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Top 5 mics to compare

I've been out of the narration business for 15+ years...fell into a wormhole and am back in.

I would like to get a list of the best microphones for two different applications:

* a narrator's booth
* a quality music studio

Perhaps technology has changed, but I expect that a mic that performs well in one environment may not perform well in the other...so I will likely acquire two microphones. As I rebuild my narration-only studio I'll ask questions about the other equipment and the latest on booth design - but - the current recording setup is cheesy. ...however, there's no sense in spending money on more cheesy equipment that will later need to be replaced.

Having started in broadcasting in '68, I've used many mics. IMO, my young voice sounded best on a U87 (music studio recording) and on an old birdcage large ribbon microphone (large broadcast studio recording). My voice has aged, but not dramatically.

BTW - I currently have an SM58 & RØDE NT2 both produce satisfactory results but not what I want.


When I next go to Seattle, I'd like to have a good list of mics to evaluate.

Comments

Cucco Fri, 03/16/2007 - 12:20
I can whole heartedly recommend the Soundelux U195 as well as the Neumann TLM 193.

Others will have suggestions for various dynamic mics - I can't provide such insight since I don't have that background. However the two mics I've mentioned above are friggin fantastic. (The U195 is one of my favorite all-round mics!)

Cheers!

J.

RemyRAD Fri, 03/16/2007 - 21:31
May I state the obvious Jewish thing?

Get a TLM 103. It is the same electronics as the current U87ai, which are now transformerless but instead of having adjustable polar patterns, it is a fixed cardioid. You know, the way you use a U87 most of the time, especially for voice overs and it saves you nearly half the cost of the microphone! It's like it's on sale! ON SALE! S-A-L-E-! This is very difficult for me as a JAP to resist. I think I'm hyperventilating??

(Composing myself even though I am not a songwriter......)

And it's wonderful sounding. Not like any other imitation. The real deal for announcers and music recording.

It's getting hot in here. I think it's change of life?
Ms. Remy Ann David

Robak Sat, 03/17/2007 - 13:45
I've been using TLM103 for narration and music recording for 5 years now. It's a great mic. However, you have to be aware that it has a very hot output, so get a preamp with pad if you plan to record loud sound sources. I had a chance to compare it to older U87 on voice and to my surprise that particular singer sounded much better with TLM103. Cucco, I see you have both TLM103 and TLM193 and you recommend the latter. Could you please explain why?

griz Sun, 03/18/2007 - 18:14
Are you all suggesting that a U87ai, TLM 103 or Soundelux U195 would render superior results in both environments? ...and Remy, I may take your comments about the TLM 103 to the bank. Although I must say I get nervous when I see TLM. I bought one of the first TLM 170s sold in the US and was never fond of it. Perhaps I should have bought the U87 I wanted then....

griz Sun, 03/18/2007 - 18:15
Are you all suggesting that a U87ai, TLM 103 or Soundelux U195 would render superior results in both environments? ...and Remy, I may take your comments about the TLM 103 to the bank. Although I must say I get nervous when I see TLM. I bought one of the first TLM 170s sold in the US and was never fond of it. Perhaps I should have bought the U87 I wanted then....

RemyRAD Mon, 03/26/2007 - 20:41
TVPostSound, I haven't been on the forum for over 10 days but yes, the U87ai, are newer electronics and it is transformerless these days in comparison to the older U87, which not only had output transformers, it accommodated 2 Mallory 22 1/2 volt batteries, which the newer one no longer accommodates. You can still unscrew the bottom and slide the body off, just like the old ones but that's where the similarity ends, except for the capsule head.

Old U87 owner, the microphone that is
Ms. Remy Ann David

dkelley Thu, 05/10/2007 - 20:36
Neumann also clearly posts that they haven't made a mic that has a transformer based output for something like 20 years (I forget the exact number of years and I forget when this was posted, I think it's when the 103 came out, so maybe this data has changed by now). At least at one point in time, that was what they said....

does anyone actually own a u87ai? you know, that kind of cinches it (or does anyone have access to one and can actually open the transformer area to show if/if not there is a transformer?

Cheers,
Don

PS... general newbie around here, just thought I'd chime in since I'm interested in the same point about the u87ai.

AudioGaff Thu, 05/10/2007 - 21:36
Beware of the TLM 103 for voice over or anything else. Many others and I find that is has a sort of honky bite/edge to it, so it really matters what preamp you use it with. If you have used a U87 of any type in the past and it has worked for you, then there really is no reason why it shouldn't work well for you today. I have both and despite how much people or Neumann tout the TLM103 as being a like, built like, or using some of the same critical components as the U87ai, I have always found that there is a drastic difference.

While any mic can make a good voice over mic, rather than just listening to people around here, many who don;t have a clue and only rehash the hearsay of which models make good voice over mics, ask around at professional voice over studios as to what they use and why. You will likely get a much better insight from those that do voice over work on a daily basis.

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 05/18/2007 - 07:56
Which transformer based preamp would you recomend for use with the TLM49 ? Especially for voiceover work ?

I'm thinking about GreatRiver NV1-ME.... kind of bright TLM49 in combination with the coloured GR = perfect combo or ...?!

Tnx,

S

TVPostSound wrote: May I state the obvious???

Also test the Neumann TLM49 Street is $1499.00, but you can get them lower. Must however use a transformer based preamp to bring this guy
to its fullest.

tifftunes Thu, 06/07/2007 - 03:24
The two most common broadcast mics (EV RE20 and Sennheiser MD421) are also used frequently in voice-overs. Both sound tremendous, though different (even some years of the 421 sound different from another). Much less expensive than even the cheapest Neumann, and yet still widely respected. Worth a listen anyway...

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