It’s not a didactic section (when needed I’ll link related pages on manufacturer site) but so as to explain my approach to recording.
Microphones is a delicate questions, they are a pressure transducer and realize the passage of the sounds from air pressure to electric signal. Ok, this is a early assumption of the tecnologies about microphones(*) but what we want from them?
Several stuff like:
– wide frequency response
– wide dynamic range
– off-axys rejection (directional mic)
– no coloration (are you sure?)
– robust construction (when possible)
…and with a beautiful design (why not?).
I didn’t include cheapness because the quality is not cheap (in any field).
(*) to take a deeper look into microphone theory – Brüel & Kjær Microphone handbook vol.1
Searching for the best audio recording I work with a different brands of microphones, models and tipologies in relation to the kind of instruments and sound I’m looking for.
I bought eight amplifier Colette series (CMC5 and CMC6) with different microphones capsules, in detail:
MK4 – cardioid
MK8 – bidirectional or eight figure
MK21 – wide cardioid
MK5 – mechanically switchable cardioid to omnidirectional figure
I use Schoeps to record many situations like choral ensemble, symphony orchestra, any acoustic instruments (guitar, strings, harp, double bass), several parts of drumset (toms, cymbals, hi-hat).
Schoeps MK4 + MK8 are perfect to made Mid-Side techniques, sometimes I use MK21 in lieu of MK4 to take a central’s large-scale section.
Also MK21 is a very interesting solution to capture mainly low frequency in close miking.
I bought two MK5 (matched pair) to obtain major flexibility and to try spaced techniques. I use them omnidirectional in close-miking to record percussions like djembe or bongo.
I worked many times with Schoeps on stage to amplifier acoustic ensemble (classic and jazz) without problems.
I like Schoeps, they are a finest microphones with amazing and useful sound reliable for any situation. They are my high quality set.
I bought two used U87ai, they work very well.
I use them to record vocal (typical) and sometimes with Shoeps to make mono coloured low-end.
I own only old microphones models: C414 B-ULS, C414 TL-II, C451E and C391 (C300 + CK91) . I bought two C414 XLS (first series) but I don’t liked them because their sound were knock-off and lifeless.
C414 B-ULS is very flexible microphone, it works fine with acoustic instrument (acoustic guitar) and percussions.
I used for many time C414 B-ULS for snare bottom and lately I use it very close to kick drumhead.
C414 TL-II is a transformer-less version of C414 B-ULS, with a slightly mid-high frequency presence. I own a stereo matched set and I use often them to record choral ensemble, symphony orchestra (here an example of record what I made with C414 TL-II Mid-Side array), acoustic piano and acoustic guitar.
I have been lucky to find a C451E, original version, because it sounds amazing, Shoeps like, with an amazing off-axys rejection. In studio I use it to capture hi-hat and in live recording it’s a nine microphone of my high quality set.
C391 is a good microphone with a good price. It’s not a cheapness choice. It’s useful on-stage and good alternative in live recording.
I bought two PCC-160, a boundary microphone, to capture speech on theatre.
Three years ago I tried to use them for drums overhead (what? But they are a floor microphones!). Wait, I fixed them tip over on ceiling in front of drumset in stereo spaced array. I was very impressed for very wide and smooth sound without wall reflections problems.
RE-20 is a cardioid fine broadcast microphone, very good for voice. It’s construction minimize proximity effect and place in-face vocal record. You can see and listen his neodynium-equipped brother RE27N/D in “A Prairie Home Companion” movie.
I used it on voice for special effect, like speech into songs, to make a superior warmth and presence.
I used it sometimes to record bass drum and I tried it to record guitar amplifier.
I own three old MD 421, two black and one white (with tuckel).
I use them to percussion and brass. Very good and warmth sound. I like it.
I found three years ago one MD409 (dates back to the 1975). Actually I use it on snare bottom and to record guitar amplifier.
D112 is a successor of D12 (very acclaimed microphone for vocal in the seventies). D112 is manufactured to use with instruments with a depth low end like bass amplifier or bass drums. I use it to record bass drum in out position with AKG C414 B-ULS positioned very close to the kick drumhead.
DX98, I bought this microphone many years ago and it’s perfect to amplifier tenor and baritone saxophone.
A77, it dates back to the fifties and it’s a broadcast microphone. I used it on stage with a singer to enhance his nasal voice, very cool.
A ribbon oldest microphone (dates back to the thirties) which I bought in 1998. I fixed it and occasionally I use it to record voice with oldest flavour.
I tried JRS-34 model for a newspaper and I like it, but I haven’t unfortunatly. I guess probably I’ll be buying it pretty soon because I’ve been very impressed by its vocal presence and smoothed sound.
Here a gallery of my microphones:
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