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What would you buy first, second and third? Dynamic Microphones
Old 16th January 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

What would you buy first, second and third?

Looking to upgrade to several tools. I have already made up my mind that I'll most likely get them all as time goes by, but still questioning the order in which I go. The list:

1. Pultec eqp-1a
2. RME Fireface 400/800
3. Sebatron Vmpquadplus 4
4. Coles 4038
5. Tube tech CL1B
6. RCA 77D
7. EV 635a
8. EV RE20

This is the chronology I'm thinking (with 6 months to a year between most items, though some things I might get simultaneously). Here's what I already have:

1. RCA Varacoustic (re-ribboned, and etc by Steven Sank)
2. Shure 55s
3. CAD M179
4. AKG D12 (NOS cartridge loaded 2 years ago)
5. SM58
6. GAP Pre73 w/ Carnhill trans
7. Steinberg Mr816x

I'm already getting pretty great results with what I got, so I'm pretty confident that everything on my wish list can only make things better. Though feel free to contest! Any of you guys have any suggestions on the things I should prioritize?
Old 16th January 2019
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Not sure what kind of music or work you do at your place so that could make a difference. But as someone who has 2 CL1B compressors I love them and think they are the most versatile compressor in the “Opto” family. They shine on vocals and there hasn’t been a vocal we’ve recorded in the last few years that didn’t at least hit a CL1B at some point in the recording or mixing process, even if it was just low settings, vocals just always seemed a little better with a touch of CL1B.
But we do a lot of pop type stuff and they are pretty popular for the genre. I can’t imagine anyone not liking them though.

I use the UAD plugin of the Pulteq EQP-1A a lot!! but I don’t own the hardware of that one. Again depending on what you do and your workflow I could see that being very useful as well. I would love to have a hardware eqp-1a!
Old 17th January 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioGold View Post
Not sure what kind of music or work you do at your place so that could make a difference. But as someone who has 2 CL1B compressors I love them and think they are the most versatile compressor in the “Opto” family. They shine on vocals and there hasn’t been a vocal we’ve recorded in the last few years that didn’t at least hit a CL1B at some point in the recording or mixing process, even if it was just low settings, vocals just always seemed a little better with a touch of CL1B.
But we do a lot of pop type stuff and they are pretty popular for the genre. I can’t imagine anyone not liking them though.

I use the UAD plugin of the Pulteq EQP-1A a lot!! but I don’t own the hardware of that one. Again depending on what you do and your workflow I could see that being very useful as well. I would love to have a hardware eqp-1a!
Admittedly my genre is not pop, but there's always varying degrees of it interlaced with my arrangements. Also, the bands I have and most likely will work with are not necessarily that genre either, but I'm more than open to working with some pop artists. Right now I work in the context of garage rock, soul/funk, and folk country (all sort of with one foot in the vintage and the other in the contemporary). I actually got interested in the CL1B for drum recording purposes, but also with the intention of using it for all sorts of things including vocals. Have you ever found good use for them for anything else other than vocals?

With the pultec, I was thinking that it would be a useful tool to help open up the sound of the ribbon mics (expecially the older ones like my varacoustic) since that's the direction I'm going in. I do plan on using it for mixing purposes as well! Thanks for your input!
Old 17th January 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anvesh View Post
Looking to upgrade to several tools. I have already made up my mind that I'll most likely get them all as time goes by, but still questioning the order in which I go. The list:

1. Pultec eqp-1a
2. RME Fireface 400/800
3. Sebatron Vmpquadplus 4
4. Coles 4038
5. Tube tech CL1B
6. RCA 77D
7. EV 635a
8. EV RE20

This is the chronology I'm thinking (with 6 months to a year between most items, though some things I might get simultaneously). Here's what I already have:

1. RCA Varacoustic (re-ribboned, and etc by Steven Sank)
2. Shure 55s
3. CAD M179
4. AKG D12 (NOS cartridge loaded 2 years ago)
5. SM58
6. GAP Pre73 w/ Carnhill trans
7. Steinberg Mr816x

I'm already getting pretty great results with what I got, so I'm pretty confident that everything on my wish list can only make things better. Though feel free to contest! Any of you guys have any suggestions on the things I should prioritize?
I would never ever buy a fireface
Old 17th January 2019
  #5
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
I would never ever buy a fireface
kind of curious as to why.

I upgraded from a BLA Digi002r to an RME UFX+ last year and I could not be happier.
Old 17th January 2019
  #6
Microphones, eq, compressor, Interface... So many variables going on.

What do you feel lacking?

Are your monitors telling the truth?

If you get new mic you will find lacking mojo compressor or eq.

1000/1500/2000 €/$ spent in acoustic treatment will have a major improvement instead of one piece of high quality gear mixed with budget
Old 17th January 2019
  #7
Yea so many variables... like.... there’s so much damn gear out there brother! Imho save cash in certain areas DIY. I’m a big proponent of DIY if you’re on a budget. The Pultec clones by DIYRE (eqp5’s) are so good you’ll wonder why the real deals are 4K. Seriously. Don’t believe the hype. Save your cash for a better vocal mic and a hand wired ore like the older heritage audio, BAE, even the great river is cheap and mosterous. A-designs 500 series is like $600 used m. That’ll rival most 3k pre’s All day and is usually preferred over actual Neve 1073s in blind shootouts! Your ribbon, while cool looking is far less practical imho. I have an rca44, the older rca 90 and it’s little brother along w royer and cascade w lundhall. I ONLY use them on drums and big bassy brass like sax or trombone. To me, a high end condenser beats a ribbon on vocals every time unless you need that old tin can sound which I oersonally am not a fan of on vox. It can be larger than life w the right pre but looses every time in my world of production to my Manley reference, akg12vr or my Lautens.

Of the pres you mention that’s wheres I’d spend dough. The tubetexh is my fav but mine have all been on the fritz and both needed service in 2018. I can’t get enough of this new A-designs I got but fornyour ribbon (if that’s your go to) you need something bigger like an OP-6, Raytheon RR series, Gates Dynamote, RCA, or my personal fav the old Ampex heads. Wow they are killer w ribbons
Old 17th January 2019
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anvesh View Post
Admittedly my genre is not pop, but there's always varying degrees of it interlaced with my arrangements. Also, the bands I have and most likely will work with are not necessarily that genre either, but I'm more than open to working with some pop artists. Right now I work in the context of garage rock, soul/funk, and folk country (all sort of with one foot in the vintage and the other in the contemporary). I actually got interested in the CL1B for drum recording purposes, but also with the intention of using it for all sorts of things including vocals. Have you ever found good use for them for anything else other than vocals?

With the pultec, I was thinking that it would be a useful tool to help open up the sound of the ribbon mics (expecially the older ones like my varacoustic) since that's the direction I'm going in. I do plan on using it for mixing purposes as well! Thanks for your input!
I admit I don’t use the CL1B on other sources as often as I should. Mainly because I like to make sure they are free for the vocals while mixing. I have on occasion ran a snare through it with slow attack settings and gotten some insane “snap” out of the snare that way. It sounded great the few time I’ve done it but it’s not something another compressor couldn’t do as well.
Old 17th January 2019
  #9
Get those EV 635a's on your list. They are inexpensive and worth having in your collection (some nice choices you already have).

I have a pair that sits more or less permanently on a rotating leslie but they also see great use on brass and woodwinds, especially nice on peaky flutes to grab the body tone and they are fun on guitar cabs I place one up front and another a way back for a nice rockin' room.

I used to travel with a pair of 77DX's and they are vibey for sure but not the most versatile mics, they were mostly impressive to clients. These days I'd probably look at the AEA offerings for high end ribbons (or the Coles you have on your list already).

Other than that I have no suggestions, most of us spend a lifetime mixing and matching gear to mesh with our personal tastes, everyone is different, but having a well stocked mic locker is a good thing to prioritize in my experience.

Last edited by bkbirge; 17th January 2019 at 04:36 PM..
Old 17th January 2019
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for all the feedback!! Lots of things to think about, but I guess that's part of the process!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leitmo View Post
Microphones, eq, compressor, Interface... So many variables going on.

What do you feel lacking?

Are your monitors telling the truth?

If you get new mic you will find lacking mojo compressor or eq.

1000/1500/2000 €/$ spent in acoustic treatment will have a major improvement instead of one piece of high quality gear mixed with budget
To my ears not much is lacking with what I already got, besides that tangible 3d fidelity you get when hearing certain songs (I'm sure this has been said by others a million times over). I might be a little strange minded when it comes to treatment vs actual type of space. I usually evaluate based on the space and might even record in a completely different geography if it means getting a better sound. I like hearing some of the characteristics of the 'world' I record in. Will good treatment do anything for creating a vibe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jml designs View Post
Yea so many variables... like.... there’s so much damn gear out there brother! Imho save cash in certain areas DIY. I’m a big proponent of DIY if you’re on a budget. The Pultec clones by DIYRE (eqp5’s) are so good you’ll wonder why the real deals are 4K. Seriously. Don’t believe the hype. Save your cash for a better vocal mic and a hand wired ore like the older heritage audio, BAE, even the great river is cheap and mosterous. A-designs 500 series is like $600 used m. That’ll rival most 3k pre’s All day and is usually preferred over actual Neve 1073s in blind shootouts! Your ribbon, while cool looking is far less practical imho. I have an rca44, the older rca 90 and it’s little brother along w royer and cascade w lundhall. I ONLY use them on drums and big bassy brass like sax or trombone. To me, a high end condenser beats a ribbon on vocals every time unless you need that old tin can sound which I oersonally am not a fan of on vox. It can be larger than life w the right pre but looses every time in my world of production to my Manley reference, akg12vr or my Lautens.

Of the pres you mention that’s wheres I’d spend dough. The tubetexh is my fav but mine have all been on the fritz and both needed service in 2018. I can’t get enough of this new A-designs I got but fornyour ribbon (if that’s your go to) you need something bigger like an OP-6, Raytheon RR series, Gates Dynamote, RCA, or my personal fav the old Ampex heads. Wow they are killer w ribbons
Seriously dude! This is really interesting to me. While I'm still intrigued by pulse's eqp-1a (I'm stilling leaning towards this), something is telling me to give more credence to your suggestion (I'm also thinking of doing a Hairball 1176 rev a). Does this eqp5 work well in tracking? I've only heard good things about Manley mics, so I got to do some research. As for the RCA, I mostly use mine on the same sources as you, but it is pretty damn interesting to use in the context of folk and country. Especially if you want that esoteric character, which I absolutely love! It would probably help if I got a pre with high impedance to help open it up.

I know I need to figure out a good vocal mic, but that's something I will address separately from my current list. I just don't like the overly modern sound I hear in a lot of these awesome vocal mics. I need something that get's me somewhere near karen dalton's something on your mind, or michael chapman's aviator. Surprisingly, my 55s has been fairly appropriate in use as my main vocal mic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkbirge View Post
Get those EV 635a's on your list. They are inexpensive and worth having in your collection (some nice choices you already have).

I have a pair that sits more or less permanently on a rotating leslie but they also see great use on brass and woodwinds, especially nice on peaky flutes to grab the body tone and they are fun on guitar cabs I place one up front and another a way back for a nice rockin' room.

I used to travel with a pair of 77DX's and they are vibey for sure but not the most versatile mics, they were mostly impressive to clients. These days I'd probably look at the AEA offerings for high end ribbons (or the Coles you have on your list already).

Other than that I have no suggestions, most of us spend a lifetime mixing and matching gear to mesh with our personal tastes, everyone is different, but having a well stocked mic locker is a good thing to prioritize in my experience.
I'm thinking I might get a pair of EV635a's earlier since it's not much of a hassle to buy. The context in which you use them sounds interesting, I'll to test those setups myself when I have them! I was thinking about the AEA options as well, but I guess for now a pair of Coles is my next ribbon itch to scratch. As far as I can tell, there's never an occasion where they are a bad choice. I agree with your last sentiment, and I appreciate the wisdom!
Old 17th January 2019
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by anvesh View Post
Will good treatment do anything for creating a vibe?
Do you want to create a vibe or want to improve sound quality?

It all begins with acoustics. You can hang some lights, candles and flowers to create a vibe but without treatment it will still sound bad.

I'd prefer to get acoustics right. Then create a vibe.

A grand on gear will or won't make a night and day difference.

A grand on acoustic treatment improved my mixing room as I never heard before. It leaded me to faster and higher quality mixes and more clients. I'm happy.

But hey an EV RE20 is great!
Old 18th January 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leitmo View Post
Do you want to create a vibe or want to improve sound quality?

It all begins with acoustics. You can hang some lights, candles and flowers to create a vibe but without treatment it will still sound bad.

I'd prefer to get acoustics right. Then create a vibe.

A grand on gear will or won't make a night and day difference.

A grand on acoustic treatment improved my mixing room as I never heard before. It leaded me to faster and higher quality mixes and more clients. I'm happy.

But hey an EV RE20 is great!
Gotcha! I agree for the most part and will keep in mind. Thanks for the input.
Old 18th January 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
I agree about the fireface. Look at Daunte or MADI for low lag.

I would put the Coles 4038 first unless you already have another workhorse ribbon like an 84 or 121. You will want a pair, but if you get just one, try using it as the sides in a mid-side setup using your best LDC as the center. If you get a pair of coles, you will want a latch lake stand or at least the Atlas heavy triangle base. "Scary magnet" in Hammies voice from Over the hedge.

The tube tech compressor was very well done as a softube plug. UAD or CPU.

For preamps, in general I suggest shopping at revive audio
For LDC tube mic's I suggest shopping at Advanced Audio.

For compressors on the cheap, 1176-KT, and Audioscape LA2A

E906 and used MD409-U3 are workhorse dynamic mics you may like. One E906 is a great tool for only $200
Old 18th January 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by anvesh View Post
I know I need to figure out a good vocal mic!
thats the most important piece in any recording process.

a U87 will work on almost any singer with a good EQ and an 1176.

my standard chain is

U87 into an AMEK-9098 EQ into an 1176,

sometimes i swap out the amek for a Tube Pultec, but not too often.

Buddha
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
The hunt for a vocal mic.

under $1K Advanced Audio-pick any, Groove tubes MD1a, 96B, C450
under $2K Used 170R, Lawson 47, used U89, C48
$3K all used Used U87, U95S (must have the S), MD3
$5K+ Josephson caps.....OMG (e22 is cheaper). Bock, Flea, RED.

"Vintage mic lover" from japan is a great Ebay dealer of used good mic's

Typically you want two, one hyped and one non-hyped.
Using Neumann'sas the example that would be U67/87 for hyped
and 170R for non-hyped

Great audio products appear to be out of the following area's:
Denmark, Norway, Latvia, Nashville USA, and a few from LA/San fran/Silicon vally.

The quality to cost for the Scandinavian stuff is always awesome. Example are: CM3, Tube tech, Softube, many more. TC was started there, I think Harmon owns it now.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Blaine Misner's Avatar
 

every one is telling you what to buy.

OF THE LIST YOU HAVE i would get the mics first. then the CL1b. then the other crap.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Thanks guys, some good things to reference on as I research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
I agree about the fireface. Look at Daunte or MADI for low lag.
What if lag isn't really an issue I already deal with in my current setup? I imagine the Mr816x is similar to the Fireface in that regard, and so far I've had no issues with lag as long as I keep the I/O buffer low. Would you still recommend a different option? Really, I'm just looking for more inserts to bypass the preamps, from 4 - 8 channels (the Mr816x only has 2).

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
I would put the Coles 4038 first unless you already have another workhorse ribbon like an 84 or 121.
I plan on getting a pair if I do go that route!

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
E906 and used MD409-U3 are workhorse dynamic mics you may like. One E906 is a great tool for only $200
Checked these out, and I'm really interested now! Does the MD409 have a sound that justifies it's $300-$400 difference compared to the e906?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG BUDDHA View Post
thats the most important piece in any recording process.

a U87 will work on almost any singer with a good EQ and an 1176.

my standard chain is

U87 into an AMEK-9098 EQ into an 1176,

sometimes i swap out the amek for a Tube Pultec, but not too often.

Buddha
That seems to be the case! I guess the ultimate direction would be to go with the u87/67. Maybe I should put this up closer to the top of my list. Would you say the Ai is more than appropriate or is it better to go the vintage route?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
The hunt for a vocal mic.

"Vintage mic lover" from japan is a great Ebay dealer of used good mic's
I was actually in contact with him previously! I was interested in an old Toshiba Type G mic (a 77 clone) he was selling. He was super nice, and helpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaine Misner View Post
every one is telling you what to buy.

OF THE LIST YOU HAVE i would get the mics first. then the CL1b. then the other crap.
Thank you for keeping it relative! Things get overwhelming when 10 different options are thrown into the mix.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
409 U3. Yes it's worth it. They go for $500. Often they are not working. The foam inside breaks down and the cap gets loose, then the 3 wires inside break. Easy to restore and re-foam. You use it everywhere you can use an SM57,but the sound quality is a huge step up. Good SLP, great bass depth, useful on bass cab and guitar cab, toms. The Echolte is the same cap. the 407 is not the same. it is the same cap, however it's not wrapped in metal that changes it for the better.

Then they came out with the 609....POS
So many complaints about the 409's replacement, they later came out with the 906 that has a 3eq switch. 409, 609, 906. so the 906 gets close to the 409.

The 409 is cart pattern. the 906 is supper cart.

The nice thing about paddle mic's is saving a stand. Just drape over the speaker with the mic cable.

One of the better dynamic caps out there. Up there with the 441. I have a few other cool good dynamics that are uncommon. Sony FV-300, Nakumatchhi DM1000 (Need a second for dynamic overheads), EV38. I hunt for the good dynamics out there. New flavors of mic's for less cash than LDC's or high end ribbons.


I have even considered use the cap from a 409 inside a 906 body. Often these were used for tom mic and the backside grills were beat to crap. When recording the black album, you can see pieces of plexiglass used to protect the back of the mic on toms.

If you like the coles, you will also like the 409. Same direction but dynamic vs ribbon. it's rich sounding in a papery way that's classy

Last edited by elegentdrum; 4 weeks ago at 12:32 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by anvesh View Post

Would you say the Ai is more than appropriate or is it better to go the vintage route?
apparently there actually is a circuit difference between the vintage and the Ai.

something to do with capacitors which negatively attenuate the hi frequencies by 3 db or so.

the vintage is not as bright, and this makes it more forgiving, less sibalance and a slightly softer tone.

currently i only own vintage, and i have not done an A/B for a while.

usually when i track a vocal through a Vintage (which i own) i add low frequencies around 120 to 240hz, to fatten the voice even further.

i almost never add tops. especially to digital.

to Analog tape i might.

Buddha
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Head
Myself, I'd go for the Pultec first, the CL1B next. Induction-based eq is like a box of Crayola crayons.
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