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Author Topic: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations  (Read 1613 times)

Mike Sullivan

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2013, 01:26:16 am »

Thanks for the replies all.  I'll definitely look at several of those suggestions.  I definitely need to double up on drum mics.  I've had to use 57's in place of tom mics (had to deal with 5-6 toms), and will eventually have someone with a double kick kit.  One band I will be working with quite a bit next year has an old Leslie organ cabinet, and I've been told a pair of condensers with a low mic is the best set up.  The rest are just mainly specialty stuff (Guitars, bass, etc)
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Mike Sullivan - Ice Cold Entertainment Ashland, KY

Nicolas Poisson

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2013, 03:54:40 am »

I have been in the quest for the ideal mic locker over the past few years. Reading venues riders is of great help for selecting what is "required" and what is "nice to have". I have made statistics amongst more than 40 Parisian venues, from 100 to 1500 seats. Here is the percentage of presence of some mics in those riders:

AKG   
C414      7%
C451      22%
C535      39%
D112      20%
SE300      17%
   
AT   
ATM33a      12%
AT4033      2%
ATM350      2%
AT4041      5%
   
Audix   
D4      5%
D6      12%
I5      10%
OM3      5%
   
Beyer   
M88      29%
   
Neumann   
KM184      27%
KMS105      12%
TLM103      5%
   
Sennheiser   
MD421      63%
MD441      5%
E602      12%
E604/E904   85%
E609/E906   61%
E835      2%
E908      2%
E935      5%
   
Shure   
B52      66%
B56      15%
B57      32%
B58      51%
B87      15%
Beta/SM91   51%
B98      22%
KSM137      15%
SM57      100%
SM58      98%
SM81      34%
SM86      5%
SM87      2%

A few notes:
As you get more and more specialized mics, all-rounders like the SM58/SM57 become less useful. So it might not be a good idea to add such mics to your current collection. The ones you already have might be enough when you will have bought other brands.
The market here in France might be different of yours. Maybe European mics are more present in the venues here. Shure remains THE leader anyway.
There are plenty of alternatives that are not on the riders but are accepted with no discussion. Replacing SM81 with AT4041 is a good example. When you are not dealing with renown bands, this is easier to place not-so-famous mics you like. I am a big fan of the SM86. Few venues have it, but I manage to place it as lead vocal on 4 shows out of 5 (one-offs). So there is room for your own taste.

Considering what you have, a pair of E609/906 and a pair of SM81 or AT4041 seem a good investment to me. If you need more tom mics, keep going with Audix (D line or Fusion ?).
As for adding standard mics: Beta 52, Beta 91, AKG C535, Beyer M88 are good candidates. The B52 is not significantly different from an Audix D6 (if you already have it). So you might search something that will "enlarge" more your panel.
The MD421 is very common but not cheap, all the more that you usually need 2 or 3.
Adding 4 Beta58 will not change many things other the SM58. You can buy one or two for lead vocals.

My 0.02euros.
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Thomas Le

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2013, 11:17:12 am »

Sheesh, mine's very small since I do local gigs compared to the rest of the list here!

- 1x AKG C 747

- 8x Audio-Technica at853a
- 5x Audio-Technica pro35x
- 1x Audio-Technica at857QMa

- 1x Countryman EMW Omni

- 2x EV N/D 257

- 2x Sennheiser ew 135 G3
- 1x Sennheiser ew 112 G3

- 1x Shure Beta 52a
- 1x Shure Beta 53
- 3x Shure Beta 56a
- 1x Shure SM57 Unidyne III
- 1x Shure SM58
- 1x Shure SM86
- 1x Shure WL50

The Shure SM86 is such a sleeper mic, I prefer it over the 58 any day.
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Mike Sullivan

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2013, 12:21:37 pm »

Well, my shows aren't huge either (biggest I do is a 1500 person free festival, where maybe 2-300 people are in attendance for one band) but I always like to be prepared.  More of an OCD thing than anything, I know what it's like to run around without what you needed, and it's a PITA.
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Mike Sullivan - Ice Cold Entertainment Ashland, KY

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2013, 12:34:53 pm »

I'm in the market to look at some more mics to expand my (limited) collection.  Right now I use Audix drum mics and vocal mics, a few SM58's, and several SM57's, which get me by with little to no issue, but I would like to improve my collection, to better suit some of my needs..Here's what I have in mind right now

{snip}

Anything else I should look at getting?  I do mostly rock/country shows, and I have a friend who may call on me for bluegrass on occasion, but he has his own set of Audio Technica AT4041's he favors for bluegrass.

There is a nice Sticky Thread at the top of this forum about vocal mics (that wandered a bit).  Start there.  Some, like the the AKG C-535, are quite versatile.

The real answers rest in answering this:  what do you need microphones to do?  What will different microphones do for your bottom line, i.e. will they help you get new or different work or allow you to bill more to existing clients?

Or my favorite:  is this a way of rationalizing a Gear Acquisition Syndrome (microphones) problem?  I can quit buying mics anytime... really I can.  Really! (nudge, wink).

What can mics do for your business?
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David Shriver

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2013, 02:22:50 pm »

There have been lots of good suggestions so far.

As with most things in audio... it depends.  In my hall we do tons of folk and jazz.  So I find myself pulling out my EV RE-20s all the time for upright bass, and kick drum.  I also love that mic on horns.  The AKG 535 is the go to folk vocal mic.  It is also great on high winds (clarinet, flute, sop sax, etc). 

An SDC is my, "crap something weird just showed up on stage and I have to mic it" solution.  The shure SM-81 is great.  If budget allows grab a pair (or a dozen) Nuemann KM184s.  That's my goto mic for guitar if I can't use a clip on.

Shure's Beta 98a works wonders on toms and is a good horn mic too.  4 of those in the mic locker is a good idea.
DPA 4099 is the best clip on mic out there for strings.  Use it on fiddle, cello, bass, guitar, banjo.  Get 4 and an assortment of clips.  It also works well on piano, toms, horns, and a dozen other things.

If you ever have to fill riders or work with BE's get lots of SM-58s and SM-57s.  Most BEs don't have time to work with new mics as they are setting up for a gig.  They want what they know. 

You'll want Stereo and Mono DIs.  I tend to only buy active ones.  Most riders and BEs want active DIs.  The Radial J48 can't be beat.  Go JDI if you really want passive.  Get more DIs than you think you'll ever need.  I can't tell you how many times I've had a BE want a few extra DIs to prop up the front of a wedge or a guitar player arrives with 6 guitars instead of 2.  Also get some DIs designed for computer/ipods.  I like the Radial JPC or ProAV2, but their new stage bug laptop DI is good too. 

The AKG 414 is the LDC of choice for riders.  Its a great mic on lots of things.  I own 4 and wish I had more of them.  Its going to be the first call mic for grand piano most of the time (if not a 414 then probably a KM184).  Its good for overheads, vibes, guitar, etc, etc.

-d

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John Halliburton

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2013, 02:43:29 pm »


On the e609, save and get the e906 - it's a much better sounding mic. I had the 609, and then bought a 906 for guitar. Quickly sold the 609 and bought another 906.

Agreed.  I do not like the sound of the 609 on an amp...at all.  I also have used the EV n/d308/408/468 mics on guitar amps with great success.

I'd also say that a basic kit has to include 4-6 SM58 and 4-6 SM57, as others have pointed out.  Consider there are more SM58 than everything else combined, and you'll find that more singers are familiar with them than not.  You may not personally like them, but that is not necessarily your choice.

Best regards,

John

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Nils Erickson

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2013, 04:20:35 pm »

I mixed three big bands this week.  Some of my favorite mics in use were:
Beyer M88 and M69- on saxes
EV n/d 468
Sennheiser MD421- Bari sax
Audix D2 on bones, this worked great
SM57 on trumpets, always works fine for me

As others mentioned, all of these mics are great on so many things.  The n/d 468 is great because is can be cool for toms or horns or guitars.  It is very easy to position.  The E604 clip on tom mic is great for other things as well.
Telefunken M80 is a cool mic for snare and vocals... it has a bit of presence that I find myself adding to many vocal mics.
I like to have mics in at least pairs for added flexibility...

So many mics, so little time...

Cheers,
Nils

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Mike Sullivan

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2013, 12:11:29 am »

Bumping this up.  Based on everyone's suggestions, here's what I'm looking at going with for the moment...

5 Audix OM3 wireless mics (already have all 5)
5 Shure Beta 58A
4 Shure SM58 (already have 2)
12 Shure SM57 (already have 6)
1 Shure Beta 52A
1 Shure Beta 91A
1 Sennheiser e602 or e902
3 Sennheiser e604 or e904
1 Electrovoice RE320
2 Audix D6 (already have 1)
4 Audix i5 (already have 1)
8 Audix D2 (already have 3)
4 Audix D4 (already have 1)
6 Audix ADX51 (already have 2)

This should cover me in most every way.  Main reason I'm getting so many is that a couple shows I do, I have to cover two stages.  And as for all the drum mics, I've worked with some pretty big drumkits, sometimes 8-piece or more.  Always planning ahead.  There may be a few changes, less quantities, etc as I choose, but this is my main list.  Most of my shows are country/southern rock, but I also want to be prepared for bluegrass (B58A's and ADX51's) and other types of music.  You never know what you're going to get into.  I haven't had a problem having just enough mics before.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Essential Sound Engineer mic recommendations
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2013, 09:42:10 am »

Bumping this up.  Based on everyone's suggestions, here's what I'm looking at going with for the moment...



This should cover me in most every way.  Main reason I'm getting so many is that a couple shows I do, I have to cover two stages.  And as for all the drum mics, I've worked with some pretty big drumkits, sometimes 8-piece or more.  Always planning ahead.  There may be a few changes, less quantities, etc as I choose, but this is my main list.  Most of my shows are country/southern rock, but I also want to be prepared for bluegrass (B58A's and ADX51's) and other types of music.  You never know what you're going to get into.  I haven't had a problem having just enough mics before.

The Beta 58 is one of my least-liked microphones.  It's got the "ice pick in the forehead" sound that I spent 15 years trying to get rid of (only to find out that, back then, it was the combination of HF driver and horn).  If you want a mic with a presence boost that is wider and smoother, try the Shure SM-86.  I use them on a big bluegrass festival where some artists bring Neumann KMS-105.  While not the same, they are similar enough that we don't need to make any significant changes in monitor world to accommodate the Neumann users.

In condenser mic land (again, I do a lot of bluegrass and acoustic music) I really like the Audio Technica AT4021, for less money consider the ATM-450 or even the AT Pro37.  Versatile mics.

If you're doing big drum kits or 2 stages, I'd add another Betae52/91 combo for those who don't want the Audix.

Go with 10 SM-57 and get a pair of Senny e906... besides guitar amps I think they are good trumpet & trombone mics, too, and you can use them on floor toms in a pinch.

Microphones are fun to use and collect.... and yes, I'm rationalizing my Gear Acquisition Syndrome. ;)
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When they spit, do you wash their floors
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