Best microphone for female vocalist?
Old 24th June 2013
  #1
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Thread Starter
Best microphone for female vocalist?

Hey all,

I would like to get your opinion on choosing new microphone for our singer Heidi to be used mainly on the Live shows. She is a classical singer and her range is Lyrical Soprano. We've had quite many different mics before but now I will update the one what we have to the wireless of our own so that can get her voice out better. There seems to be these new 2.4Ghz range wireless microphones but would they be any good for us?

What we need is a crystal clear sound and microphone that is suitable for her vocal range. We are using in-ear monitoring so the stage noise is "minimal". Would be nice to hear of your experiences and what would you recommend.

Here is a sample of one of our songs and you get better picture what we are looking for.

Dark Sarah - Save me ->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wsHp6VsE6w

Rock Rock,
++Tommi
Dark Sarah - Official
https://twitter.com/DarkSarahTK
Old 25th June 2013
  #2
Gear Addict
 

My vote is for the Heil PR-35. This is available as a handheld wired mic or you can get the "head" to mount on other manufacturer's wireless transmitters. This mic sounds great on female singers, very wide dynamic range.
Old 25th June 2013
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonbaby View Post
My vote is for the Heil PR-35. This is available as a handheld wired mic or you can get the "head" to mount on other manufacturer's wireless transmitters. This mic sounds great on female singers, very wide dynamic range.
Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately it seems to be almost impossible to test Heil PR-35 mics here in Finland. No importers. I've been now reading some reviews of it and it sounds very interesting indeed and could fit to our purpose really well.

I know you can change the capsules but also I would like to know of your experiences on 2.4Ghz wireless solutions. Are they working well or is there some blackouts etc because heavy traffic on those frequencies?

RockRock,
++Tommi
Dark Sarah - Official
https://twitter.com/DarkSarahTK

Last edited by DarkSarahTK; 25th June 2013 at 07:08 AM.. Reason: spell check
Old 25th June 2013
  #4
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frans's Avatar
It's a bit like the question, which shoes will fit her.
It depends on a few factors, like:
A) the sound of her voice
B) the stage volume in relation to her singing volume
C) her mic technique
If B+C are okay, then it's all about A. The Heil PR35 is a quality mic and able to deliver. The usual condensers like Neumann, etc. are also not bad but have a waaay broader pickup pattern and pick up more that is around your singer, so they are prone to bleed and feedback. So if it's all about how it sounds, feel free to chose whatever sounds best to you. If it's about what will work under good and bad conditions, get the PR-35.
Old 25th June 2013
  #5
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
It's a bit like the question, which shoes will fit her.
It depends on a few factors, like:
A) the sound of her voice
B) the stage volume in relation to her singing volume
C) her mic technique
If B+C are okay, then it's all about A. The Heil PR35 is a quality mic and able to deliver. The usual condensers like Neumann, etc. are also not bad but have a waaay broader pickup pattern and pick up more that is around your singer, so they are prone to bleed and feedback. So if it's all about how it sounds, feel free to chose whatever sounds best to you. If it's about what will work under good and bad conditions, get the PR-35.
Well we know women and their shoes :D

You are right... it is about all of those A+B+C. B and C are normally good. Bigger stages the bleed and feedback shouldn't be an issue. We mainly have drums and sometimes monitors but target is to keep the stage volume low. Are there any online stores in Germany or other european countries that are selling it?

++Tommi
Dark Sarah - Official
Old 25th June 2013
  #6
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EV 967
Neumann 105
AT AE5400
Old 25th June 2013
  #7
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dickiefunk's Avatar
 

I tried a Heil PR35 on a mezzo soprano gospel singer and neither of us liked it on her voice. The PR35 sounded too strident and harsh for her tone. We've had much better results using the Sennheiser E935, Audix OM6 and AKG D5 on her voice,

I would suggest trying the Sennheiser E935, E840, Audix OM6 and AKG D5.
Old 26th June 2013
  #8
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Old 26th June 2013
  #9
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
I tried a Heil PR35 on a mezzo soprano gospel singer and neither of us liked it on her voice. The PR35 sounded too strident and harsh for her tone. We've had much better results using the Sennheiser E935, Audix OM6 and AKG D5 on her voice,

I would suggest trying the Sennheiser E935, E840, Audix OM6 and AKG D5.
I also find the Heil's a bit strident, for vocalists with a "trained" voice, Neumann or Sennheiser are a good place to start. Audix is OK if isolation is a primary concern.
Old 26th June 2013
  #10
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dickiefunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
I also find the Heil's a bit strident, for vocalists with a "trained" voice, Neumann or Sennheiser are a good place to start. Audix is OK if isolation is a primary concern.
Yes I forgot the Neumann KMS 105. Really great female vocal mic but more costly.
That's true about the Audix mics they're great when isolation is needed but I prefer the Sennheiser's and even the AKG D5's on some sources!
Old 26th June 2013
  #11
Gear nut
 

Audix OM5 or OM6 sound amazing on female soprano live. I would highly reccomend giving it a try
Old 1st July 2013
  #12
Gear interested
It all is really subjective to the vocalist.

I've had some luck with the Telefunken m-80's with females, but they have some feedbacking issues. when they're grabbing for signal, but if you tune your monitors the proper way, you should be good.

I totally agree with everyone with the pr-35's. they're great.
Old 1st July 2013
  #13
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janjaal's Avatar
as much as i hate the akg C414 b-xls for the male vocals, but it always surprised me on female vocals.
Old 2nd July 2013
  #14
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The Neumannis good, but If the singer moves off the mic at all it does tend to pick up whatever it is pointing at, in your typical rock band this makes it sound like you have just gained an extra drum overhead mic.
Try the Blue Encore 300, it has a good strong top end without the over-brightness of the Shure Beta range, and a very strong warm bottom end, but retaining balance
Old 6th July 2013
  #15
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Our main female vocalist is in a similar range, it sounds like. the Encore 300 is great on her, and my first choice, but I have found it can have feedback problems in some venues (especially if they have a lot of reflective walls close by). The EV767a is my fallback dynamic, and it sounds nearly as good, and is very easy to place, feedback is never an issue.
Old 6th July 2013
  #16
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GeneHall's Avatar
[QUOTE=brettsabo;9188940]It all is really subjective to the vocalist.

I've had some luck with the Telefunken m-80's with females,
I work with.trained female voices..., on the higher side, dramatic soprano and up there are several mics that will work well,
The BeyerDynamic m69 , though not regarded as such a Mic, has proven to work very very well for us LIVE and in the studio. I kid you not. Excellent rejection and handles the pressure beautifully.
If you have a chance to demo one, it might be just the thing you're in need of sometimes...
The M80 from Telefunken is another great Mic,
bright but also full and bloomy. Looks very cool! For females, I use an extra basket liner (foam) on the outside to reduce the ssssssspops and keep lipstick off my lovely Mic. Built like a tank..
The kms 105 can be buggery to work with live if there is any other stage sound happening. Impossible to keep good monitoring in small rooms, well, difficult more than impossible. In ear highly recommended...
Stunning sounding Mic worth the work that goes with it.
SM7b excellent Mic that works in many situations outside the studio, robust sound but singers must really spend some time with it to know it's idiosyncrasies....not my first choice but as stated previous, depends on exact voice and particular environment.

In the studio, we use the sm7 or the beyer 69 for rehearsal or demoing, 249b for tracking....that's what works for us, hope it helps mate
Gene



Sent from my XT925
Old 6th July 2013
  #17
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Ragan's Avatar
 

There's so much more than the mic that goes into experiencing "crystal clear vocals" in a live setting. Live, loud stages are sonic warfare.

Granted it doesn't seem like you're doing a bunch of cymbal bashing, cranked amp, bleed from every direction, every wedge louder than every other wedge type stuff, so the mic may actually play a relatively big role.

For taming bright, loud vocals I've had good luck with the Sennheiser e935.
Old 6th July 2013
  #18
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edva's Avatar
[QUOTE=GeneHall;9203181]
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettsabo View Post
I work with.trained female voices..., on the higher side, dramatic soprano and up there are several mics that will work well,
The BeyerDynamic m69 , though not regarded as such a Mic, has proven to work very very well for us LIVE and in the studio. I kid you not. Excellent rejection and handles the pressure beautifully.
If you have a chance to demo one, it might be just the thing you're in need of sometimes...
For females, I use an extra basket liner (foam) on the outside to reduce the ssssssspops and keep lipstick off my lovely Mic.
Interesting. I often use and enjoy the m69 on female rock and R&B vox in a live setting, nice forward sounding mic, not harsh, and as you mention excellent rejection. Had not tried it on classical type voices, might give that a shot.
And I have also found that usually it is a good idea to use foam pop filters on almost all female's vocal mics, as you say it helps with the pops and the lipstick, but I also find it prevents them from eating the mic in an attempt to get more low end in their voice, which they may think is cool, but it sounds like mud out front. The m69 works OK without one though, using some hi-pass.
Old 7th July 2013
  #19
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GeneHall's Avatar
[QUOTE=edva;9204735]
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post

Interesting. I often use and enjoy the m69 on female rock and R&B vox in a live setting, nice forward sounding mic, not harsh, and as you mention excellent rejection. Had not tried it on classical type voices, might give that a shot.
And I have also found that usually it is a good idea to use foam pop filters on almost all female's vocal mics, as you say it helps with the pops and the lipstick, but I also find it prevents them from eating the mic in an attempt to get more low end in their voice, which they may think is cool, but it sounds like mud out front. The m69 works OK without one though, using some hi-pass.
Yeah the 69 doesn't have one, I pulled the basket foam out of a d7 and put it over the 69 basket, it works but maybe not so flash looking. The 69 never ceases to amaze me with female vox. Hpf on the daking 1 is a delicious ....., I'll find a track I recorded as a guide that wound up being a programme demo guide vocal!.., sometimes all the fruit in the machine lines up with the most unusual combination....I'd really like to try dramatic soprano on a 69 through a bg1....through 1073 ish type eq for a crisp edge on full bloom. :D

Sent from my XT925
Old 7th July 2013
  #20
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GYMusic's Avatar
When someone brings in an accordion, banjo or female vocalist I put up a ribbon.
Old 7th July 2013
  #21
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Old 7th July 2013
  #22
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jetboatguy's Avatar
 

I have never tried Heil mics, but they do intrigue me.. they get a lot of mention around this forum.

but.. I will second the Sennheiser e935.. It's currently my favorite vocal stage mic.

I choose it over the SM58, Beta58, Beta 87.. and even the coveted Neumann KMS105

even though the KMS mics are very hi-fi sounding, they can easily feedback in a loud stage scenario.. and I mix a lot of gritty indie rock acts.
Old 10th July 2013
  #23
You might want to consider the new DPA d:facto II condenser microphone. High-end mic that's suitable for both male and female vocalists.

Should be no problem to get a hand on one in Finland (Noretron is the Finnish DPA distributor).

Another pro for the DPA is that it will fit on to almost any wireless system that's out there (with several adapters made by DPA).
Old 30th December 2014
  #24
Gear interested
 

Best microphone for female vocalist?

I'm looking for some advice on a replacement mic please - lead and backing female box in a noisy (guitars + horns) soul/funk/pop covers band (I use an IEM as I've given up with the monitors).

My current mic is Beyerdynamic M300 (I think - no markings as it's been bashed about!). I've tried all our other mics (an aged selection of what I think are Shure SM58 and beta 58's, a couple of Sennheiser's possibly e840's) and none sound close. I also visited Anderton's in Guildford and nothing I tried touched it either - they didn't stock Beyerdynamic sadly).

Given that my current mic is a Beyerdynamic, I'm leaning in that direction - the M300 is dynamic cardioid, so my thoughts with up to £300ish to spend were around the TG V90D or TG V90R?

Two questions:

Firstly: Who lets you try out nowadays? I cannot find ANYWHERE in the south of the UK to test-drive any Beyerdynamic mics - I've looked via their website at all registered stockists. The only places to buy are online and the two places that did have them listed and had a physical shop presence said that either a) they didn't do tests due to hygiene or b) if I wanted to try something they'd have to order it in and I had to purchase it. Any suggestions?

Secondly - anyone have any suggestions for which mic would be a fine replacement for the M300 for me???

In the meantime I'm buying a new windshield as mine is grim! THANKS!!
Old 31st December 2014
  #25
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy360 View Post
I'm looking for some advice on a replacement mic please - lead and backing female box in a noisy (guitars + horns) soul/funk/pop covers band (I use an IEM as I've given up with the monitors).

My current mic is Beyerdynamic M300 (I think - no markings as it's been bashed about!). I've tried all our other mics (an aged selection of what I think are Shure SM58 and beta 58's, a couple of Sennheiser's possibly e840's) and none sound close. I also visited Anderton's in Guildford and nothing I tried touched it either - they didn't stock Beyerdynamic sadly).

Given that my current mic is a Beyerdynamic, I'm leaning in that direction - the M300 is dynamic cardioid, so my thoughts with up to £300ish to spend were around the TG V90D or TG V90R?

Two questions:

Firstly: Who lets you try out nowadays? I cannot find ANYWHERE in the south of the UK to test-drive any Beyerdynamic mics - I've looked via their website at all registered stockists. The only places to buy are online and the two places that did have them listed and had a physical shop presence said that either a) they didn't do tests due to hygiene or b) if I wanted to try something they'd have to order it in and I had to purchase it. Any suggestions?

Secondly - anyone have any suggestions for which mic would be a fine replacement for the M300 for me???

In the meantime I'm buying a new windshield as mine is grim! THANKS!!
Personally, I am not a fan of those two Beyers, they went too far with the high end emphasis, in the sense that the mic also rolls off quite a bit on the low end, so the net result is somewhat "thin" sounding, IMHO, but of course, all depends on voice and situation. Obviously, it could be the right mic for some voices and situations. The above mentioned Beter M69 or "TG" 69 is a time tested, stage friendly mic that is usually a safe choice, and sometimes an excellent choice. I'd be comfortable recommending that to you, based on the scenario you presented. And easily resold if it's not for you, which cannot be said for the other two. However, if you really are attracted to the 90 series, they are not shabby by any means, Beyer make excellent mics. Good luck.

Last edited by edva; 31st December 2014 at 12:10 AM.. Reason: bit more
Old 31st December 2014
  #26
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loujudson's Avatar
Find an online retailer that will let you return it. But I recommend the M69. A client of mine who dropped her Beta58 and killed it replaced it with two M69s and is happy as a lark. She sings jazz, though.
Old 31st December 2014
  #27
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jfpenkala's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSarahTK View Post
Hey all,

I would like to get your opinion on choosing new microphone for our singer Heidi to be used mainly on the Live shows. She is a classical singer and her range is Lyrical Soprano. We've had quite many different mics before but now I will update the one what we have to the wireless of our own so that can get her voice out better. There seems to be these new 2.4Ghz range wireless microphones but would they be any good for us?

What we need is a crystal clear sound and microphone that is suitable for her vocal range. We are using in-ear monitoring so the stage noise is "minimal". Would be nice to hear of your experiences and what would you recommend.

At a minimum I would be looking at a Shure ULXD with a KMS9 capsule.

-JP
Old 31st December 2014
  #28
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfpenkala View Post
At a minimum I would be looking at a Shure ULXD with a KMS9 capsule.

-JP
The new ULXD is a hit...KSM9 not so much. Dynamics can be warmer..richer..better stage isolation. Try the Telefunken WH80 or 81 to see which matches voice better.


The new DPA d:handheld shows promise if you must do condenser...but with horns and drums it may just "hear" too much
Old 31st December 2014
  #29
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+1 to all the mentions for the 935. It's great, but with higher pitched female vocals I've had times where I wanted the top end to sound a bit more "open", which is something a condenser would be better at. The KMS105 is excellent, but it's so smooth and nice sounding that the sound might get a bit lost among the rest of the band. The first thing on my list to try on her would be an e965.

Chris
Old 31st December 2014
  #30
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At the risk of sounding my age (74) your singers mic isn't an issue: The singers voice is buried in a wall of electronic accompaniment. Clive Davis would fire an entire production team if they presented a two mix of Whitney Houston as bad as this one. The first thing you must decide is whether or not a vocal is to be featured selling a lyric. The second issue will require an agreement with the key board players to subjugate their "wall of sound" for a legible vocal track. I then would vote for one of the mics that Wyllys suggested :( Audia Technica AE5400)
Bill Gather Bought more than 50 of these wireless mics for his home coming TV production and they have females with every texture and range imaginable and they all sound great.
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