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Male, "mid-range" voice: which low end mic?
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xist
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#1
27th March 2006
Old 27th March 2006
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Male, "mid-range" voice: which low end mic?

With this thread I try to be more specific than the usual questions about low end mics, I hope you can help.
So here we go... which are the best (let's say up to 300/350 euros) options for this situation:

- male, mostly mid range voice, intimate/soft/close vocals (I like the style of blue nile's p.buchanan, chet baker, d.sylvian, r.wyatt, postal service among others, but as said my voice has not the gift of nice lows and I do not use falsetto). I'd like/need the mic to "warm" and "strengthen a bit" my voice, which tends to be a bit thin.

- electronic based, experimental jazzy/pop material

- (at the moment) a bit noisy room

- RME Quadmic preamp

- other sporadic needs: recording little xylophone, accordion, melodica, little percussions

Final statement: I already read many threads and reviews about cheap mics like SM57, Studio Projects, AudioTechnica, etc. but I don't know what in my specific situation would fit better, since it seems that some of these option are not so versatile.
I forgot to add: I can't test many of these brands because I do not have a shop selling them close to where I live.

Thanks
#2
27th March 2006
Old 27th March 2006
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The Audix i5 comes to mind, it has a very full low / low-mid thing going on and the high end is quite nice as well. Also, you say your room is noisy and a nice dynamic will reject off axis sounds better than a condensor mic.

My $0.02, the i5 is one of the best dynamic mics on the market period and they're under $100.

War
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#3
27th March 2006
Old 27th March 2006
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I don't know what they go for in europe but my Rode K2 has been a great performer on vocals.

Darius
xist
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27th March 2006
Old 27th March 2006
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Thanks for these first replies (I never heard about those Audix, I'm gonna check, the K2 is out of my price range). I need to add that at the moment I have one mic, which is the AKG Solidtube recently bought as used, but I have a chance to sell it for the same price. Since I've read many better comments on much cheaper mics, I thought selling it could be a good move, and with that money buying one good and versatile mic or even two (one in the SM57 price range, let's say 100$ and the other one around $200) if that's the case.

Of course, if from the description I've given, you think that I should keep the Solidtube because it fits better than many others for my voice, well, I could obey my gurus
#5
28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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I always pitch this mic around this forum, but I'm sort of in the same boat.

My voice is really, really heavy on the midrange (1-3k) and I just about always end up cutting a ton of it, live and in the studio, to sound natural.

But check out the HM-4 by Kel Audio: http://www.kelaudio.com./hm4.html

I've got one and have used it on just about everything you can imagine. It's got real smooth mids and tops, and is not over-hyped at all like most of the Chinese mics. And it’s hand-made by a very fine fellow up in Canada. Since you can't test mics, check out the Sound Clips page on the web site.

I've also become quite fond of using an MD 421 on male vocals; they sit in the mix really well, but might not be the midrange solution you're looking for.
xist
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28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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Thanks Groove Dog, I'm gonna check that mic (I admit I don't know them).
Regarding the mid-range, I hope it's a good expression. I was meaning that my voice has not a "wide extension", and that it surely is not strong in bass frequencies or very high ones. So it would be good to add some "body" to it while recording.
For example I think that the Studio Projects C1 would be a bad choice because from the sound samples I've heard (and the comments too) it's not for "thin" voices, or better it emphasize mostly the high frequ. without having a good "body". I don't know about their B3, it seems more equilibrated.
The search goes on....
#7
28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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a little off topic

I have just done some messing around some days ago.

This post is meant as a "why not another way": since people are claiming that earthwork sounds so great, I just wondered why not another measuremnt mic. And I have to admit, that I noticed, when you sing rather loud and use the Behringer ECM 8000 measurement microphone, you get quite astounding good results. It does not sound like LD, but if that's good for you (I personall don't like the LD sound so much)... why not?

And this is definetely low end.

trade offs: you have to sing loud, otherwise noise becomes an issue, and I don't know how well it handles "plop" sounds (probably depending on the singer, my non-pro singing was ok with it)

I first came about this when listening to the samples in this thread. It even sounds very good on acoustic guitar... I think it sounds good on anything loud, may be drums are too loud, haven't checked that....

here is the link: http://testing.holmerup.biz/mic_pretest/index_en.html

Have fun trying, in case you like to, and check whether it is applicable and let me know.

Best

Leif
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28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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The KEL's look really interesting. And dirt cheap, too.

I personally have a very full and low-midrange type voice (dead-on copy of my dad's voice btw...his own siblings and mother mistake us for one another all the time). I find it really hard to find a mic with the right sound but an SM7 is pretty close to my ideal sound. Plus it's so much about placement and performance too. I've noticed that it often sounds a lot better turning one's head a bit and speak "away" from the mic. Way less boominess and plosives.
xist
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28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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Leif: thanks for that link, so many tests! Regarding loudness, it's not my case: as stated in my first message I'm into soft/intimate vocal approach....

Shure SM7: another item for my search, thanks :-)
#10
28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xist
it's not my case: as stated in my first message I'm into soft/intimate vocal approach....
sorry, didn't read that...
#11
28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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hey, if you go really close, it may also work well and will strenghten up your voice... just another thought. just read your post carefully now... sorry

as long as you don't want LD, it may be quite cool. listen a lot to the tests, it gave me a lot of interesting insights into different mics and their characters and into what I think of it.

where do you live?

have fun

leif
#12
28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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Male Vocals

Some guys really love the way a RODE NTK sounds. Some don't.

I like it on my voice. It makes me enjoy singing.
xist
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28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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leifislive, don't be sorry, I've appreciated your help, don't worry :-)
I'm in Europe.
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28th March 2006
Old 28th March 2006
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SM-7=Rock

I also like the Blue Baby Bottle for certain vocals...depends on the singer. Some people like 'em...some people don't. Also...great for guitars.

I found mine used for about 300 US.
#15
29th March 2006
Old 29th March 2006
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then...

order some stuff at www.thomann.de, they give you 30 days of money back (I have done this several times, as long as you treat everything with respect - no problemo); check it out and send it back

best

leif
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29th March 2006
Old 29th March 2006
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What do you think of BeyerDynamic M-88, related to my needs?
#17
29th March 2006
Old 29th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xist
What do you think of BeyerDynamic M-88, related to my needs?
Actually that's a damn fine pick also, the "Phil Collins" mic (talk about midrange male vocal).

War
#18
30th March 2006
Old 30th March 2006
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I like the SM7 as well. If you follow the link to "Listen to the Demo" from the URL in my signature you can listen to a few songs.

The 1st ("Polarity") is recorded with and SM7 -> 7th Circle N72.
The next 2 are recorded with u47 -> 7th Circle API.

I sorta like the SM7. I think it stands up well to other mics that are way more expensive.

Hope that helps on your search!
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#19
30th March 2006
Old 30th March 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xist
What do you think of BeyerDynamic M-88, related to my needs?
I really (no really really) like both of mine. I have the original and a TG. Great on vocals, great on guitars, great on kick drums, great on just about anything that needs a close mic.

said it...there you go.
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