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Manley Reference Cardioid as main vocal mic, with Pacifica pre?
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coyotekells
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#1
7th July 2009
Old 7th July 2009
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Manley Reference Cardioid as main vocal mic, with Pacifica pre?

I am going to purchase a quality vocal mic for my project studio. After a lot of research but not much testing, I think I will try my luck with the Manley Ref Cardiod. I can’t afford much more than that, so no RM2J for high end Brauner, etc. for me just yet. Also, I can’t wait much longer, so something like a Lucas CS-1 isn’t a good option for me atm.

I record a wide variety of voices, but the most “important” ones are my own, two or three females (R&B, urban pop) and a few rappers (“radio friendly”, not boom bap underground stuff)

The only high end mics I’ve used is the U87ai (always worked good, I like this mic a lot, but rarely makes me feel like it’s “the one” for anybody). Also the Soundelux e47c. This is an amazing mic, I just love some of the recordings I made with it. However, despite liking it more than the 87ai, I don’t think I’d want it as my only high end vocal mic. I’ve also used some lower end Neumanns with varying results (TLM49, TLM103).

My only pre is the A-Designs Pacifica, and I won’t be adding other flavors for awhile (at which time I’ll go 500-series crazy haha).

What is YOUR opinion/experience with something like this (ie, Ref Card + Pacifica).

I’m confident this combo will make me happy. However, the question is always.. what am I missing out on still? Grass always greener over there...

Thanks for the input, and I’m certainly interested in whatever you might have to say (and I know the obligatory “you have to hear it and decide for yourself” is coming. Thanks for that.)
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7th July 2009
Old 7th July 2009
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My Pacificas sound great with every mic I have used them on (even made some cheapo mics sound pretty damn good) so if you dig the sound of the Manley, I feel pretty confident it will be good match.
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8th July 2009
Old 8th July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotekells View Post
Grass always greener over there...
The last thing I would worry about would be the Pacifica as a preamp.

Stellar pre on voice and acoustic sources.

War
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coyotekells
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8th July 2009
Old 8th July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
The last thing I would worry about would be the Pacifica as a preamp.

Stellar pre on voice and acoustic sources.

War
Cool. I've really loved it with my mics and sources thus far.

So if I have an issue with the type of sound I get from this combo, it'd really be on the Manley.. not from choosing a poor combo.

Good to hear.
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8th July 2009
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I recorded with the Manley on several projects and with several pres (Tube-Tech, 512c etc.) and I think it's a great all-round vocal mic. However there are plenty of other options in that pricerange. If you have a great tracking comp and/or EQ, I'd say go for it, especially if you already like the sound you're getting with it. I would get a cheaper mic if I had to fit in a tracking comp though.
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8th July 2009
Old 8th July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotekells View Post
I am going to purchase a quality vocal mic for my project studio. After a lot of research but not much testing, I think I will try my luck with the Manley Ref Cardiod. I can’t afford much more than that, so no RM2J for high end Brauner, etc. for me just yet. Also, I can’t wait much longer, so something like a Lucas CS-1 isn’t a good option for me atm.

I record a wide variety of voices, but the most “important” ones are my own, two or three females (R&B, urban pop) and a few rappers (“radio friendly”, not boom bap underground stuff)

The only high end mics I’ve used is the U87ai (always worked good, I like this mic a lot, but rarely makes me feel like it’s “the one” for anybody). Also the Soundelux e47c. This is an amazing mic, I just love some of the recordings I made with it. However, despite liking it more than the 87ai, I don’t think I’d want it as my only high end vocal mic. I’ve also used some lower end Neumanns with varying results (TLM49, TLM103).

My only pre is the A-Designs Pacifica, and I won’t be adding other flavors for awhile (at which time I’ll go 500-series crazy haha).

What is YOUR opinion/experience with something like this (ie, Ref Card + Pacifica).

I’m confident this combo will make me happy. However, the question is always.. what am I missing out on still? Grass always greener over there...

Thanks for the input, and I’m certainly interested in whatever you might have to say (and I know the obligatory “you have to hear it and decide for yourself” is coming. Thanks for that.)
If you seek a microphone that has flattering response, balance, authority and charm, I think you're looking in the right direction. The Ref C is a great microphone, Its got a very unique tonal character. Its open and extended at the top, while the bottom is large and solid. It may be compared to the aforementioned microphones, simply because it shares the extended yet smooth, "airy" top character.

The Ref C has a certain kind of intelligibility and clarity to upper mid and top octave harmonic register that can make the source "angelic" and "oceanic" [if that makes any sense, I know it does not] as it can cut through a dense mix with a really awesome presence while staying clean and clear with zero spit to the transients. Its BIG. It is a brighter microphone, but in a really good way. Its a highlighting type of openness. Its a great microphone for acoustic GTR as well.
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8th July 2009
Old 8th July 2009
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I don't think it has a lot of competitors "at the price point".

In fact, flamesuit on...it's the first LDC I'd recommend getting for vox. It's a true quality piece. But, it sets the low end watermark for price point...and I'm not sure that if were looking to spend that much that I wouldn't go ahead and get Korby and have them tweak it to what you want. I think their red and blue are what? $600 more or so? And multipattern, which matters to me in a LDC.

I had the chance to buy a ManleyC for $1600 locally years ago, but I had never used one...I passed. Have regretted it ever since (having used them on several occassions--and Blackbird earned probably that much off me since in tube LDC rentals.
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8th July 2009
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Cool

I own a Manely which I actually use on overheads (stereo pair) and a pacifica and they make a great pair on vocals, I had country rock singer a few months back and I started with a U87 thru a 1073 found that to dark so I grapped the Manely to open it up, still heavy with the Neve so I switched to the pacifica. Singer and I were very happy and ended up using that chain for the album.
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8th July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiwoman View Post
I own a Manely which I actually use on overheads (stereo pair) and a pacifica and they make a great pair on vocals, I had country rock singer a few months back and I started with a U87 thru a 1073 found that to dark so I grapped the Manely to open it up, still heavy with the Neve so I switched to the pacifica. Singer and I were very happy and ended up using that chain for the album.
That's the info I was looking for! I was worried about the possibility of the Ref C+Pacifica being considered too bright (which it may still be in some cases, but as long as that's not a general consensus).

Seems everyone else above is echoing the pleasant things I've heard about this mic, so that's good.

$1600 popmann? Damn I'd like to come across that right now!!
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8th July 2009
Old 8th July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
I don't think it has a lot of competitors "at the price point".
For about the same amount of money, there is also the Wunder CM7-GT.
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8th July 2009
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I use a Manley Ref C with a Neve 1073 DPA - sounds great on vox and ac gtr.
I don't think I would like a particulary bright pre amp for this mic.
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8th July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by degas View Post
I use a Manley Ref C with a Neve 1073 DPA - sounds great on vox and ac gtr.
I don't think I would like a particulary bright pre amp for this mic.
That's the warning I was worried about.. but I'm going to give it a go. The better portion of the stuff I'm doing would be considered "bright" by the time it's mixed and mastered, so it may work well anyway.
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8th July 2009
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EQ could always be used to remove any "brightness."

I've been using the Manley Reference Cardioid over the past couple of months on vocals, usually with a Focusrite ISA428, Great River MEQ1NV, ADL600, and Chandler TG Channel MK2... been very happy with it on all these preamps. Mostly been the ISA428 and MEQ1NV from what I remember. It's simply a great vocal mic for the money!
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