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I have SM7B. Do I get TLM 102 or AT4040 or none? Condenser Microphones
Old 8th September 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
I have SM7B. Do I get TLM 102 or AT4040 or none?

Yay, yet another mic comparison thread. Gosh I must've read about 200 of these in the last month or so!

So you don't have to read the tome below, essentially my question is: For vocals, what should I complement an SM7B with... or do I even need to?

Just setting up my new home studio and with research I finally bought a SM7B, which I've yet to try properly as studio is being plastered and painted as we speak but from the sound test it seemed AWESOME.That's the easy part, only about 1 in a million people ever say anything negative about that little beauty!

But it was kinda counter-intuitive for me and took a lot of convincing because it's a dynamic but surely I should be going for a LDC!? So anyway I'm on the lookout for a LDC now so I can feel good about havign the right thing. Until now I've only ever used a SM58 for recording vocals as I've not been able to afford anything better so the SM7B is obviously going to be better.

Anyway, for a more clear/airy sound I'm thinking it's good to have a LDC as well as the SM7B. I'm a male singer, not a great voice to be honest but I can sing, standard range. I'll only be using it only myself and maybe will get my wife to help out in bits here and there. I do electro (would love to sound liek Gahan) but my brother's a rapper so may be gettign him to do stuff too. I won't be recording instruments really - maybe an odd acoustic guitar but I'm more likely to play electric guitar directly in.

I don't have a preamp (will be using the preamps on my Spirit Folio F1 mixer), which I know is not ideal for the Shure but hey I'll see how it goes first before buying a DMP3 or PRE73...

The room is untreated (normal plastered walls) and is about 13 m2 area. I know the SM7B is suited to this environment. I'll begetting one of those curved foam things to help a bit with sound, and I may drape a carpet or something up behind when singing.

a) should I be going for a LDC for completeness/an extra option or will it be fine sticking with the SM7B with the foam taken off perhaps?

b) I have read great things about the AT4040: people seem to love it. Also heard great things about the TLM 102. Dearer I know, but I can stretch to it if need be, especially as I understand it's a true large diaphragm whereas the AT4040 is actually not as big a diaphragm... For my needs, given my room and what I'll be needing it for and that it'll eb complementing a SM7B, any advice? (I'm guessing the obvious advice is everyone is different and certain mics will sound good/bad on certain people and I'll never know till I try...)
Old 8th September 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Sacalait's Avatar
A condensor will compliment the SM7B. They're different animals- much higher gain and probably more top end than the Shure. While I don't own any AT mics they seem to get more love than not I don't think you could go wrong with one.
Old 8th September 2014
  #3
Here for the gear
 
TonyS.'s Avatar
 

I have both and I do not like the At4040...very harsh S-sounds when tracking vocals.
Old 8th September 2014
  #4
Gear Head
The idea of adding an LDC I agree with. Just not a fan of those two mics. There are better options out there for around the same money (one that comes to mind is Mojave). Just my .02.
Old 8th September 2014
  #5
The SM7b is phenomenal, but if you're looking for another really nice mic that is complimentary I highly suggest looking into the Mojave Audio MA-300. Not too expensive and sounds brilliant!
Old 8th September 2014
  #6
Gear Nut
Wow such quick answers. I'm embarrassed to say that with all my reading I've never even come across Mojave. The 300 looks good thanks but double my budget. There's a 201fet I guess which is more like my price range (but even then a bit high at £80 more than the TLM 102) but I seem to have heard/read more about the AT4040 and TLM 102...
Old 8th September 2014
  #7
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyS. View Post
I have both and I do not like the At4040...very harsh S-sounds when tracking vocals.
Both TLM and AT ? Or SM and AT?
Old 8th September 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I like the 4040 but not for vocals.

Lots of budget options for decent vocal mics -- Blue, CAD, MXL, ADK, Avantone, Advanced Audio, Studio Projects, Stellar...

Search Google for best vocal mic under $500 or (whatever your budget is), make a list and start listening to clips.
Old 8th September 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
The SM7B brings out the midrange and lows with a mild sizzle but grainy high end. Great rock and roll vocal mike. As you point out it will be good on your voice and for rapping. The female voice however will require some more definition and responsiveness higher up. On a budget the AT 4047 comes to mind as it has a transformer, will offer some more clarity, and generally works best on a female vocalist. The TLM102 is a good but very neutral mic. It will offer up some smoothness and clarity. Also consider the AKG C414. The capsule is great for female vocalists.
Old 8th September 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Samion,
I have collected an abundance of mics over the 40 years I have been recording Bluegrass and other Americana music. The only Sure mic I own is an SM7b along with 3 RE20s and a bunch of AT mics I use for all live performance. however for you at this point I would recommend trying to find a good deal on a used Audio Technica AT4060 and buy a high quality NOS tube for it. Along with the AT4060 I have the Peluso Quartet (47, 67, P12 & P28) along with a Rode K2 tube. The high quality sonic pallet choices these tube mics offered prompted my decision to sell the vintage German mics I had purchased many years ago. The AT4060 will provide a clear warm enhancement to any voice if a real good NOS tube is substituted. Otherwise double the budget and buy a Peluso tube vocal mic or any one of several very good vintage reproductions.
Old 9th September 2014
  #11
Here for the gear
 
TonyS.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samion View Post
Both TLM and AT ? Or SM and AT?
I own the AT and Sm7B. For my opinion the AT4040 is very harsh in the high end...just do not like it for vox.
Old 9th September 2014
  #12
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
Samion,
I have collected an abundance of mics over the 40 years I have been recording Bluegrass and other Americana music. The only Sure mic I own is an SM7b along with 3 RE20s and a bunch of AT mics I use for all live performance. however for you at this point I would recommend trying to find a good deal on a used Audio Technica AT4060 and buy a high quality NOS tube for it. Along with the AT4060 I have the Peluso Quartet (47, 67, P12 & P28) along with a Rode K2 tube. The high quality sonic pallet choices these tube mics offered prompted my decision to sell the vintage German mics I had purchased many years ago. The AT4060 will provide a clear warm enhancement to any voice if a real good NOS tube is substituted. Otherwise double the budget and buy a Peluso tube vocal mic or any one of several very good vintage reproductions.
Thank You VERY much for all replies so far, bless you all.

This is helpful thank you mate, but unfortunately going way above my budget. My budget is around up to £500 or so absolute max, AT4040 will cost me around £230 imported from USA, TLM102 can get used for around £400 etc... above that and I'm not able to do afford it at present with other stuff I'll be needing.

Rode K2 is within my budget though - how do you like that for vocals? I don't know about tube/valves at all to be honest: I've read mixed reviews. Are they as clear and open as normal LDCs? What do you think of the K2 compared to the TLM102/AT4040?
Old 10th September 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Sacalait's Avatar
I own an Avantone CV12. It's been my workhorse for five years now. I've changed the tube in it 3 times so far because I've used it THAT much! When I bought it, the reviews were stellar. I've read a couple of things lately that weren't but I've got to say it's been a great mic for me and still costs $500 US.
Old 10th September 2014
  #14
Gear Addict
 

I usually mount my AT4040 upside down and angle it down 45 degrees and it definitely helps with the esses. If you can afford the TLM102, you might look into the AT4050 instead of the AT4040.

Also, do yourself a favor and treat the room before you buy and start using your LDC. Do some searches on cheap but effective ways to treat the room. A reflection filter won't be enough. Treating behind and to the sides of the vocalist will be important for effectively using an LDC.
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