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Money makes the world go round. Mics? Not so much.

 
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
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Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 8:12 am    Post subject: Money makes the world go round. Mics? Not so much. Reply with quote

Sweetwater, purveyor of all things pro audio has an interesting page for your review. They have a Vocal Mic Shootout they conducted with 50 mics from $50 to almost $10,000 in value. They used a short vocalization from singers to test by, but you'll get a rough idea that most mics are very similar in reproduction. I haven't listened to all, but so far only one clear winner to my ear and a couple of duds. The rest are OK.

For your ears only: https://www.sweetwater.com/feature/vocal-mic-shootout/


B
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Lance Blair
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Joined: 03 Jun 2007
Posts: 2173
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! That is my take on it too. Plenty of great mic makers these days and only a few duds. Smile
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soundgun
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Joined: 18 Mar 2007
Posts: 1826
Location: Topanga, CA

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...as we preach almost every episode of VOBS...
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George Whittam
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MBVOXX
Contributore Level V


Joined: 03 Jun 2008
Posts: 161
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When it comes to VO mics there's really not much difference in most mics.
Yes, there are a few that will color the recording more than others but for the most part they all sound so similar on VO that once on the air the difference in one mic from another is almost impossible to detect.
I had a session last week for price revisions to a previously recorded batch of tv spots that were originally voiced on an MKH50. The revisions were done on a Neumann 47FET. The match up was perfect, completely seamless.
And especially once it receives the finishing mix dynamics and sent out for broadcast it will be completely unnoticeable.
I've experienced this scenario countless times in 40+ years of doing VO.

The magic is not in the mic, folks.
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Bish
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Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3264
Location: Just a little further from Hell's Kitchen than eX

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dirty little secret that no gear-hear wants to admit, is that once you discount the bottom-end Chinese knock-offs, and the real cheap crap, most mics are actually fit-for-purpose. Line up a bunch of LDCs from $300 to $3,000 in a blind test and the vast majority will do the job perfectly well for a VO.

Going more upscale, you're paying for name, build quality, reliability, serviceability, and the feel-good factor. All of these are perfectly good reasons to spend the extra.
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Bish a.k.a. Bish
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
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Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admittedly one can FEEL better riding around in a new $60,000 Mercedes versus a $16,000 Kia, but they will both get you to your stock broker's office or to McDonald's. If the people inside didn't observe your arrival, they would never know what piece of equipment got you there.

Just don't get a used Yugo. Your rattled appearance might give your situation away.

B
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
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Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only listened to about a third of them but I have to say the U87 was a couple of notches above the other decent mics I heard.



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Foog
Cinquecento


Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 579
Location: Upper Canuckistan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder how much of the tiny differences I am noticing are due to the tiny variations in the singer's delivery and how much of it is actually from the mic. At any rate, it's nice to hear that even the cheap stuff is, well, pretty darned good!

...also, somewhere around the 9th or 10th sample I listened to, I was getting distracted feeling sorry for the poor singer asked to do such an absurdly large number of takes.
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Art
Contributor


Joined: 27 Sep 2017
Posts: 44
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't gotten to experience a Neumann, but a musician friend and I tried a few mics through his Great River NV-1, a preamp that's supposed to simulate a Neve console. We tried a Shure SM57, Shure SM58, Sennheiser e835, Audio Technica AT2020, Rode NT1a and Shure SM7B. Just my speaking voice through each. The SM57 and e835 had a similar brightness, the SM7B and 58 sounded indentical (they're the same capsule!), but mostly, very similar. On The Gear Page they were loathe to take guesses as to which was which, too. I really didn't hear a difference in his $1,200 NV-1 and my $150 Focusrite, either. (When he records his jazz quartet though? BIG difference!)

I make the analogy to guitars. I have a $160 Ibanez that, after a couple of upgrades, sounds and plays as well as my $1,200 Les Paul. I've watched people bomb with a $3,000 PRS and seen magic brought to a room with an old $100 Kay acoustic.
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