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turk sanchez
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6th September 2005
Old 6th September 2005
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help me pic my next mic...

I am looking for a nice vocal mic. I have the at4040 now which is a keeper but I am looking for something a little nicer. I am going to start saving and I don't have to get it just yet. I am using a Great River me-1nv and a Distressor for the front end. I was looking at the Gefel m930, Soundelux u195...any other ideas? I want a little more "wow" factor...you know what I mean. I would like to stay around a grand...

Thanks slutz
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6th September 2005
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What's your budget?
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6th September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waffle waitress
I would like to stay around a grand...

unfortunately there might be and element that might limit that 'wow' factor.

Although a mic ... in particular a vocal mic is a rather personal thing ... one can safely say that that 'grand' also narrows it quite down imho. And you can laugh or not ... but when it comes down to vocal mics I've used under a 'grand' , the SM58 would probably be way on top of my 'under a grand vocal mic' listing. All the others would be quite a bit more expensive .... often with a reason.
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U195 is a great one to start with.

Good luck,
Dirk
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6th September 2005
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Neumann makes a TLM103 for around that price. You're limited to one set pattern however.
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For a grand:
Peluso 2247 or 22251.

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7th September 2005
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I'll second insomnio's post. However, for vocals I'd lean toward the 22 251 instead of the 22 47. Just my personal preference but it kicks ass for me everytime I put it up.
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#8
7th September 2005
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A friend and I just finished doing a test on over 21 mics to find our next vocal mic. We tested mics ranging from a low of $299 (don't laugh it sounded great on female vox) and up to $7500. We tested the mics on both male and female vocals. I have not finished the female blind listening test but on male vocals my top three were; 1) Charter Oak SA538 2) Rode Classic II 3) Soundelux Elux 251.

It's amazing what you choose when you don't know what mic your listening to and you only have your ears to rely on. No marketing, No BS, just you and your ears. Each of the mics I listed are very different but they worked according to my ears. We have sent the listening samples to 6 other people we are close with and it is amazing how similar the choices are. I am not saying the three I chose are the best vocal mics for you but I would highly reccomend checking them out. Hope that helps, cheers!

P.S. You can get the Charter Oak for about $1000 to $1400. Check Ebay for the Rode Classic ($1200 - $1300) - The Soundelux you are looking at about $3500 to $4000.
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8th September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True North
A friend and I just finished doing a test on over 21 mics to find our next vocal mic. We tested mics ranging from a low of $299 (don't laugh it sounded great on female vox) and up to $7500. We tested the mics on both male and female vocals. I have not finished the female blind listening test but on male vocals my top three were; 1) Charter Oak SA538 2) Rode Classic II 3) Soundelux Elux 251.

It's amazing what you choose when you don't know what mic your listening to and you only have your ears to rely on. No marketing, No BS, just you and your ears. Each of the mics I listed are very different but they worked according to my ears. We have sent the listening samples to 6 other people we are close with and it is amazing how similar the choices are. I am not saying the three I chose are the best vocal mics for you but I would highly reccomend checking them out. Hope that helps, cheers!

P.S. You can get the Charter Oak for about $1000 to $1400. Check Ebay for the Rode Classic ($1200 - $1300) - The Soundelux you are looking at about $3500 to $4000.
Would you list the other mics in the test?
How did you do the test (source, chain, monitors)?

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8th September 2005
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The mics we tested were as follows;

(1) Neumann a)TLM 127 b)TLM 103 c)U87 d)M147 e)M149
(2) Soundelux - a)E49, b)IFET7, c)ELAM 251
(3) Telefunken USA a)C12, b)Elam 251
(4) Rode, a) Classic II, b) K2
(5) Korby Kat 4 - a) C12, b) U67, c) 251, d) U47
(6) AKG 414 B-XL II
(7) Charter Oak SA538
(8) CAD - VSM
(9) MXL V69
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8th September 2005
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shure sm7b is nice dynamic mic for about 400, i just got one along with my soundelux and baby bottle <not my favorite> The sm7 works great if u have a live sounding room as it doesnt pick up the ambience, i use it thrrough a vintech x73i with good results. A nice older 414 can be great, u can have them modified for about 250$ and get a sweet mic, the u195 is nice as well, although i havent personally used it, My buddy loves his groove tubes gt66
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8th September 2005
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Were you listening to these mics in the context of a mix?
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8th September 2005
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I forgot to mention the audio chain - All mics were put through an AMEK Pure Path as it was the most transparent Mic Pre I owned. We used no EQ or compression while tracking. Levels were set for each mic - we did not set it and forget it. Each vocalist sang the same 40 second snippet on each take.

The mics went through my Apogee Rossetta at 24/96 K (SPDIF Connection) into my Digioo2R interface. My blind testing was done on a pair of BM6A's. We wanted to keep the recording path as clean as possible hence so we could hear the tonality of the mic. I hope that answers your questions. Cheers!
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8th September 2005
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vox mic

i had pretty good luck with the big Rode tube mic... cool thing about the Rode is that you can also use it as a room mic for drums... sounded great thru a DW fearn mic pre... but then again, everything does.
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8th September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dokushoka
Were you listening to these mics in the context of a mix?

For the female there was piano accompaniment and for the male there was acoustic guitar accompaniment.

I listened to the mics in two ways;
1) I set up a mix where I listened to two, 7 or 8 second vocal phrases (no accompaniment) back to back against one another. This allowed me to truly hear the characteristics of the mics themselves. I started with this process first.
2) I listened to the mics with the instrument accompaniment. This allowed me to hear the mics in a fairly musical setting.

The choices between the two processes were fairly similar.
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8th September 2005
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Not sure about your mic preference, but I lOVE waffles.

I would check out the Royer R-121, fo' sure.
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8th September 2005
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ive never heard the royer on vocals, ive heard it was a fantastic mic, but not for vocals, heard it was great for guitars, sax etc.
turk sanchez
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8th September 2005
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I have never tried an sm7. What is the top end like on these?

There is a Manley Tube Reference mic at one of the studio I work at and that thing just blows me away. That definetly has the "wow" factor for me. Huge but not muddy...clear as a bell and 3d without being harsh at all...lots of depth...

That Peluso looks interesting too...thanks for the ideas guys.

I am really interested in hearing an sm7...there is one at the same place with the Manley, but I allways just use that because I know it will sound great.

Here are the ones that I am really interested in so far...

m930
u195
sm7
or a tube mic...but that is out of my $ range I think.

I just want a bad ass mic to go with the Great River...something I can keep.
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8th September 2005
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the sm7 doesnt have a lot of top end air, something about it just sits well in the mix without much work, plus being a dynamic mic it has some other cool uses and for 400$ id try it first and/or get it in addition to something like the soundelux or audio technica 4060, I havent heard the pelusos, they look interesting though. My friend who i bought my soundelux U99/E250 from recommended against them, although i could see why he has an interest in talking them down. I dial in some air from the eq on my vintech when tracking the sm7. I honestly only got it a few weeks ago and have just begun to learn its properties. It came highly recommended from a friend of mine who is a highly successful engineer in nyc. Bruce Swedien also used to track some of Michael Jackson's stuff with the sm7. Its great for rock vocals and high spl singers, can also tame a sibilant or nasal vocalist. Its also been highly recommended for when you track in a room that hasnt been acoustically treated. My other friend swears by his groove tubes gt 66 so I would check that out if u have a chance, its a cheap mic. He did one of the tracks on 50 cents first album and has great ears He runs his through an API.
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8th September 2005
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just get a copy of "Blood Sugar Sex Magic" by the Chili Peppers, and you'll get an idea of what the SM7 sounds like. They have that epitome of Shure sound...

They are used alot on broadcasts (radio), and for that reason, I'd try to imagine having a broadcast sound on alll your songs.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True North
I have not finished the female blind listening test but on male vocals my top three were; 1) Charter Oak SA538 2) Rode Classic II 3) Soundelux Elux 251.
I am not surpised on choice of Rode Classic II over many mighty mics (actually I like it very much with some vocals, but definitely not all and sometimes it's just wrong). I have same AMEK pre, have or had almost all of mentioned mics and made very similar tests.

What was opposite in my test results:

Korby 251 sounded better to me than Soundelux 251 (without conclusion which is truer clone to the original).
Korby 251, 47 and Neuman U87 (not new one) would be my preference over all mentioned by you mics and you didn't put it among first three.
So, I could arguably doubt corretness of approach in your listening tests or our criteria differ significantly.

GYang
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8th September 2005
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isnt this post supposed to be about helping him find a mic under a grand...not mics that are 4k plus?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
So, I could arguably doubt corretness of approach in your listening tests or our criteria differ significantly.
You're kidding right? Because you like a different set of mics doesn't mean that his approach to listening isn't correct! It is a matter of taste and preference, plus each source is different. What sounds good on one female vocal may not sound the best on another female vocal. Also, what was the listener looking for? Bright and airy? Dark and foreboding?

It is all good, and we all just have different opinions!

For example, someone above loves the Blue Mouse, and when I had it in for an audition a couple of months ago, I couldn't find a use for it. Does that mean the "Mouse-lover" has a bad approach or technique? Nope, just a different set of ears and a different set of goals.

Like I said, its all good.
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Doublehelix

I was thinking the same thing regarding Gyangs comment but its no biggie - we might also be fighting a bit of a language barrier as well. Interestingly enough, when it came to 'personal preference' you would be amazed at how similar the choices were between some fairly trained ears. I think we did a fairly good job in keeping the right controls in place to make sure we had reasonably accurate test results.

Gyang,

What I would question is did you do a blind listening test OR did you know what mics you were listening to as were listening to them? This will have a big impact on your test results. As ridicoulous as it all sounds, I found myself rooting for certain mics. You have to make sure to take all emotional attachments out of the equation, I really wanted the Korby's to sound the best they just didn't to my ears and many others that listened to the tests.

I should mention that there were a list of honorable mentions for me (in no particular order); M149, M147, Rode K2 and the Telefunken USA 251.


0----,

I own a pair of R122's and we tried it on vocals but it was so far off the mark we didn't even bother. I beleive we only tried it on the female vocal, it just never made it to the male vocal test because we didn't think it was the right mic for the test. I also have a boat load of dynamics that we didn't try but we were mainly trying to test Vocal orientated condensor mics.

Lance,

I agree, if you notice in my initial response my top two choices were around the grand mark. I got my Charter Oak for excatly a $1000 USD and the Rode Classi II you can probably find around the $1100-$1200 mark on Ebay. I am not saying to run out and buy it now but definitely check them out.

Over and out !
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8th September 2005
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I totally agree with getting an SM7 or SM7B.... great for rock vocals, and useable in other settings, too (HH, Snr). Definite "bang for the buck."

Cheers,
CJ
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9th September 2005
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I tried the sm7 today for a scr vox and loved it...even without a nice pre and only plug compression (bf76) it sounded smooth...sm7 with the me-1nv and distressor...could be a good combo...

I think I will grab the sm7 now and get an m930 next time.
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9th September 2005
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how do u like the distressor? do u use it a lot for vocal compression? Id be using mine in conjunction with a metric halo uln2 and vintech x73i
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