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I'm currently using a RODE NTK with an Avalon 737sp. Can someone give me some ideas on mic/preamp combos that would be better than this. I record mostly Contemporary Country and Pop, some R&B. Male tenor range. I also do VOs.

I've heard a lot of raving about the new BLUE Kiwi and the Sound Projects T3 mics. Anyone used them and with what preamp?

Recording on Pro Tools LE 5.1 and using the Crane Song HEDD 192 for a front end A/D.

Allen :w:

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anonymous Mon, 02/18/2002 - 15:33

Budget is around 2500-3000.00 right now for a mic/preamp combo. One NTK is still in the wrap so I could sell it as new and the Avalon is a month old, used twice.
I'm looking at the Mercenary MP-2NV version of the Neve 1073. I may be able to do an exchange with Fletcher yet. Put an email into him today. If this is possible, then I would be choosing something that Mercenary carries in the preamps.

Sir Bob Mon, 02/18/2002 - 19:53

Originally posted by Allen Hallada:
I'm currently using a Rode NTK with an Avalon 737sp. Can someone give me some ideas on mic/preamp combos that would be better than this.
Recording on Pro Tools LE 5.1 and using the Cranesong HEDD 192 for a front end A/D.


I am curious as to what you feel you are lacking with this set up for vocals. I would assume that for country you are mixing the vocal track high in the mix. Have you tried other mics with the Avalon? Do you record your other tracks with different mics and preamps? It is always a good idea to mix up the mics and preamps a little so you have more contrast rather than everything having the same spice.

Guest Mon, 02/18/2002 - 21:05

A lot of folks are making great music with one or both of the mic/micpre that you already own. Although you can certainly get a lot of different sounding combinations for that money, it would be not necessarily represent a clear cut quantum leap in "improvement". For that you might have to think more in the $4000 range.

My recommendation is to try your existing mic with some different preamps if possible. And then try your preamp with some different mics. If you can't rent/borrow gear where you are, maybe you could find another studio with an extensive collection that you could book some time in to experiment.

You may find that only replacing one piece may do the trick for you. There have been lots of threads here about different mics and pres. Soundeluxe, Neumann, Brauner, BLUE, and Lawson make some of the most commonly recommended quality vocal mics. For preamps: Amek, VIPRE, Focusrite, Manley, Summit, Tube Tech, Neve (and Neve-alikes like Vintech), DW Fearn, Millennia, Great River, Demeter, Josephson, Martech, Pendulum Audio, John Hardy - I'm just naming some that have been praised recently around here at random - I'm sure I'm leaving quite a few out.

Don't be overwhelmed by all the possibilities. You don't have to audition every combination, as there is a lot of great sounding gear out there - I'm sure if you can try just a few you will find something you will really like.

anonymous Tue, 02/19/2002 - 04:10

What other mics do you have apart from the NTK, I have one and a Classic II and the NTK is not a fat sounding mic.

Did you try recording thru the 737 with no EQ or Comp and see if it sounded better.
What plugins are you running. Try it without any and see if it is better.
Best to start flat and work back.

I tried a 737 a year ago and thought they were thinish although the NTK will add to that.

anonymous Tue, 02/19/2002 - 06:39

I noticed that after I let the Avalon warm up for a couple of hours it sounded better, not as edgy. I didn't notice anything different after turning off the Eq, and Comp. on the vocals. Makes me think I'm doing something wrong here or this unit is not functioning properly.

I noticed a difference in hooking up to the line in rather than going through the front end pres on the digi001. I'm recording dry with no plugins.

If I can get my hands on a U87 today I'll give that a shot also.

I'll hook up an SM58 to the old chain and compare to the new chain. I think that is the old standard test. I also have a CADD Equitek 100 mic here I can try.

I don't have the HEDD hooked up yet so that may give me more of the analog sound I'm looking for here while keeping the vocals up front.

It's funny when I start spending more money on big name equipment, I think I expect miracles to happen. Thanks for the help everyone.

Allen :)

coldsnow Tue, 02/19/2002 - 12:50

My feeling is that the mic will make a bigger difference providing you have a high end preamp which you do. Maybe look into the Lawson L47MP mic. It is a tube mic and a drastic improvement over the NTK (I've owned both), plus it is extremely versital, changing patterns yields drastically different sounds. Don't get me wrong a different preamp will yield different results. I have an Avalon 737 as well as a few others and I wouldn't say any are better just different.

Ted Nightshade Tue, 02/19/2002 - 21:05

Geez with an Avalon and a Cranesong I would think you're set for the moment for preamps and conversion! Better/different mics would be my focus, that and mic technique, getting a sound in the room, etc. Until you get the HEDD hooked up, just for the quality conversion, I wouldn't decide anything. The good conversion will let you hear exactly what's going on for the first time. When I first used RME converters instead of the ok converters in my DA78, I realized everything else in the system was a lot better than I thought.
Mic placement will make as big of a difference as mic choice or preamp. This may well be the weak link, that and room acoustics. Learn more about mics and micing techniques and that will help you decide what mics will suit you best.