|Page (1) of 2 - 09/03/02||email article||print page|
Microphone ShootoutA highly personal approach to finding what mics work best for your music
|Oktava MC012 pair|
I thought the way that Don set things up for the first test was really interesting: seven mics, clustered in the middle of the room, as close to each other as humanly possible. (Unfortunately, for the acoustic piano portion of the test we could only fit two mics at a time in my 510 Kawai grand close enough to get accurate results.)
|Studio Projects C1||$299|
|Audio Technica AT4050||$995|
|Audio Technica AT4047||$695|
|AKG 414 B-ULS||$1,100|
For source material, we used four voices: my high tenor, Andys lower tenor, my wifes alto and Dons baritone (first from about 2.5 feet back, then from 6-8 inches away). Next up was a Gibson acoustic guitar, a shaker, and my brothers kalimba. We also captured a front-overhead sound while I played my rather loud jazz drum kit, though we did a more focused drum mic test on the second day.
Let me remind you that once we pressed ?Record, none of us knew which mic was which. Wed record for a few minutes and take a break. Then wed all listen back, switching from track to track (mic to mic). The three of us would then describe the sounds and vote for the top three mics in each instance. For our purposes, ?top meant a combination of what sounded most pleasing, most accurate (not always the same mics, of course) and what would be most likely to fit in a mix of my music, a combination of acoustic and fusion jazz, with heavy dashes of folk rock from time to time.
Only after wed commented and voted did Don retrace the wires and reveal which mic was which. The results? Thought youd never ask.
First of all, the results were not only pretty consistent, but also consistently surprising. Of course, at first we all tried to guess which mic was which based on the playback, but we were wrong almost every time! And, although most of the mics sounded good, in all of our tests there was only one instance where the three of us didnt all pick the same mics for either the #1 or #2 spot.
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