Ok, as my hobby/career/whatever in audio has progressed, I've become much more of a mixing/mastering engineer than a tracking engineer. Not by choice necessarily, just how it's worked out. I've mixed lots of albums, but other than my own band and my own projects, I've only tracked a few other groups. As a result, I have much more money invested in software/plug-ins than microphones. The only microphones I currently own are an SM57 and a pack of 7 Red5 drum mics (which actually sound absolutely incredible for the price. I'm astounded at my tom drum sounds, and cymbals sound perfectly fine), which is a kick mic, 2 SDCs and 4 tom/snare clip-on dynamics. My main band is death metal, so obviously I record metal, but we don't record particularly often. I've recorded other metal bands, some rock, some singer/songwriter, etc. However, much more frequently, when I am tracking something, it's myself singing (not growling) and an acoustic guitar. I've been doing this as separate takes with my SM57 for guitar then vocals, or with an SM57 on vocals and SDC on guitar simultaneously. It sounds perfectly adequate, but I am desperate to expand my microphone cabinet. I'm tired of recording with only an SM57, and I'm very curious how my results will change. In addition, having more mics is always convenient, and I want to have some options available because a few groups have asked me to record them in the next few months. So here's where I'm seeking advice. I need help expanding my microphone cabinet. I have plenty of ideas, and a huge wishlist, but I'm always open to opinions, and to hear others' thoughts. The following is my dream wishlist - A pair of small diaphragm condensers (SDCs). Hopefully multi-pattern, but if not, I'll want a couple omnis plus a couple cardioids, etc. (Neumann KM84s are the ultimate, but too expensive, and cardioid-only) - A pair of large diaphragm condensers (LDCs). Again, hopefully multi-pattern. (AKG C414s interest me, but are expensive. Advanced Audio CM414s are an option, but I can't find any reviews, and approach the cost of vintage 414EB when you opt for Tim Campbell CT12 capsules) - A pair of ribbons. At least one ribbon for guitar amps, but I like pairs in case I want to do something in stereo - Some dynamics other than SM57 for guitar cabs, toms, bass cabs, etc. MD421, Audio Technica ATH250, RE20, SM7B, Audix i5, D6 Mics "mostly" for vocals: - Sony C37A/C800 or equivalent - U47-type (Maybe a Flea 47 or an Advanced Audio CM47 with Thiersch capsule, or a DIY MK47) - U67-type/flavor - U87-type/flavor (possibly a Joly modded Rode NT1A, but it lacks multi-pattern and it's not a true U87 clone since it uses a K47-type capsule as opposed to K67) - M49 flavor - Sony C800G-type (too expensive. Possibly a JJ Audio Akita is close enough. Manley Reference Cardioid is relatively similar, as well) - C12-type (have to find a clone like JJ Audio Dutch with Tim Campbell capsule) - ELA M251-Type (Possibly a Blackspade UM25C) - Miktek CV4 - Some sort of ribbon for vocals, like a Coles or AEA I would need about $25,000 to fulfill that wishlist. So let's be more reasonable and say I have $4,000 to $5,000 to spend on a mic cabinet, focusing on acoustic guitar and vocals, but also creating a more well-rounded mic locker than what I have currently. Here is what I'm thinking... - Manley Reference Cardioid: $2,700 (Pros: would drastically improve both clean vocals and acoustic guitar sound. Cons: Expensive for one mic) - Oktavamod MK-012 MSP4 (cardioid and omni caps): can find 'em for $750 (Pros: record acoustic guitar in stereo. Probably improve overhead drum miking. Multi-pattern. Cons: Not as airy/neutral as KM84s, but way cheaper) - Shure SM7B: $350? (Pros: Improved growled vocals recordings, as well as good vocal mic when the Manley wont work on a particular singer) Granted, this is only 4 new mics, but I think it's a huge improvement for someone who records mostly himself on a guitar. My interface/preamps/converters are the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56, so while I'd love to "upgrade" preamps and converters, I think my current equipment is perfectly adequate. What are your thoughts?