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Neumann KMS105 +?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Nymiah, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Nymiah

    Nymiah Guest

    Hey there folks,

    I just bought a used Neumann KMS105 off of ebay, and I'm considering buying the Groove tubes Brick preamp. From reading these forums I really got it that the sound is in the Mic and the preamp, and I want a quality vocal. I heard someone using this mic live the other evening and it sounded fantastic, and she said she used it in recording her last CD and it sounds great!

    Then I'm hearing that The Brick is the way to go as far as Preamps go for the money. Does this sound like a good combo? And then I'm wondering about the interface. A lot of people seem to like the Presonus FP10 (in my price range) but it comes with preamps (I assume that they are not nearly as good as the Brick). Is this still a good interface? Or do I need something without its own preamps? Any help here would be greatly appreciated. I'm still looking for advice on the right DAW too (although they often come with interface).

    I know I'm kind of doing this backwards, starting with the mic and working my way back to the computer, but it's kind of making sense to me. Again, any thoughts on this stuff are greatly appreciated as I'm just starting out (with recording, not playing).

  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Excellent mic and excellent preamp.

    I dont know if this combination is going to be what you're looking for as only you through the use of these will be able to tell.

    The Brick is not an uncolored pre if that makes a difference to you. That mic is as clear as any handheld there is. So perhaps the two will be a good marriage.
  3. Nymiah

    Nymiah Guest


    Thanks for your response. What do you mean that the Brick is not an uncolored pre? What is a colored pre versus an uncolored pre? And what makes them a good Marriage?

    Also, any thoughts on the appropriate interface and DAW (I was just looking at the MBOX 2 Pro with Pro tools LE on the Sweetwater site)? And If I use a stand alone preamp, should I avoid preamps in my interface?

    Thank you so much! Anything you can explain is greatly appreciated...

  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Well, I certainly am not the one to tell you about digital anything.....so......As for preamping a preamp, Never. Unless you have infinate adjustability on the input and output levels and impedance. So, yeah, a stand-alone pre needs the line-ins on any interface to fully realize its potential.

    As for 'color' in a preamp. Whats 'color' to one may be 'distortion' to another. For me, 'color' is all about the harmonic content of a device. 'Color' is the enhancing of certain harmonics through the type of amplification stages driving the next stage into a pleasant harmonic distortion. I dont mean a distortion like a guitar amp being abused on eleven, though this is a type of 'color'.....Most high quality high gain preamps are clear in the definition of the signal, its just that some have that blurring around the edges of the sound that makes everything seem larger without loss of fidelity.

    The Brick will do that. Quite well. Is it the best device for this in its price range? Maybe. I remind you that the Brick is not a real versatile machine. It does what it does. It does it well but it is a bit limited in some respects.

    If you couple this with a mic with extremely low noise, a striking clarity in its response, and a crapload of gain, will this get you what you want??

    Again, you have to try them together in your room with your voice(or the voice you'll be recording most of the time) through your playback system and gear to really know.

    One thing.....neither of the two pieces you mention will lose any value if you buy them and find they dont work for you.
  5. Nymiah

    Nymiah Guest

    Thanks so much!

    Do you have other reccomendations for preamps in this price range? More versatile (as you said that the Brick is less versatile)? How is the Brick limited?

    And thanks for the beautiful explanation of coloring... And for answering all of my questions.

  6. I'll second that The Brick is sort of a one-or-two trick pony. It sounds most rich to my ears in the mid-to-upper midrange area, and I think it tends to thin out more robust/tubby microphones in favor of a "scuffy" quality.

    Its one indispensable use, among my limited gear, is close-mic'ing guitar amps. I love it. As for vocals, I have exactly one microphone whereon I prefer it to my Summit Audio 2BA-221.

    It's a good unit, and may be the best for the price, but it's probably not the wunderkind the Kurt Fosters of the internet would have you believe it is.
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I made a lovely jazz recording last year with a wonderful female vocalist. It was a live show and I wasn't quite sure what microphone I wanted to use on her when she proudly presented me with her own KMS105. I pretty much exclusively use API 312/3124m & Neve 3115 preamps. All discrete transistors, no chips, no tubes. Simply fabulous sounding from these vintage " colored?" preamps. Tubes aren't necessarily always where it's at. I've got tube preamps and rarely use them as I prefer transistors. But then, hey, I've plugged microphones into a single 5534AN chip preamp on a Sound-Tracs mixer and came away with fabulous recordings. Bricks were made for houses.

    Thick as a brick
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  8. Nymiah

    Nymiah Guest

    Did you like the sound she got off of her KMS105? I'm an alto/contralto with a lot of deep resonance in my voice. I've noticed that cheaper mics tend to muddy up my voice and I liked the clarity I heard in the KMS105 in the midrange on someone with a similar type of voice.

    I wish I could make use of what you are talking about in terms of preamps. I just don't understand the difference between tubes, chips, and transistors. Really I suppose the difference is in the hearing, but how to choose as I pull a system together?

    My real problem is that I live in Eureka CA, in the Redwoods (well, this is not really a problem per se), but it's 300 miles north of San Francisco, which is where all of the music stores are that have all of that fabulous equipment that I need to listen to so I can discern for myself what exactly it is that I want...

    Ah, the tribulations of small town folkie...

    Thanks for the ideas,
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Nymiah, you'll love that microphone! I mean it sounds like anything else you get from them for studio purposes. So it is the Rolls-Royce/Bentley of microphones. When you want a fabulous live vocal microphone, appropriate for PA use & making great recordings, you can't do better than this.

    Chips, (integrated circuit chips or a complete circuit on a wafer of silicon). Then there are tubes, (a glass envelope, generally, with some flimsy internal stuff hand assembled and all of the air sucked out of the glass tube). Transistor (a sex changed relative made from silicon and potted in epoxy or stuffed in a little metal can)

    Thankfully, when making recordings, you can choose one from column A . One from column B. And one from column C. And in generally any combination with results that can be superlative or superfluous depending on your technique.

    With six. You get egg roll.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  10. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Duck roll...

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