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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:34 pm 
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Hello! I am looking to get a microphone to record tunes on tin whistle. I have heard different models can be better suited to different instruments. Any reviews and recommendations of particular models you have used would be greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:49 am 
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I have a Samson USB mic that I originally bought to record my ukes, cost about £40, I use it with my harmonicas now, but I did use it to record my low 'D' whistle a couple of times, & seemed to work OK with it.

(I don't regularly record my flutes/whistles/piccolos, I just play for myself, so bear that in mind.)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:38 am 
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The Trad Tech Frorum next door may have an answer to that.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:13 pm 
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So I'm not an expert at recording stuff but I have done more than a little bit of research on the topic so hopefully I can help.

A important note to start off is that audio equipment has massive diminishing returns. a $3000 mic is minimally better than a $300 or even $100, to most peoples ears. I'm not saying the /$3000 is worse, but the gains are very small. That being said sub $70/80 products can start to be noticeably cheap sounding. Like the $40 condensers you can get on amazon, are noticeably not amazing. Theres many youtube videos comparing expensive mics to cheap ($80+) if you are interested in the subject.

So on actual mic tech. I've read that small diaphragm condensers are slightly better than large diaphragm condensers for woodwinds. People say they pick up the super fine details slightly better, where large diaphragm have a larger sound better for vocals. Big note, as usual, these differences are minimal. You can still get great sounding recordings with a large diaphragm or a dynamic mic. It just might be 1% nicer on a small diaphragm, or require less mixing to get your desired sound.

Dynamic mics are ok and are the only ones I have experience with, but I've never really liked how my recordings sound. But theres more to that than just the mic. A benefit to dynamic is that if you are in an untreated room these generally block out more unwanted room noise. and I'm not saying dynamic mics are bad. I just like how they sound less than a condenser most of the time.

Ribbon mics seem super sensitive and might be bad with loud notes so I'd prob not go ribbon but could be worth looking into.

To help speed your search along. AT2035 is a super popular budget condenser ($150). If you are on a super budget look up mxl770 and 990's ($80 ish. Very minimally worse, great value per $). If your budget is sub $300 check out the rode nt1 and nt1a(more trebly). I don't look up things more expensive because they are out of my budget haha. I just realized small diaphragm might be my best option the other day so I havent looked many up. but look at the AT2021 and MXL606 for good budget options. If you want a dynamic just go sm58, is incredibly popular. sm7b if you want to spend a lot.

Hopefully some of this helps.


Last edited by Narzog on Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:03 pm 
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Narzog posted some useful information but there are some assumptions in there you need to consider.

Are you recording to your computer? Then there are two common methods: 1) a direct USB mic that is self contained or 2) a mic that plugs into some kind of external audio interface.

USB microphones are popular for podcasting and conferencing, so they tend to be optimized for speech. But some are very capable of good instrument recording. Overall cost is usually cheaper if one mic will meet your needs.

However, I believe Narzog is assuming you will be using an external interface that allows you to plug in one or more mics using XLR audio cable. And if you are using one of these with a condenser mic it needs to be able to provide so-called phantom power. Dynamic mics don't need additional power and are often used in situations where you can expect rough handling. This is a more versatile solution if you might expand to more microphones later.

And you are not tied to your computer, you might consider a quality recorder like a Zoom H2n. For well under $200, I get a portable solution for recording sessions and group practice.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:23 pm 
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Ah yes all of my suggestions were based on getting an audio interphace. Theres other alternatives as Swissle mentioned, I just think audio interphases are an extra future investment when you can plug other things into it if you want. From my research, the Behringer UMC22 is the best super budget option ($70) and for a little higher budget focusrite Scarlett are super popular. I wouldnt get anything cheaper than the UMC, cheaper options can have bad preamps which will make your mic sound worse. UMC and above tier preamps are good enough to not need to worry about them having a bad effect, and you dont need to get better until you have a really expensive setup. You wont find expensive mics in USB form but if you wanted a more simple setup USB could be a good option.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:18 am 
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Whichever mic you get, you've just started.

Different microphone designs have slightly different responses to the proximity, angle, dynamics and surrounding environment involved. One microphone may give you many options. Try playing at different distances from it, from 3 inches to 2 feet away. Try aiming the mouthpiece/window directly at the microphone, and also aiming it slight off to the side, or 90-degrees sideways. Try aiming the lower end of the tube towards the microphone. Have people listen to the options, or record them to hear them yourself, and explore what you can do.

The mic's "pickup pattern" also affects how the whistle sound will be picked up and how the surrounding room ambiance will perhaps get included. Some microphones have a large variation in sensitivity once you get out of the ideal focus zone it wants, and the shift of a few degrees off the ideal can get you a real downgrade in signal.

You can also use the immediate audio zone within a couple feet of the mic, as a customizable EQ and reverb/tone/body chamber, by adjusting the reflection and tonal characteristics of the playing environment very close to the microphone. Try playing in a highly reflective bare floor/concrete wall type of space, and then variations that progressively reduce sound reflection, including having carpet, sound absorbers (carpets, clothes, egg cartons, pro sound deadeners, etc.). If the microphone isn't giving you some portion of the whistle audio spectrum that you think you hear with your ears, such as high pitched overtones, reverb from the room, deeper tones, then by adjusting or channeling reflection out of the whistle back to the microphone, within a couple feet of the microphone, may help you. Just by adding any reflection, you may find the high frequency harmonies show up easier, or the dynamics between high and low volume are more clearly defined. Maybe just by having some reflection you can add a sense of richness or strength to the tone.

I've seen 8"x8" hard-surface reflection sheets attached so they sit within inches of the microphone. Any voice or instrument sending audio to the microphone, will partially bounce off those surfaces, into the mic, in addition to the direct sound wave from the source. The surface texture and solidity will affect the tonal balance and harmonics that are reflected or absorbed. I once recorded voice by singing with the lapel of a winter coat right at my mouth, both in front of the mic. The Cordura nylon jacket's surface really accentuated high frequencies (probably absorbing everything else), helping to clear up my voice, a little variation I could adjust by adjusting how near my mouth the lapel was.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:18 am 
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This is great information. I am considering getting a mic to record my efforts at playing so as to help me improve my playing by hearing what others will hear and then later on sharing my playing with family and friends.

There is so much for this old brain of mine to absorb about this subject. I appreciate all the basic mic/recording 101 information provided.

Thanks to Feadog80 for starting this thread and all who are contributing their knowledge.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:20 pm 
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I've tried high-end large diaphragm condenser microphones (AKG C414XLS), standard dynamic mics (Shure SM57), small-diaphragm condenser mics (Audix VX-10), Broadcast interview mics (Beyerdynamic M58) and large ribbon mics (NoHype Audio LRM-V) for recording whistle.

And the winner is: NoHype Audio LRM-V

The AKG C414 XLS comes close, but it is a tad too 'truthful' and does not tame some of the piercing frequencies in the way that the ribbon mic does.

Here's how the ribbon mic sounds (can you hear how it controls the tone of the whistle in a 'polite' manner?):

https://www.facebook.com/sean.moran.779 ... 8808948537

Warm regards,

Seán in Tipperary


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:39 pm 
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The only danger I could see with a ribbon mic is micing too close to a direct stream of air--the ribbon is vulnerable to tearing


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:21 pm 
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Good point, PB+J. I wouldn't put it inside a bass drum. But I think that the dangers are a little exaggerated sometimes. I stand about a metre (a yard) away from the microphone to record the whistle. This poses no threat to the ribbon.

Take a look at this: https://www.aearibbonmics.com/are-ribbo ... ple-think/

All the best,

Seán.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:37 pm 
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seanpmoran wrote:
I've tried high-end large diaphragm condenser microphones (AKG C414XLS), standard dynamic mics (Shure SM57), small-diaphragm condenser mics (Audix VX-10), Broadcast interview mics (Beyerdynamic M58) and large ribbon mics (NoHype Audio LRM-V) for recording whistle.

And the winner is: NoHype Audio LRM-V

The AKG C414 XLS comes close, but it is a tad too 'truthful' and does not tame some of the piercing frequencies in the way that the ribbon mic does.

Seán in Tipperary

How much better does the condensers feel than the sm57? I currently have a ATM650, which I'm pretty sure is very similar to the sm57. I feel like its just not the sound I'm going for. But at the same time the more research I do the less it feels like new audio equipment does. Where higher end seems so minimally better than cheap. and even condenser v dynamic and stuff doesnt seem to be THAT different anyway. So I want to get something else but I'm worried I'm going to and its going to be such a minimal change I'll feel like I wasted my money. Thanks for any info.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:34 am 
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I was thinking the same question one year ago. After a lot of research I went the condenser route. I bought this budget mic:

https://www.guitarfella.com/mxl-770-review/

Its getting very good reviews overall. Only good things to say! my friend, who is recording with a lot more expensive Mojave condenser, doesn't hear any difference in sound quality. In this price category you can find many potential candidates, amazing mics under 100 euros!

I set the mic above the whistle and point it down, like this :

https://medias.audiofanzine.com/images/ ... 573593.jpg

I am very pleased with the whistle sound it captures, with my limited experience of course..

This is recorded (whistles) with the MXL770: https://vimeo.com/433177278


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