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Studio Mic suggestions - Input wanted

Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,283Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
I am looking for a good studio Mic mostly for Rock pieces.
I am not shouty, but I do want a mic to pick up cool nuances that I throw down.

I have (up until recently) had my mind set on a Shure SM7B with a Cloudlifter CL-1 to increase the clean signal. This choice was largely influenced by the recording history of the mic.

However, I already have a Sennheiser E945, which has a fairly similar frequency response, as well as requiring allot less preamp gain to get it to work properly.

What do you veteran studio peeps think?
Should I grab a pop filter and just go with the E945??

PS - I can't afford a Neumann TLM-102 right now :neutral :-(

Comments

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5602.0 PRO
    @Furious_Phil , the Shure SM7B is quite popular for powerful rock voices, that's for sure! I've seen/heard it on a few productions I really like (recently, The Interrupters on a radio live set). It is also recommended for less-than-ideal rooms, because they don't pick up that much room, compared to the most common type of studio mics, large diaphragm condensers. Having said that, I think the Sennheiser would be very similar, it is just that the Shure is a legend, the Sennheiser is not.

    I have an AKG P220 large diaphragm condenser (which was quite cheap) and a Sennheiser e835s, I find myself preferring the Sennheiser for the recent vocal recordings I am doing at home (nothing pro-grade or anything). It is not even so much because of the pickup pattern and the certainly sub-standard environment (i.e. my living room), I just find that the AKG is a bit sibilant and I find the Sennheiser much easier to handle, as long as you are on-axis, it sounds fine to me, and does not need a lot of EQ or anything to sit nicely in the mix. I don't even put a pop filter on it, the foam inside the grill is doing the job.

    I know they are not the same mics as the one you mentioned, but I would imagine the Sennheisers to be kind of comparable, and I don't think that the Shure will be worth the extra money (seeing you already own the Sennheiser). They aren't really that flexible, other than on vocals, they might be good for guitar amps and maybe brass, but I doubt you'd notice much of a difference on those instruments compared to your Sennheiser.

    What I can tell you from my studio experience (mostly voice-over), a lot of the time you only need the flashy gear for your clients to have something to look at, if you actually compare some of the so-called legendary gear to some cheap workhorse, there sometimes is not even a big difference which would justify the more expensive choice.

    The Neumann U-87 is one of those things, they all want the U-87, a lot of studios use the 102 instead, and no one knows the difference (unless the client pays you a surpise visit LOL).
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 2,038Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    Hi @Furious_Phil,

    a friend of mine is very happy with the SHURE SM7B and this Preamp:

    https://www.thomann.de/de/golden_age_project_pre_73_mkiii.htm

    Doc
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,283Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    edited January 29
    @Klaus_T , I think I may just start it off with the Senn E945... if it isn't sensitive enough (or whatever) I may consider one of the following :
    - Aston Microphones Origin
    - Lewitt LCT-440 Pure

    I've been researching the Aston Microphones "Origin" from the UK, as it seems to be actually capable of giving the Neumann U47 a run for its money :+1:
    The Lewitt is quickly coming up on its heels as well.
    Both are <$400 CDN shipped :+1:
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5602.0 PRO
    @Furious_Phil , cool, I was wondering if you would have looked into that one. do you have some music store or mail order that you can "abuse" for a shoot-out? (oh and in the mail order scenario, you'd need quite a bit of spare cash to front). in Germany, we have some shops with very favorable return policies
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,283Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Unfortunately, no one near me stocks either of those 2.
    I watch a YouTube channel called 'Spectre Sound Studios' and they did a pretty in depth (and real) evaluation of the Lewitt
    I have heard recordings of people using the Aston Origin and I also like what I've heard.
    Their frequency/sensitivity responses are similar, as are their freq curves.
    Probably couldn't go wrong with either
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5602.0 PRO
    edited January 29
    @Furious_Phil , right, I never used the Lewitt either, but I heard it is also great value for the money (quality music tech has really become very affordable compared to 10-20 years ago, let alone prior to that). Depending on what other mics are in your collection already, and depending on your intended use (instruments), I think it is a good idea to broaden the spectrum by getting different types of microphones, rather than getting a lot of same-y mics (well unless money is not an issue of course ;) ) So if you only have the Sennheiser now, I'd say one of the large diaphragms would be a wiser choice than the SM7B (which I was salivating over myself at some point, but could not justify it). But what I said earlier, even the 835 I use, I am very happy with it for vocals now, so I think you could even stick with your 945 for a while (we all know it is always just a matter of holding back a bit longer, once you have the thought it is already too late most of the time anyway)
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,491Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    The SM7B is good if you want a really mellow sound. Creamy. Thick. I don't think they have the same upper mid crunch as the Sennheizer 945. But they have a smooth top end. I like a little more bite in the highs. A nice, clean, smooth, airy bite. Not that either a 945 or a 7B have that. But there are cool alternatives, as you said, to a U87 or U47. If it can get close to that for $299, that would be a steal!
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 2,038Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    I am thinking about buying a Neumann TLM103. It might be my own birthday present for my next birthday - 1 year after gifting me the Course+. Has anyone used a TLM103 yet?

    Doc
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5602.0 PRO
    @doc_ramadani , I use it frequently for voice-over recordings, not for singing vocals (I am the engineer in this case). it's a good mic, but not sure if it is worth it for home use. do you have a great mic-preamp? how I said above, a lot of the times, these "big names" have to be used for the clients, not so much because they are sounding SOOOO much better than slightly more reasonably priced mics. some voices also just don't sound good on some mics, no matter how good the mic is. I suggest running a test. with the big mail orders in Germany, you can always order several and do a shootout. or if you have a local dealer, even better, because you won't have to pay upfront as in the mail scenario. i'd test the TLM103 against a Lewitt, Aston Origin, and maybe even an AKG C414 (another vocal mic classic). well, if you want to stick with large diaphragm condensators, otherwise, I would personally love to try the Shure SM7B
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,283Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    From all the reviews I've seen and read, the TLM 102 is better suited to vocals, but is twice the price of an Aston Origin or Lewitt LCT 440 Pure. Those last 2 are apparently upsetting the applecart on the big brands like Sennheiser and Shure.
    I am about a week off from ordering an Aston Origin, and I'll give it my honest review on this thread. The only things I have to compare it to are a Sennheiser e945 and a Shure 58 Beta.
    Very different class mics, but it should give you an idea. I'll record dry and flat for a level comparison.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5602.0 PRO
    edited February 13
    @Furious_Phil , that's cool, looking forward to your test results. @doc_ramadani , a good mic pre is also important for great sound, so you might be better off with one of the cheaper mics, and rather add a nice preamp, you could get both for the same price as the TLM.
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,283Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    OMG, I ordered it only a few days ago on Amazon and it just arrived ‼️

    I was figuring on a few weeks so I could rehab my voice from all this cold weather/dry-cough damage. I guess I have to accelerate everything from voice training to finishing my vocal isolation cube :-)
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5602.0 PRO
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,283Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Not sick, Its more like my lungs freaking out at the dry -40 Celcius (with wind chill)... I just have to wait it out to get past the cough spasms :persevere:
  • VocalityVocality Posts: 5232.0 PRO
    @Furious_Phil

    Looking to buy my first condesor mic but dont have a fortune to spend the 2 I have been recommended Rode NT1a and Aston original. The general feel I have the rode nt1a is harsh up top.

    Look forward to hear your review on the Aston Original.

    George
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5602.0 PRO
    edited February 23
    @Vocality , I think the Doc @doc_ramadani uses the NT1 and says the same, a bit harsh...

    in the assignments, I use a normal cheap stage mic now, and I have to say I quite like the results
  • VocalityVocality Posts: 5232.0 PRO
    @Klaus_T

    Might just stick with my old mic the now at least till I get more advanced. Youve heard some of my demos quality wise the sound is ok? Either that split the differencve and get a shure sm58.

    George
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 2,038Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    I will do a test recording with my SM58 today.
  • VocalityVocality Posts: 5232.0 PRO
    Thanks @doc_ramadani @Diego @Klaus_T for the advice Doc look forward to hearing your sm58 demo.

    George
  • DiegoDiego Posts: 8142.0 PRO
    @Vocality How much are you willing to spend for a mic? Maybe I can find a good choice for you?
  • VocalityVocality Posts: 5232.0 PRO
    @Diego in the near future will be able to afford something better say £300 thats around $350usd. But right now £150
  • DiegoDiego Posts: 8142.0 PRO
    Okay so for that price I would definitely go for something like a AKG Perception P220 or something like a USB Blue Yeti microphone which is are in my opinion some of the best out there to capture your vocals.

    AKG
    https://www.amazon.com/AKG-Perception-Professional-Studio-Microphone/dp/B00167UQLO

    Blue Yeti
    https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Yeti-USB-Microphone-Silver/dp/B002VA464S
  • VocalityVocality Posts: 5232.0 PRO
    @Diego

    Thanks have a small soundcraft mixer which has phantom power and would edge towards AKG Perception P220.

    Will look into that model thanks

    George
  • David1954David1954 Posts: 62.0 PRO
    edited April 1
    @Furious_Phil what do you think of the Aston Origin?

    I have the SM58 & SM57 (used mostly for micing guitars). I'm pretty happy with the SM58 but I'm not that sophisticated at parsing out what the various sound qualities are to be able to tell what exactly I like and don't like about it. Nor have I used it side by side with anything else. I've used sennheiser and audix mics at open mics but never together to do a comparison.

    I'd like to pick up a couple more mics for recording the band in my home studio and was just going to grab a couple more SM58's but I'm not apposed to grabbing something else as long as it doesn't break the bank (<200ish per mic).

    What is that mic that I see in Kens videos? Looks kind of like a Neumann TLM103. That's definitely out of my range.

    Thanks
    David
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,283Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @David1954 The mic in Ken's videos is a Neumann M149... we're talking about a $5000 mic!
    His dual Avalon preamp/compressors are around $3000 each as well!

    A rough comparison...
    - SM58 to a Sennheiser E835 was like someone took a comforter blanket off of a speaker as far as clarity and definition
    - Sennheiser E835 to Sennheiser E945 -> even more clarity and detail revealed. Superb sound rejection on the sides.

    You can't really compare these to the above, as the above are Dynamic mics and the following are studio condenser mics. Condensers pick up allot more detail, but tend to be more fragile, so they really aren't suited for live performances.
    - Lewitt LCT-440: Fantastic sound, amazing versatility for usage (Drums, bass, guitars, vocals etc)
    - Aston Origin: Fantastic sound... borders on the very expensive Neumann sound, super versatile for usage (Drums, bass, guitars, vocals etc)
    - Both go for about $299 on Amazon.
  • David1954David1954 Posts: 62.0 PRO
    Thanks for the reply
    Yikes I need a bigger tip jar. :)


    A rough comparison...
    - SM58 to a Sennheiser E835 was like someone took a comforter blanket off of a speaker as far as clarity and definition

    I thought the same thing about the SM58 when I got a good set of monitor headphones. :)

    The lewitt and the origin are both out of my reach right now (I need 2 more mics and the budget is 300 tops), but I have to say that getting close to a neumann level sound got my attention.

    I've looked at both of those Sennheisers. I'll probably just grab a couple 835's for now so as not to bust the budget. I'll drop by guitar center and see if I can demo them. I've never used a super cardioid mic before and the intolerance of off angle has me a little spooked.

    David

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5602.0 PRO
    @David1954 you can't go wrong with the Sennheisers. they are pretty decent. i got two of them for our band's lead vocals, and sometimes use them for other stuff
  • VocalityVocality Posts: 5232.0 PRO
    Currently looking at getting a Akg 636 which is a condesor mic with the ability to use in live sets as well as in the studio set up. It has its own built in pop filter and anti-shock mechanism, the akg 535 was its predecessor and had some great reviews. It’s priced around $400 I am in the uk seen one about £300.

    It saves me the need to buy 2 mics condenser and dynamic.

    Vocality
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,283Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @David1954 , by offside sound rejection, that basically means that it is focused tightly to the front and doesn't get bleed from the side. This becomes paramount when you are standing next to a drumset and you don't want crash cymbals covering over your vocals. (frikkin drummers :rage: )
    So it is a very good thing, just keep your pie-hole locked on the grill :wink:
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 5602.0 PRO
    @David1954 , with the Sennheiser 835 (they are cardioids as the SM58), as soon as I look down at my guitar while playing, my voice basically drowns in the mix. I don't think it would even be much worse with the super-cardioids. I guess with either you will have to stay locked to the grill as @Furious_Phil suggests.
  • David1954David1954 Posts: 62.0 PRO
    Thanks everyone for the info. I picked up a used e838 for $59 at a local music shop and ordered an e835 from sweetwater. Down the road I think my first "Studio" mic will be the origin.
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