic mics. which are the industry standard. The list price is always a bit of a joke.
Two things I would say. Look at the street price. If you are paying anywhere between $50 and $250 then the quality is not going to change much within that range. In other words, a $200 condenser is not likely to be any better than a $75 mic but the flavours will be different.
Read the reviews. Look for similar experiences within these reviews to get an idea of what to expect from each item.
Almost every condenser has it's use but very few within your budget will be your "Go to mic" for every situation.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 04:31 AM

Should have said. If you are really interested in ribbon microphones then the Nady RSM 5 is $79 and an excellent buy.
Today's ribbons tend to have a fairly flat response by the way but RSM 5 is a little brighter than most. The Nady RSM 4 will offer you a little warmth but keep in mind that ribbons are a wee bit more fragile and do require a bit of patience until you get used to them..


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: treewind
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 05:32 AM

One on my favourite live sound instrument mics now is the Behringer C2. The sound guys put one on my cello when I was playing for a ceilidh with English Rebellion at Shrewsbury Folk Festival. I'd never seen one before, and it worked brilliantly. I bought a pair when we got home after the festival.

The best part: it's a real small diaphragm condenser mic for about £40 a pair complete with stereo bar, pop shields, clips and a smart tough plastic carrying case. It has a pad/bass cut switch on it too. Not in the league of Schoeps or Neumann of course but at that price you can afford to drop one in the mud and still have change left from the gig, and to carry a few spares. And it sounds OK - certainly no worse than a SM57 especially on the more delicate end of the acoustic instruments scale that work better on condenser mics. I've used them with all my squeezeboxes and cello. It should be fine on a guitar or fiddle too.

I have better mics for recording with, but they rarely come out of the studio...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: mandotim
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 06:07 AM

Another vote for the Behringer C2; They aren't high quality mics, but they are reliable and reasonably robust. They work well as an x/y stereo pair, and are good for overheads on drumkits as well. I used them recently for drums at a rock gig, and miked a kit well enough with just the C2s, a kick drum mic and a dynamic mic on the snare. They sound nice at either end of a melodeon as well, but you have to watch for feedback if using monitors. Mothing better for the money, IMHO.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 07:05 AM

Haven't tried the C2....But if Anahata says they are good, then they probably are! He's got good ears him!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 12:35 PM

I have a pair of C2s and a C1.
I was so impressed with the C2s that I sent a pair to a friend in the States. I use them live and in the studio. Have also convinced one of Brenda's band members to buy his own and the accordion player borrows mine. The stereo bar alone would cost about $25 and the mics are only $60 for a matched pair. The pad switch and bass roll off are excellent features. You cannot use pencils for vocals though.
The C1 is very bright, requires a lot of gain and has a pad switch. It has its uses on the recording side but I haven't used it live.
Still, at $60 it's an excellent buy.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: treewind
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 01:34 PM

You cannot use pencils for vocals though
That's the convention, but is there's no rule that says you mustn't.
Any mic that sounds right is the right mic.

I put a Schoeps in front of Mary to record something (I think it was just a rehearsal track, but the Schoeps were new and I wanted to try them out on anything). The playback, even on a typical consumer stereo system, sounded uncannily like she was signing live in the room.

Of course, sometimes realistic isn't good enough, and then the interesting coloration you get from LDCs is what you need to make your voice sound better than it is.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 01:46 PM

Anahata:
       They are not vocal mics. Don't be splitting hairs. Doesn't help anyone who's looking for a vocal mic.. You want a vocal mic, use a large condenser.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 05:00 PM

Insane Beard: Took your recommendations and had a listen to the B2.
Still a wee bit much on the high end but comes with the pad and bass roll off. Also pop screen, spider mount and aluminium case.
A great buy.
Asking price was $133 but I got the last one on the shelf for $99 plus taxes.
Thanks.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Escapee
Date: 06 Dec 08 - 12:50 AM

Behringer is likely to be outstanding gear for the price.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Jim Lad
Date: 06 Dec 08 - 03:11 AM

Well, I'm impressed with the C2 but not the C1.
I also have their Xenyth 1204 FX mixer which is excellent for live but too noisy for recording.
My main reason for buying the B1 is a kind of "Thank you" to their Technical Support which is the best I have encountered.
I'm about to test the B1 but honestly am not expecting it to exactly blow me away. At the end of the day, it's a $100 condenser in an exceptionally fancy package but a $100 microphone just the same.


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Subject: RE: Tech: dynamic vs condenser
From: Jim Lad
Date: 06 Dec 08 - 05:49 AM

A tad bright but a fine microphone.
What a nice surprise.


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