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Recording Vocals - Microphone choices

In the videos I have been producing, we've listened to a number of microphones and how they respond to voice and instruments, but for completeness, we'd not heard them on voices. I'd been working on a little job where I'm creating a stage track for a person I've worked with for years and I always send him the stems, and a guide vocal. He then replaces that with his voice, and does another of just the track which he uses live with a real voice and the tracks. I thought it an opportunity to put out an array of mics and record my vocals on the different mics.

The usual culprits are there, plus two new ones - the Oktava MK-319 and EV RE-320.

Chris suggested I also make the clips available for direct download - 48K .wav format.

What to listen for:

Spill from the headphones - they leaked, and I didn't notice until I'd done, but I guess spill also has a 'tone' - the SM7B was the one that on voice, rather than speech, I didn't really like. The 87 and 319 shared something but were different. The 414 seemed a little more breathy? The Re320 was actually brighter than I expected

Comments

audiokid Fri, 04/08/2022 - 15:01

👍🏼 awesome post

I agree, they all did a good job here.

I wonder how much the preamp plays a part in the similarities here? That would be interesting to talk about. What micpre did your use? 

Being said, I think I narrow my favourites down to the EV Re320 and Neumann TDM 103. They both had a sweeter mid and top end to me. 

 

audiokid Fri, 04/08/2022 - 17:21

I have a hard time critical comparing tracks longer than a bar or two so I truncated each track to a few bars then saved them in 320 bit mp3.

  • AKG C414
  • U87
  • TDM 103
  • MK 319
  • EV RE320
  • SM7B

paulears Sat, 04/09/2022 - 02:21

In reply to by audiokid

You've given me another idea now - how about if I do a test with all the options available to me?

 

I could use the SM7B and the 414 maybe - as two alternative mics, and then connect them via the Tascam rack interface I have, the old Lexicon Omega, two different zoom recorders and a Midas M32, which gets nice comments for preamps? In fairness, I'm a bit of a preamp sceptic - and my view so far is that out of all the ones I use, and the Presonus at the other studio, they all sound very close - but the same mics, same location into all of these could be interesting as a little test?

audiokid Sat, 04/09/2022 - 08:46

In reply to by paulears

paulears wrote:

You've given me another idea now - how about if I do a test with all the options available to me?

I could use the SM7B and the 414 maybe - as two alternative mics, and then connect them via the Tascam rack interface I have, the old Lexicon Omega, two different zoom recorders and a Midas M32, which gets nice comments for preamps? In fairness, I'm a bit of a preamp sceptic - and my view so far is that out of all the ones I use, and the Presonus at the other studio, they all sound very close - but the same mics, same location into all of these could be interesting as a little test?

Sounds like a great idea! I'm a believer in how some preamps impact the sound. Low-fi SS, not do much but big rail transformers vs transformer-less... they can have a pretty big sound in comparison to say something like Behringer built-in pre. Huge difference there.

 

Davedog Wed, 09/07/2022 - 11:05

audiokid wrote:

paulears wrote:

You've given me another idea now - how about if I do a test with all the options available to me?

I could use the SM7B and the 414 maybe - as two alternative mics, and then connect them via the Tascam rack interface I have, the old Lexicon Omega, two different zoom recorders and a Midas M32, which gets nice comments for preamps? In fairness, I'm a bit of a preamp sceptic - and my view so far is that out of all the ones I use, and the Presonus at the other studio, they all sound very close - but the same mics, same location into all of these could be interesting as a little test?

Sounds like a great idea! I'm a believer in how some preamps impact the sound. Low-fi SS, not do much but big rail transformers vs transformer-less... they can have a pretty big sound in comparison to say something like Behringer built-in pre. Huge difference there.

 

When I went from a console to individual preamps is when I really started to understand the differences preamps made in mic performance. Iron and tubes in the circuit effect the performance of any mic. One is not necessarily 'better' but definitely different. Preamps with their own set of built-in 'color' also make a difference and not always in a better way. Having wide array of choices in this, IMHO, gives the engineer a nicer palette to choose from. Much like choosing the right mic for the a particular use.

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