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Microphone Month 5

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Mic Shoot-Out (U87,U89,Blueberry,K2,AT4050,AT4040,Vienna au12,sm57)


Mics are 1/4 of the battle between the great vocalist, a good preamp, and great A/D converters. When picking the right mic for something, you have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of everything that you use and be able to use these things effectively.
Here is A microphone shoot-out using:
Neumann U87
Neumann U89
Blue Blueberry
Rode K2
Audio-Technica 4050
Audio-Technica 4040
ADK Vienna au12
Shure Sm-57

Nathaniel Coe III
October 31, 2012 @05:39am

Something's wrong with the U89. The ADK was a little odd as well.
The 4050 and 4040 were disappointing (preferred the 40 - it needs a little mid cut), but they are comparatively inexpensive.
The 57 certainly needs EQ. Surprisingly usable in a pinch though.
The U87 was best, though it has a little bitty sizzle on it.
April 22, 2013 @03:11am

Ya' know, I think I have a pretty good ear for sonic detail but these shootouts sometimes amaze me. Here we have a $99 mic and others approaching $1000, some more, and the sonic differences between them are almost disturbingly little. Somewhat surprising, yes. And a reminder to us all that good quality recordings involve considerably more than just mics. Yes, the SM-57 is predictably a little boomy and not as detailed as its more sophisticated brethren. But it acquits itself quite well and and shows it is possible to make very respectable recordings if you know what you're doing.
Although they are a few hundred dollars more than the Shure, I was very impressed by the AT mics. As a matter of fact, even though I'd LOVE to own about any Neumann, I actually favored most of the other mics over them...in this recording. I also really liked the Rode K-2.
Recording techniques and level of skill could turn any of these mics into an advantage or disadvantage, a great or not so great, mic. In fact, this recording done in a different environment could yield entirely different results. I would be proud and quite satisfied to own any of the mics in this shootout, except the SM-57. Not because there is anything wrong with it but because I already own two of them along with a beta 57a.
I really enjoy these shootouts though. They provide at least some means of distinguishing characteristics of different pieces of equipment. Thank you for this very interesting thread. Think I'll check out some more.
April 13, 2014 @09:11pm