I'd like to hear opinions on folk's experiences with all these crazy microphones that are on the market these days.
I've got my stack of Neumanns and vintage RCA mics, and such, but I constantly hear people telling me I've wasted money on mics when I can get cheaper mics that do the job better.
Last summer, I was on the road, and I had sudden rush of ads to do for Google. I had my portable system with me (Macbook Pro & an MBox Pro), but I'd neglected to grab a microphone, not thinking I'd end up doing any VO work while I was gone for a few weeks.
So I picked up a "cheap" microphone. An AKG Perception 200. It cost about $100 give or take a few dollars. I found it to be quite amazing, especially given the price.
Now, I'm running a ProTools HD3 system, with focusrite ISA 428's for pre's, through a 192. Quad wired all around, etc...
So when I heard this mic A/B'd next to Neumann TLM 103's, I was kinda shocked. I've A/B'd them next to my M-149. Totally different story. Not the same sound at all, but that should be obvious, it's not a tube mic, right? Now, it's the mic that is always up in my studio, in case I have to record a quick vocal or VO for a client. The TLM's seem to spend most of their time in their boxes.
So lately, people have been telling me that Peluso's P-12 sounds exactly like an AKG C-12. I doubt it, but for around $1000, compared to the price of a C-12, I'm wondering if anyone has A/B'd these mics. Or any other cheaper ones. I know Bill Bradley has given warnings, and I trust him, but I don't believe he's actually checked this particular mic. Every studio in Miami seems to have them in their closet now. Even the big guys. Stil, I'm skeptical that I could have C-12 quality (always been a dream to own a pair, or a C-24) at one tenth the price.
Another find for me was Cascade. It's a group that makes cheap chinese ribbon mics (if you can tolerate the lead in them). Once again, I have some vintage RCA's. I love them. You all know what one must pay dearly to get these mics. I don't have the best RCA's, but what I have is nice. I picked up a Cascade X-15 for less than $500, I believe. It's a stereo mic, much like a Royer. I A/B'd it to a royer (I don't own one). To me, I wasn't hearing a diffference. I'm sure maybe some better ears can. I couldn't. I use it on overheads quite often. Very soft and natural sounding microphone with a nice image. It's also cool to flip it 90 degrees on some projects to get a whacko out of phase sound, which I love. I know, I know... But we've all done it on occasion. Sometimes without realizing it.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!
****UPDATE ON MY POSTING SINCE THIS WAS POSTED NEARLY A YEAR GO****
I now have regular access to C-12's I also added 414's and 451's to my studio. I have two Cascade Fathead II's with lundhal transformers, and they are amazing. Also the X-15, which I love. I've found that in the long run, that most the cheaper mics aren't the quality of the expensive ones, but some of them can really give the expensive ones a run for their money. I'll still take my Fathead's and my X-15 over royers and EAE mics ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!
I've also diversified a lot on my front-end gear. More mic pre's like martechs, LA-610's, and API 510's, also a bunch of compressors and limiters to help out with things too. So I've found that many times the best mic isn't the issue, but the best pre for the mic and source as well. Duh.