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Purchasing a tube mic for vocals
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#31
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
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Originally Posted by griff71177 View Post
Not too keen on ribbon mics for main, to fragile for daily use and with kids in the house, staying with a condenser.

I was looking at the Arabella as a choice, still might be.
I understand..but they're not so fragile as it seems.. (you just need to be careful with the air blasts)..
I don't know what works better with your voice in your place... sure the Arabella is a very nice mic..but probably the best "allround" mic I have is the Globe Vintage..doesn't have tubes or xformers but it's "darker" than the Arabella..sounds very smooth and thick.. the Arabella is different.. it's also smooth but in a different way.. is more airy-organic.. hard to describe the sounds..



Cheu

P.S.: sometimes (depending on the vocalist) while tracking with the Globe Vintage I (can) push the 28k button on the MA5 and the I cut some 17,5 or 20k (in shelving mode) on the E27...kind of pulteq-ish trick...sounds wonderful!! I never pushed the 28k on the MA5 on a condenser mic (on vocals) before the Globe..I had the impression that was always too much
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#32
5th May 2012
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Originally Posted by griff71177 View Post
Anyone have experience with the cactus and the um17r? What did the different patterns sound like in comparison with the um17r? Looked for clips on the clipalator but didn't see the cactus. woulda been nice to compare the two...
can't tell you about the um17r, but I used to own a Blue Cactus, which didn't work on my voice. Sounded perfectly OK: acceptable but nothing special. I didn't hear any of its reputed darkness or "vintageness".

If anything I found it a bit on the thin side in all of its 9 patterns other than the hyper-cardioid and figure-8 positions. Both the AKG 414B XLii and the AT4047 work better for me (male tenor vocals) than the Cactus did.

When you say you want a "new tube mic", does that mean you currently own a tube mic? is it for your own vocals, or for lots of different singers'?
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#33
5th May 2012
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Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
When you say you want a "new tube mic", does that mean you currently own a tube mic? is it for your own vocals, or for lots of different singers'?
Naw, I currently own a Blue Mic Mouse. Its got kind of a tube-ish, rather warm sound to it. So far, it sounds good on everyone that has come through here to record, just have to add a little eq after on some of the singers.

I want to buy a new tube mic, rather than a used one. Don't want a hand me down but I gotta stay within my budget of around 2k$. It would be my all around workhorse mic, which is why the UM17R multi pattern is appealing. If I get one that sounds good on my voice, I'm not really worried about how it sounds on anyone else. Not recording sessions to survive on yet, mostly just friends, but if I did, I think a good tube mic would be a start, atleast for vocals...
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5th May 2012
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the BEST advice possible is do this: Go to A studio that has the mics you are interested in and try them all! When choosing A $1600 mic you should KNOW what it sounds like. The little bit of studio time is chump change trust me. Then you will know ya got the best one for you!

John
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5th May 2012
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Tell me that isn't worth $100 or much less if they are slow that week.

John
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6th May 2012
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griff71177, Sounds like you are on to something. Give Warren a call at Zen Pro, he can fix you up. Let us know what you choose. Good luck!
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6th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagefright13 View Post
Tell me that isn't worth $100 or much less if they are slow that week.

John
Good call. Really, it is so important to really try out the mics first. if they suit then you'll use them all the time but so often, we buy emotionally and then regret it later.

cheers
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6th May 2012
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.

There's a guy here on Gearslutz selling (2) of my absolute all time favorite tube MP LDC mic.

The Groove Tubes GT-67 / Alesis AM62 (same mic).

I freekin' LOVE this mic - so I have two of them.

They're not expensive at all - but you have to buy them used.

I bought both of mine on fleabay, and they're KILLER!

Use them for male rock and pop vocals, and acoustic guitar.

Set them to omni, eat the frikkin' mic, and fuggedubout it.

Of all the (in many cases way more expensive) mics I've tracked with over the decades, it's still my fav.



.
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#39
6th May 2012
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I rented An M149 once for A singer and YES it sounded fantastic. About 15 % more fantastic than the last one I used. But the price to own is sick.

Like A race car the last few horsepower is phenomenally expensive.

John
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6th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I understand..but they're not so fragile as it seems.. (you just need to be careful with the air blasts)..
I don't know what works better with your voice in your place... sure the Arabella is a very nice mic..but probably the best "allround" mic I have is the Globe Vintage..doesn't have tubes or xformers but it's "darker" than the Arabella..sounds very smooth and thick.. the Arabella is different.. it's also smooth but in a different way.. is more airy-organic.. hard to describe the sounds..



Cheu

P.S.: sometimes (depending on the vocalist) while tracking with the Globe Vintage I (can) push the 28k button on the MA5 and the I cut some 17,5 or 20k (in shelving mode) on the E27...kind of pulteq-ish trick...sounds wonderful!! I never pushed the 28k on the MA5 on a condenser mic (on vocals) before the Globe..I had the impression that was always too much
I totally get you on the Arabella being "airy-organic". I'm going to check out that Glove Vintage.
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6th May 2012
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good comments.

I'm at the point of needing to buy a new vocal mic as well. My price range is a bit less than the original thread starter. I can't spend more than maybe $1300 tops. I've been using an AT4050 for years as my "go to" as it works well on everything, everytime. i don't even need to think about it. of course, just "working" isn't always the best thing for the artist. I need something a bit different, something with a slightly different character. I'm a very small studio on a very tight budget, and whatever I get needs to be fairly versatile - able to handle a wide variety of material with pleasing results. At the same time, I already have vanilla, so while I want something pretty versatile, a bit of character would be appreciated.

The single most important thing right now is that it sounds amazing on teen girls doing pop-rock type music as I need that for a good sized project I'm in the middle of. 1 girl with a voice and style like a bit like Dia Frampton, but who can also belt it out. 1 girl with a voice that is a little sweeter and young sounding, pretty pure. In the past I've recorded both through a 4050, a 4047, a Dragonfly, and a FATHEAD II. the AT mics did fine before, but I thought they both could have benefited from perhaps a bit more character at the mic stage..maybe a bit more sheen or air, but without sacrificing the body. The dragonfly was just wierd on them, and the FATHEAD too dark, but could probably be beautiful if blended with a brighter mic I think.


I use Vintech 273 preamps through a FATSO for a bit of compression or warmth if necessary, then through my Rosetta into Pro Tools. Over the years I've trimmed down my preamp collection, so pretty much everything runs through this.

when I say workhorse - I mean mostly male and female vocals, drums, acoustic guitars, and electric guitars. I don't record that much other stuff that often.

a few mics that that have been suggested so far as a compliment and upgrade to the 4050:

Bock 195
Miktek C7
Miktek Cv4
Mojave MA200
Mojave MA201fet
AKG C414

I have used that 414 quite a bit, but have only a fleeting familiarity with the others. I at least have a general idea what I'd be getting.

There are a few other mics that have come up in discussion recently that I really have ZERO experience with, and not even any close associates that have direct experience either.

Telefunken Copperhead
Peluso 22-251
Blackspade UM17


While the peluso is clearly a 251 clone and the um17 some variation of a 47 clone, the copperhead looks to be its own thing. very interesting.

Auditioning mics seems to be a joke in my area. I've not found music stores that even stock most of this and a couple of the local studios i've talked to are either not very well equipped either, or just frankly not pleasant to work with.

I will probably move on something by the end of next week. I usually work with Sweetwater as I have a good friend there, they treat me great, and give me good pricing, but they don't carry any of the last 3 mics, and as for the first few mics I don't think there is a way for me to audition them short of buying them all and then returning the ones i don't want... i'm sure they'll take good care of me though if i don't make the best choice the first time around.

Any feedback on these particular mics or last minute suggestions ??
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#42
6th May 2012
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I posted it earlier in this thread, but it didn't seem to get noticed.

Don't overlook the versatility of the Blue Bottle Rocket Stage II system.

Once you own the mic, you can add capsules for about $600 each. Every capsule is like a totally different tube mic. Very realistic emulations of vintage tube mics.

The B3 capsule is an SDC that slams on female vox and acoustic guitar.

The B7 is a splendid emulation of a U47.

In a small studio or home studio the versatility may be the ticket instead of a mic that just has one sound.

I have the old version of this, branded "Red Type A" along with several capsules and would never sell this one.

Just sayin………take a look.
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#43
6th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
In your situation I'd save and get a Flea48 or a Flea47 (the differences are only in the polar pattern... please correct me if I'm wrong).. it will be the closest to what you tried..probably..

or get an Arabella (which is different but very nice) or a Violet Design Globe Vintage (which is also different but sounds fantastic..even without a tube and a trafo..could you believe it?.. I'm a tube and axformer freak..but this mic sounds fabolous..I'll write a review soon..)

I don't know if these works for you, btw are very nice mics, but again..if you tried the U48 and works perfectly for you I'd try to get as close as you budget allows with the Flea's..

Just my 0.02$,



Cheu
Thanks for the response, I appreciate it. Flea has been on my radar screen although they seem pricey.

Yes, polar pattern and they "fixed it" so that there wasn't a 6dB drop in Cardioid.
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#44
6th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCruiser View Post
I posted it earlier in this thread, but it didn't seem to get noticed.

Don't overlook the versatility of the Blue Bottle Rocket Stage II system.

Once you own the mic, you can add capsules for about $600 each. Every capsule is like a totally different tube mic. Very realistic emulations of vintage tube mics.

The B3 capsule is an SDC that slams on female vox and acoustic guitar.

The B7 is a splendid emulation of a U47.

In a small studio or home studio the versatility may be the ticket instead of a mic that just has one sound.

I have the old version of this, branded "Red Type A" along with several capsules and would never sell this one.

Just sayin………take a look.
I had the stage 1 w/b8 cap going into a presonus eureka, very clean but I wanted more beef in my vocals. I now have an Avalon 737 and a Blue Mic Mouse, I wish I had kept the stage 1. Would have loved to hear how that xfmr less circuit with a b7 cap would have sounded with the tubes in that Avalon 737.

Probably would have been what I needed, but that's what happens when you try to buy a great mic before buying a great preamp...

The mouse sounds good, but its missing that top end sheen that I've been told the b7 cap has. Now I have microphone envy...
#45
7th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundHouse View Post
I totally get you on the Arabella being "airy-organic". I'm going to check out that Globe Vintage.
Yep.. The Arabella is an helluva mic! Heh

<<<< You could read my review of the Globe Vintage in the review section here on GS.. Fwiw..



Cheu
#46
9th May 2012
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Originally Posted by griff71177 View Post
Probably would have been what I needed, but that's what happens when you try to buy a great mic before buying a great preamp...
Differences in quality between high and low end pres are subtle compared to differences in high and low end mics. I would say don't start shelling out tons of money on pres until you already have multiple good mics.
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9th May 2012
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Originally Posted by Shannon Adkins View Post
Differences in quality between high and low end pres are subtle compared to differences in high and low end mics. I would say don't start shelling out tons of money on pres until you already have multiple good mics.
So a great mic would sound great on a good mic pre? Ive always read that a great mic sounds good with an average mic pre, but it sounds much better with a great mic pre. I figured the mic pre would be the starting point.
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Just get a mic already...time's a-wastin'
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Originally Posted by griff71177 View Post
So a great mic would sound great on a good mic pre? Ive always read that a great mic sounds good with an average mic pre, but it sounds much better with a great mic pre. I figured the mic pre would be the starting point.
Heck yeah. The mic matters way more! Most of the pres that come on mid level interfaces are decent. You will notice a difference in quality in a more expensive pre, but only a subtle one...unless you're comparing two pres of different character (like a clean pre verses a very colored one).
MY AT4060 sounds great through my MR816 pres. It sounds slightly (very, very slightly) better through an ISA or UA610.
My cheaper mics benefit more from the more expensive pres.
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Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Just get a mic already...time's a-wastin'
Gotta pay some major bills first, then it's a go for the mic...pretty sure it's going to be the UM17R or either the Cactus or the Stage 2 Bottle Rocket with the b6&b7 caps. Gotta talk with the people at Blue first about the differences in the two mics...from the horses mouth.
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Just make sure its the mouth...
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Originally Posted by Shannon Adkins View Post
Heck yeah. The mic matters way more! Most of the pres that come on mid level interfaces are decent. You will notice a difference in quality in a more expensive pre, but only a subtle one...unless you're comparing two pres of different character (like a clean pre verses a very colored one).
MY AT4060 sounds great through my MR816 pres. It sounds slightly (very, very slightly) better through an ISA or UA610.
My cheaper mics benefit more from the more expensive pres.
I've got a Blue Mouse into an Avalon 737 into a Focusrite Pro 40. Sounds good but I do have to cut a little at 1.2k hz and 350 hz, add a little high end sheen if needed after but, after I decide and get a mic, I should be able to tell a difference with one of the three, hopefully for the better.
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10th May 2012
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I'd consider non-tubes mics as well.
.
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I'd consider non-tubes mics as well.
.
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.
Which would you choose that would be on the M49 level?
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10th May 2012
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Which would you choose that would be on the M49 level?
Of course it will be different soundwise speaking but the Josephsons are on that level IMO (700 series)..or some RCA (or AEA reissue).. and btw if you're looking for a mic for your voice (or for a specific voice/source) sometimes the best mic is not forcely the more expensive or a tube one.. It doesn't forcely relate to how good the mic is, it depends if it "matches" with that source..
Sometimes is a Coles 4038, sometimes is a Brauner Classic and sometimes is an M49..
That said of course an M49 will still be very nice and a GREAT (greatest?) mic worth of owning..and which will be difficult to not have professional/acceptable results anyhow (it's one of my fav mics)..

Closest thing to an M49 is probably the Flea49.. For about half the current value of a Neumann M49.

Among the nicest tube mics I've heard below the 3k mark there is the Arabella and the Mahalia from Beesneez.. And the ones that shocked me because they have no tubes but they're incredible (also pricewise they're very interesting!) the Brauner Phantera and Violet Design Globe Vintage (this last mic is thick and creamy!).
Close to the 4k mark the Josephson 715 impressed me a lot, really nice, intense but detailed..and also the 700.. what a mic!! (not cheap of course).
RCA 44 and 77 are stellar as well..
Fleas are very nice, very close to the originals (or as close as it could be) for a reasonable price..(around 4.5k)

I hope this helps somehow,



Cheu
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