So, I've been working on the pro volume 1 and added a few semitones to my top end chest (from about an A#4 to a C#5 on a good day, but I've always had pretty good range even before I started learning to sing) and am much more consistent with not cracking, though I still have issues some days above A4 or so. More importantly, when I first started I absolutely hated the tone of my voice in recordings but now it's starting to sound pretty ok! I still have a lot to learn, but I think I'm getting there.
I have a little home studio started with a Liquid 56 Firewire interface into Protools 12 Native and have Izotope Nectar 2 Suite, Alloy 2, and Ozone 6 and Waves Diamond with a small handful of single plugins added in when they have a good sale on one I want. I recently also picked up a Focusrite Liquid Channel, but haven't received it yet. Hopefully early next week. It comes loaded with 40 pre's and 40 compressors and can be upgraded via USB. I really like the Liquid 56 with its 10 hardware/software emulated preamp models and typically end up using the Neve 1073 simulation. The Liquid preamp simulations do actually provide a different flavor to the source. How close it is to the preamp that is being emulated? I have no idea, but it is only a mic pre and A/D,D/A box (capable of 192khz/24bit samples on all 8 channels). Which means it is missing the compressor and EQ of a channel strip. But like I stated previously, I have lots of digital compressors/channel strips, EQ, doublers, effects that I can use "in the box." Even though Ken says they don't sound as good as the real thing.
I am currently using a Shure SM27 which is a pretty cheap LDC, and I think my voice is starting to sound pretty decent on it but maybe a pinch compressed by the straw phenomena Ken talked about in one of the how to record videos in the pro packs. Here this is easier than explaining it.
It's part of a cover of "Under the Sun/Everyday Comes and Goes" by Black Sabbath from Volume 4
that I am currently recording. Pretty heavy subject matter, some may not like it. Vox start about 30 seconds in and are only the first verse. I haven't mixed this at all really. Just a little bit of compression and reverb and a HPF since I'm still in the recording stages. There are 5 vocal tracks each with the same thing recorded (as close as I can hit it currently anyway, not bad for a low-mid bari though). 4 tracks are the SM27, and one I recorded with a Shure Beta 58A just to see what it did differently. There is a difference. The dynamic does sound less airy and completely blocks the character of the room (which is my kitchen btw. lots of hard surfaces but enough diffraction that it works pretty nice). One sounds a little flatter than the rest and I need to work on a couple vowel sounds that I don't particularly care for my enunciation on. That's ok as it will probably all get rerecorded at some point on a better mic. A lot of reviews say that the SM27 is pretty flat, natural sounding and probably works better for voice over and acoustic instruments. I guess it doesn't offer the coloration that people generally find pleasant which is found on the higher end tube and LDC's.
So finally to the question... Over the next several months I would really like to upgrade mics. I always thought the mic I needed was a u87ai, but I see Ken uses a m149. I've read that Ozzy uses the AKG C12 currently, not sure what he used to use. Probably a u47 or 67 or 49... These are all fairly expensive mics (for us mere mortals). And I haven't been able to find a place that I can rent them from around Tulsa to demo them. And I'm not comfortable enough to go to a real studio.
And they won't be using them on my gear in my room either, so it's not as much of a direct comparison as I would like.
Curiously, I've heard the M149 is also fairly flat and natural sounding, not as much character as the U87ai. Of course if you ask ten different people, you will get 10 different opinions. And yes I realize that not all mics are going to match with every source. And how a mic/signal chain sounds in a mix vs just straight vocals is another big consideration. Now to complicate the matter I stumbled upon the Peluso P12 and P87 which are supposed to be faithful recreations of the vintage AKG C12 and Neumann U87 and about a third or less of the price. Anyone have any experience with these, would either match well with my voice? I'm really leaning towards the P12 since my voice can get fairly pitchy sorta like Ozzy. Or would the slightly darker (from what I've read anyway) P87 possibly be a better match? The reviews I have read sound like the P12 will work on a wide range of voices (although a U87 is an industry standard so the P87 would probably work too). Street price brand new is around 1500usd for the P12 and about 1000usd for the P87. Which is still a good chunk of change but much less than the vintage c12 or u87 or even the new c12vr or u87ai.
With either the P12 or P87 and the Liquid Channel, I think I should be able to get something more usable due to the different flavors of hardware/software emulated mic pres, compressors and eq. Sigh so many decisions... Sorry for the lengthy post, and nice to meet you all