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Mic for horn section: Rode NT1 or ?

yek

Moderator
Moderator
I need a mic for a horn section at rehearsals.
Horns are loud and fast.

I guess I need a large diaphragm condenser. Mono.
Must be pretty cheap.

Important: no EQ-ing options (Jamhub), so the mic must output a mix-ready signal, not too harsh (we're talking trumpet and trombone).

AKG C3000 and Rode NT1 are candidates.
Anyone with experience/advice?
 
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Matoshi

Inspired
I'm not very experienced with microphones, but I can tell you that I'm very happy with all the results that I've been able to achieve with my Rode NT1A so far (vocals and acoustic guitar). It was recommended to me by a soundguy who did a lot of mic testing and found it to be very good, especially in its price range.
 

Sixstring

Axe-Master
+1 on the Rode mic's I used to have a K2 which was a really transparent mic, though AKG makes some really good mic's as well. Probably will boil down to what you like best.
 

cobbler

Fractal Fanatic
I spent a little extra and got the NT2A over the NT1A after reading numerous reviews. If you shop you can find some good package deals with shock mount (the one that comes with it was underwhelming) and pop filters. The NT2A has pickup patterns, pad, and high pass filter switches on the mic making it very versatile. I haven't used it much but it has performed well when I have.

You might also want to look into the Blue Bluebird. It gets a lot of good reviews.
 
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Rook

Power User
I would cast my vote for the Rode too, great mic for the dollars. I really don't like the C3000 much, but who knows, maybe its harsh honky character would be perfect for horns. Just don't try to put a condenser up too close to a trumpet...
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Thanks guys.

Now the choice is down to a NT2A or Bluebird.

I'll probably go for the NT2A because of its many onboard configuration options.
 
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Starfighter

Experienced
Impressed by Røde for their quality vs. price. Got an M3 and a Stereo Videomic Pro, great products both. Audio quality leaves nothing to be desired, and they're built really well. Don't know know the NT2A, but now I want one of those as well :)
 
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dabert

Member
Check out the new 2014 Rode NT1 (not NT1 a) - I have that one and I believe it is better than the NT2a just as long as you do not need the ability to change polar patterns.
 
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yek

Moderator
Moderator
Confusing naming ...

I believe the original NT1 was Chinese-made, the NT1A is Australian, and now there's a new NT1 again ...
 

Katash

Member
If that horn section is only 2 players I'd definitly use a SDC (small diaphragm condenser)! IMHO it all comes down to what else is in the rehearsal room playing at what volume.

If you want to go the Rode route there is the NT3 which is awesome (we use it live at a bigger venue in this area for everything from cymbals to guitars, horns, accordeons, you name it!
Otherwise (with no EQ options in mind) I'd suggest trying out an Oktava MK012, which is a little bit on the darker side (read full sounding, no harsh top end) which could help prevent the horns from getting too annoying in the high mids/highs.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Thanks. I was directed to large dia mics because they seem better suited to:
- loud SPL levels
- all round usage.
Correct me if I'm wrong!
 

BigD1977

Power User
Small diaphragm condensers have a better transient response as the smaller mass of the diaphragm makes it easier (and therefore quicker) to displace for high frequencies.

I love the Oktava MK012 and IMHO, they beat the Rode NT5 in both sound, versatility and cost. They are a modular mic, they have a LOT of diaphragm options (large [2 types of capsule], small, figure 8 adaptor, cardioid, hyper cardioid, omni), and can be bought in stereo matched pairs. They have a nice top end without harshness and a modular 10db pad. They have no onboard switches for polar patterns as you need to physically switch the capsules and place the 10db pad module if you need it. The nearest Rode competitor is the NT5, which can also be bought in stereo pairs, but are not modular, so you're stuck with one diaphragm. I do love Rode mics though, having had experience with the NT1, NT1000, NT5s and NT2A, and was tempted by NT5s until I tried the Oktavas. I bought them immediately.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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barhrecords

Axe-Master
I've always used Sennheiser MD421's or EV RE20's on live horns. Both are dynamics but either one will work for saxes, trombones, trumpets, tuba, french horn, etc.

Trumpet and soprano sax can get VERY strident using SDC mics. Condensers in general are tricky on trumpet and soprano. Much like the violin / fiddle, its a harsh set of overtones.

The 421's and RE20's on the other hand, are basically setup and play. Their on axis response just works as is. Be sure to set the 421 to "M" not "S" mode.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Yes, great mics. I saw these mentioned for horn sections.
But both above budget.
 

funny_polymath

Fractal Fanatic
Actually, for loud + fast, you probably would do better with a small-diaphragm condenser - or dynamic (senn 421, 441 etc.) But be that as it may, I have a rode NTK tube condenser. Liked it OK until I got a Mojave Audio MA-300, which also hs a continuously-variable polar pattern, which is very, very useful. It's not cheap - maybe $1300.00 - but it sounds closer (a LOT closer) to a vintage neuman than a rode.

I reviewed it somewhere in the lounge.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
Yes, great mics. I saw these mentioned for horn sections.
But both above budget.
I bought all my 421's used off of ebay for around 250 USD each. They are not very fragile so they are a pretty safe used piece of kit.

I use mine for toms, horns, guitar cabs and bass cabs.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
I read reviews about the current 421s being much worse than the vintage ones. True?
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
I read reviews about the current 421s being much worse than the vintage ones. True?
I have one or two of the "II" versions. They are still good value mics. For recording and cork sniffing, the vintage good ones do beat them but for live I would use the newer ones no worries.
 
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