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Clonkified
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#1
20th February 2009
Old 20th February 2009
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Upgrade from AT2020

Hello,

I have an AT2020 right now running through a Duet and it has worked pretty well for me (I record mostly acoustic guitar, female vocals, and occassionally soft male vocals).

I noticed there are a lot of mics out these days in the < $500 range - Bluebird, Kel HM-7U, CAD M179.

Any suggestions of what to get as an upgrade to the AT2020? Duet is a very clean preamp, so maybe one with some warmth? Not sure.

Appreciate it!
C
#2
20th February 2009
Old 20th February 2009
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Cad 179 or Kel HM-7U
#3
20th February 2009
Old 20th February 2009
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All three you mentioned are great mics what are you looking for in terms of tone?
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Clonkified
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#4
20th February 2009
Old 20th February 2009
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I'm not sure if I can articulate the tone I want exactly. I tend to like warmer, more airy vocals (Imogen Heap-esque) rather than really bright or thin vocals. Of course, I know the singer has a lot to do with it.

Maybe this will help: chinmay on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos, the song Thankful is with the singer I usually record. That was my AT2020 through a Duet. The first track is an Imogen Heap remix and her vocals were a lot of fun to work with.

I also have an MPA Gold preamp right now with stock tubes - was thinking of selling it, but maybe if I swapped the tubes it would be useful to getting the sound I want?

Appreciate the help!
#5
20th February 2009
Old 20th February 2009
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All three you mentioned are great mics what are you looking for in terms of tone?

I think the Bluebird is probably the best if you are specifically doing female vox and acoustic guitar. It does soft male vocals well, but it's a really sweet sounding mic it won't be good for a male belting out.

KEL HM7 is a nice thick/glossy mic works great for everything you do.

CAD M179 is a nice workhorse to have around it won't be as dazzling on the source as the other two, but it can do just about any source justice.
#6
20th February 2009
Old 20th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonkified View Post
I'm not sure if I can articulate the tone I want exactly. I tend to like warmer, more airy vocals (Imogen Heap-esque) rather than really bright or thin vocals. Of course, I know the singer has a lot to do with it.

Maybe this will help: chinmay on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos, the song Thankful is with the singer I usually record. That was my AT2020 through a Duet. The first track is an Imogen Heap remix and her vocals were a lot of fun to work with.

I also have an MPA Gold preamp right now with stock tubes - was thinking of selling it, but maybe if I swapped the tubes it would be useful to getting the sound I want?

Appreciate the help!
try going to front end audio I think there are basic sound clips of a lot of popular LDC mics including the M179 and Bluebird. That might give you a ballpark of their characters.

You could also try an SM7b. It won't do as well on acoustic guitar though.

I think if it were me I'd try a Bluebird first. Unfortunately I don't know of any samples floating around of the HM7 on female vox.

BTW she sounds awesome. I hope you find the right mic.
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20th February 2009
Old 20th February 2009
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Thanks! And all of these would be a noticeable step up from the AT2020 right?
#8
20th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonkified View Post
Thanks! And all of these would be a noticeable step up from the AT2020 right?
I would definitely say so. But I guess that depends on the source and user and all those fun variables. But I assume that judging by what I listened to that won't be a problem with you.
#9
20th February 2009
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I've got CAD E100's & AT2020's.
CAD is a bit darker/warmer & capture more lows than the more clean/almost steril AT's.
nice to have the flavor options.
#10
21st February 2009
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Put tubes in the ART and hang on to it, whichever mic you settle on.
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#11
21st February 2009
Old 21st February 2009
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I use at2020s for acoustic guitar all he time. on the right instrument I prefer them to my other mics. they're very well made small-to-medium diaphram powered electret condensors, a very good design. But they don't particularly have vibe of their own if you know what I mean. m179s has a slight bit more vibe and is a more versatile mic. I'm sure what they said about the other mics is true as well...

I just wouldn't assume that dumping the 2020s is a great idea. getting one/more of those other mics IS a great idea but I personally would keep the 2020s since they basically do the job of a pair of good sdc mics. They're just in a ldc-style side address case (which does slightly change the tone compared to the 2021 pencil which is otherwise the identical mic parts inside).

just a bit of info in case you think the at2020s are inferior mics or whatever. They don't really have obvious flaws actually, and to me are superior to things like the mxl 603 and similar chinese sdc pencils.

Your mileage may vary of course - just cuz something works for me doesn't make it good for you or even good for the majority of other people, pros or not.

Cheers,
Don
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21st February 2009
Old 21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Goat View Post
Put tubes in the ART and hang on to it, whichever mic you settle on.
wow, his art doesn't have tubes in it? that would definitely change its output level...

LoL - just kidding :-)
#13
21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
I use at2020s for acoustic guitar all he time. on the right instrument I prefer them to my other mics. they're very well made small-to-medium diaphram powered electret condensors, a very good design. But they don't particularly have vibe of their own if you know what I mean. m179s has a slight bit more vibe and is a more versatile mic. I'm sure what they said about the other mics is true as well...

I just wouldn't assume that dumping the 2020s is a great idea. getting one/more of those other mics IS a great idea but I personally would keep the 2020s since they basically do the job of a pair of good sdc mics. They're just in a ldc-style side address case (which does slightly change the tone compared to the 2021 pencil which is otherwise the identical mic parts inside).

just a bit of info in case you think the at2020s are inferior mics or whatever. They don't really have obvious flaws actually, and to me are superior to things like the mxl 603 and similar chinese sdc pencils.

Your mileage may vary of course - just cuz something works for me doesn't make it good for you or even good for the majority of other people, pros or not.

Cheers,
Don
I actually agree with that 100% Audio-Technica even their low end products are all very well made and still sound good.

I've yet to use a BAD audio-technica mic. In fact my first real mic was an Audio Technica PRO 2ax. For like $35 or whatever it was it did a pretty decent job.
Clonkified
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#14
21st February 2009
Old 21st February 2009
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Thanks for the advice guys. Yeah, I'm not planning on getting rid of the AT2020 - like I said, it has served me well. Just was looking for the next step in a budget mic locker. Thanks for the suggestions.

Not sure about the ART MPA though - I admit I don't have the best ears, but I like the clean sound of the Duet compared to my MPA. I guess it may be adding some "warmth", but I can't really notice all that much (see aforementioned bad ears) unless I crank it up and then it just sounds like distortion. Have it listed in the classifieds in case anybody wants it - have used it maybe 5 times total. Even have the box.
#15
21st February 2009
Old 21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonkified View Post
Thanks for the advice guys. Yeah, I'm not planning on getting rid of the AT2020 - like I said, it has served me well. Just was looking for the next step in a budget mic locker. Thanks for the suggestions.

Not sure about the ART MPA though - I admit I don't have the best ears, but I like the clean sound of the Duet compared to my MPA. I guess it may be adding some "warmth", but I can't really notice all that much (see aforementioned bad ears) unless I crank it up and then it just sounds like distortion. Have it listed in the classifieds in case anybody wants it - have used it maybe 5 times total. Even have the box.
Did you get Nos Tubes for the MPA? It would make a huge difference, trust me! Mine sucked until I got a Nos Telefunken 12AX7, the rest is history
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21st February 2009
Old 21st February 2009
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that's fair about the mpa. I understand how you feel, I've been in that kind of feeling before with gear that made subtle changes that I wasn't certain about.

I regret selling my mpa gold back when though and bought another not too long ago because I needed that mojo again (and versatility - the mpa gold with dynamic and ribbon mics is pure gold due to high gain and variable input impedance with variable hpfilter).

you can always buy one again in the future should you decide it was a good thing after all. There are lots of good preamps out there, it's definitely not the only one, and it does have it's issues (reliability for some people, not for me though, and can be noisy if its your only pre for lots of multitracked stuff, but then nothing like the noise from using analog tape used to be).
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21st February 2009
Old 21st February 2009
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Chris - where did you purchase your Telefunken's from? Seem to be pretty freaking expensive!
#18
21st February 2009
Old 21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonkified View Post
Chris - where did you purchase your Telefunken's from? Seem to be pretty freaking expensive!
I found one on ebay for $30, it was a deal I couldn't pass! Ask BOWIE on this forum for NOS tubes, he has great ones at affordable prices.
#19
21st February 2009
Old 21st February 2009
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I own and like the AT2020 - bright and clear.
On the warm side, I also own a V67G, KEL HM-1,
and an M-Audio Luna. I've owned an HM7U.

Keeping it on the Low End, I'd say the Luna is the polar opposite of the AT2020. Warm, clear, but not too bright. I recommend it.

If you want to step up in price, the EV RE20 is a very warm mic, clear highs, sibilant free, more hi-fi than an SM7B.

My current weapon for male and female voice-over work, Neumann
TLM-193. Vice free for speech.
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