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Best low End vocal mic?
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jaz49
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#1
4th June 2008
Old 4th June 2008
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Best low End vocal mic?

Hello,
I've posted before about the crummy results I'm getting with the mics I have at present (AT3035 and senn.e835) and I want to find something better and sell what I have. I'm trying to stay under $200.00. I'm looking into the Heil Pr20 dynamic and the Kel audio condensers at present, but am open to any other suggestions. The main thing I want to avoid is a mic that is harsh and sibilant like the ones I already have...the e835 sounds just horrible...the AT3035 a little less so. I'm also thinking of a modded MCA sp 1. You can still get the un-modded ones real cheap. I'm just wondering if there are any good low end deals around for a vocal mic under 200 bills, or would I need to spend a lot more to get a good mic?

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4th June 2008
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I have pretty good mic collection going. I bought them all off e-bay. I know you're always taking some risk purchasing something used. Look at mics that state, "like new", "only used 5 times for recent project" etc.
I would never pay $200.00 for a $200.00 mic.
That said, for a very nice multi-purpose (not to mention very cool looking) Large Condenser that could be had for $200.00 (maybe cheaper)on e-bay I would say the Blue Bluebird. I'm very pleased with mine.
For a real step up from the Sennheiser, you would probably not regret purchasing a Heil PR-30. Again a very useful dynamic great in a variety of applications. You might check used prices on The Shure SM7, EV RE20, and Sennheiser MD 421 (other mics in this genre).
There are certainly a lot of other options. These are just 2 that have worked for me. Recently just purchased an ADK TC tube LDC (around $600.00 new) for about $200.00 on e-bay. Definately a big bang for the bucks. Superb vocal mic imho.
Just food for thought.
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From your description, I think you would want either a Shure SM7 or for a condenser an Oktava MK-319 or 219. Neither will have that high-end shrillness that budget condensers are notorious for.
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Two things: Mic selection - you should be looking at flatish mics like the PR30, RE510, CAD M179, and so on

Mic technique - try backing off the mic a bit and singing slightly "across the front" where the mic is pointing to the side of your head and your mouth is pointing to the side of the mic.

Distance should be at least 6" unless you really need proximity effect for effect...



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4th June 2008
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SE and studio projects..

Check out the SE electronics SE2200a [Fixed cardioid] Studio projects have a cool rep for this price range of mics..or the Oktava stuff with view of mods in the future!They have lots of satisfied users..But i am really pleased with my SE LDC and SDC mics..good luck!!
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Even a stock SP-1 can sound pretty good, depending on your voice. Heck of a mic for the price.

And, don't overlook the MXL V67g. Also a lot of mic for the money... and well under your budget.

At the top of your budget range, I would suggest looking into an MXL 960 tube condenser. I love mine, especially nice after a tube swap.
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Last edited by BudgetMC; 5th June 2008 at 01:46 AM.. Reason: Speled somting rong
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I have the MXL9000 which has a tube in it and comes with a power supply. I bought it for $79 one one of those MF Stupid Deal Days.

I bought it as a project. It didn't sound that bad to start but I sawped out the tube for a GT and changed all the caps to Panasonic (about $1.00 from Digikey) and now it sounds really, really good.
jaz49
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Lot's of good suggestions. Thanks much...I knew the low end gearslutz could come through with some good info! I just placed an order for that SP-1 for $40.00...can't go too far wrong there. I'll probably be able to sell the e835 for that much anyway. A friend of mine is a retired electrician, so I'm going to try to find out what parts are needed to mod the mic. He used to repair TV's, so I think he should be able to handle it. I'd love to pick up a second hand 219 or 319 for the same purpose, but I heard about a lot of fakes being sold on ebay, so I'm a little cautious. Anybody tried the HM-2d on vocals yet? The salesman from Kel tells me they are like a cross between an RE-20 and an SM7b...but I'll have to take that with a grain of salt considering the source.

How are the SE mics or the MXL's with sibilance? I have a lot in my voice naturally, but my mics take it to a whole other level(UP!)...even though I tried all kinds of mic technique...placement, etc.
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Shure SM57. Under 100 bucks and it doesn't have that cheap high end response you get with most cheap "vocal" mics. You can use it for plenty of other things too.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaz49 View Post
I'd love to pick up a second hand 219 or 319 for the same purpose, but I heard about a lot of fakes being sold on ebay, so I'm a little cautious.
Just an FYI: there are NO 219 fakes, and 319 fakes are hard to come by. I've never seen one myself. I own 3 319s and 6 219s, as well as a couple of 012s and a MKL2500.
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@Corran - O.K. thanks for clearing that up. I did notice at least one ebay dealer making a point of showing a photo of some document or other from the manufacturer in Russia proving the mic(319) was not a fake. As far as a mic for vocals only, can you say which model is better in your opinion?
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Most will say the 319. I can tell you I liked male vocal on the 319 A LOT. However I honestly don't do vocals often (classical location work mostly). But there was a shootout of a U47 and some clone-type mics, and an OktavaMod 219 was second only to a real U47. You can draw your own conclusions...(this is why I recently bought 4 used 219s, as they have gone out of production! I'm getting 'em while I still can...)
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Oh... definately +1 on the Bluebird. That's a very useable mic. If you can find one for $200 you should grab it.
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I'm going to put in my vote for the CAD 179. Hands down, best $130 I ever spent. I actually have some tracked vocals using both the 3035 and the 179...The CAD makes the AT sound like a big piece of flaming dookie.
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Thank-you opium89...funny that's EXACTLY how my 3035 sounds! I heard some unprocessed audio clips of the CAD177 and it sounded very good...better than some of the more expensive mics. I've got a lot of good suggestions, so I'll have to do some surfing around ebay and see if there's any bargains around. I'll be getting the SP-1 in a couple of days. Can't wait to see how it sounds compared to the much more expensive AT3035...heck, even the e835 is more than double the price of the SP-1, and that mic sounds like a vacation in Hell...at least with the 0404.
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man so i found a site that has audio clips from different mics male vox female hip hop vox. Reall cool to hear the different mics. Doesn't have them all but luckly the ones i was really looking at. I wish it had the soundbyte for the MK 319. of course it doesn't list the pre converters they used BUT i was A/B'n the ADK vs some of the AT stuff and the Blue mics. And i have to say the Blue Bird takes the cake. I thought the ADK sounded weak and dull compared to the at4060 which i used to have and i was losing hope fast for a good low budget mic that can play with the big boys, but the blue bird had a really nice presence about it exactly what i'm looking for for lead vocals. Strong. That doesn't mean the other mics aren't good i just want something that is going to be up front on the mix. The Blue bird it is I have to say. I even liked it more then the baby bottle which is more.

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5th June 2008
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nickolo is offline
SE sibilant ? No...

I don't find it a problem at all.The SE 2200a is quite smooth and does not have that top peak that brings out sibilance like that of the rode nt1 that people mention.The nice thing is it smooth and not hyped.Its a £140 mic and for that you get a great tool.I find lots of the cheaper mics have that sort of sizzy top [sorry can not describe it] and tend to be overly bright etc..Plug the Se2200a into a half decent pre and i am sure you will not be dissapointed...
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Thanks irthwirm and nicolo! I will look into both mics. I've already been searching for a used SE2200a. I've heard a dry audio clip of that one and compared to the others in that particular lineup it was right at the top along with one or two more expensive mics. I was very impressed. Have not heard any clips of the bluebird yet. I'd like to see a freq plot. If it's not got that boost at the high end, I would definitely look for one used. Both mics are a little over my budget new. Also the Sterling ST77 sounds interesting, from what I've read.
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