Anyone here used the Brauner VM-1?

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by John Stafford, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    I heard a VM-1 today, and I must say I was completely and utterly blown away. These mics are IMHO astonishingly good. I admit that there is a certain novelty value given that they have a completely different type of sound. One possible downside is that they have a very obvious sound of their own, so things might all sound a bit 'Braunerish'.

    I'm very curious as to whether anyone here has used them, and what for. I know they are used by some film-score engineers, but I don't think I'd put them in front of a choir. They're incredibly bright, but in a way that works, but I think a choir would be stretching things!

    Still, I was momentarily tempted to put everything up on ebay and get a pair, but one has to be realistic :cry:

  2. 0VU

    0VU Active Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    I have some VM1s - I picked up one, cheap, on eBay a couple of years ago and loved it. Shortly afterwards, again on eBay, I spotted the next serial number up for sale so I grabbed that too. Earlier this year I found two more, one a number down from my first one and the other numbered a hundred or so higher. (I even sold a pair of my M149s to raise the cash for them - and I didn't expect to do that in a hurry!) Two of the mics have the same type of valve and work beautifully as a pair; either of the others can be used as the centre mic in a Decca tree but I was planning in January to send the whole lot back for an overhaul, to get all the valves changed to the same type and some matching done on them (amongst other things).

    As you say, they have a sound that's all their own but it's a particularly stunning sound that works on all sorts of things.

    So far I've used them on everything from micing up a drum kit and various solo instruments through to chamber choirs and small string ensembles. Next week I'm planning to use a Decca tree of them on an orchestral concert and I'll be trying another one on a violin soloist in the concert. The acoustics of the hall I'll be working in are a pretty awkward and I'm a little nervous of using such big silver mics under concert lighting on a public performance but it's not televised and if I can't lose them visually on a show as big as this, I don't think I ever will. If it's a problem I'll have the old faithful M222/MK2H/Ball tree with me to fall back on.

    The other gig I'd planned to try them on is at the beginning of December in Westminster Abbey where I thought it'd be interesting to try them as a main pair for the choir. I usually use M222/MK21 or, if I want extra brightness, KM143s. I think the VM1s would be an interesting alternative.

    The only things that stop me using them more on live stuff is that the cable between the mic and the PSU is only about 7.5m long which really limits placement possibilities, and they're very large and visually imposing. I've been thinking about seeing whether I could get them re-finished in something less "obvious" than nickel silver but I never seem to have time to do anything about it. The only other problem I have with them is the continuously variable polar pattern. If you don't want to use omni or fig-8, it's a nightmare to match the pattern on two (or more) mics using a continuous pot rather than switched steps. Another mod to enquire about I guess.

    However, having said how much I love them, I don't think I'd want them to be my only mics - they have too much character for that. I'd tend to go for something a little more neutral. There are many worse mics to be stuck with though :wink:
  3. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    What are the chances of finding consecutive serial numbers at different times on ebay? That is some serious luck :cool:

    I'm glad to hear that they work on choirs. I would have been afraid to put something as bright as a Brauner up there because of sibilance, but given that the VM-1 does something amazing with texture, it's probably a good idea to leave any preconceived notions at the door. I'd love to hear them on strings.

    If I were to attend a concert that was being recorded using VM-1s, it would have to be a seriously good performance for me to avert my adoring gaze from the mics!


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