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Mic Pre is more important than microphone Condenser Microphones
Old 12th April 2018
  #91
Deleted 6ccb844
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Everything's a grey area in music..

Ok, examples...! I have an Apogee Duet 2 and a Soundcraft MTK-22, if I use a U67 or an ISK 2B through the Apogee it doesn't sound that good whereas the high headroom / low noise pre-amps in the MTK sound great.

Why? A pre-amp is only a signal amplifier to bring a source up to line level, sure there is impedance to factor in but these mic's sound quite similar whether I use them with my MTK pre-amps or my Neve 1073's / DBX 676 (non starve-plate) pre-amps). Sure there are tonal differences between them, but not enough to be concerned about and of course said differences are due to tubes / transformers etc.

There are factors why pre-amps can sound thin / harsh etc. and it's usually to do with power / cheap components etc.

I of course have preferences, although rule of thumb for me at least is pre-amps don't matter until they do. Sure I know it's not a definitive answer but I've used a lot of pre-amps that weren't a primary cause of concern and some that were.. Issue is if you don't have a "good" pre-amp to compare (which cost isn't the issue here), how would you ever know?

As a signal flows through your entire chain (and probably back out again) your signal is only as strong as it's weakest link, plus there's a smorgasbord of different shaping tools.. I'm always surprised FX are posted down the list. For e.g. take a lot of NI samples (like a lot of standard direct recordings) by enlarge they sound relatively flat and boring, you can flip a switch in the effects section of an NI instrument (with their softube inspired effects chains) and all of a sudden it sounds like rolling thunder.. Sure it might not be useful in the context of a mix but it makes an unmistakably large impact, it can also ruin a mix instantly..

Some compressors are neutral sounding, some really do shape your sound somewhat dramatically.. I mean if it's an in-line hardware compressor that heavily imparts it's own sound, why would that not be as important as the microphone?

Anyway final point to touch on is microphones, as someone else mentioned microphones are transducers.. The singer / mic / room will always make the biggest difference. Why? Room reflections equals signal to noise, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands.. If you can hear a phasey reflection of said clap then you've got bigger issues than anything in your chain..

The singer may get too close which causes bass / proximity issues, (plus horrible distortion sometimes, especially when cranking gain) too far away and you can get too much room in there. It's trial and error, but always worth the time to experiment a little.

Now onto mic's:

Someone else mentioned the Sweetwater mic test, on female vox a lot of the mics sounded very similar to me and on male vox it flagged up the inherent distortion characteristics but not so much what defined the microphone holistically. It's not the first time I've come a comparison where a bunch of LDC's sounded rather similar..

Back in the actual recording studio, sure some of my LDC's with nothing else added don't sound drastically different.. When I start putting them under heavy(ish) compression etc. everything changes, all those slight nuances / mic characteristics pull to the front and stand out whether or not you want them to. In an ACTUAL mix my GZ67FET sounds NOTHING like an ISK, neither does my U67 sound anything like my (soon to be) U89I.

For something that is relatively straight forward, trying to find the correct train of thought and what really impacts what (especially with sooo much equipment and possible chains) can be rather complicated.

Last edited by Deleted 6ccb844; 12th April 2018 at 10:58 PM..
Old 12th April 2018
  #92
Quote:
Originally Posted by myles View Post
Interesting, especially in that the environment let people hear the difference in the low end in the new mix.

However, this also has a bearing: "Then they decided that they wanted a new hook, and so on. They continued tracking while I was mixing..."

So, maybe we're both right.
could be. I never heard the first billboard version

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
The truth is that actual LISTENING (for whatever reason) is quite "out of style" these days:

I am old enough to remember it being pretty commonplace for folks to listen to music as a primary activity.

Today, the idea of listening to music as a primary activity is quite a foreign concept to most folks.

(You would think this statement would be off-topic to this thread, but its really not.)
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You can definitely hear sonic differences in a club. Quality matters in the car. I agree though, at home, most people aren't on hifi systems. Myself included. Even though I have my nice studio monitors right here, when I do normal computer use, I use regular computer speakers. I can still hear mix quality difference on these speakers though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myles View Post
First thing I did when I had cash as a 17-year-old was buy a good hi-fi system. My daughter lives in this strange audio space between laptop speakers, earbuds and monster systems in clubs. It's not conducive to actually listening, and it seems to be the norm.
Right. I don't think women are as into sound as men in general though, not sure why. The main place women seem to listen to music is on their devices like cell phones, and a lot of times in earbuds. But that depends on age, my mom has a record player with some decent home speakers. So you never know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
He did not for example, point out the complex harmonies, it was more about the imaging. I have to agree with chrisso that this is not the Norm. While a really terrible mix might turn me off, I would never be like kangking and



and I am a Sound guy. A friend and I were once hanging out with a Grammy winning engineer who was playing us some recordings he thought we would find interesting as fellow engineers. ('this is a good example of last year's snare drum sound' ) Then he put on a record and said "this band sucks, but it is really well recorded" - he played it for 30 seconds and then took it off and said "nah, screw that".
it has to be up to a certain level of course. But i still stand behind what I said.

The car is my main listening place for judging quality and liking an album. It's gotta sound really great in there. The better sounding albums always get the most play, regardless of performance. I'll learn to like the song after liking the quality most times.
Old 13th April 2018
  #93
Quote:
Originally Posted by kangking View Post
The better sounding albums always get the most play, regardless of performance.
Again, I think you are a one in a million.
Almost anyone will enjoy the material and performance way more than the audio quality alone.
This has been true throughout the history of popular music.
Old 13th April 2018
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Again, I think you are a one in a million.
Almost anyone will enjoy the material and performance way more than the audio quality alone.
This has been true throughout the history of popular music.
My god, yes.

And that doesn't even get into someone's idea of what the "better sounding" recording is. I mean, I'll take Let It Bleed over Aja any day, to use one example of a recording people use as their gold standard. Oops - just dated myself. To go even further, do I wish the Louis Armstrong Hot Fives and Sevens sounded like Kind of Blue? Nope. And the late 50's - early 60's Columbia 30th Street studio stuff is absolutely beautiful.

It's the music. Period. Everything we do as knob-twisters just tidies up around the edges.
Old 13th April 2018
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kangking View Post
You can definitely hear sonic differences in a club. Quality matters in the car. I agree though, at home, most people aren't on hifi systems. Myself included. Even though I have my nice studio monitors right here, when I do normal computer use, I use regular computer speakers. I can still hear mix quality difference on these speakers though.
I wasn't talking about "hearing the difference" or "sound quality".

In fact, I wasn't even talking about HEARING at all.

I was talking about LISTENING as a PRIMARY ACTIVITY.
Old 13th April 2018
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
I wasn't even talking about HEARING at all.

I was talking about LISTENING as a PRIMARY ACTIVITY.
Listening without hearing? That’s interesting. Paul Simon already wrote that song.
Old 13th April 2018
  #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Listening without hearing? That’s interesting. Paul Simon already wrote that song.
Yep.

...And Evelyn Glennie LIVES it!
Old 13th April 2018
  #98
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All is one, as one great philosopher once said.

What people here are failing to look at is the components from an electronic perspective. Amateurs will see the Mic and Preamp as separate entities because that's how they purchase them. When a mic is connected to the preamp you are looking at ONE singe circuit One part of the circuit is just as important as the next and the weakest link in that circuit may be as simple as a 1 cent resistor or a two cent capacitor, and even then it may only be a bottleneck when you have a specific mic connected which might be affected by those components.

This is no different then a guitar either. When you connect a guitar to an amp, the pickups, the amp and speakers are all ONE circuit. When you switch guitars, you are modifying that circuit with different pickups and wiring. That's all no great mystery. Just realize a preamp or amp isn't a single unit. Some have hundreds of individual parts. The mic is only one part in that circuit. You have to factor in all the other individual parts too, not just see everything on a macro level as entire units.
Old 13th April 2018
  #99
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'wrgkmc' brings up quite a valid observation.

Audio stages do not merely dump audio from one unit to another.

They are interactive. ...And I do NOT mean that in some kind of esoteric or metaphoric way:

What I mean is that when the output of one device is connected to the input of another, it actually changes the electrical properties of both devices.

This is especially true with dynamic mics.

(For instance, did you know that simply shorting the output of a dynamic mic will actually make it harder to move the diaphragm?)
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Old 13th April 2018
  #100
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
I wasn't talking about "hearing the difference" or "sound quality".

In fact, I wasn't even talking about HEARING at all.

I was talking about LISTENING as a PRIMARY ACTIVITY.
joining the ignore list
Old 13th April 2018
  #101
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Again, I think you are a one in a million.
Almost anyone will enjoy the material and performance way more than the audio quality alone.
This has been true throughout the history of popular music.
actually, I am one in 7.442 billion Also. I like sound quality.
Old 13th April 2018
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kangking View Post
joining the ignore list
Interesting.

I do not have ANYBODY on any "ignore list".

I ignore all posts on a case-by-case basis.

...But that's just me.
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