The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
What's your favorite vocal mic that you currently own?
Old 10th May 2017
  #1
What's your favorite vocal mic that you currently own?

I'll start.

I have a Soundelux 251 that I've owned for about 12 years now. I absolutely adore it. It's always on the stand when I'm trying out mics for a vocalist. I will also mention that it doesn't always win. Most vocalists sound great on it but, as I've said frequently, there's no one best mic.

I also frequently use my Advanced Audio CM67, an AEA R84, SM7B (which has gone missing) on vocals. Others that I use but don't own are Miktek CV4, Neumann U47, Brauner VM1KHE and VMA, and AKG C12.

I'll expand on this topic and tell you the condenser mics that have caught my ear recently.

sE X1s - It's shocking that something that sounds this good only costs $179. It hangs with mics at 5x the price.
Lauten LA 320 - It's bright for sure, but I've been really impressed by it.
Miktek MK300 - Big and warm.
Bock Audio iFet - This one really surprised me. I wasn't expecting to love it.
Mojave MA50 - For the price, this is a killer mic with amazing presence.
Mojave MA1000 -This mic really deserves to be considered with the highest end condensers, even those selling for twice its price.

Here's some more info about a few of these that made my Cool New Mics list last year.

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/5-...ics-under-500/

Last edited by Lynn Fuston; 10th May 2017 at 02:26 PM..
3
Share
Old 10th May 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 
funka's Avatar
The one I try first is a BeesNeez T1: big full/balanced sound.
Sometimes in cardioid, sometimes in omni. I still did not have the occasion to try it on fig. 8.

I also mainly use a Sony C48 and Bock 195 (or it can be a cheap dynamic microphone like a Sennheiser e935 for metal blasters).

I look forward trying the 4038 for recording vocals.
Old 10th May 2017
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Severe edit -- the first post in this thread originally ended at "AKG C12," mentioning a few mics that the retailer doesn't sell. I thought, "fella's his own man, good for him." I responded in kind. Then Post 1, Rev 1 appeared and things got all carny-barker. I sorta feel like I got played.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 10th May 2017 at 03:40 PM.. Reason: accuracy
2
Share
Old 10th May 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 
gainreduction's Avatar
 

Nordic Audio Labs SWE#1.

It just has this perfect balance of clarity and velvety smoothness.

Artists keep coming back saying "you got that vocal sound that I need"...
Old 10th May 2017
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Severe edit -- the first post in this thread originally ended at "AKG C12," mentioning a few mics that the retailer doesn't sell. I thought, "fella's his own man, good for him." I responded in kind. Then Post 1, Rev 1 appeared and things got all carny-barker. I sorta feel like I got played.
Sorry you feel that way, Brent. I appended my post to make it more complete because so many people ask me what I've heard recently that I like. I could have just made it a different post.

WRT mics that we don't sell, in my original post there were five. In my edited post there are still five. I'm still my own man. ;-)
Old 10th May 2017
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Appreciate the response, Lynn.
Old 10th May 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 
DougS's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
I'll start.

I have a Soundelux 251 that I've owned for about 12 years now. I absolutely adore it. It's always on the stand when I'm trying out mics for a vocalist. I will also mention that it doesn't always win. Most vocalists sound great on it but, as I've said frequently, there's no one best mic.

I also frequently use my Advanced Audio CM67, an AEA R84, SM7B (which has gone missing) on vocals. Others that I use but don't own are Miktek CV4, Neumann U47, Brauner VM1KHE and VMA, and AKG C12.
First off - thanks for putting this Shootout together. Very well done and very imformative!

Yes, the Advanced Audio mics are very nice. As are the AEA mics. I've used these but don't own them.

I have three "go to" mics. Two were in the shootout. The Avantone CV-12 and the Chandler REDD. (bought both from Sweetwater BTW). My third "go to" is the Pearlman TM-47.

What's your favorite vocal mic that you currently own?-misc2.jpg

Knowing the Avantone and Chandler REDD well, I thought I would provide some context on these visa vie how they did in the Shootout.

Avantone CV-12
Some people are surprised by how well this mic sounds in the shoot out. I'm not. Its a good mic. It has a lot of detail and still retains a lot of character - which to me is important. The mic also has a pretty good bottom end. Its got a reputation for being bright (which it is) but many singers sound very good on this mic.

I think the most important thing to know about this mic is its proximity effect in Cardioid mode. Right up close on the mic will give you a very crunchy sound. As you move back the crunch transitions to smooth. You can use this to great effect depending on the sound you are looking for with the artist and the song at hand.

The shootout was done (for all the mics) at a distance of 9" from singer to mic. At 9" you are still somewhat within the "crunch zone" of the Avantone. But for these singers and the songs (especially the female singer) a little crunch sounds great. Two or three inches closer and the crunch may have been too much. Further away you would lose the crunch and gotten a different sound - which for these singers and song may have felt a little boring.

I've used this mic for jazz vocals and gotten very good outcomes. Here smooth was the goal. To get it smooth I've recorded with artists a seemingly ridiculous distance of 2.5 to 3 feet away from the mic. At that distance its totally smooth and silky - but sill present.

This mic has a lot of character and detail and it sounds good through a clean preamp. The shootout used a Millennia pre (which is very clean). I primarily use it with a Grace M101 (also clean). The mic takes compression well.

Chandler REDD
I would say we are in a whole new league with the Chandler REDD but that would be an understatement. With this mic we've left the Milky Way and we are in a whole new galaxy.

The REDD Mic is a great mic - FULL STOP. Its great on top, in the midrange and on the bottom end. It has fantastic detail but still a lot of character and vibe. This mic has only been out a few months but I'm convinced it will eventually be considered one of the top mics on the planet. Only time will tell.

Some folks compare the mic to the Sony C800g or the Manley Ref C. But it all depends on how the mic is setup. This mic has tremendous versatility designed in as it has a number of controls and options to adjust the sound.

The first thing to know about this mic is it has a REDD47 preamp built into the mic so you can use it with or without an outboard preamp. The built in preamp goes from 4 dB of gain up to 33 dB - adding color & volume as you add gain. It also has a separate Drive switch that adds more gain and color at every gain setting.

A lot of people chose this as their favorite mic in the shootout. I am not surprised, but I have to say, in my opinion the mic was competing with one hand tied behind it back. Let me explain - To be consistent in the shootout (which you have to do in a shootout) all the mics went through the same preamp (the above mentioned Millennia pre). So even though the REDD has its own preamp (that's a big part of the sound of the mic) the shootout ran this mic through the Millennia. To do that the REDD's internal preamp was set to its lowest gain level.

So basically the setup for the shootout amounted to the cleanest possible way to run the REDD mic. The shootout ran the REDD at its lowest internal gain setting of 4dB (Drive Switch off) and then made up the rest of the gain with the very clean Millennia pre. Eliminating much of the beautiful color this mic has to offer.

Nothing against Sweetwater and how this shootout was done. The shootout was done correctly. But as we all know - shootouts aren't (and can never be) the best way to hear and select a mic. Demo the mics in your own studio.

For comparison, I typically run the REDD at 27 or 30 dB with the drive switch on - going directly into my converters or my tracking compressor. But its all singer/song/desired vibe dependent.

To get maximum color using an external preamp you can run the REDD's internal preamp at full 33dB with Drive switch on, then (in addition to the gain knob, the mic has an output attenuater knob). Turn the output attenuator down and run it into your favorite color preamp (a 1073 or rack version of the REDD.47 - whatever you have) and double dip!

There is also a 'Low Contour' switch which changes the voicing on the mic and works in combination with the above gain structure giving you even more options. I engage this often - it was off for the shootout.

Hope this helps folks with a bit more context on these two mic. Again - thanks to Sweetwater for pulling this very impressive Shootout together. Hope to see more in the future.
Attached Thumbnails
What's your favorite vocal mic that you currently own?-misc2.jpg  

Last edited by DougS; 14th May 2017 at 04:48 AM..
6
Share
Old 10th May 2017
  #8
Gear Addict
 
BluegrassDan's Avatar
Flea 47!
Attached Thumbnails
What's your favorite vocal mic that you currently own?-20170115-christmas-film-14-web-.jpg  
1
Share
Old 10th May 2017
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
The Big Tex 47



I also like my Blue Bottle (B0, B6, B7) that I call Big John

2
Share
Old 10th May 2017
  #10
Lives for gear
Wunder CM7 - I had the capsule tweaked to exactly compliment my voice - 'tis a thing of beauty.

I have a Rode NTV (with the fancy Jensen output transformer and caps) that sounded a bit toppy until I bought a NOS tube off Bowie (GS member) and it's transformed it into a really great mic.

I'd like to add a 251 replica when I can afford it - probably a Bock unless Flea do one at some point.

Last edited by thehightenor; 10th May 2017 at 08:46 PM..
Old 10th May 2017
  #11
Deleted User
Guest
Lawson L47...will always be my first.
1
Share
Old 10th May 2017
  #12
Lucas CS4. This mic hears like I hear.
Old 10th May 2017
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Wunder CM7 - I had the capsule tweaked to exactly compliment my voice - 'tis a thing of beauty.
How does that work, you just put another capsule in? Sent a recording to Wunder and they tweaked it?
Old 10th May 2017
  #14
Gear Nut
I don't have anything too fancy. I really like my Audio Technica 4050. It seems to work for most vocalists and styles. Then again, I'm no expert/seasoned engineer.
Old 11th May 2017
  #15
Gear Nut
 
lucasanything's Avatar
Tell us about the Big Tex 47
Old 11th May 2017
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Secret80sMan's Avatar
 

I am poor so Audio Technica 4050 is the best I got at the moment.
3
Share
Old 11th May 2017
  #17
Gear Maniac
Hi Lynn,
I also own the Soundelux 251 and it's been a favorite of mine for many years. I recently picked up a Flea 47 which is also incredible sounding.
I'm interested in hearing more about the Advanced Audio CM67. Would you say it's a worthwhile compliment to the 251? I've been looking for a 67 ish mic but had never considered the CM67.
Curious to hear your thoughts.
Thanks!
J


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
I'll start.

I have a Soundelux 251 that I've owned for about 12 years now. I absolutely adore it. It's always on the stand when I'm trying out mics for a vocalist. I will also mention that it doesn't always win. Most vocalists sound great on it but, as I've said frequently, there's no one best mic.

I also frequently use my Advanced Audio CM67, an AEA R84, SM7B (which has gone missing) on vocals. Others that I use but don't own are Miktek CV4, Neumann U47, Brauner VM1KHE and VMA, and AKG C12.

I'll expand on this topic and tell you the condenser mics that have caught my ear recently.

sE X1s - It's shocking that something that sounds this good only costs $179. It hangs with mics at 5x the price.
Lauten LA 320 - It's bright for sure, but I've been really impressed by it.
Miktek MK300 - Big and warm.
Bock Audio iFet - This one really surprised me. I wasn't expecting to love it.
Mojave MA50 - For the price, this is a killer mic with amazing presence.
Mojave MA1000 -This mic really deserves to be considered with the highest end condensers, even those selling for twice its price.

Here's some more info about a few of these that made my Cool New Mics list last year.

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/5-...ics-under-500/
Old 11th May 2017
  #18
Lives for gear
Mojave M-1000. Based on what I hear from it, it should be wildly popular. I'm surprised it is still relatively unknown.
Old 11th May 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucasanything View Post
Tell us about the Big Tex 47
It is really a Flea 47 that I tarted up with a different body. The original body is on it's way back to the mothership to have the body refinished as there were some imperfections in the finish. The steer is a tie tack that I used with an epoxy to attach to an extra body that was provided by Ivan while the work is being done. I just couldn't stand to look at the mic with nothing on it at all. Big Tex is temporary until the original body tube returns.
1
Share
Old 11th May 2017
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieboss1 View Post
I'm interested in hearing more about the Advanced Audio CM67. Would you say it's a worthwhile compliment to the 251? I've been looking for a 67 ish mic but had never considered the CM67.
Curious to hear your thoughts.
Thanks!
J
Dave Thomas (Advanced Audio) makes some great mics. I won't go into much detail here (outside the scope of this forum's focus), but I was recording strings (8-4-3-1 section) at Ocean Way in Nashville when I first got my CM67. I told the second engineer to put up two of their Neumann U67s on two of the three celli and the CM67 on the other, but I specifically didn't want to know which mic was on which instrument. I wanted to see if I could pick it out from the vintage mics.

I couldn't.
1
Share
Old 12th May 2017
  #21
I'm doing home studio recording: local artists and myself. I think every gear has its sweet spot and its a matter of learning where it is and in this context how the mic reacts to different preamps and impedances.

I enjoy using a SM58 into a BAE1073mpf preamp; its a hearty, vibrant sound which stands out during tracking and encourages me to sing - the preamp is key to that.

The Rode K2 valve LDC has a similar robustness but I prefer it into Sound Devices 7-series preamps which are clean and accentuate the character of the K2; the continually-variable polar pattern is a useful feature as it allows one to bring in more or less room sound and some flexibility with bass/proximity towards the omni pattern.

I also have a stereo-pair of MXL 770's with the Jim Williams RK12 mod and I like to use them with female vocalists. They have a beautiful airy presence.

I loved the sound of the Chandler mic in the Sweetwater comparison and whilst that's not currently in my budget it does set a great benchmark I can reference - for now.
3
Share
Old 12th May 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
Josephson C700A.

It's between great and exceptional on anything, at any SPL. Never paints you into a corner, and we have so many tools to add color. For me the Joe is like a combination of an F150 and an F50- the workhorse and the stallion.
2
Share
Old 12th May 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
 
antichef's Avatar
Josephson C716 for me, but there are a few close seconds and I usually like different mics for different singers. Very recently picked up an ADK Z-67 and it's definitely going to be a contender
Old 12th May 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
 
microwave's Avatar
Lewitt LCT 940 - sublime sounding and extremely versatile.
Old 12th May 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
 
nightchef's Avatar
 

Soundelux U195 most of the time, but an AT4047 beats it for some singers/songs.
1
Share
Old 12th May 2017
  #26
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret80sMan View Post
I am poor so Audio Technica 4050 is the best I got at the moment.
Dude I really like mine! I'm still learning, and I'm sure I'd love a U47 better than an AT 4050 for vocals or other applications... But I've tried a lot of budget mics (even other AT condensers) and the 4050 is where it's at. Super happy with mine. I use it with a TB12 preamp. For metal/punk vocals i love to pad the mic, drive the gain with the x731 op amp. Whatever other distortion or saturation I add after that in mixing usually really brings that grit out, it sounds incredibly aggressive and doesn't lose a lot of detail like an sm7 or something.

Doesn't sound incredible cheap, either. I've tried some sE condensers, other AT condensers, some Shure ones... etc. I really dig the 4050.
Old 12th May 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
I usually have a Soundelux E47, Flea 12, Flea 49, Pearlman TM-250, U87ai, AKG414B-ULS, and SM7 (not a B model) ready to test when it comes time to record vocals.
One of those will usually hit the target.
Sometimes I just cut to the chase and set up the 414. It's never failed to produce greatness.
Old 13th May 2017
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Sugarnutz's Avatar
I'mma cheap SOB. I have an Apex 460 what's been heavily modified. It was gutted and rebuilt from an AKG C-24 schematic. The tube is a NOS GE 5-Star 6072A, all silver wire inside with a new tube socket, caps, resistors, Cinemag CM-2480 output transformer, Solens output cap and a Peluso CEK-89 capsule. Even though we started with the Apex 460, about all we used was the body and power supply. We started with a great tube in the GE and biased the tube as close as we could get to perfect, the noise floor on this mic is amazing after it warms up. Although the circuit is AKG based, the CEK-89 capsule mellows the high-end just a tad and puts the midrange a little more forward compared to a real C-12/24. All in all I ended up with a little less than $600 in the microphone and I wouldn't take anything for it.
3
Share
Old 13th May 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

U67.
1
Share
Old 13th May 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
 
chet.d's Avatar
 

Two that are rarely mentioned but in my world,
Soyuz su-017
&
Samar MF65
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump