Returning to the studio – The Desk & Shure SM57 & AKG C414 Mics

As I will be in the studio tomorrow for the first time this calendar year, I thought it would be prudent to catch up on my research so I’m prepared for recording as soon as possible.

To do this I made sure I read up on the operation manual for the Audient ASP 8024 desk. This included going over the basic signal chain and the glossary of terms to establish functions such as solo, pan, mic / line and gain. Although these terms are extremely familiar it definitely helps going over them to familiarise myself with their location on the desk relative to the channel.

I also felt that I should research studio microphones as I spent the whole of my last project using location mics. I already own a Shure SM57, which is renowned for being a powerhouse in terms of durability and flexibility for recording most instruments. I intend to bring this microphone to every single recording session as both a back- up microphone and a legitimate contender for most recording challenges I face. This is due to its low sensitivity (-56.0 dBV/Pa), wide frequency response (40 – 15,000 Hz) and it’s cardioid polar pattern that rejects most unwanted sound.

I have also hired out a matched pair of AKG C414 XL microphones as I intend to record acoustic guitar tomorrow. These large diaphragm condensers are fantastic for natural instruments as they have a good high frequency response, which in turn attenuates the boomy bass frequencies that are not as desired in acoustic guitar recording. Pair that with a wide dynamic range and it’s a good all round choice for recording an acoustic.

I have chosen to hire out two as I’m planning on recording the instrument using the XY technique. DPA microphones (2015) state that this set-up is ‘a coincidence stereo technique indicating, that two microphones are placed in the same point. The most commonly used XY set-up consists of two first-order cardioid microphones angled typically 90 degrees to produce a stereo image’.

X-Y Miking

In this sense I feel the 414’s are perfect for recording the detail of the acoustic guitar. Tomorrow I will mic up in both the live room and dead room and assess which set up I prefer. I feel like I have prepared appropriately and I’m looking forward to getting started!

 

Please see the file attached to see specifications and miking recommendations for the AKG C414 XL.

C414 XLS XLII Manual

 

Here is the link to the Studio session that proceeded this research.

 

References:

Audient (2014) Audient ASP 8024 Operation Manual. [online] Audient. Available from http://audient.com/sites/default/files/asp8024_manual_8.21.pdf [Accessed 28 January 2015].

Shure (2014) Product Specifications: SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone. [online] Shure Incorporated. Available from http://cdn.shure.com/specification_sheet/upload/81/us_pro_sm57_specsheet.pdf [Accessed 28 January 2015].

DPA Microphones (2015) Mic University: Stereo Techniques: XY Stereo. [online] DPA. Available from http://www.dpamicrophones.com/en/Microphone-University/Stereo-Techniques/XY-Stereo.aspx [Accessed 28 January 2015].

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