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Best vocal mic for male

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by AB2, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    For smoothing out deep rougher voice as much as possible, what would be the best bet in a mic?
    I know it is hard to describe on the internet.
  2. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    I don't think there's such a thing as the "Best" vocal mic for a male. There's certainly the standards: SM58/57, EV RE-20, the list goes on for miles, right?

    But, I get great results as a male vocalist from an MK-012 using the Omni capsule. The small diaphram/small body captures the voice without the resonant "ring" sometimes associated with the large bodied LDC's (sometimes), and the Omni pattern eliminates a lot of the proximity effect that can be a little overwhelming during mixdown sometimes.

    Just an idea. Alot of people already have an 012 handy.
  3. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    "best" is a term I regret using. I am looking for a mic that keeps the lows in the male voice, has enough high end and "smooths" out to a realistic extent some of the "raspiness."
    Thanks for your response. Maybe others have other suggestions.
    The Pearlman sound like it might do this job.
  4. MistaG

    MistaG Guest

    Most mics don't provided smoothing. A preamp or compressor might but mics in and of themselves run from dark to bright or muddled to detailed. Smoothing is not a characteristic I would attribute to mics unless its possibly a tube mic but most of them are rich in the low end and tend to thicken a voice. This does not sound like what you are looking for. The closest I could come to a reccomendation is the SM57 or SM7. They both yield a slightly compressed type characteristic which flattens out the sound. Perhaps some mic which is bass shy so that the rough deep end you are talking about is less emphasized.

    Do you have a sample of the voice you can post up somewhere?
  5. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    I am a little confused. Would you consider silkiness and graininess as opposites? Are some mics more grainy while others are more silky?
  6. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:


    The MXL 990 has a tendency to be grainy or "spitty"...

    While the AT 4040 would be considered silky in comparison.
  7. soundpro

    soundpro Guest

    I think you need to find a mic you like and then experiment with pre amps. Microphones are a very personal choice, some people can use anything thrown in front of them and some insist on bringing their own to sessions. Once you have a mic that gets your voice to tape how you think it should sound naturally, then try different preamps in the chain, you'd be surprised at how much difference it can make. Personally for male vocals I nearly always come back to Neve preamps what ever mic I am using but I suppose if I had a never ending line of preamps that may not be the case.

    I sometimes find myself switching mics mid session because I want a sound that a particular mic captures just for a couple of bars. My personal favourite is probably the Neumann U67 (cliche I know) but I find I can get most sounds I want from that mic if I experiment with pre amps, compressors and effects.

    I don't think I've helped at all actually but hopefully there's something there that might be useful.
  8. Adore

    Adore Guest

    I have a small home studio and I've tried a couple of mics : Sm 57 and Sm 58, Sennheiser MD 421 and MD441, Rode NT1A and I stopped now at Studio Projects C1 which has a deep end. His brother B1 is also nice but not as strong as the C1 in the low region

    Unfortunately I haven't most mics available in the market LOL but I think ST C1 or ST B1 are a good option considering the bucks and quality achived. My mic pre is a Grace Design 101 and it is fundamental IMHO to have a good mic pre rather then a good mic
  9. Microphones to consider:

    Ribbon Microphones (they tend to have a smooth, unhyped high end):
    Royer R121
    AEA R84

    Blue Microphones

    Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to try these microphones. Hopefully someone else here can give us a more personal take on them.

    In my studio, my Shure KSM32 probably has the smoothest high end. I've found it to be better on female vocals than male vocals, but it really depends. It is a highly versatile microphone, and I would recommend it.
  10. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    The best mic for male vocals is the one that works best on that specific male vocal. And.... the best mic that was best for one song and arrangement may not stay the best mic for another song or different arrangement. It get's even more complicated when you add a mic and compressor into the possible options. No shortcuts. You have to be able to listen and have a lot of experience to know what it best or at least what can work and what can't. Rent time in a studio or rent some mics and begin to learn...
  11. ericbarthel

    ericbarthel Guest

    If you can, find a local pro-audio retailer (some GCs will oblige) that will allow you to go into their "quiet room" to compare different mics. If you're the singer -- no problem, just let the songs rip. If not, and you have a particular singer in mind, have him tag along. Record the tests to whatever system they have set up and listen to the results.

    So much of this depends on;
    1) The type of music,
    2) The range of the vocalist (baritones and tenors usually require different mics/techniques - look for posts on one of the forums on "proximity effect"),
    3) Budget
    4) Signal path

    In no particular order, here are mics I've used with good results on male vocals;

    Neumann TLM 103 - Really good on a Jim Morrison-style singer I recorded

    Blue Baby Bottle - Good "go to" mic

    Shure KSM32 - Kinda picky, but really smooth when you need to brighten up a dark sounding singer

    Rode NTK - Worked really well on some rap stuff I did - deep voices

    In the $2K range, I love the Blue Kiwi. Multiple patterns, very smooth and flatters most voices (except the Jim Morrison guy at the top - this mic sounded crappy on him).

    Sorry for blathering...

    Good luck.
  12. Mr-Nice

    Mr-Nice Guest

    I didnt read all the answers in this post and I am sure there are some good ones but the reality is about you asking such a broad question is like asking...

    "What is the best restaurant to take your date too?"

    Surely there are a lot of factors involved for using a mic on the male species in general. Human voice is like a fingerprint and each is unique in its own way. A mic that works perfectly for Usher may make 50 Cent sound like someone that has down syndrome.

    Each mic may respond differently to each voice you put in front of it and that you would have to experiement with and try out a few different mics and see what works best. Of course the room your recording in as well as placement of the mic, and the mic-pre you are using are big factors in and of themselves too.

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