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I've been searching for a new vocal mic that will be less bright, more detailed, and has more depth and character than my C1. After reading reviews (mostly paying attention to sound descriptions and comments about what sources worked well and not so well - as opposed to looking at the specs - which wouldn't help me much anyway) I've boiled things down to what seem to be pairs of similar (and I say that loosely) mics. Can someone comment on the differences in sound for the following mics:

1) AT4060 vs SP T3

2) KSM44 vs U195

3) R84 vs R121

4) Lawson L47 MP vs M147 vs AT4047

I realize these prices are all over the map. But I'm willing to spend more to get more. The lower end mics I've mentioend appear to contend well with the bigger guys.

Looking to record tenor vocal - softer - airy - on the sweeter side, mellow timbre.

Thanks ~



AudioGaff Thu, 12/02/2004 - 21:36

You can ask, but it's not that simple. You used the words softer and mellow, that meant to me more towards the 4060 or mabe even towards the AT 4047. The Lawson has less of those things to me, but is yet a great overall mic to have in your locker that would very likely still meet all your needs. They both offer great value for the money in my book. A big part of the decision is what other mics you already have and what part of the tone spectrum you are missing or wanting. While the Lawson may not be as dark as the 4060, it would make a nice main money channel mic that could be more tamed or darkened with other techniques. I tend to not decide or judge gear that is a tool to me by it's price as I do it's value as as a tool. The SM57 is cheap as mic that has high value as a tool in my work. If I really really like, want or need something, then I get it one way or another - sooner or later.

anonymous Fri, 12/03/2004 - 09:30

thanks again AudioGaff. Good advice. I'm just starting to build up my mic collection. As of now I only need to record vocals and acoustic guitar. The C1 is actually my only mic beside my sm58. So my plan is to (as you said) find a mic that will contrast the C1 in tone color/character for vocals and then get a pair of SD condensers or something for guitar.

For a while I was looking for more of a work horse mic that would sound convincing on both vocals and guitar. However, I decided I'd rather find "that" mic (as again you mentioned) that I really really wanted that would sound not just convincing but spectacular on my voice and then find a way to get it. Likewise for acoustic guitar.

My only dilema is the lack of opportunity I have to try things before commiting to them. Because of that I've led myself to believe it might be best to find a mic that everyone loves and that you can hardly go wrong with. For example, the Elux251 seems to be such a mic (though quite out of my price range). At the same time, if it's a gauranteed great sound on my voice, well it might be worth it.

Obviously no one can recommend a perfect match for my voice without hearing it, and even then it's still subjective. So, that's not what I'm asking for. I'm mostly looking for a variety of opinions on mics that have the characteristics I'm looking for from people that have used them on various voices. Comments such as "the XXX mic worked great for this loud rock male bass singer but sounded terrible on a soft jazz guy I recorded last week" are helpful for me to at least narrow things down by process of elimination. It's the detailed descriptions that have really helped me as I listen to recordings and know what people are talking about.

So any more opinions/experiences with higher end vocal mics that people use and know well would be much appreciated.