Vocal Mic and Pre-Amp

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by JSL, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. JSL

    JSL Guest

    I know this is such a difficult subject but i was just wondering if any one could give me some advice.

    I currently have a AKG C3000 mic and a Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC 2200 and am not really happy with the sound, I would like something warmer.

    Now Im willing to spend say £1000'ish on some new gear, but am not sure whether to keep my mic (AKG C3000) as some say its a good vocal mic and just get a good Pre-amp....

    OR loose the C3000 and go for another mic and keep the Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC 2200.....

    OR Change both?

    Some of the kit Ive looked at are as follows...

    Pre-amps: Blue Robbie
    Phoenix Audio DRS1
    CHANDLER EMI Range (Sound nice! A little out my
    price range though)

    Mics: ADK Vintage Valve A48
    AKG Solidtube Mic
    TL Audio Ivory 2 5000

    The type of vocals I will be recording is Rock/shouty

    If anyone can recommend a combination of equipment to go for i would be very greatfull :) As the amount of kit available and the reviews Ive read have all blown my mind! Im more confused now, than ever! :)

    Looking forward to any help people can give.


  2. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    Some may squawk at this recommend but I don't mind:

    *Keep the C3000 (it's a great mic)

    *Roll the tube in your mic2200 with a quality JAN Philips or better tube with lesser gain (i.e., 12AT7, 12AU7, etc.). Or maybe even just a Tesla/JJ ECC83S. This will give you a great little inexpensive pre for acoustic guitars. Believe it or not, rolling in a quality tube with lesser gain turns the Behringer hybrid pre's into a very useful tool.

    *Buy a new pre, like the ElectroHarmonix 12AY7 Tube Mic Pre (an absolute hum-dinger of a pre for $189), or the ART Pro MPA Gold, or something in the $500 range you trust.

    *And buy a decent little opto-compressor, like an ART Pro VLA or the new RNCLA from FMR Audio.

    You may have some change left for an SM57/58, an AT2020, or a KEL HM-1 which wouldn't suck.

    You could do all of that for 1000 I think.

    Just my 2 cents.
  3. JSL

    JSL Guest

    Cheer CoyoteTrax! :)

    I will definitly look into the stuff you recommended! :)

    Anyone else got any recommendations or ideas?


  4. kidvybes

    kidvybes Guest

    I highly recommend the GT Brick mic pre as a major step up from where you are...it's probably the best-bang-for-the-pound tube pre you'll find...although I hear some good things about the Electro-Harmonix (and alot of "hum" problems as well) I believe the Brick is a mic pre you'll keep/use for many years...I've upgraded a couple of the tubes in mine (with vintage NOS 12AU7 and 12AX7 tubes) and the "phat & warm" sound of this pre is well worth the cost...it's also a great DI box...and most mics I pair with it sound quite good...and of course, dynamic mics seem to handle the aggressive vocal style you refer to best...a good used Shure SM7 or Electrovoice RE20 would probably be excellent choices for shouty style vocals...I'm not aware of what these products cost overseas, or what there availability is, but I promise you the GT Brick will be well worth your looking into...and I'd stay away from the ADK you mentioned (the ADK TC is a better choice) as well as the Solidtube (look at Rode NTK w/upgraded NOS tube instead)...both of those mics tend to be a bit on the bland/boring side in terms of sonic presence (IMHO)...if you can squeeze out the cash, give the Rode K2 a look...killa mic!
  5. JSL

    JSL Guest

    Cheers for the replies everyone!

    Ive just been and had a chat down my local music shop. After a long disscussion they reckon I should loose my mic and go for a valve one, somthing like the SE Electronic Z5600A, and either go straight into my PC via my Echo LAYLA or via my Behringer Ultragain Pro 2200.

    What do people think about that? To me it seems a shame to go through the Ultragain Pro 2200 as it might loose some quality? (could change the valve as suggested before?)

    In an ideal world I would like to go for the Brick Pre-amp I think, (as Ive heard such great things about it) but will I really notice that much of a difference?

    What do you think?
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA

    Please, don't trust your fellows at the music store.

    My opinion is, the C3000 sucks. Don't get me wrong - it will record, but I wouldn't use it for much. (I used to own one but sold it after about 6 months of me trying to get something useful out of it.)

    To go to the SE would be like moving from Honda to Toyota. Both are vehicles and both will drive, but they won't move you emotionally.

    With 1000 pounds, you can get some serious stuff. If I were you and making a purchase like that, it would be a VERY simple purchase:

    Mics (In order of preference):
    Gefell M930
    AT 4060
    AT 4050
    Soundelux u195
    AKG C414

    Preamps (In order of preference):
    Summit 2BA-221
    Grace 101
    GT Brick
    TL Audio (any should do - they're quite decent for the money)
    Aphex 207D

    Any of those solutions would provide you with great sounds and great options and will stay within your budget.

    Don't go from one mediocre mic to another when you have real money to spend.

    J. :cool:
  7. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    If you'd like, try a better preamp first, as recommended above(For a kilobuck - US anyways, you've got options!). If you're still not happy, then you can upgrade the mic, knowing you're not hindered by the preamp quality(The other way, upgrading the mic first, doesn't always "show" the mic properly...). Always work "out from the center" for upgrades - starting with the room, then sound card, then, etc., making sure everything prior to what you really might want is already "up to snuff"...

    For sure, you might do both mic and pre at once, financially, to some degree, but, in this case, do the preamp first...

    Just to confuse you more, my short list of pre's includes the John Hardy, Pendulum Audio Quartet and the... darn, can't think of it and I use it a couple of times a month elsewhere..? Monolith? No. Megadeath? No... I'll get back to you...

    Mic's for vocal(Speech anyway, which is what I do) would be the Brauner Valvet, the AKG C414, or maybe one of the Gefel's, mentioned above(Fletcher likes the Gefel's, and I don't know any better than him, but I DO like that Valvet matched up with the Megastuff preamp. No, not Megastuff..?)...


    Miranda mountain! No...

    Mysogeny? No...

    I'll get it...
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    No, Mysogeny only makes preamps for female soloists. They have a low pass filter at 250 Hz with a steep but managable 250 dB per octave cut. The purpose of their pres is to get the female artist to pour her spirit into the mic by screetching so loudly that her vocal chords actually fall out of her throat.

    I have yet to find a better preamp than Mysogeny to tame down the occasional Diva or operatic soprano!

    J. :lol:

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