Skip to main content

Mic Shoot Out! Neumann u47 v RODE NT1. Listen Now!
NT1 & U47 Side by Side Test

This is crazy close. Shows what a good pre does for most mics. I mean, I've read testimonials on the RODE Classic II sounding harsh but through my M-2b, it sounds incredible. And through a MP 2nV with some gain saturation, would be killer for the big blues. The last thing I noticed was harsh. SM57 (M1) through high end pre's sound wonderful. A good pre and some of the very affordable mics goes a long way.

Check this out, pretty impressive.

[GALLERY=media, 342]NT1 & U47 Side by Side Test - YouTube by audiokid posted Mar 25, 2015 at 7:56 PM[/GALLERY]

Comments

anonymous Wed, 11/12/2014 - 15:21

I agree with what you guys have said... I just don't know if I can trust the manufacturer 100% to be honest in the making of that video... we all know that all these manufactures build their own hype and PR.

I guess I'm suggesting that I wouldn't put it past the manufacturer to potentially be using a U47 for both demos, with maybe just a hint of EQ nip and tuck here and there to separate the sound - by just a smidgeon enough that they sound just different enough to be two different models, but both still sounding great.

I dunno... maybe I'm just being paranoid, and maybe the Rode really is in that league, when paired up with the right pre. I most certainly trust Chris when he says he has had great experience using the Rode through his Millennia... although, I'm not sure that even an SM57 wouldn't become a big league vocal mic through his pre. LOL

I guess that until one of us actually AB's those two mics (and I don't know of anyone of us who has a U47) we won't really know for sure.

Here's the thing... and please believe me, guys .. what I'm about to say? I'm not boasting or bragging here, (nor am I channeling Remy, either... ;) ) I'm just trying to make a point... and it's this:

How many here have actually used a U47?

I have. In fact, I have on several occasions...on one occasion, it was a Neumann U47. the other session at another studio, I used the Telefunken U47, ( both are identical except for the name plate, and when I say "identical", I'm taking into account the very real possibility that you could have two Neumann U47's, side by side, through the exact pre, and there could be slight textural and nuance differences between the exact same mics.)

Although I can say with complete confidence, having used both, that in either case, both were the finest mics I'd ever tracked vocals though up to that point in time; and in fact, they still remain the finest sounding mics for vocals that I've ever used in my studio career since.

Strictly for disclosure, discussion, and all things being relatively equal, one scenario involved a Telefunken U47 through a Pultec EQ and Vintech 73 pre (both 500 Series modules), and the other scenario was a Neumann U47 through what I'm pretty sure was either an Amek or a Neotek Console (forgive me for not being sure, that session was a long, long time ago).

To be clear, I don't own one either model of U47, but I have worked at several studios on several sessions where I was just "lucky enough" to be able to use them for both male and female vox.)

Warmth, Richness, Silk... like Honey-Satin-Air, on both female and male vocals.

Unbelievable sound in both situations, and with the exception of some smooth, light compression and a little Lexi Verb, there was very, very little post/mix sculpting needed.

FWIW

d.

audiokid Wed, 11/12/2014 - 19:28

DonnyThompson, post: 421048, member: 46114 wrote: I'm not sure that even an [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.shure.co…"]SM57[/]="http://www.shure.co…"]SM57[/] wouldn't become a big league vocal mic through his pre. LOL

I have a bunch of M1. They are 58's to my ears. But, those through my M-2b was crazy awesome. Super smooth. Sounding nothing like a 58 through a Peavey console lol! Which wasn't a bad thing either, but, nothing like boutique. I then put it through my LA2A and played with the gain and it was wonderful vibey now. Made me rethink Dynamics. I wish I had a commercial studio, Man, would I be having fun today. Please God, bring back those days. lol!

Kurt Foster, post: 421049, member: 7836 wrote: phase correlation and proper impeadence matching can make a world of difference.

in session once using a C12a and i patched in a LA22a and all of a sudden it was huge .... i mean a world of difference. impeadence match. there's an idea for a box ... phase and impeadence matcher.

I've wanted that Radial phase box that is choice for bass, for years. When I get all excited about my Neos, how I am able to hear things I never heard before, how the best gear creates phase, accumulates, round trip sucks compared to uncloupled etc etc etc... . Being in phase = being in tune = makes everything bigger = mix's much easier.

So, I suppose thats what you are referring to eh, Kurt? Get the phase / impedance swinging right down the middle and its instant silk on steroids. Even low end products sound surprisingly wonderful.

paulears Thu, 11/13/2014 - 01:35

We're fast becoming 'musicians' - comparing Gibson Les Paul serial 1234567 played through a Mesa Boogie with no pedals to a Gibson Les Paul serial 9876543 through a Line 6 box into a Carlsberg combo - and expecting quantifiable results.

We also have producer like Alan Parson trying to get MP3's banned because they destroy music, and then we compare sound via youtube?

We are leaving science and quantifiable evidence behind in favour of ear based opinion. I'm not saying this is wrong, but we are rapidly it seems, drifting towards shared opinion as the evidence used to decide on what to buy.

The video people have notched on to grading as their essential must have - and there are dozens of packages to allow you to tweak your video by changing virtually every parameter available. We now have pre-amps that have a signature colouration that many people like, and the video people have a preset they love they apply to everything they shoot. Just a few years ago, there were side by side comparisons on Youtube between the cameras - showing clear differences. Now that's a bit pointless because if your favourite camera has a little less saturation than another, your favourite preset in the grading software soon fixes it.

I'm just a little sad that the aim in recording, the one that drove many of the new designs and uses of technology since WW2 was keeping the signal as pure and clean as it could be from in to out. Are we suggesting a classic and vintage microphone, indeed one I have actually wanted for a long time sound less nice than a Rode with some added distortion from a pre?

Sorry for being the Luddite - but on one forum a newcomer gets told that a certain brand pre-amp isn't as good as another, or that one make is so much better than another because it's clean, noise free and transparent, and on here the opposite seems to be promoted.

Is there a difference between the needs of audio professionals and video professionals when it comes to capturing their sound?

Audio seems to be moving from objectivity to subjectivity.

anonymous Thu, 11/13/2014 - 03:52

paulears, post: 421062, member: 47782 wrote: We are leaving science and quantifiable evidence behind in favour of ear based opinion. I'm not saying this is wrong, but we are rapidly it seems, drifting towards shared opinion as the evidence used to decide on what to buy.

Well, as humans, we all have different perceptions as to what we like, what we prefer. It's really not all that different from our sense of sight; you could show a certain shade of red to three different people and not one of them would see the exact same shade of red. So, I'm not so sure that it's as much unfounded opinion as it is perception.

paulears, post: 421062, member: 47782 wrote: Audio seems to be moving from objectivity to subjectivity.

Audio engineering is a science to some degree, but it's also an art form, and that part is what makes it subjective. Do we all like the same paintings? Or for that matter, and a bit closer to home, do we all like the same music? Do we all like the same food? I've been told by nutritional experts, based on scientific fact, that red beets are really good for me - but I can't stand them. LOL.. so, what we like, and that which we prefer, has always been subjective to some degree. You can't remove human perception from the equation.

There are some quantifiable facts to the gear we use that is undeniable and not subjective - an example for mics would be frequency response, SPL acceptance, etc. For preamps, certain models will have different sonic character because of the way they are built: higher/lower voltage, tube/solid state, fixed/variable impedance, S/N ratio, etc. The subjectivity part comes into play when we each determine, on our own as individuals, what we like - or don't like - about them.

I think you mentioned, Paul, a year ago or so, in a thread discussion about microphones, that you don't mind some of the cheaper condenser mics on the market, because you like the hi freq hype and presence boost that is characteristic of the models. To you, that top end bump is a sound you like, a sound you prefer... to me, it's brittle and harsh. One man's gold is another man's tin, and that decision is based solely on subjectivity.

paulears, post: 421062, member: 47782 wrote: We also have producer like Alan Parson trying to get MP3's banned because they destroy music, and then we compare sound via youtube?

Personally, I agree with people like Alan Parsons and Neil Young, that MP3's are inferior much of the time. But, I'm also an engineer - which makes me an audiophile - so my criteria set for sonic integrity is much different than that of your average listeners and internet surfers.

I don't believe they are going away anytime soon, because logistically, they are still the most convenient vehicle in which to share music. Both YouTube and MP3's have become a necessary evil - and until a better quality is available, or, until more people start to care about the very real issues of either, ( and most people don't) I think we are gonna have to continue to deal with them for awhile.

In the end, scientific fact - those spec sheets we've all read at one time or another - gives us an indication of what the piece of gear can do, and how it works. But in the end, it's our own personal subjectivity that really makes our decision for us as to whether or not we like it.

IMHO of course. ;)

d.

paulears Thu, 11/13/2014 - 04:00

Donny - I suspect you hot it head on, and perhaps it simply is down to individual perception - can't argue with any of your comments.

Was just thinking about the mic comment about presence. I've lost 500Hz off the top end in the last year (blaming IEMS??) so maybe this has been going on for a while and that's why my HF boost now sounds good - but only to me!

pcrecord Thu, 11/13/2014 - 05:36

paulears, post: 421062, member: 47782 wrote: We are leaving science and quantifiable evidence behind in favour of ear based opinion. I'm not saying this is wrong, but we are rapidly it seems, drifting towards shared opinion as the evidence used to decide on what to buy.

I agree with this, (sorry Donny).
How I see it is that there is so many scientific ways to make comparation but we are not often presented with them.

Here's a few things I would have like about this comparaison in particular :

  1. Compare the mics at different distances
  2. refine the placement because most of the time she is signing toward the rode and not the u47 OR use an instrument that doesn't move.
  3. Offer realtime Spectrum displays
  4. make an mono mix of both mics with one being on reverse polarity and hear and show how much the null themself
    class="xf-ul"> In the end, I'm gonna download the 24bit files tonight and test them ;)

audiokid Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:31

paulears, post: 421062, member: 47782 wrote: We're fast becoming 'musicians'

When I started this site 16 years ago it was because I was a musician wanting to learn more about recording my stuff, better. There used to be a lot more old school engineers here that seemed be be lost in gear with almost no concept of the future. Recordisit are a different breed, they are like musicians when it comes to gear. They choose pre's like guitar amps and trade them like baseball cards.
My way of thinking is use the cleanest signal and add the effect later. I've done it that way since the 70's. Its kept me busy now for almost 4 decades.That is, with the exception of LA2A's. They are something special. But they aren't preamps. They are what I call colour generators.

I'm with you on this Paul, I used to get confused over all the colour, flavours people kept going on about. I feel for the newbies trying to understand it all.
So, I started investing in as much gear as I could get so I would actually find out what this was all about. 16 years later, its all a bunch of hype. The best signal is still what sounds best to me. My goal is to capture it like it sounds live. I don't have have fuzz in my ears so thats how I want it captured.

Tony Carpenter Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:41

I remember when I got told to buy RODE NT2 by a very experienced engineer back in Australia in 1997 or 98. He was blown away by how good it was, and he has used a U47. I bought it even though at the time $799.00 AUD was a lot to me. We both owned VS880 Roland Hard disk recorders at the time. Look up Savage Garden, they recorded their entire first album on one (VS880), and it was mastered afterwards then released. Anyway, I have never used a U47 but, I can tell you even on the mic pres of the VS880 I immediately heard my vocals clearer than I ever dreamed possible. My personal arsenal ranges from a 1985 SM58 a AT4033a the RODE NT2 various others and a Baby Blue bottle.

Peter Freedman pushed his gold fleck 1 inch diaphragm as the b all and it had definitely had a great track record in the industry ever since. I watched a very interesting interview with Hartley Peavey yesterday. As most know that have watched him he is a very full of his ideals. One thing I agree with is, he has kept his prices down and his innovation up. Does he use the high end bits to make his things?, probably not, but, then high end = what?. Just because it costs more, as we have firmly established, does not mean it is better by that much. He does make the point, rightfully, as technology and knowledge move onward, mistakes are learned from, things get better. In his own words, don't bring him his 1965 amp back, it was terrible compared to what he makes now.

Sorry if that meanders a little.

pcrecord Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:55

I was a victime of marketing hypes more than once.
Thing is, when the hype goes to high-end gear, you mostly still can do good recording with them.
The real problem is with budget gear's hype. How ever I'm gonna make a good recording with a 99$ tube pre is something I can't grasp.
I could have been said that tubes are warmer a 100 times. I assure you, I could go pretty harsh and bright sounding with my LA610 if I wanted to.

It all depends on how you use the gear what kind of mix decisions you make.

I have about 60 screwdrivers in my shop, they are of good quality and have a lifetime warranty. To make good use of them, I just need to pick the right one for the job !!
If I was a millionnaire, it would be the same in my studio. But since I'm a broken average guy. I need the most versatile and fonctionnal gear but sometime with the compromise of not always being the perfect Tools... :unsure:

MarkF48 Thu, 11/13/2014 - 14:39

Wide range of mics in this "shootout" does lend to the theory that a decent pre can work wonders for a mic... good singer helps a bit as well

Excerpts from the Youtube page.....

"Published on Oct 20, 2012
Vocal Mic Shoot-out (For Best Results, Listen in Highest Quality)

(Neumann U87ai & U89i, Rode K2, Blue Blueberry, ADK Vienna au12, Audio-Technica 4050 & 4040, Shure sm57)

Music by: Israel and NewBreed "Jesus at The Center"

Each Channel has no EQ, and was clipped gained in PT10 to get the same level. The Tube-Tech CL1B Plugin was put on each channel in addition toa touch of Reverb (R-Verb) as well. Each Mic was recorded At Berklee College of Music (Studio C) and was ran through the Neve 1073 Mic Pre and The A/D DigiDesign 192."

audiokid Thu, 11/13/2014 - 18:05


DonnyThompson, post: 421048, member: 46114 wrote: I just don't know if I can trust the manufacturer 100% to be honest in the making
of that video... we all know that all these manufactures build their own hype and PR.

I guess I'm suggesting that I wouldn't put it past the manufacturer to potentially be using a U47 for both demos, with maybe just a hint of EQ nip and tuck here and there to separate the sound - by just a smidgeon enough that they sound just different enough to be two different models, but both still sounding great.

=VnrXFC5Pyhs;list=UUoAPdsREDWIFzJ2aZpJQlew
[[url=http://[/URL]="

&list=UUoAPdsREDWIFzJ2aZpJQlew"]View:

&list=UUoAPdsREDWIFzJ2aZpJQlew[/]="

&list=UUoAPdsREDWIFzJ2aZpJQlew"]View:

&list=UUoAPdsREDWIFzJ2aZpJQlew[/]

I contacted a colleague at RODE. He got in touch with Ryan Burke who did the tracking comparison. Here is what he said:

Hey guys,

The signal chain was really quite simple on this session.

The idea was to simply hear the difference between the two mics in the same setting. I spent about 5 minutes with Camille working out the exact height that her mouth would be positioned while singing, to make sure the actual capsules would be equidistant from her mouth with regard to the vertical positioning (using a torch to ensure placement was based off the actual capsule position). After that I spent another 5 or so minutes making sure the capsules were phase aligned horizontally.

From there we patched them straight into the console preamps, and then right into Pro Tools to track the session.

This was all done in Studio 6 at Studios 301 in Sydney. The room has a nice Neve custom 75 console, however we didn’t specifically pick and choose the preamps for the session. This was the first I had used the custom 75 and I was obviously quite happy with the sound. The Custom 75 has a ‘retro’ switch on each channel, which having not researched the console I had assumed would add some sort of positive harmonic distortion, so I made sure that it was switched off for both channels to keep the signal chain as clean as possible.

There was no trickery or selective positioning involved and I can absolutely guarantee anybody with access to Studio 6 at 301 (or another custom 75 console and a nice vocal booth) will hear the same result when comparing the U47 and NT1.

The NT1 is a great mic. There was over 12 months and $1million worth of research and development in the HF6 capsule alone, which is even more significant when considering both the technology we have available for capsule design today, and the amount of experience and knowledge already available after almost 100 years since the first condenser capsule was developed.

Kind Regards,

Ryan Burke

Export Sales & Marketing Coordinator

RØDE Microphones | Event Electronics

kmetal Mon, 11/17/2014 - 02:10

I agree with Paul's piint about comparing audio quality on YouTube. As an owner of an nt1a I would be interested to hear the hi res files in one of the studios and listen to them. And while the mic pres weren't selected for any particular thing, it doesn't hurt that they happen to be smooth in an area of the frequncy range that the nt1a is quite forward in. It doesn't change the fact that it sounds good. It's just using a particularly colorful and or flattering style of preamp doesn't seem to be the best choice in co paring the mics themselves. Now if your talking about what they can do w a nice pre amp then heard I re youtube, well it's pretty cool. There is also a difference between the likelyhood of a u47 or an nt1a using a stock type pre amp. I would be interested in hearing if the cheaper consumer pre amp makes them sound more or less similar. I'll donate my nta to science, who's got the 47 :)

audiokid Mon, 11/17/2014 - 09:46

kmetal, post: 421195, member: 37533 wrote: I agree with Paul's piint about comparing audio quality on YouTube. As an owner of an nt1a I would be interested to hear the hi res files in one of the studios and listen to them.

The full bandwidth are available.
Could youtube possibly be evening out the sonic playing field? Doesn't this make you chuckle? I'm not sure how to write what I hope gets us a laugh here. I bet Donny could pic up on what I'm thinking?

What does that tell us about monitoring? I mean, high end vs mid level gear.
Get my drift here? Do you see the irony here?

On one hand most of us put little salt into the importance how high end converters or pre's make such difference , But we question youtube could possibly be effecting to sonic. lol

Finally, This tells me how unimportant 40 flavours of coloured 500 series pre-amps on youtube.

Just thinking...

Chris Perra Mon, 11/17/2014 - 15:51

I would venture to say You tube does way more to effect the sound than converters.. So many different formats audio wise regarding you tube. The highest quality is only a kbps rate equivalent to a 512 mp3 in ACC format of an MP4. In the end most people aren't even listening to that high a quality in general mp3 wise.

Also who out there buys a a U47 and plugs it into a Mackie VLZ? Usually investing in something that expensive goes along with an expensive preamp.

I think the closeness of the mic shootout is due to the quality of the singer with here tonal quality in the range that both mics do a great job. The differences between mics are more noticeable when someone is belting out at the top of their lungs or have lots of sibilance or pops..

audiokid Mon, 11/17/2014 - 16:14

Chris Perra, post: 421211, member: 48232 wrote: I would venture to say You tube does way more to effect the sound than converters..

Well you missed the irony of my comment. :cool:
To put it another way, it was about how we are constantly finding holes in everything yet none of it matters, then it does, then it doesn't etc etc..
The detail we obsess over doesn't matter to us once we hear it on youtube or even on the radio for that matter. Nor does getting all jacked up over 40 shades of colour from all these preamps too.

audiokid Mon, 11/17/2014 - 17:20

An observation. It seems the less quality (budget gear), the more colours people are obsessed over,
The higher the quality (expensive gear), the less we are obsessed about colour and focus on capture and mixing after.

I feel for the newbies trying to filter through it all. I remember years ago, writing down all the stuff about what one pre sounded like compared to the next. Studying endless comments on which ones where best suited for.

And now we have a DAW that can emulate most everything ITB. I feel like I've wasted a lot of time on crap I shouldn't have even wasted a moment on.

kmetal Tue, 11/18/2014 - 03:54

Do you feel that the DAW can make up for high quality recording chains as well as the mix gear?

I feel like that's the place for the tape thing, and really where like the canvas of the record is created. Obviously it doesn't have to be tape or analog in nature at all. Things like printing the processing w the ua stuff is really interesting.

Engineering is just a skill that a lot of musicians and producers are famiar with. The sounds and techniques where using are all the same. I wonder when small room acoustics won't be a problem anymore, if ever. Imagine cr emulations and its like hmmm how'd this sound in ocean way, hit factory ? No sweat.

It's just a tough transition as tactile control and all that is fiured out and we aren't using keyboards made for office workers. the coolest best thing about it is that more music will be made. Music no matter how tasteful or not is an amazing energy and the more people have access to any shape and form of it the better. How amazing would have been to go back in time w even an iPhone and record tribal ceremonies and drums!

It's been a little over a hundred years since we've been able to record. Were doing pretty well. As creative people were just driven to constantly improve.

audiokid Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:35

Here is my POV.

kmetal, post: 421228, member: 37533 wrote: Do you feel that the DAW can make up for high quality recording chains as well as the mix gear?

IMHO, not as well as a carefully configured analog chain, but without doubt one very well designed pre is my choice. I also prefer a transformerless pre because i like to hear the tubes on one product on its own over accumulative smearing of the transients and phase that happens when you start mixing it all up too much. A tranformerless pre translates my analog chain better. But thats my way, others have their methods.

kmetal, post: 421228, member: 37533 wrote: I feel like that's the place for the tape thing, and really where like the canvas of the record is created. Obviously it doesn't have to be tape or analog in nature at all. Things like printing the processing w the [="http://www.uaudio.com"]UA[/]="http://www.uaudio.c…"]UA[/] stuff is really interesting.

To my ears, nothing rivals the real LA2A/1176 for vibe (you can keep the rest) but I would bypass those for transparency.
I've tried to duplicate the UA vibe hybrid mixing and it gets close but there is something special when you track with them right on the source, (again, with a transformerless pre). To my taste, that combo is the bomb for recording, mixing and mastering (yes even mastering) especially when you can route them around in a digital patchbay. That is when you really hear what they are doing.
I use an LA2A in a MS mastering matrix they are awesome for adding character. You don't need to compress to get that awesome tranny or tube sound either. UA gear in the chain adds what I want.

kmetal, post: 421228, member: 37533 wrote: Engineering is just a skill that a lot of musicians and producers are famiar with. The sounds and techniques where using are all the same. I wonder when small room acoustics won't be a problem anymore, if ever. Imagine cr emulations and its like hmmm how'd this sound in ocean way, hit factory ? No sweat.

I wouldn't consider myself a pro recordist but I am a professional musicians who has performed and mixed in hundreds of rooms.
When I am recording classical music, I am recording it on location. So, thats the desired sound experience . You are exactly where you want to be.
If I am recording/ producing, mixing Pop, I care less where I am, but I prefer my CR to mix in.
If I was tracking Blues, I suppose the sound of a Blues bar is choice but I'm certain I can emulat it really well. Good enough.
All these rooms can be emulated with Bricast's or plug-ins good enough.
There isn't a problem with emulating rooms, the problem is emulating the performance. So, once again, its all about the performance if thats what we want to capture.
Different styles of music require less of real and can be produced one track at a time.
One musician can easily create a masterpiece, ITB. Listen to the HUGE orchestration Christopher Stone and other great composers get with DVZ Strings, Atmosphere etc.

[MEDIA=vimeo]14686620
[[url=http://="http://vimeo.com/14…"]View: http://vimeo.com/14…]="http://vimeo.com/14…"]View: http://vimeo.com/14…]

DSP is just beginning. I've owned and tested the best EQ's and comps money can buy and they all sound great, but, I can capture and emulate those good enough without changing the imaging better itb.
So far I've not been able to mix on one DAW as well as two so I still require my analog core to bridge . All the rest gets done in Sequoia.

kmetal, post: 421228, member: 37533 wrote: It's been a little over a hundred years since we've been able to record. Were doing pretty well. As creative people were just driven to constantly improve.

And its digital technology getting people to Mars and beyond, not analog. Our DAW is the universe.

Makzimia, post: 421236, member: 48344 wrote: [[url=http://[/URL]="http://rodemic.com/"]RODE[/]="http://rodemic.com/"]RODE[/] the undiscovered country ;)

Indeed. RODE has the world most advanced factory. In fact, RODE is actually designing things for other companies.

Davedog Tue, 11/18/2014 - 13:13

I've had the opportunity to use a 'real' U47...a couple actually... one being an fet model..a 'real' U67 and I own a 'real' U87 from the early 80's...: before they changed the circuit and got rid of the battery compartment. I'm of the opinion that the delivery system is always going to dictate the final outcome from any recording and in this way, MOST of the value of a high-end piece of gear is going to get stepped on drastically enough to not make a lot of difference.

This year I had a couple of my tube mics customized. I wasn't really unhappy with them...quite the contrary, they sounding very good. But there was that "thing" that was lacking and when I upgraded my room and my gear, I could hear the lack in them. So I had one built out as an ELAM 251 circuit with a C12 capsule and the other as an M269 circuit with an M47 capsule. Since I kinda wanted to 'complete' the vocal choices I also bought a boutique built U67 clone. I cannot nor will I ever say that these mics "sound exactly like the forbears" ...but they do sound rather spectacular. I would put the Cathedral Pipes U67 up against ANY U67 clone built today....its that good. Both of the JJ modded ADK's sound wonderful and are much like the described sound of their origins. My U87 has been to Klaus' bench for a thorough cleaning and some changes to bring it to original specs and it sounds like no other U87 I have ever heard and this would be a number in the teens.

However. This is all about me getting a vocal sound in my room and being able to match the needs of the singer to the material.

There are many many mics capable of doing this and some at a cheaper pricetag...although for what I have in my collection, its a real bargain.

But what difference will these make on earbuds or Youtube? Not much.

How much difference will my skills as a recordist make? Lots.

kmetal Tue, 11/18/2014 - 17:39

It's funny because I aways think of hardware of 'doing more, or being more heavy handed' but in the case of the waves Ali 550b and the 500 series version and the plugin was far more drastic and noticeable with less extreme settings. I didn't spend enough time to say what I like enter overall but the hardware certainly didn't do enough to inspire me to buy more than a few at thei asking price. And for a colorful eq I ws surprised how extreme the settings we're before it was audible. It was suggested to me that maybe the first gen lunchbox wasn't suoplying the proper voltage, but ether way interesting

MDMachiavelli Wed, 12/17/2014 - 09:25

Man I can't believe that this thread is here. After looking online at various places I settled on the Rode NT1. I decided to join this forum and check it out and see if I could find some discussion on the NT1. Man what interesting discussion. As a person that records from home, I have never used an "upper tier" mics but I have used quite a few lower and mid range mics. That being said the NT1 is by far the best mic I have ever used, I would think to get much better you would have to drastically increase your budget. Pound for pound, dollar for dollar the NT1 seems like a great mic. I'm not sure I would be able to get anything even remotely close for the same price.

That being said, and it has been touched on in this thread, I wonder what would be a good preamp to compliment the NT1? I'm really looking for something in the lower to mid price range.

Also, Donny and audiokid your feedback (no pun) is priceless. Therefore I have a question for you two. Even though to the recording professional there may be a discernable difference between the Neumann and the Rode, how much weight does the preamp play in the mix (again no pun intended)? For example, unless someone is moderately wealthy they could not spend the money for a Neumann and then get a quality preamp, therefore would they get a better bang for the buck by getting a Rode NT1 and a mid level preamp?

Boswell Wed, 12/17/2014 - 09:45

What you hear is what comes out of the mic + pre-amp combination. You can't uncouple the two. What you can say is that although quality in one of them will not compensate for inherent deficiencies in the other, microphones do behave differently with different pre-amps.

In my early days in this game, I had got very used to the sound of a Shure SM58 through a typical PA mixer. I was stunned when I later got an API 3124+ and plugged an SM58 into it. Who would have thought that was a $100 microphone?

Back to your question. Are you talking about just a pre-amp (analog output) or do you need an audio interface that can be plugged into a computer and has pre-amps inside?

pcrecord Wed, 12/17/2014 - 09:47

MDMachiavelli, post: 422481, member: 48685 wrote: I wonder what would be a good preamp to compliment the NT1?

Please explain the kind of vocal you have and what style of music you are signing. It will be easier to make suggestions.

MDMachiavelli, post: 422481, member: 48685 wrote: there may be a discernable difference between the [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.neumann…"]Neumann[/]="http://www.neumann…"]Neumann[/] and the Rode, how much weight does the preamp play in the mix

The more colored the mic pre is the more mics will come together. On the other hand, a crappy preamps will make everything sound crappy ;)
In this case the MP-2NV definetly has a sound signature, more in this case where they said they dialed in a bit of saturation.
But it's a fairly precise preamp, so I doubt the comparaison was undermined by it.

audiokid Wed, 12/17/2014 - 10:40

Boswell, pcrecord , everyone above said it well! Bos, reminded me of that day I too connected an SM58 up to an MP 2NV! I was blown away.

And that being said, (shameless spam) I ironically have a near new MP 2NV pre amp for sale right now that would rock with that mic. I would love to sell it to you and pay off the outstanding $ for my daughters braises. I have plenty of pre-amps here, one gone will not be missed.

The switch from low end to high end pre's is a game changer. But, if you keep an eye on your levels lower end pres will still get the job done!

anonymous Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:33

Pretty much what the other guys have already said. A great mic thru a cheap pre will only ever sound as good as the cheap pre allows the mic to sound.

I can put it this way: given the choice between an SM57 or a 58 through a high end pre, or, a Neumann U87 through a cheap, budget pre, the 58 and the nice pre would always be my personal choice, over a top dollar mic through a cheap pre, any day.

But, all pre's are not the same - not even in the hi-end model range.

Tube, Class A, Class B, Transformers, Voltage - and in the case with digital, the quality of the converters - all play a part in the "characteristics" of the sound of the pre. Not that any of these top end pre's are better or worse than the others, just different.

It really all depends on the results you are after. Chris believes - and I agree with him to a point, that it's best to record through a preamp that is as transparent as possible - meaning that the pre doesn't really offer any specific texture or character, but simply gets a clear, pristine sound into where you want it to be, and then - through processing, you can color or add character in different ways, and with as much - or little of it - that you want.

But, many professionals love the sounds of mics and preamps with character, too. Plenty of huge hits have been created with both transparent and "colored" workflows used. It's really all about what you like, and want to achieve, and, it's all about the context of what you are working on too. What may have sounded great on one song, might not have the same results as on another. This is why pro studios have a multitude of mics and pre's to choose from, so they can get the best sound possible for what they are working on at the time.

And, just as there are different characteristics in preamps, there are different characteristics with microphones, too... although it's much easier to hear the differences between different mics through a nice pre than it is to hear a variety of different mics through a cheap pre. As both Bos and audiokid mentioned, with their experience when putting an SM58 through an MP or API - when you hear an "average" mic through a preamp of that caliber, it's hard to believe that it's only a $100 utility mic. And if pre's such as these can make a 57 or a 58 sound great, imagine the sound when using a really nice mic through preamps like those.

Bottom line... they all go hand in hand... and your system will only ever sound as good as the weakest link in your chain. ;)

FWIW

d.

audiokid Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:48

DonnyThompson, post: 422490, member: 46114 wrote: It's really all about what you like, and want to achieve, and, it's all about the context of what you are working on too.

I do not disagree but we should quality something left out here: We are cutting edge.

Until not long ago, did we have the ability to mix and sum like we are just discovering now. A year ago I would have had the rack of character pres and was even thinking about investing in another analog console. Today however, I hear it different. I now add character through the uncoupling DAW's. Not all studios or engineers are aware of what we are talking about right now. So, I thought this was important to mention too ;)

pcrecord Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:01

audiokid, post: 422493, member: 1 wrote: Today however, I hear it different. I now add character through the uncoupling DAW's. Not all studios or engineers are aware of what we are talking about right now. So, I thought this was important to mention too

You are in fact proposing that using the cleanest preamps to record is better because you prefer coloring the entire mix at summing time.
This is a very good way to do it. I wish I was ready to try that gear wise and I probably will in the future.

There's only on thing I would consider interesting about coloring with pre compared to at summing. Different pre colors help seperation, tracks are easier to mix when they have different flavor. Of course it could be achieved with mic choice but also pre choice. (just saying)

audiokid Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:24

I don't disagree :)

I have said about 100 times that there is nothing that rivals tracking with a good front end, which could include a console, tube comps and tube mics. Too much of a good thing however, turns into mud when we start mixing it all back through the same thing again.

But, once you hear what a stellar transformerless pre's sounds like with a high quality tube mic and (example LA2A/1176) a tranny based pre starts to sound like mud. So, depending on how we skin it, I'd rather use transformerless pres and look for other ways to get that mojo because the size a straight wire gives rivals everything else I've used.

I will say this, I'm not saying I don't love my tranny pre's, I just know you can do a lot more via hybrid when the capture is as big and clear as you can get it, first.

pcrecord Wed, 12/17/2014 - 14:32

audiokid, post: 422498, member: 1 wrote: Too much of a good thing however, turns into mud when we start mixing it all back through the same thing again.

I follow you 100% !
Every options add ways to sound bad or good !! ;)

I'm starting a Folk/country demo soon... I think the guy has a Martin.. can't wait to track that !

audiokid Wed, 12/17/2014 - 14:56

Just to confirm, If we, or lets just say me, aren't hybrid mixing or summing, all I fuss over is moot. As another example, you aren't hybrid mixing so you benefit more by using colour pres , especially if that is your main source to character. But, if you have a viby tube mic and a viby dark pre, you might want to avoid so much and choose a transformer less something, follow?

It's all subjective and my opinion at some point is only that, an opinion.
You have to remember I am basing my opinions on hybrid mixing

Boswell Wed, 12/17/2014 - 15:23

pcrecord, post: 422499, member: 46460 wrote: I'm starting a Folk/country demo soon... I think the guy has a Martin.. can't wait to track that !

About 20 years ago I invested in a Martin, mainly for the performance work I do but also to record with. It was lovely on stage and OK-ish in the studio. Then I had a guy come in for a session with a middle-range Taylor, and it blew my top-end Martin out of the door. He was kind enough to say he has the Taylor for recording but plays a Martin on stage, though.

If you can only get the one, choose carefully for what you will use it for most.

anonymous Thu, 12/18/2014 - 03:16

I've recorded players with many different guitars over the years - Martins, Gibsons, Guilds, Taylors, etc., and they all sounded great in their own ways (it also depends on the player) but one of the nicest sounding acoustic guitars I ever recorded was....wait for it.... A $400 Takamine. That guitar was like "instant tone". I remember it specifically, because I was surprised at how great it sounded.
Now, to be fair, the guy playing it was awesome, too.

From what I understand, Takamine has since come out with some very nice acoustics in the price range of Taylors and Breedloves, but at that time, the model he was playing was considered to be an intermediate guitar at best.

Go figure. ;)

x

Register