Vocal Mic

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by UTS, Sep 2, 2001.

  1. UTS

    UTS Guest


    I will have a big and very important production going early next year where the vocals will be given top-priority (even more than usual). So far I have used for vocal recordings a combo of AT 4033, Trident pre-amps (stock Series 65) + an RNC or Bellari Tube Compressor with mild (maybe 2 or 3db) compression. I have gotten good results but nowhere as good as they need to be for this recording. What I need is a very close, intimate and warm vocal sound like Nick Cave or HIM use it. Present, very full, warm and VERY upfront and close to the ear.
    I figured out I need a new and better mic + a preamp. I am going for a TAB V76 preamp as I've heard it in action and have been very impressed. Now, what mic would you recommend. I thought about the following:
    - Neumann U87 or M147
    - Brauner Valvet
    - Blue Bottle
    - AKG Solidtube
    - Rode Classic

    Now, I do not care whether it's tube or not, these are just the mics I have heard very good things about.

    The Baby Bottle by Blue seems like to good to be true for this price tag - has anyone heard or tested it?

    Ok, I hope you guys have some good suggestions for me.

    Thanks alot in advance.

  2. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Bloomington, IL
    If there is somewhere near you that rents high-end stuff, you might rent a number of mics and find the right one for that singer. Then send the others back and use the one that works for the sessions. Possible you could even buy the most appropriate one. Don't rule out mics you already have either, dynamics and ribbons too.
  3. xxxfiler

    xxxfiler Guest

    Seems to be quite a ferver over the "Studio Projects" C1. At $200 , it is purported to be on the caliber of a U87. Well I dont know about this personally but I do trust some of the guys that I heard it from. Studio Projects has other models that go up in features. Im getting one or 2 as soon as I can . CUZ the only mic I have right now besides abunch of 57 and 58s is a AT 4047.
  4. UTS

    UTS Guest


    thanks for your replies. Actually that rental thing is out of question, since I live in the middle of nowhere here in Germany and there's, besides some small guitar shops, no place I could rent microphones. I already tried a huge bunch of micros with that singer, and whilst I got good result with the AT 4033 and a Rode NT1, it still lacks that certain magic...the singer is very good and talented and has a low, warm voice, so I am pretty sure an improvement in the microphone choice would be the thing.
    As for that Studioproject Micro - Last year I bought two of these low budget chinese condenser mics that have been sold in Germany (under the brandname T-Bone). Whilst they are really cool for Drum Ambience I wouldn't use them on vocals - they seriously lack air and with lower volumes their self-noise is too high.


  5. plexi

    plexi Guest

    Go with the Brauner or Blue Bottle, the other mic`s are not even close to them. U87 is NOT a good vocal mic.

    Amund Blix Aaeng
  6. Moshe

    Moshe Guest

    I use the Solidtube quite a lot for vocals.
    It has many of the things you are looking for.
    Warm - larger then life - upfront - full
    Better to try different mics on the singer if you can abd then choose the right mic if you can......
  7. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    I'd go rent a studio with a lot of mics for a morning, take the singer and figure out what I need.
  8. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    Neuman M149 is terriffic for baratone/tenor running through AMEK channel in a box. Use no mike rolloff, cardioid pattern, push the high at 6.7 up by about 2gain, and use no compressor. Beautiful, present, and most importantly, there is a compressed cohesive kind of quality (despite not compressor) that marries all the words into lines that seem like a smooth performance. Same mike with an Avalon 2022 was pretty, but each word seems to stand out by itself (not as good as you might think), and their is an open clarity in the AMEK Rupert Neve designed box. Make sure singer is a little more than a foot away. One inch too close, and you get proximity effect that "covers" the performance. Good luck. Paul
  9. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    Forgot to add.. the cable you use is critical, and unbelievably... the solder should be 95%tin/5%silver. The 2%silver with tin and lead cuts the highs.(derived from perfect a/b testing, try it yourself) Best cable (at least over monster) is Mogami 2459. Much clearer than their standard 2434 which is quad and able to cancel some noise, but at great expense to the clarity. Most people use it, but the 2459 is much cleaner and able to mimic a ringing crystal glass kind of sound. I'm not a pro, but a musician for years learning like you, and I do a/b testing on everything. the difference cables can make is no less than 50%. Unbelievable that no more attention is paid to this, even by pro's who sell their services. Paul
  10. Stephen Paul

    Stephen Paul Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    U87 is NOT a good vocal mic.

    And stock I quite agree.

    As far as the other choices are concerned you can find some good info in my area...

    use eutectic solder for a lot of very good reasons, first being sound, second, reliability and grain orientation of the crystalline structure of the solder. Eutectic is also a special blend because it goes directly from liquid to solid state at T=critical (T=temp), with no plastic state in between.

    I don't recommend the use of silver content solder, though the fine (99.999% pure) silver wire we had made for us sounds excellent... but the rosin core in most solders containing silver is very corrosive and generally not good for quality electronic connex in very hi-Z circuits such as are found in mikes...

    Just an opinion... :cool:
  11. Recording Engineer

    Recording Engineer Active Member

    Mar 4, 2001
    Hey Stephen,

    Where can I find this eutectic solder and how much is it gonna cost me?
  12. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    Stephen, glad to see you're back. Hope the pain level was low. Scary stuff to go through. You'll feel strong again soon, just takes a few weeks when they lambast ya all to hell.
    Thanks for the tips on Solder. I'd also like to know where to get good stuff. Also, what kind of XLR and TRS connectors do you suggest? And wire?
    Finally, you were going to get back on the things you could do to a new M149, but so far no info. If you get the time, I'd still be interested and a ball park figure, unless that's a phone conversation. Thanks and keep the chin up. Paul
  13. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Well, I've had/used/heard all of these particular mics, and I'm feeling like running my mouth, so here's one opinion;

    U87- Not my favorite for what you're talking about, although probably the best out there for general voice over, IMO.

    M147- really present mids, slightly rolled off top. This may be the coolest kick drum mic I've heard, although IMO you'd have to have a pretty screechy AND cloudy singer to make a perfect fit.

    Brauner Valvet- This is a beautiful mic, and would be one of the first to reach for if you need a lot of top end air, IMO. It's bright, but very smooth up top, and does a good job of making the singer sound like they were that bright to begin with. It's also built like a little tank.

    Bottle- I love this mic, and if you can spring for it, get a couple of capsules. You won't have much trouble fitting a lot of people. If you have liked the AT4033 in general, start with the B6 capsule. Get close in. Also built beautifully.

    AKG Solidtube- I have no use for this mic. IMO, while it's pretty full sounding, it's grainy and kind of cheap sounding as well. May work wonders for gravelly, rough, raunchy blues or some such. I know people who like it, though.

    Rode Classic- used to have one of these. Overall decent mic, with a lot of air on top- I'd call it the smoothest of the Chinese knockoffs, but unfortunately it retains a touch of that high end grain you seemingly can't get rid of with an inexpensive capsule in a toppy mic.

    There's my worth-what-you-paid rundown- renting or going to a local studio are by far the best choices.

    Originally posted by UTS:
    - Neumann U87 or M147
    - Brauner Valvet
    - Blue Bottle
    - AKG Solidtube
    - Rode Classic

  14. dbock

    dbock Distinguished Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Perhaps you will outline your perfect A/B test proceedures, and further explain your findings.
    What mics, pres, recorders, poweramps, spkrs, etc.
    Certainly I agree there's a difference between the Mogami's and others, but as a really significant difference, I'm wondering how valid it is.....
    ALSO, what's the timespan of your testing and findings. I've seen test gear change over the course of a day, requiring re-calibration later on. Is the result you found from one quick listen, or repeated documented analysis?
    AND the Mogami is made of untreated copper which DOES oxidize, even in the jacket! I'v seen cables change here on the bench in a year, using untreated copper.
    BTW, cables is fun-n-all, but lotsa records still being made here in Hollywood with 30 year old tinned Belden....
  15. UTS

    UTS Guest


    thanks for your opinions. I am tempted to go for the Brauner Valvet I must say. You can get them pretty cheap here in Germany ( around 1500$) and they seem to be the best of the bunch. The Blue Bottle is hard to get in Germany + I haven't seen any price mentioned on the Blue Site - how much would it actually cost. The Solidtube seems interesting as well - a product with so many split opinions about it must have something to it and I have a strange liking for alot of stuff everybody else seems to hate, such as the Bellari Tube Compressor, which is somewhat a cool unit.

    Any opinions about the Baby Bottle yet?? What about the Kiwi? Any good.


  16. recordista

    recordista Active Member

    Sep 7, 2001
    Silver City, NM
    Home Page:
    Might also look into a Royer if you can find one to try out. Some voices just do better on ribbons.
  17. robdarling

    robdarling Guest

    I know Dave won't mention it, but if you're reaching up into the range of the Blue Bottle, you have to try the Elux 251.
  18. Originally posted by David Bock:
    BTW, cables is fun-n-all, but lotsa records still being made here in Hollywood with 30 year old tinned Belden....

    Imagine that. :eek:

    Some people have too much time on thier hands I guess.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice