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Condenser Mic Recommendation Please - for my male vocals (not rap or metal) and Acoustic guitar

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Condenser Mic Recommendation Please - for my male vocals (not rap or metal) and Acoustic guitar

Postby MikeN » Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:15 pm

I know the subject of microphones is subjective.
Of course a mic needs to suit the vocalist.
But there must be a case of some mics being "better" than others in that they suit more voices AND are easier to work with so they sit in a mix more easily.

Questions

1. Are there ANY large diaphragm condensers under 500 UK pounds that HONESTLY do not have harsh highs OR are treble heavy at the expense of mids and low frequencies?
I have read many reviews of mics that say they have a "neutral" character and are not over-hyped at the top end - yet when I hear them...they sound too trebly and top heavy to me.

2. Are there any users out there of the TLM 102 for male vocals?
Please provide pros AND cons

3. Are there any users out there of the Warm Audio WA-87 and also WA-87 R2
Please provide pros AND cons of each mic.
Which mic does the job better for you?

Thank you

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Re: Condenser Mic Recommendation Please - for my male vocals (not rap or metal) and Acoustic guitar

Postby sound bites » Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:19 pm

I’d recommend either the TLM102 or the AT 4033. But don’t just take my or anybody’s word and do try them on yourself and a couple of other vocalists.
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Re: Condenser Mic Recommendation Please - for my male vocals (not rap or metal) and Acoustic guitar

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:11 pm

If you find all the 'neutral' LDC's you've tried too bright maybe you need to look elsewhere. for a smoother, less bright sound a ribbon might be a better choice, or possibly dynamic mic like an SM7B or Ashton Stealth instead?
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Re: Condenser Mic Recommendation Please - for my male vocals (not rap or metal) and Acoustic guitar

Postby JRC1 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:08 am

If you are a confident ebay user then I would just buy some reccomendations used and if they arent working for you then just sell it and get a different one especially at the moment when it isnt the easiest to audition gear.

I love the AT4033 as mentioned above and on the rare occasion I use an LDC on electric guitar I love it. the SE 4400a is a fantastic take on the AKG 414 but it probably may have too much top end for you if thats an issue. BLue bluebird is the only other one I have personally used under 500 and would shout about, apart from the original Rode NT1 which has a bit more balls and less top end if thats your thing.
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Re: Condenser Mic Recommendation Please - for my male vocals (not rap or metal) and Acoustic guitar

Postby CS70 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:48 am

MikeN wrote:I know the subject of microphones is subjective.
Of course a mic needs to suit the vocalist.
But there must be a case of some mics being "better" than others in that they suit more voices AND are easier to work with so they sit in a mix more easily.

Hey Mike. There is, but not in the sense you seem to think. It's not the mic, it's the combination of mic and room and position and source.

In a "normal" studio, room and position are more or less sorted (by way of having a good room and having experience in where to place the mic), so it's mostly a matter to match the mic to the vocal.

But in so general terms as you ask... literally every reasonable mic will do.

1. Are there ANY large diaphragm condensers under 500 UK pounds that HONESTLY do not have harsh highs OR are treble heavy at the expense of mids and low frequencies?
I have read many reviews of mics that say they have a "neutral" character and are not over-hyped at the top end - yet when I hear them...they sound too trebly and top heavy to me.

How and where do you hear them? Acoustic guitar and vocals are so much more about the source (both instrument and voice, singing technique and delivery :)), the room and the positioning than the microphone - at least so long it's a condenser.

2. Are there any users out there of the TLM 102 for male vocals?
Please provide pros AND cons

I have it and have used it and still take it out. It does a great job at recording what's there and takes EQ well. Side sound is controlled and it's every bit a mic that you can use for a great record. I often prefer it to the U87, especially on midrangey sources and it works great on acoustic guitar. If I had to have one mic that doesn't break the bank, that would be it.

Not sure about the cons. Perhaps, it's very small so it doesn't make an impression on people.

I have and use many mics of vastly superior cost and yet the TLM often does the job nice and clean.

I may, of course, have lead ears! :D
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Re: Condenser Mic Recommendation Please - for my male vocals (not rap or metal) and Acoustic guitar

Postby forumuser840717 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:12 pm

Is there a reason you're looking for a condenser mic specifically?

There are good dynamic mics in the sub £500 range that could give you the un-hyped top end that you want.

If you want the full, warm, dark, 1940s/50s crooner type sound try some ribbon mics and learn to work around the scarily powerful proximity effect and susceptibility to popping (it can be done and it's worth it if you like the sound). One which seems to fly rather under the radar is the Beyer M260. It can work really well on vocals and is well within budget. Another one that's settled from it's initial hype to be less common - over budget but you might get lucky secondhand - is the SE Electronics RNR1 which is a bit different from the 'traditional' ribbon mic sound, with a more extended (though not in any way over-bright) HF, and a really good mic for all sorts of things, including vocals. A used Coles 4038, AEA R84 or AEA N8 or N22 might also be worth a look and findable within budget. The AEA KU5A is a really good mic for smooth top end vocals but probably a bit new to find any used examples within budget.

If it has to be a condenser, you might want to try a Neumann TLM193. New, they're well outside the budget but if, they suit you, you might get lucky and find a nice one second hand. The last one I bought was £400 and in mint condition but I see they seem to be going up in price again. Might be worth a try though. Waiting, and saving up a bit more money, you may even get something like an older, used, U89 or TLM170 in good working order.
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