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U67 - Something Not Quite Right - Or Is It Me?
Old 8th June 2005
  #1
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SparkyCanada's Avatar
U67 - Something Not Quite Right - Or Is It Me?

Hi there:

Well I finally started to track my vocals on an album I'm working on.

I've done most of the instrument tracking at home - but wanted to do my vocal tracks at a local studio that has an old U67.

When I went to do the vocals - it seemed as though the U67 that I used there a few years ago just didn't seem right.

To me this mic sounded "boxy". I brought in my Great River MP2NV (a nicer pre amp than what they had in their racks - I thought heh ) - but that just made it sound nicer - but not necessarily big & open like I think I remember it used to sound with this mic.

Do you think there may actually be something wrong with this mic or am I just expecting things that I've read about in terms of a vocal mic producing big & airy vocals. I guess I'm wondering if my expectations are exceeding any realistic achievement - becasue of all the reading I've done since my last album project, and because I've become more of a studio guy in the last few years - causing me to become more observant of things in the recording process. I suspect hanging out on this forum probably doesn't help - watching you folks talk about great results you get with all this sexy gear...

I should point out that we had to occassionally adjust the connector to get the mic to work properly - sometimes it would not put out the gain it should - and by adjusting the cable connector at the microphone - the mic would crackle - and then have plenty of output.

The guys in the studio claim this mic is working fine...

Wondering if I should just let it slide - or should I finish my vocals somewhere else - or even rent a vocal mic from somewhere (I'm kinda leaning this way - so if you peple know of anyone in Canada (or USA) that will ship out a mic for a week or 2 - let me know).

These are great guys in the studio - and I really don't want to offend them - so that's why I'm here - hopefully you can either put my mind at ease - or get me thinking of other options.

Thanks,

SparkyCanada
Old 8th June 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 

A U67 in good condition should give you a nice vocal sound. Short of having a tech look at it, I'm not sure what you could do. If you're not liking the sound, I would audition a couple other mics at the studio to compare. The mic cutting in and out, and issues with the cable does not sound right at all. Lastly, a stock U67 has broadcast high pass and low pass filters in it which may contribute to the "boxy" sound. Some U67's, like mine, have had the filters removed for better or for worse. A U67 won't give you the real airy breathy high frequency boosted sound, but it should give you a nice present midrange, nice body, an depending on the filter status, an open or a smooth rounded off top. I like the sound of mine. heh
Good luck,
Sean
Old 8th June 2005
  #3
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Klaus's Avatar
 

I'm afraid that neither I nor anyone else can make a reassuring long-distance analysis of your situation.

It is obvious from your description that at least something may be wrong with the mic's functionality. Whether that extends beyond a funky connection (probably a cracked Tuchel connector and/or intermittent cable) is hard to say.

But it seems that the mic has not had proper, professional service or loving attention recently, and should not be used, in my opinion, on paying customers in a studio environment.

Regarding the "classic" sound of a U67:
I would describe it many ways, but not necessarily "big and open" -
the various (electronic negative and positive) feedbacks, the built-in high end attenuation and capsule construction don't add up to that.

My description of a well-working, stock U67 would be:
present and fairly textured in the upper vocal range, both female and male, somewhat curtailed below 100 hz, a prominent peak at around 7k-8k, and then gradual, smooth follow through with not much air past 12k.

Whether a U67 would suit your needs can only be found out if you were auditioning a couple of well- working units, to give you an idea of the range of timbres of this model.

Best of luck,
Klaus Heyne

P.S.: My answer posted at the same time as the above answer came in. The similarities should give you some comfort regarding their validity.
Old 8th June 2005
  #4
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

my take is that if you're not happy with how the vocals sound, it doesn't matter why. use another mic, another pre, get more on top of it, back off it, raise it an inch and point it 90 degrees to the right and sing past it... iow, try different things if you want different results.

then again, memory for sound is ridiculously bad. 2 seconds and it's mostly gone, 2 years and you really have no idea at all. reliable comparisons need a/b switches with a gap in the range of milliseconds at most, so i wouldn't put too much stock in your memory of how the mic used to sound. your voice is different, the music around it is probably different, your ears are better, their converters are new, etc.

then again, maybe this is some seriously sly discreative fear, your artist child finding ways to avoid completion and progress. are there not objective ears at the studio that you trust? ask them what they think. how does it sit in the mix? maybe a little neve hipass or lang air band is all it needs?

or, post an mp3 and i'll tell you if it sounds like a reasonable vocal->u67->mp2nv print, as will many others here i'm sure.

well, all that was supposed to be helpful, ymmv ; )


gregoire
del ubik
Old 8th June 2005
  #5
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SparkyCanada's Avatar
Interesting idea - submitting an mp3...

I'm heading off to the east coast tomorrow - and won't have a chance to do anything in the studio for about a week and 1/2.

If I don't resolve this issue while I'm away (I'll keep checking here) - I'll definatley post an mp3.

Thanks,

SparkyCanada
Old 8th June 2005
  #6
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kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
then again, memory for sound is ridiculously bad. 2 seconds and it's mostly gone, 2 years and you really have no idea at all. reliable comparisons need a/b switches with a gap in the range of milliseconds at most, so i wouldn't put too much stock in your memory of how the mic used to sound. your voice is different, the music around it is probably different, your ears are better, their converters are new, etc.
That`s the first thing I thought when I read Sparkys post. Beyond possible technical issues with the mic you might have just been really pumped to work on it the first time around when it was new to you and you remember it being different.


It`s kind of like when you go to a resteraunt and order the best meal of your life and expect it to be that way every time. It`s just never the same after for some reason.
Old 8th June 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 

If you decide to get it fixed, I would send it to Korby and get it modified. I bought his modified U67, and it is amazing!!! I can't say how pleased I am with the sound of the mic.

Regards,
Ian
Old 8th June 2005
  #8
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

I have two old 67's and to my ears they are valuable for their focused midrange response. I don't know what the Beatles used, but think of their AM radio-ready, grabbing, midrange intensive vocals--that's the type of thing a 67 can do for you. Just the opposite of those sizzly, airy high-end only r n b vocals that you hear everywhere.

If you like the characteristic sound of a 67, you'll be hard pressed to find anything else to give it to you. Modifying them, or removing the filters, or buying a modern clone may also be a nice sound, but it will not have that peculiarly engaging character.

-R
Old 8th June 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 

FWIW,

For those in Canada, Doug Walker does repairs on U67's (and many other mics): can't remember his address, but is in Kitchener/Waterloo methinks. He modded and repaired one of the 67's for my associate, and it sounds great - esp. with regards to better low end response...

BTW, no pissing matches on who does better "work" on mics - each has their own reputation to uphold, and hopefully maintain.

peace,
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