any recommendations for a good live vocal mic?

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Recycled_Brains
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any recommendations for a good live vocal mic?

Post by Recycled_Brains » Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:19 pm

my girlfriend sings for a mostly acoustic rock/alternative band and she needs something better than a SM58 for live stuff. i'd like to find her something that won't have to be turned up as loud as most dynamics to compete with the levels of the rest of the band, or to the point of feeding back when she gets close to it.

i was thinking a "handheld" condenser would be good, but i'm concerned that the other instruments will bleed too much into it, thus defeating the purpose.

i was checking out these as possibilities:

AKG C-535 EB, Sennheiser e 840 (dyn) / e 865 (cond) / e 945, Rode S1, Audix OM-6, AKG D 3800M, etc.

....but was wondering if any of you had any ideas or experience.

i have an AKG C 1000, and i thought that that may work, but again, i am concerned about picking up too much of the surrounding instruments.
Ryan Slowey
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Post by 3db@1K » Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:46 pm

It is not a condenser but a beyerdynamic M88 is my favorite combination of great sound and rejection. It is a very tight hypercardiod.

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Post by MikeCzech » Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:02 am

HANDS DOWN, Audix OM6!!!!!!!!! There is no better live vocal mic I've ever worked with. I generally favor the OM5 for men and the OM6 for women. The OM6 will seem more open on the top, the OM5 has more of an upper mid range presence.

You'll also find you can crank it significantly hotter than a 58 before you encounter problems with feedback.

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Post by red cross » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:47 am

Sennheiser MD431. Nice tight pattern, sweet tone. Baby bro of the MD441.

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Post by Dave Nutz » Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:44 am

any opinions on the OM7?
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Post by I'm Painting Again » Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:25 am

I think i saw the dixie chicks using those shure ksm ldc's on stage..they are definitely tough enough for stage use as shure claims..

also the neumann kms-105 is a ROCKING mic in the studio or on a stage..

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Post by MikeCzech » Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:41 pm

Dr.Nutz wrote:any opinions on the OM7?
Haven't used the OM7, but I'd love to try one. Don't let the higher model numbers and bigger price tags fool you though. It would take a miracle to lead me to loose my faith in the OM5 and OM6.

I've used them onstage back to back against a good variety of other mics, including several AKG stage mics (which were always pretty nice), SM58's, and those AT stage condensers were popular for a while (also nice, but feedback way too much).

People would often bring in their own mics when I did live sound, but the OM5 always had this presence in it, and the OM6 had a sparkle. I could always crank them hotter in the monitors too, which was a huge advantage. I must've made Audix a fortune, I can't count all the people that wanted to run out and buy one after they'd use mine.

I don't recall comparing them to any senheisers right off hand, but I know where I'd place my bet.

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Post by thunderboy » Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:40 pm

I'll second the OM-6 for female voice.
KMS-105 is fantastic.
C1000 with the hypercardioid cap, maybe (never used it myself).
C535? NO!

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Post by ctmsound » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:24 am

Audio Technica AE3300. God damn, warm goodness and clarity!


Also, try the Rode S1. It's not for everyone, depends on the type of voice.

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Post by Girl Toes » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:51 am

These sound good. The shure BG 4.1 is also very nice for shared vocals if its an entirely acoustic gig.

What about those old silver mics that are REALLY skilly in the middle so they don't block the singers face???? I'm sure theres pictures of Johnny Cash singing into them on TV.

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Post by KennyLusk » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:01 am

FWIW I'm a big fan of the EV 767N/D

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Post by Professor » Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:07 am

Most any condenser you choose will be more sensitive, but that sensitivity will also introduce more feedback issues, especially as she moves through different clubs and different sound guys.
I have a bunch of Audio Technica AE-4100 dynamic handhelds for our vocal jazz groups which are very full and warm sounding, and much easier to work with than 58s. I also have a couple of the AE-3300 condensers (same capsule as AT-4033) and while I have to be a little more careful with position and settings, they are much more sensitive and sound great.
On the other hand, I love putting a big dynamic like an SM-7 in front of singers on stage because they sound great, and even though the preamp needs to be cranked almost all the way up, they are amazing at rejecting feedback. Of course, it ain't at all handheld and would need to be fixed to the stand for the whole show - but if she's playin' guitar the whole time that's not an isue.

Of course, with greater sensitivity you're also going to hear all the other stuff on stage. Remember that if you're getting a mic so she can sing softer and stand further away, then you're going to get all the other stage sound as well. So you'll still have to get her to sing louder and stay closer to the mic to really get more of her and less of the band.

-Jeremy

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Recycled_Brains
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:14 pm

Professor wrote:Most any condenser you choose will be more sensitive, but that sensitivity will also introduce more feedback issues, especially as she moves through different clubs and different sound guys.
I have a bunch of Audio Technica AE-4100 dynamic handhelds for our vocal jazz groups which are very full and warm sounding, and much easier to work with than 58s. I also have a couple of the AE-3300 condensers (same capsule as AT-4033) and while I have to be a little more careful with position and settings, they are much more sensitive and sound great.
On the other hand, I love putting a big dynamic like an SM-7 in front of singers on stage because they sound great, and even though the preamp needs to be cranked almost all the way up, they are amazing at rejecting feedback. Of course, it ain't at all handheld and would need to be fixed to the stand for the whole show - but if she's playin' guitar the whole time that's not an isue.

Of course, with greater sensitivity you're also going to hear all the other stuff on stage. Remember that if you're getting a mic so she can sing softer and stand further away, then you're going to get all the other stage sound as well. So you'll still have to get her to sing louder and stay closer to the mic to really get more of her and less of the band.

-Jeremy
the bleed is the least of her concerns. she does sing very close to the mic, and has an incredible sense of vocal dynamics and how loud or soft to sing, i just want to get her something that you can make louder w/ out feeding back. she plays a lot of smaller venues with not so great sound systems, so often the band will drown her out because whomever is doing live sound can't turn her up loud enough without feeding back.

the music itself has a lot of dynamic changes, so on quieter parts, she's loud and clear, but she really needs to be on top of the music at all times.

thanks for all your input.
Ryan Slowey
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http://maggotbrainny.bandcamp.com

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MikeCzech
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Post by MikeCzech » Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:29 pm

Recycled_Brains wrote: i just want to get her something that you can make louder w/ out feeding back.
Not to be a broken record, but OM6 will give you that, the feedback rejection is amazing.

My other recommendation to go along with that mic would be a DBX160. Those compressors are great for vocals in live situations. You'd want to run it after the preamp, just have the sound guy throw it on her insert or get a preamp just for her. Since the music is so dynamic it would be the best thing to keep her on top.

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Post by jmligt » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:10 pm

are you going to be doing the live sound at every venue? I mean if the only thing you're looking for here is something that "gets louder before feeding back" I think that has more to do with who is behind the knobs than what mic you use. It seems that it is trendy to put down the 58 anymore. I've used it live more than any other mic and I don't think there has been a time where I said to myself "I wish I had another mic for the vocals." Sure, you may find another mic that fits her sound more, but as far as feedback is concerned I don't think the mic is the problem.

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