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Goner Message Board / ???? / Condenser Mics
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 4:08 pm
Does anybody know any really good condenser mics that can be got for under $200? I want one for recording vocals and instruments on my 4 track at home or where ever, but have no idea where to start or what to look for.
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 4:13 pm
there are quite a few "sweat shop" mics - check out SE or marshall. you're going to need phantom power or an out board power source.
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 4:31 pm
I just found this guy on Musician's Friend:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/AKG-Perception-200-LargeDiaphra gm-Condenser-Microphone?sku=271243

Anybody ever work with one of these? Or any AKG mics?

Also, I was gonna get a little mixer to handle the phantom power. Suggestions in this department would also be appreciated!
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 4:40 pm | Edited by: Jack Stands
For instruments or rooms, I have used these for over 10 years. They need phantom power, but have a slot for a AA battery when you can't get it. Usually you can find them for around $100. Durable.

Luke Warm can tell you about the AKG, but I wish I hadn't bought their headphones.
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 4:46 pm
if you got the cash, then get a pair of earthworks. akg are good mics.
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 6:03 pm
I've been using cheap Realistic mics forever. I've been thinking about trying to pick up a good mic myself sometime though. Are condensors good for cutting down on noise or something? I'm a home recording enthusiast, so any info would be useful.
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 6:43 pm
decent quick read: http://homerecording.about.com/od/microphones101/a/mic_types.htm

everybody's going to have different opinions about where/when/how to use either condenser or dynamic.

my general rule of thumb for recording (live, anyway) is:
Condenser = pulling sound into the microphone (ambient, acoustic, drum overhead, room mic, etc.)
Dynamic = sound being shoved at the microphone (guitar amps, vocals, etc.)
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 7:21 pm
There are a lot of pretty good mics for $100-200. The thing is, they are real inconsistant quality wise. Oktavas CAN be great. CADs are good. I think there is a new AT condenser thats $99. I've scored a lot of good deals at pawn shops for used mics. I got a large diaphram Oktava for 30 bucks. Got another one on craigslist for 25. The small diaphram Oktavas are real good for acoustic/string intruments and drum overheads. Large diaphrams are better for vocals and distant micing guitars or drums.

Having said all that, on the last Superfly record we did with Spot, we only used one condenser (for micing a PA cabinet for vocals) on the whole record. We did have a couple of ribbon mics, though.
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 7:51 pm
I dig the cheap russian mics, like Oktava. Guitard Center still sells em, for around 100 bones. I have a 319, but am in search of a 219. Lots of records you listen to have used these mics, especially if Jim Diamond recorded em. Cheap, and not too much range (to me, this makes them \\\'safer\\\' so you cant fuck shit up too much). They even have a shelf and rolloff to \\\'dial em in\\\'.
Posted: Dec 25, 2006 8:10 pm
I suggest you buy them from here


I have heard the GC oktava's are inconsistent or just plain crappy. Also, those AT 20/20's are supposed to be really good for the money.
Posted: Dec 26, 2006 12:29 am
I got 2 of those AKG's which when run through a decent tube pre-amp sound fucking great as over head cymbal mics.
Also pretty good for vocals.
Posted: Dec 26, 2006 2:24 am
really good condenser mics that can be got for under $200

Unless you find an amazing deal on something used, they don't exist.

But for "decent" or "OK" mics I'd go with the cheaper Shures (KSM109 etc). Everything else, including the cheap AKGs, are all ubercheapo Chinese sweatshop mics and likely not worth spending money on.
Posted: Dec 26, 2006 4:43 pm | Edited by: carney
Unless you find an amazing deal on something used, they don't exist

For endless debate on this very subject, checkout the forums at tapeop.com. This gets debated over and over. Does an Oktava sound like a U47? No. Does is sound good considering you paid 30 bucks for it at a pawn shop? Yep.

GC oktava's are inconsistent

Ding, ding ding. You are correct. They do sell them in "matched" pairs for overheads. Mine are pretty good. I've passed on some that were not.
This really applies to ANY piece of gear with a low price. They are all manufactured in China and quality control is not a priority.
Posted: Dec 26, 2006 8:53 pm
Unless you find an amazing deal on something used, they don't exist.

I'm not recording Philly Joe Jones with brushes in wood pannelled room with 15 ft. ceilings, so they actually do exist for me. Everything is in context. You're always going to have limitations, just know which of these will fit best within the sound you want.
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 1:24 am
I use the 219 on everything on my solo record it rules cost me $20.00 at a sale !!!
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 2:14 am
Neumann Condensers and Royer Ribbons...all the way.

It's worth the $$$

414's rock shit for snare drums(with -10db pad or more only or you'll shatter the diaphram), vox, acoustics, ambience, overheads and room mics.
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 6:45 pm
"with -10db pad or more only or you'll shatter the diaphram"

The pad's got nothing to do with the diaphragm. The pad is a simple combination of resistance and capacitance that lowers the mic's output voltage. It may keep your preamp from clipping, but that's it. I'd keep a 414 at least a foot from a heavy-handed drummer.

...continue, please.
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 6:55 pm
my friend dave has one of them audio technica $199 condenser mics an it sounds great. for shit-fi.
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 7:29 pm
I used the 414 on a bottom snare with 10:1 compression and it's got a great sound for catching those ghost notes where the drummer just kinda pitter pats in between the heavy hits. It was about 7 inches from the bottom head. With a -10db pad. or was it -18db...I don't remember. I think -18 db is right.

The pad is a simple combination of resistance and capacitance that lowers the mic's output voltage.

I may be dreaming this but, I seem to remember an engineer at school showing me some older versions of the "pad" and it actually had a little piece of material that covered the diaphragm. I'm drawing a blank on which mic it was though.
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 7:53 pm
If you do vocals with a condenser mic, you need to use one of those "pop screens", right?
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 7:56 pm | Edited by: I am the Arm
Pop screens are a good thing to have for percussive vocal stylings. The air pushing the diaphragm is an issue in your recording but also, the spit and moisture you expel into the mic is another good reason to use them. It would be ashame to ruin an old vintage mic from your spit.
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 8:06 pm
Poindexters, this way...

Posted: Dec 27, 2006 10:24 pm
little piece of material that covered the diaphragm

That sounds more like changing the polar pattern.
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 10:31 pm
That sounds more like changing the polar pattern.

Nope. That is clearly marked on the other side of the mic.
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 10:56 pm
you fags know you're gay, right???
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 11:03 pm
actually gay doesn' apply here...The topic is nearly asexual, Superhomo-dad.
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 11:12 pm
Posted: Dec 27, 2006 11:27 pm
you're dead to me now, fag.
Posted: Dec 28, 2006 6:04 pm
dirk, I was only kidding. you're still on my happy list.
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