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Re: mic recommendations; champagne recording on a beer budget


 That's interesting. I did a session with my brother
and his wife playing old timey muzik with guitar banjo
and vocals. I put the 4033 right next to an AKG 414.
The 4033 sound very brittle and shrill compared to the
AKG. But that was just one mic. I'd like to do it
again with different mics of the same model.

--- RICK WALKER <looppool@cruzio.com> wrote:

> I've always had to attempt champagne living on a
> beer budget
> throughout my musical career as a professional 
> producer/drummer/percussionist/band leader.
> Consequently, though I've tried out most of the
> expensive solutions for 
> condenser recording
> microphones in large commercial recording studios, I
> was never able to 
> afford the
> Neumann's, B&Ks, etc.
> So this is one of the best solutions that I've ever
> come across for a really 
> great microphone
> combination.
> At one point,  Audio Technica put out a fairly
> pricey tube condenser 
> microphone called
> the ATM 4060.   It's list price was around $1,400.
> Well,  as it turns out,   the ATM 4060 has the exact
> same microphone capsule 
> as an
> earlier non tube version called the ATM 4033.
> This microphone capsule in the ATM 4033 was
> identical to the more expensive 
> ATM 4050
> that my brother owns and has highly tauted.
> Well,  it turns out that the ATM 4060 has an A12
> tube in it and multiple 
> polar patterns,
> both things the ATM 4033 lacks.
> Well, I'm not sure if my brother has ever bothered
> to change the polar 
> pattern on the ATM 4050 or
> not,  but I certainly never have, so the polar
> pattern options are not all 
> that interesting to me.
> Then,  it is now possible to buy an ART tube
> preamplifier for around $80 US 
> which has the identical
> tube in the ATM 4060.
> Sooooo,   the ATM 4033 originally sold at $350 but
> can now be found used 
> online for around $200-$250.
> At the top price of the ART tube preamplifier (which
> also has phantom power 
> and phase reversal switches on it)
> you can have the absolute equivalent of the ATM 4060
> ($1,400) for US $330.
> **************************
> Now at one time,  a friend who ran a really nice
> recording studio lent me 
> his Neumann U87 ($2,000)
> to compare to the inexpensive Rhode NT2 ($200 used)
> and Bill's ATM 4050 
> (equivalent of the 4033).
> We did a double blind listening on both headphones
> and on monitor speakers 
> utilizing three singers,  Bill, myself
> and my wife Chris (both of whom have  amazing ears
> as engineers and 
> producers).
> Here's what we discovered , not knowing what
> microphone we were listening 
> to:
> Of all three mics, the one that had the most detail
> by far was the ATM 4050 
> which was noticeably more detailed than
> the Neumann (if a tad colder) and vastly more
> detailed than the Rhode NT2.
> Warming up the ATM 4050 with a tube preamplifier,
> however, adds a lot of 
> warmth to the mic while still retaining more
> detail than the pricey Neumann.
> The Rhode NT2 was dead last in detail but oddly
> enough it had an amazing 
> quality:
> When listening to the recorded voice through
> headphones (we used ADATS at 
> the time),  the Rhode NT2
> had the amazing ability to make it sound like the
> person was singing 
> straight into your ear.    It didn't have the detail
> of the other microphones but it just sounded
> REAL!!!!!
> What I've concluded and what I do when it is
> important to get a great 
> performance out of a singer is I use
> the RHODE and the Audio Technica simultaneously and
> then I can mix and match 
> warmth and detail.
> I can get a really wonderful and warm (yet detailed)
> vocal sound with this 
> mixture.
> Add the $330 for the ATM 4033/tube pre amplifier
> combination to the $200 for 
> the Rhode NT2
> you literally have a world class solution for vocals
> for only $530.   That's 
> pretty cheap if you know about
> pricey microphones.
> To add to all of that,   my good friend, Daniel
> Thomas won a NAIRD award for 
> best instrumental album of the year
> in 1998 for Martin Simpson's recording,  Cool and
> Unusual.
> His recording was so beautiful that he was asked by
> Acoustic Guitar magazine 
> to write an article on how he got
> Martins' guitars to sound so great.  He used an ATM
> 4033 and a Neumann K184 
> ganged up on the instrument (I believe it was the
> 4033 over the hole
> and the K184 pointed at the neck).
> Additionally,  I most of my percussion collection
> was recorded for the EMU 
> World Proteus and I have done
> literally hundreds of percussion sessions for
> clients over the years and I 
> have always gotten fantastic results
> with the 4050 (again, whose only advantage over the
> 4033 was multiple polar 
> patterns which I have never used).
> The detail in 4033 is amazing!!!!!      Nowadays, it
> is also very easy to 
> use any number of VST programs
> that have digital modellings of famous and pricey
> tube preamplifiers and 
> tube compressors (check out the stunning
> collection that Universal Audio puts out) to warm
> that sound up (while still 
> retaining the detail of the mic).
> That's my best recommendation, for what it's worth. 

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