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joris de man 30th September 2002 08:07 PM

Studio Project Mic's...any good?
 
Hey Guys,

I've read some raving reviews about these mics, but I'm curious what you guys think yuktyy

I'm planning to get one in combination with a small vocal booth to do some voice recordings and such..
Currently I'm using a DBX Pre 386 with digital out straight into PT...the DBX has got some tube stuff going on, and although it's surely not the greatest pre in the world it will do for the occasional stuff I have to record.
My other question is; if your Pre has already got some tube warming going on, is it worth getting a tube mic? (like the TB1 from Studio Projects?)


Cheers,

Joris

plexi 30th September 2002 09:47 PM

Sorry, but your pre can`t hardly be called a tube pre.
It`s just thrown in for marketing hype, and just adds some pretty ugly distortion IMNSHO
The tube just mess with a already pretty lousy sound.
I strongly suggest investing in a RNP, you can find it here: www.mercenary.com



Amund

chessparov 30th September 2002 10:58 PM

They make excellent sounding microphones IMHO.
The only one I had direct experience with was the C1.
I heard the C3 and T3 via a listening CD and they sounded very
good also. Having the C1 allowed me to correlate what I heard
better.

Chris

P.S. I also have their VTB-1 mic pre, and it's a good solid pro pre.
(under $200!)

Jay Kahrs 1st October 2002 05:32 AM

Well, the dbx is hardly a tube preamp. If your daring enough you can pull the cover off and take the tube out of it's socket and see a yellow LED in the center. grggt tut

I haven't heard the Studio Projects mics yet. I was supposed to get a few to check out from Alan while he was in NJ during the first weekend in September but it never happened and I never got a response to the email I sent him after that. Whatever.

For voiceovers I'd suggest getting an RE-20, SM7 or 421. Those mics have been standards for years and you can't go too wrong with them. None of those are very expensive and can usually be found for $200-300 each (USD) if you buy used. And, you won't outgrow them in a year or two.

ZEUSS 1st October 2002 05:53 AM

I am very happy with the T3. Very warm silky sound to it. Nice top end that is not harsh. Lately I have been putting it through the great river MP2 MH. When I want even more color I go to the NV. Sounds good with a distressor. The in between patterns are a nice feature. Need a little wider just click it over a notch. Well worth the money I paid for it and then some. I could care less where it is made. Its all about the sound. If it doesnt fit the voice grab another mic.

-Z-

joris de man 1st October 2002 07:30 PM

Thanks guys, for the reply's...

I know the DBX isn't exactly great, but hopefully when clocked to my Lucid it shouldn't be too bad.

I don't do much live recording; my work consists of writing music and designing soundfx for PS2 games, which is midi sequenced most of the time (with the occasional live performance) or live orchestra (which I have recorded by a professional).
My rig consists of a 4 farm PT setup clocked to a Lucid gen96/6, with the DBX going in digitally.
The reason for the mic is so that when we move in a few weeks time, we can build a small vocal booth in the new building and record voiceovers there instead of going into a studio.

I'll look into the other mics mentioned, although the T3 sounds very interesting:)

Cheers,

Joris

unclemurray 2nd October 2002 07:31 PM

Love my studio projects C1. Rocks on most everything...

jajjguy 3rd October 2002 06:15 PM

Zeuss, what do you use your T3 on? What doesn't it work well on?

moon_unit 4th October 2002 01:18 AM

I've never been a particularly big fan of the Studio Projects mic line. It's nothing against the mics themselves. They're basically good mics. Great for the money.

My problem is that there are many manufacturers pumping out a lot of very good mics for the money. Marshall Electronics, CAD, Oktava, and Audio Technica are all examples of manufacturers making what I feel are at least slightly better mics for roughly the same price point.

Another big problem I have with them is their practice of over-hyping their products, as well as their use/manipulation of online forums similar to this one to further spread/fuel their propoganda. Some of the "reviewers" who have been known to rave about their products are somewhat questionable in terms of their credentials, not to mention the methodology in which they use to evaluate the product.

The company is very good. Their products are solid. Their marketing ethics stink, in my not-so-humble opinion.

chessparov 4th October 2002 01:46 AM

I think most any good manufacturer generates its own "fanbase".
Don't know if I'd include Oktava as a contender due to its off the shelf sloppy quality control. (even though I own a MC012!)

Out of the list you gave, moon_unit, have tried the Audio-Technica 4033, and the Oktava MC-012 cardiod. The C1 was clearly superior to these two on my voice, along although YMMV.
The 4033 seemed to emphasize nasality, and the MC012 has a
"smaller" sound than the C1.
The sound quality of a C1 is very good, aside from any price issues IMHO. Joe Chicarelli also likes this microphone BTW.

Chris

moon_unit 4th October 2002 02:30 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by chessparov
The C1 was clearly superior to these two on my voice, along although YMMV. The 4033 seemed to emphasize nasality, and the MC012 has a "smaller" sound than the C1.
I'm not sure if vocals is the best application with which to compare a small-diaphragm condenser to a medium-diaphragm condenser to a LDC. grggt It's kind of like saying "For my cough, I've tried cough medicine, decongestant, and an antihistamine, and the cough medicine seems to work the best." of course your mileage is going to vary, and it very well should. heh

The LDC will tend to be favored for vocals. The SDC will be a more likely choice on accoustic instruments and drum overheads, while a medium diaphgram will be more of jack-of-all mics.

And that theory seems to hold up pretty well in regards to all three mics you mention. Again, we're not really looking at any one of these mics being necessarily better than the other . . . although I would guess the Oktava and the AT 4033 have probably seen a lot more action in top recording studios (mostly on non vocal-related chores) than the C1 has, because they're more diverse mics, and quite possibly better at what they do.

chessparov 4th October 2002 02:59 AM

Good point on the SD condenser/LD condenser comparison for vocals. Not enough experience to comment on instrumental use
of any of these microphones to competently comment (yet!).

Chris

P.S. Although I wouldn't mind a Schoeps SD condenser for vocals,
if anyone has a spare one to give...

Jay Kahrs 4th October 2002 03:18 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by moon_unit

Another big problem I have with them is their practice of over-hyping their products, as well as their use/manipulation of online forums similar to this one to further spread/fuel their propoganda. Some of the "reviewers" who have been known to rave about their products are somewhat questionable in terms of their credentials, not to mention the methodology in which they use to evaluate the product.

I remember reading one "review" where they said they heard a huge difference in the sound of a guitar amp when the moved the mic three inches. Well, thank you Captin Obvious. Can we get someone with credibility? Oh, there was one guy who was sent mics for review and never did anything with them. Too many problems with self-noise, weird off-axis response and things like that. I'd like to check them out for myself but Alan never came through like he said he would.
abduction

alanhyatt 4th October 2002 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Jay Kahrs


I remember reading one "review" where they said they heard a huge difference in the sound of a guitar amp when the moved the mic three inches. Well, thank you Captin Obvious. Can we get someone with credibility? Oh, there was one guy who was sent mics for review and never did anything with them. Too many problems with self-noise, weird off-axis response and things like that. I'd like to check them out for myself but Alan never came through like he said he would.
abduction

Jay,

Its not that I did not come through. I told you on the phone that I would leave them for you to pick up, and you said you did not want to do that. The night I had open, you said you had a gig. When you called me, I was ready to come over. All I said was I had a dinner appointment that night, but that gave us several hours, so why it did not happen was not my fault.

Now since then, I have been on vacation and then preparing for the AES Show. I am still happy to send a couple of mics out to you with the Mic Amp, but I do not see the need to send you everything in my arsenal.

I am cool with you because after we spoke there was some background where at least I know who you were. I usually do not send mics to studios, because getting them back is a chore sometimes. You were a rep for On The Road Marketing, so you know what I am talking about.

Anyway, I am happy to send them to you, just tell me what models you want and I will send them out right after AES next week..... No problems :D

I thought that was what I was waiting for anyway...khrthjdrt

alanhyatt 4th October 2002 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by moon_unit


Another big problem I have with them is their practice of over-hyping their products, as well as their use/manipulation of online forums similar to this one to further spread/fuel their propoganda. Some of the "reviewers" who have been known to rave about their products are somewhat questionable in terms of their credentials, not to mention the methodology in which they use to evaluate the product.

The company is very good. Their products are solid. Their marketing ethics stink, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Well you are entitled to your opinion. That is what makes America great...Now maybe you are right, and maybe you are wrong, but you are entitled to your opinion.

The one question I have that I would like you to back up your statement is, What reviewers that reviewed our mics are known to rave about everything they review, and what specifically about their credentials and their methodology do you object to.

I have to tell you that most of the "real" reviews done in the magazines, and not by end users were pretty skeptical about the mics. As Rip Rowen said, "Hell Froze Over"!!! He tried to hate them and ended up loving them.

Mics are just like a box of crayons, lots of colors to do the job....just pick the one you want. We are not for everyone, we know that, and never said we were. Yes, I am on the boards mostly to prevent people from talking about things they do know. In addition, I get 98% positive response from being on the boards to a couple of percent who think I am a commie or something...but that too is fine.

Thinking is what made America great..... :D :D

alanhyatt 4th October 2002 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Well, the dbx is hardly a tube preamp.
Jay,

This is where I have to disagree with you, because it is a tube preamp, like the VTB-1. There are many comments on starved plate designs, some of which are:

”… vacuum tubes will not benefit anybody's sound unless they are driven at their proper voltage”
“… your tube is a toob, it is at worst a useless gimmick and at best an effect that might sound good on something but it has nothing at all to do with actual tube equipment”
“… you may not need 300v but you do certainly need to have at least 150v for a 12AX7 type tube to operate properly”
“… that whole "tube essence" crap (or whatever they call it) immediately makes it look like nothing more than a gimmick”

Those are strong statements, and the authors no doubt believe in their validity, but we think we do offer something that can benefit someone’s sound without running the 12AX7 at 250 volts. As to our using the term Tube; sorry, but that’s what it is: a user-controlled tube gain stage (even if it doesn’t operate “properly”), that is what it is.

As to the comparisons (both real and imagined) between the VTB-1 and the RNP or the Grace 101 or any other preamp. There are a lot of decisions to make when designing (and ultimately building) a product. There are choices and trade-offs that have to be made to bring a product in at a certain price-point. Our goal was to build a preamp for less than $200 (street) that would be clean and quiet and also feature some added enhancement. I’m sure the designers of those other preamps had similar decisions to make based on their ultimate goals. Their products were designed to be strictly clean and transparent (and more expensive). Is the VTB-1 the greatest preamp in the world? Well … no, but it wasn’t designed to be.

The goal of the VTB-1 has always been: a clean, transparent, quiet mic pre with the added feature of a USER CONTROLLED tube coloration stage. There, I’ve said it; the tube stage is designed to COLOR the sound, it’s there if you want to use it. When I say color I mean it as a broad term for anything that affects the natural sound of the signal from the mic, just as any EQ, compressor, enhancer or other piece of gear you have in your studio is there to color the sound. You use those colors to paint your audio pictures; we just wanted to add to your palette.
So comeon guys; Relax, it’s just a mic pre for $179.00. You either like it, or you don't. :D

Hopefully Jay will tell me what he want's to hear, we will get him the units, and he will offer you "his" opinions. I have no problem with that good or bad. After all, like most of you out there, Jay likes what he likes, and you all like what you like. That does not make anyone right or wrong. It means we all have different ears and hear differently.... :)

infiniteposse 4th October 2002 06:38 PM

re: Studio Project Mic's...any good?
 
Just a home recordist's 2cents... I read all the "hype" about the C1 and went out and bought one last week.

I had been recording vocals with a AKG C3000 and a Joe Meek VC3 v2 as the mic pre directly into a MOTU 2408MKII. Not the best chain in the world, but it sounds better than my mackie pre's to my ears... Anywho, I've been kind of unhappy with the sound of the C3000 and thought this mic might fit the bill from what I read and what some friends had told me.

I've had a chance to track voice with it for a few days and I really love it. I have no idea if it sounds like a U87 and really don't care. What I do like is that my vocal sound got very very "filled out" (as opposed to a more brittle sound with the C3000) and I love what the mic does with the highs (a lot of air I guess you'd say). It's quiet as a mouse and came with a very nice shockmount and a simple but effective case for porting it around...for $220. I can't tell you how happy I am with this purchase.

Will it work for everyone for every application, I doubt it. It's making me very happy though and I'd say it's definitely worth checking out.

Be well-

Lee

gracejames 8th October 2003 08:21 PM

I am also looking into the C1. I've been using a 4033 through a Joe Meek at home. Like what was mentioned earlier, the 4033 has a nasal quality to it. I like using it for guitars but i want to get some new gear for vocals. I recently tracked one of my songs through a U87/Millenia Origin combo. I would like to get something closer to that sound without that budget. So, do you think a C1 through a Grace Design would be very close?

Alan, i believe i met you a couple times at GC Concord.
I have your card laying around somewhere. :)

peace,
--james

Bastiaan 8th October 2003 08:50 PM

Joris,

I work for Dutch TV (Ciris, used to be NOB), and i record a lot of voice-overs that are used in promo's. Those little clips of a program, and then the voice-over "Morgen in Cold Feet". I do that stuff for the public stations Nederland 2 and Nederland 3, and we use a Neumann TLM103 for that. Its routed into some high-end preamp (i cant seem to remember the name...), and goes through a TC-electronics system 3000 (i think) for brickwall limitting.

I would suggest to get a Neumann TLM 103, because its considered the standard for voice-overs in the Netherlands....

jho 8th October 2003 08:53 PM

The C1 is excellent in front of a kick drum as well.

jdier 8th October 2003 09:30 PM

Joris,

If you are still following this tread I would say that the SP C3 has been one of the purchases I have been most pleased with for my home studio.

My signal chain (for now) is very simple. I run the C3 directly into my Aardvark Q10 into Sonar.

Here is a link to some tracks where you can hear it on vocals and acoustic guitar:

http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/...d=2999&alid=-1

This week I got my Meek Preamp, FMR RNP and a couple RNC's. Next weekend I will be doing my first tracking (scratch tracking) with those units.

If you are interested I would be happy to share the results with you.

Bear in mind that everything thus far is scratch used for composition, but hopefully gives you some indication of the quality of the C3.

I also have a couple B1's that I have yet to find a great application for. On vocals they sound nice, but just not as nice as the C3. Since they are fairly well matched I have had some luck with using one of them along with the C3 in omni for M|S recording of acoustic guitar.

I hope that this information is of some use.

Jim

heinz 8th October 2003 10:41 PM

I have a pair of C3's I bought to use as overheads on drums. Ultimately I guess I could've saved money and bought C1's since I always use the C3's in cardoid setting.

Honestly about the only thing I'm struggling with is getting smooth high-end response for cymbals... the range where the response curve peaks is pretty hot in regards to cymbals/hats, and usually requires some EQ attention to smooth out and keep from getting too grating.

For the money though (cheap!) they seem to be an excellent value. I may pick up a pair of Josephsons soon to play with and compare.

cashewcupcake 9th October 2003 12:13 AM

Does it have tube? If it has tube it is good? How is tube bad? DUh. khrthjdrt

muddy 9th October 2003 03:09 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by gracejames
I am also looking into the C1. I've been using a 4033 through a Joe Meek at home. Like what was mentioned earlier, the 4033 has a nasal quality to it. I like using it for guitars but i want to get some new gear for vocals. I recently tracked one of my songs through a U87/Millenia Origin combo. I would like to get something closer to that sound without that budget. So, do you think a C1 through a Grace Design would be very close?

a mazda rx7 kinda looks like a jaguar. would you call that close? christ, aren't ya tired of people who, in one breath, tell you that they can only afford, say, $200, and then in another, tell you they REALLY like the sound of something that costs $3000-4000, do ya think i could get something "close" for $200? and they will bend over backwards & spread 'em wide to let someone stick the convincing claim up there! you wanna u87? buy a bloody u87, & stop asking us to make you feel good about buying a chinese mic. there are no shortcuts to top shelf in the bargain basement!


ml

cashewcupcake 9th October 2003 04:38 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by muddy
a mazda rx7 kinda looks like a jaguar. would you call that close? christ, aren't ya tired of people who, in one breath, tell you that they can only afford, say, $200, and then in another, tell you they REALLY like the sound of something that costs $3000-4000, do ya think i could get something "close" for $200? and they will bend over backwards & spread 'em wide to let someone stick the convincing claim up there! you wanna u87? buy a bloody u87, & stop asking us to make you feel good about buying a chinese mic. there are no shortcuts to top shelf in the bargain basement!


ml

word brutha muddy! STFU already please! WTF is wrong with these people? If you can't afford it just be satisfied with what you can afford! I can't afford Pro Tools HDturbo plus cubed so I have to use my crap native DAW! I deal with it. Why can't you? Go to f'in guitar center buy all their POS mics, pick one you like and return the rest. Or get the poor shmuck who works there to demo them for you. You're not buying a house! Even on minimum wage you can save up for one of these mics in 1-2 weeks!

ozraves 9th October 2003 07:55 AM

James,

I'm really fond of the AT4040. I think it's a solid mic. Otherwise, you might look at the Blue Dragonfly and the Shure SM7. I think between those two mics you could cover most singers.

Steve
www.mojopie.com

Macaroni 9th October 2003 09:47 PM

I had a CAD VX2, their dual tube top of the line mic - $2,000. It was very nice in all respects for vocals and acoustic instruments, etc.

I needed some money, so I sold it and bought a SP C3 for $330. I like it muc better than the CAD VX2. I use it with an Apogee Trak2 and I also have the SP VTB1, and Aphex 207 and Joe Meek TwinQCs. It sounds great through all these pres and especially the Trak2. Vocals are fantastic with it.

There are lots of reviews of this mic by many different people - top pros and project studio guys, and almost all of them rave about this mic in terms of build quality and especially sonic quality.

It is not a cheap mic. It is an excellent mic that is inexpensive. I also had a TLM103, and the C3 is just as good, if not better as far as the results go.

And Alan doesn't hang out on forums to hype his stuff. He hangs out to answer questions and interact with users. I applaud him for that.


Ron...

NathanEldred 9th October 2003 09:56 PM

howdyhowdyhowdyhowdyhowdyhowdy

chessparov 9th October 2003 11:20 PM

IMHO, Rip Rowen did an excellent (positive) review of the C1 over at www.prorec.com as referred to previously in this thread.

The B series sound quite different BTW, maybe some of you might want to try any of those out too.

Chris

ozraves 9th October 2003 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by chessparov
IMHO, Rip Rowen did an excellent (positive) review of the C1 over at www.prorec.com as referred to previously in this thread.

The B series sound quite different BTW, maybe some of you might want to try any of those out too.

Chris

Rip also thinks the KRK V8s suck as well as the Shure KSM141s. I like both of those items. I bought my C1 because of his review. I'm so ashamed of myself.

Anyhow, how about a more informative review? www.mojopie.com/c1.html