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Microphone advice please?

Humey Whilem

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I am looking to invest in a microphone for my live set-up.

My set-up: I use a suitcase for a kick drum and percussion, that goes into a wee mixer (as does my guitar and some other things) and that goes back into my Headrush looper pedal.

I currently use the crappiest mic ever, thinnest sound, etc, and I am looking to upgrade.

I need something that will not sound too thin (especially for the drums/percussion), but also does not require things like phantom power. Batteries are fine if needed.

I would eventually like to be able to use the mic for vocals too (I am thinking of adding gospel-like vocals to my loops, using it for recording onto my laptop etc).

Any suggestions? I think I have more or less 100 to spend.Cheaper would be good but from what I hear/read it's not going to be to cheap.

What should I be looking for?



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Aye, I was gonna suggest a Shure Beta 57 as a general all rounder but if you did have a spare channel for a dedicated kick drum mic (AKG D112, Shure 52), then I think you'd be much happier.

You could also try an AKG C1000 small diaphragm condenser. It can run off a 9v battery, will be much more sensitive to what you do, will be useable for live work but you just have to be a bit more careful with it.

Finally you could just go for the Shure 55SH. Sure would look purty with your setup...

A Shure 57/58 or AKG C1000 will cost you under 100, the 55SH will just push you over.

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Thanks for all the advice.

I ended up with the sure sm57, purely because I got bruce millers gift vouchers as a leaving present from work. What a rip off by the way: It cost me 85 pounds... They go for 50 odd on the web. Wow.

I think it will do the trick. It does bring up a new question:

For my live set up I used to chuck the previous mic into the suitcase, which did not sound too great anyway. Would I be better off with a construction that has the mic outside (behind) the suitcase? Also I would eventually like to loop vocals too, so I need easier access to the mic.

And does anyone know a way to make the suitcase give more bassy sounds? I thought I could stuff it with my jacket or sheets?

Cheers again!!

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I don't think anyone round here is an expert on the acoustic properties of suitcases so you're probably going to have to experiment.

Filling it with jackets is just going to kill the resonance which I'm guessing is not what you're after.

Unfortunately I can't think of any way to increase the bassiness of your suitcase without either porting (cutting holes of a carefully calculated diameter in the suitcase) or getting a bigger suitcase.

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Hey John,

I can't remember how you mic up your suitcase. Do you just hit the front of the case or do you close the case with a mic inside? I'd not put anything inside the case. Like Ian said, that'll just dampen the frequencies your probably wanting to get more of.

You could do what I've seen those Native American Indian troupes who go about outside M&S do (but be careful with this). They sometimes have a kick drum pedal just beating off the top of a mic which is in a bag on the floor. It's an easy way to damage you mic's capsule real quick but if your careful with it, you'll get plenty of low end out of it. It's a similar thing with beatboxers and how they get their kick drum sound. Proximity effect. Love it and hate it.

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