I'm currently working on a rock album, and I'm contemplating using either a Sony C800g or a new Neumann U87. The only articles and producer reviews I've read concerning both microphones refer to using the microphones for mostly R&B, rap, and pop vocals. I also have a Neumann TLM 103 available and a few different AKG c414s. My preamps are what they are. I only have an Avalon AD2022, UA 2-610, and Dan Alexander Neve available to me. I also have an Empirical Labs Distressor and an Avalon 747 for compression and eq.
What combination of all this available equipment would be fairly "standard" for a great rock vocal. And... are there any advantages of using the c800g vs. the u87 for rock vocals?
Thanks for the reply drbill. I have little time to experiment, so I'm thinking that tracking as clean and pristine as possible may be the answer. Then, in post, I can send the track or tracks through the distressor or 747 to taste. I had a chance to try out the c800g on a track earlier today, and I sent it through the Avalon AD2022 and used the 747 for some de-essing. The results were squeaky clean; however, (and correct me if I'm sinning here) my thinking is, I can give a track some "dirt" or "grit" later, but I can't take away "grit" if I decide I don't like it in my mix. Besides, I've heard from friends of mine that tube condensers are the way to go on almost any vocal. I know the U87 seems labelled a studio "standard." However, I've also learned that this label may have been issued during the days before digital.
I guess my question really comes down to... U87 or C800g. And remember - male rock vocal.
Haven't used the Sony, but I think the U87 would most likely be your best bet. They have this almost lightly compressed sound that gives the vocals an aggressive edge. Not my favorite for breathy stuff but I imagine it wold work real well for rock vox.
I feel that experimentation is always the best way to find what one considers most sonically appealing; however, since this is not an option for you - I would go for the U87 and Distressor combination!
cant speak for the u87 but the c800g is a seductive mistress.....i found that on rock vox...it sounds good when you put it up but in the mix i find myself making the vocals lower than they should be due to excessive high consonants.....plus if you run out of time and end up using it for the really heavy stuff you loose all the weight.....compared to an sm7.....but ymmv
c800g is a really bright mic, with some nice teeth to the high end... which can border on spitty... works great for hip-hop/rnb, as that frame of reference creates more room for the low-end...
U87 has more of the articulated Neumann midrange, which will probably be more your style on vocals that have to compete with growling guitars...
On the other hand, I'm a firm believer that a mic has to be chosen on the basis of the vocalist. There are very few absolutes (though there are some "safe bets" --like a nice U67). If you can spare the time, you should shoot a few out on the singer. You might find that a beat-up 57 sounds awesome.
Seriously, the people recommending the sm7 know what they're talking about. For rock, you may be suprised how well it can work, especially with a killer pre-amp.