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U87 vs. C800g for rock vocals
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m1a1x1e1r1
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#1
10th August 2007
Old 10th August 2007
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U87 vs. C800g for rock vocals

I'm currently working on a rock album, and I'm contemplating using either a Sony C800g or a new Neumann U87. The only articles and producer reviews I've read concerning both microphones refer to using the microphones for mostly R&B, rap, and pop vocals. I also have a Neumann TLM 103 available and a few different AKG c414s. My preamps are what they are. I only have an Avalon AD2022, UA 2-610, and Dan Alexander Neve available to me. I also have an Empirical Labs Distressor and an Avalon 747 for compression and eq.

What combination of all this available equipment would be fairly "standard" for a great rock vocal. And... are there any advantages of using the c800g vs. the u87 for rock vocals?

Thanks,

m1a1x1e1r1
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10th August 2007
Old 10th August 2007
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I think experimantation is your friend. I'd try a bunch of combinations and see what sounds best with the particular voice in question.
m1a1x1e1r1
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10th August 2007
Old 10th August 2007
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Thanks for the reply drbill. I have little time to experiment, so I'm thinking that tracking as clean and pristine as possible may be the answer. Then, in post, I can send the track or tracks through the distressor or 747 to taste. I had a chance to try out the c800g on a track earlier today, and I sent it through the Avalon AD2022 and used the 747 for some de-essing. The results were squeaky clean; however, (and correct me if I'm sinning here) my thinking is, I can give a track some "dirt" or "grit" later, but I can't take away "grit" if I decide I don't like it in my mix. Besides, I've heard from friends of mine that tube condensers are the way to go on almost any vocal. I know the U87 seems labelled a studio "standard." However, I've also learned that this label may have been issued during the days before digital.

I guess my question really comes down to... U87 or C800g. And remember - male rock vocal.

m1a1x1e1r1
m1a1x1e1r1
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10th August 2007
Old 10th August 2007
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Thanks for the advice. ACDC and John Lennon - 2 very convincing reasons to use the U87.
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10th August 2007
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I'd go with the U87 for the grit, the Sony will be too smooth.
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10th August 2007
Old 10th August 2007
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18th September 2007
Old 18th September 2007
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Haven't used the Sony, but I think the U87 would most likely be your best bet. They have this almost lightly compressed sound that gives the vocals an aggressive edge. Not my favorite for breathy stuff but I imagine it wold work real well for rock vox.
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18th September 2007
Old 18th September 2007
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I feel that experimentation is always the best way to find what one considers most sonically appealing; however, since this is not an option for you - I would go for the U87 and Distressor combination!
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18th September 2007
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I would recommend a SankenCU44X. The best of both worlds and more.
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18th September 2007
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U87/API/CL-1B

....youll be rockin the Casbah
#11
18th September 2007
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I use the 87 for rock vocals all the time, just pick up an sm7b for screaming parts and you'll be set. Btw, the sm7b/610/distressor is a nice combo for rock voice.

Don't forget to try the good old 58s, 421s, 57s all of those absolutely rule for male rock vocals and sometimes can sound way better ( depending on the song/singer) than my expensive mics.
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19th September 2007
Old 19th September 2007
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cant speak for the u87 but the c800g is a seductive mistress.....i found that on rock vox...it sounds good when you put it up but in the mix i find myself making the vocals lower than they should be due to excessive high consonants.....plus if you run out of time and end up using it for the really heavy stuff you loose all the weight.....compared to an sm7.....but ymmv
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19th September 2007
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c800g is a really bright mic, with some nice teeth to the high end... which can border on spitty... works great for hip-hop/rnb, as that frame of reference creates more room for the low-end...

U87 has more of the articulated Neumann midrange, which will probably be more your style on vocals that have to compete with growling guitars...

On the other hand, I'm a firm believer that a mic has to be chosen on the basis of the vocalist. There are very few absolutes (though there are some "safe bets" --like a nice U67). If you can spare the time, you should shoot a few out on the singer. You might find that a beat-up 57 sounds awesome.

Seriously, the people recommending the sm7 know what they're talking about. For rock, you may be suprised how well it can work, especially with a killer pre-amp.
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