which high end mic to borrow?


Jim Klein

This may be impossible for anyone to answer, but I figure I'd ask anyway. After being "retired" from the record thing for about 10 years, I'm taking a shot with a young singer/songwriter I met out here in the sticks. She is a great talent both as singer and writer, and we will be recording the "keeper" vocal tracks in a month or so. Right now, we are working through things with my AT 4050, which sounds ok, but nothing special (my Studio Projects C1 is WAY too crispy for her, and my VIP-50 was too dark). Here is the deal:

I have a friend who has a nice mic collection (but no studio to test any of them). He lives far from me, and is willing to lend me ONE mic for a month to do vocals with. I won't be able to sound check any of them with the singer so this decision has to be made from available data and the consensus of colleagues. Since I don't have experience with all of the mics available, I would appreciate any educated opinions.

The vocalist has a nice, full high alto voice, a huge range, and a tendency to get a little "choked" and thin sounding at the top of her range. She also has incredible dynamics.... with the 4050 I keep the -10db pad engaged, and she can still overload it if she isn't careful.

The mics available to me are:

U47 tube
C12 VR with original C12 capsule installed (modification done by Tracy Korby)
Korby Emperion

Out of that list, I've only used the 47 and 67, so please help me make this decision. I really want her to jump out of the tracks.

Thanks, everybody


Nov 16, 2001
That's a nice friend!

I think you'd save yourself a lot of second-guessing if you borrowed at least two of your friend's mics, and then sent back the one(s) you opted not to use for the month. U47's and U67's are like snowflakes; no two are exactly alike... and even if you were familiar with these particular ones from 10 years ago, they may well sound different now.

That said, my intuitive first choice of the lot would be the 47, since of all the mics in your list, the 47 seems most likely to "thicken", enhance and add some warm chest-tone to your high alto. They also take high-boosting equalization like buttah . . . The C12 variant by itself might be too much air and sizzle on top of an already airy voice. But despite your description of the singer, helping you decide which one will help her jump out of the tracks will be tough without the tracks to inform us. Like I said before, get a couple, check them out, send the "rejects" back... . . a little extra shipping seems like a cheap way to buy peace of mind in this project. :cool:


ps: you might also consider talking to Tracy Korby himself, as he'll know which of his backplate designs is in that particular Empyrian, can tell you what to expect from the modified C12-thing, and knows his 47's and 67's too. You're probably even close enough to take him out for golf while you discuss this... . tell him I said hello.


I'd second Dave's suggestions as far as trying to get both the 67 & 47 to shoot out. I, personally, would not bother with the VR even if it's been modded.

If you can just get one, I'd definitely go with the 47. (As long as you've already used it and know what kind of shape it's in and what kind of tone it's got.) I love both the 47 & 67 on a lot of different things but I've prefered the 47 to the 67 on vocals almost every single time I've put them side by side in front of a lead singer. And it's true that they can take hi freq. eq quite nicely whereas cutting the highs on a too bright mic will only make the vocal muddy and closed in.

Your friend has a nice mic closet, a lot of us could use a friend like that! ;)

Good luck! :w:


Well-Known Member
Feb 10, 2001
47 because she might have seen it on a pop video and it will make her her feel at home?


I dunno,

47 = guys
67 = girls

Is that so?


Marco Polo


I'd have to concur with the "bunch" here....I recently went through a fairly comparable recording situation and chose the U47 and it saved the day. :tu:
Went to a Neve eq on the high end thing and it does indeed take to the upper freg eq better than most.....I had never noticed that before and thought I was kooky until reading here that the others agree.....whew!!!!!
If you can't choose and send back the "rejects" as mentioned, I'd say a safe single choice is the U47 also.


Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2001
What is going to make her jump out of your tracks is a good song and an excellent performance. You can use any of the mics on your list and if you have the above, it should give you what you want. I probably would go with the 67 as a safe bet, only because if the room where you are recording is not the best, than a 47 will suffer(if you have to pad the mic down already, then placing the mic further away will bring the room sound more into focus). They are also picky when it comes to the temperature of the room(that's one of the reasons they sound different from room to room). What pre's are using? Are you limiting the vocal? Converters? If you want the killer vocal, than the whole chain is important. What headphones are you using for her? Is she comfertable with the surrounding?(ambience is important for singers,candles anyone?). Great vocals are more about confidence than technology. The ratio I always use is 95% confidence and 5% Technology. If you can create this kind of enviroment, than you should have your killer vocal takes.


Well-Known Member
Mar 16, 2001
Great vocals are more about confidence than technology. The ratio I always use is 95% confidence and 5% Technology. If you can create this kind of environment, than you should have your killer vocal takes.
Words to live by!!