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Expensive Vocal Mic

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Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby Aptorian » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:28 am

I'm potentially looking to spend some serious money on a handheld vocal mic and would like some advice.

Atm. I'm leaning toward the DPA 2028 with the Neumann KMS series also in consideration. I'm also not against the higher end of Senny/Shure/Audix.

I currently own: Sennheiser e845, Shure SM58 + Beta 58, Audix OM7 and sE V7.

This is to fill a gap for me for a good handheld microphone that will also work in a recording situation when the vocalist prefers a handheld. I've also often had issues with some female vocalists sounding "harsh" with the mics I currently have so I would like something without the traditional presence boost but with nice airy highs.
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:09 am

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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby mac.churchmouse » Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:41 am

I love my Milab LSR 3000

http://www.milabmic.com/showproduct.asp?id=1131

A little sensitive to handling noise but it sounds terrific with my voice, so worth the wee bit of extra care in use.

Cheers, Glenn
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:55 am

Beyer M 88 ?
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby The Red Bladder » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:41 pm

Aptorian wrote: I've also often had issues with some female vocalists sounding "harsh" with the mics I currently have so I would like something without the traditional presence boost but with nice airy highs.
That would be precisely and exactly the KMS 105. It and the SM58 are the two classic vocal mics for hand-held work.

Harshness can also be caused by the mic pre.
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:04 pm

Not sure on your definition of expensive, but it might be worth looking at a Shure Beta 87a as well.
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby resistorman » Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:33 pm

+1 KSM 8
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby Aptorian » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:29 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
Aptorian wrote: I've also often had issues with some female vocalists sounding "harsh" with the mics I currently have so I would like something without the traditional presence boost but with nice airy highs.
That would be precisely and exactly the KMS 105. It and the SM58 are the two classic vocal mics for hand-held work.

Harshness can also be caused by the mic pre.


Are you saying that I would have the same issue with the KMS or that it would solve my problems?

In terms of what I'm willing to spend I could probably justify about £500 for the right mic.

I had completely forgotten about the KSM 8 so I will look into that again.

This is mostly for other singers so handling noise is a big no.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:12 pm

He's suggesting the Neumann KMS105 might solve your problem because it has airy highs without an excessive presence boost. It's a very nice hand-held capacitor vocal mic, widely used and respected. The KSM8 is another impressive option.
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:07 pm

If you're already a fan of the Audix range you might also consider the vx series.

I have the vx5 which doesn't come out often (or at all at the minute of course) but when the environment allows it works great on female vox.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/audix-vx5-vx10
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby Aptorian » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:17 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:He's suggesting the Neumann KMS105 might solve your problem because it has airy highs without an excessive presence boost. It's a very nice hand-held capacitor vocal mic, widely used and respected. The KSM8 is another impressive option.

That's what I thought, thanks. I just wanted to clarify because this is a lot for me to spend on a mic atm. especially considering current circumstances. I would like something really nice though.
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby rggillespie » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:03 am

I’ve tried a kms105 but for me it was a little bright and brought out sibilance in my voice. I was able to send it back and found the Shure ksm8 much more my thing. I’d say it was warmer sounding and forgiving of my less than prefect mic technique. Plus I’ve used it for recording acoustics and electric guitars with success. Not to knock the 105 though, one persons light and airy sounding is another’s harsh and bright.
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:55 pm

Sorry I was less than fulsome in my what I wrote - a busy day! Yes, the 105 is probably what you are looking for - or should that be hearing for?

If you are worried about harshness, the 105 gives you the airy top end without a presence boost and it is pretty good at avoiding popping and handling noises - as is the SM58, which, if you have a really good mic pre and EQ can be made to sound every bit as good as the 105. Like all things, it's much easier to have the 105 there in the first place!

Nine times out of ten, if there is NO harshness in the voice, but harshness in the recording, something somewhere is wrong. It could be a cheap mic, or dust on the membrane, or a bad (cheap or faulty) mic pre or a lousy EQ or even clocking problems on the ADDA (rare nowadays but VERY common with the first generation of ProTools converters).

When I record vocals, I very often put up two mics, one behind the other. At the front, it's an SM58 and then behind that, a large condenser, usually an M149. You would be surprised how often the 58 gets used either partially for certain phrases, or mixed-in for a bit of blood-n-guts!

I was talking to a guy who recorded (name of very famous jazz singer) and asked him how he got that breathy edge to her voice. "Did you EQ that in or use something like a KMS105? It just sounds so silky-smooth, how did you do it?"

"I didn't!" he said. "I just stuck a bog-standard U87 in front of her and she let rip. That's what she sounds like. Other than reverb, we didn't touch her voice at all!"

So there you go! What happens in front of the microphone is a thousand times more important than any equipment issues!

Put it another way, put an iPhone in front of Tom Hanks and it will look like a movie. Put an Arri Alexa LF in front of our local am-dram group and they still suck!
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby Aptorian » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:15 pm

Yeah I understand it's often not the equipment at fault but most of my work is in live sound with different acts every show so unfortunately the talent isn't something I have any control over. It's just certain voices I have issues with and sometimes swapping the mic helps with that. That's not the main reason for buying just something I thought I'd mention, all of my mics work well for cutting through on a loud stage, I was just looking for something more natural sounding as another option.

The idea was to get one really nice microphone for the occasions that warrant one (and where the singer can be trusted not to drop it) but that could also be used in recording situations where the singer prefers a handheld.
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Re: Expensive Vocal Mic

Postby Tim Gillett » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:48 pm

Sure, we can't control how various people use the mic, though we can politely offer a performer advice on how best to use the mic, but we can control proximity effect (bass tip up). The KSM8 is one of the few current stage mics that does control it. It's one of its great but not always understood features.
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