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smooth HF on mics

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by tonio, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. tonio

    tonio Guest

    Hi all,
    Just trying to see what everyones' opinion of what
    the term "smooth" means in reference to a mic's characteristics.

    Smooth as in not hyped or??

    since most low budget LD mics e.g. MXL, SP etc are hyped, exagerated on the HF they tend to be boosted @ 5-12khz -at least on the spec sheets.
    Most people say they are hyped.
    Now dynamics have the same boost, though it would have a more gradual rise... and the low end is tapered of kinda drastically.

    Wht do you guys think/
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    What you are speaking of is exactly what I don't like about most (not all, I actually like the Rode NT1) of the Asian mics I have heard. They seem harsh and "splattery" to me when compared to a U87 or even an AKG C12, C12a, or 414 (which in the case of the AKGs, are pretty bright themselves). I don't know if this is done intentionally to make the novice think that they are "clean" sounding or what. I know nothing when it comes to design but I have been reading that this characteristic sometimes has to do with the tensioning of the capsule. I find that it sounds ok on one track but if many tracks of this are combined, it really sounds like doodie cah cah. I have to wonder if people who rave on about how good these mics are can even hear?? Obviously, you can..
  3. tonio

    tonio Guest

    doodie cah cah LOL hey I like that. That's what Im concerned with!! not doodie, but the build up of all the hyped up crapolla. Now mind you I do like to add a hyped sound in the mix for a texture
    at times to give contrast.

    So smooth would be associated with upper caliber
    mics eh? How about it then be : somewhat flat in the (not necessarily scooped )mid range 1khz to about 3.5 khz, and somewhat boosted @8-12khz?
    So in a sense gives you..air?

    I do like some AKG's e.g. 451, 414 ULS though they can be a little hard up top depending on the acoustics and instruments involved.


  4. by

    by Guest

    Which exactly are the Asian mics? What companies are definately NOT Asian mic'ed?

    I'd rather accosiate "smooth" not at all with the frequency response but rather to the amount of time smearing and the type of accuracy kurt talks of.

    For frequency respone I like the terms "bright", "dark", "honky", ect..
  5. Pootkao

    Pootkao Guest

    Take the following comparison. Mentally, in your head, picture (or rather, hear) two albums. The same music, the same performances, but with the following gear.

    ALBUM #1
    Neumann & AKG mics
    Tube preamps

    ALBUM #2
    Studio Projects and MXL mics
    Mackie preamps

    Now, I like many others like Mackie preamps, but not a whole album of them. And therein lies the rub. The so-called "Asian" mics can have a role, and even work great on certain instruments, but don't do everything witht them cuz you'll end up with, as Kurt so eloquently described ... doodie cah cah.
  6. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    Yeah I'm really hating alot of low budget condenser mics poping up on the market, all having the same "sounding" capsule, scooped mids and over hyped upper mids and highs. I mainly do alot of hiphop recording so simbilance is a big problem also volume and proximity, those mics (expecailly MXL's) tend to sound way to agressive in a thin ear piercing grainy way when you put a loud vocalist in close proximity (5-8 inches). I have a B.L.U.E Cactus tube mic and some 414-TLII. The Cactus is a smooth sounding mic, not as quick, melower and isn't hyped but colored. The top ends there but picked up in a slower less agressive way giving it a smother charector. The 414's have a pressence boost and is quicker than the cactus , its sounds nice and smooth with a mellower vocalists but when someone gets loud on it it can sound more agressive and egdy (not in a bad way.). A good deffiniton of a smooth mic in my opinion is a Royer R121 or a 414EB.
  7. tonio

    tonio Guest

    Thanks for everyones thoughts. Well I know I can't afford a C12, but do have a 414 allthough it is a ULS I love it for alot of things. I don't track much vox, so I have'nt ventured into vox mic much.
    Ribbons and tube are the only type of mic I do not have. I think I'm set on other types.. well for a while-ya know always gotta look for other things and disregard the pocket book he he.
    Ribbons and tube mics seem to be associated more for vox, and Rock n roll yes? I have heard of using the Royer for overheads.As mentioned previous i don't track much vox, and usually do not take on a "full" band, so I have'nt considered
    those options
    So what am I missing?
    Will adecent tube and ribbon mic make that much of a difference?
  8. sign

    sign Guest

    It sure will. You'll even like the MXL V69 and/or V77 mic.

    And (many) ribbons are very nice mics.

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