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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,727 Member Since:26/01/2011

#23 [url]

May 9 17 5:50 AM

I'm all for the capturing the moment too... and not getting lost on the technical. It was doing fucking drums for a week and guitars for another that made me that way. Talk about getting caught up in the technical. So...

I don't do this anymore myself but when I had "budgets" and was working with and a singer I never heard before, this was the quickest method to find what would work... or whatever works.

This was a time when there was no "Internet" to hear who I was about to work with or what their voice might sound like. I was doing development deals for MCA, Tommy Boy, Capricorn, etc... 4 or 5k per artist to do 2 to 3 songs. Well worth it for me to find what worked for the voice. Probably why I did so many of them for so many different labels.

Didn't think it was really done anymore... It's why I asked you high end rollers that make the big bucks in the business.

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

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trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 343 Member Since:11/10/2013

#24 [url]

May 9 17 10:48 AM

I was just wondering if you have had a time where you were "ok" with the mic you had and the vocalist or instrument, but didn't either have other choices, or the others were worse, but you didn't love what you were getting? Meaning, if you didn't have access to the one you really thought would work, would you continue the session or stop it altogether to locate what you were hearing in your head?

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,312 Member Since:04/02/2011

#26 [url]

May 9 17 12:56 PM

morespaceecho wrote:
if someone's inspired and playing/singing great, it doesn't matter what mic is in front of them.

...or at least it doesn't matter much, relatively speaking!

as a sort-of answer to trock's question from my perspective: 

There's a '90s made-in-Mexico strat at our studio. I think it does have a couple of the pickups upgraded. It's not knock-yer-socks-off but it IS "a strat" and basically does "what a strat does."

I have a 1958 stratocaster... a pretty damn good-sounding one... at home. I don't always have it handy at the studio. Sometimes when working on something, I think to myself "man, I didn't bring my strat, but this part really should be a strat" or even "I didn't expect to be recording guitar today, but this track could REALLY use a part..."

I have never once gone home to get my '58, nor waited until I had my '58 on me. Consequently, that MIM strat has ended up on MANY records.

Similarly, and slightly more literally-- I was sent an inexpensive but decent condenser mic for review once (I write for a magazine sometimes). It was so inexpensive they didn't even bother having me send it back... so here it sits, by my home computer, on a stand.

At least 10 times in the last year I've used backing vocal parts, or acoustic guitar parts, or percussion parts recorded on that microphone as part of final mixes. Once very recently I DID re-do a few "done at home on that mic" acoustic parts on a KM-86 the next time I was at the studio, because they were very exposed and had to sound very good. But there was also nothing particularly special about the performances being replaced, otherwise they would've likely been kept.

So I guess the answer is "it depends," for me.

brad allen williams

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,866 Member Since:20/01/2011

#30 [url]

May 9 17 10:59 PM

I'm not discounting the value of making a great sounding record.

I'm just saying I can still try to do that based on good solid mic choices (it's also why I don't tend to use any 'low end' or 'cheap' mics to begin with) without having to fiddle with 'choices' every time

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,093 Member Since:23/01/2011

#31 [url]

May 16 17 9:19 AM

I record a lotta lotta singers--many Disney projects, jingles, etc.  I have a 'toolbox' that I always bring when I'm working with a new singer.  Mic-wise, this is a U47-ish mic, an ELA-M250-ish mic, a tube mic with a Neumann K67 capsule (but it's def. not a 67) and an SM7.  With only 1 exception in the past decade, choosing one of these mics has turned out to work well for every singer I have worked with.  I set them all up on short stands and lift my 'best guess candidate' onto the main stand after I listen to the singer sing acoustically in the room.  Often my first guess is right, but not always.  Very rarely, it'll take 3 tries to get it right.  Also very rarely, my 'best guess' mic will emphasize something I don't hear acoustically in the room and this will generally disqualify it.  The one time none of my mics were 'the one', the only thing that worked was a U87--and that worked like a charm.  But that's the only time I've used an 87 in the last decade.  Also, with increasing frequency, I have ended up choosing my modded Pearlman TM-1 (Thiersch PVC M7, Telefunken EF12--THANKS Max--and 'Dave Pearlman's historically accurate' BV-8)... there is just something about that particular mic: the EF12 makes it sit in the middle ground between a typical 'barrel chested' U47 and my ELAM-ish mic.  And sometime I'm going to have to take a refresher course on the RE20.  Of course preamp and any other outboard has to be taken into account in what gets used and why.  

The guys that highly value that first take--when the singer's not necessarily thinking about anything, but just feeling their way through--are absolutely right imo: you will never get that vibe back.  When I really feel strongly like I have the wrong mic up, I'll stop the singer after like 2 lines.  

Last Edited By: maarvold May 16 17 9:21 AM. Edited 1 time.

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,093 Member Since:23/01/2011

#33 [url]

May 16 17 2:52 PM

morespaceecho wrote:
how often does the sm7 win?

One out of every 10 times maybe.  SM7 is GREAT for people with overly aggressive-sounding voices (not only for them though).  I did an entire EPIC a cappella song for The Cleanup Crue (3 girls/3 guys & sort of like a wacky/funny Dr. Demento-meets-Take 6 (and containing Alvin Chea from Take 6)) and the entire thing was SM7: it worked for all of them, one at a time.  

Last Edited By: maarvold May 16 17 3:48 PM. Edited 1 time.

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,093 Member Since:23/01/2011

#35 [url]

May 16 17 9:41 PM

jesse decarlo wrote:
Mike, is there a particular reason you don't use a U87 on vocals more often?

 
Reason #1: I don't own one.  Reason #2: It only solved the problem of being what I felt was the right mic for the singer 1 time out of the past 500.  I will grant you that a large part of the reason is that I don't own one.  Also, due to the nature of the type of vocals I often do, I think it is important for me to own 'the means of production' because if I have to fix something 2 weeks later because the legal dept. screwed up or changed their mind (or because something got past the producer, or because the artist changed their mind) I know that I can provide the exact same vocal chain and seamlessly drop in the replacement piece and it will be as perfect of a match as possible.  If I was going to buy another vocal mic, the next stop for me would probably be a 67.  I do generally think there is something special about some tube mics that brings a sense of interest, authority and quality to a good lead vocal.  But, also--just because it's a tube mic--that doesn't always mean it's the right mic.  

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,866 Member Since:20/01/2011

#36 [url]

May 16 17 10:06 PM

The "plain-ness" of an SM7 is similar to what I like about a (real, not new) u87 or (to slightly lesser extent) UM70s

it makes the subject 'just there' without hype. 

But I tend to prefer the speed of the condensers versus the moving coil dynamic. 

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,093 Member Since:23/01/2011

#37 [url]

May 16 17 10:54 PM

weedywet wrote:
The "plain-ness" of an SM7 is similar to what I like about a (real, not new) u87 or (to slightly lesser extent) UM70s

it makes the subject 'just there' without hype. 

But I tend to prefer the speed of the condensers versus the moving coil dynamic. 

 
Logged and noted.  One of these days I'm going to get a chance to spend time with a UM70.  I know where there's a barely-used one from the late 90's--I'll bet it has a good M7 on it.  But it is sort of an heirloom, so I doubt I'll be using that particular one.  

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jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,510 Member Since:24/03/2013

#38 [url]

May 17 17 12:07 AM

The SM7 certainly does punch substantially above its weight. I, too, have observed that it is a good friend to "aggressive voices," although as you say it's also good on non-aggressive voices - I think few would disagree that it sounded pretty good on Michael Jackson. I have a client whose voice is somewhat reminiscent of Tom Waits, and he had been recording himself with a variety of decent mics for a long time. He came to my place and we used my SM7, and he subsequently bought one for himself within a week.

Regarding the U87: I haven't used enough different samples in controlled situations to have personally noted the difference between old and new. Did they really change that much?

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,093 Member Since:23/01/2011

#40 [url]

weedywet wrote:
Sennheiser makes something that is completely different in every way from an original u87

Except the name. 


 

 It seems like that makes your statement a different, yet highly related, point relating to the BLUE/Neumann M49 topic in The Microphone Forum.  

Not meaning to ruffle any feathers but I just listened to Whitney Houston's debut album and I would speculate that the difference between the concept(s) of pop kick drum sound then and now is probably even more night and day than the difference between the earliest U87 and the newest one... or an original Neumann M49 in great condition and a new BLUE M49.  Nothing stays the same, even though we may wish it did.  

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