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What is this mic? Condenser Microphones
Old 21st October 2006
  #1
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jindrich's Avatar
 

What is this mic?

This is Jamie Cullum singing live to this fat beast on a videoclip. Any clue what that it could be?
I LOVE the sound of Cullums records, and how his voice is tracked. It's everything I love about audio engineering (in contrast to almost any CD released today: simply distorted, zero dynamics, pink noise)

You can get a 30 seconds peek of this video in iTunes. Search Jamie Cullum, and get to the video called "Photography" (warehouse version).


edit: well actually, there are 4 "warehouse" videos in iTunes, where he's singing to the same mic.
Attached Thumbnails
What is this mic?-jamie_cullum.jpg  
Old 21st October 2006
  #2
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

Looks like the SE Gemini.

http://www.seelectronics.com/Gemini.html
Old 21st October 2006
  #3
tsd
Gear Maniac
 
tsd's Avatar
 

Before you rush out and buy one remember that it is a prop in a video and its very unlikley that it is what his engineer uses on his records
Old 21st October 2006
  #4
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Rogervandeberg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsd View Post
Before you rush out and buy one remember that it is a prop in a video and its very unlikley that it is what his engineer uses on his records
Well on the other hand, all the SE adverts here in europe feature him with the Gemini as "my only choise for my voice".
Old 21st October 2006
  #5
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Renaud Charlier's Avatar
 

humm....very suspicious about this kind of endorsement....(and pretty sure he doesn't know anything about mics....and is recorded in studio by a skilled engineer using old german condensers...)
Old 21st October 2006
  #6
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Could be a Charter Oak as well.
Old 21st October 2006
  #7
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True North's Avatar
 

My money is on a Charter Oak SA538
Old 21st October 2006
  #8
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jindrich's Avatar
 

well, looks like it's definetely the SE Gemini. Here's another shot, from another video of the same warehouse sessions. (Cullum is here standing, playing the acoustic guitar instead of the piano)
Attached Thumbnails
What is this mic?-james_cullum_gemini.jpg  
Old 21st October 2006
  #9
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jindrich's Avatar
 

...just another even closer shot, from a third different song.

And Cullum IS singing to this mic. Either this, or he can mimic a vocal performance in an ultra close camera shot down to every single syllable and breath.
Attached Thumbnails
What is this mic?-cullum_gemini2.jpg  
Old 21st October 2006
  #10
um...ooo......ohhh.....now cullum is taking off his shirt.....now he's licking his lips......uhhhmmm....oh carter, CARTER



sorry, couldn't resist.

he IS cute though heh

did someone here say he's REALLY a GEMINI??? heh
Old 21st October 2006
  #11
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True North's Avatar
 

I change my vote to Gemini - the connector and the colors match better than the Charter Oak
Old 21st October 2006
  #12
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by True North View Post
I change my vote to Gemini
nope!
no vote changing.
Old 21st October 2006
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
nope!
no vote changing.
lol - what is this? the fr*gg*n bush administration?
Old 21st October 2006
  #14
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tomdarude's Avatar
lol !!



btw. yes, it´s an sE Gemini, which is a great mic for the $$$
I def. like them better than the TLM-series Neumanns (haven´t worked with a TLM49...but there´s better stuff for 1,5k imho.)
Old 21st October 2006
  #15
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Jamz's Avatar
Gotta go with SE Gemini.
Old 21st October 2006
  #16
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mr.gefell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
um...ooo......ohhh.....now cullum is taking off his shirt.....now he's licking his lips......uhhhmmm....oh carter, CARTER



sorry, couldn't resist.

he IS cute though heh

did someone here say he's REALLY a GEMINI??? heh
mr.foley here.......












Old 21st October 2006
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.gefell View Post
mr.foley here.......













omigod - lol - that giff was MADE for that.......holy sh&t,

okay, sorry for the ot, felluz - BACK TO MICROPHONES.


tomdarude, jooc, what do you like so much about the gemini?
Old 21st October 2006
  #18
Gear Addict
 

we have a bunch of se mics where i work and most people like them. i hear the se mics are super-hyped and you just have to use them on the right sources or they sound kind of brittle. i still havent got around to trying them yet.
Old 21st October 2006
  #19
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jindrich's Avatar
 

Well, just for sake of gearslutism, I carefully watched (frame by frame) the four of those Jamie Cullum's "warehouse sessions" videos (30sec preview avalaible in iTunes).

They are shot to be Videoclips, yes. But they also shot them capturing sound by all means, because the CD versions of those tunes sound completely different, and here on the videos, image matches audio. So it is definetely an Audio/Video session, planned to be released and sold everywhere.
With that cleared, I now wanted to find out how they tracked the songs and what gear they used.

Well, the videoclips show a 3 cam setup, shot in 3 different independent takes because no cameraman is to be seen wandering around the musicians on the general views. The 3 video takes are:

-One handheld, close framing
-One dolly, more distant, american framing
-another dolly, general view of the whole 4 member band, playing on a abandoned warehouse

On the close shots, video (lips, keys, drummer) matches audio perfectly, so one of the takes was the one that made it to the final audio mix. Which means, the gear that appears on the videos IS the one used to record the audio.

And what gear was that?

Well, this guy must have some kind of endorsment with sE electronics, because except for the 2 sm58s for the backg voxes, everything else is from sE.
Namely:

-Lead vox: Gemini
-Piano: pair of sE3 (SD mic)
-Bass: hartke speakers, no mic= DI
-Drums (just 3 mics): pair of sE3 as overheads and bass drum mic (couldnt see it, guess another LD sE)
-Fender amp: sE z2200a, (LD mic)
-Acoustic guitar: DI
-Rhodes/Wurlitzer: DI
-Backg voxes: 2 sm58


So there you have it. And if you care to make numbers, you'll discover that this commercially released Video/Audio recording session of this MAJOR artist, (one with strictly acoustic instruments and whose mixes and albums sound great) has been made using all sE mics, for a TOTAL amount of......



$3,500!!



I'll say it again. A MAJOR artist tracked a whole session with a TOTAL budget of $3,500 for mics. No U47s, no Brauners, no Teles, no Soundleuxes, nothing out the the ordinary.






Now, what can we conclude from this?
Old 21st October 2006
  #20
hey, good work man - that's some good researching

you don't have to convince me, man.

i've been sold on the "whatever does the job" gear techinque forever.

back in the day, they were using neves witrh cheap wiring and carbon pots
(as has been discussed here ad infinitum).

u47s didn't cost 10k either (even with inflation considerations).

don't beleive the hype.

otoh, you can use WHATEVER YOU WANT to make a great record,

as long as you use your EARS,

so who cares?
Old 22nd October 2006
  #21
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tomdarude's Avatar
sqye....what I liked about the Gemini ??
It did the job!!

hmm, let´s see...it sounded somewhat "full", "intense", "pretty forward" on the singer we used it on....didn´t mix the track, but I had the impression that it would be pretty easy to handle in the mix! not a typical tube-sound though ...more balls, more (nice) highs
(also tried a solid-tube and rode classic II on him....didn´t work out! second choice was Gefell UM92, great mic!!! )

def. great value for the $$$!


while we´re here: nice open & lively drums (The Roots-style songs)

recorderman with 2 Beyerdynamic SDC´s,
sennheiser 609 SN (bottom)
sennheiser 421 BD (in)
sE Titan BD (out)
121 FOK/room


and I´m sure we could have gotten away with se3a´s for SDC´s and another sE LDC for the room!

it´s all in the source anyway heh
Old 22nd October 2006
  #22
hey, thanks, tom

what kind of singer? high spls? metal...ballad, female, etc.?

and what was your placement?

it's a dual diaphragm, right?

so what were your settings? and what's the space like?

if you remember - sorry for the 3rd degree.
Old 22nd October 2006
  #23
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True North's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
otoh, you can use WHATEVER YOU WANT to make a great record,

as long as you use your EARS,

Agreed, I tried using my feet once but the mix turned out kind of......... .......... ............. ............... ........... ................ ............wait for it.............. ............. .................. ................. ..................... ................. ............. .......................... MUDDY!!!heh
Old 22nd October 2006
  #24
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tomdarude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
hey, thanks, tom

what kind of singer? high spls? metal...ballad, female, etc.?

and what was your placement?

it's a dual diaphragm, right?

so what were your settings? and what's the space like?

if you remember - sorry for the 3rd degree.

hey,
sorry don´t remember most of it and didn´t set it up myself.
....was sittin behind the board most of the time, sry
place was a simple living-room with 25cm thick DIY baffles around the mic, pretty dry and he was pretty close if I´m not mistaken!
strong male voice, but not loud....(kind of rapper meets singer/songwriter...think common/the roots/etc.)

when I setup my new room in 2-3 weeks I´ll have to look through ALL my HD´s/backups anyway...maybe I can still find some of the stuff.

cheers tom
Old 22nd October 2006
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomdarude View Post
hey,
sorry don´t remember most of it and didn´t set it up myself.
....was sittin behind the board most of the time, sry
place was a simple living-room with 25cm thick DIY baffles around the mic, pretty dry and he was pretty close if I´m not mistaken!
strong male voice, but not loud....(kind of rapper meets singer/songwriter...think common/the roots/etc.)

when I setup my new room in 2-3 weeks I´ll have to look through ALL my HD´s/backups anyway...maybe I can still find some of the stuff.

cheers tom
thanks, dude

can't wait to check out the mic.
Old 22nd October 2006
  #26
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mixerguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsd View Post
Before you rush out and buy one remember that it is a prop in a video and its very unlikley that it is what his engineer uses on his records

Old 22nd October 2006
  #27
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
Now, what can we conclude from this?
We can conclude that this was recorded in a studio without cameras, heavily isolated (hmm, like the track sounds) without the washy bleed you'd hear from live tracking without decent isolation (that makes the video look good though) and then a video producer hired a prop man who had a small budget. The singer, who had spent WEEKS tracking his vocal, has listened to it over and over again, and he acted these pieces a good what...8-12 takes if he was perfect and 30-50 takes if he wasn't...

Good playback, a decent director, and good video editing.... makes the video look like it was live.

As one who makes a large chunk of annual income doing live for broadcast both isolated in studios as well as on location, my ears, eyes, and brain tell me...this is NOT live.

All that lip-syncing Britney all all the other poop artists do...you don't think they are coached very carefully?
Old 22nd October 2006
  #28
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jindrich's Avatar
 

Those mics were indeed used to record the instruments IMO. Read my previous post.


I'll elaborate a little more, to prove my theory:


-The songs on the CD sound different from the same songs of this recording. They are also on iTunes marked as "Warehouse session", which means an *audio session* was recorded as well as video.

-To me, It's mostly a live audio recording session (on a warehouse) that has been filmed to be distributed as videoclips/promotion. Look, the film aspects of this are very simple: There's only one fresnel light 30m behind the band, on a balcony, aming at the singer, the rest is natural light coming from the windows. Also, there's no multiset cam, with EFP cams, timecode.. etc, just one cam, one operator. In contrast, the band is fully set for audio there, with all the instruments, including a real Yamaha grand, a mic setup, a wedge for every player, a guy with a monitor desk close to them..etc

-This band is of the kind that plays the tunes live together, start to finish, direct to tape. If there's some mistake, they just play it again from the start. No overdubs.

-They have been touring the world for the last year, playing live in lots of radios and TV shows all over the planet. They're well trained. And can perform after the handwave of a regie in a place full of cameras, people and techies

-And even if none of the video takes correspond to the audio that can be heard, the playback (if there is one) is so perfect on the close shot!. You can only playback this tight if you have recorded the real song a couple of minutes before. That confirms to me that audio was recorded on the set.

-What sense does it make to recors 3-4 takes with "the real mics" and then do another 3 more takes just for the video, and all this for at least 4 songs?. Why not simply roll and use whatever take is the best one, wihtout caring about whether a cam is rolling? Also the session was set for a single day, you cannot make it that long (remember natural light).

-NOBODY from the 2 million people who bought the previous CD is going to give a damm about what mic is on display on the video. Why replace them then?

-Even if you change the mics, will you change ALL of them, or just the vocal mic, the one that is taking more protagonist on the screen? Well, ALL of the mics used, xcept for 2 sm58, are from sE, and only if you waste one hour as i did, watching the videos frame by frame you'll find that out.



That's why, to me, they simply tracked the songs there and didnt replace any mic for the *video takes*.

PS: it's not my intention to defense the sE mics or any other here. I didnt even know what sE mics were until today.
Old 22nd October 2006
  #29
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jindrich's Avatar
 

On a even more detailed re-view of the videos, i do agree that sometimes the guy while nailing the voice, doesnt put the same enfasis on the piano playing, also, there's some horn arrangement in one of the tunes, and no player appears on the videos.

Still, that doesnt preclude the fact that the basic tracks COULD HAVE BEEN recorded there (with the mics on display), and some overdub was done later at the studio (mostly piano and some vocal).

If you listen to some of the songs (go to iTunes) you can tell some sound belong to the warehouse. For instance "Get your way". The CD version does indeed sound "studio", but the one marked as "warehouse session" sounds -except for the piano- as if it was tracked right at the warehouse.
Old 22nd October 2006
  #30
11364
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My 2 cents

Jamie appears to have an endorsement with SE.

Over this side of the world (Ireland) there is lots of promo shots with Jamie and an SE mic propped in front of him.

Alas, although they may look the biz, i highly doubt that any of his records were actually tracked using any of the associated selection.

I own a pair of Se1a that I use for live audience mics.

1. Because they were cheap as chips (Fries !!)

2. Most of the live venues I record in are very humid so I'd rather not drench a pair of (Insert favourite audience pair here) mics for something that gets squashed through a radio processor anyway !!

3.I was curious to see what all the fuss was about and in fairness, at that price, you can't go wrong. I can always use them as fish tank ornaments !!!

Yes, I've heard the rest of the range but .......you get what you pay for.

They're a winner if you need something to impress physically but audio wise.....I couldn't help but feel I needed a paid of aural glasses after my listening tests.

First impressions were okay, but delve a little deeper and all the faults become more than apparent.

Listen for yourself and I'm sure you'll agree.

Ya just can't beat the real thing !

now.........back to my C24
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