No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:17 pm

I always believe in having a full set of the different types of microphones whenever possible.

Although in Metal and Punk a tube mic may not be used as often, it might still be of use during recording of electric guitar amps, and of background vocals / hushes vocals / as a Mono drum room mic.

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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by standup » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:49 am

I succumbed to this feeling and picked up an Advanced Audio U67-style mic. For my voice, in my compromised acoustic spaces, it never seemed to be what I needed. Sold that and picked up a Gefell UM70s. Not tube. But sounds very good on everything I put in front of it.

My other mic splurge in the last several years was a Sony c38, from the 1970s, used. Best sounding thing ever on drums in my weird spaces. So sometime this year I found another used one, drum overheads at my place now stereo c38's.

Again, not tube. I'm sure there are amazing tube mics that would sound amazing on what I'm recording, but for now I'm over it and these solid state mics are working for me.

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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by emrr » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:03 am

Again what Larry said.

My first gonna be a 'great vocal LDC' was a Gefell UMT70S, which I got in the midst of a screamer metal record. Totally the wrong mic for the job, very disappointing learning experience.

The ubiquitous SM7 thing; seems to me they work a higher % of the time with the average unknown rock singer with basic stage technique than most other mics, useable when the live on the floor scratch take suddenly is declared the 'keeper', and that's actually why they are somewhat popular, yet when they sound broken on a singer they sound really extra broken, like there's an intermittent in the patchbay or something.
TapeOpLarry wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:33 pm
mostly I had heard AKG 414s (elsewhere, I hate them)
I recently had a female singer, 2nd record with her, we'd picked a ribbon on the first record, lined up a bunch of mics....

....and the 414B-ULS won easily....

....for her voice....over a bunch of fancy/expensive mics.......

....I've owned the 414 for 20 years, and don't used it much other than on bass amps and the occasional clean jazz electric guitar. It's never once been the pick for a vocal.

Who knew?

Just have a selection of options, and you'll be covered, they don't have to be 'iconic'.
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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:47 am

I mostly own dynamics and ribbons. I've often wondered if I should have more condensers. I used to have a pair of fancy tube LDC's that cost me a lot of money, but they were so rarely appropriate for the styles of music I typically record, that I sold them. It just didn't make sense to have so much invested in microphones that almost never got used.

In my world, an SM7, 441 or M88 gets the job done for vocals. I record a lot of heavy shit, so screaming into an LDC is a bit much. I did just pick up a GT MD1a and have been enjoying that. Was just in time for a more standard rock album with actual singing. It sounds really fucking good, esp. considering it costs about 1/4 to 1/10 of most "fancy" tube mics cost. I just haven't had it long enough to try it on a ton of things / singers. Seems promising though. I got it from Joel, and I know from reading through posts that he's tracked Unsane and Julie Christmas with it, so I'm looking forward to having someone ruin their vocal chords through it.
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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by losthighway » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:27 am

Recycled_Brains wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:47 am
I did just pick up a GT MD1a and have been enjoying that. Was just in time for a more standard rock album with actual singing. It sounds really fucking good, esp. considering it costs about 1/4 to 1/10 of most "fancy" tube mics cost. I just haven't had it long enough to try it on a ton of things / singers. Seems promising though. I got it from Joel, and I know from reading through posts that he's tracked Unsane and Julie Christmas with it, so I'm looking forward to having someone ruin their vocal chords through it.
Yeah, the first word I think of for that mic on vocals is 'forgiving'. It seems to erase some of the annoying aspects of the many imperfect voices I record (including my own) and hype their finer qualities.

They can totally take the abuse of someone putting out a ton of volume, they just get kind of euphonic and mids-richer, without getting crispy and overloaded sounding.

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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by vvv » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:19 pm

I really like the GT tube mic's, (and I have a convertible also that I think Jim Williams reco'd for snare.)
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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by Zacharia Matilda » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:54 pm

I don't think you're missing anything, but my perspective is a bit myopic. I record myself pretty much exclusively, so I'm not genre-hopping all that much. I don't have any clients that I need to consider when approaching my gear. I know, through trial and error mostly, what mics sound good on what sources in my room.

In the past when I've tried out new mics (never tried a tube mic, but I'm speaking about condensers in general, both large and small) it can seem like I'm in a new room all of a sudden. It can be chaotic and bewildering. I usually stick to ribbons and dynamics, unless micing something like a rhodes that sounds woolly in the room. And drums? I always record them in mono. I just like the ribbon sound on drums. It forgives alot and tames the cymbals.

I can't forsee the need for a tube mic for me personally. I like the sounds I get, for the most part. If there was something I was trying to achieve that I was missing I would certainly take a look at the microphone I was using. It's such a huge part of the whole process. But I'm good. For now. :biggergrin:
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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by digitaldrummer » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:34 am

I think maybe its been mentioned here before, but if you ever want to hear what a pristine $10,000 Telefunken ELA M 251E sounds like on a really good singer, check out the Telefunken lab -- https://telefunken-elektroakustik.com/multitracks

so many sessions and nowhere enough time to check them all out, but a couple of my favorites if you need a place to start. Colin Hay in season 3 and the Suffers in season 2.
We've all proabably heard the Men at Work tune enough to be familiar. I've seen The Suffers live and have one of theirs CDs so I am aware of Kam's huge voice and what she can do with it.

anyway, good stuff...

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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by losthighway » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:27 pm

I know this is the wrong spot, but I'm thinking of selling my GT MD1 (not the md1a, just the md1) if someone's looking for a not very fancy tube mic that sounds pretty cool.

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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by Brett Siler » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:29 pm

TapeOpLarry wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:25 am
If it sounds good stop buying gear and just make records. Fuck all these forums and gear marketing. Oops, did I say that?
I havent been here in awhile, but I’m glad I stopped in! I’m greatful for finding this place when I first started many moons ago, and this mentality giving me the courage to keep going. Tapeop fucking rules. Tapeop for life!

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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by jgimbel » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:14 am

I record a fairly wide variety of types of music (folky acoustic projects, punk, metal, indie rock, voiceovers, 60s garage-inspired bands, gypsy rock, the list goes on). I have a decent sized mic collection and have a handful of fancy tube mics (U67, Flea 47, vintage U87, Telefunken AR51) as well as a lot of the typical dynamics (57s, 58s, SM7b, RE20, MD421s, etc.) and some ribbons and other condensers. While I do use every single one of them regularly, I will absolutely say that the fancy tube mics don't blow the others away on every single vocal regardless of the project. Especially looking at recording punk and metal, most of the time an SM7b wins the shootouts, or actually just as often an Electrovoice 635a. Condensers in general can often sound too detailed to my ear for tracks like that. I think nicer tube mics will 100% add something great to your mic collection and when they're right for a sound (especially vocals, acoustic guitars, overheads, upright bass, piano) boy are they right and can totally wake a song up. But like any piece of gear, I wouldn't buy a fancy tube mic expecting it to be used on 95% of things, because that's just not the way things have ever worked, for me anyway. Unless I'm only recording one type of project and every one requires the same kind of sound.
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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:13 pm

Black Friday and temptation got the better of me. I ordered one of the Slate VMS mics on sale for $499. Now I will have a $100,000 mic locker just like promised, right? :lol:

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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by vvv » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:43 pm

Do let us know when ya can!

But didja get the "system", or just the mic?
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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:45 pm

just the mic and plugin. I have clean pres and character pres. I'm not really trying to go head to head with some other mic anyway. I've already got one of the ML-2 (sdc) mics and it's interesting. Some of the plugin emulations are subtle, some are NOT!

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Re: No fancy tube mics - am I missing out?

Post by vvv » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:22 pm

Cool.

Reading summa the comments, they remark on how clean the mic is, itself.

I sometimes just want to hear the pre and/or compresor, and so I value "un-colored" mic's; I consider my Sennheiser Mk 4 and AT4040's to be so.
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