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AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Dave B » Thu May 01, 2008 9:20 am

Right - Ben, if you download :
http://www.hybridian.co.uk/ftp/C1000s_vox.zip

You will find that :

a) it's big - a 40meg download. Sorry, didn't have time to top and tail or do anything clever.
b) there are files for a quick and nasty vocal test (sadly me singing a bit of ELO) and even quicker and nastier acoustic guitar strumming (trust me - it's bad, but was recorded at midnight last night so I just slammed it down)
c) there are three files per test - AT4033, C1000s and AT2020
d) all files 24/44.1 so they are big but best quality
e) all files were normalised to -1db - iffy but it does emphasise the noise specs better
f) minor point : the 4033 ran a good bit hotter than the other two (but all were gained appropriately to get a common healthy signal)
g) the acoustic wasn't a good test - the mics were about 12-18" away and pointing slightly downwards
h) mic pres were my Saffire Pro (first time I have used the 'extra headroom' button on the unit - made a big difference so it is now running off proper mains)
i) all mics were 48v phantom powered
j) there is no j

Like I said, it's quick n nasty so don't expect anything amazing. But there you go.

HTH
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby BenWeston » Thu May 01, 2008 12:40 pm

Dave - gotta love a bit of ELO! Thanks so much for doing that, it's been really helpful. Although I could notice a clear difference between the C1000s and the two AT mikes (aside from the gain, obviously), the difference was far less pronounced between the 2020 and 4033. In fact, I mildly preferred the 2020 to the 4033 on the vocals actually.

I suppose the next logical question is whether you think the AT2020 would suffice in a live situation? I'm not talking death metal but in a jazz trio!? If it would do just as good a job as the C1000 did, I'll go and buy one now!
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Dave B » Thu May 01, 2008 1:13 pm

Pass - I'd be wary of a LDC in a live scenario as I'd constantly be thinking of feedback. If you are happy with the C1000 for live and have the spare funds for a 2020 then I'd say got for that. It also gives you some options when recording as you'd have one large and one small.

Funny how the ears get tired isn't it? Last night, I found that the 1000 and the 2020 were more similar sounding with the 4033 being the best. That's late night listening with headphones for you! lol What I found (again) is that the 4033 gives you the same type of sound, but more open and quieter.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Steve Hill » Thu May 01, 2008 2:19 pm

I would not rule out LDCs for jazz... if you are not running on the very edge of feedback, and have no need to, it can be quite self-indulgent to use a decent mic for a change.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby BenWeston » Thu May 01, 2008 6:28 pm

Steve Hill wrote:I would not rule out LDCs for jazz... if you are not running on the very edge of feedback, and have no need to, it can be quite self-indulgent to use a decent mic for a change.

Yes this is what I thought. Well thanks for your help everyone, especially Dave to whom I owe several pints! I think I'll just go ahead and buy the AT 2020, try it at my next gig, and if it's good enough I'll just sell the C1000s.

Cheers all!
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu May 01, 2008 9:47 pm

BenWeston wrote:I suppose the next logical question is whether you think the AT2020 would suffice in a live situation?

I'd be very cautious about using an LDC for live vocals. There's no way you could work the mic close without using a pop screen (which would look ridiculous) and if you don't work it close the mic will potentially lose warmth and you'll need to up the gain so you'll be inviting feedback.

On the few occasions where I've used LDC's live for vocals or acoustic instruments they've been far more trouble than they are worth!

It's possible it might work in a strict small concert setting where the audience is dead quiet, where there's no ambient noise and where you don't want any vocals in your monitors, otherwise I'd say forget it!

If you want a cheap live condenser mic you could try the Electrovoice RE510, I've used them for Jazz and Folk vocals. Big warm sound though not as nice as the Neumann KMS105.

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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Shostakovich » Tue May 06, 2008 11:44 am

Dave B, thanks for posting those comparisons. I've been using the loathed C1000s for vocals, miking up guitar amp, and acoustic for some years now, but for recording not live stuff. I like it, and I thought it sounded best on Dave B's recordings!
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Dave B » Tue May 06, 2008 12:21 pm

I know it's not very PC, but there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the old C1000. I started home recording in the late 80s / early 90s and it was pretty much the standard 'go-to' mic for so many of us. It was one of the first cheap condensers and the first step up from your SM57/58. Bless. It may have been superceded by better mics, but it's an old classic for me.

;)
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Shostakovich » Wed May 07, 2008 7:46 pm

Dave B wrote:I know it's not very PC, but there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the old C1000. I started home recording in the late 80s / early 90s and it was pretty much the standard 'go-to' mic for so many of us. It was one of the first cheap condensers and the first step up from your SM57/58. Bless. It may have been superceded by better mics, but it's an old classic for me.

;)


Yup, me too. Still not convinced there's much better for the price. What did the C1000s do.............invade Iraq?..........elect BoJo as Mayor? :D
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Aural Reject » Wed May 07, 2008 8:01 pm

You're both fired :tongue:
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby magicdog » Wed May 07, 2008 8:05 pm

Agreed - put a C1000s up against an SE2200a or AT2020 and you'll be surprised... :round1:

I have a pair of C1000s (for my sins) and they never get used.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Shostakovich » Wed May 07, 2008 9:35 pm

I confess I now use a Se2200a for vocals and acoustic guitar, and it is indeed much better. BUT I still use Ye Olde C1000s for miking up and recording my guitar amp.

Ok.
I resign.

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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby RegressiveRock » Wed May 07, 2008 9:41 pm

Dave B wrote:Right - Ben, if you download :
http://www.hybridian.co.uk/ftp/C1000s_vox.zip

You will find that :

a) it's big - a 40meg download. Sorry, didn't have time to top and tail or do anything clever.
b) there are files for a quick and nasty vocal test (sadly me singing a bit of ELO) and even quicker and nastier acoustic guitar strumming (trust me - it's bad, but was recorded at midnight last night so I just slammed it down)
c) there are three files per test - AT4033, C1000s and AT2020
d) all files 24/44.1 so they are big but best quality
e) all files were normalised to -1db - iffy but it does emphasise the noise specs better
f) minor point : the 4033 ran a good bit hotter than the other two (but all were gained appropriately to get a common healthy signal)
g) the acoustic wasn't a good test - the mics were about 12-18" away and pointing slightly downwards
h) mic pres were my Saffire Pro (first time I have used the 'extra headroom' button on the unit - made a big difference so it is now running off proper mains)
i) all mics were 48v phantom powered
j) there is no j

Like I said, it's quick n nasty so don't expect anything amazing. But there you go.

HTH

Dave, I'm downloading the ELO now... Gotta hear it!!!

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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby RegressiveRock » Wed May 07, 2008 11:29 pm

Okay... The vocal tracking.

C1000: Sounds more like a dynamic rather than a condenser in this miking solution. Were you entirely on axis? (Despite your normalisation I had to compensate the other two tracks a helluva lot to get the same listening volume). This recording is dull, congested but interestingly not characteristic of the mike, (which has a huge presence lift in the upper range). Typically, it's unbearably grating - that's its problem. This is just bleargh! Check your placement! ;)

AT2020: Self noise quite evident. Much more detailed than the C1000. Works quite well with your voice. Have to say I spent a lot of time flipping between the two ATs to work out which mike I'd use for mixing as you have placed them.

AT4033: Much cleaner noise-wise and more detailed again, but given the choice, I might sacrifice the detail for the slightly more complimentary effect of the AT2020 on your voice.

Interesting stuff. Hope you don't mind me cracking in there. ;)

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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Jimmy T » Thu May 08, 2008 12:52 am

So it's not just me that dislikes the good old c1000!
Yes it was special once - but it aint any more.
Agreed it can work ok as a jazz vocal mic. There's a nice girl in Manchester who used to use one to good effect.

I wouldn't use a LDC for live vocals but akgc414 is great for lead alto and Bari sax in a big-band set up. Done that a few times. Brings them out well and makes the players feel a bit cool.

Nuemann kms105 is the choice these days though as mentioned above.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby BenWeston » Thu May 08, 2008 2:07 am

Well I finally went and bought an AT 3035 and an M-Audio Luna of all things, cos it was cheap on eBay ;)

I find the AT 3035 has an unusually smooth sound for a mike of this class. It's as warm as some of the nicer Rode mikes I've tested but still maintains high-end clarity. I did notice its self noise was a LITTLE higher than the C1000s but it's negligible unless soloed on its own. All-in-all, very pleased.

The M-Audio Luna is an interesting one. Again, quite warm but not as flat in response as the AT 3035. Lower end is a little muddier and the very high-end is also a little muddier. However, I prefer its sound to the C1000s and, as I mentioned in another post, I have used two of these as drum overheads and also on miking a double bass, and the results have been very good.

The C1000s is now relegated to being an alternative drum overhead mike (which I've always found was its best purpose, despite what some say) or as a guitar amp mike.

I hope this is of help to someone who reaches this forum via Google or something! I must also stress that the C1000s is in no way a bad mike. But compared to the AT 3035 and even the M-Audio Luna, there's really no competition :tongue:
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby Dave B » Thu May 08, 2008 7:16 am

No probs Reg. Fire away! I can take it... probably... ;)

Actually the C1000 was the _most_ on axis. Maybe mine is just getting old and tired although it is stored properly in it's bag.

The set up was the two ATs were on a stereo bar as close as possible which meant that the C1000 was positioned in between and arranged so that the capsules were in alignment (roughly). The ATs were also very slightly angled so that they were on-axis to my position. A pop shield (which was needed as the C1000 was really bad for plosives) was out at about 8-12".

Interesting bit about suiting voice. I'll have a think about that. I have found that the 2020 is quite good on guitar cab (it sits in my Hermit Cab) and I was surprised to find that I quite liked it over a standard 57. Need to experiment more with that.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby The Elf » Thu May 08, 2008 8:38 am

BenWeston wrote:The C1000s is now relegated to being an alternative drum overhead mike (which I've always found was its best purpose, despite what some say) or as a guitar amp mike.
I used C1000s for overheads for a couple of years when the studio first went commercial. I spent hours and hours trying to sweeten up the crunchy mess they made of the upper mids - never again. You'd do yourself a favour if you avoided using them for overheads!

That said, for softer jazz recordings they did a passable job, but just don't don't throw any volume at them.
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Re: AKG C1000s vs AT 2020 for vocals

Postby JSB » Thu May 08, 2008 10:42 pm

I remember trying out loads of mics on a £4500 classical guitar. The AKG C1000s I remember well as it succeeded in making a fantastic instrument sound like firewood and fishing line. Horrible, brittle, grainy brightness. It can only be good for cymbals and triangle. I ended up using a large diaphram Stagg which was really nice in the mids. If I had the cash I'd go for the SE2200a. For the money it's attracted some pretty positive reviews.
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