Studio Microphones

Coles is a great mic on brass, saxes and drum room.


I’ve got a set of line audio small diaphragm condenser omni-mics (OM1) that I use a lot as a stereo set for recording “classical” ensembles and my own group of bandoneon, piano, violin and double bass. I’m going to get a set of the cardiods as well at some point
Super clean and useful, of course not a lot of mojo, but for the price they are very good.
It’s just this one guy in Sweden with a terrible website making the same mics for a long time. He also makes very nice and simple, and super clean preamps. I have the 8 preamp, which is quite cheap considering the quality, in my opinion


I had a pair of the CM3s that I sold to David from Node a while back. They were indeed stunning mics for the price. Curious about the OM1s too!


There’s a place in town where you can rent some very expensive mics for about $50/each a month. Looking on avoiding the high price stuff first, and starting out with the ElectroVoice RE-20 (just as I’ve never had a chance to work with one) then the Royer R-10, and a Shure KSM313.

Very interested in the new Telefunken TF11, too. All of these are about my limit on what to spend on a microphone. I figure it’s the performance and the environment that are most important, or that a good mic won’t improve a bad source or placement. Field recording gets more finicky, but those are the four mics I’m most curious about presently.

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Happy to find this thread! The main thing I do as far as acoustic recording is drums, in a four-mic setup, consisting of a Shure Beta 52a on BD, SM57 for snare, and a pair of Samson CO2s as overheads. To my ears, the CO2s do a really nice job, despite their bargain basement price tag. In hopes of avoiding the audiophile rabbit hole, I wonder if folks have tips on how to maximize the performance of cheaper condensor mics and also, IF I ever wanted to upgrade a bit, what would you recommend for overhead use? I envision myself spending $400-500 max for a matched pair.

Here’s a neat website for comparing mics. It doesn’t have everything (like my favorite home recording mic, the Sennheiser MD-441) but they’re supposed to continue adding mics.


This is my fave mic info site:

Microphone Database | Audio Recording News | RecordingHacks


Depending on how much you’ve experimented with precise placement, you might get a lot of benefit by moving the overheads very subtly. Perhaps the “Acoustitape” can help make it easier to figure out where to experiment placing them?


A think a good rule of thumb especially for the budget consious, is to cover the basics.
Used is always a good option.

  1. A couple inexpensive dynamic cardioids (SM57/58)
  2. A pair of small diaphragm condensers with a set of cardioid and omni capsules.
  3. A decent but not crazy over the top large diaphragm condenser with multiple pickup patterns.
  4. A large diaphragm dynamic (D112/RE20)
  5. A mid priced ribbon mic
  6. A dynamic omni (EV 635A)
  7. Assorted cheap/used oddball mics
    A tool set like this will give you a ton of options, including the ability to record a drum kit or small ensemble. Don’t forget to experiment and have fun. Play with angle, placement and distance.

I’ve had a few microphone ‘discoveries’ / personal epiphanies recently (not new stuff, just to me).

  1. If you’re lucky enough to live in a large city, then there might be places to rent mics, which is an amazing way to try things out. This led me to wonder though, are there any web based mic rental companies that ship, similar to

  2. I’ve had good luck with mismatching mics, which I never used to do. Like using a ribbon as a side channel in an MS setup with a more ‘clean’ center channel. I’m digging the warm stereo image it creates.

  3. Mics, and techniques, change the vibe so much. It’s crazy, frustrating, amazing.


Agreed, I recently did a drum session where I put a D112 on the kick and an Advanced Audio CM67se (LDC multi-pattern tube, U67 type) and a Coles 4038 (ribbon figure 8) about 6 feet back, pointed at the kit. I mixed and matched different combos with different EQ, panning, compression, saturation and effects for different sections. Sounded great, some of the best drum sounds I’ve ever gotten.


a couple of really good pres will make most mics sound better. you don’t even have to spend a ton, but I used to have these telefunken 676s, only like $300 a channel, and they would make a 57 sound like a much better mic. an engineer friend of mine has a bunch of the seventh circle stuff and loves it. not too different from modular synths… :grinning:

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My favourites have been Neumann KM184 (for acoustic guitars). About 18 months ago, got lucky and picked up a Coles 4038 for a great price and have used it mainly for electric guitar.

Almost picked up a RE20 during the boxing day frenzy of sales, but held myself in check. Wanted to pair it with the Coles for mic’ing up guitar amps. Have read a lot about the 1 ‘brighter’ + 1 ‘darker’ theory for amps - has anyone paired these 2?

Also thought about grabbing a Cloudlifter for the Coles - thoughts on these? I have 2 good pres (UA610 and Great River).

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Haven’t used the Cloudlifter, but would love to grab one of their ZX2 when they become available.

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i attended a demonstration of the entire ehrlund product line a couple years ago, and was extremely impressed—if i was to switch away from my c414, i might try something of theirs

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Ya, a friend of mine (engineer/producer) Rob Griffin was really impressed with the Erlund stuff and he’s a total microphone snob.

I’m curious how large the room was? Looking for minimal drum recording setups.

somehow i can’t find an image of the exact live room, but similar in size to this if not a touch smaller

they were placed quite far from the drumset, like 6-10+ feet away on either side probably

Thanks. Must be nice to have that much room.

Anyone have experience with the Rode NTK? Seems like a good tube mic at an appropriate price.