The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
What preamp with AKG c414 xl ii for vocals?
Old 25th September 2012
Here for the gear
sproutpiano's Avatar

What preamp with AKG c414 xl ii for vocals?

Hi, I am recording a concept album with my band and I was wondering your thoughts on microphone/preamp chains for vocals (really any chain, feel free to add your ideas on compressor/eq, the budget is a couple thousand but could be raised). I am mainly worried about recording vocals and was leaning toward getting the AKG c414 xl ii. Right now I have a presonus firepod and presonus fp10 for preamps and use a cheap SA ST51, but I was looking to get something specifically for the AKG c414 xl ii (for male vocals). The room is 11x15, has rugs and a drop ceiling and wood paneling. I plan on doing some acoustic treatment, but I don't want the room to be 'dead'. Right now I record onto a MacMini running Logic Pro 9. The album is going to have a Pink Floyd type feel with lots of synth/strings. You can get hear the singer and get an idea for the band at if you that helps. I was thinking about pairing the mic with a tube preamp and was looking at the Solo 610, but I was reading good things about the Grace M101 as well so I'm not set on a tube. Any ideas on a sweet chain are appreciated. Thanks!
Old 25th September 2012
Lives for gear

I have a C414 TLII and its a great mic for what it does, but always leaves me a little uninspired using it for vocals. You are going to have many people suggest this, but I find on a male voice, and SM7 has a lot more character. I haven't listened to your sample, but the SM7 can struggle on someone who has a wooly sort of tone I find, but generally, I actually grab that before a 414.

Just my two cents

Old 26th September 2012
Gear Nut
ryanwilsonfive's Avatar

I had a 414 XLII. Used it mainly for vocals. Tried hard to like it, but ended up selling it a little while back. I have some tracks I could send you for reference, if you want to hear it. I was using A Designs P1 & API 512c as my pres.
Old 26th September 2012
Yea never loved the 414s either on vocals..they are very..hollow sounding i think..No life it feels like.

Though they never sounded that bad with a Vintek tube pre on them..but still..not great.

I tended to use our ATA4050 more. Then finally a Neuman U87i..
Old 26th September 2012
Here for the gear
sproutpiano's Avatar

I went in to GC today to pay for the Neumann 120 monitors and ISO acoustic stands I ordered and he was telling me to grab the c414 XLS because it didn't have the slight presence boost (something I could EQ in later if I wanted) and would be more versatile.

With the SM7B it looks like I would want a cleaner preamp than the SOLO 610. Maybe the Grace M101 or Great River preamp? Slightly less for the mic and a little more for the preamp. Decisions, decisions.
Old 26th September 2012
Lives for gear
dxavier's Avatar
Grace pre amps and Great River pre amps are quite different. Grace has a forensic tone, whereas the Great River can be many many things depending on how you set the input and output gain. I would pick the Great River here, hands down, but the Great River ME-1NV is twice the price of the M101 here in the UK

You could grab a SM7b second hand and work your budget that way. There are quite a few different versions of the C414's on ebay too. Also, you could consider the C214, which is alot cheaper and pretty much the same mic as the C414, but only with Cardioid mode. This could open up your options further. There is also the Summit Audio 2BA-221 pre which is great pre no matter what anyone says, and it has the option of you being able to dial in the tube tone. It is not vintage sounding like the 610, but it does have a great tube tone and in itself, is a versatile pre.
Old 26th September 2012
Gear Addict
soypancho's Avatar

Since you mentioned Pink Floyd, you should try the A Designs Pacifica which is based on the design of the Quad Eight boards The Wall was mixed on. It's my favorite go-to pre. It sounds great with a 414 or an SM-7b and I agree that the SM-7 could end up being a better sounding route. Try to hear your singer through both.
Old 26th September 2012
Gear Maniac

Didn't like the AKG C414 when I had it with that many peramps, but it sounded real good with the solo 610 which I don't like except with the 414
Old 26th September 2012
Lives for gear
Melgueil's Avatar

Originally Posted by dxavier View Post
I would pick the Great River here, hands down,..
Oh yeah. In a nanosecond.
Old 26th September 2012
Gear Nut

I used to have really good results with the 414/610 combo.
Just have to take care of the "sss". A good pop filter may be with a pencil stuck in the middle.

I don't have the 2-610 any more and I don"t use my 414s for vocals anymore.
Old 26th September 2012
Lives for gear
microwave's Avatar
This wont be very popular, but my 414 B-ULSs sound very good on vocals through the Drawmer 1960. Nice through the ISA One as well, but for the kind of vintage sound I like the 1960 seems to complement it beautifully - my taste of course.
Old 27th September 2012
Lives for gear
Melgueil's Avatar

Originally Posted by microwave View Post
This wont be very popular, but my 414 B-ULSs sound very good on vocals through the Drawmer 1960.
Well, you're not alone - would agree based on personal experience. I have used the 414/1960 combo on several sessions in the studio for clients in the past. I no linger have the 1960, but it ended up on the list of gear I truly regret having sold.

Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread Starter / Forum
jamesosullivan1 / High End
jrevenko / So Much Gear, So Little Time
Magic Snake / So Much Gear, So Little Time
chessparov / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording

Forum Jump
Forum Jump