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Author Topic: Your first badass mic  (Read 4472 times)

brandondrury

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Your first badass mic
« on: January 01, 2005, 02:11:47 pm »

I've finally got some cash saved up.  I'm ready to get a killer totally pro vocal mic.  I'm thinking something in the Neumann, Soundelux, Lawson, Gefell, Telefunken world.  

However, I do not have the ability to try these mics out, to my knowledge.  This would obviously be preferred.  

With that in mind, if you had to pick your first bad ass mic and it would be a while before you afford a different sounding bad ass vocal mic, what would you go with?

I'm going for the most killer vocal mic possible on the most possible voices.  I understand that there is no such thing as "best mic".  However, I know I've read that there are certain mics that sound great on more sources than most.  I guess you could call this versatility.  

Price is not a huge concern as I have some money, but I don't want to pay $4k for a mic when I can get the same basic thing for $2k.

The various clones of the 251 look interesting as do the some of the U47 clones.  Any help would be appreciated.  

I'm leaning towards tube mics because at the moment all I have are solid state jobs.  (AKG 414, AT 4050, AT 4033).

Thanks
Brandon Drury

Nathan Eldred

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2005, 02:18:54 pm »

This subjective comparison might help (it's between a Lawson, 3 tube Soundelux, and a Microtech Gefell tube).


http://forums.mackie.com/scripts/forum/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=ge t_topic&f=1&t=006993
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Jan Folkson

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2005, 06:34:09 pm »

I'd really suggest the try before you buy method if it's at all possible, there are lots of great mics out there these days.  The one that I'm most interested in checking out (that I don't already own) is the Soundelux 250.

HTH.
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t(h)ik

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2005, 10:43:59 pm »

Dunt dunt dah....don't leave out the MicroTech M930.

Bass Guitar, Male Vox, guitar, I've tried out my pair around the drum kit but....hmmm....

But for vox.....I've got this spoken word gig, which is not why I have a studio, but the Mic is incredible.  Fukken sounds really full on Male Vox...Right now I am micing two floor toms with them and have EV 868's on the bottoms...don't know yet...My last band took to calling them the little monsters....

I have a U 87 ai that I bought because everyone has to have one...well maybe not a new one and I almost threw it off Balcony until I tried it on drums.  

I have the MicroTech Phantom and ....hmmm...I use it as a drum mic...lol...and I have the U92s....and um well it's a drum mic...fukk me...The best vocal mic I have so far is the M930's..

I do blues, rock and metal and this internet voice crap and bought all these mics to see what the fukk...I am really not that impressed with any of them for vox except the little monsters...

My drumset gets the U92s on the snare through the Vipre, the Phantom over the drummers left shoulder, the U87 to the right of the floor tom(s) and the Royer 121 out front up high (hope to get the stereo Royer someday)...And well it KICKS ASS...421's on the toms, SM 57s down low with 868's...SM9's and speakers on the kicks...

If I didn't have the M930's for voice....shit...I close my studio...

lemme nough..

TIKK
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Fletcher

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2005, 11:46:20 pm »

brandondrury wrote on Sat, 01 January 2005 14:11

I'm thinking something in the Neumann, Soundelux, Lawson, Gefell, Telefunken world.


Great!!

Everyone of the mics you've listed is sold by vendors that will take them back if you're not 110% pleased.  Get them into you place, put them in a line, use them on several songs, in different applications and make educated decisions.  

I couldn't make a recommendation on what coffee maker will be best for you never mind which brand of microphone.
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mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
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If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
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brandondrury

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2005, 03:02:06 am »

I had never considered the fact that when you spend a considerable % of your house's value on one fukking ( I really enjoyed that in the post above) sound capture device, the people selling it to me should be kissing my ass.  Fletcher, I'll bend over and wait.


I checked out the Mackie forum.  Great review.  I wish he would have compared it to something shitty like a AT 4033 or 4050.  Hell, a 414 would have helped give me some perspective.  I really wonder if I would consider a Lawson mic to be dull.  I guess it's time to start getting my assed kissed some more.

For the money, it doesn't seam like I could lose with M930.  Even if I don't love it for vocals, it appears everyone loves it as a drum room mic.

Brandon


t(h)ik

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2005, 10:22:00 am »

I'm not so sure about the drum room mic....

Like not at all...

But I am a newb....and a dumbass....so maybe.....it's like my first time when I spent fifteen minutes on a hole in the mattress before my sister said something.....

We were both embarrassed....

If you don't like it for vocals I'll eat my head band...

TIKK
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Tone Laborer

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2005, 10:52:37 am »

sixtiksix wrote on Mon, 03 January 2005 10:22

I'm it's like my first time when I spent fifteen minutes on a hole in the mattress before my sister said something.....


I SEE NOTHING, I HEAR NOTHING......
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Ken

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2005, 09:12:16 pm »

I have a Lawson L251 that doesn't suck.  Try that out.  Gene Lawson will let you try it out for a few days.  I don't know how it compares to other 251-type mics, but I get really awesome sounds out of mine.
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natpub

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2005, 01:45:08 am »

Fletcher wrote on Sat, 01 January 2005 22:46

Everyone of the mics you've listed is sold by vendors that will take them back if you're not 110% pleased.  Get them into you place, put them in a line, use them on several songs, in different applications and make educated decisions.


Seems to me you have to actually pay for or have credit card space to charge all those mics then, yes? So, you'd need to have like $20,000+ to "line em all up?" Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he said he had like $2-4k, and I don't think anyone will just sent out all those mics for free. Maybe one at a time, but I dunno about "line em all up."
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Kurt Thompson
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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2005, 04:14:03 am »

Sony C800's . followed by B&K 3529 trees for live recording.


PS, Lunn Fuston had close to a big bundle in $$$ for testing..but that is Lynn for you!
He has the goods to be with it.
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Kevinc

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2005, 12:30:03 pm »

SM57 !



For many reasons Tube Condenser mics seem to be the most expensive ones out there.

That doesn`t necessarily mean they`re the BEST ones out there.

I bought a Sennheiser 441 off ebay for $250 recently and I like it just as much on a lot of vox as my Soundelux U99 which sells for about $2500. It was a real eye opening experiance and I`m keeping my mic purchases to $1000 and under for a while. Dynamics are a lot cheaper to make but there are "high end" sounding Dynamics.

There seems to be this delusion that you need a $5000 condenser to track a world class vocal these days. It is complete bullshit in my opinion and $5000 would be put to way better use if you spread it out over 10 mics any one of which could be the right one on a certain vocalist.

For all you know the $5000 mic might sound like shit on half the vocalists you use it on. I`ve heard 251`s can be like that and though they`ll sound amazing and perfect on some people they can be an instant mismatch for others.

Another thing is most of the condensers I`ve owned that were under $1500 I ended up selling because I didn`t like them compared to $250 dynamics.(414 and Bluberry for starters) I love the U99 but again that`s $2500.

Gimmee a 57 and Stevie Wonder on a good day and I`ll track a "pro" sounding vocal that fits right along with the quality of his other vocal performances.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant but while I can relate to drooling over expensive condensers (I want a UM900 myself !) remember they aren`t necessarily BETTER for everything but just DIFFERENT sounding and more expensive to make.
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compasspnt

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2005, 12:37:10 pm »

Believe me, for most vocalists, there is a big difference between an expensive, high quality LDC, and any dynamic.  Dynamics can indeed be good in certain vocal instances (Steve Nicks + 441 for example), but you will never get the silkiness, depth, and detail that you will in an LDC.  And of course you are right to say that any one condenser may not be the perfect match for any one voice.

But if you can't hear that difference, or don't want it, don't spend the big bucks...
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Vertigo

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2005, 02:23:44 pm »

Personally, I'd shoot for a quality ribbon before a high end vocal mic. I find that I can get great sounds out of mic's in the $200 and under range on pretty much any instrument with the exception of guitars. I can get a GOOD sound out of a 57 or other dynamics and condensors (although I actually despise LDC's on distorted guitars), sure, but I just don't see getting a GREAT guitar sound with depth and character without a ribbon. A ribbon can also perform extra duties as a room mic or a vocal mic on the right voice. I'd say save the high end LDC vocal mic for your next round of upgrades. That's just my opinion of course, your needs may vary Smile

-Lance
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Irwin Shur

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2005, 03:53:07 pm »

Brandon said:

"I wish he would have compared it to something shitty like a AT 4033 or 4050. Hell, a 414 would have helped give me some perspective. I really wonder if I would consider a Lawson mic to be dull."

Wish I could have done this, but the only inexpensive LDC I have is a Rode NT-2, and I didn't have enough mic stands to put up any more mics in my little studio.  FWIW, I don't think the Lawson is dull by any means.  PS--I always heard the 4050 was a very respectable mic.

natpub said:

"Seems to me you have to actually pay for or have credit card space to charge all those mics then, yes? So, you'd need to have like $20,000+ to "line em all up?" Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he said he had like $2-4k, and I don't think anyone will just sent out all those mics for free. Maybe one at a time, but I dunno about "line em all up." "

I think if you have a good relationship with a reputable high end dealer like Fletcher or Nathan, a reasonable compromise can be worked out.  Both of them have sent (in the case of Mercenary) or brought over (in the case of Nathan, who is local for me) stuff for me to try without billing me for the whole kit and kaboodle at once.

BTW, I mostly lurk here, and don't post reviews here because I don't (unfortunately) do music for my living.  So please take my little review in that context.  Everyone needs to make their own mind up.  What works for my voice (such as it is) may not work at all for others.  If money were no object I would have bought 3 of those mics, and if I were a commercial facility looking to record a wide variety of voices (and could only afford one of the mics I tested), I would have bought a different mic than the one I did.

Irwin

djui5

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2005, 06:22:53 pm »

Brandon,
I'd highly recommend either an AT4060 or a Sony C800G. The Sony sounds better, but the 4060 isn't bad either. It is easier to get more presence with the Sony though, and it sit's better in the mix.

If you do a lot of rock stuff...you should buy a SM7 and call it a day. Spend the rest of your money on acoustical treatments.

Just my thoughts.
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New Orleans Steve

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2005, 12:30:00 pm »

  When I first saw the title of this thread "Your 1st Baddass Mic" I thought I would write about the SEVERAL time I thought I had my "FIRST BA Mic". And how that prception has changed as my mic locker has evolved.
 Then I read the 1st post. There you hone it down. I could make a case against the "A" list LDC. For me, I am a general practicioner, I was looking at new mics for broad range vocals, to suit a wide range of styles. What would compliment my existing 50 or so cabnet.
 I selected (then thought otherwise) The LAWSON 47.

,  Also at a fraction of that price the Shure KMS 32 ( not quite the magic ) and the AT 4047 ( not quite the Sqarkle ).
 I have not tried them all But with the Lawson I don't think you can go wrong.

Steve

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kato

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2005, 04:32:58 pm »

Once you spend $2000 on a Neumann or Lawson, you'll realize how good your unassuming little 4050 really is Smile
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Jason Phair

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2005, 05:38:32 pm »

Get the Gookraphone!
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Get that fucking thing off my vocal will ya?

Thanks.

brandondrury

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Re: Your first badass mic
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2005, 09:16:39 pm »

Well Hell!

Maybe I should just say screw it and buy a '69 Marshall Plexi.  At least it will keep appreciating.  The more I learn and the more projects I do I realize just how little difference the fancy gear really makes.  It's all about the song and the musicians.  

It's been said 100 times on here that the song structure makes the song sound big.  I've been experimenting with this "producing" thing quite a bit.  It's amazing how just making a band play in time can make the sound 8 times bigger.  

However, I need to be ready to do the bigger better bands when duty calls as I'm getting sick of shitty broke bands.  

When I hear major label cds I sometimes here mega dry vocals that sound right.  My mega dry vocals sound like horrible shit.  They are dull.  I always find myself rolling off lots of low end and low mids.  I usually keep the mic about 12" or so from the singer.  I'm not sure if the problem I'm having is something that gear or technique will fix.

I picked up a R121 and I'm still adapting to it.  When I first plugged it in, I didn't blow my load.  However, I've been happy with the tracks I've gotten with it.  Really, I'm too scared to enjoy it.  I'm afraid I'm gonna break the damn thing.

Brandon
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