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Versatile vocal LDC mic Condenser Microphones
Old 13th September 2016
Registered User

Versatile vocal LDC mic

I would like to get opinions on which LDC mic would be a good choice for tracking vocals but would also yield good results with acoustic instruments such as piano, acoustic guitar, strings, etc. and doesn't cost more than $10.000? Which mic would cover the largest spectrum of vocals, so that it could be used for both male and female vocals and different genres and voiceovers? If you were limited to 1 LDC mic only, which one would you choose?

My current picks are Manley Ref C and Manley Gold, though I would consider something else, if it covers broader range. I like the 'modular' approach of Blue Bottle with capsules, FLEA and Soundelux mics are mentioned frequently... Versatility is key although great sound is key as well
Old 13th September 2016
Gear Nut
You could get into a Telefunken ELAM 251 e for 10k used. I use it on most everything and love it. Make sure you have a good class a transformer balanced discrete pre amp (Neve/vintek) or you could loose a lot of the timbre of your beautiful sounding tube mike.
Old 13th September 2016
Lives for gear

Which mic would cover the largest spectrum of vocals, so that it could be used for both male and female vocals and different genres and voiceovers? If you were limited to 1 LDC mic only, which one would you choose?
Old 13th September 2016
Lives for gear
Adebar's Avatar
Originally Posted by Galore View Post
Versatility is key although great sound is key as well
For versatility and sound look at the Josephson C700A.

It has 2 capsules - a LD figure eight and a SD omni (pressure capsule).
Both signals come out separately on 2 XLRs.
This is not an M/S array since both capsules look at the same direction to the front.

As you know every pattern is attributable to the summing of figure eight and omni.
So with these 2 capsules you can create every pattern. If you just summ the 2 signals with the same level (both PANPOTs in center position) you get a cardiod.
Relativ 10 dB more on figure eight results in supercardiod.
Relativ 10 dB more on omni results in wide cardiod.

This way you can adjust the pattern also after the recording during the mix just by moving the faders.

You can also achieve a frequency depended pattern just by different EQs of both signals.
Both signal have the same level and you damp the lows of the omni by 10 dB.
This gives you a supercardiod in the lows and at all other frequencies you have a cardiod.

Same is possible to adjust a level dependend pattern by different compressing the signals.
You adjust a supercardiod like explained above with relativ 10 dB more at the figure eight and compress only the figure eight.
With a loud voice / instrument you get a gain reduction at the figure eight and the mic tends to be a cardiod. When the voice / instrument sings/plays pianissimo there is no gain reduction and you have a supercardiod.
The effect is like the microphone zooms into the voice when it sings quiet.

There are many other ways to work with these 2 signals and that makes this C700A really very versatile. But this versatility wouldn´t make sense without a good sound. This mic sounds really good and I would gvie it a try.

In the price range you named you could even go for the C700S. With its 3 capsules (an additional side fugure eight) you can create as stereo or surround signal just by summing all 3 signals at your desk or DAW.
Old 13th September 2016
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
For that kind of money, you should be working with a retailer that will allow you to audition mics in your studio. I'd get a list of 3-5 mics (tops) and set up an extensive demo. Personally, i'd make sure a C12 of some sort was on that list.
Old 13th September 2016
Definitely look into the AT5040, its $3k. feel free to pm me if you want some tracks done with this mic
Old 13th September 2016
Gear Addict
Nothing at all wrong with your current choices. There are tons of of great mics to choose from. I use the Manley Reference Gold a lot for vocals. I love it. Superb, very versatile mic for vocals and it's outstanding on acoustic instruments. I'm running one through a UA LA 610 (I also run bass direct into the 610). However, I'd love to add a FLEA to my collection and perhaps a good pre that would go particularly well with it. But I'm really liking the Manley Reference Gold. Versatility and tone to the max.
Old 13th September 2016
Registered User

Many different options here, thanks for your replies. How does Manley Ref C sound with acoustic instruments?
Old 13th September 2016
Lives for gear
carloff's Avatar
the most versatile mic in my stock is U87 (old) or AKG 414EB. U67 is very versatile as well but doesn't work too much for voxes like mine where is rasp in the voice.
Old 14th September 2016
Gear Addict
zohomoho's Avatar

I found the Ref C to be overly sibilant on some voices. Have a listen to the Soyuz SU-017 or the Majave MA-1000. Both amazing vocal mics.
Old 15th September 2016
Gear Addict
I urge you to hire a studio with a great collection of mics currently being manufactured, so you can hear them for yourself. For $10,000, you can get 3 or more really top notch mics of varying character, so you'll have the "best" mic for a variety of situations. Versatility is better accomplished with different mics, not a one-size-fits-all. Happy hunting!
Old 15th September 2016
Lives for gear
Cathedral Guitar's Avatar
M49 sounds great on a wide variety of voices + acoustic instruments. > u67 > u87
Old 16th September 2016
Big price reduction on the Blue Bottle (took current owners right out of the used market pricing). Versatility is great and you can use not only their caps but even better capsules like the Violet Design VD67 and VD47. Plus you can pickup a used Neumann M7 capsule that also sounds great on the Bottle. You can also get pretty much any capsule installed in an empty Blue cage for even more options including a K47. Lots of fun having a half dozen or so options.
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