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What is your vocal chain ?

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Uwe Engel
What is your vocal chain ?
on Aug 10, 2009 at 8:38:40 pm

Hi there,

I would like to know what kind of vocal chain you are using for voiceover ?

Uwe

Apple G5, Mic MXL 2003, Neumann TLM 049, Mindprint DTC, LA2A, Urei 1176, Höfex Exciter, Jünger D02 Converter

Uwe Engel
http://www.mixwerk.com/


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Ty Ford
Re: What is your vocal chain ?
on Aug 10, 2009 at 8:43:52 pm

Hello Uwe,

So you ditched your Neumann U87 and TLM 149 for an MXL 2003? Wow!

My chain varies due to the project but frequently it's a u 89, Millennia Media STT-1 or GML to an RME A/D.

That MCA SP-1 is pretty cute, though for only $39.95 USD.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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Uwe Engel
Re: What is your vocal chain ?
on Aug 13, 2009 at 5:47:16 am

Hello Ty,

it sounds strange but that`s the truth. I tried two different U87 AI against my MXL 2003 togehter with the mindprint DTC. The preamp plays an important role here because this one is not so common in the US as here in germany and has a very good input transformer. In the end I had more crisp highs and less noise from the MXL. The Neumann U87 had more output level but it sounded not so "right in your face" as the MXL. That my evaluation here - perhaps in other preamp combination it works different.

Regards,

Uwe

P.S.: Thanks for your request about changing mics - do you have 20 MXL 2003 ?

Uwe Engel
http://www.mixwerk.com/


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Ty Ford
Re: What is your vocal chain ?
on Aug 13, 2009 at 1:07:42 pm

Uwe,

In just about every review of a mic I've ever written over the years, http://idisk.mac.com/tyreeford-Public/Gear_Reviews_Mics, I use at least two preamps to determine what a mic sounds like. More often than not, the same mic sounds different through different preamps. Mics with transformer outputs MAY be less variable, as the transformer buffers the mic's output circuit.

AGK C414 and TLM 103 sound pretty nasty through a Mackie mixer preamp and horrible through a Focusrite Red two channel preamp. Through a GML, Millennia Media, they sound quite nice.

There can be quite a difference between "bad", "not as bad", "not as good" and "really good", although being in the right position to make that call is not easy. The question always comes down to, "Compared To What?", as Eugene McDaniels so politically put it.

A lesser mic like the MXL SD mics compared some years back, a 603 I think, sounded better through the Mackie than my GML. However, It didn't sound as good as a Schoeps through my GML.

I forget if I have heard the 2003. MXL sent a bunch of mics to me some years back and while they looked pretty cool and sounded OK, they all suffered from that nasty little distortion so common in Chinese-made mics.

There's also the problem of mic to mic consistency. The Chinese-made mics of the same model can differ widely.

Having said that, a recent issue of MXL, the MCA SP-1, sounds quite remarkable. You should try it. Why not send me one of your twenty 2003 and I'll compare it with my u 89/Millennia Media?

Regards,

Ty Ford


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Uwe Engel
Re: What is your vocal chain ?
on Aug 17, 2009 at 6:35:50 am

Ty,

thanks for your answer. I think the postal costs from germany to your place to send you 20 mics is more than the MXL mics are worth - so let`s leave it like it is...
The distortion problem and the noice level in the MXLs is definetly an interesting part in your email. I am not sure if my MXLs do some more distortion than the others mics, simply because I cannot hear it. Sometimes I feel that some voice talents I record are distorted but that could also appear from to much voice power. I am thinking of getting me an TLM 103 because of their low noice level, I also heard the new Brauner Phantera is the new hit for voice recording (here in germany). It should have these crisp highs that everyone looks for in the voiceover business.
Best

Uwe

Uwe Engel
http://www.mixwerk.com/


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Ty Ford
Re: What is your vocal chain ?
on Aug 17, 2009 at 11:03:33 am

Uwe,

There's crisp and then there's burnt. In side by side comparisons, many people will prefer the brighter mic, simply because it's brighter. Many people who have used dynamic mics and are just beginning to experience condenser mics are entranced by the extended HF response. This can get you into trouble, especially if you intend to use limiting and compression, each of which add edgy artifacts.

The TLM 103 is a pretty bright mic and with the wrong preamp, it can sound quite brittle. It is, however, very quiet. My GML preamps are a very good match for it. A Radius 30 tube preamp (hhb, I think) makes the TLM 103 sound very nice and an old Neve is also complementary, among others.

The TLM103 is a wide cardioid and the extended HF response will hear any imperfections in your acoustical environment quite plainly. The headgrilles are very transparent. This feature allows them to be used in stereo recording in situations where small diameter capsules are more frequently used.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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JC Boulay
Re: What is your vocal chain ?
on Aug 10, 2009 at 9:09:13 pm

Let's geek out!

Over here, we use mostly Avalon Vt737SP preamps. For mics, I used either Neumann TLM170 or 103, for creamier, smoother voices, or Sennheiser MKH-800, for crisper, more defined voices. Out of the Avalon and straight into the PT interfaces. Whatever is done after that depends entirely on the situation.

JC Boulay
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada
http://www.audioz.com


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