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Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

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Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby casemayfield » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:10 am

Hi everyone,

After reading tons of information on the internet and listening to crappy youtube reviews I've decided to give this a shot.

I'm looking for the perfect vocal mic that fits my voice. Budget is no problem.
If you wanna know how my voice sounds find in on youtube or spotify (search: Case Mayfield)

I know the ' perfect' vocal mic doesn't exist because it's personal but I'm wondering what you guys come up with.

I want to use the mic with the Golden age pre 73 DLX pre amp.

Thanks guys
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Re: Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby MOF » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:47 am

If budget is not a problem hire in a wide selection, find the one you like best and buy that one.
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Re: Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby CS70 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:56 am

Assuming you already know that your performance and the treatment in the room your record in, and the mic position, are as important as the mic, or more.. no amount of other people's advice can help (at least online). There's really no other way than trying out a few.

People have found their perfect mic ranging from a SM57 to AKG C12s, so price itself is not much of an indication either. Yes, there's a chance that you'll sound good on a Sony C800G, but you can also sound good on a far cheaper mic (within reason). That said, classics like the U87 work almost on anyone. But perfect? Not necessarily. An SM7B is the go-to for rap and hip hop and for good reason, but other dynamics may work better for you.

To give you an idea on how to think (at least, how I think :))... what I do when I try to match a vocalist and a mic is to listen to the voice:

- is it nasal (mid range), thin (more trebly than bassy) or the opposite?
- does the vocalist love his voice? (if that's the case, a bass boost is always almost needed, as nobody hears their voice as others do). Or does he want something a little flattering?
- is his voice "raspy"? that depends also on how much he pushes. I am like that for example.
- will the material need him to signing at comfortable range, or pushing a bit (this latter thing is very important, as the voice changes dramatically when pushed).
- is the vocalist an expert singer or not? (the more expert, the more control will have on his voice so the differences in his voice will be smaller - but everybody strains a little at the edges of their range).
- which kind of sound are we aiming to? A "regular" dynamic will generally be low-fi on vocals, for example, but a ribbon can be wonderfully smooth.

You can ask him (or yourself) to speak/sing sentences that exercise aspects of the voice (plosives, esses, rs which can get raspy etc), you find a list for example at http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~hgs/audio/harvard.html When I try mics I have some of them written down.

Once you have an idea of the voice characteristics, you pick up the mic in your locker that you best thing complements it: for example, raspy and pushed - no colored tube mics; soft and intimate, tube mics! Ribbons fill up a thin voice. A mid-rangey dynamic will fit well a voice that's lacking a little in power, or material that uses a kinda "spoken singing" approach (a-la-Bowie for example), and due to proximity effect will also increase the bass, which people invariably want. And so on and so on.

When you're buying, you can bring a few sentences with you and use the various mics you're testing to record and listen (in a good room with good speakers).
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Re: Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby Tim Gillett » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:18 pm

Hi Case, thanks for posting. Having referred us to your YT clips, are you inviting us to listen to some of these and offer opinions as to which mic(s) might suit your voice?
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Re: Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:55 pm

Different mics, regardless of price, suit different voices and no one on a forum can really make a prediction in this respect. If I heard your voice in the flesh I might hazard a guess of what I may use but I’d still likely want to trial a variety of options.

Hire as suggested, is one option - another is to book time in a studio with a wide range of mic options and do a series of takes which you can then analyse in order to make a decision.

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Re: Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby casemayfield » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:21 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:Hi Case, thanks for posting. Having referred us to your YT clips, are you inviting us to listen to some of these and offer opinions as to which mic(s) might suit your voice?

Hi Tim, that would be very welcome, thank you.

And thanks for all of your insights, now I've got a clearer picture of my next steps.
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Re: Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:55 pm

You move around a lot and the mics you use on the videos create a soft/loud tug of war that is a bit distracting musically.

I would look into an omni mic. It will pick you up with the same sound no matter where you are or how close you get to it. I feel like it will free you up so you don't have to think about the mic (which you obviously are since you are asking about mics).

Something to try anyway.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby John Willett » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:48 am

casemayfield wrote:Hi everyone,

After reading tons of information on the internet and listening to crappy youtube reviews I've decided to give this a shot.

I'm looking for the perfect vocal mic that fits my voice. Budget is no problem.
If you wanna know how my voice sounds find in on youtube or spotify (search: Case Mayfield)

I know the ' perfect' vocal mic doesn't exist because it's personal but I'm wondering what you guys come up with.

I want to use the mic with the Golden age pre 73 DLX pre amp.

Thanks guys

Where are you?

If you are in the UK, KMR have a good selection of the top mics (and can often get manufacturer loans for the ones the have not) - so take your pre-amp and go along and try them out. :thumbup:
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Re: Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby dickiefunk » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:58 am

John Willett wrote:Where are you?

If you are in the UK, KMR have a good selection of the top mics (and can often get manufacturer loans for the ones the have not) - so take your pre-amp and go along and try them out. :thumbup:

This :thumbup:

Also, Vanguard Audio Labs offer a free 14day home trial of their mics. I have their V13 and it is my favourite vocal mic I've used to date. However, you really need to try a few out yourself to find which suits your voice the best.
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Re: Help! Looking for the perfect vocal mic.

Postby Dave B » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:08 pm

I would suggest trying to hire / borrow the Slate VMS mic system and do a series of test recordings to decide which of the classic models you think sounds best on your voice. If you are happy with it, then you can always keep the VMS. But you can then try the real thing and see what the difference in sound / cost is and decide if you want to splurge or keep the (affordable) Slate.
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