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OT: Vocal Studio Microphone Suggestion


Seannn

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Hi guys and gals,

 

I received birthday/holiday gift money this month, and duck up some cash/change that I've been saving, and it looks like I have enough to invest in a nice studio microphone. I'm a keyboardist first, vocalist second, but I do sing in most of my demos, and I am finishing writing a five-song EP that will, of course, feature my own vocals. So, I'm mainly looking for a vocal mic. My max budget is between $500-1000. All of that being said, the more bang for my buck, the merrier me.

 

I've heard some good things about Blue Microphones, and they seem to have them available at the music store I frequent. The following from the Blue line fall into my budget and interest me: Baby Bottle, Blueberry, Woodpecker. The latter looks beautiful (I hear it has a very hot pickup as well), but it's tough to know how it'll sound--I'm technically a tenor, but I don't think I'd have any trouble with any of those mics.

 

My retailer also carries mics in my price range from AKG, Golden Age, and Rode. There are of course Neumanns, but I don't think they will fall in my budget. (The ones that do seem to be more for instruments.) Of course, I am open to other suggestions. So, do any of you have experience with Blue Microphones that you would like to share, or suggestions? I'll be saving the cash I have left for that mythical SV-2 keyboard, or another synth, or, well, there's always the mattress, err--bank.

 

Thanks, and Happy New Year! :rawk:

 

Sean

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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Everyone's voice is different. If you are primarily recording yourself, you'll need to try a lot of mics (if possible -- this is illegal in California, unfortunately).

 

I personally find most AKG mics heavily coloured. That may or may not suit your voice. A good mic in your range though is the Shure KSM32 or one of its derivatives. I have been lucky to find this mic a good match for several radically different voices so far. It can lend some warmth without a strong overall bias to the response.

 

You might be surprised about Neumann as there is a TLM model that is within range of your budget and is quite good, but I think it is more commonly used on acoustic guitar and other acoustic instruments than on voice. Sennheiser has an even lower-priced model from this past year that is more or less a TLM mic.

 

The Golden Age stuff is good value, but I'm more familiar with their pre-amps than their mics. They go for a classic sound, which might well match your tenor.

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Hi Sean,

 

there is an awful lot of choices in that price range...

You should check the Neumann TLM102, small mic with a big sound!

As you live in Canada, have a look at Advanced Audio Microphones.

Dave Thomas is a nice guy to deal with and has some very nice tube mics with excellent quality for the price.

I have the AA CM47SE, great sounding smooth tube mic.

Rode and Audio Technica have great mics in that price range too.

(K2, AT4050,4047,4060)

 

Good luck and

Happy New Year

Markus

 

Studio: Hammond XK5-XLK5, Yamaha P515, Roland Fantom 7, Prophet 5, Moog Sub37, Neo Vent, HX3-Expander

Live: Yamaha CP88, Hammond SKX Pro, Roland Juno-X, Leslie 251, Roland SA1000

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Does this local store have a good return policy?

 

Another option might be rent-to-buy. If you decide to buy the mic, it doesn't cost any more than it would have if you bought it straight up.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Joe--yes they do! So that's something I could look into.

(We also know the manager, and usually get very good discounts, but I'm not relying on those.)

 

Wow, great suggestions! MisterM, I had never heard of Advanced Audio mics. I'm going to do some more reading on those and the TLM.

Then, testing them would be optimal.

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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I have two Neumann TLM-103's and I bought them for under $800 each on a GC supersale. I love mine!

 

 

I've also had some really nice results with a Groove Tubes GT-66 tube mic, which can be had for pretty cheap money now, if you can find one.

 

 

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Hmm, the TLM is looking like a good option too. However, is the shock is sold separately or included?

(One thing that I like about the Blue offerings is that custom shocks and sometimes custom pop filters are included.)

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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Hmm, the TLM is looking like a good option too. However, is the shock is sold separately or included?

(One thing that I like about the Blue offerings is that custom shocks and sometimes custom pop filters are included.)

 

Mine were included in both of my TLM packages.

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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Hmm, the TLM is looking like a good option too. However, is the shock is sold separately or included?

(One thing that I like about the Blue offerings is that custom shocks and sometimes custom pop filters are included.)

 

Mine were included in both of my TLM packages.

Excellent! Thank you for letting me know. :)

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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Sean,

 

just a comment on the TLM Mics.

The mentioned TLM 103 is a nice mic, no question.

Great on acoustic instruments (guitar, strings) and

on some voices.....

 

But don't be fooled by the price and size of the

TLM 102.

IMHO the TLM 102 is the overall better mic, more tonally balanced especially vor vocals.

 

Just to let you know.

 

If the TLM103 fits your voice, perfect, but don't forget

his "little brother" !

;-)

 

markus

 

 

Studio: Hammond XK5-XLK5, Yamaha P515, Roland Fantom 7, Prophet 5, Moog Sub37, Neo Vent, HX3-Expander

Live: Yamaha CP88, Hammond SKX Pro, Roland Juno-X, Leslie 251, Roland SA1000

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Thanks MisterM! I looked into both TLMs and I am impressed--heard a bit on YouTube too that impressed me. The 102 is definitely more affordable as well.

 

I'm going to try and visit the local retailer sometime this week to speak with one of their specialists about my options.

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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  • 1 year later...
I thought I'd dig this up since I finally bought a studio mic! I had some other financial priorities over the past year and ended up spending money on other things, but I caved yesterday and went for a purchase. I chose the Blue Baby Bottle which fell within my new budget (I also got a sweet discount). I'm a tenor, mid-range guy and my vocals sound great through it. I think I have a grounding issue (could be my XLR cable) because when I touch the mic there's a hum but if I touch the metal part of the cable it goes away. I'm going to look into that. I'll be using it through my PreSonus FireStudio 26x26 whose preamps I like quite a bit.

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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...when I touch the mic there's a hum

 

Smartass answer #1. Then don't touch the mic.

 

Smartass answer #2. Give the mic back the lyrics and stop touching the mic!

 

Smartass answer #3. That's called a hummer. :blush: You really should stop touching the mic. Now.

 

:facepalm:

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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...when I touch the mic there's a hum

 

Smartass answer #1. Then don't touch the mic.

 

Smartass answer #2. Give the mic back the lyrics and stop touching the mic!

 

Smartass answer #3. That's called a hummer. :blush: You really should stop touching the mic. Now.

 

:facepalm:

 

Hah! :snax:

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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...when I touch the mic there's a hum

 

Smartass answer #1. Then don't touch the mic.

 

Smartass answer #2. Give the mic back the lyrics and stop touching the mic!

 

Smartass answer #3. That's called a hummer. :blush: You really should stop touching the mic. Now.

 

:facepalm:

 

yeah, hands in the back - other parts can be in front...

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another vote for the Neumann TLM102, great sounding and versatile mic. i have used them for drum micing, guitar micing and gives a nice jazz sound if you use a pair on a grand piano.
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Obviously Neumann makes great mics, but since you are looking for a vocal mic at a somewhat lower price you might try an Electrovoice RE 20. This has been a radio standard for decades and obviously does good things for voices. It also works well for micing reed instruments like saxes.

 

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I've used the SM57 in conjunction with the SM58, both are decent mics and mics I'm very comfortable using live. The 57s make great instrument mics in studio; I've used both mics for studio vocals but I wanted something better. I use the preamps on the PreSonus FireStudio 26 x 26 which are excellent.

 

@zapper: Yes.

 

I've heard great things about the TLM102 (many of those things from this thread). If I had the money, I'd buy a pair of them for sure, not just one. Someone once told me to always buy mics in pairs, and I like that maxim.

 

Lots of great things come in pairs.

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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I have a Rode NTK and it does very well for vocals, guitar and sax. It has a tube that can be switched out for a bit warmer sound too.

Jimmy

 

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If you've already got an SM57 and a SM58 - and your PreSonus box:

 

Dynamic (if you haven't a treated room) - any chance of trying a Heil Pr35 or the SM7B mentioned above?

 

Condenser: read the reviews online in SoundOnSound.

 

NTK mentioned in last post. I had to do my backing vocals through their K2 and a Focusrite preamp at a recent folk session. I don't have a great voice - made my four ten second clips sound great. Again there's a SoundOnSound review.

 

I'd be tempted to go for the Neumann TL102 and be done with it. You could only get one on your budget. If it's for vocals mostly - do I remember correctly you do your piano stuff via VSTs? - it'd be a good buy.

 

I have a much cheaper SE2000. Relatively cheap and does the job (with a Joe Meek pre amp). If I need better quality for someone I'm recording then I do the main vocal somewhere with good gear - even rural Scotland has very affordable places with Neumanns and Focusrite preamps. £25 an hour with an engineer.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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Studio Vocal: Audio Technica 4033 So warm and at the same time crisp! About $400 or less.

 

 

Live: AKGD880 like a SM58 with a hint more presence without the harshness. About $100 ora bit more.

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I've used the SM57 in conjunction with the SM58, both are decent mics

They're essentially the same mic. One has a ball-shaped windscreen that helps with the "pop" effect on vocals, one doesn't.

 

dB

 

Somebody once told me that the polar pattern was slightly different. I never verified it, nor really believed it.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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