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LCD for vocals : cardioid vs multi-pattern at the same price

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by anabolique, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. anabolique

    anabolique Active Member


    I am trying to make buying choise for LCD aimed at vocal (including voiceover) recordings.

    I have I question.. is it common-sense that multi-pattern should cost more then their unipolar variants?

    For example: I am looking at two mics of choices and thinking: these two are appreciated by many but one has cardioid only pattern and costs as much as the other that is multi-pattern...

    So, I like to think in the way that (since I will need cardioid most of the time) I am buying something "better" at what it does in comparison to something to does "morel" for the same price.

    Conversely, AT 4047 MP and AT 4047 SV prices are equal. (Sound-wise: difference is in self-noise ... )

    On the other hand, most mics aimed at vocals are already dual-diaphragm so multi-pattern should be easil achieved with internal electronics (adding , subtracting voltage combined with polalrirty reversal) ...

    But, still I have a tendency for looking at cardioid mics in the (1000-1500 euros at max) price range . Am I thinking wrong?
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Not necessarily. There are several upper level, very nice single pattern condensers, like Neumann for example, that because of its quality will cost a lot more than the current flood of cheap Chinese condenser mics which offer multi patterns.

    Multi patterns aren't the only feature to consider when purchasing a microphone. Sound quality should be your first choice. It doesn't matter how many patterns a mic has if every position sounds bad.
    The quality of the internal electronics, wiring, diaphragm, etc., all come into consideration when choosing (and pricing) a mic.
  3. anabolique

    anabolique Active Member

    Sorry if I confused You, English is not my native language - I MEANT EXACTLY what You said, so I am asking is my reasoning good... I have a tendency to be interested in cardioid mic in comparison to equally priced multi-pattern, because sound qualty is what I am after and I will use cardioid for most situations.. So, Your opinion is that I am thinking in right direction?

    And exactly Neumann is a brand that I wanted to give as an example... where You can easily see logical pricing conserning polar patterns. Also, Brauner, brand that caught my attention have significaly different prices for multi-pattern variants of the same models- which is opposite to e.g. Audio Technica 4047. AT4047SV cost same as AT4047MP...but maybe thats because AT4047 is made 10 years latter or so... so they maybe adjusted its price according to some sale statistics.. because It seems to me that AT4050 is more popular model...
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I don't know what the current U.S. vs Euro conversion rate is, but I can tell you that the Neumann TLM 103, for example, is around $1100 U.S., give or take.

    I don't own a 103, (I use a U89), but from the engineer friends I have who have used it, they say that essentially, it's a U87 without all the bells and whistles - and the U87 is most certainly a very nice condenser mic, and is widely recognized as a studio standard throughout the world.

    While I have extensive experience with the U87, I've never used the 103. Others here who have experience with the 103 might add comments that I cannot.

    But I don't think you're ever going to go wrong with a Neumann if an LD condenser is what you are after.

    Now, if you are looking in that price range (around $1100 U.S.,) and are interested in a mic with multi patterns, you may want to consider an AKG 414.
    This is another studio standard condenser mic that has been around for years, sounds great, and offers multi pattern selection, along with EQ settings as well as a db pad.

  5. anabolique

    anabolique Active Member

    Well, some people like transformerless Neumanns , some dont. I have heard TLM 49 against TLM103 and 49 sounded smoother although it can handle less SPL...
    I am looking for a new space that I will treat with some "portable acoustics" -not fixed into wall- not fixed "grill" or similar so I can move it to other place in the future...

    I think those Neumanns have such cardioid polar patterns that are "less sensitive" to room acoustics (narrower-more rejection at the back -especially TLM103) . All other mics that I can get here in the price range from TLM 103 to Brauner Panthera are supposed to be wider cardioids.. or are at least dual-diaphragm design that should be wider in general... And I still dont know how will acoustics sound in the end... so I am a bit afraid of choosing the wrong thing... Yeah, i worked a bit with 414 too, consireded that too... but still looking. I am pretty interested in Panthera, but its sensitivity to room acoustics is only thing that bothers me.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    if room acoustics is really that big of an issue, have you considered one of these?

    Vicoustic Flexi Screen Lite Microphone Isolation Panel at Music Village Education


    Not that room treatment is ever a bad thing, if done right... but from a financial standpoint, there's absolutely nothing wrong with treating just the area you are working within at the time, even if that area is only a couple square feet... or even inches. ;)
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    one of the reasons dual diaphragm (multi pattern) mics are more expensive than their counterparts. is thw quality control that goes w/ matching the responses of both diaphragms w/ in a close tolerance.

    i've tried the tlm103 @ the store and thought it was very nice, but i only tried it quickly on my voice (not a singer). i find myself using the 87 more often on acoustic guitar than vocals. it takes a really good singer, w/ certain tonality for that mic to really shine, but this is true of any vocal mic.

    you my want to check out the akg 214 if you need cardiod only, my buddy has one and it's pretty nice. a step up from the chineese stuff for shure.

    nobody is gonna be able to tell your what they think is a good vocal mic for YOU untill we hear ya. the avantone c-12 copy got good reveiws and was used on an album cut for a taylor swift song. but don't let price fool you, it does not matter w/ vocal mics, the voice is an interesting instrument to say the least.
  8. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    For nearly the same price as the TLM103, you could get the TLM193. Also cardioid only. Smoother than the 103, and very "neutral" sounding (though some call it "dark, it is simply "flatter" in freq response).

    It sounds like you have some experience with higher end mics... I don't recommend "untraining" your ears with the lesser LDCs from China. Most, while quite useable, can be somewhat harsh in the upper frequencies. Not just my humble opinion either...

    Regarding multi-pattern mics, some have very nice sounding figure of 8 and omni patterns that sound quite good on voices as well as acoustic guitar. I've heard some engineers claim some mics have a sweet spot in omni mode that can't be found any other way. But because the room plays a big role in this pattern, I cannot comment from personal experience, other than having heard recordings in support of this claim.

    The point is not to limit yourself, if possible. Multi-pattern LDC could be just the saving grace needed in some sits. For example, having back-up singers singing into front and back of a mic set to figure of 8 can save time and money, and reduce the need for an extra mic ... The multi-pattern mic I use most is the Shure KSM44. Haven't found any bad sounds from it yet!

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