Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Mic Bleg

So, the Misanthrope has decided that he will finally get around to recording some classical guitar for real in 2006. Last night found him buried in a sea of scores trying to figure out which pieces to include and which to ditch.

Part of the preparation for this will be a little home recording on my laptop. This will not be the final recording, for which I will get Chrispy and Jackson to help as soon as I find a good room. These will be more like progress reports on my preparation. Also, I'd like to get used to recording the classical stuff as I have never really tried before.

So here is the bleg: What's a good mic for this application? I doubt it's the SM 57. I'm willing to spend a little money to get something that will produce a nice sound for these "demos."

Fire away, audiophiles.


Chrispy said...

What's your budget?

Are you using the MBox's built in mic pres?

Get a Neumann U87 (if you want to go high end, like well over $2000) or a Studio Projects C1 (virtually identical frequency response, under $200).

This is one of those things where the sum total of the parts (guitar, room, mic, pre, convertor) will make more of a difference than individual things like mics. But I guarantee the C1 will be well worth it and sound darned good.

Dave Cavalier said...

The guitar I am taking care of. I don't think I am going to shell out $2K for the Neumann U87 at this stage of the game. Wouldn't I be better off getting the Studio Projects C1 and investing in a decent mic pre-amp?

Chrispy said...

The pres in the MBox are quite good for what you're doing - they're Focusrites.

As far as buying another pre, you probably won't do that much better unless you spend another grand, although this pre has gotten some good reviews and is very affordable:


(I've never heard it, but the FMR RNC is supposed to be unbelievable)

You could also try out our ART Tube MP, which you could borrow for a while if you like.

Here's another option:

Bring the guitar and your MBox over to the studio (bring your laptop too if you like, although we can use the MBox as the front end for DP) and see how the C1
(we've got two of them) + MBox sounds on your guitar. You may find that this is enough. You could also try out a few other mics (like the Octava MK319, very affordable, or the Rode NTK, tube mic, more expensive).

Tony Alva said...

From someone who owns both a Neumann (TLM 103) and a pair of C1's, I'd go with the C1's for what you're looking to here.

Have not heard the Mbox pres so I'd differ to Chris as he is the master with all things mic chain related.

I think the challenge with your project will be finding a quiet enough space to do the recording in. You may need to go upstate, a church the Hudson Valley perhaps, to do it. If you decide to go this route, let me know. I'd love to hang out and help/listen to it all go down.

Jackson said...

I think we can capture Dave and his Classical Guitar in our room. I'd like to try some different micing techniques. Now that we have the pair of C1's, we could go a little nutty.

Chrispy said...

By the way, what's a "bleg"?

Dave Cavalier said...

Bleg is begging on a blog.

Dfactor said...

Go read the Tapeop messageboard, then register and post a question to the mic geeks there:


Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men.

Tony Alva said...

Of course, I would also highly recommend you buy a Neumann U87 and leave it at Smoke & Mirrors for storage. Mics of that quality need to be stored at studios exclusively. Of course, you could come over and use it there anytime schedule would allow.

Dave Cavalier said...

Does the Neumann U87 feature both fore and aft torpedo tubes?

Tony Alva said...

Oh yes, fore and aft torpedo tubes along with leather seats and electric windows my man.

Jackson said...

Why does Dave always have to spell it out: bleg = blog + beg. He doesn't want to buy a mic, he want's to borrow one.

Dave, you are welcome to use my Beyer Dynamic, it's a high quality condenser, I beleive we may even have used it to record you before.

Chrispy said...

I don't know, Jackson.

Dave did say he's "willing to spend a little money."

Sounds like he's looking for a hand, not a handout.

We'll teach the man to fish.

Tony Alva said...

He can probably swing the U87 if he skips one payment on the new Misanthrope Mobile...