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Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

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Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby garrywindshield » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:50 am

So, I was going to buy KSM32 today but AKG has a huge price drop and I'm thinking of buying one.

I know that XLS is more neutral-sounding than XLII, but it's a bit cheaper and I think I prefer its tone a bit more (the more a mic closer to full and natural sound of U87 the better it is for VO to my ears).

What do you think? Would AKG 414 be a better choice?
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:20 am

Everything depends on your voice, the space you are recording in and the type of VO work you intend to do.

ADR? Sennheiser MKH-416 so that you match the location sound.

Bad or echoey space? MKH-416 again. No contest! (SM58 possible alternative)

Great-sounding room, deep voice and intimate sound? U87 or similar such as the TLM 103.

Shouty (aka a screamer and puker!) voice? SM58 every time!

Straight up-n-down radio presenter voice? AKG 414.

One mic to cover them all? MKH-416.

The MKH-416 really is an 'über' mic - cue Don LaFontaine "In a world of confusion, there came an über-mic. One mic sent to control all other mics."

Get the new version - don't buy SH.
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:01 pm

As Bladder says the answer is ‘it depends’.

As well as the points noted above, it’s important to match the microphone to your own voice. Yes, the U87 is a microphone that will work on just about any voice, but it’s not to say it’s the best microphone on every voice.

In fact a dynamic microphone may well suit you best. I’d also add the Beyer M201 and the Shure SM7B to your list, the latter of these can really excel in VO work.

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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby Arpangel » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:57 pm

Sennhieser MD421 is good on vocals, has a nice slightly warm intimate sound for VO work. Not expensive.
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby garrywindshield » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:52 pm

Thank you very much guys. I can only imagine how tired you are of these microphone questions. But I've been doing my research for a very long time and listened to many different models. I'm currently building a vocal booth and looking for a good VO mic for audibooks, narration, occasional acting. I don't have many for different mics and I can't listen to them before purchase (not a possibility where I live).

So my question is really just that. Would be AKG414 be a better option than Shure KSM32. I don't have too much options anyway.
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby Ariosto » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:19 pm

I have used the C414 on my voice for narration and it's not bad at all. I also have used the Beyer M201 which is very good. My favourite is the Sontronics Sigma active ribbon mic, which suits my (Male) voice best of all. (It's the old Sigma which I bought about 2 years ago - not the new one which seems to have gone up in price, but it's probably as good if not better).
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby CS70 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:33 pm

garrywindshield wrote:So my question is really just that. Would be AKG414 be a better option than Shure KSM32. I don't have too much options anyway.

I guess what the fellows are trying to say is that there's no answer to that, without hearing our voice and your recording room. There just isn't.

They've about just the same sensitivity, have pads and hi-pass, the AKG is multi pattern which can be very useful (like an 87), but irrelevant if your only application is for vox.

If you're looking for the sound of a 87 in cardioid mode, I think there's better options to both (the best being an 87!), but in a blind choice, the Shure is what I would pick up. It's cheaper, you don't need the extra patterns for vox and it's another mic that works more often than not.

All in all I wouldn't get hang up so much on this.. unless you have a really particular voice, with a good room both mics will produce excellent results and a little EQ will bring you the extra mile with no problem. I use (among others) an 87 all the time and it's not like I don't EQ it...
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby resistorman » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:12 pm

I have both. I previously used the 414 on my wife’s VO projects, but last summer I tried the KSM32 on a whim and much preferred it. The 414 has an edge that accented her sibilants, whereas the 32 was very smooth. Also, the 32 picked up a bit less room sound, which is minimal in either case. That’s just one person’s usage. As it has been pointed out, a lot of factors come into play.
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby John Willett » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:54 pm

garrywindshield wrote:So, I was going to buy KSM32 today but AKG has a huge price drop and I'm thinking of buying one.

I know that XLS is more neutral-sounding than XLII, but it's a bit cheaper and I think I prefer its tone a bit more (the more a mic closer to full and natural sound of U87 the better it is for VO to my ears).

What do you think? Would AKG 414 be a better choice?

I know I'm biased because I distribute them in the UK - but my favorite mic. for voiceovers (at any price) is the Gefell M930 - and it's not expensive (and there is a deal on until the 20th December from any Gefell dealer). :thumbup:

Loans are available to try out first.

There is a set available with shockmount and pop killer that attaches to the mount so it doesn't get in the way.

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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby Ariosto » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:24 am

Gefell M930 - and it's not expensive

Mic's such as the Gefell M930 may be excellent but they cost over £1,000. The difference between one of those for VO/narration as against a mic costing half that price would be negligible, in my opinion. Once you get over a certain price level the added improvements (and this applies to many things) are so tiny as to be of no noticeable importance (even if they are noticeable if measured).* Professionally for music recording they can be justified I suppose, but remember that the room acoustics, mic positioning, mic technique and the quality of you voice make up 99.9% of the recorded quality.

* I think it's called "the law of diminishing returns?"
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby Arpangel » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:16 am

Ariosto wrote:Gefell M930 - and it's not expensive

Mic's such as the Gefell M930 may be excellent but they cost over £1,000. The difference between one of those for VO/narration as against a mic costing half that price would be negligible, in my opinion. Once you get over a certain price level the added improvements (and this applies to many things) are so tiny as to be of no noticeable importance (even if they are noticeable if measured).* Professionally for music recording they can be justified I suppose, but remember that the room acoustics, mic positioning, mic technique and the quality of you voice make up 99.9% of the recorded quality.

* I think it's called "the law of diminishing returns?"

I was shocked one day, a DJ friend of mine was running an independent Rock radio station, in the bay window of his girlfriends house, a few famous BBC DJ's of the past used to pop in for occasional show spots. The gear was all piled up on an old kitchen table, and on the end of one of those angle poise mic arms was a Neumann M147, on the table was an Optimod, a couple of API compressors and some old Orban EQ stuff, plus an Alice broadcast mixer he found at a car boot sale. An eclectic mix of stuff, that may have seemed unecassary, but he just didn't care, and it looked good for visiting DJ's.
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby ronmac » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:49 am

The size and build of your booth will have a far greater impact on your “sound” than mic selection, imo. Most home-built, small vocal booth projects have more of a negative impact than the isolation they (may) provide.

To directly answer your question I chose the Shure for my voice, although that offers no help to you, as it may not be your best choice.
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Re: Shure KSM32 or AKG 414 xls (for VO)

Postby niallharp » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:14 pm

1. Sort out recording environment
2. A EVre20 is a brilliant VO dynamic. Picksup very little room sound. You can eat it, there’s a proximity effect kill switch.
3. I know a number of people Who were very disappointed with the 414, and found it very difficult to make it work for their voices. I also know a number of people who found very we’re disappointed with the 414, and found it very difficult to make it work for their voices. I also know a number of people (myself included) who found the shure KSM32 and 44 mics to be supisingly good, and easy to get a result without.
4. Mikrotech Gefell microphones are superior to almost every other brand out there. I have a pair of UM70’s, which changed my life. The m930 has been universally acclaimed.Expensive, but You won’t regret.
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