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Recommendations for this voice
Old 1 week ago
Gear Nut

Lightbulb Recommendations for this voice

Hi guys,

I am trying to advise a singer I've been working with for the past few years on an affordable (<£500) mic to use in a home recording setup for now. She's got a great voice – see here But it's pretty bright and foward in the upper mids so some mics just ending up sounding a bit thin on her. That recording was actually done on a C12, which is obviously a classic mic, but was too bright and a bit hard to work with in the end. I've been recording her recently with an M49 at my studio which I think sounds great, but that's not an option for now. I guess I'm after a cheaper mic that isn't going to get too harsh in the upper mids and has some detail and air without being over-bright.

Any recommendations would be much appreciated.


Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

She does sound great! Excellent music/video too. Subscribed!

Beyer M88TG and an in-line booster (if needed) would be a good short list choice.
How's her recording area? Is it treated? (if not the M88 makes even more sense)
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
James Lehmann's Avatar

I'd probably first try a valve mic of some sort on that voice - I've read good things about the Vanguard V13 and was close to buying one before lockdown happened. It is over budget, but worth mentioning I think if it's a kind of one-off purchase that needs to be right from the off.

A left-field suggestion that's well under budget might be the BeyerDynamic M160 ribbon - that can be a nice mic for smoothing things out and can work surprisingly well on certain vocals.

RE-20 could work here - smoother and more rounded than the SM7B, albeit slightly 'radio-fied'.

Sennheiser MD-441 is as smooth as butter.

M88TG worth trying as well, especially give its low cost.

A couple of condensers around that price-point that aren't too harsh & spitty are the Shure KSM32 and the AT 4050.

Obviously if you're used to using C12s and M49s you already know you need excellent hi-gain preamps to go with all of these dynamic/ribbon suggestions, which would be an important part of the chain on her voice.

On a side production note - I found the excessive pitch-correction on her voice in the video bothersome, but I suppose this kind of artificially pitch-perfect performance is all part of the so-called 'modern sound' these days. I like to hear people's real voices, but I guess I'm just old-fashioned like that!

/curmudgeon mode
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

Me too James! What's funny is how David Foster felt a little guilty, slightly tuning Nat's vocals... On the Grammy winning Unforgettable duet with Natalie!
Old 1 week ago
Gear Nut

Thanks very much for the replies guys. And for the support chessparov2.0! Interesting that you picked up on the tuning James Lehmann. I remember I did very little indeed on this track – she is a very tuneful singer already – though maybe even the few little bits I did were too much... I'll bear that in mind.

It's a bit of a difficult call without being able to test stuff at the moment. But thanks very much for the recommendations.
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