1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

U87, U89, TLM170- help me out, here-

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by markrpaulson, Aug 14, 2001.

  1. markrpaulson

    markrpaulson Guest

    anyone have a particular preference, esp. on male vocals?

    thanks
     
  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    I prefer the one that sounds best on that particular vocal, and works best with the song he is singing.

    Without hearing the vocalist or the song, I can't get any more specific than that. Sorry. And even if I did, YOU might like a different one.

    (Are we ready to start that FAQ yet?)
     
  3. markrpaulson

    markrpaulson Guest

    i know questions like this are, in a way, worthless, and i knew this when i asked. the problem is, i live in the middle of iowa, and there is no place in the state where i could rent or even try out any one of these mics. i don't really have the capital availiable to buy all three at once, even if i was to then return two. this is a problem that i've dealt with for all my major purchases, so all i can do is try to make as intelligent and informed decisions as i can. hence, questions like this. perhaps i should have asked for someone to outline the major sonic differences between the three. i trust my ears, but if there's no way i can make a direct comparison, what else can i do?
     
  4. Originally posted by Mark Paulson:
    i know questions like this are, in a way, worthless, and i knew this when i asked. the problem is, i live in the middle of iowa, and there is no place in the state where i could rent or even try out any one of these mics. i don't really have the capital availiable to buy all three at once, even if i was to then return two. this is a problem that i've dealt with for all my major purchases, so all i can do is try to make as intelligent and informed decisions as i can. hence, questions like this. perhaps i should have asked for someone to outline the major sonic differences between the three. i trust my ears, but if there's no way i can make a direct comparison, what else can i do?

    What about ordering from someone who has a return policy?

    Steve
     
  5. markrpaulson

    markrpaulson Guest

    even if, in the end, i only bought one mic, to get all three in the same room for comparison would mean an initial investment of $6-8000 which i really can't pony up. what i've done in the past is try to be real shrewd in my purchases so i can get around the near-impossibility of A-Bing or A-B-Cing. i'm sure all three of the mics i asked about are great and i'd be happy with any one of them. however, if i can discern from different posts each mics strong and weak points, and how they vary sonically, i have something slightly more palipable to go on as to which would fit my needs the best.
     
  6. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Has anyone ever explained the way a food tastes to you, and you think you'd like it, but when you actually try it it's nothing like you expected? Here's another example. Imagine you never tasted chocolate, peach, and strawberry before. How would you determine which one goes best best with vanilla ice cream? I can tell you which one goes best with cinnamon, but that doesn't help you does it?

    This is the same thing. Subjective opinions will only give you an idea of what other people experience - while micing somebody's voice - someone other than the person you intend to mic. These subjective differences in the mics are exactly what make each one sound amazing on some people's voices and complete crap on others. You can't predict which one will sound best on your voice without actually hearing your voice thru the mic.

    May I ask why these are the ones you're specifically interested in buying? I am especially curious since you apparently haven't heard any of them. Who told you these were the only mics you should be considering? How do you justify budgeting for something you have no way of researching first hand?

    The post wasn't useless. One can assume the mic you are using now is "lacking", yes? Tell us some background about your situation. Maybe there is another way to solve your predicament. Who knows, the solution might be a lot less expensive than you'd expect.
     
  7. markrpaulson

    markrpaulson Guest

    well, i've dug myself a hole already. may as well try to get to china.
    this is what i'm currently using

    Rode NTV tube
    Rode NT1
    Royer R-121
    A.T. 4041 (2)
    58's
    57's

    most of my signals go through john hardy pre's though a distressor (if necessary) through a MOTU 1296 into D.P. i usually use the NTV on vocals it's a good sounding mic for the price. however, there have been multiple times recently where this mic's particular midrange peak has exacerbated inherent traits of some peoples' voices to an undesireable extent. i'm currently in the market for a large diaphram mic that perhaps is a bit smoother and silkier. something i can turn to when i don't what the somwhat contrived "tubiness" of the NTV. i'm sure there are even many other tube mic's that could give me something completely different. i'd like to spend less than 2.5k, so my hopes aren't in the stratosphere. i'm just trying to avoid ordering a mic, sending it back, ordering another, sending it back, until i've tried them all because that's just not possible. besides, you moderators and other stalwart RO members instill a lot of trust in relative newbies like me through the advice you give and the opinions you extoll. the chances of me getting exactly the most perfect mic in the universe for my own personal little studio situation and budget is nil, but there are probably 5 or 10 that i would do quite well by. A soundelux u195 is a nice mic and i would find many uses for it. a U97 is also a nice mic and i would find many uses for it. i don't have so many mics that i'm trying to fill tiny, specific niches. so i'm trying to do what probably the majority of RO members do. listen to the big dogs, figure out who you trust based on what they say and why they say it, and go from there. Angelo, your personal reluctance to give me "answers" to a question which provides little or no information is admirable, once again forcing people like me to ask better questions; i thank you for that.
     
  8. Originally posted by Mark Paulson:
    even if, in the end, i only bought one mic, to get all three in the same room for comparison would mean an initial investment of $6-8000 which i really can't pony up. what i've done in the past is try to be real shrewd in my purchases so i can get around the near-impossibility of A-Bing or A-B-Cing. i'm sure all three of the mics i asked about are great and i'd be happy with any one of them. however, if i can discern from different posts each mics strong and weak points, and how they vary sonically, i have something slightly more palipable to go on as to which would fit my needs the best.

    In this case, from what I've heard of your needs, and from what I've heard from many sources,(the big boys you speak of) the U87 would probably be your best choice of the ones you mention. If it doesn't work for you though, and you order from someone who has a good return policy, you'll be that much better of fIMO.

    Steve
     
  9. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    i usually use the NTV on vocals it's a good sounding mic for the price. however, there have been multiple times recently where this mic's particular midrange peak has exacerbated inherent traits of some peoples' voices to an undesireable extent.

    According to the literature, the microphone is supposed to dip at 2k, and doesn't peak until 5k - more like high-mid. Maybe that's what you're talking about. If so, have you tried turning the mic off-axis? I would start by aiming it more toward the chest than the mouth. This might be enough to smooth it out.

    If it is really a mid peak, somwhere between 900Hz-3kHz, do you notice this happening on particularly loud passages or when the vocalist is trying to eat the mic? It could be there is a problem with the tube, or the capsule, or a general defect which is causing the mic to distort in that frequency. This could easily be mistaken for an eq boost. Your tube rat on a stick might be toast. Getting it looked at for $50 might save you $2,500. Is there anybody is Des Moines for that? You could pester some music stores while you're there. That way if there's nothing wrong with the mic, your $50 won't go totally in vain.

    i'm currently in the market for a large diaphram mic that perhaps is a bit smoother and silkier. something i can turn to when i don't what the somwhat contrived "tubiness" of the NTV.

    This is another monster altogether. If it is totally impossible for you to acheive this with the rodentv, you will probably have to spend a minimum of $2,500 to make yourself happy. At least until the fix wears off and you have to go buy something else.

    There are so many choices to obtain "silk" without the fake "valve" hype. U87, U89, Brauner Valvet, Manley Cardioid Reference, many more... (Even Neumann M147, I'm surprised that one hasn't come up since you were mentioning all the Neumanns.) It is possible to get silk out of all these. But obtaining the silk is not entirely the mic's responsibility. Choice of mic pre, positioning, technique, not using chump wires, etc... if any of these are lacking, even a $15,000 C12 might not sound any better than your rodent-1.

    I wouldn't say the John Hardy is "lacking", they're ^#$%ing fantastic, but maybe a different pre would be closer to the sound you're looking for. I doubt it, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities. (Maybe something even died inside it, who knows?)

    i'm just trying to avoid ordering a mic, sending it back, ordering another, sending it back, until i've tried them all because that's just not possible.

    You could stop once you find one you like! You don't have to keep trying every single one. And it's a much better alternative than listening to some schmuck on a website.

    Angelo, your personal reluctance to give me "answers" to a question which provides little or no information is admirable, once again forcing people like me to ask better questions; i thank you for that.

    There is a method to the madness! :s:
     
  10. PlugHead

    PlugHead Active Member

    Mark,

    Angelo has given some very good advise - opinions are like navels: everyone's got one!
    IMHO, I have had mixed luck with every top-drawer mic : U87 sounds crispy with one singer, but awesome on another. Soundelux U-99 is a godsend on one male voice, but too deep for a female. That being said, all mics have their uses (I'm sure you know that!), and if you notice some inherent mismatches with certain mics with certain voice types (i.e. U87 on a raspy male vox might be way too sibilant and crackly) base your judgement on what you can and know you can achieve, and separate that from what you currently cannot achieve. the higher end mics have some lit that lets you cerebrally discern what their characteristics are (EQ curve, presence peaks etc.), but you have to be able to try them out.
    I live about 2500 miles north of you, with a total population of 30000 people (and 80000 moose!), in a territory 3 times the size of your state. Talk about off the beaten path! I tested my Soundelux U-99 before purchasing - you have to ASK as anyone willing to spend that amount of bread rightfully should! My test lasted 2 weeks, and after I put it thru the paces, decided it was worth it to me to buy it. That simple. Deal with people that'll do this, or don't bother. REMEMBER, you are the customer, and any manufacturer/distributor (at least in the US!) should be more than willing to meet you half way for a purchase of that magnitude, and if they won't - go elsewhere! One place to ask is Mercenary - I think they have a trial policy, but don't quote me.

    My .02 cents (Cdn.- worth about.0133 cents US)

    Regards,
    Jay
    PlugHead Productions
     
  11. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    p.s. I know you've tried the Royer on vox thru the JH pre, right? What was the result when you did that?
     
  12. MMazurek

    MMazurek Guest

    Although it's preferable to get a sound with the right mic, one (or two) REALLY nice eq's come in quite handy. (fully parametric with some OVER 20khz things goin on)

    I myself am a microphone whore. I will buy and buy and buy. If it doesn't sound right, I'll just keep it and wait for the right source. :p
     
  13. DanKennedy

    DanKennedy Guest

    Iowa's not that far from civilization. Come'on
    up and visit some time...

    The Hardy will give you what the mic is putting
    out, so you need to narrow your search.

    If I read right, you aren't real enthralled
    with mics with a whole lot of high end.

    That kinda leaves out most of the newest things
    which are tuned to the old smiley face response.

    The Soundelux U95S is very nice. Mighty smooth
    mids and lows, with a high end that is detailed,
    focused, but never ever gets sibilant.

    I tend to prefer the M7 style of mics over the
    C12 deriviteves, but that's just me.

    The Brauners are good too, they have more high
    end, but the bottom is there in perspective.
     
  14. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I notice no one has mentioned the Lawson L47MP. For about 2 grand I think it qualifies as one of the best in "bang for the buck". Plus Gene Lawson is a sweetheart - he told me to try it out for a while, and if I didn't like it he'd take it back, no problem. Needless to say, I loved it and kept it. The infinitely variable pattern selector is a neat feature that also can be used as a substitute for eq, situation/acoustics permitting. Fabulous on most male vocals! Sorry if I violated the local protocol and actually gave a specific response to a specific question! :)
     

Share This Page