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Has anyone used the Beyer M88 (or TG) for "ssudio" vocal tracks?
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chessparov
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4th October 2002
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Has anyone used the Beyer M88 (or TG) for "ssudio" vocal tracks?

Couldn't resist the title reference to Phil Collins's hit since he's used the M88 so much for live and studio recording.
Anyway...

Just received a Beyer M88TG and am really liking it on my vocals.
It sounds like it puts a cool kind of compression on vocals,
and makes the voice sound more "ballsy". There's also a strong
proximity effect that seems useful as an effect when you get close. The polar pattern is tighter than a SM57.

The M88 sounds great for rock & roll, so good it has me curious why it's not used more in the studio. Also makes me think that Beyer is somewhat overlooked when it comes to making fine microphones, although this may be mostly the "homerecording"
crowd.

Has anyone here used them on studio vocal tracks?
Favorite pre's?

Thanks
Chris

P.S. Scored this mint M88TG for only $150 on e-bay BTW.
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4th October 2002
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I just used one a couple weeks ago for a hardcore vocalist doing screaming tracks for mostly choruses on a bunch of tunes. I didn't try a lot of options as they were local kids without much dough. I wound up going M88-Mp2NV-Voxbox-LA4-Massivo, It definitely took 2 compressors to get the voice to behave in the track. I suspect the pre in the Voxbox would have been just fine but I wanted to play with the NV to get to know it a bit better. The 88 sounded good in this application and took to heavy massaging pretty well winding up with a nice combo of girth, snarl & bile. It had a much more solid low end than a 58 in the same application. Handling noise was kind of a pain in the arse though...

Now back to orchestral work...
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4th October 2002
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M-88 is a vastly underappreciated mic, useable on most things, great on some. It's almost like it's the mic you wish a 58 could be. If you can only have two mics, that and a decent small diaphragm condensor can get you through most situations on the cheap.

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It's also a fine microphone to use with melodic singers (like me) who want
to sing hard rock style songs without blowing their voices out.
I also have a Beyer Soundstar MKII that is smooth and mellow sounding,
excellent on ballads.
In addition, the Beyer Soundstar that looks like the Sennheiser 421 is on
the way from Germany, and should arrive within a week.
All that's "missing" now is a nice Beyer ribbon than I'll have all the
Beyer necessities!

Chris
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5th October 2002
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I use the M88 (the all black one) for a lot of things.

I did a whole record where I used as the vocal mic. The singer had a very high voice(think Boston or Head East). All the condensers were very sibilant and peak-y. the M88 was smooth and sounded great. I think I used an ARE MPA and an LA4. I thought I was going o put it up tonight when I wasn't digging the U87. I put up a PL20 and it's doing it for me, at the moment. The singer's not too good so I may keep searching...
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5th October 2002
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It's good mic for vocals, but I use it mostly on kick, toms, and sometimes horns... Very useful mic. I own and use the original ones, not the "TG" version.

I wasn't as happy with the results on the stuff I use it for. It seems like the TG sounds better on vocals.
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5th October 2002
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Chris, unless you already have the M-201, keep hunting. I dare say it's a better snare mic than the '57, and good to useable on a ton else as well.

And if I hadn't had a $1,200 car repair last week, I would have sniped your ass on that Soundstar, so count your blessings.

Bear
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6th October 2002
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A nice Beyer M-101 (omni dynamic) sold for under $60 recently on e-bay.
Thanks for the replies!

Chris

P.S. Knew enough to appreciate scoring the "other" 421 type Soundstar BTW.
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7th January 2009
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interesting that you noticed the "ballsy/compressed" effect. I have an M88TG that does the same thing, it kind of makes a bulgy attack on certain vocal notes. I was wondering if this was a defect in the mic or just part of its character, or some other part of my signal chain

I find this mic really suits my voice for lead vocals on mellower, sparser acoustic songs. it's got a big full sound that's kind of mellow on top. in a dense mix I'd prefer my SM7 or 4047, but I still might use the M88 for backing vocals/harmonies

I use it with my universal audio preamps (solo 110 and 610) and it sounds really good with both

since we're on the topic of this mic, I've read around here that you can damage it by using it on kick drum. anyone have experience with that? what would you notice happening to the sound of the mic if it were damaged? is the TG model any better at taking this abuse than the older models?
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7th January 2009
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I've been a Beyer M-88 fan since the mid 80's when a friend at a local sound company turned me on to them. I would agree that they are every thing an SM 58 should be. The Beyer is a good vocal and voice-over microphone, and is one of the go to mics for kick. I've heard a tale though that once you use one for kick, it probably should remain a kick mic. I had one hung onto the back of an Lectrosonics "butt pack" wireless transmitter this past football season for my sidelines guy and it sounded great.

If Beyer had better marketing and they didn't cost more than twice what an SM 58 costs they'd be more widely used. It's one fine dynamic microphone.
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8th January 2009
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Well since some time has passed (6 years!)...

I ended u[p selling the M88TG later on because, at that time, was having more of an issue with sibilance-at least for this very fussy vocalist.

Harvey Gerst "inherited" one of my two Soundstars, via someone else who bought one from me. Glad to know it gets used a bunch over at his studio for scratch vocals. My understanding is that it gets picked over the more conventional
vocal mics many times.

The M88 seems to have gone up about 2X in price since this thread was originally posted BTW.

Oddly enough, the AKG D790 sold by Guitar Center(!), is somewhat of a "poor man's M88', with strong lower tones and good high frequency extension.
At least on vocals anyway.

Chris

Sorry, I can't be definitive like others regarding kick drum, however, IIRC on the Beyer company website they discuss this.
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8th January 2009
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Kevin Barnes from 'of Montreal' uses a M88 for most of his vocal tracks. Actually, he told me he uses it on 'damn near everything'. thumbsup
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4th November 2013
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What do you guys think about the m88 on vocals vs an m160? I like the m160 on vocals with a pop screen. How do they compare?

I noticed a distributor listing the m88 as a ribbon mic... but the m88 is dynamic, no? http://www.tmsaudioinc.com/beyerdyna...on-microphone/

Anyhow, I'd love to know audible differences for vocals between these two mics.

(Besides really wanting to know about the character of the m88 on vocals vs the m160, had to revive an old thread in the spirit of day of the dead, happy november all)
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5th November 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seditionary View Post
What do you guys think about the m88 on vocals vs an m160? I like the m160 on vocals with a pop screen. How do they compare?

I noticed a distributor listing the m88 as a ribbon mic... but the m88 is dynamic, no? Beyerdynamic M88tg Ribbon Microphone - TMS Audio Distribution | Upstate NY Premiere Pro Audio Solution

Anyhow, I'd love to know audible differences for vocals between these two mics.

(Besides really wanting to know about the character of the m88 on vocals vs the m160, had to revive an old thread in the spirit of day of the dead, happy november all)
M88 is a dynamic, that site has it wrong. They sound great on a great many things. M88 is brighter than an M160.
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M88 is an awesome mic.. Use it kick all the time. When it works for a vocalist, its great. If you have an M160, compare... They are both great mics!
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Thanks! Maybe this is a separate topic, but which is brighter in the high mids, a Sennheiser 421 or a M 88? I love the M160 and really love the 421 live... Trying to know whether I need to save up for a m88 or not Would it be brighter or warmer in the high mids than a Sennheiser 421? Thanks! (I'll look up a spec chart, but charts don't always always equate to what is heard)
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5th November 2013
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IMHO a "vintage" 421 sounds closer to a M160, vs. the current neodymium based 421 MKII.

BTW sold my other Beyer Soundstar M400 to Harvey, those have a flatter mid range vs. a M88-so it worked better on my "bright" voice, Nice alternative choice to a SM7 BTW.

Chris
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I just want to congratulate Chris on keeping up with his own 11 year old thread...born the year Gearslutz was born I think!

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5th November 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seditionary View Post
What do you guys think about the m88 on vocals vs an m160? I like the m160 on vocals with a pop screen. How do they compare?
I've got both and I've just recently started using the M160 on vocals. Without listening to them both side by side (not at studio now that's why I'm on the internet) I can't give you the tone comparisons, but in terms of general fit.

M88 - Always sounds pretty good on vocals. Sometimes is great. Rich and detailed for a dynamic and sits well in most mixes.

M160 - Either sounds perfect or totally wrong. But when it's perfect ...wow. it seems to have something going on with it's EQ/transient response that it either sits the singer flawlessly into the mix or pulls them out completely. I love it, but it's no middle ground on vocals. Great to have and an easy one to pick or remove in session after two lines of singing.
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5th November 2013
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I like the m88 for vocals, but primarily in a live-in-the-room type situation where you can't use an LDC. The hyper pattern (right?) can be problematic for me as the pickup is pretty narrow, and easy to "fall off" the sweet spot. That's exactly why it's so damn useful, though, but can be tricky for vocal. When it's in the sweet spot it sounds nice - like others have said a little compressed and ballsy.
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6th November 2013
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Thanks Warren.

Yep it's been long enough since it started to make me miss the "ol M88-
now that my voice "darkened" somewhat in tone in the last 10+ years.

Another vocal mic BTW that works very well on me now, but not 2 or more years ago, is the Shure Beta 58a (brighter than SM57/58).

Chris
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Chris, I believe you have been the biggest proponent of dynamic mics of any forum member...for all time!

War
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Oddly enough one of my 3 fave vocal mic all timers is a "dynamic", the mighty RCA/AEA 44. (other two are LDC's! The 251 and C-12).

Chris
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Dynamics are a lot of fun all of the ones I've ever tried have a discernible character and a ballsy midrange that you only get from expensive condensers I happen to like that boxy, dry, focused sound you get from a dynamic on lead vocals plus, I like ice cream they aren't so darn fussy to work with tracking vocals they don't pick up every frickin breath or lip noise that often causes me to have to scrap a take and start over I love tracking lead vocals with an SM7b and then using my EV RE11's and 635a's on BGV's that combo just works really well.
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