Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dynamics vs Condensers: Microphones

Yesterday, I received some new toys in the mail, a SE Electronics X1 condenser mic, and a Project Studio Reflexion Filter. There was a really good bundle from dv247, that included a metal pop filter, and I really wanted to a) try out condenser mics and b) improve my recordings by improving my room's acoustics.

I only did vocal tests last night on the SM57 (plus Fethead) and the X1, and I can't really say which is better. Subjectively, I actually prefer the SM57!

This evening, I did some quick tests after my saxophone practice - 2 songs, one run on each mic. After getting the levels up to 0db (I'd set the gain on my pres so that I'd only need 0.9 - 1db gain boost in Audacity) and comparing both mics......

I honestly could not tell which was the SM57 and which was the X1.

More testing will be done this weekend.

In addition, the Reflexion Filter may be a dud buy. Not because it does not work, but it may be a possibility that my room is actually quite dead, sonically! Clapping in my room I hardly hear any reflections, similarly with my saxophone. I do notice that there actually are reflections coming in from the small passageway to the bathroom, seemingly sorted by draping some clothes over the door. Buh.

I also did some vocal tests last night on the X1 with and without the reflexion filter.... can't really tell the difference at all. Maybe I need to develop my ears further. Truly, I did not hear any room reflections without the filter.

On issue I encountered with the reflection filter is using the Fethead with it and the SM57 - the extended length of the mic + amp, fitted with the xlr cable at the end actually causes the mic capsule to protrude significantly from the filter's dead zone. Not that I could tell really, thanks to the room's deadness.

Dud buy? Hopefully not.

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