Skip to main content

Another (huge) vocal mic shootout

https://www.sweetwater.com/feature/vocal-mic-shootout/

Once again IMO the cheaper mics hang quite well with the pricey ones, which go all the way up to $9,000.

Comments

Davedog Wed, 06/21/2017 - 08:47
I think this speaks more to the quality of the set-up and the mic pre, converters, and the room than the price of the mics. It has been suggested on these pages and others that a budget mic through high-end outboard is going to sound better overall than a high-end mic through budget outboard.

I can 'hear' the difference in the mics' characters with this shootout....probably more so than with the infinitely numbered shootouts available through the net......AND this is what someone should be listening for in comparing. With only two voices it's hard to assess what something is going to sound like on a specific source in a specific room with specific gear. At least something different than this shootout. But if a person is listening to the overall response of the mics to these two sources, you can get an idea of how the mics might react to a given situation they might be asked to capture.

And even though the cheaper mics performed admirably, there is a BIG difference in the overall reproduction of bandwidth and clarity that is readily apparent.

I am picky about the vocal chain. In my room it's the most important thing. With technology at the level it is these days in the recording arts, anyone with some skills can achieve a quality reproduction of most instruments....okay...sorry... ELECTRIC instruments...capturing acoustic instruments is still very much like capturing a quality vocal. Everything is dependent on everything else.

But, in defense of the budget mics demonstrated here, if you as a recordist are in need of something that will fulfill a need within a budget, there are some fine examples available. Where it gets tricky having only a couple of selections in a small studio setting is duplicating the same set of responses unique to a particular mic and signal chain several times on a recording. These tend to sum each other and the more times this is laid into the production the more it becomes noticeable, a
and the more it will effect the mixers' ability to get things to be separate and clear as well as mixed together as one sound. The easier it is to get separation, the easier it is to achieve balance and size to the production.

And that's the point of it all.

Davedog Tue, 06/27/2017 - 23:23
I thought my summation was rather succinct and supportive of budget mics in general. Since I own a rather high-end chain of pre/comp/conversion/monitoring my statement of what I can hear is simply that and not a disagreement with anything in particular. You hear what you hear and I hear what I hear. Simple. And certainly not a point of contention.......You see, when I put a budget mic through my system, they tend to hold up well with their performance there also.....And for the reasons I extolled in my review of the shootout and it's setup. You should hear a 57 through my rig.

DonnyThompson Fri, 06/30/2017 - 04:52
I can't comment on the quality at this point because I'm away from my studio this week, and trying to discern differences through an iPhone speaker is futile.

I've been surprised before with cheaper mics, but in all of those cases, the mics were connected to very nice preamps. Where the inexpensive mics seem to lose quality - in my own experience - is when they are presented with high SPLs.
(I'm speaking of condensers, not dynamics)
And Dave's (Davedog) observation of the entire chain being important is also spot-on based upon my own experiences.
Preamps, converters, the room, etc all make substantial contributions to the quality ( or in some cases, the lack of it).
The first time I heard an SM57 through my ADK preamp my jaw dropped.
Cheaper mics (condensers, dynamics, ribbons) through budget preamps sound "thin" to my ears, lacking warmth and body.
I don't know what gain chain the Sweetwater shoot out used, (?) and, IMO,this is important info for the potential buyer to know - to understand that if SW is using a hi-quality signal chain, that they shouldn't expect to get the same results if they are using a budget level pre in their own recording rig.
IMO

joey2000 Sat, 07/01/2017 - 17:37
Davedog, post: 451163, member: 4495 wrote: I thought my summation was rather succinct and supportive of budget mics in general. Since I own a rather high-end chain of pre/comp/conversion/monitoring my statement of what I can hear is simply that and not a disagreement with anything in particular. You hear what you hear and I hear what I hear. Simple. And certainly not a point of contention.......You see, when I put a budget mic through my system, they tend to hold up well with their performance there also.....And for the reasons I extolled in my review of the shootout and it's setup. You should hear a 57 through my rig.
Sorry no idea what you're on about. I simply disagreed as noted with your statement above.

Davedog Sun, 07/02/2017 - 10:43
DonnyThompson, post: 451179, member: 46114 wrote: Preamps, converters, the room, etc all make substantial contributions to the quality ( or in some cases, the lack of it)

This.
DonnyThompson, post: 451179, member: 46114 wrote: Cheaper mics (condensers, dynamics, ribbons) through budget preamps sound "thin" to my ears, lacking warmth and body.

And this. I like to call this "pinched".

It's all good!
x

Register

Your recently read content