Good (& cheap) mic for singers?

Discussion in 'Studio' started by Highdom, Oct 30, 2017.

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  1. tvandlover

    tvandlover Producer

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    I like the way people mention a 100 dollar mic as being a cheap one. I dream of just an sm 58. Try to think globally chaps.
     
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  2. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Rock Star

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    Its definitely not cheap, used more as a live performance mic then in studio for some reason, on that note would an SM57 be better for vocals? I think so IMO. Some great stuff was made with a Tascam 4 track and one of these BTW. The most important thing to have is skills.

    I also forgot how good the beta 58's sound as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  3. mild pump milk

    mild pump milk Russian Milk Drunkard

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    Oktava
    Russian mics, super cheap. Especially if dollar grows, it is cheaper. But there was audio comparison on their site. Compared with neumann, akg etc. So, almost no difference, or subtle. High Quality for 100-250 bugs is a steal. Tube ones cost a bit more. But much less than US/EU models in Russia, even before financial/economical crisis.
    There are condenser, tube, etc mics on their site.
    Believe or not but Oktava is highest quality and lowest price
     
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  4. Scarlett

    Scarlett Noisemaker

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    The worst mike for vocals is the RodeNT1A. I hated that thing with my soul AND heart. But then I found out it's great for Overheads (Drums) so I had to buy a 2nd one, hahaha, omg, the irony.

    I love on the other hand Ik Multimedia Studio Mic (XLR version). I had once a MXL 990 and listening back to some recordings it was pretty neat, as well as a Blue Bluebird. Chinese microphones look amazing but they sck so much (videos on youtube are never reliable, I learned that the hard way).

    If by any chance you can test microphones by recording with them and listening back AFTER it was recorded so you only listen to the recording and not also while you are singing, there is where you can tell which one you like the most.
     
  5. digitaldragon

    digitaldragon Audiosexual

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    I've heard some recordings done on these by a guy that was trying to sell me his analog studio equipment, and they had a really open sound to them. I agree, they're great mics.
     
  6. I went with the ElectoVoice RE-20 as it works better for my needs.

    Everything is realtive, one person's cheap is another's I can only dream of.

    I bought one for cheap, good as new from a bass player for $100 but it was terrible paired with my voice and every acoustic gutar I own. I gave it to a friend in Michigan who needed a mic, any mic. This one qualified. It's freq. spectrum is too smilely face for anything I use it on.
     
  7. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Rock Star

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    Love the rich fullness of that RE 20!
     
  8. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    Excellent choice my friend. I just saw the thread so i 'm late to the party, however, i have tested the mic i link a couple of years ago and has proven to be beyond my expectations, especially for the money it costs. It will handle vocals adequately and i found it suitable for acoustic gtrs fine as well.
    Cheers mate.
    PS: And its beautiful too lol
    https://www.bluedesigns.com/products/spark-sl/
     
  9. I like the Spark much more than the more expensive Bluebird, and now that they changed it from orange I also enjoy the view. It is also cool in black...
    [​IMG]
     
  10. asad12

    asad12 Platinum Record

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    I was going to recommend a mic mod by Michael Jolly but he’s not doing that anymore. Check eBay for mic mods by him only. I don’t know about other mod brands. They very good mics and very worth it to wait and save your money. They go for less thank $500 US dollars brand new. You find cheaper used ones.
     
  11. tun

    tun Ultrasonic

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    the shure SM58 is a great all around, robust, cheap mic that can be used well for vocals and a tonne of other stuff. i would highly recommend it as a first vocal mic. its not the best, but for the price and the fact that you will be using it for decades to come, you cant get much better.
    be careful of fakes though
     
  12. Dave Thomas

    Dave Thomas Noisemaker

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    Hi Guys, thanks for the mention. The CM48T tube microphone is a dream come true for me.

    Everything came together that allowed me to build this miniature version of a U47 microphone that can produce a similar result.

    This would never have been possible in the 50's, 60's and even into the 80's.

    But today the price of high tolerance components like Wima or even Visahy (1%) capacitors and 1% resistors plus the advent of computer controlled machining makes high tolerance components and capsule machining extremely affordable.

    In the 60's 10% tolerances of resistors was deemed "precision".

    Capacitors had tolerances of 20% and now have 5% tolerance in the audio circuitry. We use a 1% capacitor between the capsule and tube.

    By selecting capsules and duplicating the U47 tube circuit with a more modern 7 pin miniature tube we can produce the same result.

    I actually had a working NOS VF14m (original U47 tube) lent to me and I built up a U47 circuit with a large frame BV8 transformer and then measured the results; then compared these results to those of a duplicate circuit but with a GE/JAN 5654W.

    BTW, I have been serving tube and upgrading tube gear since the mid 60's. I deducted that the 5654W tube circuit had the same gain (which is important for signal to noise) as the VF14m; both circuits produces an output of +8dbu into 1.2k <1% THD and +12dbu into 10K <1% THD.

    Both circuits have a very similar plate resistance as the idle plate current is within 10% of each other so it reacts in a similar fashion with the output transformer as the U47 circuit which is what we want. When we put it up against 3-U47 we have access to, there was a subtle difference in solo but no more than you find between any two U47's and you could switch between microphones in the track without loosing anything.

    The CM48T also has passive cardiod polarization like the U47 and U48 which increases the output 3db over active cardiod switched from a 9 pattern power supply. The U47 was Cardiod/OMNI and the U48 was Cardiod/FIG 8. The CM48T combines both these great microphones.

    Abbey Road had both U47 and U48 microphones.

    Passive cardiod has a slightly wider proximity effect than active cardiod polarization.


    Today circuit boards never vary when fitted with high tolerance parts and we just have to hand select the tube and capsule.

    Neumann apparently, rejected nearly 70% of VF14 tubes before the were signified VF14M for microphones.

    We reject less than 30% of the GE/JAN 5654w tubes we sourced.

    I was able to use the same body as our CM87 and CM48fet. It uses the same capsule as our CM47VE,CM49 and CM48fet. It has the same output transformer as our CM47 and CM47ve. This is how we keep the costs by building 3 different microphones from one basic body size.

    With the -10db pad engaged a pair of CM48T microphones can be used as Glynn John style drum overheads and we will sell a pair for $1295.

    Our CM47fet starts at $295 and it has the response of a original U87 (pre 1988) in Cardiod and OMNI but it has the Class "A" transformer coupled output stage of the C414eb microphone which has 14db more headroom than a U87. The CM47fet loves kick, instrument amps, screaming vocals, screaming talk show hosts, screaming saxophones and other horn instruments. It has been used to record vocals for Jennifer Hudson.

    Our CM87 is 3-pattern and class "A" transformer coupled like the original but with the extra 10-14db more headroom than the U87 or U87AI.
    It sells for $389 and Sirius Satellite XM bought 28 of them from us last year. Marvel Comics also use them for voice over work.

    Selected military grade GE/JAN 5654w tubes for the CM48T can be purchased from us for $19.

    A tube should last 5000 hours which is over 5 years with 24 hours of use a week.

    We service everything we sell and have replacement parts for all our microphones.

    You will find our microphones is studios like RAK in London and Angel Studios where our CM67se tube microphones are used in the Decca Tree.

    Cheers, Dave Thomas
    aamicrophones.com
     
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  13. A little more info...

    The CM48T making love to Vincent in powerful Great American Songbook voice mode...



     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2018
  14. Dave Thomas

    Dave Thomas Noisemaker

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    The Duet has two Mic preamps with 55db of gain which is more than enough for the Perception. You have to make sure you have the Channel input set to MIC and the 48 button is also engaged. The Perception requires 48v and it has a transformer coupled circuit.

    The components are surface soldered which makes it difficult to replace or to optimize the circuit. However, it is not difficult to upgrade the capsule. Our AK47 and AK12 will fit on the capsule mount and work with the circuit. The 220 is Cardiod only and I often have capsules that are "good" on one side only that I would sell for $55. We use these capsules in our $1000 tube microphones. To meet our standards the front and back should be within 5% of each other for multi-pattern microphones. As, a microphone builder I suspect at the price the 220 commands that the capsules will vary more than 10% between individual 220 mics or + and -3db between 3-5khz in the response.

    inside the Perception220
    upload_2018-11-1_17-32-29.jpeg

    Inside AA fet microphones. The transformer is in the bottom bell housing which acts as a Faraday (EMI) shield.

    These components are through hole soldered by hand. However, this makes it easy to change components. The top board had the red caps that came in the first production run and were later changed out for square WIMA capacitors. The yellow round capacitors are tantalums that are twice as fast as electrolytics and used in the Neumann U87and the AKG 414eb and other classic Fets.

    When I started recording in 1971 there were no recording microphones available under $200. We use a pair of Sony ECM22p electret microphones for overheads and they cost us about $239 each. We had one C414eb in the studio by 1973 and it cost us $450 and I bought a used working U47 in 1979 for $450 as it had been replaced by a U87 in a broadcast studio. The U87 was only $400 when released in 1966.

    Cheers, Dave
    aamicrophones.com
    InsideAAmics.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  15. Fudsey Plange

    Fudsey Plange Audiosexual

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    Shure SM58 +1.

    Cheap as chips, built like a tank, gets the job done.

    You only need a Neumann when you're recording someone with an angel's voice. Everybody else it's the SM58. Leaves a bit of wonga for a spit screen too.

    And if you take the grille off it's the same as a SM57, almost.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  16. rhythmatist

    rhythmatist Rock Star

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    If I only owned one mic (I have about 15-lol) and my budget was that limited, a Shure SM57 would be my choice. It's the same as a 58, just a different wind screen. It allows you to use the proximity effect that the SM58 doesn't have. You can mic anything with it and it will be at least tolerable, and some of that modeling stuff works. For a little extra sparkle on mics that don't don't have a lot of high end, I cheat a little with a Aphex Aural Exciter. You can also use the SM57 as a hammer.
     
  17. Dave Thomas

    Dave Thomas Noisemaker

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    Wow, I had a copy of Ogden's Nut Gone in the 70's but lost it in a flood. Loved that record. It was recorded by one of my hero's Glyn Johns.

    The majority of it was recorded at Olympic Studios but 2 or 3 tracks were recorded at Trident Studios where my old friend Malcolm Toft was chief engineer. This was before Malcolm started designing the Trident A Range consoles. Malcolm and I got together about 3 years ago to collaborate on my MT8016 preamp design based on the Trident Series 80b preamps. He sourced the original transformers for me from OEP in the UK who also wind transformers for Neve.

    You can't go wrong with a SM58, Some of my favourite live vocal recordings were captured with one.

    Here is my neighbour Paul Rodgers on a U47 and U47's were used on the BG vocals in the Studio.

    Paul told me that he did overdub a couple of vocal lines in the studio version.
    Not because of pitch or timing but he said, "I had to go away and think about how to approach the line "sock it too me baby" in 2015." LOL



    Here is a link to the same song but recorded live with ball end dynamic microphones with the same musicians.



    This should give you a good idea about the difference between a dynamic microphone and an LDC on vocals as its the same vocalist, the same arrangement and musicians.

    During my 20 year tenure at Ocean Sound Studios in Vancouver, the U47 ( we had two) was used on 90% of vocal recordings but there were many occasions were we gave the rock vocalist a SM58 to hold and then put the U47 up about 2' back and recorded it on a 2nd track. This way you could dial in some air and warmth from the U47. Usually with a SM58 you have to use a HP filter to tame the proximity effect.

    When Dusty Wakefield (Mojave microphones) recorded KD Lang and Roy Orbison singing "Crying" at Ocean Sound in Vancouver in 1988 he put the U47 microphone in OMNI so that both KD and Roy could sing together. You can't do that with a SM58. However, the SM58 or SM7 was often put up for guide vocals during tracking and on more than one occasions the original guide vocals were kept. We also would use a Sennheiser 441 for "live" studio vocals. Its the vocal microphone on SADE's first album which features "Smooth Operator" but apparently these mics are now $900 new and even used they sell working for $350. However, keep your eye open for one in a pawn shop of thrift store.
    I think I bought ours new in 1976 for $195.

    Ocean Sound Studio Vancouver circa 1979 with the newly commissioned Trident Series 80b console.

    Cheers, Dave Thomas
    aamicrophones.com
    Ocean Sound Control rm  "A" 1979.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  18. @Dave Thomas .. Although the mix is stellar in the studio track and the U47 sounds awesome on PR's voice, I prefer the live version...because he is much looser and tells his story at a deeper gut level, really emoting every syllable so I could relate to every line. It is almost as he is much more comfortable getting up close and personal with the 58 than having to live up to the history of the mic and all the great performances recorded with it at Ocean. It was almost to me as if was tentative in his demeanour and delivery behind the glass when I compare it to the live tracked version. If I had only heard the studio version I would have recognised it as untouchable, though now in comparison I have chosen a favorite. It is for me personally easier to perform live, performing even by myself alone in my room is oft fraut with the peril of the need for it to be perfectly perfect, as I tend to microscopucally dissect my performance down to the sample. But that's just me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2018
  19. bluerover

    bluerover Audiosexual

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  20. TW

    TW Guest


    Lewitts are the best bang for the buck LDCs at the moment. I have 2 LCT 640 that replaced AKG c414 as multipurpose and room mics. Really great Mics. The pure series is a steal.
     
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