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My microphone shooutout.

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by ChrisSnyder, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. ChrisSnyder

    ChrisSnyder Member

    Hey guys!

    I'm new here on this forum, seems like a great resource.

    I own Standstraight Music in Stockholm, Sweden.

    I wanted to show you my microphone shootout that some people like.

    It's one with vocal, and one with acoustic guitar. Devided in in Tube, Ribbon, Solid State and Dynamic.

    Everything from Shure SM57 to Manley Ref C.

    Ask me anything if you want to know.

    Here are the clips, view in HD for the better sound.


    1. SolidState
    Microphone Shootout, Condensers - YouTube

    2. Tube
    Microphone Shootout, Tube - YouTube

    3. Ribbons
    Microphone Shootout, Ribbon - YouTube

    4. Dynamic
    Microphone Shootout, Dynamic - YouTube

    Acoustic Guitar

    1. SolidState
    MicShootout Acoustic Guitar SolidState Condensers - YouTube

    2. Small Condensers
    MicShootout Acoustic Guitar Small Condensers - YouTube

    3. Tube & Ribbons
    MicShootout Acoustic Guitar Tube - Ribbon.mov - YouTube


    Chris from http://www.standstraight.se
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Interesting. Through all of it I think you can really hear the mic pre and the tube-tech really affecting all of the mics. A great signal chain will always bring everything into focus. While I am still a strict believer in source quality at the mic, the similarities in this entire shoot-out cant be denied. And for me these mics have been brought closer together in their tonalities by this signal chain. I will also say, listening to the vocal tests, that this singer is very even in her attack and her tone. A very good subject for this test.

    The possible greatest surprise for a lot of the still unconvinced and non-believers is, of course, the SM57. I'm glad it was one missing some paint and basically looking like the used workhorse I'm sure it is. Us old recording dogs on this site who have continuously said "a bag of 57's is all you need" arent surprised at all.....are we Remy?

    CLEARLY the "best" mic of all was the Manley. And for pure quality sound the rest of the 'best' would be the 87, the AKG, the Royer, and the EV. Theres that solidity that the less expensive mics didnt exhibit. They all sounded good and again, I credit the signal chain with this. I would have put the 421 in that list but it didnt hold up in the high register of her voice.

    Good job and lots of fun to listen to.
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Nice job. I've just listened to the solid state so far. I'm always a little wary about making judgements about something this subtle based on YouTube, but on HD you could definitely hear some clear differences that I doubt were introduced by compression. The impressive bang for the buck mic of the group was the Rode. A lot of style similarities to the 87. The 414 test showed why people like it (very smooth) and why people don't like it (it didn't bring any high end air like the 87 and the Rode). Boy, the Soundtronics Saturn just jumped on that singers sibilants with both feet. Terrible mic for her. (Probably dangerous to draw that as a general conclusion. The thing that any shootout like this tells you is the best mic for her.)
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Listened to the tube, ribbons, and dynamics on vocals. Boy, the Manley really shines for her. Easy winner. (I wonder if she knows that. She did a remarkable job of keeping the performances very even. But sometimes an experienced singer who knows her stuff just has a mic that says "SHOWTIME." I can't say I hear it here, but I kinda wonder.)

    So I think that one of the big takeaways from all of this is, "nothing sounds worse than the wrong condenser." The worst mics for her of the whole bunch were in that solid state segment. The dynamics weren't really right for her, but if she is singing live through any one of them it will sound fine. You could punch up their weak spots in a recording. With the condensers that were wrong for her you would be fixing rather than enhancing. The ribbons all sounded good, but none as good as the Manley. So, what's the best mic for her under $1300 US?

    Update: Oh yeah, I'll just pile on with Dave and reiterate that the dirt cheap SM57 is a damned good mic and everybody with $150 burning a hole in their pocket who says, " I have to buy a condenser" should watch these clips.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Very nicely done. I love these and thank you for sharing!

    I watched a tutorials on micing drums last year testing many fine mics. Two Manley Ref C for overheads sounded amazing. They are definitely a mic i would love to own. Is there anything they don't sound right with?


    1. Solidstate

    The U87ai and the 414 are my favorites. The 414 low mids are rich, wow. But wow, the others are wonderful too. The K2 is surprising nice. I can hear the levels not quite accurate in this group so it made it difficult for me to judge the others. Again, I'm a broken record here but I can hear the converters struggling on the highs with the solid state group. MAYBE a little more headroom would have made my ears happier. Its not youtube to my ears.. its the sound of converters slightly peaking out.
    My Neumann KH 120 monitors are very accurate near fields. I can hear it no problemo.

    Wonderful singer.


    Wow, Manley once again. It loves your PT HD for sure. What a great sounding mic.
    The RODE K2 has a lush sound to it but ya, suffers on the top when it gets hit with those highs. From my personal experience, the RODE Classic 2 has that lush sound, even better and doesn't do what the K2 does.

    3. Ribbons

    For ribbons I liked the Royer 121 best but I didn't like any of them for vocals. The Royer condensors are much nicer. Royer tube or S series are much better for vocals IMO.

    4. Dynamic

    Wow, shure SM57 is the dark horse all the time. Go figure. Maybe with some sweet EQ it would really stand out. I can't say I liked any of them but the Shure was impressive.

    Acoustic Guitar

    1. SolidState

    Rode NT2A is my pick here. The others were either too metallic and/or less pleasing mids for me. The 414 has too much low mids going on, mushy sounding in this setting. I don't like to hear what the U87 did to it. The RODE however leaves room for my imagination and other instruments to sink into it all..

    2. SDC

    Neumann KMS84 Hands down. What do they make that is like that today?
    The AKG 451 had a big mid hole.
    Rode was too metallic for me
    The others were all just okay.

    3. Tube & Ribbon

    The Manley is the clear winner here.
    an observation: In defense for the 121, it would be better on an electric cab. the spirit of that performance seemed slower and held back too. A 122v on the other hand would be glorious for acoustic anything. That would have been interesting. The R-121 sounded like it wasn't gained well.


    Thank you, that was very professional.

  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Whats interesting to me is how solid state LDC microphones react with Pro Tools HD or similar converters in general.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    As far as the shootout on the acoustic guitar I'm in agreement about the KMS84. I thought that it probably represented the sound of the guitar in the room the best. I thought the Milab SDC handled the bottom much better than the others but didnt have enough highs to cut in a mix. I really didnt like most of the mics presented on this guitar. Its a Martin?? Its very woody sounding and is probably a bit bass heavy in person. If it were me micing this particular guitar I would be looking at Audio Technica 4051's to really capture the sheen of this guitar. The Neumann SDC did this the best and even that left me a little short on pleased with the sound for this particular instrument. Of any of the LDC's and the ribbons, the Manley was the clear choice. I guess I gotta get me one of those.....
  8. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I was really impressed with this young lady's consistency in her singing all of those takes! As for the dynamics, the 421 and RE-20 were disappointing to hear on her voice, both were a bit nasally and hard, the 57 really did shine. This just goes to show how important the source vocal is to determine what mic will work. The only other time that I'd heard the Manley, I was not that impressed, but on her voice it very smooth and clear. I wonder how much part the Waves dynamics processing played in makeing her sound so "even"...?
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Manley on the tube. 414 on the solid-state. JJ labs on the ribbon. Yup on that 57. The 421 made her sound like, after 11 takes she was getting a little raggedy. And the re: 20 sounded like she was going to give us the weather & traffic report.

    I certainly agree that there is a noticeable pleasing classic coloration to everything. I wouldn't want to listen to or record it through anything else. What you don't like something about quality sound? Not neutered enough for you? I mean it's one thing to nurture your sheepdog but it's another thing when you neuter your sheepdog and then shave its F. you are all off, isn't it? Would that make her sound better Dave? LOL I've been on the web too long today. This was a beautiful microphone shootout that I enjoyed immensely. Funny, she didn't look big enough to get all of those microphones around her at once? You'd never be able to see her face to take a picture. And I thought the Digi's crime/ProTools sounded perfectly adequate.She sounds a little like a young Linda Ronstadt who also recorded on a similar input chain. But I also think that it's that familiarity of sound that makes it ear catching. I guess I'm more emotional about it than clinical? Is that bad when dealing with sound? I find it easier to get to sleep when counting my snacks instead of trying to count sheep I can't see in the dark? Maybe there's something wrong with me? It must be that damn brain damage?

    I'm sorry Dave... I can't do that... Daisy, Daisy garble garble due...
    RAD blab

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