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Any pro using AKG 414 for vocals ? Condenser Microphones
Old 17th April 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Any pro using AKG 414 for vocals ?

Hi audio pros.

I am looking for opinions of recording pros (the ones with recording studios) who uses the AKG 414 for vocals and the reasons for it. If you don't use it whats the reasons ?

What other mics you also use for vocals ?
Old 17th April 2010
  #2
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RedTuxedo's Avatar
I have a 414 TLII that I use a lot for female vocals often. Even though I consider it a bright mic, it seems to work well with many of the female singers that come through my studio.

It's also my favorite mic for tenor sax, and I use it in hypercardiod about 2 feet outside of the kick drum. Does a good job of getting a big bottom and rejecting a lot of the drum set.
Old 17th April 2010
  #3
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Schaap's Avatar
Just saw this video and was surprised that KD Lang used a 414 as a handheld mic.
Link: KD Lang
Old 17th April 2010
  #4
I saw Stevie Wonder record with them several times in the 1980's at Wonderland.

I love mine.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 17th April 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Yes, I use a pair of AKG 414 EB (nylon capsule) all the time for vocals. Its one of my first choices. (my other easy choices are U87, U47fet) I find that about 80% of the time it delivers everything I want.

They also see frequent use on OH, Sax, & room. They are KILLER on snare, but it has been many years since I was brave enough to do that.

To answer your question about why it does NOT get used more, I can honestly say that it is the result of most of the younger engineers that work here not considering it, because they are not flavor of the month, and are not popular on GS.

Last edited by TRJanuary; 17th April 2010 at 06:06 PM.. Reason: can t spel
Old 17th April 2010
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I saw David Gilmour using one while recording with an orchestra (it was in an Enhanced Audio shock mount).

I've got several - an EB and two of the originals (all with nylon rings). Not sure if I'm going to keep them as I'm pondering different colours, but they are versatile and I seem to prefer them on instruments over voices.
Old 17th April 2010
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
py75's Avatar
 

I use it sometime for vocal recording. When i start a session with unknown singer to me, i like to try with different LDC i get in the studio;
u87, 47fet(favorite), VM1(favorite+), AK-47, 414EB, 414 ULS.
Female singers win the 414 ULS 3 time on 10.

For one of them, i do FOH on tour and use a 441 with VT737.
Most of the time the local crews laught about the mic before the show
and congrate after it :-)

Back to the thread, for me 414 is a very versatile mic, it's my swiss knife.
Love it.

PY
Old 17th April 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 

414 is a great vocal mc...I'll always A/B a 414 and 87 to see which suits better...414 suits well more than I would have thought...I don't find it bright either
Old 17th April 2010
  #9
Here for the gear
 
jim2b's Avatar
 

414 uls

Hi Folks,
I have a 414-ULS that Jim Williams modded that sounds wonderful on a female singer that I record.

Jim
Old 17th April 2010
  #10
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AlexK's Avatar
 

The BBC uses the 414 for speech in a lot of their broadcast studios I believe. Different to vocals though I know...

I couldn't count as a pro as I'm a student, not a professional (yet) but I do like the 414 B-XLS with some vocalists. It doesn't have the 'cut-through' factor of some of the more sizzly mics, but it's great on a smooth vocal which seems to naturally sit on top of everything else quite well.

I tend to think of the 414 B-XLS as a rather colourless microphone, in a good way.
Old 17th April 2010
  #11
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tampa's Avatar
 

I use a TL II. It works good for some people, but not everyone. I also use it for ride cymbal and snare bottom sometimes, good for acoustic instruments as well. Great mic, I would never part with it.
Old 17th April 2010
  #12
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SeniorityFedup's Avatar
 

IMHO the 414 is a close 2nd to the u87ai.. Very close
Old 17th April 2010
  #13
Gear Head
 

Thanks everyone for their input. How about the newer versions of this mic like the XLS and XLS II ?


What would your choice of all round vocal mic be if you had budget for only one mic at that point ? Would the 414 be on the list or would you recommend a different pro mic for me mainly for recording vocals with it ? Male and Female but focus on Male. Style would be smooth Jazz to easy pop/slight rock.
Old 17th April 2010
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
farhadkd's Avatar
 

What they said....

Female vox, Brass, especially sax and trombone, very warm and versatile, a must have mic in the arsenal, actually find the TLII and B-ULS ones the best, not bright, and GREAT value for money, new or used, even today. Just buy a pair, you will not regret....
Old 17th April 2010
  #15
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

The 414 is a classic studio workhorse and for good reason. Back in the day some of the top singers I knew, as well as a well known sax player, used to carry their own 414's.

-R
Old 17th April 2010
  #16
The newer XLS version is a great workhorse, but I don't like them on vocals - they're pretty hard through the upper mids and only tend to suit people with very soft fluffy voices. The XLii is just as bad in the same range, but also have a higher boost which, again, for me, only suits a minority of voices.

Older versions (EB and ULS especially) are much more balanced sounding mics to my ears and can be truly great.
Old 17th April 2010
  #17
Gear Addict
 
greyskull's Avatar
i heard on the grapevine, that chris martin will only use a 414. whether thats true or not i couldnt say.
know it sounds fantastic though.
Old 17th April 2010
  #18
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Ive been using an AKG 414 EB (C12 Capsule ) for years for vocals

Matching to the right pre can make or break the sound though
Old 17th April 2010
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim2b View Post
Hi Folks,
I have a 414-ULS that Jim Williams modded that sounds wonderful on a female singer that I record.

Jim
Me too! Sounds great on female vox and tabla. Thanks Jim.
Old 17th April 2010
  #20
Gear Nut
 
Jamie Tate's Avatar
 

Sure, I'll use a 414. It's not my first choice but I'm fortunate enough to have some options not everyone has. My U-47 is still my favorite vocal mic but when I get tracks from other studios it doesn't matter which mic they used. I have to make whatever they give me sound good and so far I've never had to stop a mix because the vocals were recorded with a 414. heh

The 414 is a fine microphone. As long as the singer doesn't suck you'll be doing okay at the end of the day.
Old 17th April 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 

On the right voice they sound perfect.

On thin voices they sound... thin.
I used to record a rock vocalist who was in the Bruce Dickinson realm, but because he was singing in a high register his vocals were thin.
I used a 414BULs on him a lot, but it is REALLY thin sounding in retrospect.

They really start to thin up with compression.

On the other hand, I did a CD for my old buddy Ray Wylie Hubbard and after trying many mics we settled on an older nickle plated body 414.
It was just the right mic for his voice.
Old 17th April 2010
  #22
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mdjice's Avatar
 

I used a c414 ULS to record myself on the hook of the song "cyclone" with baby bash and T-Pain , do a search but what you hear on the chorus is me singing thru a C414, into an Avalon 737 into a M-Audio 1814
Old 17th April 2010
  #23
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Steele's Avatar
 

One of the combos I love is an old 414EB thru a Telefunken V-76s.
Nothing better...
Old 17th April 2010
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steele View Post
One of the combos I love is an old 414EB thru a Telefunken V-76s.
Nothing better...
Nice match up
Old 18th April 2010
  #25
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Steve G's Avatar
Not my first choice, but the 414 TLII works great on some singers.

Al Schmitt told me he used a 414 to record Jackson Browne's vocals on the "Late For The Sky" album.

Steve
Old 18th April 2010
  #26
Gear Head
 

thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

What I hear is really that keep your hands off of the newer 414 when it comes to vocals and try to get one of the older models.

I would like to hear a little about what pre's you are using with your 414.

BTW, this is very informative and helpful stuff. Thanks guys.
Old 18th April 2010
  #27
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tmcconnell's Avatar
 

Nutin wrong wid it.

its a fine mic. I've used buls, and tlii-c12 and I thought the tlii was a little harsh but with right placement/pattern source its a fine mic either way. I wish I had a couple of old, well maintained, buls's.
Old 18th April 2010
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steele View Post
One of the combos I love is an old 414EB thru a Telefunken V-76s.
Nothing better...
Try a 414 through a Matrix Audio systems TO-2 mic pre.

The best match for a 414 i've ever heard or used.
Old 18th April 2010
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Used a TLII yesterday on 2 vocalists and myself. Sounded great through a vintech x73 straight to PT. used it to mic the body of an acoustic guitar as well. again, results were great.

in fact, i want to buy one now.
Old 18th April 2010
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Bruno B's Avatar
 

The 414 TL-II is awesome on female vocals especially for an up-close, intimate, modern sound. Gives a nice warmth to the low-mids and sweet air/highs.

Usually a neve style preamp not pushed too hard and a distressor in opto during tracking.

Sometimes it matches well to certain male vocs, but it's not the first mic I put up. I think Alter Bridge - Blackbird male vocals were tracked through a TL-II and that's an awesome-sounding modern rock record that I reference to all the time.

Love it on fem vocs, percussion (congas, bongos, tambo, chimes), and ac.gtr, piano.

-Bruno
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