Home Forums Pianobook Microphone suggestions for general sampling please (experimental film scoring)

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #1643
    Chris Dodsworth

    So I have my first ever paid feature film score coming up next year (as a direct result of my previous work which was helped along a lot by Spitfire LABS, so thank you Spitfire!) and after a good long chat with the director we’ve decided we want the score to a very experimental affair so I plan to create most, if not all my own sounds and patches from scratch. It’s a horror comedy by the way.

    I’m not new to making experimental music so this is something I’m fairly comfortable with though mostly I’ve built my own synth patches in the past with sampling being fairly new to me, new to making multi-sampled, multi-layered patches anyway. So obviously I have a little money out of the budget to spend on a mic or pair of mics so I was wondering what people’s suggestion are for a good all rounder that doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s an independent film so we’re not talking of a huge budget.

    In the mean time I’m hoping to have upgraded to a Focusrite 18i8 so that’s probably what my preamps will be.


    I know nothing of microphones. But if you follow Christian Henson’s videos on youtube for any time you’ll know that he thinks the world of the Shure SM57. And numerous times recommended it as one of, if not the best all round microphones. Inexpensive too at around $100.

    Recently I heard an engineer say with a very elaborate and expensive microphone collection that if he had just one mic it would be a Shure SM7b. According to him it was developed as a kick drum mic. Now pretty much the standard in broadcasting / podcasting. He can use it for anything. Strings, guitars, drums, bass, vocals, whatever. Again not the most expensive mic in the world at $400.

    The most important thing I guess is to play to the strength of whatever you get. Obviously a cheap sm57 is going to give you a different sound than a Neuman U67 microphone that costs a whopping $7000. The question is, do you need that sound? Maybe not.

    Chris Dodsworth

    Hey thanks for the replay electronic_tiger, sorry for the delay getting back to you

    Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll certainly look into the Shure you mentioned

    The more I think about it though the more I’m thinking about getting a matched pair which narrows my options down a bit. At the moment I’ve got my heart set on a pair of sE Electronics mics, either the SE&’s or SE8’s depending on what budget I have when the time rolls round. I have a mate that owns a studio nearby so I asked his advice too and he loves his SE8’s apparently


    >> a good all rounder that doesn’t cost a fortune

    As mentioned before:
    Shure SM 57
    Shure SM 58

    With these you have something for life.

    Bob Ellis

    I recently did a mic blind test on Audio Kitchen with my own mics:

    Audio Technica AT2020 ($99)

    Rode NT1A ($180)

    Sure SM 58 (basically a SM 57 with a screw on shield) – $99

    … against a Nueman UA 47 fet ($4000)

    My blind test favourite was the AT2020 🙂

    To be honest for sampling modern smart phone mics are very good.

    A Zoom H2N ($160) gives you the chance to field record with various mic set ups then connect directly to your PC to download your work.

    The SM 57/58 as others have said is a great workhorse mic.

    Chris Dodsworth

    Oh that’s good to know, I’d much rather not spend $4000 anyway

    I have an Audio Technica ATR25 stereo shotgun mic that I’ve used lots for field recordings loads and it’s not bad actually. That’s probably what I’ll be using until I can get something better I reckon.

    I have a Korg Sound on Sound for field recordings too but sadly that is limited to 16bit 44.1khz so it’s not ideal

    Thanks for jogging my memory that the SM58 is just a 57 with a grill on. The missus has one of those so I’ll have to nick it off her and see how long it takes her to notice

    Zachary Miller

    I would go no further than a pair of SM57s. They sound great on everything and respond to EQ extremely well given you place the mic in the right area. The SM7b is another fantastic option, however a pair of 57s will set you back half as much and you’ll be able to record stereo or in two places at once.

    I’m currently recording a massive sample library to submit here and the only mics I’ve used are my 57s and a ribbon. I cannot recommend the SM57 (especially two of them) enough. They’ll outlast your entire recording career and you’ll always find a use for them, even when you get to the point of buying a $10k mic.

    Chris Dodsworth

    Thanks Zachary, I’ve heard so much love for the SM57 that it’s definitely something I’m going to buy, very likely a pair as you suggest. I’ll have enough budget to buy those and potentially another option, but I reckon that’s where I’ll start. I’ll get a couple brand new I think, got to be worth the investment. Thanks for the advice everyone

    Tamas Zsiros

    Hi Chris, just wondering, how do you like your new pair of SM57-s? (I’m just about to buy a pair of… well something and so far I was hesitating to go the Shure way…)

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.