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Stellar, Isk, AA, Kel, tlm 102, About to pull the trigger with one mic
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Pixe
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#1
17th June 2013
Old 17th June 2013
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Stellar, Isk, AA, Kel, tlm 102, About to pull the trigger with one mic

I'm about to pull the trigger on a condenser mic for a female voc. I haven't had any experience with other mics besides sm57, at4050, at2020. My budget is around $700. Currently, I'm interested in these Chinese mics.

My first choice maybe the cm-5, but I live in Japan and will move to Canada in a year or so. The voltage in Japan is 100.

Other brands such as AA, ISK, Kel I am interested in them, but especially the ISK, I haven't heard much reviews on it. I've been lurking on gearslutz and been reading lots of reviews.

I'm using a really low budget set up. Mbox>GAP 73 mk2>Mic

So the big question is recommend a mic for me to pull the trigger on a mic for this female voc. Other brands or models are also welcome. Here is the sample for the source (I didn't record this so I have no idea which mic he used on her).

Edit: I am at work. I'll post the sample up after.
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 Melody Gardot - Gone Cover.mp3 (3.42 MB, 48 views)
#2
17th June 2013
Old 17th June 2013
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Tlm 102 would be my recommendation. It's a touch bright but in an airy sort of way. I tend to just roll of a touch of the really high stuff at mix down but that's about it. Very versatile mic. Great off axis rejection for not so good rooms too.
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17th June 2013
Old 17th June 2013
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Ahh thank you so much for your recommendation. I have to add that I have an untreated room as well. Most likely, I will tell the vocalist to face the closet. I've now posted the mp3 sample for you guys to judge.
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17th June 2013
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Kel HM2d all the way!
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17th June 2013
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I'd suggest the Neumann TLM102 aswell.
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18th June 2013
Old 18th June 2013
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CM-5 or CM-6... way more bang for your low end mic buck.
The CM-6 would be great with the GAP preamp.
No disrespect but the new Neumann mic's are overpriced and can't stand up to their vintage counterparts.
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19th June 2013
Old 19th June 2013
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Would GAP be okay for cm 5 as well? I also searched up the Opal Om7 mic. Anyone own that mic around here?
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19th June 2013
Old 19th June 2013
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The CM-5 has a fabulous midrange. It's so forward without being abrasive. I find it just sits in front of the mix. Minimal compression required.
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19th June 2013
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The cm-5 is a great mic. Useful for many other things as well, such as guitars and OH. You also may want to consider the at4040.
Pixe
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20th June 2013
Old 20th June 2013
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Would it be okay for ukulele as well? The vocalist sings softly and the range is not that high. Would it be alright? The thing I worry about is the 100 voltage in japan.
#11
20th June 2013
Old 20th June 2013
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the CM5 is a lovely mic!

the power supply is switchable 115/230V.
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20th June 2013
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Would cm 6 fit better with this vocal? Any other options?
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20th June 2013
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...not sure if this will assist in your decision making, but here are two tracks featuring a female vocalist using the Stellar tube mics...

...this first track was recorded with the Stellar CM-6 on lead vocals:



...this next track was recorded with a Stellar prototype which uses the CM-5 circuit/transformer combo, but with a center-terminated capsule...not exactly the CM-5, but similar enough to give a fair reference:



...as you can hear, the single plate-follower circuit based CM-6 has a brighter, more modern airy tone, while the dual CCDA circuit based prototype (like the CM-5) has a more vintage, slightly warmer tone...same preamp/compressor combo chain was used in both recordings...hope these offer some value in your choice...both mics work well on female vocals...
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21st June 2013
Old 21st June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
Kel HM2d all the way!
+1 That's a great mic - deep and rich, and because it rolls off the highs nicely, perfect for both Alto and Soprano vocalists.
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Pixe
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28th June 2013
Old 28th June 2013
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How do the isk brand compare to stellar? Still got no email from peter about the voltage question. I'm now kind of leaning towards the cm6. Still deciding....
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28th June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixe View Post
How do the isk brand compare to stellar? Still got no email from peter about the voltage question. I'm now kind of leaning towards the cm6. Still deciding....
...iSK is the house brand of a large Chinese microphone manufacturing group...they are, for reference sake, mostly OEM product (stock designs also available for private label branding)...the iSK tube mics can be bought under different branding at different price points...for example, in Europe you have RoXdon and here in the US, Galaxy Audio sells some of the same mics under their own brand...they are, IMHO, very good as OEM product goes...I have a tube mic (branded EM T5000) that an OEM offering similar to the iSK TM-66...a good, somewhat dark-ish tube microphone...

...that being said, the Stellar tube mics differ in that they are "pre-modded", or upgraded at the factory from their original OEM counterparts...mic techs like Dave Thomas, John Peluso (with the assistance of former Neumann engineer Verner Ruvalds) and Peter Bloch, among others have contributed in modifying OEM designs and offering them with upgraded capsules, circuits/components, transformers, and tubes...these "pre-modded' offerings bridge the gap between the affordable off-the-shelf OEM Chinese mics and the more costly "boutique brands" who offer proprietary designs...

...the Stellar CM-6 and CM-5 started out as the OEM versions of the Nady TCM1050 and the Apex 460...circuits were modified, capacitors upgraded, capsules replaced with higher-quality variations, transformers replaced with copies of classic vintage designs, and cheap Chinese OEM tubes replaced with higher quality euro-reissued options...IMHO, these tube mics easily hold their own with tube mics selling for 2-3 times the cost...we're talking serious "bang-for-the-buck" value...the CM-5 at the current price of $415 is silly...

...you just have to decide whether you want a very modern, bright, clear and detailed sound with a pop-radio sheen (CM-6) or a more vintage, warmer, less bright tone with a bit more low-end and mid push (CM-5)...

...as to the voltage question, how do your other pieces of gear perform at 100V?...are they adapted for the lower voltage, or are they the standard 110V versions we use in the US?...very curious...
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28th June 2013
Old 28th June 2013
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Neumann TLM102, awesome mic, and pedigree....
Pixe
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29th June 2013
Old 29th June 2013
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Thank you for the detail information! Now I understand the difference between them.

The gap 73 I'm using a step down transformer (120 to 100). I only have an mbox 2, a motif xs keyboard and pc. Both motif and pc has the same input and output. My pc has similar option like the power supply in Stellar, a red switch 115 or 220. I have to switch it to 115 in Japan to work. I think the Stellar would be fine in Japan, but I just wanted to double check since microphones are a sensitive tool.

Perhaps the question still goes back to, which stellar mics or other mics (tlm 102 seems like a popular one) would fit this vocalist that I posted above?

The kind of songs I will be recording are leaning towards something like this
Zee Avi - The Book Of Morris Johnson - YouTube
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29th June 2013
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I say everyone should quit buying the Stellar.... so that he doesn't raise the price again before I get a chance to grab one.
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29th June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixe View Post
The gap 73 I'm using a step down transformer (120 to 100). I only have an mbox 2, a motif xs keyboard and pc. Both motif and pc has the same input and output. My pc has similar option like the power supply in Stellar, a red switch 115 or 220. I have to switch it to 115 in Japan to work. I think the Stellar would be fine in Japan, but I just wanted to double check since microphones are a sensitive tool.

Perhaps the question still goes back to, which stellar mics or other mics (tlm 102 seems like a popular one) would fit this vocalist that I posted above?

The kind of songs I will be recording are leaning towards something like this
Zee Avi - The Book Of Morris Johnson - YouTube
...I believe that's a "step-up" transformer (boosting your local 100V current)...I lived in Chile for a while and had to use "step-down" transformers to drop the local 220V current down to 110V so I could use my gear there...

...I've listened to your track and video and I would think either the CM-6 or the TLM102 would work nicely on her voice and style...the TLM102 may be easier to use while in Japan since there's no power supply (and it's so small you can put it in your pocket when you relocate to Canada )...the TLM102's are plentiful on the used market too...once you're situated in Canada you might want to give the CM-6 a second look (tube mics can sometimes impart a little something special when recording vocal tracks)...
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#21
30th June 2013
Old 30th June 2013
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Thank you everyone for all your comments (especially Kidvybes for the elaborated information)! Definitely want a cm 6, but as mentioned, a tlm 102 would be the alternative for the time being!
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30th June 2013
Old 30th June 2013
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The Tlm 102 is decent. It's real clean. I have a very clean pre (apogee duet pre's), and so honestly it was very boring and "clinical" for my situation.

I just have a hard time reconciling the Neumann math: Many say the u87 is a $3000 mic that should be a $1500 mic, and that the tlm 103 is a $1000 mic that should be $500. Neumann price gouges on the famous name.

So can we assume the Tlm 102 is a $700 mic that SHOULD cost $350?!
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30th June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halcyo View Post
So can we assume the Tlm 102 is a $700 mic that SHOULD cost $350?!
...I'd say yes...look at the Sennheiser MK4 as a reference...that is why, while I agree the 102 is a useful piece of gear, I would only buy it pre-owned (mid $400)...

...just imagine if mics were priced by the ounce...;-)

Sent from my SPH-M820
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#24
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
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How would you compare the tlm 102 to the cm6 kidvybes?
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