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Vocal Mic Shootout-4 Mics/4 Preamps/4 Compressors Condenser Microphones
Old 18th August 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
electropoet's Avatar
 

Vocal Mic Shootout-4 Mics/4 Preamps/4 Compressors

I had some free time today so I thought I'd set up some vocal chains and record some vocals to see what you all thought sounded best.

The Preamps and compressors are somewhat popular around here on Gearslutz, as are a couple of the mics...I've tried to match dark with light. I set up the mics so they all recorded the same vocal take for easy comparison...unfortunately that meant I couldn't use a Reflexion Fliter so you can kind of hear the room. I used a little bit of limiting (Waves L1) to try and get the wav files pretty close volume wise.

Everything was recorded 24 bit into a MOTU 2408 MK3 (Black Lion Mod) into Digital Performer...dithered down via the L1...and then converted to mp3 to reduce the size...no other processing.

I'd love to hear comments about what you all think about the different chains, which you like best on my voice, and what you think about my recording technique.

I'll reveal the chains shortly. Thanks in advance.
Attached Files

Chain1.mp3 (378.6 KB, 358 views)

Chain2.mp3 (378.6 KB, 322 views)

Chain3.mp3 (378.6 KB, 332 views)

Chain4.mp3 (378.6 KB, 340 views)

Old 20th August 2007
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
electropoet's Avatar
 

bump

are my vocals/recordings that bad?

i've tidied up the files for easier comparison...
Old 20th August 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
macgee's Avatar
i'd say go for chain 3 or 4 for your voice - maybe just 4
Old 21st August 2007
  #4
Gear Nut
 
MeSoHornplayer's Avatar
 

I like three best, it's very balanced highs and lows. Perfect if it's vocal and acoustic guitar, say. However, if you need to cut through the mix, the first one might do just fine.

Old 21st August 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
electropoet's Avatar
 

Pacifica, Drawmer, Peluso, LA-610, SM-7....

Thanks for the reply's.

I'd still like to hear more responses.

I'll say that the preamps are by Chandler, UA, Drawmer, and A-Designs.

The Mics are by Shure, Peluso, Groove Tubes, and Rode.

Thanks.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #6
Gear Addict
 
underworld's Avatar
 

2 has more highs/upper mids and jumps out a bit more. reminds me of my SM7. so i'll guess it's the Shure.

3 is nice and round- but a bit dark sounding. reminds me of my C414. (although not quite as dark as the 414). GT?

1 sounds too compressed or something. it gets thin too quick. R0de?

4 is not bad sounding either. it's pretty balanced. perhaps the Peluso?

if this were just an acoustic/vocal or light arrangement, i might go for #3. if it was a dense arrangement (lots of keys, guitars, etc...), i might try #2. for anything else, i'd try #4. i probably wouldn't use #1 for much of anything.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
electropoet's Avatar
 

#2 is the Peluso

Cool man...thanks.

I think people might be surprised though with what is what...I kinda am. I couldn't use shock mounts...and it was hard to get all the mics close enough to record the same vocal. In this case I think the 2247LE lost out...it was a bit obscured but the other mics...and a bit further back...it sounds a lot brighter in this test than usual...I should have picked that up and repositioned...the other mics are a surprise though.

The peluso is supposed to be my go to vocal mic...but with my voice...i think one of the other mics might just fit better! Kinda of a shame...
Old 23rd August 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
espen askelad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by electropoet View Post
Cool man...thanks.

I think people might be surprised though with what is what...I kinda am. I couldn't use shock mounts...and it was hard to get all the mics close enough to record the same vocal. In this case I think the 2247LE lost out...it was a bit obscured but the other mics...and a bit further back...it sounds a lot brighter in this test than usual...I should have picked that up and repositioned...the other mics are a surprise though.

The peluso is supposed to be my go to vocal mic...but with my voice...i think one of the other mics might just fit better! Kinda of a shame...
nah, it happens... of all my mics, the SM7 is really pretty clearly the best one for my voice. Have a TM2 arriving soon, maybe that'll take the crown away, but thus far the Shure gives me the sound I like best. I'm on kind of a dynamic mic kick right now, rediscovering how cool they can be despite their relative unsexy-ness.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #9
Gear Maniac
so which is which?
i liked 3 and 4 best, more presence/air.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Daniel Antix's Avatar
i like 4 best just the right balance for me.
1 is way to bright so is number 2
3 is too dull but i prefer it over 1 and 2.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #11
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CrankyRayHanky's Avatar
 

4 in a landslide
1 and 2 lack the resonance, 3 is too much, 4 this pourridge is just right
Old 23rd August 2007
  #12
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haryy's Avatar
Let me guess some pres

3) UA (with a dark sounding mic) 4) Chandler (best sounding)
Old 23rd August 2007
  #13
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espen askelad's Avatar
#2 sounds pretty bad to me and I'm not too into #1 either. I wonder about the placement of the mics, though, if you're singing into 4 of them at once. #3 sounds pretty good, #4 is probably my favorite.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #14
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

I guess im a little different.

#1 very smooth great detail and compressor
#2 a little sharp/cold sounding
#3 just ok
#4 another great tone...

overall its #1 for me on your voice
Old 24th August 2007
  #15
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DeathMonkey's Avatar
 

In isolation, I like #3's warmth, but I agree that #4 probably is the most pleasing overall. That said, I don't know what the musical context is. I tend more towards warmth on vocals, sometimes at the expense of clarity or sparkle, just because that's what tends to resonate emotionally with me. But if the production is dense in the mids, I'd say #4 to float over the top. If the production is sparse or has a lot of chime and high end, I might go with #3 to add a bit o "meat n heat'.
Old 24th August 2007
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
electropoet's Avatar
 

Results:

1. Groovetubes GT-66>A-Designs Pacifica>Distressor
2. Peluso 22 47 LE>Chandler LTD-1>Purple MC-77
3. Shure SM7>Drawmer 1960
4. Rode NT1000>Universal Audio LA-610

I'm pretty sure the Peluso channel was not very accurate...should have sounded better IMHO...but the oft slammed 1960 w/ the SM7 sounded pretty good.

Any comments.
Old 27th August 2007
  #17
Gear Maniac
interesting. i wonder if i would like that rode mic.
Old 27th August 2007
  #18
Wow, kinda surprising that the Peluso>Chandler combo wasnt the one. I think chain 3 was nice, clean and mellow. But 4 would cut throught better.
Old 27th August 2007
  #19
that is surprising. although I've found that the Groove Tubes mics tend to have a brittle upper end, which I hear in #1. and #4 is pretty cool that you can get that good of a sound from a vocal chain that's under $1000. I was surprised to find out that Sufjan Stevens used the At4033 through some old tube pre for his vocal chain on Illinoise, but there's something to be said about cheap LDC mics run through fat tube pres.

overall I'd say #3 or #4 could work for you but it depends on what else will be in the mix (full band/just acoustic). The dynamic may stay more focused in the mix if peeps are rocking out.
Old 27th August 2007
  #20
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espen askelad's Avatar
I love that the most GS-maligned pieces of gear came through with the votes. Goes to show, everything's got it's place.

Maybe not those 31-band Behringer graphic EQs, actually.

But everything else.
Old 28th August 2007
  #21
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by espen askelad View Post
I love that the most GS-maligned pieces of gear came through with the votes. Goes to show, everything's got it's place.

Maybe not those 31-band Behringer graphic EQs, actually.

But everything else.

Well, anyone who's used an NT1000 wouldn't trash on it. It's easily the best microphone I've ever heard from that company, and is great for $300.

It's pretty much like a 414BULS with a little more sizzle, and a hair less mass. A client I recommended it to for at-home overdubs routinely gives me decent sounding background vocal tracks to mix.

Like any other mic it could sound like crap on one singer in one mix, and like gold on another. Shootouts aren't the be all end all of anything.
Old 28th August 2007
  #22
I prefer 4 also 3 was close
Old 28th August 2007
  #23
interesting! by why dont you try to sing well in each mic ..even if are different takes...sing something simple and the same line....because doesn't make sense to put all those mics together..some will suffer a negative sound effect because of the position .


can u do it again ?
also would be cool to find a different combo,,,
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