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I bought a Pacifica, now I think I hate my mic... Condenser Microphones
Old 15th August 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 

I bought a Pacifica, now I think I hate my mic...

I just purchased an A Designs Pacifica. This is my first real preamp. I have been using a Blue Baby Bottle on my vocals for about 3 years. When eq'd just right it has always sounded pretty decent on my voice. But now I'm feeling like I am not getting the most out of the Pacifica with this mic.

I've seen a few folks endorsing the Pacifica/Pearlman TM1 combination. Can't really afford that one. Any other combos working well for vocals out there? Should I just shut up and eq it or are their better midrange options? Really curious about some of the Audio Technica mics...4047, 4060?
Old 15th August 2007
  #2
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espen askelad's Avatar
Depending on which version of the BB you've got... the BB and Pacifica are both units that push the upper mids forward, so I can see how the two combined might be overloading you on certain frequencies and giving a sound that doesn't really feel so balanced. I'm usually not crazy about the 4047 for vocals, though I did one session using one plus the P1 (500 series Pacifica, basically) that worked really well for the voice.

I really like the Baby Bottle, but for very specific things. My favorite way to record electric guitars is to split signal between an AC30 and a Super Reverb, 121 on the Vox and the BB on the Super. Also really dig 'em for mic'in' Rhodes and Wurlitzer. It's definitely not the easiest mic to use for vocals though.

Where in VA are you?
Old 15th August 2007
  #3
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

It could be that the Pacifica and the Baby Bottle aren't a good match. I've got a baby bottle, and it's pretty source specific. It either sounds great or it sucks. Haven't gotten the chance to try a Pacifica yet, but I've heard lots of good things. My understanding is that it's pretty colored? Maybe the 2 colors are just clashing.
As far as the AT mics you mentioned, those are both nice mid-level pieces that I've been happy with on several occasions. But you really won't know until you try them out. I'd also suggest checking out the Shure KSM44 in the same price range. Between those 3 mics you've got 3 very different sounds, so one of them will probably work for you.
Good luck.
Old 15th August 2007
  #4
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espen askelad's Avatar
Good suggestion on the 44. It's a mic that doesn't have a lot of character, but that's fine since your preamp does. They're solid utility mics that rarely blow your skirt up but will almost never let you down. I'm a fan of the whole KSM range, really.
Old 15th August 2007
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Actually what I'm hearing now is even more low mids and less highs now with the Pacifica. I live in the Hampton Roads area btw.
Old 15th August 2007
  #6
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espen askelad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtothemusic View Post
Actually what I'm hearing now is even more low mids and less highs now with the Pacifica. I live in the Hampton Roads area btw.
Mebbe you have one of the "dark" Baby Bottles... that sounds like the tone I get from my 4047s on the Pacifica - the high end gets rolled off by the mics and then the two together create a pretty good low-end push, which gets woofy with a lot of voices (mine included.) May sound wacky, but I really like dynamic mics with the P1... if you can demo an RE20 or SM7, might be worth your while as well.
Old 15th August 2007
  #7
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manthe's Avatar
 

If you like and want to stick with the tube mic sound, I'd try to pick up a Groove Tubes GT66 or GT67. It is a GREAT mid-range mic, tube driven and not 'mid-forward', like the BB. In fact, I find it to be a bit scooped, which should marry perfectly with a 'middle heavy' preamp like the Pacifica.

I have 2 GT66s and I am going to pick up a 3rd. I love them voices, and they are my new 'secret weapon' for drums!

GT has a newer line which has replaced the 66 and 67 (I believe the 66 replacement is the GT60). I have not used any of the newer ones. Also, In your price range is the GT MDB mics which are REALLY good as well!
Old 15th August 2007
  #8
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mikey's Avatar
 

Hows about a SP C#1 or a SP T#3
I never have to EQ mine .They seemed well balanced
Old 15th August 2007
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by espen askelad View Post
Mebbe you have one of the "dark" Baby Bottles... that sounds like the tone I get from my 4047s on the Pacifica - the high end gets rolled off by the mics and then the two together create a pretty good low-end push, which gets woofy with a lot of voices (mine included.) May sound wacky, but I really like dynamic mics with the P1... if you can demo an RE20 or SM7, might be worth your while as well.
Possibly...the thing is I read the Pacifica had a really open top end but I suppose it can't open up anything that's missing from the start.

I'll have to check out the mics from Groove Tubes and Studio Projects. The price is definitely right on those. Hadn't considered dynamics. I'll have to check out the Shure mics mentioned as well.
Old 15th August 2007
  #10
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Pasta4lnch's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtothemusic View Post
I just purchased an A Designs Pacifica. This is my first real preamp. I have been using a Blue Baby Bottle on my vocals for about 3 years. When eq'd just right it has always sounded pretty decent on my voice. But now I'm feeling like I am not getting the most out of the Pacifica with this mic.

I've seen a few folks endorsing the Pacifica/Pearlman TM1 combination. Can't really afford that one. Any other combos working well for vocals out there? Should I just shut up and eq it or are their better midrange options? Really curious about some of the Audio Technica mics...4047, 4060?
though I'm not a fan of the bb. do you have the pad in when you record vox? I normally dont, but in this case it might add a little hair around the edges - might do the trick . . . i recently got my pacifica, and w/ certain mics it can be over bright but oddly not in an unpleasent way imo. . .
Old 15th August 2007
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasta4lnch View Post
though I'm not a fan of the bb. do you have the pad in when you record vox? I normally dont, but in this case it might add a little hair around the edges - might do the trick . . . i recently got my pacifica, and w/ certain mics it can be over bright but oddly not in an unpleasent way imo. . .
Actually the BB sounded better with the pad in, but not much brightness either way.
Old 15th August 2007
  #12
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mikey's Avatar
 

that BB is a heavy mid type mic i think.The SP T3 is a tube mic.its more mellow than the C1..they work well together
Old 15th August 2007
  #13
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chrispick's Avatar
 

Maybe try an AT 4050 into the Pacifica?

It's a good, clean, unaffected-sounding mic, by and large. Might help tell you what you like or dislike about the pre.

Which brings this points --

Just because others love the Pacifica, doesn't mean you will.

For the record, I like mine a lot, but not on all source. Guitars, modeling synths, background vox -- yes. Bass, some lead vox -- not so much (although I don't dislike it on anything yet). And, unlike a lot of folk around here, I don't care much for the pad's sound unless I really need to round off some heavy bite.
Old 16th August 2007
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispick View Post
Maybe try an AT 4050 into the Pacifica?

It's a good, clean, unaffected-sounding mic, by and large. Might help tell you what you like or dislike about the pre.

Which brings this points --

Just because others love the Pacifica, doesn't mean you will.

For the record, I like mine a lot, but not on all source. Guitars, modeling synths, background vox -- yes. Bass, some lead vox -- not so much (although I don't dislike it on anything yet). And, unlike a lot of folk around here, I don't care much for the pad's sound unless I really need to round off some heavy bite.
This is true, however I don't think I'm on the level where I can discern one good pre from another. It's night and day from what I had before and I believe with a more neutral sounding mic I will be satisfied.
Old 16th August 2007
  #15
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chrispick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by backtothemusic View Post
This is true, however I don't think I'm on the level where I can discern one good pre from another. It's night and day from what I had before and I believe with a more neutral sounding mic I will be satisfied.
Well, the AT 4050 is pretty neutral -- and not too pricey, relatively speaking (around $600 new). I say give it a shot.
Old 16th August 2007
  #16
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robot gigante's Avatar
I really dislike the sound of those Baby Bottles. Maybe you are hearing the true character of the mic for the first time. To my ears the mids and high end always sound f**ked with the Baby Bottles, although I do work with people who do like them (but I still almost never see them using the Babys on vox, so...).

I think the recommendations of the AT mics are good, the Shure KSM mikes are also good. And I'm also a huge fan of dynamics too... so maybe you should start demoing a few different mics. I would honestly not be very surprised if you found the same problems happening with any other quality pre and the Baby Bottle, not just the Pacifica.
Old 16th August 2007
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Are there vendors who will allow you to demo microphones? Locally, we have a Guitar Center but I don't have any demoing privileges there, if such a thing exists.
Old 16th August 2007
  #18
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barryjohns's Avatar
 

Buy a Pearlman TM1, works great with the Pacifica!!!!
Old 16th August 2007
  #19
Gear Head
 
Ted Perlman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by backtothemusic View Post
I just purchased an A Designs Pacifica. ...now I'm feeling like I am not getting the most out of the Pacifica with this mic
My A-Designs Pacifica is one of the only preamps I have ever heard that sounds good with most any mic.

If you want an inexpensive but great sounding mic try the ADK Hamburg 2. My Pearlman and Brauner sound GREAT with the Pacifica, but the new ADK Hamburg 2 is right up there with both of them - warm, clear, detailed, and delicious sounding. If the Hamburg is out of your budget range for now, the Studio Projects C1 is also amazing sounding with the Pacifica - and only costs a few hundred dollars.
Old 31st August 2007
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Bump...

I've spent more time researching and I'm prepared to spend more than I originally wanted. I do want a mic that's exciting not just functional. I'm looking for something with an airy quality for female vocals but it needs to have some grit. I heard a couple samples of the Peluso 22 251 and liked the airy quality but it seemed to lack the grit I'm looking for. I've yet to find an audio sample of the Pearlman TM1 on female vocals. It may be what I'm looking for...maybe not.

Pearlman owners help me out...or anyone really. Thanks.
Old 31st August 2007
  #21
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barryjohns's Avatar
 

I have a Pacifica as well as a Pearlman TM1. The TM1 is an awesome mic, simple as that.
Old 31st August 2007
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barryjohns View Post
I have a Pacifica as well as a Pearlman TM1. The TM1 is an awesome mic, simple as that.
I believe it is a great mic but would like to confirm that it will give me the particular sound that I'm looking for...gritty, yet airy, bluesy female vocals. Thanks.
Old 31st August 2007
  #23
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asagaai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtothemusic View Post
I believe it is a great mic but would like to confirm that it will give me the particular sound that I'm looking for...gritty, yet airy, bluesy female vocals. Thanks.
He Backtothemusic- I have done a blues mix-female vocalist using pearlmant tm1 and pacifica. The sound is not gritty and dirty as say using a neve spin off like chameleon labs 1046 with eq and overdriven. But, the sound is very very smooth and velvety with nice detailed punch. It has a nice width and presence/and air -very very nice. With nice compresion you get a real nice breathiness as well.

GJ
Newcastle/Oz
Old 31st August 2007
  #24
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
The Pacifica as a general rule seems to make most mics sound better (same could be said for other ultra high quality transformer based pres). I have never used the BB so I can not comment directly on that, but I can say, make sure you try the Pacifica pad in and pad out. The two sounds are pretty different (I usually prefer pad in)

Are you looking for a mic of one particular female singer or do you record lots of different singers. If its for one particular singer you really need to try out some mics because you can be really surprised. On some singers the expensive mic will sound bad and the cheapest mic in the room will sound the best. I am currently i the studio with a female artist and the SHure SM58 was hands down the best mic for her voice (and I own fancy mics to) as a matter of fact in the last three months I have not used a mic that cost over 300 bucks on a lead vocal.
Old 31st August 2007
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by asagaai View Post
He Backtothemusic- I have done a blues mix-female vocalist using pearlmant tm1 and pacifica. The sound is not gritty and dirty as say using a neve spin off like chameleon labs 1046 with eq and overdriven. But, the sound is very very smooth and velvety with nice detailed punch. It has a nice width and presence/and air -very very nice. With nice compresion you get a real nice breathiness as well.

GJ
Newcastle/Oz
That sounds sweet. Thanks.
Old 31st August 2007
  #26
Gear Addict
 
Kubilay's Avatar
 

BB is a great instrument mic, but I have never been able to use it on voice. It's just the wrong tool for the job. Try the BB on a viola, or oboe, or mandolin, or guitar cabinet, or hand percussion... I think it really shines there.
Old 31st August 2007
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
The Pacifica as a general rule seems to make most mics sound better (same could be said for other ultra high quality transformer based pres). I have never used the BB so I can not comment directly on that, but I can say, make sure you try the Pacifica pad in and pad out. The two sounds are pretty different (I usually prefer pad in)

Are you looking for a mic of one particular female singer or do you record lots of different singers. If its for one particular singer you really need to try out some mics because you can be really surprised. On some singers the expensive mic will sound bad and the cheapest mic in the room will sound the best. I am currently i the studio with a female artist and the SHure SM58 was hands down the best mic for her voice (and I own fancy mics to) as a matter of fact in the last three months I have not used a mic that cost over 300 bucks on a lead vocal.
This is true but access is somewhat of an issue with mics like the Pearlman. I'm in Virginia and I can't demo it anywhere.
Old 31st August 2007
  #28
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barryjohns's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by asagaai View Post
But, the sound is very very smooth and velvety with nice detailed punch. It has a nice width and presence/and air -very very nice. With nice compresion you get a real nice breathiness as well.

GJ
Newcastle/Oz
He got it right......
Old 31st August 2007
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barryjohns View Post
He got it right......
Ok. I'm sold. Just ordered a Pearlman TM1.

Thanks gearslutz!
Old 31st August 2007
  #30
JB3
Gear Addict
 

Post back on the thread once you've tried it!

If the TM-1 doesn't cut it, his new CM-LE might...
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