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Blue Reactor Vocal Samples Condenser Microphones
Old 10th September 2011
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Blue Reactor Vocal Samples

I just bought one yesterday, heres a sample!

i love the mic, to me it sounds very clean and clear.

i do have one major gripe though.
This thing is FAR too heavy for its shockmount..... and litterally leans to one side...looks SO sloppy like that. im going to have to call blue and ask them whats up with that and for some kind of better solution. other than that, i was very impressed with the sound quality, it definatly bested my bluebird for clarity and tone

Signal Path: Blue Reactor Mic------->Blue KIWI microphone cable----------> Focusrite ISA ONE(Set to "ISA 110" for the Z in setting and no highcut engaged) ------->Premium Monster Cable XLR to 1/4 inch TRS----------> EMU 1212M card-------> Adobe Audition 3.0
Attached Files

Reactor Vocal Sample.mp3 (1.19 MB, 3308 views)

Old 10th September 2011
  #2
I appreciate you taking the time out to do this test

it sounds like a fairly bright mic...I think we both have somewhat similar sibilance issues

I wanted to test it out, but this gave me a good idea of what to expect
Old 10th September 2011
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Gunz OBM View Post
I appreciate you taking the time out to do this test

it sounds like a fairly bright mic...I think we both have somewhat similar sibilance issues

I wanted to test it out, but this gave me a good idea of what to expect
yes there was a little siblance but nothing the slightest little bit of waves de-essser couldnt clean up , overall im very happy with this mic
Old 13th September 2011
  #4
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Awesome, i can tell by the lack of responses that people must like this mic =) ( no news is good news after all ) =)heh
Old 13th September 2011
  #5
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Bobbaganouche's Avatar
 

also found it to be very sibilant on vocal tests. i also found it rather "hollow". it is by all means applicable to certain things, however it rules itself out of a number of applications as well.
for $100 less the blue baby bottle is more of a utility mic, i imagine you were not looking for utility, rather a tuned vocal mic.
Old 13th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
ya know the akg c-12? legendary mic... capable of picking up lots of sibilance.

vocals can shine with lots of high end energy, and that also tends to bring in sibilance.

there are some compressors (hardware type) that sort of magically reduce sibilance while not actually being de-essers (hell even the art vla can do that if set right). Then a bit of just hte right de-essing will make your ears happy.

Speaking of sibilant mics in general, not speaking of this reactor.
Old 14th September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbaganouche View Post
also found it to be very sibilant on vocal tests. i also found it rather "hollow". it is by all means applicable to certain things, however it rules itself out of a number of applications as well.
for $100 less the blue baby bottle is more of a utility mic, i imagine you were not looking for utility, rather a tuned vocal mic.

definatly, it totaly outshines my bluebird for male vox. its a little bit siblant, but so far ive only had to use the waves de-esser once and even then ever so mildly. to me it sounds like its got a lot of meat in the mids without being muddy. i noticed also that i no longer have to notch at 300 like i had to with my bluebird, so very happy bout that
Old 14th September 2011
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
ya know the akg c-12? legendary mic... capable of picking up lots of sibilance.

vocals can shine with lots of high end energy, and that also tends to bring in sibilance.

there are some compressors (hardware type) that sort of magically reduce sibilance while not actually being de-essers (hell even the art vla can do that if set right). Then a bit of just hte right de-essing will make your ears happy.

Speaking of sibilant mics in general, not speaking of this reactor.
there are some compressors (hardware type) that sort of magically reduce sibilance while not actually being de-essers<---- any suggestions? id like to try that lol
Old 16th September 2011
  #9
Gear Addict
 

well ive had a chance now to make a full song and test it out in the car and i gotta say....wow. in one word? presence... this mic murders the bluebird for presence, and i recorded one set of vocal tracks through the bluebird and then the same tracks with the reactor and ran them through the exact same effects channel and master channel so i KNOW this mic is just better lol.... nice meaty vocal without the mud, but then again that doesnt shock me seeing as how your basically getting a 2k kiwi mic for 500 bucks when you buy this thing lol...



ao....anyone wanna buy a bluebird used? lol
Old 21st September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveybasso View Post
there are some compressors (hardware type) that sort of magically reduce sibilance while not actually being de-essers<---- any suggestions? id like to try that lol
art pro vla. it does that magical sibilance reduction while also compressing vocals beautifully. and it's cheapish and super versatile (even does true stereo or dual mono).
Old 21st September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveybasso View Post
well ive had a chance now to make a full song and test it out in the car and i gotta say....wow. in one word? presence... this mic murders the bluebird for presence, and i recorded one set of vocal tracks through the bluebird and then the same tracks with the reactor and ran them through the exact same effects channel and master channel so i KNOW this mic is just better lol.... nice meaty vocal without the mud, but then again that doesnt shock me seeing as how your basically getting a 2k kiwi mic for 500 bucks when you buy this thing lol...



ao....anyone wanna buy a bluebird used? lol
great to hear! I adore my kiwi. it's the most amazing vocal mic. imho vocal mics should NOT be flat unless you want to do lots of eq in the mix. I'm comfortable doing that, but in larger (better equipped) studios I've always gotten to track with nice vocal mics, the non-flat variety. and mixing and producing of course give me all kinds of vocal mics.

when I do my work in my little home studio though with a low budget I have to use more utility mics often. But in recent years I've had more to spend on getting true vocal mics and went through plenty and did a lot of buying and selling until I found my true gems: I really like the cad m9 for vocals, and adore the kiwi.

if this is similar to a kiwi, it's a steal. kiwis are very very expensive for a home studio ;-)

edit: oh, and I also have a self-modded apex 460 that is actually quite useful on teh right singer in the right style.... definitely a pre-eq'd mic, about as far from flat and clean as I could imagine.
Old 22nd September 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
art pro vla. it does that magical sibilance reduction while also compressing vocals beautifully. and it's cheapish and super versatile (even does true stereo or dual mono).
hmm ill have to check one of those out =) is it tube? and if so what would you suggest for a good replacement? for tenor male vox?
Old 24th September 2011
  #13
Here for the gear
 
bilalshabazz's Avatar
 

I have to say that my experience with this microphone have been less than satisfactory. I've run it through it's paces on vox and drums, and "sibilant" does not begin to describe this microphones frequency response. There is nothing subtle about the SM81 shaped shards of glass that were sent hurtling out of my 1032a's; I may have peed a little... For the money, the Baby Bottle FTW.
Seriously though, I was bummed out by how little mid range or warm low end was captured, not to mention the fact that the top is no where near accurate enough to make the purchase of this mic justifiable for any reason other than cosmetic ones or those associated with Sadomasochism.
Old 24th September 2011
  #14
Here for the gear
 
bilalshabazz's Avatar
 

one more thought... While there are devices that will help squash sibilance, etc... you shouldn't need to fix a sound before you've even begun. You should more spend more time auditioning mics to find the best compliment for the source than(blah blah blah)....
Old 25th September 2011
  #15
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Jimsi's Avatar
 

I always believed and still do that mics fit vocal types and you found what fit yours...I hve a lower baritone voice and find the bright mics work best for my bluesy voice....enjoy it, it works for you...
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveybasso View Post
hmm ill have to check one of those out =) is it tube? and if so what would you suggest for a good replacement? for tenor male vox?
Old 26th September 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilalshabazz View Post
I have to say that my experience with this microphone have been less than satisfactory. I've run it through it's paces on vox and drums, and "sibilant" does not begin to describe this microphones frequency response. There is nothing subtle about the SM81 shaped shards of glass that were sent hurtling out of my 1032a's; I may have peed a little... For the money, the Baby Bottle FTW.
Seriously though, I was bummed out by how little mid range or warm low end was captured, not to mention the fact that the top is no where near accurate enough to make the purchase of this mic justifiable for any reason other than cosmetic ones or those associated with Sadomasochism.
well if you like the baby bottle for lead vocals then of course you'll hate this mic. the kiwi (supposedly this is similar to reactor) and the baby bottle are exact opposites. kiwi is in your face yet full for the right vocal. baby bottle is actually relatively dark compared to almost all typical condensor mics. Both are great mics, but for "most" commercial type vocals I wouldn't be very happy with the baby bottle. however if I was recording "Harvest" I might adore it, and it's great on some types of strings and brass and some types of vocals for sure.

so while this doesn't invalidate your comment, it does put some perspective on what you look for in a microphone and what you're accustomed to hearing from your mic. I think an AKG C12 would blow your hearing with it's high frequency output :-)
Old 26th September 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilalshabazz View Post
one more thought... While there are devices that will help squash sibilance, etc... you shouldn't need to fix a sound before you've even begun. You should more spend more time auditioning mics to find the best compliment for the source than(blah blah blah)....
generally, I agree. however once again if everyone had always followed that rule then we would never have had those wonderful sizzly bright yet not sibilant vocal recordings from legends such as Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston (c12) or telefunken 251 (Christina Aguilera, Fiona Apple).

so de-essing is a long standing and very well understood requirement in recording studios for a pretty good reason.

However I agree with the KISS principle "keep it simple, stupid" (works with the band, too, now that I think about it! haha) --- if you can avoid it and still get that amazing commercial vocal sound, go for it :-)
Old 26th September 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
The reactor is no brighter than the average Pop vocal these days! If you are into darker vintage tones you will probably hate this mic and the Kiwi and the Blueberry. You also will dislike almost all Pop music female recordings of the last 20 years which have been very bright that long! Let's just get that straight because this mic is not a piece of crap.

I would not buy it to record real to life acoustic sources that is not what it is for. This is a vocal mic pure and simple. If you need transformer and tube rich in the lower mids and lows this mic is not for you. That's why I took it back. If you scoop out that stuff anyway to get a bright focused dance vocal or Pop sound then you should check out this mic for anybody except people with a smaller voice. It is tight in the bottom so baris ,tenor with chest voice and most rappers will sound great on this mic. I don't think it would be that great for higher voices as the bottom is too flat for that!

Also someone made a comment about the mic matching well enough that not much needs to be done in the mix. This just doesn't exist in Modern Pop music as half the time the vocal is producing textures through EFX. Often times a different sound is created for the Verses and Chorus. A great performance through a quiet full bandwidth Vocal chain will get you there everytime but alot is going to happen to that vocal after that regardless!

Jazztone

P.S. this is a very good mic for some vocal applications(like most good mics)
Old 27th September 2011
  #19
Here for the gear
 
bilalshabazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
The reactor is no brighter than the average Pop vocal these days! If you are into darker vintage tones you will probably hate this mic and the Kiwi and the Blueberry. You also will dislike almost all Pop music female recordings of the last 20 years which have been very bright that long! Let's just get that straight because this mic is not a piece of crap.
I actually like the Kiwi, and I generally feel like Blue does an excellent over all job designing mics, however, I think this mic is a miss. There's nothing wrong with bright, sometimes bright is what's called for, but I could not recommend this mic against others in the price range for a "lead" vocal mic. I would even recommend the Bluebird before the Reactor.
Old 27th September 2011
  #20
Here for the gear
 
bilalshabazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
generally, I agree. however once again if everyone had always followed that rule then we would never have had those wonderful sizzly bright yet not sibilant vocal recordings from legends such as Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston (c12) or telefunken 251 (Christina Aguilera, Fiona Apple).

so de-essing is a long standing and very well understood requirement in recording studios for a pretty good reason.
Even without De-essing (and I don't mean to argue the value of a good de-esser...) the C12 and ELAM251 have much better response characteristics than the reactor, so it's not really a fair argument. The reactors response is very hot around 8k and it reminded me of a cheap electret; not a good impression.
Old 28th September 2011
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
The reactor is no brighter than the average Pop vocal these days! If you are into darker vintage tones you will probably hate this mic and the Kiwi and the Blueberry. You also will dislike almost all Pop music female recordings of the last 20 years which have been very bright that long! Let's just get that straight because this mic is not a piece of crap.

I would not buy it to record real to life acoustic sources that is not what it is for. This is a vocal mic pure and simple. If you need transformer and tube rich in the lower mids and lows this mic is not for you. That's why I took it back. If you scoop out that stuff anyway to get a bright focused dance vocal or Pop sound then you should check out this mic for anybody except people with a smaller voice. It is tight in the bottom so baris ,tenor with chest voice and most rappers will sound great on this mic. I don't think it would be that great for higher voices as the bottom is too flat for that!

Also someone made a comment about the mic matching well enough that not much needs to be done in the mix. This just doesn't exist in Modern Pop music as half the time the vocal is producing textures through EFX. Often times a different sound is created for the Verses and Chorus. A great performance through a quiet full bandwidth Vocal chain will get you there everytime but alot is going to happen to that vocal after that regardless!

Jazztone

P.S. this is a very good mic for some vocal applications(like most good mics)
i guess it just "reacts" pardon the pun...differently on different peoples voices because on mine it brought out the mids and low mids beautifully, it sounds way better on my voice that the blue bluebird or my rode nt1000 and NT2a thats for sure, it made it nice and beefy with just the right amount of brightness. it might be too siblant for other people yes, but for me, this mic is perfect.....and yes, i find myself doing alotless Eq-ing now..my other mics are getting ready to be awefull lonly...lol
i might not have mentioned that im running it through a Focusrite ISA one and into a Art Pro VLA II with stock tubes, then into a Emu 1212m card ( dont know if that makes a difference or not)
Old 28th September 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
 

When you first started speaking I thought, yeah that's a Blue mic. There's something very kind of very compressed sounding about them. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. T sounds always really seem to stand out on Blue mics. I always find them a bit hyped and a bit too "studio" sounding (as opposed to transparent/natural).

Mind you, I really liked that proximity effect. Very nice. Very warm and, in my experience, untypical of Blue mics. When you backed off again, it sounded very thin in comparison.

Got to say though, ultimately spoken recordings only tell me what a mic sounds like on speech. Singing is a whole different ballgame. Even my crappiest mics sound kind of sexy with spoken word.

You've got a nice, clear signal chain there. Any chance you could find the time to post up some singing at some point? It'd be much appreciated!
Old 28th September 2011
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
When you first started speaking I thought, yeah that's a Blue mic. There's something very kind of very compressed sounding about them. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. T sounds always really seem to stand out on Blue mics. I always find them a bit hyped and a bit too "studio" sounding (as opposed to transparent/natural).

Mind you, I really liked that proximity effect. Very nice. Very warm and, in my experience, untypical of Blue mics. When you backed off again, it sounded very thin in comparison.

Got to say though, ultimately spoken recordings only tell me what a mic sounds like on speech. Singing is a whole different ballgame. Even my crappiest mics sound kind of sexy with spoken word.

You've got a nice, clear signal chain there. Any chance you could find the time to post up some singing at some point? It'd be much appreciated!
sure thing! ill do that when i get home from work today. ill post one with music and one acapella ( m not responsible if your ears fall off tho due to my caterwalling) LOL

ill use Autotune i promise lol....

P.S. I should mention that Blue is working on making a new shockmount for this thing and they said they would ship it to me in a couple of weeks...the stock shockmnount is NOT sufficient to hold this thing up straight....it actually leans to one side under its own weight. but they were quick to respond to the issue and are sending me a free mount hot off the assembly line so im happy with blue
Old 28th September 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilalshabazz View Post
Even without De-essing (and I don't mean to argue the value of a good de-esser...) the C12 and ELAM251 have much better response characteristics than the reactor, so it's not really a fair argument. The reactors response is very hot around 8k and it reminded me of a cheap electret; not a good impression.
ugh, fair enough. I will say again that I own a kiwi, not a reactor, so I'm happy that you saw what I was trying to get across. Thank you for not taking it as a personal criticism or anything more :-)

I'll read on and will be interested in reading more opinions.

I would never, though, not in a million years, use a bluebird on a vocal unless I had no other quality mics around. I'd take a cad m179 over a bluebird for vocals any day (179 is easily eq'd in the mix, though certainly an inexpensive mic and not nearly in the range of the nicer blue mics, for readers not familiar with it). edit: sorry that must sound bad.... just my personal opinion, nothing more.
Old 28th September 2011
  #25
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very excited to hear some singing, even if it's bad enough that auto-tune actually improves it LoL :-)

Some mics really do REQUIRE proximity effect to sound great on lead vocals.... other mics sound way better with lots of air between the mouth and capsule (1 or even 2 feet).

Maybe this is one that is better suited to being only a few inches from the performer?

I've worked with mics that sounded outstanding 3 or 4 inches from a perform, and in some intimate vocals only 1 or 2 inches with a good pop filter can be a beautiful thing.

I do get the impression though that the further away from the mic you get, the more a cheap mic sounds bad and a great mic blossoms. and up close many mics, even really cheap ones, can sound quite good.

So possibly this is a (very vague and unscientific) argument that the mic isn't as "great" as some others.

But what really coutns is how it sounds in it's best positioning, whether that position is with your lips against the grille or with it pointing away from you while you yell across the room. right? :-)

so feel free to experiment with distance and angle.
Old 12th November 2011
  #26
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveybasso View Post
well ive had a chance now to make a full song and test it out in the car and i gotta say....wow. in one word? presence... this mic murders the bluebird for presence, and i recorded one set of vocal tracks through the bluebird and then the same tracks with the reactor and ran them through the exact same effects channel and master channel so i KNOW this mic is just better lol.... nice meaty vocal without the mud, but then again that doesnt shock me seeing as how your basically getting a 2k kiwi mic for 500 bucks when you buy this thing lol...



ao....anyone wanna buy a bluebird used? lol
hey i wanna get that mic sounds realy crispy on your voice do u have any sample of vocals with a track that u recorded with the blue reactor mic if so can u pls send me a snippet sample to hear it fully my email is [email protected] thx
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