Sorry Luke, I'm going to the dark side. Dark Mic suggestions

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ott0bot
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Sorry Luke, I'm going to the dark side. Dark Mic suggestions

Post by ott0bot » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:33 am

I'm in need of some colored darkness in my tone. Can anyone suggest a fantastic dark sounding mic for vocals and various other tasks in the 200-400 dollar range.

I currently own the following mics:
M-Audio Sputnik
re20
md421
ev 635a
e609
sterling something or other....bright as heck. got it for free
akg perception 200
sm 57
c4 stereo pair
om-5

I plan on buying a pair of oktava mk012's soon.

My most effective mic in the dark range is an re20, but it's not great for everyone on vocals. Also, I'd like to have something with a little more sensetivity and output.


Some I've used on the darker side:
At4050 - Not exactly dark, but unhyped. I love this thing, but I'd like to spend a little less. although I could swing for a used one. Not super dark, but much more so than the Sputnik.

AEA r84 Ribbon - this think sounds great, but I don't have that kind of scratch to throw at a mic.

other crap I cant remember....neumann U40-somethin (early intern session)


Mic's I'm looking at in the price range:
Kel HM-2d - the sound of a dynamic with higher output, seems exactly what I'm looking for. decent reviews, $200 shipped, 349 a pair. But I've never used one. Anyone give this a whirl?

SM7b - another large diaphram dynamic. great all around mic. I've used, and I like, but also similar to two other mics in my collection.

Oktava 319 - not super dark, but flat and when modded i've heard sound great. my friend has one, but I haven't gave it a try yet.

Then there are the many chinese ribbons that can be modded for improved performance. Apex, Nady's, cascades et cetera. soo many choices. I'm guessing long ribbon short path is the more unflattered option.


Any suggestions on the most useful and best "bang for my buck" and other catch phrases are appreciated.

thanks ya'll

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Post by Ryan Silva » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:08 pm

Always found the Groove Tubes 66 to be on the dark side, of the tube mics.
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:43 pm

My favorite dark(er) sounding mics:

Shinybox 46C ribbon. Fantastic vocal mic, OH, guitars (el. + ac.), etc.... Would most likely be a nice alternative to (and significantly more affordable than) an R84.

Sennheiser 441
. New they're pretty expensive, but they frequently sell used for 3-400 dollars. Probably my favorite mic, period. You can literally record anything with it. I like it better than an SM7 for general purpose use, and as much for vocals.

SM7 - plenty said here about that mic. Probably as useful as the 441, just different.

Beyer M160. Completely kills on guitar amps. I've also had great luck with mine on drums, room, ac. guitar, percussion... Only tried it once on vocals, and it wasn't really working for that particular singer.

There's nothing wrong with redundancy when it comes to mics, IMO. I only have one of each of the 4 above, but would be very happy with pairs of each, or even quads of a couple. I'm starting to realize that having multiples of mics that work on lots of things, is probably way more useful than having a huge variety of mics.
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Post by Meriphew » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:15 pm

The Blue Baby Bottle is a good, darker sounding mic, and falls within your budget. Ribbons are another option.

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Post by losthighway » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:21 pm

I like the AT 4047, but maybe that's best described as 'rich' as opposed to 'dark'.

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Post by ott0bot » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:41 pm

Thanks for the suggestions.

I've always wanted a 441, but still don't have the gusto to drop that on 1 mic yet. Really impressed me when I saw it used live on a cello.

The M160 has always been on my list, but I didn't think it was a darker tone. I always thought it was fairly bright for a ribbon, or am I thinking of another similar beyer ribbon..m260 perhaps.

Good call on the shiny box, i hear it's similar to some of the cascade long ribbon mics.

My friend has a GT66, so maybe I'll give that a whirl next time.

What about an ADK Hamburg mk 8? I've heard they have a classic sound without all the high frequencies. Yes?

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Post by oldguitars » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:51 pm

441... do it! Shinybox is a close second.
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Post by kingtoad » Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:06 pm

I'd definitely say that the m160 is bright for a ribbon mic. It has a bump in the upper mids which is part of what makes it so cool for certain guitars. It does start to roll off a lot over 9 or 10khz but I think it would be a fairly unique situation where I'd want that presence boost and the hf roll off on a vocal.

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Post by nordberg » Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:23 pm

i have to disagree with that... i recently put up a few mics for a vocal (m160, rode ntk, and 4047) and absolutely loved what the beyer did! it was so focused (hypercardioid, duh) and 'classic' in the sence that i got a great glam era bowie vibe from it. i realise that's not a sound for everyone, but i couldn't not think of the vocal sound on hunky dory with that mic... perfect for what we we're doing, but of course YMMV.




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Post by T-rex » Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:30 pm

losthighway wrote:I like the AT 4047, but maybe that's best described as 'rich' as opposed to 'dark'.
i couldn't have said that better myself. i think that mic is incredibly rich sounding and definitely a little rolled off in the highs. You can get em used for $350 and it is a great great mic for a ton of things.

With that said, the AEA R84 is my go to mic for anything i want a darker sound for and my god does it sound good. you can get them for $800 used and I know it sucks to save up, but I don't think you would feel the need to sell it in 6 months to trade up ya know? I only say this because I have done this so often myself in the past.
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Post by kingtoad » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:28 pm

nordberg wrote:i have to disagree with that... i recently put up a few mics for a vocal (m160, rode ntk, and 4047) and absolutely loved what the beyer did! it was so focused (hypercardioid, duh) and 'classic' in the sence that i got a great glam era bowie vibe from it. i realise that's not a sound for everyone, but i couldn't not think of the vocal sound on hunky dory with that mic... perfect for what we we're doing, but of course YMMV.




-mike
Well, there you go! I guess that's the kind of situation I was thinking of when I said "unigue".

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Post by nordberg » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:54 pm

haha touche!
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Post by rushofblood » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:18 pm

Sometimes just a fat windscreen can do wonders

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Post by ott0bot » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:12 pm

I forgot about the Baby Bottle. It's not bad actually, I used one when interning on session with a singer who had a fairly deep, raspy voice and if came out nicely.

Still haven't heard anything about the KEL mic. I googled and there are quite a few positive comments about the company in general. Some said an FMR of mics.

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Post by jgimbel » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:06 pm

I've got an Oktava MK-319, and when I read the title of this that's the mic that came to mind. Definitely pretty flat, darkish. Not great for everyone but for some folks it just seems perfect. They can also be found really cheap too. I bought mine a month or two ago on ebay for $82, and I've never regretted it.

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