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Which microphone should I use in my next gigs?

  • Shure 16AM

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • AKG Perception 170

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Audio Techinca PRO 25

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Keep using the current clip microphone (SM98)

    Votes: 6 54.5%
  • None of these, buy a new microphone (please tell me which one in the thread)

    Votes: 2 18.2%
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm considering to stop using clip microphone and start using a stand microphone, the reasons for this decision are related to:
- Sound quality
- Undesired keys noise
- More freedom for changing the relative distance/position

I have 3 microphones which I could use in my next gigs and I recorded a clips with these microphones (AKG Perception 170, Shure 16AM and Audio Technica PRO 25) and my current clip microphone (Shure SM98A). Are the Perception 170 and the Shure 16AM microphones suitable for stage use? The PRO 25 is an hypercardioid dynamic microphone designed mostly for dealing with high SPL with a good off axis rejection and it was designed for live applications but I'm not very sure about the other 2 microphones. Should I bought a different microphone (I don't like the SM57/58 microphones at all)? Which one (budget limit is $200)?

Here are the clips:
https://soundcloud.com/lpgasparotto%2Fsets%2Flive-mics-comparison
Your opinions and suggestions will be appreciated.
 

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Of those three, on that recording, I'd definitely pick the AKG over those Shures.

However, a recording is different than live performance, so it's hard to say which would be best for live work, as opposed to a recording.

It's too bad your budget is limited to $200. I'd just say get an RE20 and be done with it, but you'd have to double your budget. No doubt someone on here can give you some good options in your price range. I agree with you that an SM57 is a poor choice for the sax!
 

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If you're going to have your very own mike stand I recommend the kind with a big heavy round iron base rather than the three legs that always get in the way.

Can't comment on the microphone, however, as I have mostly used the old Shure 57 with what I thought were pretty good results, but you know me, I don't have very good taste.
 

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If you're going to have your very own mike stand I recommend the kind with a big heavy round iron base rather than the three legs that always get in the way.

Can't comment on the microphone, however, as I have mostly used the old Shure 57 with what I thought were pretty good results, but you know me, I don't have very good taste.
Usually I agree with everything you post on here, turf. And yeah definitely the round iron base stand is the one to use for the reason you state. I did use a Shure 57 mic at one time and it worked, but seemed to do something to the tone I disliked; a brittle and overly bright sound. Once I got the RE20, it just sounded a lot better. Could all be in my mind of course, given the greater expense of an RE20!
 

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I'm also thinking of switching, luispa, for many of the reasons you cite, along with some others. My ATM-350 clip-on's awesome for recording, but I feel that a dynamic mic is not only better live, but doesn't need phantom power, and allows me to play with dynamics more easily. Plus when I took my clip-on off at one point, it somehow got kicked onto the dance floor, which could've been disastrous.

I'm ever on the lookout for an RE-20, but even used they're quite expensive. However, I did pick up a used and very affordable Electro-Voice ND-46 in Florida over the holidays, and am slowly learning to position it so it doesn't cause feedback or pick up too much ambient sound. Haven't tried it live yet, but it sounds pretty nice to me, and I like the styling and adjustable swivel head to boot.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Usually I agree with everything you post on here, turf. And yeah definitely the round iron base stand is the one to use for the reason you state. I did use a Shure 57 mic at one time and it worked, but seemed to do something to the tone I disliked; a brittle and overly bright sound. Once I got the RE20, it just sounded a lot better. Could all be in my mind of course, given the greater expense of an RE20!
I frequently use SM 57 on rehearsals because I'm a bit lazy for setting up my SM98 and the SM 57 are the available microphones, I always dislike the sound (overly bright, thin and harsh), I think the SM 57 could sound right with a lot of EQ but it will always depend on the sound guy preferences.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm ever on the lookout for an RE-20, but even used they're quite expensive. However, I did pick up a used and very affordable Electro-Voice ND-46 in Florida over the holidays, and am slowly learning to position it so it doesn't cause feedback or pick up too much ambient sound. Haven't tried it live yet, but it sounds pretty nice to me, and I like the styling and adjustable swivel head to boot.
I heard good things about the ND-46 (and the old 468). I tried to find saxophone recordings/videos using these microphones and this is the only video I found:


It's hard to evaluate the microphone sound quality because the added reverberation. Do you have recordings made with the ND-46?
 

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Not yet, Luis. Not sure what it'd tell you anyway, beyond that I'm a rank amateur.
 

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Not yet, Luis. Not sure what it'd tell you anyway, beyond that I'm a rank amateur.
Don't worry! If you do a recording in the future but you prefer to not make it public you could send it to me privately, I'll promise I will only evaluate the microphone and not the way you play, after all I'm not a pro player neither.
 

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Sure, it might take a little while though. I'm off to jam at a garden party shortly--live, no mics.
 

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I have two MD 441 mics that I bought new in 1984.
So far sent them back 3 times to Sennheiser to be adjusted and cleaned.
I use one for flute/percussion and the other for sax.
Best sound reinforcement investment I ever made.
I've seen MD 421 for sale used around $250
 

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It is worth it. A used one can be had for cheap. Great mic that works in any situation. Also the 421 works great on Sax (look at 90s Saturday Night Live band footage and you will see Lenny Pickett blowing into one).

That's true! I'd love to get a MD 441 but it's beyond my budget.
 

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It is worth it. A used one can be had for cheap. Great mic that works in any situation. Also the 421 works great on Sax (look at 90s Saturday Night Live band footage and you will see Lenny Pickett blowing into one).
That's my feeling on the RE20--that it's worth the expense. I've also used a 421 in the past and agree it's an excellent mic. However, with the 421 I found the need to roll back the highs somewhat to avoid an overly bright sound. Not a really big deal, but you have to dial it in. OTOH, the RE20 helps 'warm' the sound of a sax with little change in the tone quality and takes very little fiddling around with the P.A. head. It does require more gain than most other mics, but that's very easy to adjust (turn up the volume/gain a bit higher than you would with most other mics).

Somewhere on here (check the electronic equipment sub forum) I've read good things about the ND-46, for about half the price (or even less?) of an RE20 or MD421. So that might be a really good option for you. Still, if you're gigging a fair amount, and hopefully making a few $$ in the process, I wouldn't cut corners when it comes to a mic.
 

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I'm also thinking of switching, luispa, for many of the reasons you cite, along with some others. My ATM-350 clip-on's awesome for recording, but I feel that a dynamic mic is not only better live, but doesn't need phantom power, and allows me to play with dynamics more easily. Plus when I took my clip-on off at one point, it somehow got kicked onto the dance floor, which could've been disastrous.

I'm ever on the lookout for an RE-20, but even used they're quite expensive. However, I did pick up a used and very affordable Electro-Voice ND-46 in Florida over the holidays, and am slowly learning to position it so it doesn't cause feedback or pick up too much ambient sound. Haven't tried it live yet, but it sounds pretty nice to me, and I like the styling and adjustable swivel head to boot.
+1 - this is what I've found as well. I have a couple of nice clip-on mics but find a standard dynamic much more convenient for most gigs. I have an EV N/D 468 which works okay on tenor and really well for me on bari. I'd like to get an EV RE-20 as well but the expense hasn't proven to be practical. Most of the gigs I need a mic for are funk band gigs and they tend to come in two varieties; cheap $50 bar/club gigs where we often have to do our own sound, and events (corporate events, festivals, weddings, etc.) that pay much better and usually come with sound guys who want to use their own gear.

I think the Pro 25 sounds fine unless you're talking about playing tours or big money gigs. If you really want to get something else I'd suggest a decent hand held vocal mic from Shure, Heil, EV, or Sennheiser. They all have options that run $100-$150 and can often be found lightly used for less. I've been at a number of gigs where a vocalist shows up without a mic or someone involved with the event wants to make announcements. A decent hand-held mic that fits a standard mic clip/holder/stand is the most practical thing to carry. Likewise, my experience has generally been that the quality of the FOH sound is much more dependent upon the sound-guy's skill, ear, and work ethic than the specific mic type or brand.
 

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I have probably mentioned this before, but I really like the Heil PR-40. Kind of the poor man's RE20, although they have gone up in price quite a bit in the past couple years. I bought mine at a Black Friday sale a few years ago for $250. They are up to about $325 now. The PR-30 also looks like a good one (haven't tried it) for about $250.
 

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The Heil PR 22 ut is a fine horn & vocal mic for about $110.00. I also use a EV n/d 76 for loud gigs. They're both large diaphragm mics.
 

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I have probably mentioned this before, but I really like the Heil PR-40. Kind of the poor man's RE20, although they have gone up in price quite a bit in the past couple years.

They are up to about $325 now.
Well, then maybe not the "poor man's" version anymore; that's getting pretty close to the price of an RE20, which goes for about $400, new.
 
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