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Recording Vocals - Microphone choices

In the videos I have been producing, we've listened to a number of microphones and how they respond to voice and instruments, but for completeness, we'd not heard them on voices. I'd been working on a little job where I'm creating a stage track for a person I've worked with for years and I always send him the stems, and a guide vocal. He then replaces that with his voice, and does another of just the track which he uses live with a real voice and the tracks. I thought it an opportunity to put out an array of mics and record my vocals on the different mics.

The usual culprits are there, plus two new ones - the Oktava MK-319 and EV RE-320.

Chris suggested I also make the clips available for direct download - 48K .wav format.

What to listen for:

Spill from the headphones - they leaked, and I didn't notice until I'd done, but I guess spill also has a 'tone' - the SM7B was the one that on voice, rather than speech, I didn't really like. The 87 and 319 shared something but were different. The 414 seemed a little more breathy? The Re320 was actually brighter than I expected

Comments

audiokid Fri, 04/08/2022 - 15:01

👍🏼 awesome post

I agree, they all did a good job here.

I wonder how much the preamp plays a part in the similarities here? That would be interesting to talk about. What micpre did your use? 

Being said, I think I narrow my favourites down to the EV Re320 and Neumann TDM 103. They both had a sweeter mid and top end to me. 

 

audiokid Fri, 04/08/2022 - 17:21

I have a hard time critical comparing tracks longer than a bar or two so I truncated each track to a few bars then saved them in 320 bit mp3.

  • AKG C414
  • U87
  • TDM 103
  • MK 319
  • EV RE320
  • SM7B

paulears Sat, 04/09/2022 - 02:21

In reply to by audiokid

You've given me another idea now - how about if I do a test with all the options available to me?

 

I could use the SM7B and the 414 maybe - as two alternative mics, and then connect them via the Tascam rack interface I have, the old Lexicon Omega, two different zoom recorders and a Midas M32, which gets nice comments for preamps? In fairness, I'm a bit of a preamp sceptic - and my view so far is that out of all the ones I use, and the Presonus at the other studio, they all sound very close - but the same mics, same location into all of these could be interesting as a little test?

audiokid Sat, 04/09/2022 - 08:46

In reply to by paulears

paulears wrote:

You've given me another idea now - how about if I do a test with all the options available to me?

I could use the SM7B and the 414 maybe - as two alternative mics, and then connect them via the Tascam rack interface I have, the old Lexicon Omega, two different zoom recorders and a Midas M32, which gets nice comments for preamps? In fairness, I'm a bit of a preamp sceptic - and my view so far is that out of all the ones I use, and the Presonus at the other studio, they all sound very close - but the same mics, same location into all of these could be interesting as a little test?

Sounds like a great idea! I'm a believer in how some preamps impact the sound. Low-fi SS, not do much but big rail transformers vs transformer-less... they can have a pretty big sound in comparison to say something like Behringer built-in pre. Huge difference there.

 

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