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Old 17th May 2017
Lives for gear
DistortingJack's Avatar

I genuinely think flat-frequency mics are great. But it's difficult to know what that is.
Most brands, including Neumann will smooth out their charts a great deal, and many others, in particular cheaper or smaller manufacturers, will have quite a bit of variation between individual mics. Lots of small resonances and dips in frequency response fail to show up in their marketing blurb.

Many things like distortion can have very different textures – as any guitarist knows, there is nice and nasty distortion, and intermodulation of high-frequency, high-amplitude content is going to sound a lot rattier than a nice few even harmonics.

The most annoying characteristic of most large-diaphragm, side-address mics, to me, is the often mushy treble, very apparent in acoustic guitar transients and in sibilants. Most pop and rock nowadays has crunchy, crusty esses and other sibilants and I absolutely hate it.

I have been using a DPA Linear vocal mic for recording, and it has a ****-ton of proximity effect, well up until the midrange. But once it's EQ'ed out, it sounds more natural than most LDCs.

Then again, it really is a matter of taste. The current flavour-of-the month is the hipster, harsh vocal with weird digital reverb so to an extent I refuse to say fidelity matters that much in the end. The worst is I like a lot of new music – I just wish I could peel off the crusty top-end off!