The Right Microphone?

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Mitch Lees
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The Right Microphone?

Post by Mitch Lees » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:19 am

I have all my spread sheets (except the 4DOF model - struggling with that), my jigs, speaker, software and poppy seeds! So now I just need to buy a microphone. I was just about to get a Shure SM58, but I have been talking to a studio engineer, and he tells me that (in the price range) the Shure is a fine mic, but as it is designed for vocals it is the wrong tools for gathering frequency data. I should instead buy a 'measurement mic' and an external interface for my computer with XLR input. In the UK the Shure is about £100 and a decent sound card about £70. His suggested set-up would cost probably twice as much - in studio terms peanuts, but for me quite a lot. The mic he suggests is the Beyerdynamic MM1 Measurement Mic, and the interface the Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd Gen (I have not put the links in because I think the admin guys might consider it a commercial link). I am keen to 'get it right', but on the other hand for £270- 300 I could get a very nice back and sides set!

Grateful for you views and advice

Mitch

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kiwigeo
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Re: The Right Microphone?

Post by kiwigeo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:44 pm

The SM58 is fine...it's what I use. PS: commercial links ok as long as you don't have a financial interest in same :)
Martin

scripsit
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Re: The Right Microphone?

Post by scripsit » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:08 pm

The microphone he is suggesting is a specialist one which would not be useful for general purposes, either live or recording use. You'd normally use this in setting up a very special and professional recording space, where accuracy is vital.

I suspect he is recommending the Scarlett interface because it will provide the phantom power necessary to run the condenser microphone.

I think you only need the Scarlett if you are intending to do some recording down the track (built in computer soundcards are useless for decent audio recording). For recording acoustic guitar you'd normally need one or two condenser microphones and a USB interface like the Scarlett.

Other folk on this forum and elsewhere have had good results with a dynamic mic like the Shure 58, which seems accurate enough to do the frequency analysis you are wanting to do (and dynamic mics don't need phantom power, so the computer soundcard is fine). This would double as a vocal mic later on, if you do want to play live or record.

There are cheaper Shure knockoffs available on ebay and the like which would do the job, too.

Kym

scripsit
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Re: The Right Microphone?

Post by scripsit » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:36 pm

Just a PS:

If you do use a Shure 58 or similar, you will still need some sort of adapter to plug into the computer, and a cheap audio interface is one way of doing this (going into a USB port), although there are also purpose built adapters which fit into the mini stereo plug of the soundcard and which also boost the line level signal from the microphone.

Kym

Mitch Lees
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Re: The Right Microphone?

Post by Mitch Lees » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:09 am

Kym,

Are you talking about more then an XLR to mini jack adaptor?

Mitch

scripsit
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Re: The Right Microphone?

Post by scripsit » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:46 am

Mitch Lees wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:09 am
Kym,

Are you talking about more then an XLR to mini jack adaptor?

Mitch
You'll definitely need that to try first. If you only get very low volume plugging directly into the soundcard, there are adaptors that automatically up the line level (I think Shure even makes one). All computers/soundcards are different, so it's hard to predict.

A USB connected audio interface lets you connect the XLR from the mic directly, and the preamps in the interface take over from the soundcard. It's a bit more expense, and sometimes you have to fiddle with drivers and the like to convince the computer to talk to the interface.

Kym

Dave M
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Re: The Right Microphone?

Post by Dave M » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:19 am

I am using an Icicle pre amp with the Shure mic which provides the USB link to the PC. It works fine, was fairly cheap and I have had no trouble with the (Dell desktop) PC recognizing it.

You do have to play with levels a bit and learn how to drive your spectrum analysis software properly. I use VA as per G&G and it did take me a while to get it worked out. There are some threads on here that help.
------------------
Dave

Mitch Lees
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Re: The Right Microphone?

Post by Mitch Lees » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:03 am

Thanks for the help guys.

Mitch

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kiwigeo
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Re: The Right Microphone?

Post by kiwigeo » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:51 pm

I run from the SM58 to a preamp that has an XLR input. Output from the preamp then goes into mic input on the PC. If Im running the Mac the SM58 gets plugged into an inline XLR-USB/preamp that plugs onto the end of the mic.
Martin

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Trevor Gore
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Re: The Right Microphone?

Post by Trevor Gore » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:14 pm

I'm using a Shure PG57 straight into the computer. I made up a new mic lead, XLR to stereo 3mm jack. Works fine on my HP ProBook, Toshiba Tecra M5 and my under-desk behemoth. Before the PG57 I used a now discontinued 70's era Sennheiser dynamic mic (which eventually died) wired the same way. No need to get particularly exotic unless you're tooling up for other purposes.

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