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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #16
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Well Ron, I think you just opened up a new world to me with taping the mics (with electrical pvc tape). Thank you!

The AKGs really are too much (monetarily) for me right now as video/photo equipment is more of a priority.

Yes, you are absolutely right, Richard. I always try arrive early to make sure everything is technically sound before the performance. There will be a full rehearsal the day before and a touch-up right before the concert, so that will give me plenty of time to experiment. I like to have the input of the pros on placement, just for insurance.

What would you guys recommend on reading material? I was recently recommended "Mastering Audio" by Bob Katz. But what about recording books? (yeah, I've read Home Recording for Dummies already)
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Old August 13th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #17
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Getting back to my comment regarding the AT4021 versus the Rode NT5. To be most accurate I should say I prefer my AT3031 mics to my Rode NT5 pair, and I prefer my AT4021 to my AT3031 mics.
Technically I haven't compared my 4021 directly to my NT5's, but the AT mics do have lower self-noise and higher sensitivity.
Generally speaking all these mics have a pretty similar character that would be sufficient for successful recording no matter which you picked, but the higher signal to noise ratio of the AT mics, along with a little better bass response, and the switches for roll-off and attenuation make them the mics I usually pick when I'm packing to record.
Plus the AT4021 fit your mentioned price point and I've been very pleased with mine.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #18
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After looking at the AT4021 mics, they do seem to be better than the NT5's. But one guy (see link) says that using the AT4021's as a stereo pair brings about unusual off-axis imaging characteristics. http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT4021-Cardioid-Condenser-Mic/product-reviews/B001XWBX1Y/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
I'm almost sold on the AT4021's, but the off-axis imaging is the only thing I'm concerned with.

What do you think, Jay?
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Old August 13th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #19
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At taperssection.com it seems that the AT4051b mics get some love. They are cool because with the modular caps you can buy the hyper caps too and use them for production audio in film. I have the AT4053b hyper, and I was thinking about getting one AT4051b, and a second 51b cap to use for live music recording. They are great mics, but are underrated, or just not known about.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #20
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Interesting comments. Since I only own one of the AT4021, I can neither agree nor dispute that review for stereo techniques.
Generally speaking it is true that as the frequency gets lower a directional mic does behave in a more "omni" fashion. The same is true that as the frequency goes up, omni mics become more directional. Apparantly he feels this mic doesn't have this characteristic? I can only say that I know of nothing unusual in the mic's construction or marketing that would point to it being out of the ordinary.
I haven't noticed anything unusual in the off-axis response of the AT4021, but I've mostly used it in spaces and with subjects where there is very little off-axis response to begin with.
The polar plot doesn't look unusual.
This mic has only been available a couple of years, so it doesn't have the wide user base and reviews that many other small-diaphragm condensers have. I can only say I like the sound of mine.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 05:18 PM   #21
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AT4021 wins!

It seems that if there are any disadvantages to a pair of AT4021's, they still outweigh the NT5's advantages. And since I would most likely end up using them as individual mics for the majority of the time (instead of stereo), they will be a good bit better than the NT5's.

Thanks guys for the spectacular advice on these microphones! I really appreciate it! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Anyone else want to comment on the AT4021?
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Old August 14th, 2010, 07:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert R. Schultz View Post
So Ron, you're saying that if I bought a pair of Rode NT5 mics and put some gaffers tape over the sound vents on the sides, it would turn the mics from cardioids into omnis?

If that's correct, then I should place the mics 6 feet behind the conductor instead of 10 feet? This would not only increase the quality of the sound as it would be closer (therefore capturing more detail) and it would increase the bass response?
But I would *not* do this!

Yes, in theory, blocking the rear entry ports of a directional mic. will turn it into an omni.

However - the diaphragm of a directional mic. is normally at a different tension from an omni and everything will be optimised for a pressure-gradient mic. rather than a pure pressure mic. (which the omni is).
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Old August 14th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert R. Schultz View Post
So Ron, you're saying that if I bought a pair of Rode NT5 mics and put some gaffers tape over the sound vents on the sides, it would turn the mics from cardioids into omnis?
Robert .. it's not advisable to promote and encourage anyone to modify and operate any Rode mics in any fashion, other than the way they were intended by Rode.

You'll be operating the mics outside their designed specifications, in direct contradiction to the user manual .. and voiding the warranty.
Cheers.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #24
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Well, it does make sense to use the mic as intended, I guess tape won't be happening. So, would you recommend a mic that would provide a better sound for an orchestra like an omni, but can still be used as a cardioid? (within the budget, of course)
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Old August 14th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #25
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The AT4051b is a Card, but you can get omni & hyper caps for it. Sweet sweet mic! Best mic for the money.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 03:26 PM   #26
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I'd really love to buy it, Chad. But I can't buy it as a pair, as it's way too expensive for me.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #27
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The AT4021 is still a great cardioid at half the price. Just no changeable caps. I have not studied it, but I suspect that the 4021 capsule is the same as the 4051, only not exchangeable.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Robert R. Schultz View Post
Well, it does make sense to use the mic as intended, I guess tape won't be happening. So, would you recommend a mic that would provide a better sound for an orchestra like an omni, but can still be used as a cardioid? (within the budget, of course)
A pair of Rode NT 5 + a pair of omni capsules from the NT 55 bought seperately.

An alternative is the Sontronics STC-1S stereoset + a pair of the optional Omni Capsules.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 10:04 AM   #29
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Hmm. So it is possible to swap out capsules on the NT5?
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Old August 15th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #30
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NT45-O according to the Rode website
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