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Chandler REDD mic next to a vintage U87 Condenser Microphones
View Poll Results: Should I give in to gearlust?
Get the REDD!
35 Votes - 41.67%
Stick with the 87!
49 Votes - 58.33%
Voters: 84. You may not vote on this poll

Old 13th July 2018
  #181
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizards Machine View Post
... laying down a much better groove together because the vibe is there, then printing that vibe onto a disc so some kid can ride his bike to the local record store and buy it.
What happened is, now the kid gets on his laptop and steals it. So those records don't make money, so record companies don't fund them, so those records don't get made.

Instead, people make "collaborative" records by swapping files around on Dropbox, using the same computers they use to steal other people's records.
Old 13th July 2018
  #182
Gear Head
 
Wizards Machine's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
What happened is, now the kid gets on his laptop and steals it. So those records don't make money, so record companies don't fund them, so those records don't get made.

Instead, people make "collaborative" records by swapping files around on Dropbox, using the same computers they use to steal other people's records.
Yep. Years back there was something called a Gold Record. 100,000 copies. It was the gold standard. Record companies were actually happy with half those sales. A&R men knew music and made the decisions that actually included great songwriters, arrangers, etc. Greed and stupidity killed the record business. ...

Okay, pardon my soapbox, back to the mic stuff.
Old 13th July 2018
  #183
Gear Maniac
 
Kroc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
MUCH better with the low pass filter on there! I do hear the "heavy handedness" in the upper freq's toledo is referring too but at this point it's nitpicking because the vocal is really compelling. What plate verb are you using by the way?
The UAD EMT140 plug (that's my go-to, that I'm using in basically all the samples) - this one is Plate A, filtered at 125, top and bottom rolled a little, with a bit of pre-delay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Could the sound be further mellowed by a quality tube compressor?

Chris
Yeah, the WA2A definitely helps with thickening the sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
Chris, the reason I had asked whether you assessed your own voice with headphones on, is that I feel that kind of playback really does lend itself to a sound along the lines of the REDD. That extra harmonic, and saturation, really helps something cut against what you are hearing through your own head cavity at the same time. A lot of times I treat the vocal in a way that approximates something like that for the artist’s headphone mix (or my own)...only to back down considerably later.
While the REDD clarity is nice, I personally absolutely love the headphone sound I get from my 87 or 77. It is nice to get a clear picture, but I find if my vocal is too bright, I get a little more skittish about singing at full volume and wind up restraining myself a little because loud notes literally sound more grating. Versus hearing myself through the '50s U47 I used the other week, which I described to the engineer as being like 'punching a fluffy pillow'. There is definitely value in that. Same with the 77DX. And I'm finding that when I listen back after, it sounds pretty much just like the take felt while performing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_G View Post
I first described this mic as a C800G for Beatles fans. People spat feathers at the time. I think it's a brave and excellent microphone that people don't understand yet as they're still hung up on the old classics. Make no bones about it, this will be a classic.
Hi Paul.
I'm curious why you think people 'don't understand' the REDD yet? What do you think is being missed?
I agree that it is definitely a neat mic (in spite of it not working for me), with heaps of detail. I'm guessing that when it works for the source, it works just as well as some of those mics. I appreciate the aesthetic and innovation in the design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Strikes me as a sign of the times. People saying the 87 sounds 'old fashioned'. I completely agree it captures more emotion. Only, is that actually what most people WANT for a modern record??? Show me modern records with lots of emotion on them. Not many around. It's not the age of emotion, it's the age of portable screens.
Lol. It’s so totally NOT a dated sound. I find that a little amusing. The 77DX is a little ‘old-fashioned’ (in a lovely way). But retro is totally in-fashion anyway (Leon Bridges, Amy Winehouse, Hozier, etc.)
However, when compared with most other mics, the 87 is quite neutral and natural. It’s just a little darker/has more meat in the 300-900Hz area. But shelf +1.5dB at 8-12kHz and you're basically good to go. And no, it might not work for a dance track, but for singer-songwriter stuff I have very little processing to do to make it sound pretty right.
Personally, I'm a big fan of a 'timeless' vocal sound. One of my favourite vocal productions of all time is Jeff Buckley's "Grace" album, which was done through a U87, and to me it doesn't sound at all 'dated' or 'old-fashioned'. I could listen to those performances endlessly. Part of why I wanted an 87 to begin with. Or Karen Carpenter's vocals - purportedly an 87 also.

Side note: I should point out the irony here is that the REDD was developed in conjunction with Abbey Road (that ‘dated’ old dump :P ), using their ‘old-timey’ microphones as a reference point for quality.
Which is a good thing, in my opinion! There's a reason why people love the classics. Obviously some live on brand name, but put a young singer who knows nothing about mics in front of a really good vintage U47, and watch their eyes widen.
Also, don't forget that a few decades ago, studios and radio stations were throwing out mics that we now consider 'holy grail's because they were 'old technology'.

I think there's still plenty of demand for emotion. Genuine emotion is always a golden currency. And there's still plenty of modern records coming out with it - just not as much within the mainstream (check out Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, Noah Gundersen, Chris Stapleton, Benjamin Clementine, Allen Stone).
More than ever, a lot of pop music is targeted at people who don't actually want to really listen too closely to music. So there's plenty of homogenous, uninspired, yellow-legal-pad, 'girl, meet me at the club', let's-cash-in-on-hormones type ear garbage floating around.

In relation to that, top-end is a lot like refined sugar. Sure, it's sweet, but too much of it is kind of bad for you! You shouldn't need all that extra sweetening and sauce if the meat and potatoes are high quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roger View Post
Autotune & the Grid have killed emotion in (some) music. The 87 just sounds nicer here. It doesn’t zing or hurt so you are drawn to listen louder & deeper - that helps to former a greater emotional connection for sure.
Right! Again, not ragging on the Chandler here... but using it on my voice, I always want to turn it down. Because it's detailed, yes, but also sounds grating in this circumstance. And then I turn it down, and realise that the vocal has no weight anymore. The 87 is the opposite - it's a very comforting sound, without a lot of hardness. A little less 'sparkly', but much less fatiguing on your ears.

And yes, boo to auto-tune and quantization! It kills all the nuance.
I'm not using that stuff on my record. If something actually sounds 'wrong', I'd rather just redo it. ...That's why I built a studio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zohomoho View Post
It's not the mic, it's the performers who have become soulless.
*Cough* talent shows *Cough* ... It's a shame that so many of my fellow millennials think that music is a thing that you 'win' by being 'correct'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
I'm not so sure about this. "Sound" and "soul" or "emotion" in a song are not necessarily related. I've done handheld recordings in rehearsal rooms that had emotion and vibe that could not be recreated in a studio environment. Many of us have recorded lofi demos in our project rooms that lose something when they are redone in the studio with top class equipment. Happens to famous bands as well. Same goes for seeing (name your favorite band here) live and then you listen to their studio album and you have to scratch your head. Emotion comes from the performer in a moment in time.
Totally, sometimes the gear can't stop the performance from sounding awesome. Getting the psychology right with recording is such a learning curve! There's such a fine balance between tightness versus sterility, vibe versus sloppiness. I enjoy refining my self-production workflow because it helps me catch those moments of inspiration at a higher sound fidelity. But sometimes it is really tough to figure out how to get the 'right' take in the studio (I'm working on a track at the moment where it has taken a lot of time and effort to replicate the live feel exactly). Often that's where it's helpful to have other people with you on your production team who can see your vision and be your targeting system while you're in the live room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
And I've done studio recordings where I've caught emotional lightning in a bottle, but with the wrong mic. Which is not meant to be an argument for tediously shooting out vocal mics. In my view, you need to know your gear well enough that when it's time to track a vocal right now, you put up the right mic straightaway. Which, I just confessed, I sometimes haven't.
This is why I really appreciate this thread, and all this helpful feedback. It might seem a little silly to meticulously record and post dozens of samples in all these different ways, but it's great to have thought/discussed all this in depth before hitting record. Like, I know if I throw up my 87 through my MA5 I won't be thinking, "Man... I wish I'd used something else..." after. I think it's a good activity for all singers to know which vocal chain is going to pull a pretty good sound no matter what, so they have a baseline.
Old 13th July 2018
  #184
Gear Guru
The real irony is you could sing into a tin can and still sound good! Great voice....
Old 14th July 2018
  #185
Lives for gear
 

The tin cans made before World War II sound better, than the newer ones though! Chris
Old 14th July 2018
  #186
dzb
Gear Nut
 
dzb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroc View Post
Okay, so... Here's a new comparison between the REDD (working properly this time, without the screwed up PSU) and my 87 (through MA5). About six inches off the mics, with a pop filter in between. Totally raw: no EQ, de-esser, compression or verb - just a limiter on the master (not actually doing any gain reduction) to bring up the volume.
I did a pretty thorough read through this thread before deciding to chime in. I personally am not a fan of the U87 as a first choice for a vocal mic -- and realize I might get publicly flogged for saying that, but having owned 2 at widely different times and selling each along the way after a some years of owning both (an older one initially in the 90's and a more modern AI for a few years roughly 7-10 years ago). And, I have used others along the way at my studios and at others, even recently - typically for instruments and I can't recall the last time I deliberately used a U87 for a vocal take that I was involved with in any way in a recording for others or myself.

I do own the REDD. And it was through a lengthy process over months that included multiple mic acquisition steps and reevaluation of the assortment of mics I own and have access to, including many capsule mic heads with different pre bases.

What made me write today is that as soon as I heard your voice, I thought to myself, I would not have reached for the REDD necessarily first. In the couple months of owning the REDD, {to me} it handles male vocals that have a bit more bottom end (baritone or lower tenor range) on similar style of music exceptionally well - almost finding those vocals mixing into tracks with nearly no EQ. It performed very well on your voice, with a pleasing sense of air but not so overt and certainly not to 'modern', so to speak. The REDD also loves to harness (in a good way) powerful singers - and with higher range vocalists that tend to sound strident with other mics when really singing out (male and female).

On your voice, I found your particular '71 U87 to be more pleasing to my ear than I expected. I would not get rid of that mic, as it sounded pretty good on another one of your samples as well.

I did notice the REDD was easier on my ears and your samples represented that ever-so-slight natural compression that occurs when the mic is pushed with a vocal source - the REDD is smoother in those instances than the U87. I wondered where you had the REDD mic set with gain? To me, it almost felt like there was a little left under the hood to utilize with the mic with your examples. It can get quite quite tasty and proximity can bring some appealing results - both forward and backward from the mic. Especially when people push the their voices a bit.

I also own the Avedis MA5 pre, and would perhaps try a different pre with your U87 (and I absolutely love the MA5). The 77 on your voice was really comfy cozy, but the air and smoothness overall of something like the REDD is where my ear leans to. I can hear the midrange of the U87 and that is not my preference. Others may find it familiar when EQ'd, but I prefer to do less sculpting and morphing of the vocal sound captured on the recording (another reason I like the REDD after using it more and more.)

Related background, I do like the way a 67 (or clone) & 47 sound, too - just depends on the song and vocal placement in the mix you desire. And, there are times the C12 sounding mics are perfect (even some lower cost replica wanna-be's).

I concur with the folks that say the REDD does well in a dense mix, because it does!

Candidly, I would say to any performer/writer looking at these two mics - try several out, even aside from the U87 - then, once you pick one, make more new music and don't get overly hung up on the super subtle differences - if you have the budget for both, that answer is obvious: get both.

If you don't have the budget for both, enjoy what you have and exhaust all combinations of using the mic - and that includes mic pre combinations. Don't be afraid to try two mic pres in line with each other (I might get flogged for saying that, too). In one instance, I had a junior engineer accidentally patch a nice mic pre into the front of an Avid Omni, and while I could hear something was, had to roll with that combo for the short part of the session... I knew something was up, but interestingly once seeing what he did, we tried 3 combinations of the mic pres - individually & in-series... and each combo made the mic sound so different it was eye opening. I also occasionally would do this with a Groove Tubes Vi-Pre into a DBX 786 for air - the results were very tasty. The MA5 with air with another pre lightly before it might be a combo worth experimenting with if you are inclined to to do. Not trying to distract your mic focus here, but you have some exceptionally cool options at your fingertips. And the combinations of the REDD are far from one-trick pony. Run that into something else, too. It's ok, it's only 33 dB's of gain your starting with anyway, some pre's get really tasty at 50-60 with different mics and distances for the performer.

A great vocal performance will sound great captured most of the time when you are in this realm of mic choice.
Old 14th July 2018
  #187
Gear Nut
 

They are both great microphones. One size does not fit all. NEXT.
Old 14th July 2018
  #188
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
But Oldone, I thought the Slate "smashed MXL plug-in" was ALREADY out!
(Just kidding Steven!)

Chris
Old 14th July 2018
  #189
Gear Maniac
 
Kroc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
The real irony is you could sing into a tin can and still sound good! Great voice....
Well shucks!! Thank you!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
The tin cans made before World War II sound better, than the newer ones though! Chris

Definitely smoother. The quality control was higher, and the aging of the tin really rounded out the top end. The modern ones just don't have the same bass extension.

But like... now I might actually have to record with a tin can. For the lols.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzb View Post
I did a pretty thorough read through this thread before deciding to chime in. I personally am not a fan of the U87 as a first choice for a vocal mic -- and realize I might get publicly flogged for saying that, but having owned 2 at widely different times and selling each along the way after a some years of owning both (an older one initially in the 90's and a more modern AI for a few years roughly 7-10 years ago). And, I have used others along the way at my studios and at others, even recently - typically for instruments and I can't recall the last time I deliberately used a U87 for a vocal take that I was involved with in any way in a recording for others or myself.

I do own the REDD. And it was through a lengthy process over months that included multiple mic acquisition steps and reevaluation of the assortment of mics I own and have access to, including many capsule mic heads with different pre bases.

What made me write today is that as soon as I heard your voice, I thought to myself, I would not have reached for the REDD necessarily first. In the couple months of owning the REDD, {to me} it handles male vocals that have a bit more bottom end (baritone or lower tenor range) on similar style of music exceptionally well - almost finding those vocals mixing into tracks with nearly no EQ. It performed very well on your voice, with a pleasing sense of air but not so overt and certainly not to 'modern', so to speak. The REDD also loves to harness (in a good way) powerful singers - and with higher range vocalists that tend to sound strident with other mics when really singing out (male and female).

On your voice, I found your particular '71 U87 to be more pleasing to my ear than I expected. I would not get rid of that mic, as it sounded pretty good on another one of your samples as well.

I did notice the REDD was easier on my ears and your samples represented that ever-so-slight natural compression that occurs when the mic is pushed with a vocal source - the REDD is smoother in those instances than the U87. I wondered where you had the REDD mic set with gain? To me, it almost felt like there was a little left under the hood to utilize with the mic with your examples. It can get quite quite tasty and proximity can bring some appealing results - both forward and backward from the mic. Especially when people push the their voices a bit.

I also own the Avedis MA5 pre, and would perhaps try a different pre with your U87 (and I absolutely love the MA5). The 77 on your voice was really comfy cozy, but the air and smoothness overall of something like the REDD is where my ear leans to. I can hear the midrange of the U87 and that is not my preference. Others may find it familiar when EQ'd, but I prefer to do less sculpting and morphing of the vocal sound captured on the recording (another reason I like the REDD after using it more and more.)

Related background, I do like the way a 67 (or clone) & 47 sound, too - just depends on the song and vocal placement in the mix you desire. And, there are times the C12 sounding mics are perfect (even some lower cost replica wanna-be's).

I concur with the folks that say the REDD does well in a dense mix, because it does!

Candidly, I would say to any performer/writer looking at these two mics - try several out, even aside from the U87 - then, once you pick one, make more new music and don't get overly hung up on the super subtle differences - if you have the budget for both, that answer is obvious: get both.

If you don't have the budget for both, enjoy what you have and exhaust all combinations of using the mic - and that includes mic pre combinations. Don't be afraid to try two mic pres in line with each other (I might get flogged for saying that, too). In one instance, I had a junior engineer accidentally patch a nice mic pre into the front of an Avid Omni, and while I could hear something was, had to roll with that combo for the short part of the session... I knew something was up, but interestingly once seeing what he did, we tried 3 combinations of the mic pres - individually & in-series... and each combo made the mic sound so different it was eye opening. I also occasionally would do this with a Groove Tubes Vi-Pre into a DBX 786 for air - the results were very tasty. The MA5 with air with another pre lightly before it might be a combo worth experimenting with if you are inclined to to do. Not trying to distract your mic focus here, but you have some exceptionally cool options at your fingertips. And the combinations of the REDD are far from one-trick pony. Run that into something else, too. It's ok, it's only 33 dB's of gain your starting with anyway, some pre's get really tasty at 50-60 with different mics and distances for the performer.

A great vocal performance will sound great captured most of the time when you are in this realm of mic choice.
Hiya dzb. Thanks for the feedback.
This is interesting to read, because you seem to describing the mics as sounding the opposite way to many of the other responses.

Personally, putting it up against the recordings I did through a 47 and 67 last month, I thought the 87 held its own admirably on my voice against those classics. To me, it sounded just as detailed and workable, but possibly a little thicker in the low-mids, and with a little less presence push around 5kHz (which is probably why it handles my sibilants so well). I liked different aspects of the other two mics (the 47 was very thick and up front, the 67 was a little more open and bright), but I'm not even sure if they genuinely sound any 'better' than the 87.
Not too shabby when we're comparing a $2.5k mic through an $800 preamp next to a $12k mic going into a $6k preamp.
(Have attached clips again for reference. No EQ, etc., just verb.)

I'd like to get a chance to demo/shoot out with a Flea 47/48 and some kind of 251. Maybe a C12 too.

I will agree that the REDD does pretty well in a denser mix. I'm experimenting right now with compressing it during tracking through my WA76 (1176 clone) into my WA2A (LA2A clone). And it definitely keeps the details of the vocal right at the front of the mix. I think I find it less grating with a decent helping of tube compression, though I still want to add like 3-5dB at 150Hz. Which is kind of weird.
Generally for these samples, I think I was using it around +24dB to +30dB.

When I listen to it, especially on sparser mixes, it's definitely a 'big' sound, but I hear more of the 'air' of the notes than the tone. I don't hear it as smooth at all. It's like this scratchy, abrasive, top-heavy thing in the upper mids where I want to turn it down. And I feel like it makes me sound more nasal than I am, like the balance is off and the chest tone isn't being captured right.

I'd be interested to see how the U87 would compare to the REDD being put through the REDD.47 preamp. My 87 is quite a dark mic, and can get pretty muddy with some pairings. I was using it with my ISA 430 MKII and was getting some singing-through-a-sock effect. If the REDD.47 has a similar tonal profile to the mic, it might make for quite a balanced sound.

I'm also curious - you mentioned that when you heard my voice, you wouldn't have necessarily reached for the REDD first. What would you have reached for first?

Cheers,
Dan
Attached Files

47 - Verb Only.mp3 (904.4 KB, 1228 views)

67 - Verb Only.mp3 (904.4 KB, 1217 views)

77 - Verb Only.mp3 (904.4 KB, 1221 views)

87 - Verb Only.mp3 (904.4 KB, 1196 views)

Old 15th July 2018
  #190
Gear Nut
 

They are all very usable, but the 47 was the clear winner for me.

Your voice and phrasing remind me of Joni Mitchell.
Old 15th July 2018
  #191
Lives for gear
 
roger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroc View Post
Well shucks!! Thank you!!!




Definitely smoother. The quality control was higher, and the aging of the tin really rounded out the top end. The modern ones just don't have the same bass extension.

But like... now I might actually have to record with a tin can. For the lols.



Hiya dzb. Thanks for the feedback.
This is interesting to read, because you seem to describing the mics as sounding the opposite way to many of the other responses.

Personally, putting it up against the recordings I did through a 47 and 67 last month, I thought the 87 held its own admirably on my voice against those classics. To me, it sounded just as detailed and workable, but possibly a little thicker in the low-mids, and with a little less presence push around 5kHz (which is probably why it handles my sibilants so well). I liked different aspects of the other two mics (the 47 was very thick and up front, the 67 was a little more open and bright), but I'm not even sure if they genuinely sound any 'better' than the 87.
Not too shabby when we're comparing a $2.5k mic through an $800 preamp next to a $12k mic going into a $6k preamp.
(Have attached clips again for reference. No EQ, etc., just verb.)

I'd like to get a chance to demo/shoot out with a Flea 47/48 and some kind of 251. Maybe a C12 too.

I will agree that the REDD does pretty well in a denser mix. I'm experimenting right now with compressing it during tracking through my WA76 (1176 clone) into my WA2A (LA2A clone). And it definitely keeps the details of the vocal right at the front of the mix. I think I find it less grating with a decent helping of tube compression, though I still want to add like 3-5dB at 150Hz. Which is kind of weird.
Generally for these samples, I think I was using it around +24dB to +30dB.

When I listen to it, especially on sparser mixes, it's definitely a 'big' sound, but I hear more of the 'air' of the notes than the tone. I don't hear it as smooth at all. It's like this scratchy, abrasive, top-heavy thing in the upper mids where I want to turn it down. And I feel like it makes me sound more nasal than I am, like the balance is off and the chest tone isn't being captured right.

I'd be interested to see how the U87 would compare to the REDD being put through the REDD.47 preamp. My 87 is quite a dark mic, and can get pretty muddy with some pairings. I was using it with my ISA 430 MKII and was getting some singing-through-a-sock effect. If the REDD.47 has a similar tonal profile to the mic, it might make for quite a balanced sound.

I'm also curious - you mentioned that when you heard my voice, you wouldn't have necessarily reached for the REDD first. What would you have reached for first?

Cheers,
Dan
Different takes dude.
Makes it a little hard to tell which is “best” (you’re kinda belting out the 87 take, and pitchy on the 67 take for example).
Safe to say you’ve got a great gift and it suits a vintage Neumann beautifully!

I am currently researching the redd47 pre circuit (plan to build one P2P). & I’m not sure how they can call the mic a Redd47. Chunky+ in/out transformers, 2 tubes in the power section (which are obviously dropped for a SS design!), no way they can fit the 2 gain stage tubes in there, so V1 only I assume.....and then there’s the capsule (= the lens of the camera so-to-speak) made by God-knows-who-but-has-absolutely-zero-to-do-with-Ringo....it’s just not got that much to do with a Redd47 has it?! I’d sooner get/make the preamp and run stuff through it. I COMPLETELY disagree that this mic with a knob on it is going to be a classic. We can come back to this thread in 40 years and see who’s right though! Haha! What a weird thought!

Last edited by roger; 15th July 2018 at 10:30 PM.. Reason: “Completely” should have been in CAPS
Old 15th July 2018
  #192
Gear Head
 
Wizards Machine's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroc View Post
Well shucks!! Thank you!!!




Definitely smoother. The quality control was higher, and the aging of the tin really rounded out the top end. The modern ones just don't have the same bass extension.

But like... now I might actually have to record with a tin can. For the lols.



Hiya dzb. Thanks for the feedback.
This is interesting to read, because you seem to describing the mics as sounding the opposite way to many of the other responses.

Personally, putting it up against the recordings I did through a 47 and 67 last month, I thought the 87 held its own admirably on my voice against those classics. To me, it sounded just as detailed and workable, but possibly a little thicker in the low-mids, and with a little less presence push around 5kHz (which is probably why it handles my sibilants so well). I liked different aspects of the other two mics (the 47 was very thick and up front, the 67 was a little more open and bright), but I'm not even sure if they genuinely sound any 'better' than the 87.
Not too shabby when we're comparing a $2.5k mic through an $800 preamp next to a $12k mic going into a $6k preamp.
(Have attached clips again for reference. No EQ, etc., just verb.)

I'd like to get a chance to demo/shoot out with a Flea 47/48 and some kind of 251. Maybe a C12 too.

I will agree that the REDD does pretty well in a denser mix. I'm experimenting right now with compressing it during tracking through my WA76 (1176 clone) into my WA2A (LA2A clone). And it definitely keeps the details of the vocal right at the front of the mix. I think I find it less grating with a decent helping of tube compression, though I still want to add like 3-5dB at 150Hz. Which is kind of weird.
Generally for these samples, I think I was using it around +24dB to +30dB.

When I listen to it, especially on sparser mixes, it's definitely a 'big' sound, but I hear more of the 'air' of the notes than the tone. I don't hear it as smooth at all. It's like this scratchy, abrasive, top-heavy thing in the upper mids where I want to turn it down. And I feel like it makes me sound more nasal than I am, like the balance is off and the chest tone isn't being captured right.

I'd be interested to see how the U87 would compare to the REDD being put through the REDD.47 preamp. My 87 is quite a dark mic, and can get pretty muddy with some pairings. I was using it with my ISA 430 MKII and was getting some singing-through-a-sock effect. If the REDD.47 has a similar tonal profile to the mic, it might make for quite a balanced sound.

I'm also curious - you mentioned that when you heard my voice, you wouldn't have necessarily reached for the REDD first. What would you have reached for first?

Cheers,
Dan

I may be a little dense this AM, but what mic is the "77" in your above examples? PS, the 67 does it for me.
Old 15th July 2018
  #193
@Kroc

I dunno about those clips they are all pretty sibilance. I think the engineer should have tilted the mic just slightly or just raised an inch that can help allot but still maintiainig the tonality of the mic. And that the u87 are the dullest of them all seems a bit off to me, atleast the experience i have with a u87 and u67.

I do like the Neumanns the best, it's just something very familiar and nice about vintage neumanns. The cotton feel in the mids me like!
Old 15th July 2018
  #194
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
Well, no, if your creating EDM music. But the example was more of a ballad and in Nashville, that is the money sound. Heck yeah, there's lot's of modern records with emotion and that's exactly what people want. If I want the soul-less and compressed Chinese capsule sound, I can put up an MXL mic smash it with a plugin in and save you the money of the REDD.
Confusing. Perhaps you just didn't get what my statement was. Never mind.
Old 15th July 2018
  #195
Lives for gear
 

"77" refers to the RCA 77 ribbon microphone (nicknamed "the pill").

Chris
Old 15th July 2018
  #196
Gear Maniac
 
Kroc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanderwestcoast View Post
They are all very usable, but the 47 was the clear winner for me.

Your voice and phrasing remind me of Joni Mitchell.
Hey thanks!! Love Joni's music.

That's like the 'holy vocal chain' - vintage 1950s U47 into a vintage Neve preamp. Half my favourite records were probably done with that, so I can't really argue with that sound.

Though, yeah, at this level it's kind of a, 'Which do you like better, red or blue?' situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizards Machine View Post
I may be a little dense this AM, but what mic is the "77" in your above examples? PS, the 67 does it for me.
RCA 77-DX ribbon mic. That was the studio's 77, going through their vintage Neve 1066, in their super dead vocal booth.
Aside from how it compares to other mics, I think I actually prefer the clarity I get with mine through my MA5 in my room. Gives it some extra air, which makes it more versatile.

We used the 67 for most of the vocals I cut there. Nice mic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
@Kroc

I dunno about those clips they are all pretty sibilance. I think the engineer should have tilted the mic just slightly or just raised an inch that can help allot but still maintiainig the tonality of the mic. And that the u87 are the dullest of them all seems a bit off to me, atleast the experience i have with a u87 and u67.

I do like the Neumanns the best, it's just something very familiar and nice about vintage neumanns. The cotton feel in the mids me like!
You think? I don't really get that impression myself. The 77 is the least sibilant mic I've ever used, and I didn't really notice much with the 47 or 87 either. A little bit in the 67, but well within manageable levels. Definitely nothing like what I was getting in the REDD.
I am a little sibilant in general, so I expect to have to use some amount of de-essing on most stuff (except for my 77DX). But with most of the vocal mics I use, it's usually minor enough to be able to get rid of transparently with Pro-DS.

It's tough to make a fair comparison because of all the variables, with the 87 clip being recorded a month later through different equipment in a different room.
We started tracking with the 47 up, but traded it for the 67 because that particular 47 was sounding kind of thin when I moved a little further back. Which is sort of odd, because (not that I have a wealth of experience with them, but) I definitely wouldn't have expected a 47 to be lacking in low end. I really liked the sound of it in this clip though, personally.
Old 15th July 2018
  #197
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroc View Post


You think? I don't really get that impression myself. The 77 is the least sibilant mic I've ever used, and I didn't really notice much with the 47 or 87 either. A little bit in the 67, but well within manageable levels. Definitely nothing like what I was getting in the REDD.
I am a little sibilant in general, so I expect to have to use some amount of de-essing on most stuff (except for my 77DX). But with most of the vocal mics I use, it's usually minor enough to be able to get rid of transparently with Pro-DS.


I hear what Crille is saying. They are all a little sibilant. I'm starting to think some folks are more sensitive to it than others? I know I am. I can't repeat listen to a song that has sibilance. It really hurts my brain. Yours isn't too bad in those clips though, although you have to be careful because mastering can really make it unbearable.



Quote:
We started tracking with the 47 up, but traded it for the 67 because that particular 47 was sounding kind of thin when I moved a little further back. Which is sort of odd, because (not that I have a wealth of experience with them, but) I definitely wouldn't have expected a 47 to be lacking in low end. I really liked the sound of it in this clip though, personally.

Yeah that was interesting. I just listened to those clips for the first time and was thinking the same thing about the u47 being a little thin before I even read your reply. I also liked the u67 the best. I must say though, that 77 sounded friggin' HUGE! It just has a lovely tone. Not the right fit for that song but you already knew that. Still it sounds great.


And let me just say one more time, man have you got some serious talent! Your voice is like honey, drawing in bees. It's so sweet! You're definitely going places with a voice like that.



P.S. I'm still waiting on the clip of you singing into the "tin can" for comparison, lol.
Old 16th July 2018
  #198
Lives for gear
 

Side note: I should point out the irony here is that the REDD was developed in conjunction with Abbey Road (that ‘dated’ old dump :P ),



The funny thing is- for anyone who works there on the regular......it is an old timer , place that on occasion.. just reminds you of your grandparents mouldy spare bedroom

think about a large - poorly ventilated room with 50+ people in that is HEATED by 1950s style warehouse heaters - yes those same old wire filled tubes are the "AC" for Abbey Road studio 1. - the control room is up to you - AS long as you position yourself behind the tape op and in front of the AC control - piano booth to your right - Mackie VLZ in front of you with HD600 and a Neve 88RS to the left of the MACKIE - you start to laugh....
Old 16th July 2018
  #199
Lives for gear
 

point being - if you find a Neumann/ELAM to be sibilant - you can GUARANTEE - that mic was designed for TAPE - a complimentary electronic formula AGAINST TAPE.

analysing circuits by ear and machine is what has lead us to the discoveries that have perpetuated our 21st centaur life style.
Old 16th July 2018
  #200
Gear Maniac
 
Kroc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
I hear what Crille is saying. They are all a little sibilant. I'm starting to think some folks are more sensitive to it than others? I know I am. I can't repeat listen to a song that has sibilance. It really hurts my brain. Yours isn't too bad in those clips though, although you have to be careful because mastering can really make it unbearable.
Right - I suppose I made that comment taking into account the fact that they had no processing at all, just a little bit of verb. Don't get me wrong, I'd still stick FabFilter Pro-DS on all of them (except maybe the 77), depending on how much compression I'd be adding to it after. But yeah, to me at least, it isn't a situation with any of them where (as the engineer) I'm thinking, "Eesh, how am I meant to get rid of this?!"
I probably am more used to/less sensitive to my own sibilance than others are, but I've also heard myself sound a lot spittier (i.e. on the REDD).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Yeah that was interesting. I just listened to those clips for the first time and was thinking the same thing about the u47 being a little thin before I even read your reply. I also liked the u67 the best. I must say though, that 77 sounded friggin' HUGE! It just has a lovely tone. Not the right fit for that song but you already knew that. Still it sounds great.

And let me just say one more time, man have you got some serious talent! Your voice is like honey, drawing in bees. It's so sweet! You're definitely going places with a voice like that.

P.S. I'm still waiting on the clip of you singing into the "tin can" for comparison, lol.
Kinda weird about the 47, right? That's the only one I've had a chance to sing through, and I suppose the vintage ones all sound different. So maybe that's a brighter one? I didn't dislike that sound either, but I think I went in expecting it to be a little more like the 77, but with the crisp top end of a condenser. Anyway!

I'm curious as to how a Flea would compare to that 47. And how a TLM67 with the ioaudio mod would compare to that 67. I get all kinds of gear FOMO thinking about this stuff, because I want my record to sound as awesome as possible! But I know that we're splitting hairs here, and I can get a pretty workable sound with what I have.

I love the 77 sound too. It actually takes EQ surprisingly well - I've found it to be remarkably versatile with some extra top-end added. But in general it definitely seems to shine the most on slower, sparser stuff where the vocal has a bit of room in the midrange and you don't need a fast, bright transient response to get it to sit right. It always makes me want to sing Chet Baker songs. :P

And man, thank you again! That's really nice of you to say. My whole world revolves around the music I write and perform (and the recording of it), in particular through my singing, and I'm kind of a workaholic with it because I love doing it so much and want it to be as resonant with people as it can possibly be (if you hadn't noticed, from the obsessive sample posting. ) - so it's great to hear when it connects!

LOL, don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the tin can...
Actually, somewhere in storage, I have a 6" phonograph disc recording of the title track of my album that I did a week after writing it in the 1947 Voice-O-Graph recording booth at Third Man Records in Nashville. Now THAT was a funky lo-fi sound...
Old 16th July 2018
  #201
Gear Maniac
 
Kroc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
21st centaur life style.
Centaurs have the best lifestyle, after all.

(Couldn't resist. It evoked such a vivid image.)



...Thanks Google.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
The funny thing is- for anyone who works there on the regular......it is an old timer , place that on occasion.. just reminds you of your grandparents mouldy spare bedroom

think about a large - poorly ventilated room with 50+ people in that is HEATED by 1950s style warehouse heaters - yes those same old wire filled tubes are the "AC" for Abbey Road studio 1. - the control room is up to you - AS long as you position yourself behind the tape op and in front of the AC control - piano booth to your right - Mackie VLZ in front of you with HD600 and a Neve 88RS to the left of the MACKIE - you start to laugh....
Haha, this is actually pretty neat to hear about. Goes to show that you can make music in just about any environment. People assign the 'magic' afterwards. I'm sure it's still a super inspiring place to work in though, knowing the history.
Old 16th July 2018
  #202
Lives for gear
 

Yes, my voice needs some de-essing on U87ai>DAW. Chris
Old 16th July 2018
  #203
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Your voice might do very well with an M49.
Not a clone but real one.
Old 16th July 2018
  #204
Gear Head
 
Wizards Machine's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroc View Post
RCA 77-DX ribbon mic. That was the studio's 77, going through their vintage Neve 1066, in their super dead vocal booth.
Holy moly. The reason I was confused at 77 was I never would have expected an RCA to sound like that. That is one special mic. No eq? If not, I am amazed. Yes, I liked the sound of your DX77 you posted earlier, it had more of a true DX contour and envelope. This one sounds more like a c12 than a RCA. Floored.
Old 16th July 2018
  #205
Gear Maniac
 
Kroc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Yes, my voice needs some de-essing on U87ai>DAW. Chris
I've only used an 87Ai once, and it was a whole different ball game to this vintage one. My 87i is dark, soft, round and even muddy/woolly through the wrong preamp. The Ai was a harder, harsher kind of sound. Not a bad sound, but not nearly as much low-end weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Your voice might do very well with an M49.
Not a clone but real one.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to see if I can try one next time I'm in a studio that has one. $13k for a vintage one is a little above my budget at the moment! But if I try one and realise that it's 'the sound', it'll be good to know what to save for eventually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizards Machine View Post
Holy moly. The reason I was confused at 77 was I never would have expected an RCA to sound like that. That is one special mic. No eq? If not, I am amazed. Yes, I liked the sound of your DX77 you posted earlier, it had more of a true DX contour and envelope. This one sounds more like a c12 than a RCA. Floored.
Hehe, yep! That clip gave me total 77DX fever when I first listened back in my own space. Had to get one after hearing that intimate smoothness and warmth. I used that exact chain for one of the slower tracks, and it turned out great. In retrospect, I don't think I would have regretted doing all the lead vocals with it. But I hadn't used one before and was concerned that I might be committing to a very specific sound by using a ribbon for all lead vocals, and might have been limiting my options later during mixing.

I'm pretty sure this had no EQ. I haven't added any. Unless the engineer did with the 1066, but I doubt it. We were just doing a super quick shootout before doing proper tracking from the session - we just threw up the mics and I rushed through the takes in about a minute flat to avoid wasting time. It was a regular silver version that they'd bought from Vintage King. Pretty sure it was just patched straight into the 1066. I was actually up on it pretty close - like a few inches off, at the engineer's encouragement (which I'd normally be hesitant to do with a ribbon. Though we had a pop filter up of course).

I'll have to experiment - the main differences were that I was recording in a small, super dead vocal booth, and with no CloudLifter. Versus here, with a CloudLifter in my bigger (and still pretty neutral) room, but with less straight-up absorption. The main variable is probably the 1200 Ohm (I believe?) 1066 input impedance versus the 3000 ohm CloudLifter.

I think I could achieve that sound here too, though. Either through the MA5 without the CloudLifter or through one of my other darker preamps. I'll try a few different setups and see what I can pull. I'd be interested to put it through an AEA RPQ500 preamp also eventually, as they're specifically designed to get the best out of these mics.

__________

Side note: I forgot to mention earlier, but the clips through the 1950s U47 - that mic has an original M7 and VF14 tube.
Old 16th July 2018
  #206
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroc View Post

I think I could achieve that sound here too, though. Either through the MA5 without the CloudLifter or through one of my other darker preamps. I'll try a few different setups and see what I can pull. I'd be interested to put it through an AEA RPQ500 preamp also eventually, as they're specifically designed to get the best out of these mics.

.

Interesting tidbit I learned recently. The AEA Preamps (along with the R84 mic, A440 amongst others) were designed by Fred Forsell. Some interesting products in that pic I posted below and the design page from Forssell technologies. A while back there was a shootout in the high end with the TRP, Millenia and a few other top dollar mic pres and many of the listeners including myself felt the AEA Preamp sounded the best on most of the sources. AEA Mic pres are very versatile.


forsselltech.com


.
Attached Thumbnails
Chandler REDD mic next to a vintage U87-forssell-designed-products.jpg  
Old 16th July 2018
  #207
Lives for gear
 

During the 50's, based on what I've read, and what an old time Capitol Records AE told me...

Most of the engineers, at Capitol, preferred using an RCA 77 on Sinatra and Nat King Cole for their vocals-over the U47/48. The Neumann's however, were greatly preferred by photographers, for those iconic staged pictures!

IIRC (it was filmed) Sinatra used an AKG dynamic (D12?) on It Was A Very Good Year. Tremendous vocal capture! The film was uploaded to YouTube.

BTW Karen Carpenter's U87, had the switch "stuck on Omni"! (happy accident)
Chris
Old 17th July 2018
  #208
Gear Maniac
 
Kroc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
P.S. I'm still waiting on the clip of you singing into the "tin can" for comparison, lol.
It took a few days to arrive from Amazon with it being the weekend, but here's a sample through my beautiful new C B Gitty Build It Yourself Tin Can Microphone kit (basically a tin can with a piezo pickup, superglued to the tin can lid, plugged in via a 1/4" guitar lead).
Through the Apollo Neve 1073 Unison plugin. Only the best for my tin can.
Attached Files
Old 17th July 2018
  #209
Gear Head
 
Wizards Machine's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
IIRC (it was filmed) Sinatra used an AKG dynamic (D12?) on It Was A Very Good Year. Tremendous vocal capture! The film was uploaded to YouTube.
Yes, an AKG D24. Frank Sinatra - It Was A Very Good Year (in studio) (1965) on Vimeo
Old 17th July 2018
  #210
Gear Maniac
 
Kroc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
During the 50's, based on what I've read, and what an old time Capitol Records AE told me...

Most of the engineers, at Capitol, preferred using an RCA 77 on Sinatra and Nat King Cole for their vocals-over the U47/48. The Neumann's however, were greatly preferred by photographers, for those iconic staged pictures!

IIRC (it was filmed) Sinatra used an AKG dynamic (D12?) on It Was A Very Good Year. Tremendous vocal capture! The film was uploaded to YouTube.

BTW Karen Carpenter's U87, had the switch "stuck on Omni"! (happy accident)
Chris
Interesting!! It's definitely that kind of super smooth crooner sound. Love it!! Very cool to know.
And neat about Karen Carpenter's vocals! Didn't know that. I never use my 87 on omni, but I just tried it out. It's an interesting sound. Way less low-end, but a neat sound in its own way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Interesting tidbit I learned recently. The AEA Preamps (along with the R84 mic, A440 amongst others) were designed by Fred Forsell. Some interesting products in that pic I posted below and the design page from Forssell technologies. A while back there was a shootout in the high end with the TRP, Millenia and a few other top dollar mic pres and many of the listeners including myself felt the AEA Preamp sounded the best on most of the sources. AEA Mic pres are very versatile.

forsselltech.com

.
Huh, wow! That's cool to know. Was this specifically a shootout with ribbons, or with other mics too? I might give the RPQ500 a shot.

-

It seems like impedance has a pretty big affect on these mics. To illustrate, I attached the previous clip from the Brooklyn shootout, as well as four other clips through my two primary mic pres, all at different input impedances. I was trying to see how well I could match the sound we were getting through the Neve 1066 chain. These are all with the mic on the 'M' setting (Music/no low rolloff), where some clips that I posted before from my studio had it on 'V1' (Voice/some rolloff). Again, no processing, just some verb.
Let me know what y'all think.
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