2 Moderately Priced Mics That Do Nicely With PRS Acoustics
Kinda dead around this part of the Forum lately, so thought I'd start a new topic...
Being in the recording biz, mics are a big part of what floats my boat, and I'm always trying new ones, and rotating stuff in and out of my studio. I've also always been a fan of Neumann and AKG mics, so I wanted to try out a couple of their recent very moderately priced models with my Tonare Grand.
And mics are always horses for courses. I've recorded the Tonare with several other mics, a couple of which have worked well, but some simply were unable to really capture what the guitar is all about, which to my thinking is its very rich and complex upper midrange. These two mics did a nice job, better in my opinion than several highly regarded and far more expensive mics.
These would be the AKG 214 and the Neumann TLM102.
Honestly, I didn't expect all that much. I'm a fan of the AKG414 on acoustic guitar, it's more or less a classic for that purpose if you want to record with a large diaphragm mic, and the higher end Neumanns have been mics I've worked with a long time. I figured this new inexpensive stuff, even though made in Austria and Germany, would sound, well, less than stellar. Not so!
The 214 is a very airy, open sounding mic, with a beautiful sparkle on top. It doesn't capture the woodiness of the midrange quite as much as a 414, but at least compared to the older 414 I use and am familiar with, it's more open sounding, and would be a really good choice for solo work or capturing a nice strumming thing in a mix.
The TLM102 is less bright on top (some call it dark, and wrongly so in my opinion, it's very accurate), but gets the richness of the guitar's midrange very beautifully. I like the unhyped high end. You have to be a little careful with placement, because the proximity effect of the mic can be overwhelmed if it's too close to the sound hole. To me, it's a perfect 12th fret mic, and that's the usual placement for this kind of thing, anyway. I tested it at 3 distances: close in, about 4 inches away; a foot away; and across the room. It sounded natural and unforced, with a nice image, in every position. It's also the tiniest LDC I've ever seen or used. You could fit this thing in some very tight spots while recording, which is kinda nice.
I think they're worth checking out if you record, perhaps even if you play out live.