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CM48 or CM87 - user/owner opinions please!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

CM48 or CM87 - user/owner opinions please!

Hi everyone,

Was wondering if some folks who own / use the Advanced Audio CM48FET and/or CM87 could share some opinions as to which they'd choose for my particular usage scenario:

At the moment I'm primarily working in the genres of synthpop, alt / pop / electro rock and indie. I also do a fair bit of acoustic-based singer-songwriter-y stuff.

I work with significantly more female vocalists than male, so am looking for a mic that primarily handles female vox well, while also hopefully working on my own voice.

To give you an idea of the kind of female vocals I record, think artists like CHVRCHES, The Naked and Famous, Carly Rae Jepsen, Paramore, Pale Waves, etc - so there tends to be a mix of intimate/airy, poppy with big soaring choruses, and some loud, belting rock thrown in.

My own (male) voice is quite difficult to record well - it has quite a hard-edged, nasal quality (think Billy Corgan / Brain Aubert) and I've never had much luck with condensers on it, usually preferring an SM7B.

I feel that the CM87 or CM48FET might fit the bill - I'm looking for something that has enough midrange presence to keep the vocal at the front of dense arrangements, that's open on the top end, without becoming harsh/brittle. Something that has a bit of "larger-than-life-ness" about it would be a bonus.

Currently my two most-used mics here in my place are an SM7B and a TLM102 - no complaints with the former, but I've never been 100% happy with the results I've often had with the TLM102 - I've kept it because it happens to really work with an artist I collaborate with a lot, but in general with other people and particularly as things get into loud rock territory, I've found the hi-mids to be a bit edgy/peaky, and have sometimes struggled to get brightness without abrasiveness in busy mixes (although in fairness, since buying Soothe that's become a bit less of a problem!)

I'll be running mainly into the pres on an Apollo Twin mkii, so have the option of using the straight clean pre or running through a Unison emulation (1073 or Helios).
I work in a small-ish (approx 300 sq ft) well-treated writing/tracking room.

Due to a couple of other recent gear purchases, the budget on this is kinda tight - up to 500GBP - unfortunately being UK-based, the exchange rate isn't too kind to us atm, so it puts any of the AA tube mics out of reach.

Cheers for reading, and look forward to hearing your opinions!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Honestly, not an AA owner.
But...

Have listened to the clips. And I'm very familiar with both the U87ai, and U47 style tube mics.

Classic GS recommendation...
Get both! (I'm actually serious too)

If there "can be only one!" (Paging Highlander)
Then get the CM87.
Chris
P.S. TLM 102 excels as a BGV vocal mic BTW.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Classic GS recommendation...
Get both! (I'm actually serious too)

Haha - I did wonder how many posts it'd take to arrive at this response! :D

Yeah, the 102 is definitely very good for BVs, but I just can't really love it for leads - maybe it's me, but I am seldom totally comfortable about how it sits in a track.

I've used quite a few U87's, both old and new, and tbh am leaning towards that direction.

The main thing holding me back atm is that while an 87 will get the job done with pretty much anyone, it's not usually the most exciting of choices, so I guess what I'm really wondering is if the CM48 would be a bit more interesting/exciting, while still working on as wide a variety of voices as the CM87 would?

My main concern is that the CM48 may have a bit too much vintage vibe going on - given the genres I work in, the lead vocal often has to compete with layers and layers of big drums, synths and guitars, and I'd really like a mic that delivered as much of that sound naturally (without sounding over-hyped and scratchy) before I reach for eq.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Rtroost's Avatar
I use cm47 which is not what you asked about but great for males. Vintage to be sure, but not scratchy. Rolls the highs a bit.

Female vocals? Try the cm12.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtroost View Post
I use cm47 which is not what you asked about but great for males. Vintage to be sure, but not scratchy. Rolls the highs a bit.
How does it take eq, particularly in the highs - does a typical Maag or Clariphonic air boost do good things to it? Are you using the FET or tube version?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtroost View Post
Female vocals? Try the cm12.
Unfortunately that's outside of my 500 quid budget :/
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Rtroost's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpicyPonyHead View Post
How does it take eq, particularly in the highs - does a typical Maag or Clariphonic air boost do good things to it? Are you using the FET or tube version?/
Tube. It eqs well; i often use an rnd551 into an inward connections brute in the vocal chain.

If you're on a budget and dont want a valve mic, try a Lewitt. Ive used those infrequently but they sound good and take eq well. I think the lewitt valve mics are outside your range unless maybe a used one.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Thanks @ Rtroost , will bear that in mind.


Would love to hear some more opinions on the CM87 / CM48 - c'mon, there's gotta be some owners of one / both around these parts?
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