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Author Topic: Brauner - Millenia - John Hardy  (Read 2072 times)

Teddy G.

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Brauner - Millenia - John Hardy
« on: December 31, 2005, 09:01:21 AM »

Millenia -

John Hardy -

Brauner -

I am just so darned fortunate as to be able to go to a real studio to do voiceover once in awhile. After alot of years, 'tis still very cool... That someone would call ME to do THEIR commercial, video narration, whatever, is just..? Just. Never got over the feeling...

Over the years(At several studios) I've been able to use quite a few microphones on quite a few preamps, but lately I've been smitten with one "combo", The Millenia Preamp with Brauner Valvet mic.

Which Millenia - tube or solid state? I don't know. The question has been asked(Via email) but not answered - holidays, I guess? I should be able to answer it myself before coming weeks end, as I'm scheduled at same studio(Shouldn't say that! Hate to "jinx" it!)...

Anyhow. My voice is, or has been said to be "non-standard", by experts. That does not neccessarily mean "good", just not "usual". Described by one casting director as, basically, "all the tools without all the talent"(He said it nicer, but.....?). Meaning, I guess, that I can get the job done, the inflection right, say the words right, but I do not really have THE VOICE ordinarilly expected to do ANNOUNCER or NARRATOR work. Oh well, I really like to do it, so I get what I can and I can certainly be "different", when that's called for(Ha!) -- haven't made anywhere near a living at it, though I continue to try.

All this leads to "how to make the best of a non-standard voice"?  LEAVE IT ALONE, of course. No prob! But, I'd get more work if I could, at least OFFER at least ALL of what I DO HAVE!For that, I NEED better equipment. What I have now was purchased with full knowledge that it was almost ALL compromise, until I could figure out(And pay for) what I REALLY need(I've always managed to do enough work to pay for what I purchase - which is good, in itself!). Frankly, most of the industry standard mics have done little to nothing for me. I hesitate to go too far with the "pre thing" alone, as, for instance, THIS studio has always used very good stuff, including pres, so I have no idea how much any particular pre "adds" or "subtracts' from "me"? Still, for the first time in a long time(15 years at this studio - 25+ overall), I have been greatly impressed by one mic/pre combo in an otherwise ho-hum VO existence.

Yes, years ago, when offered an AKG C414(1980 or prior version?), over an RE20, I was just WOW'ED! Not since.(LOVE the RE20, but it certainly is DIFFERENT than a condenser!) Similar WOW with this "new" combo. Fine. Save up, buy it for myself and my own little VO "service" studio. OR NOT??? How far do I go?


Brauner Phantom C. I wanted it to work! I liked the concept, the price, the shock mount, everything. Using it... No magic. Better than several others I'd used at same studio, but no "magic" noted. Which "pre"? I don't know, been awhile...

Neuman. No magic. Just ain't right for me. "U" everything, up to the latest/greatest(Or pretty greatest), no magic. I don't even sound "good" on most Neuman's. I think it's my horse-ness? I don't know...

AKG C414. Always does it for me(The "normal" model recently B-ULS). Must just hit my vocal chords right. I'm not a mic expert but AKG and Neuman must do something basic differently, or differently enough. I'd like to try a C12 VR(To say nothing of an actual C12!). Many say the VR "ain't right". Maybe for me? I "ain't right" either... I'd like to try one.

RCA BK5(Old ribbon) - This was a "magic mic", but magic may have depended on circumstances? 1. A mentor of mine(And lots of other folk) used one. HIS VOICE was the VOICE OF GOD!(At least to his young subjects), so whatever he used(He also had a little EQ mounted in his "desk". I believe a Fairchild? Is this possible? Was there such a thing?), we all wanted one of those, too. Still, when I "found" an old BK5, in a station I was working at, had it rebuilt by RCA and installed, it was very neat-o to use. Great? I don't know... Yes, I think alot of this "magic" is in our heads - not our equipment - but when we find it, it matters not. Whatever helps us do "better" is a good thing, ey?

"Others" - You name it, I've been on it. Most I either didn't notice how they sounded or DID notice how they sounded and just "worked them" as best I could as that's all there was.

Then... A couple of months ago... same studio I've been in(At times) for years, same(Well-used) phones - AKG's of some sort - same speakers(NS10's) I was on the Brauner Valvet...... MAGIC! I was there. I was THERE!!! ALL THERE!!! I didn't sound "hyped", but I DID hear MORE of me than I ever had! What bass I DO have(At least in my head, where I always sound rather James Earl Jones'ish...) I HEARD! Mid's not over-done but "present", articulate, high's(For maybe the very first time?) s-m-o-o-t-h, clean, pretty!  

Is it the mic? What pre are we on? I digress here. Awhile BEFORE the Valvet, I was "on" a new Neuman(Said to be "pricey", but I forget which "new" Neuman?). For the first time I, at least, didn't sound "bad" on THIS Neuman? Not great, but not bad -- a first for me on a Neuman! Was IT the mic??? I looked for the pre. It was a Millenia. Which Millenia? I had never even heard the name and didn't know to look. Filed this "combo" in my small brain.
Then, more recently the Valvet. Magic! Same pre(They have at least one in all their studios now.). If I had to say I'd say the --- no. Let's wait and see for sure...

Anyhow. Let me allow the mic to be the mic, for now. The Brauner Valvet. My question today is on the pre. The pre I WOULD have bought, sound unheard, is one of the John Hardy's. I like the concept and the price. Though WHICH JH? I don't know. Jenson Xfmr? No? I believe I'd ask for a "switch" so I could either use the fancy Xfmr or not.

The question: Have YOU used BOTH the JH and the Millenia SS(Or tube)? What do you think?

Second question: Have YOU used either "plain" Millenia AND the Millenia "channel strip"? For ME, I like the concept of the channel strip. In my little place there is ONLY ME! Doing, for the most part, pretty much the same thing, or the same few things. I could develop a few "strip" settings and "go to town" for the most part. But I want a very good strip indeed! Is the Millenia THE STRIP? I LOVE the idea of switching between SS and tube, for instance. I also love that it costs little more than a bare pre- OR DO I??? I want THE Millenia pre. NOT a "sort've" Millenia pre, built to a "price", to "fit" the strip, not a "strip standard", to hold down the price. Any experience with BOTH straight M pre and the strip M pre? Comments on the other functions of the M strip would be great!

3rd. question: OK. The Valvet. What about the "upper" Brauners? How much "better" than the Valvet? Any direct comparison with the Brauner Phantom C? Again, I DON'T KNOW if I heard the C through the Millenia? Maybe I didn't hear ALL of the C, either? Any experience.

Keep in mind that I only need ONE of everything(If I get things pretty much right...), not a cabinet full of mics, etc.

Valvet(Other Brauners)
Millenia pre(SS and/or tube)
John Hardy pre(Xfmr or not)
Millenia strip

Any comments very welcome...


Teddy G.
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