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> Thinking About A Pro Condensor Microphone, AKG C414
Kristofer Dahl
post Mar 13 2017, 04:23 PM
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I have used a cheap no name (TSM) condensor microphone for more than 10 years. I am thinking about upgrading at some point, and the one that has caught my eye is AKG C414.

Since I will be using it for everything, vocal lead and background recording, guitar amp micing, livestreams, acoustic (possibly), maybe some kind of duo jam - I am thinking its versatility might be a winner.

The price tag is pretty steep though.

Any thoughts? I don't know much about microphones.


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Mertay
post Mar 13 2017, 04:48 PM
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There are different versions (over the years) as most comments say they sound different. My experience as far as I remember is only with one model.

Very detailed, super sensitive...as so can be super harsh/trebly sounding. I always preferred giving distance when recording with it, something like a piano, vocal, room mic. applications can be ok but for example something like a trumpet it would be my last choice (basically, the source in nature must be smooth sounding). It's a mic. someone would want in his/her disposal but won't actually use too often.

The best mic. for almost all applications might be a neumann U87 but thats also very expensive. If not a rode nt1a, akg c1000s would also be a good versatile mic. .

This post has been edited by Mertay: Mar 13 2017, 04:50 PM


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klasaine
post Mar 13 2017, 05:02 PM
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Great mic.
Used CONSTANTLY! And in almost any application - acoustic, electric, orchestral, ambient, overheads ...
The combination of a 57 and a 414 is de rigueur for micing an amp. Add a ribbon to that and you've got 'the sound of american guitar'.

New in the States they're about $1100.00 (€1030.00) new but they can be found here for as little as $725.00 (€679.00).


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Mertay
post Mar 13 2017, 05:39 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 13 2017, 04:02 PM) *
Great mic.
Used CONSTANTLY! And in almost any application - acoustic, electric, orchestral, ambient, overheads ...
The combination of a 57 and a 414 is de rigueur for micing an amp. Add a ribbon to that and you've got 'the sound of american guitar'.

New in the States they're about $1100.00 (€1030.00) new but they can be found here for as little as $725.00 (€679.00).


True but for home use (limited space, non-treated room) and not having the chance to blend with other mic.s have to be considered as thats why I'm not sure if its for kris. Then again, I have no experience with the newer ones.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Mar 13 2017, 05:48 PM


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klasaine
post Mar 13 2017, 08:10 PM
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I don't know. They're used by themselves quite a bit. Many home recordists have them. It's kind of ground zero for an all purpose multi polar pattern LDC with selectable attenuation and bass cut options.
I've had pretty good luck with one both in front of an amp and in front of an acoustic guitar in the most 'non' studio of environments. YMMV.

You can of course go way deeper in both quality and expense. Neumann TLM 103 and a Peluso ...

Attached Image

This post has been edited by klasaine: Mar 13 2017, 08:11 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 13 2017, 08:56 PM
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Well said!!! Those two mics together, recorded to separate tracks in your daw and panned a bit can get you a HUGE guitar tone smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 13 2017, 12:02 PM) *
Great mic.
Used CONSTANTLY! And in almost any application - acoustic, electric, orchestral, ambient, overheads ...
The combination of a 57 and a 414 is de rigueur for micing an amp. Add a ribbon to that and you've got 'the sound of american guitar'.

New in the States they're about $1100.00 (€1030.00) new but they can be found here for as little as $725.00 (€679.00).


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Kristofer Dahl
post Mar 13 2017, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Mar 13 2017, 04:48 PM) *
There are different versions (over the years) as most comments say they sound different. My experience as far as I remember is only with one model.

Very detailed, super sensitive...as so can be super harsh/trebly sounding. I always preferred giving distance when recording with it, something like a piano, vocal, room mic. applications can be ok but for example something like a trumpet it would be my last choice (basically, the source in nature must be smooth sounding). It's a mic. someone would want in his/her disposal but won't actually use too often.

The best mic. for almost all applications might be a neumann U87 but thats also very expensive. If not a rode nt1a, akg c1000s would also be a good versatile mic. .


I don't mind lots of treble, I always find myself adding that in postproduction to cut through in metal mixes.

I don't see myself getting an even more expensive mic, in fact I am really hesitant about the C414 price level just for vocals - since I believe the vocal performance is 80% of the sound. However I could motivate it if I end up using this mic for everything else as well (not just vocal leads).

QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 13 2017, 05:02 PM) *
Great mic.
Used CONSTANTLY! And in almost any application - acoustic, electric, orchestral, ambient, overheads ...
The combination of a 57 and a 414 is de rigueur for micing an amp. Add a ribbon to that and you've got 'the sound of american guitar'.

New in the States they're about $1100.00 (€1030.00) new but they can be found here for as little as $725.00 (€679.00).


Cool!

I'd love to start making my own profiles and I don't feel my sm57 cuts it alone for the creamy lead stuff. From what I have read C414 seems be a beloved mic since many years, by pro studios as well.


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Mertay
post Mar 13 2017, 10:09 PM
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I looked at the web and found some info on the mic. here's a cool picture;



While some older ones has mixed reviews from the users, I didn't see any negative comments on the newest model which is a good sign. So many factors on mic. performance...but I guess given your reply it could work nice for you.



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klasaine
post Mar 13 2017, 10:36 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Mar 13 2017, 01:18 PM) *
I'd love to start making my own profiles and I don't feel my sm57 cuts it alone for the creamy lead stuff. From what I have read C414 seems be a beloved mic since many years, by pro studios as well.


If you want to take the profiling to the next level then a ribbon mic needs to be in your future (along with the 57 and an LDC) ... https://www.google.com/search?q=ribbon+mics...-8&oe=utf-8
Don't get anything cheaper than a Cascade ... http://cascademicrophones.com/cascade_fathead-2.html


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Kristofer Dahl
post Mar 13 2017, 10:42 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 13 2017, 10:36 PM) *
If you want to take the profiling to the next level then a ribbon mic needs to be in your future (along with the 57 and an LDC) ... https://www.google.com/search?q=ribbon+mics...-8&oe=utf-8
Don't get anything cheaper than a Cascade ... http://cascademicrophones.com/cascade_fathead-2.html


ok! I have also heard Royer 121 is common for that.

Profiling is not a top priority though, even though it would be fun to get better at micing an amp.


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klasaine
post Mar 14 2017, 12:25 AM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Mar 13 2017, 02:42 PM) *
ok! I have also heard Royer 121 is common for that.

Profiling is not a top priority though, even though it would be fun to get better at micing an amp.


Yes, other than a cool vintage RCA or Coles (ribbon), the Royer 121 is the current industry standard for Ribbon mics.
*The Cascade Fat Head is really great for the money, especially with the upgraded Lundahl transformer .

This post has been edited by klasaine: Mar 14 2017, 01:59 AM


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Kristofer Dahl
post Mar 14 2017, 08:41 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 14 2017, 12:25 AM) *
Yes, other than a cool vintage RCA or Coles (ribbon), the Royer 121 is the current industry standard for Ribbon mics.
*The Cascade Fat Head is really great for the money, especially with the upgraded Lundahl transformer .


Yes price is def better than R-121. None of the usual stores in Europe seem to hold them in stock though.

Would you say a ribbon mic should be a priority for me, since the condensor mic I have has worked for a good ten years? (so it can't be too bad)


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Mertay
post Mar 14 2017, 11:52 AM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Mar 14 2017, 07:41 AM) *
Would you say a ribbon mic should be a priority for me, since the condensor mic I have has worked for a good ten years? (so it can't be too bad)


I checked your youtube channel and thought first of all the shure must be abandoned for podcast. Not only sound related but to me you don't seem comfortable keeping the too mic. close to you.



This is I guess the condencer you've been using, notice with 2x distance still you can be easily heard and move freely.



Seems good enough to me for podcast, atleast if you get something expensive it won't be in constant use kept same in its box when not used). But the next most freq. thing you do is I guess vocals, probably this is what you should concentrate on your next mic. purchase. For sources like piano and vocal I usually do my best not reaching an eq as much as possible.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Mar 14 2017, 11:53 AM


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Kristofer Dahl
post Mar 14 2017, 01:23 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Mar 14 2017, 11:52 AM) *
I checked your youtube channel and thought first of all the shure must be abandoned for podcast. Not only sound related but to me you don't seem comfortable keeping the too mic. close to you.


Yes agreed, the guitar leaking into the condesnor mic is not that bad anyway.

QUOTE (Mertay @ Mar 14 2017, 11:52 AM) *
Seems good enough to me for podcast, atleast if you get something expensive it won't be in constant use kept same in its box when not used). But the next most freq. thing you do is I guess vocals, probably this is what you should concentrate on your next mic. purchase. For sources like piano and vocal I usually do my best not reaching an eq as much as possible.


One of the advantages with the C-414 (if I got it right) is that one of the polar patterns allow to catch sound directionally at a greater distance, which could prove super handy for spoken stuff. Or for example video sketches where I don't want the mic to be seen. Or perhaps if I want to play the guitar loud and leaking becomes a problem.

I would probably not put the mic back into its box on a daily basis anyway, even with an expensive mic. It's just not time efficient. Also, the reason I prefer having one mic that can do many things, is to avoid having to dig for different gear each time I want to record.


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klasaine
post Mar 14 2017, 04:24 PM
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I would only prioritize the ribbon if you 1) want to profile and 2) want to record an amp (any amp) the old fashioned way i.e., mic a speaker.

The C-414 will have more 'all-purpose' functionality.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 14 2017, 06:09 PM
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It just dawned on me that I was suggesting micing up a speaker cab using two mics when Kris uses the kemper which can just record direct to an audio interface. Then again, I know nothing about creating profiles, as with most folks that don't own a kemper I'm guessing smile.gif

Is it common to use just an sm57 stuck in the speaker cone of a cab to create a profile? Does the kemper allow multiple mics? Just curious smile.gif I know the broad strokes of the concepts but was curious on the details. Who here makes their own profiles?


QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 14 2017, 11:24 AM) *
I would only prioritize the ribbon if you 1) want to profile and 2) want to record an amp (any amp) the old fashioned way i.e., mic a speaker.

The C-414 will have more 'all-purpose' functionality.


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Mertay
post Mar 14 2017, 07:48 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 14 2017, 05:09 PM) *
It just dawned on me that I was suggesting micing up a speaker cab using two mics when Kris uses the kemper which can just record direct to an audio interface. Then again, I know nothing about creating profiles, as with most folks that don't own a kemper I'm guessing smile.gif

Is it common to use just an sm57 stuck in the speaker cone of a cab to create a profile? Does the kemper allow multiple mics? Just curious smile.gif I know the broad strokes of the concepts but was curious on the details. Who here makes their own profiles?


Guido as far as I remember makes profiles. With Cab. ir multi mic. shouldn't be too different but for kemper as far as I understand;

Guitar to kemper input, kemper direct out to amp...for 2 (or more) mic.s we'll neeed a console or summing device(so we can blend them), then the summing devices mono out will go to kempers return. We hear the original vs sampled result from the main outputs of the kemper.

I'd probably sample a vst amp first to get used to the process biggrin.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post Mar 14 2017, 08:29 PM
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Yes! I believe you can use as many mics as you want with the kemper, some people even route the signal through their computer when profiling.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 14 2017, 04:24 PM) *
I would only prioritize the ribbon if you 1) want to profile and 2) want to record an amp (any amp) the old fashioned way i.e., mic a speaker.

The C-414 will have more 'all-purpose' functionality.


Yes that's what I am thinking as well


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 14 2017, 08:47 PM
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I see, so as many mics as you like, but run through a mixer to get it down to one input for the kemper right? In that case, heck, use as many as your audio interface will allow and mix them using the software mixer for the given interface or even a daw, then take the output to the kemper. it sounds like it could get complex!

Yeah that mic is jusst a good all around mic, and it plays well with others smile.gif


QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Mar 14 2017, 03:29 PM) *
Yes! I believe you can use as many mics as you want with the kemper, some people even route the signal through their computer when profiling.



Yes that's what I am thinking as well


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Mertay
post Mar 14 2017, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 14 2017, 07:47 PM) *
I see, so as many mics as you like, but run through a mixer to get it down to one input for the kemper right? In that case, heck, use as many as your audio interface will allow and mix them using the software mixer for the given interface or even a daw, then take the output to the kemper. it sounds like it could get complex!


Before a desired sound, sampling process isn't usually plug and go atleast when aiming for best results.

For example, self-noise from preamps can be a problem as machine can assume the noise as part of the harmonics...For detailed adjustment kemper also (if wanted) samples the responce by playing guitar (I think similar to bias of peavy matching as I can't remember which). To get even more detailed match, one can place an eq or exciter between the mic. and kemper...As far as I followed Kemper engineers made most of the updates to eliminate such needs since its release but its possible one might need to be creative during the sampling process.

As for multi-mic. using, its actually not different in practice of how its done in a studio. After kris placed his sm57 to the sweetspot of the (adjusted) amp, the other mic.s are sort of there to add flavor or help cutting through the mix. I remember placing 3-4 mic.s a few times but didn't need to use all of them based on the balance of the other tracks.

For an engineer sort of guy its really fun while for most its a hassle laugh.gif


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