Mic for sibilant mezzo for rock/pop?
Old 2nd December 2006
  #1
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Mic for sibilant mezzo for rock/pop?

I'm looking to audition mics for a sibilant mezzo doing rock/pop. As a reference, a 414XLII is very 'ouch' on top and mids are scooped. Looking under $2K, client 'wow' factor is a non issue. Prefer a multi-pattern solution with good null so it can serve other purposes, but this is not mandatory. I'm also not opposed to dynamic if this gets it done. Please suggest what should be on the short list to audition!
Old 2nd December 2006
  #2
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AdamLazlo's Avatar
 

A 70's Neumann U87 would be my first choice (not the later "ai" version).

Other than that you could get into AEA ribbon mics, R84 or R92. But, even though they're great mics, I've favored them more on guitars than vocals (in most general applications). Good ribbon mics are a different monster all together but smooth as all hell. They take to EQ quite well.

The Shure SM7 seems to be a favorite as well. I don't use mine all the time for vocals but it does work very well if my other selections have too much sibilance and I'm looking for a little more "meat".

When I owned a Neumann TLM103, I thought it was pretty flat/neutral. I sold it cuz it took a back-seat to the other mics I had at that time. But I remember it being similar to a 414 with less high-mid harshness.

The most versatile mic I had, that I wish I still had but sold to pay off bills, years ago, was a Neumann/Telefunken U47 longbody tube mic. That's going up into the $5000 to $7500 range tho.

Or maybe you could try a darker mic pre for the 414? I do like the 414XLII, and I know what you're saying regarding "ouch" in most cases. I think the mic is aggressive but not necessarily scooped but I'll use it in conjunction with a second vocal mic, like a 44BX ribbon for roundness -- then mix to taste. If by itself, I've had better luck running that 414 model thru a Neve 1272 or Trident S20. Both of those pre's have more mid/low-mid push/smear, to my ears. It helped a bit, but yet again, in a majority of cases, I preferred the 70's U87 instead of trying to fight a mic versus pre combo.

-- Adam Lazlo
Old 2nd December 2006
  #3
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLazlo View Post
The Shure SM7 seems to be a favorite as well. I don't use mine all the time for vocals but it does work very well if my other selections have too much sibilance and I'm looking for a little more "meat".
I was sorta thinking RE15, RE20 or SM7 based on things I've read but I've not used them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLazlo View Post
Or maybe you could try a darker mic pre for the 414? I do like the 414XLII, and I know what you're saying regarding "ouch" in most cases.
The XLII is sold. I was thinking maybe an XLS instead. I couldn't get the top right on the XLII no matter what I tried and since the XLS has less of that, maybe it instead? I really liked how the XLII took an eq boost in the mid for this voice, it sounded great except for the top.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #4
Gear interested
 

The Blue Cactus seems to be fairly kind on sibilance... but maybe to the point where they lack a little top end niceness. Very cool cold school sounding mic.

I love the way Neumanns sound but have thought the 87 can be quite sibilant sounding. I have had better luck with the 89i. I have no idea how much they retail for as I got mine from a cheapo auction. I guess those mics can sound quite diferent from each other. Especially if you dealing with older versions. I would think a good neuman would sound softer in the top end from a 414 which to me have to much harsh reality going on for vocals (i love them on just about anything else). I think for less than $2k US you would looking at a U49tlm or getting a second hand 87 or 89.

See if you can get a supplier to loan you a couple of mics and try a few things on the client. It seems to be a fairly random thing. Sometimes a ribbon will be sweet as and flat then on a diferent singer it will sound spitty and harsh. Diferent singers have diferent frequencies to their sibilance.

Well i am not really an engineer as such (THEN WHY AM I POSTING IN HIGH END!) so I may be a bit off with those calls and i have not played with too many real top end mics in my studio wanderings.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #5
Gear addict
 
Pepe Ortega's Avatar
Pearlman Tm-1 is a good choice for sibilant voices. I have recorded 1 soprano 1 mezzo with lots of ssss and pearlman with high cut switch was my choice...
I like very much U67 of course.. but is higher than $2000....
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