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weedywet

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Posts: 5,949 Member Since:20/01/2011

#2 [url]

May 3 17 12:45 PM

I on some level appreciate the effort, or ambition

but...

having said that, that's a pretty uninteresting list, for me.
No Sontronics, no Roswell, no Advanced Audio, no Microtech-Gefell, no Josephson, no Wunder, Pearlman, Flea?

And of course there are inevitably a lot of variables in there.
e.g. the female singer;  sometimes she hits the first "I'm" really hard with a stop, sometimes just a softer but clean note, sometimes she slides into it... 

and:
" Russ Berger-designed room"
" with well-balanced acoustics,"

which is it? choose one.

Last Edited By: weedywet May 3 17 12:51 PM. Edited 1 time.

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trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 358 Member Since:11/10/2013

#3 [url]

May 3 17 1:01 PM

Totally get that, I was hoping to get feedback from you guys on this. I have to say, maybe its me, but I don't hear alot of diff on the posted files on any of them.
I think to it was mics they carry and I don't know how many of those you listed they carry

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,949 Member Since:20/01/2011

#4 [url]

May 3 17 10:27 PM

i thought two of them stood out, and one of them KIND of did, to a lesser but to me predictable degree.

but without being able to compare to a lot of other worthy competitors...

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trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 358 Member Since:11/10/2013

#5 [url]

May 4 17 7:53 AM

i liked the BOCK 251, there was something about it that seemed richer in detail and it was noticeable, for me at least

I really dont have the time to download all the 96/24 files and that might make a larger diff.

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,139 Member Since:23/01/2011

#6 [url]

May 7 17 10:53 AM

No disrespect to Millennia but, being an owner of 8 channels of HV-3 preamps, they are not what I'd be using to record a lead vocal.  Don't get me wrong: I like my Millennia's a lot and use them all the time... just not for that purpose.  It looks like they didn't use a pop filter--a good thing imo--and it also looks like they didn't record with the singers too close to the mic--also a good thing imo, at least for evaluation purposes.  YMMV.  I'll have to check it all out later.  

Regarding ww's comment about the unevenness of the singer's performance, this is why--although Klaus vigorously objects--using something like a Yamaha Disklavier to evaluate microphones seems like an excellent idea because: A. pianos represent a torture test for gear evaluation and B. the performance would be extremely, accurately repeatable.  Again, YMMV. 

Last Edited By: maarvold May 7 17 10:57 AM. Edited 1 time.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,390 Member Since:04/02/2011

#7 [url]

May 7 17 11:05 AM

maarvold wrote:
No disrespect to Millennia but, being an owner of 8 channels of HV-3 preamps, they are not what I'd be using to record a lead vocal.  Don't get me wrong: I like my Millennia's a lot and use them all the time... just not for that purpose.  It looks like they didn't use a pop filter--a good thing imo--and it also looks like they didn't record with the singers too close to the mic--also a good thing imo, at least for evaluation purposes.  YMMV.  I'll have to check it all out later.  

Regarding ww's comment about the unevenness of the singer's performance, this is why--although Klaus vigorously objects--using something like a Yamaha Disklavier to evaluate microphones seems like an excellent idea because: A. pianos represent a torture test for gear evaluation and B. the performance would be extremely, accurately repeatable.  Again, YMMV. 

The takeaway, for me, is that "shootouts" are not my preferred way of evaluating and selecting equipment. They can be fun to do for their own sake.

brad allen williams

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,139 Member Since:23/01/2011

#8 [url]

May 7 17 12:10 PM

soapfoot wrote:

maarvold wrote:
No disrespect to Millennia but, being an owner of 8 channels of HV-3 preamps, they are not what I'd be using to record a lead vocal.  Don't get me wrong: I like my Millennia's a lot and use them all the time... just not for that purpose.  It looks like they didn't use a pop filter--a good thing imo--and it also looks like they didn't record with the singers too close to the mic--also a good thing imo, at least for evaluation purposes.  YMMV.  I'll have to check it all out later.  

Regarding ww's comment about the unevenness of the singer's performance, this is why--although Klaus vigorously objects--using something like a Yamaha Disklavier to evaluate microphones seems like an excellent idea because: A. pianos represent a torture test for gear evaluation and B. the performance would be extremely, accurately repeatable.  Again, YMMV. 

The takeaway, for me, is that "shootouts" are not my preferred way of evaluating and selecting equipment. They can be fun to do for their own sake.

IMO, it's VERY difficult to do audio testing with the goal being to obtain truly definitive results.  
 

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,390 Member Since:04/02/2011

#9 [url]

May 7 17 1:17 PM

maarvold wrote:

soapfoot wrote:

maarvold wrote:
No disrespect to Millennia but, being an owner of 8 channels of HV-3 preamps, they are not what I'd be using to record a lead vocal.  Don't get me wrong: I like my Millennia's a lot and use them all the time... just not for that purpose.  It looks like they didn't use a pop filter--a good thing imo--and it also looks like they didn't record with the singers too close to the mic--also a good thing imo, at least for evaluation purposes.  YMMV.  I'll have to check it all out later.  

Regarding ww's comment about the unevenness of the singer's performance, this is why--although Klaus vigorously objects--using something like a Yamaha Disklavier to evaluate microphones seems like an excellent idea because: A. pianos represent a torture test for gear evaluation and B. the performance would be extremely, accurately repeatable.  Again, YMMV. 

The takeaway, for me, is that "shootouts" are not my preferred way of evaluating and selecting equipment. They can be fun to do for their own sake.

IMO, it's VERY difficult to do audio testing with the goal being to obtain truly definitive results.  
 

to many variables that are hard to control without making the test have too little bearing on normal everyday use.

 

brad allen williams

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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,774 Member Since:26/01/2011

#10 [url]

May 7 17 2:13 PM

The pairing of voice to mic is an art form itself... it can take years to find a magic pairing.

I know that both Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion bought their own Neumann M49 once they found the particular microphone that work well for their respective voices.

Everyone probably knows the story of Bonnie Raitt working with Don Was and Ed Cherney and them discovering (after 20 some odd years) that the EV RE20 ended up being the magic mic for her voice.

Shootouts are fun and can be informative in their own right but nothing beats hearing the singer perform in the room with several different mic's.

Back when I had my commercial studios and I knew we were doing a "vocal day" with a new singer, I would rent five of Stephen Jarvis's best microphones (U47, M49, U67, U87 (Klaus modded, sometimes the 67 was as well) and an E lam 251) just to find out what was going to work with the particular singers voice... I would also put up an old SM58 For fun and it would kill me when the 58 won out on the voice. But it did a couple times. The disappointment in the eyes of everyone was evident but you couldn't argue with what sounded best and fit in the track. Oh well 500.00 wasted for the day.

Many times the Klaus 87 ended up being the winner. Stephen had over 138 microphones in his collection at the time. At least two of everything but usually 6 as he rented many of them out as matched pairs.

Is this even done anymore? Probably not.

There is just so much more available today and everybody seems to want to own the equipment, even if it hardly ever gets used. Everybody also seems to want to wear many hats. I miss the simpler times when everybody had a role to play in the studio. That team effort, working together, the moments of discovery, man it's no wonder it's not nearly as much fun as it used to be... I think the music shows it as well. Pop music is so formulated that it's boring, same with country, hip hop, classic rock and Blues. Jazz forget about it, used to be the freest form of music but now its full of restrictions. I even see EDM starting to get formulated.

Sorry sort of went far off topic... Lynn has always been great at doing these types of shootouts.

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,626 Member Since:26/01/2011

#11 [url]

May 7 17 6:31 PM

silvertone wrote:

Is this even done anymore? Probably not.

 

I still do it if there is time and the singer has the patience. They're frequently surprised by what they like best, and the RE20 can be a real shocker. I have never been able to predict how a particular mic will interact with a particular, and when magic happens it's totally worth the time and energy expended.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,390 Member Since:04/02/2011

#12 [url]

May 7 17 10:25 PM

I'm one of the ones who doesn't really do that.

I might try two options maximum. Usually I just put up my best first guess (typically the studio's U47), and see if I like what I hear. If that's not giving me what I want, then I might try other options, but that's typically been pretty rare (for me). 

I'm probably just a little superstitious, but the last thing I want is to have the vocalist 'waste' what is potentially their best, most emotionally-involved take, while trying mics. I'm usually trying my best to make the recording process "disappear" as much as possible, and just have them focus on engaging with the lyric. If it's a full-length worth of vocals over multiple days, sometimes I will try two or three briefly, at the very beginning.

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot May 7 17 10:27 PM. Edited 1 time.

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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,774 Member Since:26/01/2011

#14 [url]

May 8 17 5:59 AM

What the hell are you guys talking about. It take two f'n seconds to hear, there is no waste of time. If you prepare ahead of time, which might take you personally a half an hour. The results are immediate and usual not subtle.

Instinct is not always right, especially when it comes to an instrument as complex as the human voice. For 20 years all Bonnie Raitts engineers apparently had the wrong "instinct".

I was taught that you sure as hell didn't want a whole album tracked with the wrong vocal mic back then. There were enough problems dealing with a limited medium back then. Of course my mentor recorded Grace Slick, Steve Perry, Linda Rondstat, Celine Dion and many great vocalist. So I guess I learned from someone who kind of knew what he was doing.

You should try it, you'll be blown away when a 57 works better on the voice than your 47... although accepting that fact is the hard part. Ha ha

Waste of time, ha, it's never a waste getting the right sounds. It's really what we are paid to do.
 

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

Last Edited By: silvertone May 8 17 6:05 AM. Edited 1 time.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,390 Member Since:04/02/2011

#15 [url]

May 8 17 7:52 AM

Just a different ethos, and a different set of priorities, Larry. I don't think either is "wrong." I'm glad that what you do works for you!

"Whatever works," after all.

I had one personal experience early in my career where I tried out five or six different mics on a vocalist. I recorded about a verse worth of each (each on its own playlist), chose my favorite, and then got to work. Later, when I went to make the comp, the clear BEST performance (in terms of emotional involvement/engagement) of the first verse was the very first take... made on a mic that I didn't choose. I was then faced with a decision of either the sound not "matching" the rest of the performance, or using an inferior take of the first verse (I actually don't remember what I did).

I guess that experience sort of stuck with me, and I'm superstitious about it now.

I sometimes work with one particular artist who's a real pro and a wonderful talent, but just very uncomfortable in a studio for some reason. They're also of the type to nail it on the first pass and then get progressively more bored and disinterested with each subsequent take... they "peak early." The last thing I want to do have that "peak" occur during a mic shootout, and the second-to-last thing I want to do with this artist is play up technical aspects of the "recording process" in a way that's visible to them. I want them to drink tea, talk about life and feelings, and be reminded that I can be trusted as a listener and a friend. Other artists may be made to feel "special" if they get to shoot out all these different mics to find the "best," and if that's what that artist needs to give their best performance, that is absolutely what I will do.

brad allen williams

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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,626 Member Since:26/01/2011

#16 [url]

May 8 17 8:27 AM

I see trying different mics as part of the getting acquainted process with a new singer. I'll only do it if we're going to be doing vocals for an entire album, and if the singer is comfortable with it. If we can afford the time, in other words. If I get the sense that the singer will peak early I try to hold them back until we've made the mic choice. And I have to say they find the process as interesting as I do, and derive confidence from having heard the options and making the best choice. They also derive confidence from my effort to make the best choice. It doesn't work with everyone - some singers don't care and I'm OK with that. I also don't waste the time on singers I've recorded before, I just go straight to the mic we used. And I will also use other mics to change the sound if it seems appropriate to the song. It's a methodology that works for me, I don't see it as the only one.

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blairl

Gold Finger

Posts: 574 Member Since:26/01/2011

#17 [url]

May 8 17 11:24 AM

soapfoot wrote:
...I recorded about a verse worth of each (each on its own playlist), chose my favorite, and then got to work. Later, when I went to make the comp, the clear BEST performance (in terms of emotional involvement/engagement) of the first verse was the very first take... made on a mic that I didn't choose...

I generally make an informed guess on which mic to use, put it up, and if it works, go for it.  However, I have done "shootouts" before as well.  To save time, I set up 3 or 4 mics in a circular pattern with the capsules all really close together.  I generally have vocalists about 10 inches from the mic or more.  This gives enough distance for the purpose of the shootout as well.  I record all microphones at the same time through the same kind of preamp (Usually a Daking IV).  We record a little bit.  Maybe an entire run through the song.  I do a quick Audio Suite RMS measurement and make sure all tracks are matching the same RMS.  Then we take a listen.  All microphones are of the same performance.  Vocalist isn't tired.  Original take can be used in the final track after the decision has been made.  Doesn't waste time.

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,169 Member Since:23/10/2013

#18 [url]

May 8 17 12:46 PM

maarvold wrote:

soapfoot wrote:

maarvold wrote:
No disrespect to Millennia but, being an owner of 8 channels of HV-3 preamps, they are not what I'd be using to record a lead vocal.  Don't get me wrong: I like my Millennia's a lot and use them all the time... just not for that purpose.  It looks like they didn't use a pop filter--a good thing imo--and it also looks like they didn't record with the singers too close to the mic--also a good thing imo, at least for evaluation purposes.  YMMV.  I'll have to check it all out later.  

Regarding ww's comment about the unevenness of the singer's performance, this is why--although Klaus vigorously objects--using something like a Yamaha Disklavier to evaluate microphones seems like an excellent idea because: A. pianos represent a torture test for gear evaluation and B. the performance would be extremely, accurately repeatable.  Again, YMMV. 

The takeaway, for me, is that "shootouts" are not my preferred way of evaluating and selecting equipment. They can be fun to do for their own sake.

IMO, it's VERY difficult to do audio testing with the goal being to obtain truly definitive results.  
 

I agree...

Definitely have heard times where the apparent result of a shootout probably gives misleading results, because the test method is something like a vocalist singing the same phrase over different performances, possibly not in the sweet spot of a mic, etc. Maybe even some quirky coupling with the preamp or poor gain staging on occasion.

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,949 Member Since:20/01/2011

#19 [url]

May 8 17 1:05 PM

silvertone wrote:

Instinct is not always right, especially when it comes to an instrument as complex as the human voice.

 

 
no, it's not. as I said.

and when it isn't, I try something else.



But I'm 98% of the time fine with my first choice, AND I'm not even a little averse to EQ to close that last 5% gap between good 'choices'.

I'd rather, in fact, tweak a tiny bit at the desk than interrupt the flow of recording to change mics.

I have made a LOT of records where the vast majority of things were recorded on the same single mic (or at most choice between two, a ribbon and a condenser), and through the same channel (pre, eq, compressor, etc) as well.
I frankly don't believe these records would have in any way been "better" (leaving aside 'more successful') had I picked between mics for each overdub based on 'shootouts'.

I'm equally, FWIW, unconvinced that Nick Of Time would have sounded 'worse' or sold ONE fewer record had Bonnie sung into a U47.
 

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,390 Member Since:04/02/2011

#20 [url]

May 8 17 1:52 PM

Continuing that line of thought--

I used to be FAR more obsessed with everything being "perfect" than I am now. But for the stuff I work on, I feel like I've learned that, when it comes to creative flow, creative output, and emotional immediacy... expediency is NOT to be underestimated. There's really something to be said for just getting on with it if someone is inspired.

"The moment" is such a powerful thing. And even a single momentary "code-switch" from aesthetic mind to technical mind (and back again) can change the emotional environment within the room palpably.

brad allen williams

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