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Manley Reference Cardioid Condenser Microphones
Old 17th December 2017
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Manley Reference Cardioid

So, to sort of set the tone - last I had any recording equipment was in the early 90s when 4 track tapes made of bounced tracks with nothing more than a few SM57s meant you were a genius , toy instruments sufficed, Jazzmasters and Jaguars were still cheap and Elector Harmonix and Univox pedals could be found throughout Americas heartland for a few bucks at any old pawn shop. Thus, I have NEVER had a fancy mic - so when I started building my lil home studio, on a whim, I bought a Manley Reference Cardioid. Don't know why, sweet design and packaging I guess and it wasn't a Neumann - who knows. Anywho, I've finally pieced all the parts together and started recording some tracks and I just can't figure this mic out. To be clear, I am NOT a singer. I think when I was younger I could hide behind effects and overdriven gear but this thing is just so so accurate and precise. Every lil nuance and flutter in my breathing is like pink elephant. I have tried it through a Pacifica and a Chandler Germanium, through various UA Plug in pres. It's not very warm? I dunno. At any rate. Any one have any insights into a good chain or a different mic to check out? I like vocals that are kind of buried in the mix, I love my ribbon mics. I love effects and tube saturation and all things fuzzy and swirly so I don't need crystal clear per se. Maybe those 17 years of smoking caught up to me
Old 17th December 2017
  #2
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Techone's Avatar
 

I use it with a 1073 DPA. Good chain, you can get the warm sound that you're looking for. It's a bright mic but with 1073 it can sound nice.
Old 17th December 2017
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Just recently shot the Manley out with some high end vocal mics and I have to say it was the only one that everyone I work with wanted to keep. That through my sphere eclipse desk ( which is doing some serious warming) is friggin great!
Old 17th December 2017
  #4
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Classic's Avatar
 

The real magic happens when you start mixing and realize you can put it anywhere you’d like in the mix and it’s still there, nice and clear.
Old 17th December 2017
  #5
^^^^ as stated above is accurate. These mics are built on the concept of having a great...maybe even, the right preamp behind it. As Classic said, its one of those mics that will undoubtedly fit in your mix without much fighting.
Old 17th December 2017
  #6
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
So this morning, I ran it through one of the Chandler Germaniums, La2a and 1176 (plugins) with an AKG spring reverb - it was pretty amazing. I don't know what happened yesterday. I spent all day screwing around trying to get a bass line right in a mix so maybe I was just burnt out. I have yet to really get to sing into as my wife is busy stomping around the house like an elk - this thing picks up my dog licking his toes 3 flights of stairs away - but later tonight I will. I do need to perfect the singing too. I am liking it with the preamp hit really hard currently.
Old 17th December 2017
  #7
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antichef's Avatar
For me, 1073 DPA, Great River MP-2NV, Chandler TG2 have all been nice for vocals and a Ref C
Old 18th December 2017
  #8
lately, the MANELY is too harsh on my ears,
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
I've been using it this week, as it has been zero degrees and I have nothing else to do, its def. nice and a LOT has to do with my cough cough singing abilities . That being said, someone offered me a great deal on a Lauten FC-357 Clarion that I think I will pick up on a whim. I really am lusting after a warmer mic, maybe a ribbon?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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antichef's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
... I like vocals that are kind of buried in the mix ...
Well, the Ref C is definitely not the mic I would reach for if I wanted a vocal buried in the mix.

A ribbon would probably be good. But have you tried some dynamic mics? (I know a ribbon is technically a dynamic mic) Maybe even one of those SM57s? If they're too honky and you have an extra one, maybe pull out the transformer and wire the capsule directly to the XLR pins. One of the various electro voice mics might be great.

What ribbons do you have?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
aea r84 sounds like what you're after...
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
I've been using it this week, as it has been zero degrees and I have nothing else to do, its def. nice and a LOT has to do with my cough cough singing abilities . That being said, someone offered me a great deal on a Lauten FC-357 Clarion that I think I will pick up on a whim. I really am lusting after a warmer mic, maybe a ribbon?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
I just have two Royer 101s now for ribbons. I tried to use those as drum overheads through my Pacifica but they just weren't grabbing enough of the cymbals. Even tried to sing through them, maybe I need a ribbon specific pre?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
I've been using it this week, as it has been zero degrees and I have nothing else to do, its def. nice and a LOT has to do with my cough cough singing abilities . That being said, someone offered me a great deal on a Lauten FC-357 Clarion that I think I will pick up on a whim. I really am lusting after a warmer mic, maybe a ribbon?
Lauten Audio makes some great mic's, well worth more than their prices
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
I picked up the Lauten, recorded some super fuzzy Plexi solos that were awesome. Then went to do a vocal track through a Pacifica....not so impressed. To be fair, I am coming down with a cold but I just couldn't get it to cut through the mix like the Manley - I think I accidentally ruined myself by buying that Manley first. Now I am over here lusting after Telefunkens and old ribbons. Le sigh.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
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b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
I picked up the Lauten, recorded some super fuzzy Plexi solos that were awesome. Then went to do a vocal track through a Pacifica....not so impressed. To be fair, I am coming down with a cold but I just couldn't get it to cut through the mix like the Manley - I think I accidentally ruined myself by buying that Manley first. Now I am over here lusting after Telefunkens and old ribbons. Le sigh.
Check out the Gefell M990 and REDD mic. They cut but have more body.

PM me if you want a sample.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
I picked up the Lauten, recorded some super fuzzy Plexi solos that were awesome. Then went to do a vocal track through a Pacifica....not so impressed. To be fair, I am coming down with a cold but I just couldn't get it to cut through the mix like the Manley - I think I accidentally ruined myself by buying that Manley first. Now I am over here lusting after Telefunkens and old ribbons. Le sigh.
Ok, you are simply having a modern mic vs. vintage issue....... and we've all been there. I myself have gone back and forth too, lol. The modern mics will cut through a mix but can have too much detail and the vintage style mic's have less detail but take EQ well.... so it's modern and take away detail and de-ess or vintage and EQ. I'm slowly falling on the vintage and EQ side these days but there is no wrong path. I do not want older mic's so I've been going after newer mic's that do the vintage tone (IE: Horch Rm2J).

You may want to demo the Chandler REDD mic as it is the perfect combo of a modern C800G meets a vintage 251 up top but with a nice U47ish mid. If price is an issue demo Tele Copperhead. Also check out the Lauten Atlantis and Eden mics, they have a 3 position switch that changes the mic's voicing, going from ribbon dark to modern-esque bright. Also look at newer Gefell models, they are vintage sounding but pushing toward modern.

Another path is to purchase a Neumann U87ai and then the max67 kit and an Innertube C12 kit. That would give you an 87, 7, and C12 sounding mic and the kits take just 2-4 minutes to swap back and forth.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Ah! That makes total sense, as the Lauten doesn't sound bad just very thick? Full? I love my Chandler Germaniums I will have to give that mic a test drive.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
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b0se's Avatar
Wasn't impressed with the Atlantis examples posted here.

Copperhead is certainly worth auditioning.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
What about the AR51 and AK47? I like how I can stand really far away (2ft) from the Manley and just belt it out or set the preamp so I can get right on top of it and be all whispery. It does however pick up EVERY noise in the room and the house and the yard and the neighborhood haha.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
manley + high shelf cut

i use a Manley every day for tracking vocals, and nearly always have a high shelf cut engaged on an analog eq (BAE B15) after the preamp, at about 12k or 16k. I run it into a BAE 1073 > BAE B15 > Inward Connections Brute. It's plenty warm enough and sounds like vocals to me - try the low pass filter and a thick optical or variable-mu compressor. The only time i don't use it is when the dog is barking or the HVAC is running! the SM7 gets called on for that job and it really highlights just how sensitive the Reference microphone is. I'm sure this mic isn't for everybody, but I got it for $1,700, and i don't know any other mic in that price range that delivers what the Manley does.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
Wasn't impressed with the Atlantis examples posted here.

Copperhead is certainly worth auditioning.

Copperhead is nice, Atlantis is well worth testing too but not every mic is for everyone.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by limbs View Post
i use a Manley every day for tracking vocals, and nearly always have a high shelf cut engaged on an analog eq (BAE B15) after the preamp, at about 12k or 16k. I run it into a BAE 1073 > BAE B15 > Inward Connections Brute. It's plenty warm enough and sounds like vocals to me - try the low pass filter and a thick optical or variable-mu compressor. The only time i don't use it is when the dog is barking or the HVAC is running! the SM7 gets called on for that job and it really highlights just how sensitive the Reference microphone is. I'm sure this mic isn't for everybody, but I got it for $1,700, and i don't know any other mic in that price range that delivers what the Manley does.
$1700 - bargain!
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Addict
 
outUVphaze's Avatar
 

As stated by others. I wouldn't reach for Manley if you want to bury someone.

Your enemy under those circumstances would be the M149 and the Manley.

I happen to love those mics, but they would be kryptonite for the purpose that you seek.

Amy Winehouse using the Manley Gold in Toronto at the Orange Lounge.

YouTube
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by outUVphaze View Post
As stated by others. I wouldn't reach for Manley if you want to bury someone.

Your enemy under those circumstances would be the M149 and the Manley.

I happen to love those mics, but they would be kryptonite for the purpose that you seek.

Amy Winehouse using the Manley Gold in Toronto at the Orange Lounge.

YouTube
Man. That voice.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
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outUVphaze's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
Man. That voice.
Yep. Up close and personal.

The Manley Gold captures it all
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by outUVphaze View Post
Yep. Up close and personal.

The Manley Gold captures it all
She could sing down a phone and blow your head off, but that Gold does sound absolutely wonderful with her voice. No traces of sibilance either, I wonder what the full chain was.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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You want a mic that takes EQ well, and sounds HUGE? The new Manley mic (is it called the Silver?) is incredible. Imagine the frequency response of a ribbon, but with the characteristics of a tube condenser. Also serves as an amazing guitar amp mic. But it's flat frequency response, without being dull, really makes it ideal for EQ, or just hanging out back in the mix.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
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b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
You want a mic that takes EQ well, and sounds HUGE? The new Manley mic (is it called the Silver?) is incredible. Imagine the frequency response of a ribbon, but with the characteristics of a tube condenser. Also serves as an amazing guitar amp mic. But it's flat frequency response, without being dull, really makes it ideal for EQ, or just hanging out back in the mix.
You don't see much mention of the Silver/Gold around these parts. Would love to hear more samples from them.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post

Another path is to purchase a Neumann U87ai and then the max67 kit and an Innertube C12 kit. That would give you an 87, 7, and C12 sounding mic and the kits take just 2-4 minutes to swap back and forth.
There is no such thing as an "Innertube C12 kit"

You are most liklely meaning, the Innertube Audio Retro Fit kit for the U87.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
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jjblair's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
You don't see much mention of the Silver/Gold around these parts. Would love to hear more samples from them.
I've owned a Gold for many, many years. Imagine a 251 with less coloration. It's like less harmonic content in the mids, and less phase shift in the top, but with similar pronounced, silky smooth highs. Amazing on acoustics and female singers, or anybody with an airy voice. Basically, any application where you'd use a 251 or C12. It's just a more hifi version of that, if that makes sense. And the variable pattern control really allows you to tailor either the lows or the highs by moving in between patterns (towards fig 8 to go darker, or towards omni to make the bass leaner).

When I had the silver, I was comparing it to a C37a and a M367 (U67 with AC701). It didn't have that forward 3k of the C37a, but had a low end that was huger than both mics. Maybe more low end from any mic I've ever heard outside of the 507. Had a similar top end to the U67, but a flatter mid flavor. Was a great substitute for a 67 on guitar amps, where the 67 is my favorite.

Sorry, but I'm not into posting my shootouts anymore. If you can dig up Kathleen Wilhoite's "Pitch Like a Girl," which is an album I did many years ago (my first major label record), that was the Gold into 1073, probably into an 1176. She has a sort of Bonnie Raitt thing. I used it on vox and acoustic. Great acoustic mic.
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