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best male vocal mic under $1,000?

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best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby jbehrmusic » Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:44 pm

For context here's my current gear.

Interface: Apollo Twin X
Mic 1: Rode NT1 [ NOT the NT1-A ]
Mic 2: (older) Blue Baby Bottle [ NOT the SL version ]

Was wondering what the best microphone is for this price range. I sing/rap, mainly pop/hip-hop music. I know many people suggest the Slate ML-1, but I feel like that wouldn't utilize the unison preamps properly on my Apollo. So I'm curious what the best type of microphone is for the Apollo, for male vocals. I have a slightly deeper voice than average, not considered a baritone or bass by any means though.

As a side question, which uad unison preamps are best for male pop/hip-hop vocals? I know many people say the voxbox and avalon are good, but just curious what your opinions are.

Thanks :)
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:53 pm

Is it just for you or for a range of vocalists?
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby jbehrmusic » Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:04 pm

blinddrew wrote:Is it just for you or for a range of vocalists?

only for me
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby Humble Bee » Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:08 pm

SM7B

I always record clean on my Apollo and add any “character” at the mixing stage if needed. The unison thing is a bit overrated IMHO...
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby jbehrmusic » Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:43 pm

Humble Bee wrote:SM7B

I tried the SM7B a year or two ago, but didn't like how 'dark' sounding it was, compared to the condenser mics I have used. But I guess that is always something I could have changed in post with some EQ/saturation. When I compared it next to my baby bottle, it sounded very dull/muffled. But again, may have been I wasn't used to such a flat response from a mic.
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:08 pm

There's a few more suggestions on this thread: https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 10#p717898
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby CS70 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:34 am

jbehrmusic wrote:For context here's my current gear.

Interface: Apollo Twin X
Mic 1: Rode NT1 [ NOT the NT1-A ]
Mic 2: (older) Blue Baby Bottle [ NOT the SL version ]

Was wondering what the best microphone is for this price range. I sing/rap, mainly pop/hip-hop music. I know many people suggest the Slate ML-1, but I feel like that wouldn't utilize the unison preamps properly on my Apollo. So I'm curious what the best type of microphone is for the Apollo, for male vocals. I have a slightly deeper voice than average, not considered a baritone or bass by any means though.

As a side question, which uad unison preamps are best for male pop/hip-hop vocals? I know many people say the voxbox and avalon are good, but just curious what your opinions are.

Thanks :)

It's really hard to say in general. In my experience, male vocals may suffer from harshness when pushed, and you often want to boost highs a little bit (or apply the "dull singer fix" at around 8KHz), while you keep a bit of lower end to keep the vocal, er, male-y. That means really a microphone with a smooth top end in a band matching the vocalist.

And here's where the generalities end because which specific resonances exist for a specific vocalist depend on his anatomy and technique. The bass response depends a lot from positioning and the singer's mic technique (or lack thereof)

In general terms, you may want ot reach for a mic which is smooth overall, generally a good ribbon if your room is good and you have a pre with good gain, and work the distance to get a good bass balance. With a ribbon, if your room is not excellent, you may want to use a reflection filter on the back side, moving it about to see how it colors the sound. As condensers, I have come to really appreciate the little Neumann TLM102, it kind of works with most male vocalists I've used on.

Paradoxically, some male vox may benefit from mics which aren't too high fidelity.. so don't discount the SM57 and the likes, you may get an usable sound almost out of the box, and of course the ubiquitous SM7B... they simply are more forgiving, which can be a good thing if you want to get results without spending four hours trying mics.,

But really the list of possible mics would be nearly infinite. Any mic can be "the best" for a specific vocalist.
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby CS70 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:50 am

jbehrmusic wrote:
Humble Bee wrote:SM7B

I tried the SM7B a year or two ago, but didn't like how 'dark' sounding it was, compared to the condenser mics I have used. But I guess that is always something I could have changed in post with some EQ/saturation. When I compared it next to my baby bottle, it sounded very dull/muffled. But again, may have been I wasn't used to such a flat response from a mic.

Yes, it would but the trick is that you can boost the top end without resulting in a nasty sound.
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:51 am

I think a lot of people involved in Hip-Hop favour the Neumann U87/Avalon 747 combo. if the budget allows, it’s a classic set-up, produces really up front, in your face results.
If I was on a budget, I’d use any semi-decent mic, by the likes of Rhode etc, perfectly adequate, and get the sound I wanted in my DAW.
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby ef37a » Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:36 am

DO try the beer money Mackie EM-91c as reviewed by PW recently.

He found it a smooth performer and 'we' think it sounds good on classical acoustic guitar as well as voice.

You would still have more than enough change out of £1k for the SM7b but is your pre amp up to one?

Oh, and get it from Polar audio, super people.

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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:57 am

ef37a wrote:DO try the beer money Mackie EM-91c as reviewed by PW recently.

He found it a smooth performer and 'we' think it sounds good on classical acoustic guitar as well as voice.

You would still have more than enough change out of £1k for the SM7b but is your pre amp up to one?

Oh, and get it from Polar audio, super people.

Dave.

Good choice, I’d buy the Mackie, it’ll be fine, if you can trust anyone to make a budget mic it’s them.
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby ef37a » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:22 am

Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:DO try the beer money Mackie EM-91c as reviewed by PW recently.

He found it a smooth performer and 'we' think it sounds good on classical acoustic guitar as well as voice.

You would still have more than enough change out of £1k for the SM7b but is your pre amp up to one?

Oh, and get it from Polar audio, super people.

Dave.

Good choice, I’d buy the Mackie, it’ll be fine, if you can trust anyone to make a budget mic it’s them.

Well, it is of course a Chinese build but of better quality than the 'Neewer/BM' stuff around . For around 70quid you get mic, cat's cradle and an XLR cable. No brainer IMHO.

Dave.
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:46 am

ef37a wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:DO try the beer money Mackie EM-91c as reviewed by PW recently.

He found it a smooth performer and 'we' think it sounds good on classical acoustic guitar as well as voice.

You would still have more than enough change out of £1k for the SM7b but is your pre amp up to one?

Oh, and get it from Polar audio, super people.

Dave.

Good choice, I’d buy the Mackie, it’ll be fine, if you can trust anyone to make a budget mic it’s them.

Well, it is of course a Chinese build but of better quality than the 'Neewer/BM' stuff around . For around 70quid you get mic, cat's cradle and an XLR cable. No brainer IMHO.

Dave.

I’m probably wrong, but didn’t Mackie pride themselves on making their stuff in the States?
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby ef37a » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:51 am

Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:DO try the beer money Mackie EM-91c as reviewed by PW recently.

He found it a smooth performer and 'we' think it sounds good on classical acoustic guitar as well as voice.

You would still have more than enough change out of £1k for the SM7b but is your pre amp up to one?

Oh, and get it from Polar audio, super people.

Dave.

Good choice, I’d buy the Mackie, it’ll be fine, if you can trust anyone to make a budget mic it’s them.

Well, it is of course a Chinese build but of better quality than the 'Neewer/BM' stuff around . For around 70quid you get mic, cat's cradle and an XLR cable. No brainer IMHO.

Dave.

I’m probably wrong, but didn’t Mackie pride themselves on making their stuff in the States?

Well! Blows me down Tone! Mackie must have copied a Chinese production facility EXACTLY in the states!

Dave.
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Re: best male vocal mic under $1,000?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:05 pm

ef37a wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
ef37a wrote:DO try the beer money Mackie EM-91c as reviewed by PW recently.

He found it a smooth performer and 'we' think it sounds good on classical acoustic guitar as well as voice.

You would still have more than enough change out of £1k for the SM7b but is your pre amp up to one?

Oh, and get it from Polar audio, super people.

Dave.

Good choice, I’d buy the Mackie, it’ll be fine, if you can trust anyone to make a budget mic it’s them.

Well, it is of course a Chinese build but of better quality than the 'Neewer/BM' stuff around . For around 70quid you get mic, cat's cradle and an XLR cable. No brainer IMHO.

Dave.

I’m probably wrong, but didn’t Mackie pride themselves on making their stuff in the States?

Well! Blows me down Tone! Mackie must have copied a Chinese production facility EXACTLY in the states!

Dave.

Yeah ;)
There will be a time "many years from now" when Chinese versions of everything will be "classics"
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