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You have 4K for one Vocal Chain... What do you do?
Old 19th April 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

You have 4K for one Vocal Chain... What do you do?

Hi All, first-time poster, long time reader.

I am going to be making first big vocal chain purchase and I have about 4k to spend. I have built a decent vocal booth for tracking, now I just need to take advantage of it.

I wanted to get others insight as well, so I thought I would ask. If you had 4k to drop on a vocal chain, mic included, what would you do?

Here is what I am leaning towards.

Microtech Gefell UMT 70S -> BAE 1073 Single Channel -> Hairball 1176 Rev D

What do you think?
What would you do?

Thanks, everyone!
Old 20th April 2019
  #2
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_wal View Post
Hi All, first-time poster, long time reader.

I am going to be making first big vocal chain purchase and I have about 4k to spend. I have built a decent vocal booth for tracking, now I just need to take advantage of it.

I wanted to get others insight as well, so I thought I would ask. If you had 4k to drop on a vocal chain, mic included, what would you do?

Here is what I am leaning towards.

Microtech Gefell UMT 70S -> BAE 1073 Single Channel -> Hairball 1176 Rev D

What do you think?
What would you do?

Thanks, everyone!
I's a pretty good chain!
What kind of vocals will you record?

I'd consider the following mics as well:
- used Neumann U87
- used AKG 414 vintage
- Austrian Audio OC18 maybe?

Regarding the preamp and comp, is of course a matter of taste, the bae and the hairball are pretty good!

If you want an alternative you could go 500 series with an Avedis MA5 and a JDK V12 or another compressor of choice like the IC brute (or a Forssell smp500 for a cleaner option) or for another "cleaner" option a used pendulum quartet channelstrip.



Cheu
Old 20th April 2019
  #3
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_wal View Post
Hi All, first-time poster, long time reader.

I am going to be making first big vocal chain purchase and I have about 4k to spend. I have built a decent vocal booth for tracking, now I just need to take advantage of it.

I wanted to get others insight as well, so I thought I would ask. If you had 4k to drop on a vocal chain, mic included, what would you do?

Here is what I am leaning towards.

Microtech Gefell UMT 70S -> BAE 1073 Single Channel -> Hairball 1176 Rev D

What do you think?
What would you do?

Thanks, everyone!
Grab this ASAP......

Requisite Pal plus Tube preamp Opto compressor-limiter DI

Then grab the best mic you want with the $2K you have left, pay special attention to the new Chandler TG mic...... you'll never upgrade from the Pal Plus and it has a built in modern LA2A. Later when you add more mic flavors return here and thank me for saving you tons of cash in your search for what the Requisite will give you now.
Old 20th April 2019
  #4
a Chandler TG Microphone Cassette with a u87 might work nicely..
Old 21st April 2019
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I’ll be doing pop, indy and maybe rock style vocals. I do have an SM7B currently.

That new TG mic looks great as an option. I probably want to stay away from 500 series for now. The TG mic cassette seems interesting. How does the pre in it sound versus the BAE? I like the idea of the channel strip, especially since I can access the compressor.

I would be into maybe picking up a vintage 87 versus the UMT70 S. Price point is only a little higher.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Would love to hear some more.

Last edited by ry_wal; 21st April 2019 at 09:49 PM.. Reason: Typo
Old 21st April 2019
  #6
I would go for a nice tube mic. An sm7b is great and a u87 is a great tool but it won't sound like a lush tube mic like a 251/c12 type. I think a u87 is just flat out boring, rather stick with an sm7b to be honest.

There are allot of options in the 4k range. Bock 251 etc. Go higher you got u67re etc which would probably be dead on what you'd want. Sounds very expensive and smooth like butter.
Old 21st April 2019
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I'd buy a $1K mic and a 1-1.5K compressor and pocket the rest. That assumes it is in addition to the things I already own.
Old 21st April 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Lately I have been using:

Chandler TG Microphone > Chandler REDD.47 > Hairball 1176 > Chandler RS124.

However, if you leave off the RS124 and try to get a couple of these pieces used, this should be in your ballpark and sound great.
Old 21st April 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 
elamberth's Avatar
I typically use a Pearlman TM-1 into a DW Fearn VT-1. Definitely in your ballpark used. Sounds fantastic on a wide variety of singers.
Old 21st April 2019
  #10
For what it’s worth I’m currently selling a Soundelux U99b which is a tube Bock Audio U67 before they renamed themselves Bock. Was recently overhauled by Bock himself and given a clean bill of health. Sounds amazing. Big, lush and with a NOS tube in it. It was the first high end vocal mic I bought years ago and is I think the best one can find for the price. Look em up.
Old 22nd April 2019
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post

I'd consider the following mics as well:
- used Neumann U87
- used AKG 414 vintage
- Austrian Audio OC18 maybe?
When you say AKG 414 vintage. Are there any particular models or year ranges you are referring to?

Thank you for the insight.

Last edited by ry_wal; 22nd April 2019 at 05:01 AM.. Reason: Grammar
Old 22nd April 2019
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_wal View Post
When you say AKG 414 vintage. Are there any particular models or year ranges you are referring to?

Thank you for the insight.
I assume this refers to anything with a real ck-12 capsule. So probably EB or Comb.

also,
gotta disagree with @ crille_mannen here, I truly love my 87.
Old 22nd April 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
TG Mic>Chandler Cassette Strip>Audioscape 76A
Old 22nd April 2019
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
I assume this refers to anything with a real ck-12 capsule. So probably EB or Comb.

also,
gotta disagree with @ crille_mannen here, I truly love my 87.
Never said its a bad mic. But to me it's clearly a stepping stone mic. I got my pair when I bought a couple of mic's. And having u67, 269c etc at my disposal I do feel those two are far superior and u87 feels like I said, a bit boring in comparison.

I did have a 414eb with ck12 brass and it was amazing. Prefered it to u87 on vocals. Mind you the asking prices of reverb etc is out of this world. A friend of mine bought several around 17-1800€
Old 22nd April 2019
  #15
Gear Addict
 

I think the Gefell choice you've outlined is great. Especially given your budget. It's probably a better choice than most of the mics mentioned in the rest of the thread. Except for maybe the suggestion of the vintage AKG 414.

That said Im' going to suggest something completely in the left field but I think it's a microphone that is nicer than the others mentioned here (and maybe most importantly here, the most versatile choice).

The Sanken CU41.

Given your budget and your use-case this is the microphone that will give you best value. To get an idea of what it sounds like check out Chris Isaak's Wicked Game. I've heard it in a direct comparison to a Telefunken 251 and I was pretty conflicted about which I'd choose. I heard it compared to lots of mics actually and it definitely has something special about it. It holds it's own in every comparison I've heard. It's about 2k used so it fits your budget.

For the rest, well you don't have a lot of options because your budget is tight (for high-end). I would suggest the API Channel Strip. About $2000 used and it has everything. Pres, EQ and a compressor.
Old 22nd April 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_wal View Post
When you say AKG 414 vintage. Are there any particular models or year ranges you are referring to?

Thank you for the insight.
Of course the ones with a ck-12 might be a nice bonus if you find one, although the used prices for those are quite high for what it is.

But also the one with the "teflon" caps are perfectly fine/capable, just look that they have the physical lever switch for the pattern selection and not the pushbuttons and you're good.

Akg fitted about 14 or 15 IC's in those pushbutton mics and they don't sound very good imho, at least compared to the previous versions.

Another one you should look at, if you are after an akg 414 with a ck-12, is probably the Austrian Audio OC18 (or 818 if you want/need multipattern).

They are the former akg employees, they started a new company when AKG (harman and then samsung owned) ditched them all.

They build their mics in Vienna. I'd give them a try, these are the real guys building ck-12 for 30 years, so they know what they're talking about. Look like a quality product to me.

I would honestly be proud of seeing a company like Austrian Audio doing good, and the "greedy" count beaner new owners of the (sic) historic brand going south.
It will show that our society (or community if you prefer) is not only after a name or a cheap price but do care about the quality and do care about how their employees are treated.

Don't get me wrong..profit is something important for every company, but if your choices are hitting your own people (and your product quality) hard in the name of MORE margin, so that the shareholders and the company's management could get their millionaire bonus higher, because this is really what's all about, than it's total nonsense to me.

Just my 0.02$,



Cheu
Old 22nd April 2019
  #17
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swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_wal View Post
Hi All, first-time poster, long time reader.

I am going to be making first big vocal chain purchase and I have about 4k to spend. I have built a decent vocal booth for tracking, now I just need to take advantage of it.

I wanted to get others insight as well, so I thought I would ask. If you had 4k to drop on a vocal chain, mic included, what would you do?

Here is what I am leaning towards.

Microtech Gefell UMT 70S -> BAE 1073 Single Channel -> Hairball 1176 Rev D

What do you think?
What would you do?

Thanks, everyone!
I think I would hate the Gefell on vocals (don't like either of my UM70, but they are usable) and have find the 1176 not to my liking. If I had $4k I'd do this:

Pearlman TM47 -> Weight Tank 72 -> Audio Scape V Comp or Weight Tank Comp.
Old 22nd April 2019
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdf View Post

The Sanken CU41
End post. As I’ve said before. The Sanken mics are just different and a grade above
Old 22nd April 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdf View Post
The Sanken CU41.

Quote:
Originally Posted by musaee View Post
End post. As I’ve said before. The Sanken mics are just different and a grade above
They're really good, along with the dual-capsule cousin in a Josephson C700A, and then big bro C700S. Something about the dual capsule thing maybe...

I also think if there are going to be some tubes in the chain, what is the advantage of having them in the mic? In the big picture SS mics are way more consistent sounding.

Most of my clients drag their projects on for so long that the sonic drift of the tube is a problem and then a big change with a new tube is a huge problem. In my case the main vocal mic is on 60-70hrs a week, so that may not apply to others as much...

Somebody should buy this one-

Guitar Center
Old 22nd April 2019
  #20
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mbvoxx's Avatar
Blue Kiwi
BAE1073
Purple MC77
Old 22nd April 2019
  #21
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GreenNeedle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_wal View Post
Hi All, first-time poster, long time reader.

I am going to be making first big vocal chain purchase and I have about 4k to spend. I have built a decent vocal booth for tracking, now I just need to take advantage of it.

I wanted to get others insight as well, so I thought I would ask. If you had 4k to drop on a vocal chain, mic included, what would you do?

Here is what I am leaning towards.

Microtech Gefell UMT 70S -> BAE 1073 Single Channel -> Hairball 1176 Rev D

What do you think?
What would you do?

Thanks, everyone!
Used AEA44-used GR-MP2NV-used DAKING Fett II
Old 22nd April 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Just for your voice or clients?

You might find that a U87 or similar just doesn't work on every voice.
If you're recording other singers get a good pre and a good comp or channel and then try to diversify your mic selection if you can... otherwise audition different things for your voice before single mic.
Old 22nd April 2019
  #23
Gear Maniac
for a setup that would cover pretty much any vocal and any style pretty well. easy. the same i've used for years.


shure sm7 $350
geoff daking 522770 mic preamp and eq $1200
geoff daking 9179 compressor limiter $1200

or if you can save a bit more and find some good deals on used gear:
used neuman u87 $2200 or telefunken ak47 tube $1800
used daking preamp/eq $1000
used daking limiter $1000
Old 24th April 2019
  #24
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proxy's Avatar
 

For a first nice chain, your choice is pretty sensible.

I might opt for one of the boutique LA2A varieties instead of the boutique 1176 thing, because opto is a bit gentler, which I prefer for tracking unless I’m splitting the signal.

What interface are you using?



Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_wal View Post
Hi All, first-time poster, long time reader.

I am going to be making first big vocal chain purchase and I have about 4k to spend. I have built a decent vocal booth for tracking, now I just need to take advantage of it.

I wanted to get others insight as well, so I thought I would ask. If you had 4k to drop on a vocal chain, mic included, what would you do?

Here is what I am leaning towards.

Microtech Gefell UMT 70S -> BAE 1073 Single Channel -> Hairball 1176 Rev D

What do you think?
What would you do?

Thanks, everyone!
Old 24th April 2019
  #25
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenNeedle View Post
Used AEA44-used GR-MP2NV-used DAKING Fett II
GreenNeedle has given me great advice before. . .and I like his notion of starting with a used AEA44.


But, to your specific question: 'What would you do?'

Answer:

I would put every last dime into a single microphone and forget about the EQ/Compressor. Don't know if you can find a used AEA A440, but an A440 would be my own personal preference. . .over the 44 primarily owing to its internal preamp. Disclosure: I own an AEA A440, and wish I owned two of them.

That said, I would tend to be open to the best single mic I could find for the money I have to spend, and that also works for me. There are a number of high-end mics with which it would not hurt my feelings to be stuck.


Best regards,

Ray H.

Footnote: I do prefer matched pairs of mics knowing I will use them for other than vocals. For me, this is not always financially justifiable, though.
Old 25th April 2019
  #26
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy View Post
For a first nice chain, your choice is pretty sensible.

I might opt for one of the boutique LA2A varieties instead of the boutique 1176 thing, because opto is a bit gentler, which I prefer for tracking unless I’m splitting the signal.

What interface are you using?
Thank you, I’d be open to an LA2A style
Comp, but was thinking the 1176 might be more versatile.

I’m using an apogee duet.
Old 25th April 2019
  #27
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Grasshopper here asks...

Isn't a "vocal booth" (usually) too small for recording vocals, on a 44 ribbon?
I thought due to the massive proximity effect, a large recording space is best.

I would think something like the AEA N22, or Coles 4038, would be better,
in a smaller space.
Chris
Old 25th April 2019
  #28
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toledo3's Avatar
 

I’d try to get the best deal I could on a new U87ai. Then just get a GAP preamp and maybe one of their 2254 or LA3a clones. I bet you could fit that all into the stated budget.

As you work with that maybe you can expand into higher end preamps or comps, but those will do a fine job compared to higher end counter parts. Whereas the Neumann is truly made to a much better standard as far as mics go, and has the best chance of working on a wide variety of voices.

After that maybe pickup an RE20.
Old 25th April 2019
  #29
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GreenNeedle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Grasshopper here asks...

Isn't a "vocal booth" (usually) too small for recording vocals, on a 44 ribbon?
I thought due to the massive proximity effect, a large recording space is best.

I would think something like the AEA N22, or Coles 4038, would be better,
in a smaller space.
Chris
Not an issue.
Old 25th April 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 

That's a good thought. IMHO a used U89, at the current price of around $1500-1600, would also be a reasonable way to go. I was surprised to learn their about the same "used price" as the TLM 67.

I don't know how much of a vocal "all rounder" the U99 is, but it's my favorite of all the U67-ish microphones I've ever tried out-including the U67 reissue itself!
Chris
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