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High End Mic Pop Male Vocals Help Pls No Try Before Buy Condenser Microphones
Old 28th March 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

High End Mic Pop Male Vocals Help Pls No Try Before Buy

I know that microphones are traditionally matched to a vocalist but I don't have that luxury as my dealer can't support it... Welcome to the wonderful land of Australia. Anyway, I'm primarily producing pop and I'll be the main user of the mic. When I sing I usually stick to my higher register and sing quite comfortably around the lower C4 to C5 range. When I'm singing in a comfortable key my voice is quite strong, piercing at times on higher notes, but it can be thin and airy really depends on what vibe I want. I need a mic that adds body and presence in the lower frequencies and makes the highs sparkle but with not too much heinousness

Here's my shortlist

1. Manley Cardioid Gold
2. Manley Cardioid Reference
2. Telefunken ELAM 251E
3. Song C800G
4. Neumann U67
5. Neumann U47

Welcome to other suggestions that won't break the bank as much.

I've heard various samples of each mic and the one I fkn love is the Telefunken, only thing that sounds better is the vintage version but no thanks to that price tag. Let me know what you'd pick keeping in mind compatibility as I don't want to splash out then and kill myself after I hear my voice through whatever I choose

Muchas Gracias Fellas
Old 28th March 2019
  #2
Gear Addict
 
fred2bern's Avatar
Change your dealer!
It is a mistake to think "just" about the microphone because the final sound comes mainly from the microphone+preamp pair, so you really have to test if you want to buy a professional tool more expansive than a SM58...

An option is to rent a couple of hours in a studio with an interesting mic locker and to try with your preamps.

Fred
Old 28th March 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

There's about 8 studios in Perth, WA and the best mic out of all of them is a Neumann U87. Believe me I've tried to find a solution!
Old 28th March 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
+1 to what's been said.

You have to buy before you buy.

Every voice is so different, I have a very similar range and sound to Sting but a different focus of dominant frequencies, he uses a c800g and Blue bottle both of which sound literally terrible on my voice!

I owned a Bottle system, got no joy at all, and lost $2000 in the process! (I made the mistake of buying without proper demoing because it was a good deal.)

I ended up with Wunder CM7 which sounds fantastic with my voice it's the perfect fit.

Your looking for the glove to fit your hand you have to try them on first and be open minded .... you might sound best on a $5k 251 or a $200 SM58!

Just because a Mic is high end, an industry standard and cost a small fortune is no guarantee it will suit your voice.

Take a couple of other powerful high tenors Phil Collins, Bryan Adams both sound best recorded on a humble Beyer M88 dynamic mic, (actually a fantastic Mic imho)

If you're not going to demo first then really you may as well put the names of the mics you mentioned in a hat and pick one out!
Old 28th March 2019
  #5
I got a tenor voice myself but i got a quite soft voice or warm but i got quite some power if i like and i think most mics suits my voice. I do prefer open topend c12, m269 (which is my main mic) those kind of mic's always sounds more balanced oppose to say a u47/u67 which have more emphasis on the lowmids/mids which is nice if you want that.

If i where to buy a new mic i would test some sort of 251. Search on GS there is a few frequently mentioned here. If you want brand recognition u67re would be the obvious choice.
@ thehightenor bryan adams and Phil collins, i do agree they can sound powerful but i bet that they sound quite soft in person. They have that classic smoothness like say Steve Perry, sting etc. I'd bet anything sound good on those guys.
Old 28th March 2019
  #6
Gear Nut
 

I have a similar voice to what you describe. For me the Manley Ref C was exactly the right mic for louder songs that need the vocal to really cut through. The Manley Gold works great for me on softer songs where vocals don’t need the extra “push” from the Ref C.
I once worked at a studio that had a huge mic locker and those just seemed to work best on me so those were what I bought! I think one of the only mic I didn’t get to sing through was a Sony C800g which I would LOVE to do! I’ve heard the Ref C and C800g can sound somewhat similar, but I’d love to test that theory for myself some day!
When recording my own voice with the Manley I always use a Neve 1073 - 1176 - CL1B (both just hit about 1-3 dB of GR not to overdo it)
Although the description of you voice sounds as though it could be similar that doesn’t mean that chain will be exactly what works best for you. Like others have already said, every voice is different.
Old 28th March 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 

How about talking to Ben or Veronica, at Beesneez?

Also big +1 on also adding a M88, to go along with whatever LDC or Ribbon you end up with.
Chris
Old 28th March 2019
  #8
Bummer that you are in such a relatively remote location. People sometimes forget the size of Australia - it is about 4000km from Perth to Sydney. It may sound a little crazy to you, but if you are considering dropping big $ on a mic (eg 10KUSD on a TFunk 251), I would suggest you fly to wherever is the cheapest nearby city with a proper hi-end studio with a serious mic collection for a couple hours. Melbourne, Sydney, even Jakarta for that matter may have a few options.

Even if you spent $1000USD on the whole process (guessing a flight is probably $300ish USD per way to some of those), it's very much worth doing. Build in a mini vacation if you are having trouble justifying it otherwise.

Maybe PsychoMonkey could offer some advice?
Old 28th March 2019
  #9
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b0se's Avatar
I wouldn't say the Ref C and C800G are too similar (bar being bright). Sony has nicer tonal balance and better body. Sounds more 3D.

Directly compared the AA CM800T to a Ref C (blind test) and opted for the CM800T every time. This was for my own voice and tastes, so YMMV of course. AA make a great 251 also.
Old 28th March 2019
  #10
One other idea you could try....

Buy (or even borrow/rent if that's an option) a Slate, Townsend or Antelope modeling mic setup, and use this to figure out which mic suits you best. There are good emulations of all of the classics with any of these.

When done testing, you can either keep the mic modeler as an additional mic, or sell it at a relatively small loss.

Either way, given your remote location, this is probably the most convenient and cost effective way to hear a ton of different mics, sufficiently good enough to decide which mic works best for you.

Regardless of the varied opinions on the modeling mics, they are wonderful for this sort of use case.
Old 28th March 2019
  #11
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b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
One other idea you could try....

Buy (or even borrow/rent if that's an option) a Slate, Townsend or Antelope modeling mic setup, and use this to figure out which mic suits you best. There are good emulations of all of the classics with any of these.

When done testing, you can either keep the mic modeler as an additional mic, or sell it at a relatively small loss.

Either way, given your remote location, this is probably the most convenient and cost effective way to hear a ton of different mics, sufficiently good enough to decide which mic works best for you.

Regardless of the varied opinions on the modeling mics, they are wonderful for this sort of use case.
Very good call. VMS is what put me to the C800G and 251.
Old 28th March 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
I got a tenor voice myself but i got a quite soft voice or warm but i got quite some power if i like and i think most mics suits my voice. I do prefer open topend c12, m269 (which is my main mic) those kind of mic's always sounds more balanced oppose to say a u47/u67 which have more emphasis on the lowmids/mids which is nice if you want that.

If i where to buy a new mic i would test some sort of 251. Search on GS there is a few frequently mentioned here. If you want brand recognition u67re would be the obvious choice.
@ thehightenor bryan adams and Phil collins, i do agree they can sound powerful but i bet that they sound quite soft in person. They have that classic smoothness like say Steve Perry, sting etc. I'd bet anything sound good on those guys.
Sting has a dull sounding voice in real life, his engineer told me they literally need the brightest capsule to get it to sound balanced going in like the Sony or a Blue Bottle both of which are bright sounding modern mics.

I have the opposite issue - my voice has a very bright sound and benefits from a 47 style M7.

My voice is very smooth sounding in that all my registers are nicely connected but it's all about "the tip of the flame" this is where getting the right mic/pre/compressors combination is so important.

It has taken me years to end up with my vocal chain after a great deal of experimenting.

By the way I've heard Phil Collins, Bryan Adams and Robert Plant with no mics, just in person vocals and boy their voices are very full on .... soft is definitely not a word I would use for their vocals! Plant was just crazy powerful - amazing actually.

Last edited by thehightenor; 29th March 2019 at 12:28 AM..
Old 29th March 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
Bummer that you are in such a relatively remote location. People sometimes forget the size of Australia - it is about 4000km from Perth to Sydney. It may sound a little crazy to you, but if you are considering dropping big $ on a mic (eg 10KUSD on a TFunk 251), I would suggest you fly to wherever is the cheapest nearby city with a proper hi-end studio with a serious mic collection for a couple hours. Melbourne, Sydney, even Jakarta for that matter may have a few options.

Even if you spent $1000USD on the whole process (guessing a flight is probably $300ish USD per way to some of those), it's very much worth doing. Build in a mini vacation if you are having trouble justifying it otherwise.

Maybe PsychoMonkey could offer some advice?
This is great advice... and pick up the slate vms with all the mic packs... you’ll end up keeping it... it’s cool

Def fly into a big town and book some time in some well appointed studios... beyond the $2-3k (US) range I don’t buy anything I don’t get to play with first
Old 29th March 2019
  #14
Gear Nut
 
rezident's Avatar
I always thought Chris Lago's chain for pop vocals was nice

C800G --> Neve 1073 --> CL1B



How to get that clean and clear vocals?
Old 29th March 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Well Chris L. does have an exceptional Tenor voice.

High Tenor, although I'm a High "Barely-Tone"-ahem Baritone... I fit the same profile as you.
I totally agree on the M7 capsule, over the K47 style on brighter voices. Am a fan of the U47 FET too, on this sort of voice (over stock U87ai)

IMHO it would be wise for the OP though, to expand the short list, and seriously consider a quality Ribbon.

Thinking something along the lines of an AEA
R84, if the recording area is smaller, and a 44 type, if It's a spacious recording area.

BTW just watched a terrific YouTube video, a documentary on the Easybeats. The 44 was used for Stevie Wright's classic lead vocals.

Ribbons can Rock!
Chris
Old 29th March 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezident View Post
I always thought Chris Lago's chain for pop vocals was nice

C800G --> Neve 1073 --> CL1B



How to get that clean and clear vocals?
Well, it definately suited Chris's voice.

What happened to him, I don't see him post here anymore?
Old 29th March 2019
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by itwillendintears View Post
There's about 8 studios in Perth, WA and the best mic out of all of them is a Neumann U87. Believe me I've tried to find a solution!
Hey mate.

I’m from perth. I think you’d be surprised how many amazing mics exist here. I think there’s a few studios you may have missed. There’s a lot more than 8 studios, some with amazing mic lockers!

I’d be happy to steer you in the right direction.

Feel free to send me a PM if you’re interested..

Cheers
Dave
Old 29th March 2019
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
I wouldn't say the Ref C and C800G are too similar (bar being bright). Sony has nicer tonal balance and better body. Sounds more 3D.

Directly compared the AA CM800T to a Ref C (blind test) and opted for the CM800T every time. This was for my own voice and tastes, so YMMV of course. AA make a great 251 also.
Thanks! I’ve always wanted to try a C800G but not sure the cost would be worth the difference when I already like the sound of the Manley.
How accurate do you feel the AA CM800T is to the C800G?
Old 29th March 2019
  #19
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b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioGold View Post
Thanks! I’ve always wanted to try a C800G but not sure the cost would be worth the difference when I already like the sound of the Manley.
How accurate do you feel the AA CM800T is to the C800G?
Have a listen yourself, Paul_G posted some blind files a while back:

Sony C-100 Hi-Res Mic
Old 29th March 2019
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Well, it definately suited Chris's voice.

What happened to him, I don't see him post here anymore?
He's around.
Old 29th March 2019
  #21
Gear Nut
 
MattiasSwe's Avatar
Well if you can afford the ELAM i would go for that, but there is also copies that are amazing, like the bock.
I could only afford the Ref C, but i love it very much!
Old 30th March 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Out of the (exceptional) Manley line, the Silver is the ticket on my (very) bright voice.
Three C37-ish microphones (Manley Silver, Josephson version, & Tonelux JC37), are among my top favorites.
Chris
Old 1st April 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
Chris Prutcher has a Sony C800g inspired mic on Reverb at a good price. Barbaric Amplification BA-8G | The Barbaric Gear Cave | Reverb
Old 2nd April 2019
  #24
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Another vote for the Manley Silver.. (or the Josephson 715).
Depending on how bright do you want things there might be the tfunk 251.

Burg M1 is a very new mic based on a Tiersch capsules made among other by Andreas Grosser.. Not inexpensive but half the price of the tfunk 251..
You might find sone samples on their site, for what are they worth.

At this point it's a shot in the dark, but unfortunately it will be anyway given your position (unless you book studio time or find a dealer willing to accept returns, which on this mic shouldn't be so a problem if you pay a deposit).

Another option, much less bright than the Manley Ref C, it's the Neumann M149..
Works well on a lot of voices, not the usual Neumann mids, rather smooth in that region instead of "boosted"..yet modern sounding. And on the used market goes for very "affordable" prices.

Good luck!



Cheu
Old 2nd April 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
Chris at barbaric will build you a mic to your taste and if you are not 100% happy with it, he will tweak the capsule/circuit afterwards to get it to what you want. IMO, his mic's are the best value available, as they are bespoke mics built by hand for mid priced off the shelf money. No harm in just enquiring, he's a top bloke, very friendly and helpful. He'll even simply give you his opinion on other mics or capsules etc etc. Tell him Kane sent ya!
Old 3rd April 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
Advanced Audio is worth a look. Under $1000 for good clones.

If you realy want high end, look at Josophson, Bock, Flea. And the new one is the REDD.

If you want a good current do it all mic like the old U87's were for tape, take a look at the Neumann 170. Think of it as a flat U87. Then you EQ to match the voice. Theygo for decent prices used. Not as popular as the 67 87 because they dont have the hyped 5K+eq range range that's typically good for vocals.
Old 3rd April 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Moonwhistle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by itwillendintears View Post
There's about 8 studios in Perth, WA and the best mic out of all of them is a Neumann U87. Believe me I've tried to find a solution!
Huh?

Equipment

& Blackbird but I just realised they already posted.
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