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Brauner Valvet X vs VMX - Has anyone ever compared them in practice?? Condenser Microphones
Old 22nd September 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Brauner Valvet X vs VMX - Has anyone ever compared them in practice??

Was curious if anyone had any experience with comparing these. I saw one thread (here) that compared them and did a sound comparison (soundcloud link), but I was hoping to see if anyone else had notes about how they compare in practice, specifically for vocals. In the linked comparison, the VMX sounds as if it captures more of the room, or perhaps the high end more airy, more sibilant, yet more crispy, and the Valvet X sounds a bit smoother in the mid section, reminiscent of velvet, dark, warm, but not "hot" like the VMX.

One of my favorite artists (platinum artist in Germany) records with a VMX, and always has very thick, full, warm, and colored vocals, however he has a fairly deep voice. My voice is almost the opposite, a bit higher, lacking a bit in mid-range thickness, which leads me to think a Valvet X is more suited for me. However I don't have the means to try either before purchase. In either case, I have a very well treated room, that isn't completely dead, but just right.


The Valvet X is obviously half the price of the VMX, so would be easier on my wallet, and I've heard a lot of people say they love it... but I've also read phenomenal things about the VMX as well. I want one of them but am not sure how to decide.


Planning to run either through a BAE1073MPF
Old 23rd September 2018
  #2
Gear Head
 
Pindos's Avatar
 

Hi
I have the first version of the valvet X (old capsule so I dont know the later version with new capsule)
At the time I compared it a lot with both the VMX and VM1. I would say your observations from the comparison are right, the VMX is more open and crispy, closer to the VM1 in a way - while the valvet X has more color, thicker low mid range, less open top, and some more compression. Still really has the Brauner sound though, the differences are not huge
Old 23rd September 2018
  #3
Gear Nut
 

I had taken that sample in the above soundcloud clip and EQ matched them, and found that with EQ matching, there is nearly no difference in sound. So, this leaves me stumped as to what acoustic differences the VMX has over the Valet X to justify a $2000 price difference.
Old 26th September 2018
  #4
Gear Nut
 

I did a shootout once between Valvet X, VMX, gefell 92, C716, and a few others.
We tracked multiple layers of vocals and guitars.

To me the Valvet X was really nice but had a little bit of roughness in the higmids compared to the VMX, the VMX was a step more classy.

You could only tell by having them side by side though, the valvet X was what I wanted to buy at the start, it's a great mic.
But I got the VMX in the end...
Old 27th September 2018
  #5
Here for the gear
 

If anyone was curious, I EQ matched the 2 voices in the above post, matching the Valvet X to the VMX, and they come out as sounding almost identical. I would even go as far to say that the EQ-matched Valvet X sounds a bit smoother in the high-mids, but it's subtle and that difference could be to the difference in the voice-tone between the two clips. It's hard to really tell because the voice clips are saying different things with slightly different tonality.

I've attached the sample below. The first voice is the EQ-matched Valvet X, the second is the VMX umodified.

In a blind test, I personally wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the EQ-matched Valvet X and the VMX, at least with these two samples. There were differences in the eq-curve of the raw samples, all the way into the 200hz range, which could attribute to the slightly differing character, but it's fairly subtle as both still sound like charming Brauner mics. The biggest difference was in the 5k-20k range, where there was a noticeable bump for the VMX.


I actually emailed Brauner and was told (by Mr. Brauner) that the VMX has a different output transformer and is more sensitive than the Valvet X, along with having a slightly different tonal characteristic. This tonal difference was visible in the EQ curve, but frankly I couldn't really hear it outside of the 5k+ range, but my speakers aren't the greatest. I asked if he could provide any data regarding this sensitivity with respect to the differences between the two mics and am waiting for a reply.

I can't really hear a huge difference in the attached EQ - matched samples, but they're not really the best comparison. A better test would be the same vocalist recording into both mics at the same time, so the tone/words of the samples are identical. The sensitivity difference between the two microphones would probably be more apparent if the sound source being measured was very quiet or slight, but it's difficult to hear in a voice speaking into the mic.
Attached Files

Valvet X eq matched with VMX C.mp3 (483.7 KB, 321 views)

Old 27th September 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Earcatcher's Avatar
I'm sorry, but the differences in your (EQ'd) samples are pretty big to me: in this version the Valvet X sounds pinched and nasal, while the VMX sounds as if the lady has just taken her respiration medicine. She gets air again and is much more relaxed in tone. Fortunately my Valvet X does not sound like your EQ'd sample, but is a lot more open by itself. I have never compared it to the VMX, so unfortunately I don't know how far away from that sound it is.
Old 27th September 2018
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
I'm sorry, but the differences in your (EQ'd) samples are pretty big to me: in this version the Valvet X sounds pinched and nasal, while the VMX sounds as if the lady has just taken her respiration medicine. She gets air again and is much more relaxed in tone. Fortunately my Valvet X does not sound like your EQ'd sample, but is a lot more open by itself. I have never compared it to the VMX, so unfortunately I don't know how far away from that sound it is.
If you looked at my post, you'll note I also pointed out the differences you're describing. Those have nothing to do with the EQ but the inconsistencies with the speaker/woman. Her overall vocal expression is a lot more breathy and suppressed in the Valvet X recording, and much more uplifted in the VMX recording, but that is due to her technique. The test is flawed because she is speaking with a different tone in each of the recordings. Like you mentioned, it sounds like she took her medicine and cleared up her respiration in the VMX recording, and is speaking with a tad more enthusiasm. This has nothing to do with the EQ or the microphones. If you listen to the overall frequency/brightness in her voice, irrespective of her tonal differences, it sounds like she's on the same microphone in both (in the EQ'd version vs the raw in OP's post)

To better understand what I am saying, I suggest listening to the raw samples that OP linked in his post, and then compare that to what I uploaded. You have to look past the inconsistencies in her voicing technique to hear the difference brought on by the EQ. The EQ matching brought significant brightness to the Valvet X recording bringing it very close to the VMX.


I've listened to other samples of the Valvet X and they do sound a lot more open just like you described. This particular recording/speaker is just not ideal because of the breathiness and inconsistency she has. Maybe someone with both of the microphones would care to take the time to post some samples they record through both mics simultaneously. That is the only way we can truly know how close EQ matching can bring the two mics to each other.
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