You are here

New mic.....any advice

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

New mic.....any advice

Postby gazza1967 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:01 pm

I'm looking at buying a new mic to replace my SE2200.

Initially looking at either a rode k2, akg c414 or a Neumann tl103.

I don't find testing mics, which other people will use, very easy.
A bass, guitar or keyboard I could do, but a mic is not so easy.

I'd like a versatile mic but the main focus will be vocals.

All reviews I've read seem good, but wondered if any users can offer any advice?

Or would 2 of the 3 be a good idea to buy (to own 2 mics)


Thanks in advance for any help

Gary
gazza1967
Poster
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:00 am

Re: New mic.....any advice

Postby Sam Inglis » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:34 pm



You're slightly comparing apples and oranges with those three mics. The TLM103 is a cardioid-only mic intended mainly for vocals AFAIK; the 414 is a true multi-pattern all-rounder; and the K2 is a valve mic.
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1900
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:00 am

Re: New mic.....any advice

Postby Urthlupe » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:54 pm

As Sam said - apples and pears.

My feeling would be that the TLM103 or the C414 come out on top, both a significant step up from the SE.

But maybe were I to choose one in your situation then it would have to be the 414. Although the Neumann is an excellent performer, and surprisingly flexible in my view, the fixed pattern would eventually be an issue.

The C414 really is very capable in almost all circumstances - that's why it's so popular of course.

Bu??er it - buy both.....

Loopy
Urthlupe
Regular
Posts: 416
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2002 11:00 pm
Location: West Midlands, UK

Re: New mic.....any advice

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:04 pm

As Sam says, you're comparing very different mics there -- all good in their own ways, but all with different features and tonalities.

The issue with vocal mics is that very small differences in tonality -- often differences that aren't revealed on the spec sheet and response plots -- can have quite profound influences on the captured sound of different voices. We all have different sounding voices because the formants and harmonics are in different places in the frequency spectrum, and these subtle differences interact with the subtle response anomalies of different mics. Consequently a given mic can sound fabulous on one voice, and quite unimpressive on another -- especially for female vocalists.

So the best way forward, if you're looking for a mic specifically for your own voice, is to try a collection of potential vocal mics yourself and choose the one that suits your voice best. If you don't have a helpful local dealer, hire a few likely contenders over a weekend from one of the better pro-audio hire companies -- it will be money well spent!

If you want a mic to use on a wide variety of vocalists, then the best way is to choose one which has a good reputation as a workhorse all-rounder. The Neumann U87 and AKG C414 are two such models, for example.

We ran a feature on this very topic a few years ago, and you can read the article here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul10/a ... almics.htm

...and listen to the clips yourself here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul10/a ... saudio.htm

hugh
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 16753
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: New mic.....any advice

Postby twotoedsloth » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:26 pm

You might consider a Neumann TLM 193. I know it is $300 more expensive that the TLM 103, but it is worth the extra money.

I primarily record Classical and Jazz music, and in both Opera/Art song and vocal Jazz, the TLM 193 is head and shoulders above many mics that cost almost twice as much, such as the U87 or the C414 and all of it's variants (though the older C414b TL II is quite good for operatic voice).
twotoedsloth
Frequent Poster
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:00 am

Re: New mic.....any advice

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:32 am

twotoedsloth wrote:You might consider a Neumann TLM 193. I know it is 00 more expensive that the TLM 103, but it is worth the extra money.

I primarily record Classical and Jazz music, and in both Opera/Art song and vocal Jazz, the TLM 193 is head and shoulders above many mics that cost almost twice as much, such as the U87 or the C414 and all of it's variants (though the older C414b TL II is quite good for operatic voice).

I'd agree the TLM193 is an excellent microphone, and if I was forced to choose only one vocal microphone, that would probably be the one. In a nutshell it's reasonably neutral, but with a touch of Neumann magic, if that makes any sense. But it isn't a fix all and as has been clearly evidenced in the vocal microphone article mentioned in Hugh's post above, it is very much to do with matching the microphone to the voice. Also, the TLM193 would be my go to mic for classical and possibly jazz, but not for rock and pop, because these genres often expect the cut you get from microphones with a high mid/high end lift such as a TLM103.

So as well as being voice specific, it's also genre specific to some degree.

So the TLM103 would probably be a better bet for contemporary genres, but an alternative might be to look at two mics that would cover more ground. How about a Shure SM7 and a Sennheiser MK4? That would give you a characterful excellent dynamic as well as a highend lift condenser.

I'm not familiar with the current C414 range, but it's interesting 'twotoe' liked the C414 TLII for operatic voices - it's a very hyped mic compared to the 193.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2841
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand

Re: New mic.....any advice

Postby John Willett » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:47 pm

gazza1967 wrote:I'm looking at buying a new mic to replace my SE2200.

Initially looking at either a rode k2, akg c414 or a Neumann tl103.

I don't find testing mics, which other people will use, very easy.
A bass, guitar or keyboard I could do, but a mic is not so easy.

I'd like a versatile mic but the main focus will be vocals.


If you are looking at the TLM 103, it's also worth considering the TLM 102 and the Gefell M930 (or M930tS if you want a transformer) - all these are cardioid only.

The AKG C414 is still a good middle-priced switchable mic., but be aware that there are two different versions with different characteristics.

The Sennheiser MK4 is quite a new mic. and is good value for money giving a LDC mic. at a very reasonable price.

A good dealer will let you try them all out (KMR and Funky-Junk in London can certainly arrange this) and good manufacturers / distributors will have loan units available if the shop does not have the complete range in stock.
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4000
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK

John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


Re: New mic.....any advice

Postby twotoedsloth » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:25 pm

Bob,

This is really nitpicking, but the TL II is great for English and German... French and Italian, not so much. Of course, the singer, the room and the mic placement are more important when you get to mics at this caliber.
twotoedsloth
Frequent Poster
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:00 am

Re: New mic.....any advice

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:21 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:Bob,

This is really nitpicking, but the TL II is great for English and German... French and Italian, not so much. Of course, the singer, the room and the mic placement are more important when you get to mics at this caliber.

Great reply - I love nitpicking!

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2841
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand

Re: New mic.....any advice

Postby RegressiveRock » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:35 am

gazza1967 wrote:I'm looking at buying a new mic to replace my SE2200.

Initially looking at either a rode k2, akg c414 or a Neumann tl103.

I don't find testing mics, which other people will use, very easy.
A bass, guitar or keyboard I could do, but a mic is not so easy.

I'd like a versatile mic but the main focus will be vocals.

All reviews I've read seem good, but wondered if any users can offer any advice?

Or would 2 of the 3 be a good idea to buy (to own 2 mics)


Thanks in advance for any help

Gary

Do not get anything too hyped! They sound great in isolation, but become problematic when you are trying to fit them into a mix, particularly if there are used for multiple tracking.

Reg
RegressiveRock
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1505
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: Buntingford, Herts


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests