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AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

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AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby BenWeston » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:04 pm

I know it's not as easy as 'which one's better?' but I thought I'd get some thoughts. I currently record vocals through an AKG C1000s directly into a Phonic Helix Board FireWire mixer. However, I find the sound a little on the harsh side and for my next project, I'm going to have to couple this AKG with another C1000s as overheads for a drumkit so it seems the perfect time to get a mic more suited to my vocals.

I was looking at the AT 2020 and was thinking that this would produce a much better, rounded and warmer sound, especially if I put it through an ART Studio V3 tube preamp before going into the mixer.

My only reservation is that it's cheaper than the C1000s. I know this doesn't necessarily correlate to performance but do you guys reckon my planned setup will produce better results?
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020

Postby The Elf » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:23 pm

I use Rode NT5s for my overheads and also as vocal mics on occasions. They're not the most exciting mics in the world, but they do a solid job IMO and would likely give you a less 'brittle' sound than the C1000.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020

Postby BenWeston » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:33 pm

Thanks, yes I've used the Rode NT5s before and they produce quite a decent sound for their price but unfortunately my budget doesn't quite stretch to their price range and I can't get hold of any for this weekend. I generally find the C1000s to be fine as overheads especially when just recording a general stereo drum sound as I'm going to be doing for our jazz band.

Realistically, as I'm a student on a budget and have already decided to blow £50 on the preamp, I have about £80 to spend on a mic.

The real question is whether I could get anything better than a C1000s (and it's brittle sound) for that price? I thought the AT 2020 looked like a good possibility?
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Dave B » Tue Apr 29, 2008 4:24 pm

Whereabouts are you? I have a C1000 and an AT2020 so I could knock up a couple of comparisons, or, if you aren't a squillion miles away, look at a test or quick lend ..
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby BenWeston » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:13 pm

Dave B wrote:Whereabouts are you? I have a C1000 and an AT2020 so I could knock up a couple of comparisons, or, if you aren't a squillion miles away, look at a test or quick lend ..

That would have been great, but I'm in Norfolk so :frown:

However, if you wouldn't mind putting the AKG and the AT 2020 side-by-side and recording the same thing through both as a sort of comparison, I would owe you a pint next time I'm in Berkshire ;)
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Steve Hill » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:55 pm

I know the AKG well enough never to want it near a singer (or anything much, really, but if there's one thing it's passable at, it's cymbals!).

I don't know the AT2020 but other mics of theirs are very good... if you could possibly stretch to it I'd say save up for an AT4033a, available for £159 if you shop around. The 2020 got a fairly benign review here but one criticism was a certain lack of warmth...
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby magicdog » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:28 pm

I would second the AT4033 - as a bonus you will keep it, being useful on many sources as you upgrade in future.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:57 pm

the only time a C1000 should go anywhere near a vocalist, is when it's being used to bludgeon them to death.

a 4033 would be preferable, but a 2020 would do a semi decent job.

at a pinch
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:54 pm

Max! wrote:the only time a C1000 should go anywhere near a vocalist, is when it's being used to bludgeon them to death.

a 4033 would be preferable, but a 2020 would do a semi decent job.

Are you saying the 4033 would be preferable for bludgeoning and that the 2020 would do a semi decent job?

My preferred mic for bludgeoning is the Rode K2. Nice and heavy with a good grip, plus you can use the power supply for increased concussion and the supplied cable as a garrote.

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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby BenWeston » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:57 pm

Thanks for all the input. Yeah, an AT4033 is on the list of things to buy shortly when the pay cheque comes in! I bought the C1000 because I found it to be very good in a live situation - I preferred it's sound for my voice to a Shure SM58 and the other the other staples of live vocal mics. But as you all say, for recorded work, it's not very nice at all!

My only issue is that I really need the microphone for this weekend and I can't afford the extra cash for the 4033 at the moment. Would an AT 2020 be a good purchase for the time being or are there better large diaphragm mics under £80ish?
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby magicdog » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:07 pm

It is my understanding that two of the most respected low-priced mics for recording are the AT2020 and the Studio Projects B1 (available new via Fleabay for £69).

:)
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Dave B » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:43 am

Ben, I have dug out my C1000 and found the right clip for it (no mean feet chez moi) and I can extract my 2020 from it's home in the iso cab easily so I can knock up a couple of very quick demos this evening. Nothing spectacular - a bit of strumming acoustic and me warbling, but it should be enough for comparison. If you want, I can also throw a 4033 in there as well.

HTH
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby BenWeston » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:27 am

Hi Dave

Yes, if you could throw in the 4033 as well that would be absolutely brilliant, thank you very much :)
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby afterworks » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:41 pm

I havent used the AT 2020 before but I had to mix a track that the band recorded themselves...mostly all with the AKG c1000. It wasn't easy and even now I'm not happy with the mix.

I recently puraches an SE 2200a. Brilliant mic, if you can stetch to it and you can blag a retailer to drop price BUY ONE! Sound sgreat of acoustic and vocals! Makes mixing a pleasure compared to the C1000.

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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:38 pm

The C1000 is a horrid mic that I would only use to wedge the doors open when loading and unloading ;)

The AT2020 is a cheap mic, but a surprisingly good one. Last year at Sounds Expo PW and I put it up against a lot of mics (some in the more than £1000 category) when trying to find something that worked well with our tame (and very talented) vocalist, and it surprised us all by being the clear winner on that particular voice.

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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:09 pm

hey, what did the door ever do to you ??? at least I had an excuse..... they're vocalists.... :lol:


the only worthwhile use i ever found for a C1000 was live mic'ing for PA on a Sax... it worked acceptably .... not well, but acceptably....


and that's the nicest thing I've ever been able to say about it.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby BenWeston » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:38 pm

lol well I bought the AKG for use in a live situation. I found it cut through the band a lot better than an SM58 did but I certainly agree with most of the comments about it. I would snap up a 4033 or such mic in a heartbeat if I sold the C1000s but I'm not sure a microphone such as a 4033, 2020 or Studio Projects B1 would be as good in a live situation as they're really studio mics.

Is that right?

EDIT - I'm a jazz pianist/singer and do a lot of solo work as well as with the band so I needed a mic with better clarity for this sort of music, hence the AKG over the SM58.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby magicdog » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:33 pm

So to get this straight - you're looking for a live mic...?
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby BenWeston » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:52 pm

Agh sorry, I know I'm not making myself clear.

Basically, I have a limited budget. At the moment I'm using the C1000s in live situations AND when recording. However, I've got enough money (just) to buy something like the AT 2020 or Studio Projects B1 to use for recording, and keep the C1000s for live work.

OR I could sell the C1000s and obviously buy one, much better large-diaphragm condensor but if I did this, it would have to be able to cope with live situations as well as I'd be without a live mic.

I hope this makes more sense!
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Dave B » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:22 pm

No - it all makes perfect sense.

Finally managed to tame my PC and persuade it to see all devices and run Cubase again. Phew. I'll have a stab at setting up some mics now.
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