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Need the perfect mate for this mic, KM 56
Old 18th February 2020
  #1
Gear Maniac
Need the perfect mate for this mic, KM 56

I've got this mic I've been searching for years, Neumann KM 56c, and already it's delivering for it's purpose in my studio, acoustic guitar. It brings about a detail in the upper mids without sounding ice picky. Warmth is present and it loves to be driven as well with harder strumming or percussive hand technique.

I'm using it with a Schaal power supply into my Focusrite Red 8pre. These cannot be the best converters/pres to bestow upon this mic. If I had to point out some weaknesses with the chain it's the lack of ability to EQ on the way in or even compress. When I play acoustic it is largely hand/finger style with softs and big louds so I have to keep the mic input low. In cardioid proximity effect is an issue and I have to be very careful with placement and level.

It would be cool to have a simple unit or might take two or three but I thought maybe the Manley Slam with pres and AD conversion card. That's one idea.

Another idea is the Shelford Channel plus a one or two channel AD like Mytek, White Sparrow, Burl, Hilo Something simple would be cool.

I also own the Sound Devices USB Pre2 and just tried using it to record and my early indication is that the sound conversion plus mic pre is better than Focusrite. But again no EQ.

On another note I had the Avid MTRX (DAD conversion) and 8AD/mic pre in my studio for a month last year and wow did that set up sound awesome. But again no EQ and compression on way in.

Any cool ideas to make this mic perfect? THX...
Old 18th February 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
Not really a gear based reply. But more of a recording technique for that mic. I recently used one in same way - acoustic, mostly fingers. Depending on the dynamic range of the song, we’d do two tracks ... one for quiet and one for louder passages. Made things easier for us in a lot of different ways.
Old 18th February 2020
  #3
The best way is to a/b. One unit I've been looking at is the Dave Hill europa preamp. Since you can change how fast or slow the preamp is. Seems ideal for your applications. Since you might want something slower or faster depending on the music, strumming or picking.

What I do like about the classic mics is I find they rarely need any eq except some lowmid, highbass cut. So I suggest you'd look into compression.

A tubetech cl1b is very nice and can be extremely transparent. Just use it as slight dynamic tamer which doesn't affect the sound and performance like most compressors do. If you want midforward push an La3a is very nice and is also on the smoother side but with a definite sound.
Old 18th February 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 
voodoo4u's Avatar
I often use a Neve Portico channel with my km56. It's a real "Swiss army knife" pre, EQ, comp strip with a high pass filter for that proximity problem. BTW as I'm sure you know, the mic is great on acoustic guitar in omni as well and no proximity.
Old 18th February 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
The best way is to a/b. One unit I've been looking at is the Dave Hill europa preamp. Since you can change how fast or slow the preamp is. Seems ideal for your applications. Since you might want something slower or faster depending on the music, strumming or picking.

What I do like about the classic mics is I find they rarely need any eq except some lowmid, highbass cut. So I suggest you'd look into compression.

A tubetech cl1b is very nice and can be extremely transparent. Just use it as slight dynamic tamer which doesn't affect the sound and performance like most compressors do. If you want midforward push an La3a is very nice and is also on the smoother side but with a definite sound.
+1!

Along these lines a Crane Song Trakker will also help as a less expensive option on the compression side (although the Cl1b is indeed stellar).

For a all-in-one solution I’d look into the Tree Audio The Branch Mk2 channelstrip.
You have everything there, a great clean tube preamp, with impedance switches and several HPF possibilities, a great sounding baxandall eq for balancing the top or the low end in a very natural way, and a nice compressor to keep the whole thing in check. Priced VERY reasonably for what you get.. probably the best bargain on a tube channelstrip outthere with this quality. Tube pwr supply as well. Get this and make some great music.

It will pair great with the km56 imho. Use the nice converters of the DAD (or Avid MTRX) if you could.



Cheu
Old 18th February 2020
  #6
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Funny you should ask!

...But it just so happens that the "perfect mate" for a KM56 is ME!!!
I promise that I would love it and squeeze it and take it home (and name it "George").
I also promise that I would take especially good care of it, and protect it from all harm.

...Too bad I lack the monetary means to support such a relationship...
(It is all really very sad.)
Old 18th February 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Tab V76

No need for eq/dyn in the chain on the way to the converters.
If you want eq, Neve 1084.

If you want to go old school: Neve 1084 into Neve 2254
Old 18th February 2020
  #8
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

The best I ever heard a KM56 sound (for a vocal) was tracked onto a Stephens 2-inch 24-track, straight from the mic pre of a Sphere Eclipse C (bypassing the rest of the channel).
It was glorious!
Old 18th February 2020
  #9
m03
Gear Maniac
 
m03's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Hey that's THEE "Detroit"/Hitsville Motown vocal mic!
Are you thinking of the KM86?
Old 18th February 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Yes! Oops. Better go back and edit accordingly...
Chris
Old 18th February 2020
  #11
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Yes! Oops. Better go back and edit accordingly...
Chris
Yeah, the KM56 a whole different thing than an '86.

In my opinion, it can be quite the "secret weapon" for drum overheads (in some situations), and often "just the thing" on an acoustic guitar!

Cool piano mic, too!
Old 24th February 2020
  #12
Gear Maniac
Pentagon - why do you say "no need for EQ/Comp" on way to converters?
Old 25th February 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Because the Tab V76 adds its own tone. It's pretty much a finished recording with that chain.
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