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Best cheap(-ish) mike for a light female voice.


The Geoff

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Looking at a possible venture with the female vocalist from my previous band.

 

She doesn't have a really strong voice, but has a decent range.

 

What's a suitable & sympathetic microphone?

 

I'd heard that the Sennheiser E845S - E855S were like that, but there are mixed reviews on the net.

 

I have no experience in this area, so those of you who have, I'd be much obliged for the benefit of your experience. :D

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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My favorite affordable stage vocal mic is the Beyer M-88. You have seen it on videos with Elton John, Phil Collins, David Bowie, CSN, Pat Benatar and many many others. Great gain before feedback, too.

 

In terms of a great stage vocal mic, if you can find one, the Neumann KM-150... but at $1500, they are pretty dear. That is what is currently favored by Springsteen, Dylan, Tom Petty (the mic was developed or adopted by his engineer, to try to get him away from the Shure 57, which I also like a lot for vocals, but you have to stay on axis...) and CSN, to replace the Beyer.) The 105 is close, (no cigar...) at $500.

 

There was a time when one of the members of CSN was working with a cheaper Audix, but I forget the model number. OM-5?

 

There is also a Sennhieser that was the favorite among the jazz crowd for a while, Manhattan Transfer, Sammy Davis, a bunch of chick singers, and many of the crooners... the MD 431.

 

What I do not like about the newer mics is that there seems to be a pronounced boost to the high end which to me sounds brittle and 'false'.... maybe trying to account for the cheap-assed plastic PAs that are currently in use, maybe trying to add some 'air'... I dunno, but on a good system I don't care for the sound at all, and that includes most of the newer Senns and some of the newer Beyers (the X series, ad in TG-X 480 and like that...)

 

There was also a time when the small diaphragm condenser was considered a good choice for vocals. The Beatles used the AKG C-28 (most notiably on the rooftop sessions, and when Paul sings Hey Jude, and though most of the movie, Let It Be) The replacement for that was the C-451 mic body with a CK-5 capsule. If you look at older videos you'll see this mic in a lot of old TV shots of bands.

 

You'll also see, on the British TV shows of the late 1960s or early 1970s, Traffic, Hendrix, Cream, Jethro Tull, etc singing into a Sennheiser MD-421. Not my first choice.

 

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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+1 on the Sure 57 have heard good reviews from a lady singer I know who carries it with her wherever she goes...(my Carvins are supposed to be the same mic's with a different logo, don't know how true this is but they [sure] sound good)...
Take care, Larryz
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There is also a Sennhieser that was the favorite among the jazz crowd for a while, Manhattan Transfer, Sammy Davis, a bunch of chick singers, and many of the crooners... the MD 431.

 

The MD431 is a really great sounding mic, but quite expensive & very low output. I've used them on cabaret & broadway singers a lot. Not a big hype on the high end, very natural sounding. Needs a lot of clean gain.

 

There was also a time when the small diaphragm condenser was considered a good choice for vocals. The Beatles used the AKG C-28 (most notiably on the rooftop sessions, and when Paul sings Hey Jude, and though most of the movie, Let It Be) The replacement for that was the C-451 mic body with a CK-5 capsule. If you look at older videos you'll see this mic in a lot of old TV shots of bands.

 

The AKG C535 is a good modern alternative to the 451/CK5. More rugged, not quite as sibilant. Works well on a lot of females (Judy Collins used one for years) & is also a pretty good instrument mic. Not too pricy.

 

Ultimately the singer in question is just going to have to audition a lot of models because there's no mic which sounds right on every female voice. There are just too many variables in the human voice.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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I hear real good things about the Shure Beta 57. Excellent sensitivity, better tone than the original 57.

 

I would say different rather than better. A bit harsh to my ears. It's really not a slightly different version of an SM57, it's a completely different mic utilizing a whole different capsule construction.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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Best and cheap usually don't go hand in hand.

 

A general rule for music gear:

 

Low Price

Good Sound quality

Reliability

 

 

- You can only pick any two of the above.

 

True, good points in general; but Geoff didn't ask for "best" and "cheap" in one mic; he asked for recommendations for the best of "cheap-ish" (moderately priced) mics for a specific application, 'best of mid-priced mics for Job-X', if you will.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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well, if you can keep her on axis, the 57 (not the Beta 57) is a cheap and simple answer. If she stays close enough, the proximity effect will help.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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