Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by chrissssss, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. chrissssss

    chrissssss Guest

    Alright, so I got a pair of HM-1s after reading all the positive stuff about them on the forum and they sound awesome when I use them with other mics (like in the back of a guitar amp w/ a 57 in the front).

    The issue is that I've read that some people here love them on vocals and compare them to U87s. I've tried them on vocals and they sound pretty strange to me, almost phasey. I have two of them and they both sound this way, so I don't think it's a defect. I mostly use a 4033, a C1 and MK012s on vocals. I guess I might not be used to using mics with their kind of freqency curve for vocs, but I am wondering how you guys use them.

    What eq do you most often find yourself using with them?
    How much compression do you use? DeEssing?

    Their freq curve seems to make them a wierd choice. Very little upper mids, where vocal character seems to live, a lot of 500 where mud and boxeyness often turn up, and a lot of high highs which is rough on strong esses (not that the C1 isn't a nightmare when it comes to hyped highs).

    I am NOT saying i don't like them, they still positively surprise me all the time, I just want to open a discussion and see what everyone else who uses them has found.

  2. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    I spent my weekend experimenting with this mic and I heard no phasiness of any kind. As far as the comparison to a U87, I believe it was Kurt that said he thought they sounded more like a U87 than not. To me that was a ballbark comment meant to imply it didn't have the big treble boosts other chinese mics typically have. I've seen the C1 compared to the U87 a lot more often.

    As for the high end, the plot shows a few db but overall these mics seem pretty flat (in terms of eq) compared to most low end condensers. This mic wasn't designed for vocal applications. It was specifically designed to not have the big presence peak. Even the manual says they probably aren't the right mic for a lead vocal. That lack of boost in the 2-5k range though should make them pretty sweet for sax or other horns that are pretty present sounding naturally and would probably do well with particularly nasal vocalists.

    Preamps are the other piece. I was comparing the HM-1 to an AT4033 using Mackie and Groove Tube Pre's. While the HM-1 was not nearly as sensitive soundwise to what pre was used as the 4033, the GT pre did sound better IMO. The 4033 was a thin, treble mess on the Mackies but really came into focus on the GT's. The difference was such that I would have chosen the HM-1 on my voice hands down if the Mackie pre was my only choice but with the GT's the 4033 became the preference at least in part because its sensitivity was a little better.
  3. huub

    huub Guest

    Some mics are just really sensitive to different preamps..
    Even some expensive mics can sound plain crap with some preamps..
  4. chrissssss

    chrissssss Guest

    yeah, i guess that makes sense. maybe it's just the lack of presence boost, making the vocals sound far away that was kind of weirding me out. . . or it could have been that i was checking it out on not so nasaley voices.

    I agree with what you're saying about the pres too, the 4033 only sounds good with the isa220 i have, not my console pres, and the HM-1 seemed more consistent.

    anyway, thanks for the reply, that's exactly what i was looking to hear. it definitely put things into better perspective.
  5. tmcconnell

    tmcconnell Guest


    Phasey? I have one and I have not heard that.

    However, I agree that Kurt's (now famous?) U87 comment is a bit misleading. He actually said somethng like, as I recall (without looking it up) that he could not eaily distinguish it from a u87. This is a bit strange given the definitely not-flat-and-obviously-so idea of the mic. Mine has a big +5db bump between 400 and 800. This is great for fattening up guitar amps etc. Mine has a big dip in the 5k area that takes the harshness out of a lot of splashy sounds. So, fat and warm.

    A U87 is basically even by comparison - and a bit airy perhaps. I don't have a u87 at the moment to compare with, but I agree the HM1 does not remind me of a u87. Its more like my AEA r84.
  6. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:

    This is why pre's with variable impedence load features come in handy IMO.

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