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-   The Big Sweetwater Mic Shootout 2017 (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/the-big-sweetwater-mic-shootout-2017-a/)
-   -   If (and that's a big IF) there was a part 2.... (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/the-big-sweetwater-mic-shootout-2017-a/1154171-if-thats-big-if-there-part-2-a.html)

Lynn Fuston 17th May 2017 02:04 PM

If (and that's a big IF) there was a part 2....
 
Some of the original feedback we received when this was released was along the lines of

"Wow, you left out the ____?"
"Man, I was shopping for _____ and would love to hear it in the lineup!"
"No Mic Shootout is complete without a ______!!!!"

Let me stipulate right up front that projects like this take a Herculean amount of effort (hundreds of hours not only in coordination and recording, but also design, web implementation, photography, videography, etc.) and it is not a task that is taken on lightly. That's probably why something on this scale has only ever been attempted twice in the history of recording. So know that this question in no way should be considered as an acknowledgment that we are planning to attempt such a large-scale project again.

However if we were going to do another one, what mics would you want to hear? I will be very honest and admit that we will not include mics we don't sell. But take a look at our microphone offerings and see what mics you'd like to hear that we did not include this time.

https://goo.gl/VVYnIU

Be aware that when you click that link, you're going to see some big numbers of mics to look through. We carry a LOT of mics. A quick scan through the site reveals (these also include bundles [mic with stand and cable and/or preamp] so they are higher than the actual number of different mics we carry):

Condensers - 520
Dynamics - 161
Ribbons - 52
Shotguns - 20
Wireless - 219

But see what there is that we didn't include this time that you'd like to be considered for inclusion if there is a next time.

Also, are there other sources that we should consider auditioning? I've got my own list but want to hear if there's something we may have missed.

Brent Hahn 17th May 2017 04:25 PM

Does it have to be mics? If you're on a budget and you buy a mic and decide you don't like it, returning it is no big deal. Returning an amp, though, is a very big deal.

Hearing a number of amps shot out using recorded and reamped source material would be ultra-informative. Even if settings, mics and placement wouldn't make it as apples-to-apples as your mic shootout is.

Lynn Fuston 17th May 2017 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brent Hahn (Post 12629283)
Does it have to be mics? If you're on a budget and you buy a mic and decide you don't like it, returning it is no big deal. Returning an amp, though, is a very big deal.

As long as we're wishing, I guess everything's fair game.

But you should still go look at mics. ;-)

David Rome 18th May 2017 01:22 AM

I wonder how many people can afford a preamp as nice as the Millennia. Even in my commercial studio my best preamp is an Avalon 2022 which I Love but most would not put it in the class of the millennia. I don't know if this would be worth doing but I believe a great preamp can make lesser mics sound much better and better mics can still sound decent with cheaper preamps. What about doing this test using a cheap interface preamp like a Scarlett? Especially since more people listening to this shootout are more likely to be using something in that class. That would give them a better idea of how the mics would sound with their own setups. I would like to see if the cheap preamp makes the mics differences more pronounced or more diminished. This could demonstrate how important getting a better preamp is unless the interface preamp ends up being better than is widely thought. Maybe this is a crazy idea but it could be very educational for us all. Thanks.

Brent Hahn 18th May 2017 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Rome (Post 12630304)
... I believe a great preamp can make lesser mics sound much better and better mics can still sound decent with cheaper preamps. What about doing this test using a cheap interface preamp like a Scarlett?

I believe that too, but I'd shoot out preamps. An SM58 and a U87ai are two industry standards that can sound really good or really bad depending on the pre.

Lynn Fuston 18th May 2017 04:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brent Hahn (Post 12631348)
I believe that too, but I'd shoot out preamps. An SM58 and a U87ai are two industry standards that can sound really good or really bad depending on the pre.

A preamp shootout? Why didn't *I* think of that?!?

Does the preamp make a difference? You're asking the wrong guy, unless you have a few hours/days/weeks to spend discussing that.

How many you want? 10? 20? 30? How about 34?

David Rome 18th May 2017 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brent Hahn (Post 12631348)
I believe that too, but I'd shoot out preamps. An SM58 and a U87ai are two industry standards that can sound really good or really bad depending on the pre.


The problem with using those 2 mics is you are comparing a dynamic mic with a LDC. I like the idea of doing many mics with a cheap preamp to see how the mics sound with a lesser pre. Some mics may not do as well without the high-end preamp so the shootout could be very educational.

Ultimately a preamp shoot out would be a good idea but maybe you pick fro a vote based on the mic shoot out. Limit it to 10 or 15 mics in various price ranges and make 5 of them dynamic. OR you could pick 5 tube mics, 5 LDC SS, 5 Dynamic and 5 Ribbon maybe add 5 SDC mics. The point is the preapm shoot out would be much harder to do IMHO.

Lynn Fuston 18th May 2017 04:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Or there's Part 2 that featured these:

A-Designs MP-1
API 3124+
Buzz Audio MA 2.2
Chandler TG-2
Cranesong Flamingo
DACS Clear Blue
Daking 52270
D.W. Fearn VT-2
Focusrite 428
Forssell FetCode
Gordon Audio Mk IV
Great River MP2-NV
Groove Tubes VIPRE
Lipinski L408
Manley SLAM!
Mercury M72s
Millennia HV-3D
Neve 1073
Pendulum MDP-1
Summit 2BA-221
TFPro P2
Trident A-Range
TRUE Precision 8
Universal 2-610

David Rome 18th May 2017 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston (Post 12631409)
A preamp shootout? Why didn't *I* think of that?!?

Does the preamp make a difference? You're asking the wrong guy, unless you have a few hours/days/weeks to spend discussing that.

How many you want? 10? 20? 30? How about 34?


This could get complicated fast. I presume to do this you would need multiple mics at least a couple from several different types in low and higher price ranges. Then you would probably need to include some interfaces with built-in preamps vs outboard. God, I need a tranquilizer just thinking about it. Lol

However, for starters I would just love to hear how different the mics sound on a home studio type interface. If it would be possible to use the same singers and music you could compare directly to the shoot out you just did.

Brent Hahn 18th May 2017 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Rome (Post 12631424)
The problem with using those 2 mics is you are comparing a dynamic mic with a LDC. I like the idea of doing many mics with a cheap preamp to see how the mics sound with a lesser pre.

I get that. We're not after the same thing.

dasbin 18th May 2017 09:01 PM

I'd love to hear some Gefells in there. Specifically, UMT70s, M930, and M900.

Oh, and the Slate VMS in its three different settings. Would be great to get a proper A/B comparison on that.
My suspicion is that while it's probably quite good for on-axis vocals, one of the biggest advantages of really high-end mics is the off-axis pattern control, and I can't imagine it can match that, as it has its own cardioid pattern that can't just be DSP'd away.

Lynn Fuston 18th May 2017 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Rome (Post 12631438)
This could get complicated fast. I presume to do this you would need multiple mics at least a couple from several different types in low and higher price ranges. Then you would probably need to include some interfaces with built-in preamps vs outboard. God, I need a tranquilizer just thinking about it. Lol

Beware. Once you start going down that Mic A and Mic B with Interfaces A, B, and C, plus standalone preamps A and B....

Every time you add a single variable, the complexity expands exponentially. Trust me, I know this.

"OK, just 7 interfaces. Maybe 8. Or 9."

That's 9.

"And two mics. A dynamic and a condenser. Well maybe three mics, adding a ribbon."

That's 27.

"And male and female voice. Maybe acoustic guitar."

That's 81.

"And add a standalone preamp. Or two."

That's 18 more. So you're at 99.

You see how this works?

You see how this works?

That's why you need to strictly define the goals and minimize the variables. Otherwise it grows into a monster and you just want to take a nap. Trust me.

Lynn Fuston 18th May 2017 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dasbin (Post 12631895)
I'd love to hear some Gefells in there. Specifically, UMT70s, M930, and M900.

Oh, and the Slate VMS in its three different settings. Would be great to get a proper A/B comparison on that.

Three settings? I thought there were dozens.

Hasn't Slate done direct comparison recordings of his mics with the originals? I've heard those comparisons and felt duly informed by them.

David Rome 18th May 2017 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston (Post 12631425)
Or there's Part 2.

http://www.3daudioinc.com/DSCF0059.jpg

That featured these:

A-Designs MP-1
API 3124+
Buzz Audio MA 2.2
Chandler TG-2
Cranesong Flamingo
DACS Clear Blue
Daking 52270
D.W. Fearn VT-2
Focusrite 428
Forssell FetCode
Gordon Audio Mk IV
Great River MP2-NV
Groove Tubes VIPRE
Lipinski L408
Manley SLAM!
Mercury M72s
Millennia HV-3D
Neve 1073
Pendulum MDP-1
Summit 2BA-221
TFPro P2
Trident A-Range
TRUE Precision 8
Universal 2-610

What? No Avalon?confoosed

Btw, the link doesn't appear to work.

nightchef 19th May 2017 04:40 AM

How about dynamics? I would love to hear (for instance) the Sennheiser 441 and 421, Shure SM7, EV RE20 and Beyer M88 alongside all the LDCs.

For alternative sources, how about doing drum OH and acoustic guitar, featuring stereo pairs, with the focus on small diaphragm condensers but maybe a few LDCs and ribbons in the mix for giggles. For that, I'd like to hear:

Neumann KM184
Shure KSM137
Rode NT5
sE sE5
AT 4021, 4041, 4051, and ATM450
Audix ADX51
AKG C451B
Schoeps CMC64
DPA 4011A
Miktek C5
Beyer MC930

Lynn Fuston 19th May 2017 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Rome (Post 12632003)
What? No Avalon?confoosed

Btw, the link doesn't appear to work.

The 737 was in my first preamp shootout.

The image link works here for me. Anyone else who can't see it?

I'm not sure why adding IMG tags is not working. I can code them but they just don't even show up as html in the posts.

David Rome 19th May 2017 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston (Post 12632925)
The 737 was in my first preamp shootout.

The image link works here for me. Anyone else who can't see it?

I'm not sure why adding IMG tags is not working. I can code them but they just don't even show up as html in the posts.


For some reason everyone always thinks 737 when talking Avalon and the 2022 gets overlooked. I think the 2022 is one of the best pure preamps out there. Never understood why it seems so forgotten.

The link tries to open in another window but gives a site can't be reached message.

Brent Hahn 19th May 2017 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Rome (Post 12633138)
For some reason everyone always thinks 737 when talking Avalon and the 2022 gets overlooked. I think the 2022 is one of the best pure preamps out there. Never understood why it seems so forgotten.

Probably because the 2022 is expensive for what it is. I wouldn't have one if I hadn't gotten an amazing deal on it. And the big, airy top can be too much on some things. But you're right, a very good pre.

Lynn Fuston 19th May 2017 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Rome (Post 12632003)
What? No Avalon?confoosed

Btw, the link doesn't appear to work.

Images fixed above.

Lynn Fuston 19th May 2017 04:50 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I got your 737s right here. Sorry those first image links didn't work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Rome (Post 12633138)
For some reason everyone always thinks 737 when talking Avalon and the 2022 gets overlooked. I think the 2022 is one of the best pure preamps out there. Never understood why it seems so forgotten.

The link tries to open in another window but gives a site can't be reached message.


PatrickFaith 20th May 2017 03:21 AM

I'd kind of like to see the "winners" with a recording chain, to understand how much to spend on mic vs record chain. For example I'm wondering if the u47 through a pultec eq would be very similiar to a much less expensive mic through a pultec (given slight adjustments on the pultec knobs for each mic to a u47 through pultec, where the u47 would be the "gold" standard).

theothermarkwilliams 21st May 2017 05:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston (Post 12631996)
Hasn't Slate done direct comparison recordings of his mics with the originals? I've heard those comparisons and felt duly informed by them.

Hi Lynn! Thanks for doing this project. I remember when I bought your mic pre comparison CD right after it came out. Holy smokes, it's hard to believe how long ago that was now.

Re: the VMS, yes, of course Steven has done direct comparison recordings, but two things with that:
  1. He's obviously (and quite understandably) trying to sell us his mic vs. other mics, so bias creeps in.
  2. I for one would like to hear the VMS thrown in with a bunch of other mics, not to tell if the VMS "sounds exactly like the originals," but to hear how the VMS measures up to other heavy hitter mics.

dgkenney 22nd May 2017 06:07 PM

Pity that Sweetwater doesn't carry ADK mics. I'd love to see the fets and tube 251, 67 and 49 covered as well as the entry level condensers.

sroreilly 23rd May 2017 12:34 AM

I was most surprised not to see the sony c800g in the lineup since that is such an industry standard and a mic so many people would want to reference when comparing unknown microphones. Also I understand why only one capsule was used for the blue bottle, and why it was the B6, but there are three big vocal capsules for that rather well known mic and they are all noticeably different in character.

elegentdrum 23rd May 2017 05:01 PM

For the preamp shootout, you should work your way around two ends. The low end and the high end.

The important mics for this would be:
Moving coil: SM57, SM7B, RE-20, 421
LDC: U170R, U87, One good 47 or 67 flavor.
Ribbons: Coles 4038, AEA 84, Royer 121

Pick one ore two more transformerless mic's that will be largely changed by the preamp.

Around the low end under $1000, one and two channel units
RNP, Black lion Auteur, Gap 73, Warm12, Audient 8 channel, Tone beast, Grace 101, Isa One, AEA TRP, Daking One, 610

And then to sky is the limit:
API, NEVE, Millenium, Chandler, DW Fern, Pacifica, Forsell, Tube tech
Make sure to include 73, 76, 12 flavors

Neve w/ inductor EQ's and alternates EQ's and preamps for same effect.
Say a Jenson transformer with another Inductor EQ

The starting points should be a
U87 through 1073
RE-20 Through Isa One
Coles though AEA TRP
SM57 through API

The format should be one singer behind a drum set. MONO overhead position, performers sings/talks up into mic (like the name of the mic), jingles a set of keys, walks around the kit loudly, then plays a bit of a drum set.

The goal here is to find the right matches and point out bad matches, the results should help determine the right preamps for ribbons, and transformerless moving coil, LDC's, and low gain mic's. Common mic's are used as reference points like the SM57, and U87, and RE-20.

Leave compressors out of this, another can of worms.

Best broken into three sessions: Low end preamp, High end preamp, best preamp +EQ for drums. The blend of LDC, Tube, Moving coil w/ trans former, Moving coil WO/ transformer, and ribbon is the key.

Brent Hahn 23rd May 2017 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elegentdrum (Post 12639593)
For the preamp shootout, you should work your way around two ends. The low end and the high end.

The important mics for this would be:
Moving coil: SM57, SM7B, RE-20, 421
LDC: U170R, U87, One good 47 or 67 flavor.
Ribbons: Coles 4038, AEA 84, Royer 121

So gain-matching would be out, right? Unless the clips were matched after the fact inside a DAW? A lot of pres, even really good ones, don't have the gain to do a good job on, say, a 4038. I guess it would be fair to gain the clips in the box and say, "here's X mic through Y pre at Z loudness and here's how noisy it is."

Lynn Fuston 24th May 2017 01:12 PM

Wow.

Ambitious.

10 mics through each of 21 preamps. But you left out some mics (251, C800G, C12 and you can't do ribbons without including the standards 44 and 77DX) and preamps (V72, OP6, Martech, RND Shelford, Apollo, Focusrite Scarlett) that a lot of people would want to hear.

Quote:

Originally Posted by elegentdrum (Post 12639593)
For the preamp shootout, you should work your way around two ends. The low end and the high end.

The important mics for this would be:
Moving coil: SM57, SM7B, RE-20, 421
LDC: U170R, U87, One good 47 or 67 flavor.
Ribbons: Coles 4038, AEA 84, Royer 121

Pick one ore two more transformerless mic's that will be largely changed by the preamp.

Around the low end under $1000, one and two channel units
RNP, Black lion Auteur, Gap 73, Warm12, Audient 8 channel, Tone beast, Grace 101, Isa One, AEA TRP, Daking One, 610

And then to sky is the limit:
API, NEVE, Millenium, Chandler, DW Fern, Pacifica, Forsell, Tube tech
Make sure to include 73, 76, 12 flavors

Neve w/ inductor EQ's and alternates EQ's and preamps for same effect.
Say a Jenson transformer with another Inductor EQ

The starting points should be a
U87 through 1073
RE-20 Through Isa One
Coles though AEA TRP
SM57 through API

The format should be one singer behind a drum set. MONO overhead position, performers sings/talks up into mic (like the name of the mic), jingles a set of keys, walks around the kit loudly, then plays a bit of a drum set.

The goal here is to find the right matches and point out bad matches, the results should help determine the right preamps for ribbons, and transformerless moving coil, LDC's, and low gain mic's. Common mic's are used as reference points like the SM57, and U87, and RE-20.

Leave compressors out of this, another can of worms.

Best broken into three sessions: Low end preamp, High end preamp, best preamp +EQ for drums. The blend of LDC, Tube, Moving coil w/ trans former, Moving coil WO/ transformer, and ribbon is the key.


bill5 27th May 2017 02:29 AM

Getting back to my earlier idea in the other thread, how about a smattering from the first few pages here - we broke/cheap bastages want representation ;)

https://www.sweetwater.com/c105--Con...hones/low2high

Alternatively, a shootout of similarly modest-priced dynamics would be great (with perhaps a few pricier ones tossed in).

Pianolando 27th May 2017 07:34 AM

ADK, Brauner, more Neumann models and Sony C800G would be cool.