AKG414B/ TLII versatility?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by jjg, Dec 12, 2003.

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  1. jjg

    jjg Guest

    Recently picked up this mic at a great price primarily as a vocal mic. Would like to hear from everyone who has used this mic for other recording applications and your experience. Thanks
  2. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002

    Used a pair many times, from piano close up to drums over heads to double bass, accordion, vocals and room mics for string ensembles; solid mic, lots of versatility with the variable polar patterns, filters and pads; I don't fear to be contraddictted in saying it's one of the "industry standard" mics, almost a must have in a complete mic locker, you can't go wrong.

    Hope this helps

    L.G. :)
  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Gerak's take would be mine on the B/ULS, not the TLII.

    The TLII is a great mic but I don't find it nearly as versatile. It is "perfect" for some voices and nice in omni for background vocals in some settings. , but I still reach for the B/ULS first until proven otherwise.

    Others with more experience may disagree.

  4. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I noted the ULS is a transformer design, where the TL-II is not. The ULS is a flat response, where the TL-II has a pronounced +6dB hump from 5 KHz.

    Not having heard either, I can only assume they sound quite a bit different. Would the TL-II cause sibilience problems with voice?
  5. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Ya, it can. But sibilience can also be a problem with any mic when it is the singer who has a lisp or bad vocal technique. 10-years ago and more, the 414-ULS was one of the standard workhorse mics while the 414-TLII was considered the poor mans C12. The 414-ULS tends be a better match for use on more sources. The 414-TLII has more detail, is smoother sounding and has been tweaked more specificly for vocals but is still very useable on other sources as well. Having a good selection of different flavored preamps allows you to balance out a mic's characteristics as well as add a specific character when needed.
  6. Terry L

    Terry L Guest

    I've got a couple of 414-ULS that I've used a bunch on piano, drum overheads, and stero miking of choirs and orchestra groups. They always do a greeat job of recording what's being played without adding much color or being too sterile.

    I fought them for a while trying to use them for male vocals without much luck. Could have been that particular voices, could've been me. I ended up relying on a Neumann TLM103 more for the male vocals I recorded.

  7. Paladyne

    Paladyne Guest

    414 B uls, GREAT on cymbols, direct miced.
  8. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I figure one should always have one with minimal coloration, then add those with different character.

    It is my understanding the Davisound pre's are pretty much straight-wire, and the Neve are colored. What other coloration generalities exist for mic/pre combinations? For instance, the AKG above is too sterile for male vocals. What preamp would sweeten it up?
  9. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Well first, anytime sound goes through anything it colors the sound somewhat. So depending on many factors, when you choose the gear to use in your signal path, you are also appyling a form of eq. So, if for instance you have a bright mic and need to tone it down, you can do so with a mic pre has the color and characteristic to do that. If you have a mic, instrument and all other conditions that only need to be captured as is, then a straight wire type of mic pre would be best. If you have a mic and preamp that have the same kind of color or characteristic, then it may very well be not a good idea to combine them as it may double up on something you don't like about each on their own. Other times it can be just the right thing. This kind of matching and non eq specific tone shaping processing affects the overall tone and sound of the source in a way that eq alone can't do. And by all means, the cheaper eq's most people have to use are not even close to being able to do the same kind of thing and almost always do more harm than good when you are doing anything with them that is near extreme.

    Depending on the voice type, song, arrangement and other factors, my TLII works well with my Focusrite Red-7, but other times it can be shrill in the upper mids. Many times my 1272 or Vintech works well and other times it seems almost edgey or lacking high end and air. It almost always works with my API, Manley and AMKE/Neve CIB and my Neotek is hit or miss, but when it does hit, it has a very nice and pure pristine quality. And the John Hardy M1 is another that works more often than not. I think the best I've heard that mic was with a D.W. Fearn mic pre.
  10. Clueless

    Clueless Guest

    A posting I saw recently on recording.org said it all: when you record with a mic, you are recording the room. The logical consequence of this is that whatever match you may think you have between voice (or amp or whatever) and mic, or the match between the pre and the mic, think also about the match between the room and the mic. You might find that the best mic for the job is, in fact, the best mic for the room.
  11. tryne

    tryne Guest

    Ive used both the uls and tl ll on dreadnougt gyitars upright bass and vocals...hormony and lead
    I once recorded throug a danish Tubetech preamp and 414 uls. whenever I listen to theese tracks ...it makes me want to do more with the same setup.So I´ll say to anybody go ahead get the stereo set of 414uls and a Tubetech ..and you are in for a treat.
    Leif..Heather Studio...AArhus Denmark
  12. random logic

    random logic Guest

    for me one of the most versatile large diagraphm condesers, i used them on everything that can be recorded, but with different preamp/comp configurations to get the sound colored the desired way. now i bought a pair of 414 eb, which have a c12 capsule , they sound much warmer and not so sibilant than uls model, but i didnt clean the membranes yet- anyway you can get it wrong with 414- its always useful and never lets you down.
  13. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    The 414 ULS are my favorite drum OH mics...I have pair that I can borrow when needed, and when I can't get them for some reason and have to resort to "plan B", I am never as happy as I was with the 414's.

    I did find them to be a bit silibant on vocals however. Haven't tried the TLII's or the EB's, but have heard good things for vocals, but I don't think they are as versatile as the ULS's as Gaff mentions.
  14. mike_levitt

    mike_levitt Guest

    Actually, the TLII and ULS are both transformerless. The difference between the 2 mics is in the capsule, not the electronics. The older 414 and 414 P48 are transformer mics.

    I like them all.
  15. bradb

    bradb Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    I have been agonizing over these two mics the TLII and the ULS for awhile. I needed a general/versitile mic for overheads, etc. I went over to http:// and had a listen and compared them to the AT4050 (another mic under consideration).

    I thought the AT was very very bright and both the C414s were almost the same, both were relatively dark. I found that the ULS had a less precise bottom and I didn't notice the the TLIIs upper boost. Perhaps on this source it wouldn't be apparent.

    I settled on the pair of TLIIs. I thought both versions sounded very similar, and since I'll be using these mics in a stereo pair with a Hamptone HVTP2, I'll keep the number of transformers to a minimum. Also... I'm in need a vocal mic soon on a project im working on.
  16. TanTan

    TanTan Distinguished Member

    Nov 30, 2003
    i have a 414btl-2 , and i must say IT IS NOT A VOCAL MIC AT ALL i've tried it many times on lots of vocalists and it never really worked for me at the vox area , my main vocal mic is a Lawson l47 that always work for me , but for the price of a 414btl-2 you can get a Neumann tlm103 which sounds much better for vocals ,

    the 414 btl-2 is in my mic cabinet mostly for classic guitars , it's not always working there ,sometimes i'm xy or a\b a pair of 451's or using the Lawson there too , but when the 414btl-2 works there , it's amazing.
    it's also a good mic for guitar amps ,i like it for floor toms as well , that's basically it

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