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LDC voiced like 57 Condenser Microphones
Old 9th September 2011
  #1
LDC voiced like 57

Hi all!

I've noticed lately as I get older that my voice sounds awesome when I sing down low and quiet, especially after a night out drinking! I'm talking a Tom Waits growl here (though I can't even pretend to compare my self to the incredible Mr Waits!).

The thing is I can't really capture this sound that closely with my usual mic selection (sm7b, ribbon). My singing sounds ok through these when I sing up higher and louder, but when I get deep and gravelly they just sound muddy. I'm getting the best results with a 57, but it lacks a little something. Maybe volume? I certainly like the top end on the 57 when I sing low compared to my sm7b.

I don't own an LDC and have been keen to buy one for a while and I'm wondering if any one knows of a reasonably priced LDC (<$1000) that might fit the bill? I've had my eye on the at4047/50 mics for a while, but they might be little muddy too from what I've read. Maybe what I am looking for is just something a bit "cleaner"?

So what are my options? Anyone with a similar voice getting good results with anything? I did a search on Tom Waits' vocal chain but that's a pretty long way out of my budget!

If I could find something that was pretty versatile that would be a big plus too, as I often record other people.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks guys!
Old 9th September 2011
  #2
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The Blue Woodpecker is an active ribbon mic that uses 48v phantom power and sounds a bit like a dark-ish condenser or a detailed dynamic mic. I have had good luck with it on voices like you describe, and it doesn't take a boat load of additional preamp gain to use effectively. Might be worth checking out.
Old 9th September 2011
  #3
Would that be how you'd describe the sound I'm going for? Dark condenser/detailed dynamic? Thanks for putting me on to that Blue mic, there's a store not far from me that stocks Blue stuff. I'll give them a call to see if I can try one out. Any other suggestions?
Old 9th September 2011
  #4
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Well, I would say it describes what I like about the mic for the style of singing you describe... I'll be curious to see what you think if you get to test drive one! It will be much more sensitive than the SM57, but with more articulation in the consonants while still working smoothly in the lower and mid ranges. I find that really helps clear up the mud without making things sound artificially crisp or brittle I never had a problem with sibilance, but that is a possible downside.

Another possibility is the ElectroVoice RE-20, an extended range dynamic, but it really needs a solid preamp to get the most out of it. You could get an RE-20 and a modestly priced pre to do the heavy lifting for under a grand.
Old 9th September 2011
  #5
No luck on the Hummingbird. It does look pretty interesting, but they don't stock it at the store near me. I asked what the chances were of getting one in and they said not good! The bummer is I live in Australia, so shipping is a big deal just to try something out and send it back if I don't like it.

I've always kind of fancied an RE-20, but never had the chance to try one (again, Australia). I have a Focusrite ISA-one that seems to do the business on most mics/sources.

Is what you are saying is that LDC probably isn't the way to go? I guess I am looking for a little more detail than what the 57 is giving me, and less mud than the sm7. I find it so hard to know what a mic sounds like without actually trying it. All these clips on the net could be anything really, I don't know the room, the chain, ITB processing, etc.

Thanks for your reply!
Old 9th September 2011
  #6
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The Kel HM 2D was designed to sound somewhat like the SM7b.
Old 9th September 2011
  #7
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mcgruff's Avatar
 

I'd have a serious think about ADK. Everything up to the TT is in budget.
Old 9th September 2011
  #8
Gear Head
Maybe a Beta 57...?(or Beta 58)
If all you need is a little more top end...easy to find\test...might be worth a look
Old 9th September 2011
  #9
Thanks for all the replies guys! Looks like I've got plenty to try out this weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratch36 View Post
Maybe a Beta 57...?(or Beta 58)
If all you need is a little more top end...easy to find\test...might be worth a look
Are the beta's that much brighter than the regular sm's? Might be worth a try. I'm wondering if it's not the absence of a pop shield that I'm liking when I hear the 57? Thanks again guys.
Old 9th September 2011
  #10
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edva's Avatar
4047 is a candidate for LDC, I'd say. Cleaner and flatter would be an RE20, dynamic.
Old 9th September 2011
  #11
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I don't know why you specifically want an LDC. Have you tried a Beyer M-88 or Sennheiser 441? also, vary your position re: the mic, and the mic in the room.
Old 9th September 2011
  #12
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Kel HM2D sounds like an SM7b apparently...
Old 9th September 2011
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I don't know why you specifically want an LDC. Have you tried a Beyer M-88 or Sennheiser 441? also, vary your position re: the mic, and the mic in the room.
I'm kind of looking to get an LDC just to round out my mic collection that consists of a bunch of dynamics, SDC's and ribbons; but I also understand these are the more detailed kind of mic. I record other people as much (if not more) than I record myself and I've noticed a couple of times I'll set up my sm7b on the stand and they'll go "where's the big shiny mic like I saw in xyz's video on youtube"! I feel my engineering/mixing skills are approaching the point where I can start charging people for it, although I really want to work on my production and arrangement skills before that.

Having said that you can buy 3 of many of the mics mentioned in this thread for the price of an LDC, so it's a pretty convincing argument to go with them. Things like the RE-20 and M-88 really look interesting. I could get both of them within my budget (blessed by thy tax return)! Just a matter of testing them out with my voice. Thanks for all the replies and constructive conversation/suggestions guys!
Old 9th September 2011
  #14
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Silent Sound's Avatar
I know it's not scientific or anything, but I overlayed some of the manufacturer's frequency response charts of various microphones over the Sure SM57's. I can think of many flaws in solely using this to make a decision, but I did it anyway because I was curious.

Here are the comparisons using an AT4040, AT4047, AT4050, Kel HM7U, and Oktava MK319. The AT4040 looks the closest to me, so I'd say it's at least worth checking out.
Attached Thumbnails
LDC voiced like 57-sm57vat4040.jpg   LDC voiced like 57-sm57vat4047.jpg   LDC voiced like 57-sm57vat4050.jpg   LDC voiced like 57-sm57vkelhm7u.jpg   LDC voiced like 57-sm57vmk319.jpg  

Old 9th September 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ObiK View Post
Kel HM2D sounds like an SM7b apparently...
I have an SM7b, and while it sounds ok when I (and others) sing loudly, it sounds muddy when I sing soft. My questions is regarding the sm57, not sm7. Thanks though.
Old 9th September 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
I know it's not scientific or anything, but I overlayed some of the manufacturer's frequency response charts of various microphones over the Sure SM57's. I can think of many flaws in solely using this to make a decision, but I did it anyway because I was curious.

Here are the comparisons using an AT4040, AT4047, AT4050, Kel HM7U, and Oktava MK319. The AT4040 looks the closest to me, so I'd say it's at least worth checking out.
Thanks for this, awesome stuff! I've heard good things about the 4040 too.

As a side note, has anyone noticed that RE-20's cost as much used as new? Sometimes even more. Is there a point where the manufacturing process changed or something?
Old 10th September 2011
  #17
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The 4040 is a really good mic. Try it before you buy it though. I have one and actually use it a lot, but I have a voice kind of like yours and I found the 4040 to be a little too umm... well, honest not to put too fine a point on it. I don't mind a mic that records "warts and all", but my 4040 actually seems to point and giggle at them a little.heh
Old 10th September 2011
  #18
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ximo View Post
I'm getting the best results with a 57, but it lacks a little something. Maybe volume? I certainly like the top end on the 57 when I sing low compared to my sm7b.
An LDC won't give you more any more 'volume' than you can get with a 57. Have you tried compressing? If you're after more 'air' in the top end, then a condenser can give you that, but maybe a little high shelf on the 57 could also do it.
Old 10th September 2011
  #19
Try an OLD Baby Bottle. Not the post EV buyout, but the old one, if you can find it.

Seriously.

john
Old 10th September 2011
  #20
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Bono sings really soft in the studio and uses an SM58 for pretty much all the U2 tracks...
Old 10th September 2011
  #21
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ximo View Post

As a side note, has anyone noticed that RE-20's cost as much used as new? Sometimes even more. Is there a point where the manufacturing process changed or something?
I don't know the answer to that, but it's a great mic IME, truly all-purpose, and very well made, one of the few good "made in USA" products, well worth its price, IMHO. Very sturdy, dependable, sounds great, and most people like the look of it, which obviously is very unique. My 2c.
Old 10th September 2011
  #22
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Going by the frequency plots only (not just in the catalog but real-life, too) the closest I can find would be the M7 Microtech Gefells like the UM(T)70(S), MT71S, (U)M92(.1)(S) and UM900. Especially the last one, but that one is way above the budget. The first ones (used) are not.



Henk
Old 10th September 2011
  #23
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ximo View Post
I have an SM7b, and while it sounds ok when I (and others) sing loudly, it sounds muddy when I sing soft. My questions is regarding the sm57, not sm7. Thanks though.
I know your not talking about the sm7 but it does the job for me..

Have you tried adding more gain and messing with the switches?
Old 11th September 2011
  #24
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Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

IMHO, you should try out an SDC like an SM81...the fast transient response can do interesting things for your type of voice. Can you rent mics locally?...probably your best bet for a good fit.
Old 11th September 2011
  #25
Here for the gear
 

I have the HM2D and an early baby bottle. Both are different sounding mics. The bb has a high-mid push to it that's an unusual frequency range for a mic to boost. the overall effect is a "darker" condenser, though it still captures a fair bit of HF information. The HM2D sounds 57ish to me as opposed to sm7ish, and is not a bright sounding microphone to my ears. I think that kel's description of fat and rootsy is right on the money, but it does capture a better sense of detail and space than a 57, so I usually try it out where I'd use a 57.

The bb is an interesting mic because it's a sleeper (and pretty cheap if you find one) and has a really different sound. the HM2d, again, not expensive, plus you can return it for 30 days if you don't like it. I think it's a useful mic, but haven't tried it on many vocals.
Old 11th September 2011
  #26
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ximo View Post
Thanks for all the replies guys! Looks like I've got plenty to try out this weekend.



Are the beta's that much brighter than the regular sm's? Might be worth a try. I'm wondering if it's not the absence of a pop shield that I'm liking when I hear the 57? Thanks again guys.
They are...Whether they are what you're looking for is for you to judge.I suggest these because they are both very common and easy to test.If you plug a Beta '57 and a Beta '58 in next to a standard '57 you'll know pretty quickly if you're on the right track or not....Most likely your local store will let you take one home for a few days without too much hassle as well.
Old 11th September 2011
  #27
Lives for gear
Sounds like you need an LDC. Classic vibey vocals, almost always recorded on LDC's. The cheapest, best option at the minute is the Stellar CM6. Has great bass response and nice gristle. Turn it up loud, don't get right on top of it (bout a foot or 2 away) and Bob's your uncle.
Old 3rd November 2011
  #28
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guitarboy94's Avatar
 

I'm looking to buy a Kel HM2D. If someone wants to sell theirs, message me.
Old 3rd November 2011
  #29
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57-ish LDC? blue baby bottle? maybe? just a thought. expensive thought though.
Old 4th November 2011
  #30
I've noticed with a 57 that because of the non-existent windscreen is that you can get a gigantic proximity effect if you get right up on it, more so than a 58, and much more so than an SM7. Maybe that's why you like it? How do you track with it, do you get right up on it?
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