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Vocal Mic For A UA LA 610
Old 13th July 2016
  #1
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Vocal Mic For UA LA 610

$4000 or (hopefully) below. I'm a bluegrass musician and harmonize with myself on my recordings. It's not a requirement but it would be "icing" if the mic was very acoustic guitar friendly. But I also have a stereo pair of sE Electronics RN17s that sound superb on acoustic guitar. That's why the vocal mic doesn't have to be a killer acoustic mic. It would just add some versatility. In addition to the LA 610 I have a Millennia HV-3C but as you might guess that's my acoustic instrument pre. Thanks for your recommendations.


Tom

Last edited by kr1012; 14th July 2016 at 12:33 PM..
Old 13th July 2016
  #3
If anyone else has input, I'm sure it would be appreciated but If I were to pick one tried and true mic in your budget for what you are doing there's pretty much no going wrong with the Neumann.
Old 13th July 2016
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Dial View Post
If anyone else has input, I'm sure it would be appreciated but If I were to pick one tried and true mic in your budget for what you are doing there's pretty much no going wrong with the Neumann.
Are you referring to a new M 149 or vintage one?


Tom
Old 13th July 2016
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
Are you referring to a new M 149 or vintage one?


Tom
There is only a modern M149 A vintage M49 will run you no less than $10,000
Old 13th July 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Dial View Post
There is only a modern M149 A vintage M49 will run you no less than $10,000

You're absolutely correct. I'm getting the two confused. See what happens when you get old?
Old 14th July 2016
  #7
Gear Addict
After doing some research on the M149 it sounds like it's on it's way to becoming a "holy grail" mic that can do just about anything extremely well. Sounds like it would be a nice complement to my Manley Gold Reference. Any other recommendations for mics with the versatility of the M149 and that would go well with the Manley?
Old 14th July 2016
  #8
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I really like the 610 pre. One of my favorites for the sound it puts on things. I don't have a specific mic to mention, but more of a strategy for it - clean, sterile or even sibilant mics pair up with it really well for some reason, while I feel like tube mics like my Pearlman TM47 sound pretty good, the combo of tube mic and tube driven 610 can be a little thick.

I had a TLM 103 for a while and that mic actually sounded great through a 610. It didn't sound that nice through anything else and it's definitely one of the most hated mics here, but it was a great pairing for the 610 and probably because it's a bit sibilant.

Anyway, you can't go wrong with an M149 but that combo may sound a tad thick with the 610.
Old 15th July 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianellefson View Post
I really like the 610 pre. One of my favorites for the sound it puts on things. I don't have a specific mic to mention, but more of a strategy for it - clean, sterile or even sibilant mics pair up with it really well for some reason, while I feel like tube mics like my Pearlman TM47 sound pretty good, the combo of tube mic and tube driven 610 can be a little thick.

I had a TLM 103 for a while and that mic actually sounded great through a 610. It didn't sound that nice through anything else and it's definitely one of the most hated mics here, but it was a great pairing for the 610 and probably because it's a bit sibilant.

Anyway, you can't go wrong with an M149 but that combo may sound a tad thick with the 610.

Thank you so much, Brian. Very useful information. I thought it was very important to mention what pre I was using for vocals so I could pair it with a good, complementary, mic. The Manley Gold Reference, BTW, sounds wonderful through the 610.
Old 15th July 2016
  #10
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Mics that pair very well with the LA610 on vox: Brauner Phanthera V and Violet Amethyst Vintage.
Old 15th July 2016
  #11
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brianellefson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
Thank you so much, Brian. Very useful information. I thought it was very important to mention what pre I was using for vocals so I could pair it with a good, complementary, mic. The Manley Gold Reference, BTW, sounds wonderful through the 610.
Hey that makes sense. I haven't heard a Gold Reference, but I've heard people describe it as being very "present." Would make sense if thats the case since the 610 has a tendency to round things off a bit. Best of luck on your search.
Old 15th July 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianellefson View Post
Hey that makes sense. I haven't heard a Gold Reference, but I've heard people describe it as being very "present." Would make sense if thats the case since the 610 has a tendency to round things off a bit. Best of luck on your search.
Thanks, Brian. Yeah, the 610 and Manley Gold Reference seem to complement each other extremely well. But I'd like to have another mic to add some versatility to my studio. And, like others, I'm just really addicted to top quality mics...the recordist's version of G.A.S. Great mics are just another color and another part of a recordist's pallet. Now, let's see...which pre would go well with an M-149?
Old 15th July 2016
  #13
Dot
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The HV-3 is brilliant with the M-149. The resolution and speed on the Millennia really brings out details and nuances that aren't going to be captured with many of the slower and colored preamps.

kr1012, you say you're doing bluegrass. What kind of sound are you going for? Are you wanting a more lively and modern sound, or are wanting a more retro hipster sound? Or just something straight ahead. Are you leaning at all towards a rock approach, or would you say you're more of a traditionalist and a purist? Do you have any sound clips you could share?
Old 15th July 2016
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
$4000 or (hopefully) below
Honestly if you're looking to pay that sort of money for the mic I'd look at experimenting with different pres too, not saying the LA-610 is a bad pre far from it, but it is a specific sound and IMHO lacking a bit of headroom.

I had an LA-610 for a while and got good results but would always end up processing it fairly heavily, but after getting a 1073 it was better for me, much thicker and detailed straight off the bat with less eq required, I'm using a Brauner Phantom C, Innertube modded U87 and SM7, all sound great though it.
Old 15th July 2016
  #15
Dot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creative.control View Post
Honestly if you're looking to pay that sort of money for the mic I'd look at experimenting with different pres too, not saying the LA-610 is a bad pre far from it, but it is a specific sound and IMHO lacking a bit of headroom.

I had an LA-610 for a while and got good results but would always end up processing it fairly heavily, but after getting a 1073 it was better for me, much thicker and detailed straight off the bat with less eq required, I'm using a Brauner Phantom C, Innertube modded U87 and SM7, all sound great though it.
I'd agree with that. The 610 is really going to wreck the sound of a 149. The 610 gives a dark low-fi sort of sound. The 149 is not going to come through. You could just as well use something like an SM7B/610 for that old school retro sound.

The 610 is very much a character pre, and not something that's a good all around pre, IMO.
Old 15th July 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creative.control View Post
Honestly if you're looking to pay that sort of money for the mic I'd look at experimenting with different pres too, not saying the LA-610 is a bad pre far from it, but it is a specific sound and IMHO lacking a bit of headroom.

I had an LA-610 for a while and got good results but would always end up processing it fairly heavily, but after getting a 1073 it was better for me, much thicker and detailed straight off the bat with less eq required, I'm using a Brauner Phantom C, Innertube modded U87 and SM7, all sound great though it.

I think you're right. I could be looking at the wrong component/s. Or, perhaps I need to be looking at more than one if I'm looking for versatility. I'm going to research the 1073 and maybe some other pres and see what they have to offer. Hmm.....I wonder how a 1073 plugin would work? Thank you for your recommendations.
Old 15th July 2016
  #17
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Flea 47 or 49 Next plus a good pre is one idea.

Or vintage U87.

I personally would avoid M149 for Bluegrass.
Old 15th July 2016
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dot View Post
The HV-3 is brilliant with the M-149. The resolution and speed on the Millennia really brings out details and nuances that aren't going to be captured with many of the slower and colored preamps.

kr1012, you say you're doing bluegrass. What kind of sound are you going for? Are you wanting a more lively and modern sound, or are wanting a more retro hipster sound? Or just something straight ahead. Are you leaning at all towards a rock approach, or would you say you're more of a traditionalist and a purist? Do you have any sound clips you could share?

Dan, I'd describe myself as a "neo-traditionalist" bluegrass artist. I'm a darn good instrumentalist and can go toe to toe with most when it comes to flatpicking. I also play Scruggs style banjo and mandolin.

I like the writing and song structure of traditional BG but prefer the more modern sounding recordings and recording techniques. I do some "rock-grass" and "folk-grass" but pretty much stick to a more traditional song style. Although I will often "update" some of the traditional songs. I do lots of harmonizing with myself in the studio.

The texture of my voice is pretty much neutral and unremarkable. I'm a middle of the road baritone/tenor with a good range and I can sing pretty loud if called for. I'm really a better harmony singer than soloist. I don't have any kind edge to my voice to contend with. As mentioned above, I would sum my voice up as neutral without any strong character to it. I would give my voice a 6 or 7 on a scale of 10 for character.

Hope this helps with assessing and recommending mics and pres. Perhaps my vocals could be subtle-y enhanced by the right component. There certainly won't be any major change.
Old 15th July 2016
  #19
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MDSKNNRP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianellefson View Post
I really like the 610 pre. One of my favorites for the sound it puts on things. I don't have a specific mic to mention, but more of a strategy for it - clean, sterile or even sibilant mics pair up with it really well for some reason, while I feel like tube mics like my Pearlman TM47 sound pretty good, the combo of tube mic and tube driven 610 can be a little thick.

I had a TLM 103 for a while and that mic actually sounded great through a 610. It didn't sound that nice through anything else and it's definitely one of the most hated mics here, but it was a great pairing for the 610 and probably because it's a bit sibilant.

Anyway, you can't go wrong with an M149 but that combo may sound a tad thick with the 610.
Totally agree with this. I use an U89 alongside my LA-610 and that combo works wonders on vocals - especially on female vocals. It seems to dampen a lot of sibilance while still maintaining a lot of mid-presence.
Old 15th July 2016
  #20
Dot
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Thanks for the info. Honestly, for what you're doing, and the fact that you have an HV-3C, I'd highly recommend you get a pair of AKG 414.

C414 XLS Matched Pair - Matched pair stereo set | AKG Acoustics

It's lead over every mic in the recent GS poll Large-Diaphragm Condenser Mic (LDC) under $1,000.

Vote on your favorite Large-Diaphragm Condenser Mic (LDC) under $1,000

The 414 can be a great vocal mic, and is still one of the most used mics in studios. Between the HV-3C and the 610, you could And it's a real workhorse. The HV-3C/414 combo has been an industry-standard for years for close miking acoustic instruments.

I really wouldn't get into any $4K kind of mic at this point. I'd spend the $2K on a pair of 414s, or look and find them used for less. I'm pretty confident it can meet all your needs. If I was recording you, or when I record any acoustic instruments, Millennia and Hardy preamps and 414s and DPA mics are always first call gear.

And what you can get running a pair of 414s with the HV-3C for stereo will take you to the top level in sonics. You'll be blown away.

Since you have the colored and darker 610 and transparent and high-res HV-3C that complement each other, I'd suggest you do the same with mics.

Get a pair of 414 XLS, and then if you want one complementary mic with more coloration and fizz, I'd say look at the Telefunken AK47, which runs around $1400ish.

TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik :: TELEFUNKEN AK-47 MkII

While, I'm here. If you really want to go to town, and play around with the different kinds of sounds you could get from multiple classic mic sounds ala 47, 67, C12, 251, as well as small capsules with different patterns, and transformer bodies and transformerless bodies, there is the 3 Zigma Master 4 X 10 Tool Kit. There's just a sick array of sonic possibilities with that kit.

Tool Kits: 3 Zigma Audio - Condenser Microphones

So, some things to consider.
Old 16th July 2016
  #21
AT5040, best vocal mic (and other uses) under 4K.
Old 17th July 2016
  #22
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a.beck's Avatar
 

Beesneez Arabella. I have one for sale on Reverb as it happens.

Sounds great through my LA610 - have used this combo quite a bit for bluegrass. Sadly I'm not doing much of that anymore, so the mic isn't getting used lately.

Also if you haven't already, grab some NOS Telefunken 12AX7s to replace the mediocre JJs or whatever your 610 came with. You won't be sorry.
Old 17th July 2016
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by a.beck View Post
Beesneez Arabella. I have one for sale on Reverb as it happens.

Sounds great through my LA610 - have used this combo quite a bit for bluegrass. Sadly I'm not doing much of that anymore, so the mic isn't getting used lately.

Also if you haven't already, grab some NOS Telefunken 12AX7s to replace the mediocre JJs or whatever your 610 came with. You won't be sorry.
The arabella is amazing, it can get a little honky on nasally vocals and the K7 capsule can fart on louder sources like amps and drums. But it totally kicks butt at the soft powdery vocals and acoustic guitars.

Old 17th July 2016
  #24
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Neumann TLM170r.
Old 17th July 2016
  #25
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
I think you're right. I could be looking at the wrong component/s. Or, perhaps I need to be looking at more than one if I'm looking for versatility. I'm going to research the 1073 and maybe some other pres and see what they have to offer. Hmm.....I wonder how a 1073 plugin would work? Thank you for your recommendations.
Consider the Slate VMS. Includes preamp. I've got a fairly decent mic locker here, and also have a pair of VMS'. You won't get much more versatile for a LDC, especially when more models come out.
Old 19th July 2016
  #26
I would throw Soyuz 017 in there... and if you are looking for some versatility, I will also throw Lauten 386 as it has three different voicing options. I just made a shootout including these two mics with three other ones ( Telefunken AR51, Manley ref. cardioid, & the 414) here:

Manley Ref Cardioid vs Flea 12 vs Soyuz 017 vs AKG 414 vs Telefunken AR51
Old 21st July 2016
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kr1012 View Post
$4000 or (hopefully) below. I'm a bluegrass musician and harmonize with myself on my recordings. It's not a requirement but it would be "icing" if the mic was very acoustic guitar friendly. But I also have a stereo pair of sE Electronics RN17s that sound superb on acoustic guitar. That's why the vocal mic doesn't have to be a killer acoustic mic. It would just add some versatility. In addition to the LA 610 I have a Millennia HV-3C but as you might guess that's my acoustic instrument pre. Thanks for your recommendations.


Tom

In my opinion, you're doing it backwards. Choose the mic based on the sound source then choose the pre based on the sound coming out of the mic. Choosing a mic based on a pre is like choosing the food you want based on the ketchup you're using.
Wouldn't it be better to choose the meal then decide which condiment suits it best?
I would never say, "Im not going to eat lobster because it tastes bad with my ketchup." I would however say, "This lobster is delicious and I suspect it would be even better with clarified butter."

"This U87 will sound great with this pre but bad on my voice" is pretty much what you're doing.

Also, if you already have a Manley, go for something more like an AKG and less like a Neumann which is basically what a Manley kinda sounds like.
I very much suggest the Mic Shop MS12 which is a VERY high end C12 knock off that sounds incredible on almost every singer I work with which is saying a lot because 80% of my income comes from recording vocals. The MS12 is $5k which is pretty far above your budget so perhaps that is not the mic for you. I would also, suggest a vintage C414 with a brass CK12 capsule. Its a killer mic that will retain its value that can be purchased on the used market for about $3k-$4k and it sounds nothing like a Neumann.
Best of luck to you sir.
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