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Inexpensive Microphone for Home Recording
What do you use?
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MoonShadows
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starise said
I did a further search on these units. For a portable unit,  they are the closest game in town for a musician.You could get something like a gopro but the quality isn't there. Reviews have them going through batteries fairly quickly. If you are only making a video of a song or two though, it shouldn't matter. I have an older Zoom handheld unit that's an audio only recorder. It's ok but not up to par with higher end mics. It's like 10 years old, so I doubt there can be any comparison to the Q2N. It eats though batteries too. In one video I seen a user tape cardboard over the top of a zoom Q2N to keep out the room light as an option to the expensive lens cover. 

If I got a long mic cord I could pull my setup out into a larger space and record the video on my handheld video recorder. I don't really want to do that though because it involves combining and lining up audio/video. A time consuming venture.Might be my only option presently. I am still undecided on the zoom. I'll wait and see how you like yours 🙂  

I was going to get the AC adapter for the Q2N, (part AD-17), but I want to see how long the batteries last. I'm only going to be using it for a song or two at a time.

I saw that video, too. First, he wanted to use a guitar pick, but didn't want to put tape on the mic, so he went with the piece of cardboard on top with tape on the back of the unit.

Jim

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Fiddlerman
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March 12, 2019 - 11:29 am
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Well, I still think a cap at the right diameter, perhaps fastened with a rubber band. 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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MoonShadows
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Ah, you're talking about a plastic bottle cap! I was thinking a cap off of a bottle of beer with the rough metal edges. blink

Jim

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Fiddlerman
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March 18, 2019 - 3:18 pm
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Yes I was referring to a plastic cap. 😁

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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MoonShadows
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March 18, 2019 - 3:44 pm
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thumbs-up

Jim

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starise
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Jim, I hope the Zoom worked out ok for you.

I wanted to give an update on another experience and some thoughts/experiences I had on recording. I had forgotten I had a laptop. If you have a laptop you can go portable. It's a little more hassle than something like the zoom and you need an audio interface. Still beats dragging a desktop around.

Update- Since I had such good luck with the cheap MXL small diaphragm condenser in my space I decided to look at other sdc mics. My MXL SDC was "meh" but had better overall results than the others mics I had. The stars lined up for me a few weeks back when I seen an open box special at my local Guitar Center.It was also my birthday then, so I treated myself to a pair of SE Electronics se7 mics. They come with foam wind screen. GC has a liberal return policy so I decided that I would return them for a set of Rode m5's for a little more if I wasn't happy with the SE7's. 

I must say that for my small bedroom studio setting these mics have been excellent so far. I need to add some reverb because my space doesn't really have decent acoustics.

I love ribbons for violin too, just didn't seem to be cutting it for my space. Other considerations are most passive ribbons need more gain to work optimally and they are figure 8 polar pattern. Often they are used with either a more expensive preamp, something like a Warm Audio or a Grace. You can add gain on the cheap by buying a cloudlifter which is simply a little 48 volt phantom powered  amp that goes between your ribbon and your interface. 

Maybe my experiences might help someone else. I have an essentially small mostly dead acoustic space and this worked for me.

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MoonShadows
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Actually, the Zoom Q2N is still sitting in the case I bought for it! I have been so busy the last few weeks selling our little rental house next door, selling my mother's house in NY, and with the nice weather, trying to get the yard and gardens cleaned up and our business is picking up for the season. It's enough to just squeeze in my daily practice each day. Things should start calming down a bit concerning the houses by the end of April, so....

I do have a laptop, but I hate using it. I'm still using a desktop for most things I do. Sounds like you are getting some good results.

Jim

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starise
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Moonshadows did you get a chance to try the Zoom? I'm still considering it as a portable option. 

Hope you were able to get all of that other stuff settled. 

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Gordon Shumway
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For complicated reasons involving Covid and other factors, almost no money has left my bank account for 3 months, so I thought I'd treat myself to a little something.

For years I've had a Shure SM58 and a Shure SM57. They form a pretty unbalanced stereo pair. The SM58 is about 3dB less sensitive than the SM57, although subjectively the difference seems greater (I've used them in live uke performances, and it was pretty embarrassing).

Condensers are the way to go - they seem a lot more sensitive and clearer.

I've also got a more recent PG81, but it has a battery compartment, so it's physically quite big. My mics are so unmatched because I usually buy them cheap on ebay (except for the SM57 - NEVER buy one of those except from a Shure recommended dealer. You will end up with a Chinese karaoke copy. The SM57 is the most copied mic on the planet. Even the shops get their stock on ebay now and get ripped off and pass the ripping off onto the customer, and Shure RRPs are now quite low, so that you don't even save much money on EBay).

So I treated myself today to a pair of these (when they were £98 including postage)

They are a newer version of the PG81, presumably for phantom power only (no battery compartment, and much more compact), but a modern USB preamp supplies phantom power and it's nothing to worry about.

Andrew

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Peter
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Gordon Shumway said
...So I treated myself today to a pair of these

They are a newer version of the PG81...  

They're out-of-stock at Absolute now, but G4M have pairs of 'em complete with stands for £239:

https://www.gear4music.com/PA-.....ables/3HD7

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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GregW
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those ought to do the trick! gonna put those on the future gear list.   Your going into a focusrite correct?  just trying to recall what you were using as a recording setup.  🙂 or were you gonna use these more in a live setting.

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BillyG
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July 7, 2020 - 10:51 am
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Hmmm, nice kit !

My first mic (back in 1970) was a Shure - but at the low end - just a dynamic MCoil mic- but then again, all we needed to do was make noise in the student union LOLOL.

Good point on the ebay and Chinese "copies" ( hmm, "look alikes" ) ...  yeah... if you want/need the proper tech, always use a recognized and authorized dealer....  and as for strings from ebay - well - oddly enough for some of the REAL cheap ones - indeed, you get what you pay for, and, as far as cheap steels go (which I use on one of my fiddles) actually they're fine.  But I'd never buy allegedly "brand named" strings for my other instruments from ebay simply because they are maybe 10% cheaper or so - almost certainly not gonna be the real thing...

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GregW said
those ought to do the trick! gonna put those on the future gear list.   Your going into a focusrite correct?  just trying to recall what you were using as a recording setup.  🙂 or were you gonna use these more in a live setting.

  

Yeah, I've got a Scarlett 2i2. And I'll use them live if I ever go live - USB mics are not much good for that, I assume.

USB preamps probably all produce phantom power. If you know nothing about electronics, you may not find it interesting, but if you do know something, and you're an old git like me, you'll be amazed that 5V DC in can produce 48V DC out with no weight - first you generate AC, then you have a ceramic transformer that weighs next to nothing, then you convert it back to DC.

Sure, Absolute Music are out of stock, but a few weeks ago they were out of stock at £103 per mic. I didn't want to turn down the chance of £98 including postage. I assume they'll order more stock from Shure. I bought my SM57 from them and they were excellent, so I'm hopeful, but it may be that they've made an admin error.

I've had these bookmarked for several years, but they are a bit OTT until I win the premium bonds.

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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Gordon Shumway said Absolute Music are out of stock, but a few weeks ago they were out of stock at £103 per mic. I didn't want to turn down the chance of £98 including postage. I assume they'll order more stock from Shure. I bought my SM57 from them and they were excellent, so I'm hopeful, but it may be that they've made an admin error.

DPD say they are delivering on Monday! I think Absolute Music had some in one of their warehouses.

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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I don't know much about string faking, but I know of a top violin shop in London that sold my teacher fake strings. I always buy from thestringzone (I don't mean to recommend Fiddlershop's competition, but for us Brits there are some things that aren't economical to buy across the Atlantic. In fact the Post Office are soon increasing their fees for sending stuff from the UK to the USA. It's getting pretty bad)

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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Peter said They're out-of-stock at Absolute now, but G4M have pairs of 'em complete with stands for £239:https://www.gear4music.com/PA-.....ables/3HD7

I've only just clicked on that link. Yes, including two stands is good value, I think, although it would work out at £21 per stand compared with what I paid for the mics. Depends on the quality of the stand. And two stands with booms take up quite a lot of space. Moving coil mics are heavy, and I tried putting two on a Tiger stand, but it toppled over. Currently they are sitting on a stereo bracket atop the main stand, not a boom. Konig and Meyer probably make the best stands and music stands. I may invest in one one day.

Andrew

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BillyG
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July 10, 2020 - 12:11 pm
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Gordon Shumway said
I don't know much about string faking, but I know of a top violin shop in London that sold my teacher fake strings. I always buy from thestringzone (I don't mean to recommend Fiddlershop's competition, but for us Brits there are some things that aren't economical to buy across the Atlantic. In fact the Post Office are soon increasing their fees for sending stuff from the UK to the USA. It's getting pretty bad)

  

Yup Alf, @Gordon Shumway - I generally use the same place for strings and various smaller-valued things which are not worth the shipping costs.  And you collect the "points" for use on subsequent purchases.  Also, on one occasion they had sent me the wrong item ( it was a single E string ) but I didn't notice until I had torn open the packet (hadn't even unrolled the string at that point, just looked at the wrapper, and went "Oh, man.... expletive deleted..." ).  Emailed them, explained, said I'd return it - "Don't bother, it's been opened - just keep it, and we'll dispatch the correct item later today"

Yup, good service there!

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Gordon Shumway
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thumbs-up

I've met a few vendors like that who let you keep the original. I got a couple of Tiger orchestral stands for the price of one that way (in honesty - the first was very lop-sided, but I could use it for outdoor gigs on grass, lol, and I've bent it now, so that's it's more or less level). Two broken keyboards too, lol, then a complete refund on both. They both half-worked, but were so cheap that I eventually gave them away and bought a Yamaha!

and back to cheap USB mics, my teacher bought a snowball ice this year, so they are probably recommended. I like the cute little tripod it sits on. I bought a desktop tripod once: I put a Shure MC mic on it and it toppled over. Lol!

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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The mics arrived at 2 O'Clock today, in spite of being "out of stock"!

Andrew

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GregW
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Gordon Shumway said
The mics arrived at 2 O'Clock today, in spite of being "out of stock"!

  

have you been able to experiment with them yet?  any 1st impressions?

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