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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Microphone


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/372569

wooster - Posted - 02/09/2021:  04:10:49


Hi



I am about to buy a mic for recording my banjo. I am an amateur, beginner to recording, and will record at home where there's some outside noise which I'd like to minimise. I am using a Scarlett 4i4 and Logic.



Deep down, I realise that shortcomings in my technique are the real limitation in the process, but please help me with my delusion that a better mic will help make me sound better and advise me between these three.



Shure SM81

Rode NT5

Rode NT1A



It seems that all of them might do the job but I'd welcome advice



Thank you very much.

 


Edited by - wooster on 02/09/2021 04:11:49

beegee - Posted - 02/09/2021:  04:17:59


Are you recording into a sound board or mixer or into the computer?

wooster - Posted - 02/09/2021:  04:18:59


I'm recording into Logic on my Mac. Just the computer via the Scarlett 4i4


Edited by - wooster on 02/09/2021 04:20:02

thisoldman - Posted - 02/09/2021:  08:25:03


Being the curious sort, and always interested in learning, I did a quick search for the Scarlett 4i4 microphone. From what I see, the mic is bundled with the audio interface. Is that a marketing tool, or do you really need the interface? In other words, does using Logic negate that need for that interface between your mic and your Mac?

250gibson - Posted - 02/09/2021:  09:08:40


The interface isn’t always bundled with a mic. That being said the interface is still needed to convert the analog mic signal into digital to get it into logic. The interface also gives you out connections to take the output from logic and hear it on your studio monitors. So yes, you need an interface of some sort if you are using an analog mic and monitors. The interface will also give you 48V phantom power if you need it for a condenser mic.

cnoe - Posted - 02/09/2021:  11:06:21


I think if your room is not the quietest, the Shure SM81 and the Røde NT5 (both small diaphragm condenser mics) could be the best choice, if you only plan to record your banjo. I use a similar microphone, the Oktava M012.



The Røde NT1a is a large condenser microphone. It would make a great all purpose mic (including vocals) but would maybe pickup more unwanted background noise.



Cheers, Caspar


Edited by - cnoe on 02/09/2021 11:07:28

vthokie7227 - Posted - 02/09/2021:  13:03:50


wooster, a good friend of mine uses a Rode NT1A along with a Scarlet interface for acoustic guitar. It was recommended to him and he's been very happy with it. I considered going this route as well, but I purchased an AudioTechnica AT2020 USB+ microphone as I was uncertain about the interface route (plus I was able to find a AT20020 USB+ demo model in virutally unused condition for very cheap). I would think the AT2020 (not USB) could be a good potential option as well.

wooster - Posted - 02/09/2021:  15:01:01


The interface came with a mic marketed as a Scarlett CM25 large diaphragm condenser microphone. ( reviewed here but just for podcasts ) I am not sure who makes this whether Focusrtite or someone else or how good a quality it is considered to be. I tried it and it was all right for vocals but I found when I tried guitar it seemed to pick up a lot of background noise and someone on a forum at the time told me I'd need to upgrade. I also am able to have use of a Shure SM57 which when I tried it sounded less bright and alive than the CM25. Mind you that was a bried trial and of course my recording technique isn't finely tuned yet.



I am wondering if something like a Cardioid small diaphragm might give me a good result with the banjo hence my question. Mind you according to the review the CM25 is supposed to be a cardioid mic too. Hmm. 



I'm guessing any of the three I originally mentioned would do a similar job and I did wonder if using say the Rode NT5 or 1A in combination with either the bundled condenser mic CM25 or the SM57 ( which I can still get my hands on as required ) for more directional input might be a good combo.



So if I amended my question to say that I have the CM25 and access to the SM57 when I need it ( though I wasn't all that amazed but it's sound las time ) would adding or upgrading to one of the three I originally mentioned be a good idea? I am a bit baffled by choices and would welcome any advice you can give as to my next move.


Edited by - wooster on 02/09/2021 15:14:55

wooster - Posted - 02/09/2021:  15:10:38


The situation you describe @cnoe sounds like the experience I had with the CM25 mic a couple of years back. TBH at that time I got frustrated recording seriously and just used my iphone for practice recording. I was after a fairly directional mic to help with the problem and the NT5 and others I mentioned appealed to me as I felt they might be ideal for my needs. You seem to be in agreement with that and as the NT5 is cheaper I might just go for that unless I see a used SM81 cheap. I'm guessing the results would be better than the SM57 I used.

Alternatively is it worth considering sticking the CM25 mic in an area surrounded with some sound isolating blocks of material? Is this feasible or is it likely to be a futile exercise? If I could do this I'm wondering if there is any point in upgrading to the NT5 or if it's likely to be about on a par with the CM25?

cnoe - Posted - 02/09/2021:  22:39:11


Hi wooster



The SM57 is a good microphone to record a banjo. Some years ago I did two recordings. You still find them on my profile page here: banjohangout.org/myhangout/mus...?id=61144



Can you year a difference? One computer/smarphone speakers you probably don't hear much difference. On a good headphone you might like one or the other better. One of the recordings is the Shure SM57.



You could do some recordings with your microphones and post them here.



Cheers, Caspar

J.Albert - Posted - 02/10/2021:  13:12:16


If you have any interest in an Audio-Technica AE-5100 (medium-diameter instrument mic), I've got one for sale in the classifieds...

(yes, a shameless promotion!)

banjoak - Posted - 02/11/2021:  01:18:15


quote:

Originally posted by wooster

Hi



I am about to buy a mic for recording my banjo. I am an amateur, beginner to recording, and will record at home where there's some outside noise which I'd like to minimise. I am using a Scarlett 4i4 and Logic.



Deep down, I realise that shortcomings in my technique are the real limitation in the process, but please help me with my delusion that a better mic will help make me sound better and advise me between these three.



Shure SM81

Rode NT5

Rode NT1A



It seems that all of them might do the job but I'd welcome advice



Thank you very much.

 






I don;t think the mic is the solution to dealing with background noise.



Minimizing background noise has a more to do with room, setup, mic placement... not much the actual mic.



A few misconceptions folks have.



The diameter size; doesn't have much to do with it's pattern, directionality, how wide the pattern is; nor idea of it's reach/background. 



The differences are more about how they sound. Frequency response layout... top end, mid-range, low end; off axis response, proximity; and transient response. As well there is self noise or signal to noise (LDC tends to be quieter). For instruments like guitar, banjo, tonal range/percussive transients; off axis set up;... as a general guide, small diameter mics tend to work better. But just a generality, and there are many other aspects that play a big role. Ultimately it's if the entire set up; mic, pre, placement, technique, distance/angle; to get the sound you are looking for a specific instrument (not all banjos are same).



 



 



 

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