I've been trying out a lot of mics the past months. I'm a singer who's mostly doing Pop and Rock tracks, recording vocals at home. My voice is not the fullest, also caused by the fact that many of our songs are in the typical "Phil Collins tone pitch".
So far, I've tried the following mics for recording vocals at home:
- Studio Projects C1: Was much too harsh and sibilant for my voice, way to less body.
- MXL V6 Silicon Valve: More body, but still too harsh and sibilant
- Beyerdynamic M88: Sounded kind of "lifeless", just didn't work with my voice
- Shure KSM32: Also very lifeless - maybe a bit too neutral
- Rode NT2A: The best so far, but still a bit too sibilant - but definitely the best mic before the AKG
- AKG C3000B: The least sibilant mic I tested so far with kind of a "warm and full sound".
Right now I'm working with the AKG and it's ok.
My question to you guys:
Is there any mic in the "lower price class" (200-400$) that could be worth another test for me?
Or do I already have "too much mic experience" so that the only worthwile update would be one of the "higher class" condensers like Neumann or Brauner?
on that note try the K2 its the same capsule but the tube head amp will give a different sound. not saying it will be the mic for you but its worth a try.
a little over your budget but worth a try if it works. i think they can be had for $500-$600, about half the price of a cheeper neumann.
thanks for your tip - I'm also quite sure the K2 would be a good option. But if I'm willing to pay 600$ I can also go and buy a Neumann TLM103, I think
Maybe the C4000B could be a candidate? Does anyone know the differences between a C3000B and C4000B by personal experience? I just read all the reviews pointing out that the C4000B is a great mic, but I would be interested in personal experiences with both mics. Some subjective impressions of both mics in A/B comparison.
I'm also quite sure the K2 would be a good option.
then why dont you give it a listen
i dont think a TML103 would be any good on a thin male vocal anyway unless it happened to be one of those things that just works with no explination. why dont you try out a TLM103 for a comprison.
K2 can be had for $500 and you could prob pick one up a fair bit cheeper on ebay if you liked it
i realy cant understand being willing the spend the money on C4000 but not on a K2 or the must buy neumann if going to spend the extra $100-200. forget what badge is on the mic and just listen to it. keep in mid it will be an investment and if and you will be better off spend that extra $100 to get the right mic now so you dont have to upgrade it in a year.
on the cheeper side you could try an NTK or an Apex 460
you could also look at the AT 40 series
Dont forget about the pre-amp too guys, i use an AKG300b for all my personal vocals through a focusrite trakmaster and it sounds great, i have however tried it through a 32 channel desk preamp (cant remember the name of the bloomin thing though) and it sounded so much warmer, so much fuller and upfront.
I use the AKG3000b for rock vocals too, with a little PSP vintage warmer and compression, sounds great to me, i was thinking about upgrading my mic to a blue babybottle (£399 inc shock and pop in the UK) but im not sure it would make all that much difference, maybe someone will tell me otherwise.
You should try ALL of the mics in your price range. Not just what some guys here (who've never heard your voice live) recommend.
You may find that a $99 Shure SM 57 is better for your voice than a Neumann.
Mike Jackson did the Thriller album with a SM7, and Stevie Wonder is also a big user of the SM7 ($349).
Try them ALL then get back to us with your killer tracks!
Try them ALL then get back to us with your killer tracks!
If I had
- too much money and
- too much time
I would definitely do that
Trying out microphones in a music store is very unpleasing (already did that) - we all know you have to listen to your recorded takes at home in your recording environment in your songs / arrangements to judge over mics.
But ordering mics in this price range for tryout is kind of a pricy task Neumann KMS 105, Neumann TLM103, Brauner Phantom, Shure SM7, Shure KSM44, Rode K2, Shure SM57, Audio Technica.......
If I want to try out all of them I would need a little bank credit
So I have to do the best possible preselection before I try out mics.
Or I spend months with ordering one mic after another and sending it back and thereby driving the music stores crazy
If you like the NTK, the K2 is a much better mic with an overall sweater sound and rounded out on the edges.
FWIW i have both the TLM 103 and the Rode K2. I love using both. I like the 103 on female vocals and percussion, and the K2 on both Male and Females.
I have used my 103 on a few males voices and it can sound big and warm, and it has that nice proximity effect that can round out the bottom end on the voice, a little like a tube mic.
Today i recorded a very soft / light singing female with the K2 in my bathroom, and it sounded amazingly warm with a natural reverb sound. I used an in-between setting of cardiod and omni. Singer less than a foot away, Some LA-2A (uad) and a little Pultec(uad) cut on the top (just slight).
The K2 is a great vocal mic. Its a tube mic, but not too coloured, it has the subtle tube drive when closer up and has a slightly different tone overall to the Neumann IMO (even though the k2 has that 5k bump like the 103), which makes it more versatile for me.
I'm a singer who's mostly doing Pop and Rock tracks, recording vocals at home. My voice is not the fullest...
...Is there any mic in the "lower price class" (200-400$) that could be worth another test for me?
I'm new here, but have been reading alot about home recording as I'm setting up my home studio as well.
Recording at home, I'll assume you don't have a vocal booth or even an acoustically treated room. Given this and the fact that you're wanting a mic around the 200-400$ mark, I think a dynamic is the way to go!!!
Someone else mentioned the Shure SM7B - a killer mic for home recording coz it takes the room out of the equation. As mentioned MJ used this on Thriller, and I've heard that the Red Hot Chilli peppers use this mic alot as well (certainly not for lack of options).
It's a great mic for the price and an even better mic full stop. It will also hold its own in the future - even once you've bought a really nice tube mic. It will complement a growing mic collection, and for some applications still vibe better for you regardless of what you one day own (U87 etc).
The only catch is that you need a nice Preamp for an SM7 (you need a nice pre anyway, but even more so with a dynamic). I don't know what you're using at the moment, but in anycase, an SM7B with a dope pre should be high on your list of options.
That's my gameplan anyway - based on alot of other gearslut threads and conversations with people who know the game.
P.S. Been reading good things about the Pearlman TM1 too... but that's another story
I want to put my 2cents in too about the K2. (wow, too many 2s in that sentance). Its an awesome mic and is usually my first "go to" for vocals. I would also recommend you try the ADK "Hamburg Edition" mic. They're not quite as bright as the "Vienna Edition". I've had a female volcalist that was way to bright through the Rode NT1000, a bit flat and lifeless in the AT4033 and AT4050, but was just incrdible through the "Hamburg Edition". I'm not saying it is the be all and end all, but it paid for itself in that one session.
Yes, I will agree that it is also worth checking out the high end dynamics (SM7, EV RE20, Sennheiser MD441 & MD421) as well.
Also ribbon mics tend to be alot less bright and are also worth checking out, but possibly outside of your current budget.
I had a problem with a thinnish sounding singer for a while, It wasn't until I put a AEA R84 in front of him that I liked anything. Ribbons have a pretty big proximity bass boost even from quite far out, the AEA was giving this particular singer a lot of welly down under, and taming his highs.
now while a R84 is out of your budget, perhaps one of the cheaper ribbons coming out now MAY give you some of that vibe.
Thanks for all of your comments, guys.
Yesterday I was once again singing through my good old SM58 - and it just felt good I really miss singing with a mic in hand, my origin is in live performance. So I will try out a Shure Beta 58A these days. I think with its higher output (and therefore less noise) and slightly more brilliant highs, the Beta 58A could be a good choice for me and a welcome alternative to the "singing into a studio condenser situation".
The SM7(B) is definitely a great mic - but costs around 700-800$ in Germany (I don't know why the hell this mic is so expensive in Germany) and that's a little overdosed for me.
it's has more thickness(low mid,lowend) and not as harsh as the c3000. I sent the c3000 back and kept th c4000. and they have been going up on the price of it. When I got mine I believe I paid about $450 new, now its like $650. But I think i remember seeing a a special PKG 4000/1000 for like $500.00 I though it was a misprint.
The KSM32 was brighter than the c4000,
theKSM32 was very similar to the sound of a SM57