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Condensor Mic Placement?

 
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George
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Joined: 03 Jul 2009
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: Condensor Mic Placement? Reply with quote

Looking to get a Rode NT1A in the sales.

Are there any considerations for sound diffusion etc I need to make using it in an office?

the room is about 8 x 12 foot, carpeted, with a bay window, futon, desk and other bits and bobs. there's not really echo in the room currently.
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Al_
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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Location: Vista, CA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're pretty sensitive, so anything like hvac noise or other incidental stuff can get picked up more. Also, it'll feedback like crazy if the if there's a monitoring speaker anyplace in the room. Other than that, just don't speak into it from too close. You can close mic other, non-breathy stuff though. Oh, and get a good mount too (probably comes with one). They can pick up mad structural noise too.
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George
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's good to know. it'll only be used with tracking headphones and it's mainly to get rough ideas down to start. technique for closed mic stuff can happen later - i just want to get it past the bench "doesn't sound like utter shit" stage. a mount and pop shield comes in the kit so it should be good to get me going.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rode-NT1-A-Vocal-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B0002PSCQM

my actual mic stand i have currently is shit so i might have to reevaluate after trying them together
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James
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How's the ebay price on those? They're a very common low end condensor because they're fairly versatile, decent vocal mics and good value. You'll find several available all day long and that should mean a consistent resale price, make sure you check what they go for before buying new.
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George
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

too late for that lol

they tend to go between 75-110 (not sure about condition) so would have been cheaper. i dunno though, this is part of my panicky "need to get my music shit together and record songs" and there were none on ebay so i just bit the bullet to stop me putting it off any longer. 122 is actually the best price i've seen new and it's been a relatively cheap christmas for me anyway.

also, how many people have potentially ragged the shit out of it or damaged it because they're noobs? i hear condensors aren't quite as rugged.
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James
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've not made a bad purchase, that's for sure.

Just think of the condensor as picking up more detail. More bass, more treble (flatter frequency response in general) and more accurate dynamics. That's a good and a bad thing, sometimes it's too much and sometimes the detail helps. Get your head around that and then start thinking about how that might be useful to you.

Al's right about structural noise. You can record with a condensor and then realise that while you were playing somebody downstairs shut a door and a car drove past the house that you didn't notice at the time. That sort of thing gives a low frequency vibration that can come through your mic stand. The idea with the cradle is to try and isolate the mic from those sounds, but it's not always perfect and you might find some stuff gets through.

Structural noise pro tip: Apply a steep high pass filter and slowly drag the frequency up until you begin to lose the sound you want, then take it back a bit to make sure you have everything. Pay attention to trails and echos when you do it as there can be good low frequency content there, too. You might find for an acoustic guitar part you can apply a filter to take out everything below 50hz (not an accurate number, could be quite a bit off). You can also use a similar technique on with a low pass filter to get rid of unwanted high end sounds.
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George
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blimey sounds complicated but i'll definitely post back for some help with that. i get the feeling that although i think my room is "quiet" at the moment, it certainly won't be anything close when it comes to a condensor.
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Concretebadger
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Joined: 14 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been eyeing up the NT-1 for a while, for the same reasons as you. My SM57 does close-mic'd clean guitar fine, but I want to try an entry-level condenser for dirt and play around with different speaker cabs. The price you've been seeing sounds about right to me - not a bad deal at all if the Rode is as good as you guys are saying.

Keep us posted on how you get on with it!
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Thomas
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use one of THESE. It pretty much covers all my bases cos it's variable pattern.
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George
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ordered it yesterday afternoon and it's arrived today, on a monday!

no excuses now

welp...
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George
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Experimented a little bit earlier on. Lots of reflections and stuff but it was singing into the corner of a room though. Sounded pretty good apart from that. I guess I need to try some positions out
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Al_
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, move it around and try and find a sweet spot. All else fails you could build or buy a couple of gobos.
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Sloan
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

get a pop filter, sing close to the mic, eat it. i've never really had a problem with tracking vocals in an untreated room.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George, are you just intending to use it for recording vocals? I've got an NT-1 (don't think it's an "A") and I have found it great for vocals but less so for trying to record an amp. This could be because a) I don't know what I am doing when trying to record an amp; b) I was trying to record the amp at too low a volume so as not to disturb neighbours etc or c) it's not a great mic for recording amps. Suspect it's probably a or b but maybe someone with more knowledge than me could advise.
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George
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sloan, yeah it's got a pop shield and shiz. i've been singing further back but i'll try closer.

bearboy, it's mainly for voice and acoustics. i have an sm58 for amps but i mainly use guitar rig and other DI software at the moment. I hear dynamic mics are usually the way to go for amps. i've got some good results with the sm58 before but the amp did have to be quite loud (too loud for neighbours late at night i think)


also i think part of the reason for all the reflection was that i might have had monitoring turned on by accident coming out of the pc speakers. i tried a bit more yesterday and got some nice results on vocals and a classical guitar. sounds isolated enough. the classical guitar sounded bassy and shit but the guitar sounds shit anyway. my soundcard preamps are nice but i'm considering getting one one of these to muck about with too



they've gone up a lot in price though in recent years though
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George wrote:
i have an sm58 for amps but i mainly use guitar rig and other DI software at the moment. I hear dynamic mics are usually the way to go for amps. i've got some good results with the sm58 before but the amp did have to be quite loud (too loud for neighbours late at night i think)


I have been doing a similar thing but wanted to see if I could get better results by recording my amp. Had heard similar things about dynamic mics and had been thinking of picking up an SM57. Might have to do a bit more research if it's only likely to work effectively at higher volumes.
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George
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

guess it depends on how much gain you have on your preamps. I think the SM58s are largely the same as SM57s if you take off the wind guard? dunno, might be wrong there but an sm58 is useful to double up as a gigging mic as well in that case.
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Concretebadger
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find an SM-57 ideal for a close-mic'd clean amp - pointed at the edge of my DRRI's speaker cone 2-3 inches from the grille cloth sounds really nice. For distortion though, the Shure never seems to sound anything like what my ears are hearing, unless there's some magical position or mic-ing distance that I don't know about. It sounds all midrangey, and not in a good way either. I was hoping a condenser would solve that because of its sensitivity and flatter eq curve.

SM-57s really are good mics for guitar amps and AFAIK pretty much identical to SM58s, but they're not very sensitive. I have to ramp my mixer's gain right up and build a fort out of sofa cushions around my amp to record at 'domestic' volumes.

It's disappointing that you're picking up so much background noise at moderate volumes though, since I thought the NT-1A was cardioid. Hmm...
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Doog
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sloan wrote:
get a pop filter, sing close to the mic, eat it.

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