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PLEASE Help me choose high end Mic and Pre for fem Vocals Condenser Microphones
Old 23rd October 2006
  #1
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Jorg's Avatar
PLEASE Help me choose high end Mic and Pre for fem Vocals

I want to upgrade my recording chain!
I only record female vocals (well. 95% of the time)

Most vocal types that I record are mor of the harsh-it-hurts-my-ears character. No soulfull warm black voices unfortunately.

At the moment I use a Neumann TLM 103 into a Mindprint Envoice.

The results are ok but it seems its not the right mic.

I wanna spend 6000$ on Mic and Pre.
I just wanna have the "magical" in your face closeup vocal sound where the voice seems to float in the room.
Ive heard recordings with those results beeing done with a Sony C800 into a Universal Audio pre.

What suggestions do you have for that task?
Old 23rd October 2006
  #2
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max cooper's Avatar
 

AEA 92 with a 1073. Or try it with a tube preamp even.

That 92 has big bottom and smooth top for days.
Old 23rd October 2006
  #3
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Jorg's Avatar
Sorry for beeing ignorant, but whats a AEA 92?
Do you have a link?

What tube pres are good for that task?
Old 23rd October 2006
  #4
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AEA92 is a nice ribbon mike. SHould suit femal vocal pretty well.

My fav for women are C12 and Neumann m269c (probably the best for female)


but again, these are goto mikes. Not universal solutions.

regards
Old 23rd October 2006
  #5
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Jorg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by I Lurk View Post
AEA92 is a nice ribbon mike. SHould suit femal vocal pretty well.

My fav for women are C12 and Neumann m269c (probably the best for female)


but again, these are goto mikes. Not universal solutions.

regards
Ive been recommended a C12 before!

How about the Wunder C12?


That AEA sure looks interesting.
Old 23rd October 2006
  #6
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

I adore my R84, and it sounds amazing on some female vocalists paired with an Aurora GTQ-2 preamp. But I have also had really stunning results with vintage CMV-563s thru 1272 pre and Earthworks 1024 (super clean) though the Wunder also sounds quite lovely. The C12 and the 47 recreations are really nice sonically, Mike does a nice job. There are a LOT of C12/U47 reminiscent mics that can be outstanding, but it totally depends on the female vocalist- can you give a typical application of the voice in question? Style, range, qualities like other singers?

there is a LOT of information before we all just name our favorite mics... please tell us more about what exactly you are trying to capture.
Old 23rd October 2006
  #7
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Horch RM2J
Old 24th October 2006
  #8
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Jorg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen View Post
but it totally depends on the female vocalist- can you give a typical application of the voice in question? Style, range, qualities like other singers?

there is a LOT of information before we all just name our favorite mics... please tell us more about what exactly you are trying to capture.
Im almost only producing commercial dance music.

I've attacjed a link to a sample with a singer on it that I work with quiet a lot at the moment.
This recording was made with my TLM103 and the Mindprint Envoice.

The mixes are pretty dance and compressed but I have heard other dance tracks where the vocal recording quality was loads better and it just made a huge difference.
I know this could be caused by many factors but the mic and pre are the first things i wanna replace (add to) now.

http://www.jorgschmid.com/scripts/do...akersRemix.mp3
Old 24th October 2006
  #9
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

I like a u47 fet thru a 2022 pre, great body for female vocals altho i use the u47 for men as well. BIG SOUND
Old 24th October 2006
  #10
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Jorg's Avatar
Hmmmm.

I've also been recommended the Sony C800, some Soundelux and a Telefeunken USA.

I'm lost in this game. Too many choices out there. I'd really like to narrow it down to 3 mics and three pres which i would then test myself extensively and then decide.
Old 24th October 2006
  #11
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vernier's Avatar
Several mics will work, including an 87, but get a tube pre.
Old 24th October 2006
  #12
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Jorg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Several mics will work, including an 87, but get a tube pre.
The question is: Which one?
Old 24th October 2006
  #13
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

I think this is the perfect opportunity for you to review Lynn Fuston's CD that compares microphones. You can listen to a lot of great transducers and narrow your choices significantly.

Hope this helps!

Jim
Old 24th October 2006
  #14
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
The question is: Which one?
Can't help much with that -as I use old stuff ..UA, RCA, Tab, etc ..but years ago when recording digitally, I rented a Summit, the large one, and liked it ..really helped.
Old 25th October 2006
  #15
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

With that budget you could get 2 or 3 mics and a good pre. No single mic is going to be right for each and every singer. A ribbon like the AEA R92 or R84 would be good, and a scooped-mids mic emulating a Sony C800, and a warm mic in the U47 mode. It's not the brand name, it's the response characteristics that give you differences in sound.
Old 25th October 2006
  #16
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Mark Warren's Avatar
 

Yes, uncle beat me to saying that precisely: Just buying one mic for that budget, even if it's a really awesome mic, might not be the best approach if you're dealing with a variety of female singers. There's no one mic that's going to sound great on every voice, and additionally every style of music and every technique of the singers.

Before I expound on the potential mics and pres here, let me ask a question: You mention you want that real intimate, in your face sort of sound, and often times this is created by using one or more serious compressors in the signal path. Do you already own some great compressors or do you frown on using compression at all or had you perhaps not thought of compression being a factor or..??
Old 25th October 2006
  #17
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wikaman's Avatar
 

when having that kind of voice I usualy go for a dark tone like Korby's C12 or u47 thru 1084 or v72! sound awsome and helps thoses freq you wanna cut when in the mix..

my 2cnt

Old 25th October 2006
  #18
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Jorg's Avatar
Quote:
a scooped-mids mic emulating a Sony C800, and a warm mic in the U47 mode
Can you recoomend any good specific models that fullfill that task?

Quote:
Do you already own some great compressors or do you frown on using compression at all or had you perhaps not thought of compression being a factor or..??
I use compression sometimes quiet a lot. However only in the box after tracking.
I use the UAD LA2A a lot on Vocals.
Should I maybe get a pre with a good comp?


I like the idea of buying more than just one mic. However I dont wanna buy mics with similar characteristics and I also dont wanna buy a few mics straight away.

As I already own a TLM103, what would be a good mic in the "opposite" direction for the specific task.

As with preamps, I'd rather just buy one, but a really good one! Do I need tube?
How about a pre with different options like the Shadow Hills or the Cranesong?

Dont forget, I only ever record female vocals!
Old 25th October 2006
  #19
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TheSweetener's Avatar
 

Like mentioned earlier you need a mic that tames the high mid nastyness.
The TLM103 (although a great mic) is the opposite of that.
Some darker mics come to mind. Sony C48 (I mode), Neumann TLM193 and SM7 come to mind!

I would not suggest any of the AEA ribbon mics or a Royer. That's a very special sound and might be just too "muddy" or unhyped for that application.

Micpres that do a quite warm and toobey sound are the UAudio610 and the Groove Tubes Brick.

You could also combine a rather neutral mic with one of these darker micpres. It's a matter of trying!
Old 25th October 2006
  #20
Dot
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Dot's Avatar
I wouldn't recommend any ribbon mic for those kinds of vocals.

And I agree that you need something to tame the high-mids.

If the C800G, which I would also recommend, is too much, there's the Neumann M149 tube mic for around $3K. Really smooth mids and nice air. A C12ish mic is an obvious "chick mic" choice. Some of the better ones might be out of your range. But check out Telefunken, Wunder and Korby. There are some sub-$1500ish C12ish mics that also work great, with the Peluso P12 being at the top of the pack.

On mic pres I'd recommend something fairly clean, but still full and warm - which will land you in one of the cleaner tube pres. I'd suggest A Designs MP-2A, which also excels if you're running DI synths and line signals. Also the LaChapell Audio 992. The 992 Extended Gain will offer you more sonic versatility in a cleanish tube pre, especially if you get upgraded Telefunken and Bugle Boy tubes. Very airy and full with lots of depth. If you're looking for a channel strip with EQ and comp check out the Pendulum Quartet.

My 2¢.
Old 25th October 2006
  #21
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Mark Warren's Avatar
 

With a budget of $6,000 it is well worth your time to find a studio in your area that has a selection of mic's and pre's you are considering, spend a few hundred and book a few hours of time there, maybe in the off hours if the place is really booked up, and demo the mics and pres. Bring along at least one female singer, and test away.

If they have some type of high end board (or low end board for that matter) that might be effecting the sound, try and have them bypass it and go straight from mic pre to DAW input. Don't record to tape unless you personally record to tape. Have them record at the highest resolution possible maybe 88.2 and label all the takes as separate wav files and take the raw tracks home with you. Mess around with them in your system. You could then come back and post the tracks here as and ask peoples opinions as well.

Then apply that compressor you mentioned you use in the box. If there's enough time in the test studio have them track some takes with some of the hardware comps there. It's your studio time, if you see the comp in the rack tell them to patch it in. If you can't find a studio with all of the gear you want to try out but some of it, you could do two studios, or ask the studios if they know of a gear rental place nearby where you can rent the extra mic's and/or pre's you'd like to try out.

Honestly if I got a few of these a week at my own place I'd be psyched! I sit around doing this stuff anyways on a lot of days, testing this gear with that gear, etc. For the type of money you're looking to spend even a 10% 'test budget' is worth not having gotten $6K worth of stuff you don't like.
Old 25th October 2006
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wikaman View Post
when having that kind of voice I usualy go for a dark tone like Korby's C12 or u47 thru 1084 or v72! sound awsome and helps thoses freq you wanna cut when in the mix..

my 2cnt

I would describe the Korby 47 as dark, but certainly not the C12. It is very bright with sparkling highs.
Old 25th October 2006
  #23
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Gefell UM 92.1S
Old 26th October 2006
  #24
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u b k's Avatar
 

i would say WITHOUT A DOUBT that a high quality analog compressor is going to make a bigger difference for your tone than a new mic and pre.

taking a gorgeous vocal track and shoving it thru the pipe of the uad la2a is a recipe for smallness. of all the instruments out there that really suffer from being compressed exclusively with software, the human voice is at the top of the list.

my recommendation is a peluso mic (either the p12 if you want hype or 2247 if you want smooth), a neutral-ish (but big sounding) tube pre like the pendulum or a-designs, and a sweet vocal compressor (la-2a for creamy, mc77 for forward).

you run almost any chick thru a p12 into a pendulum into an la-2a and you will not be able to stop smiling. but be careful, you may end up disliking what all the ludicrous limiting in commercial dance masters does to your lovely vocal tracks.

and hey, stop feeling overwhelmed, you're about to explore some truly world class gear, what a privelege! so whatever else you do, don't forget to enjoy the hunt!


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 26th October 2006
  #25
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wikaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradD View Post
I would describe the Korby 47 as dark, but certainly not the C12. It is very bright with sparkling highs.
...hmmm... yep...hmmm.. true.. I got mixed up... so... the 47 wins
Old 26th October 2006
  #26
$6k will get ya a Neumann U67 and a MSS-10 that everybody raves.

Or a Neumann U47feti with a DW Fearn VT1

Both should get you a smooth sound....
Old 26th October 2006
  #27
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Rob King's Avatar
Might be just around $6k or a little over but if it is "Air & in your face" you want choose this package..

Brauner Valvet --> Martech MSS-10 (pre)---> Tubetech CL1-B (Compressor)

I have used this countless times on female vocals. It just sounds awesome!
Old 27th October 2006
  #28
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Jorg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob King View Post
Might be just around $6k or a little over but if it is "Air & in your face" you want choose this package..

Brauner Valvet --> Martech MSS-10 (pre)---> Tubetech CL1-B (Compressor)

I have used this countless times on female vocals. It just sounds awesome!
Thats funny! Actually I just spoke to a producer who gets the vocal results that I'm looking for. He uses the Brauner Valvet as well. However into an Avalon pre and then a comp (not sure which one).


I'm still not sure if I should either by something cheaper like the Peluso P12 and then add a few mics later or if I should buy something like the Brauner and then just live with it. I mean I'd still have my TLM103 as an option!

However with the pre I have to decide for one model and stick with it for a looooong time. Thats really tricky! I think Im gonna try to narrow it down to max 5 models and then post again!
Old 30th October 2006
  #29
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Jorg's Avatar
Ok, Ive narrowed it down now:

As for mics Im gonna try these:

-Brauner Valvet
-Peluso P12 (What about that U47 model? Worth trying for what I need?)
-AEA 92

After having tried those I might get a few more in. Or maybe just buy one or two of them. However it seems kinda hard to get the Peluso in the UK!

As for the pre, I think I wanna go for something with a build in comp (as I cant afford getting a high end pre and high end comp).
That probably narrows it down a lot.
I thought about trying a Universal Audio pre (which would be best for vox? 610?)

What other options are there for the pre?
Old 30th October 2006
  #30
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paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorg View Post
I want to upgrade my recording chain!
I only record female vocals (well. 95% of the time)

I wanna spend 6000$ on Mic and Pre.
I just wanna have the "magical" in your face closeup vocal sound where the voice seems to float in the room.

What suggestions do you have for that task?
i've just had a chance to use a Soundelux U99S and was thoroughly impressed! The size, detail, and accuracy were excellent. Plus, using the polar patttern selection yielded very useful changes in the upper mids as I swept it from omni to figure 8. It has a 'bright' switch on it as well, which I never felt the need to engage but I'm sure would be handy in certain situations.

As far as a mic pre, there are two I would look at, depending on your time frame. Although it may not be shipping yet, the Little Labs pre has got something great going on. It's forward and musical at the same time. The low end resonance is handy if you need more size. Plus it will allow you to keep a vocalist back from the mic a bit without sacrificing a low end bump.

I also really like the Chandler TG Channel. It's a great sounding pre on it's own, but having the EQ, especially the top band [12K & 16K especially], is extremely useful. It's the only EQ I use when tracking a vocal.

good luck with your search...

John
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