What's your favorite mic for male vocals?

62Tele

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,681
Condenser, dynamic, whatever. What's your personal fav for recording male vocals (ie singing, not spoken word)?
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,335
The one that works best for that particular singer/track.

No easy answer here, I'm afraid.

If I could have 3, it would be an SM7B, a U-47 and a 251.

One of those will usually work.
 

62Tele

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,681
The one that works best for that particular singer/track.

No easy answer here, I'm afraid.

If I could have 3, it would be an SM7B, a U-47 and a 251.

One of those will usually work.
Yeah, of course it's individualized, but curious what mics keep popping up. Which 251 - Telefunken, Peluso, Bock?
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,335
Yeah, of course it's individualized, but curious what mics keep popping up. Which 251 - Telefunken, Peluso, Bock?
The closest you can afford... <g>

The original German Telefunken 251, which I believe is also very similar to the AKG C12.

Brighter than a 47, but the same quality. Tom Petty is a C-12 guy, so listen to Wildflowers/She's The One for an example.

I've used the Soundelux (Bock) E47 and 251 extensivley and they're amazing mics.

A lot of geat vocals have been cut on a U-67, also.
 

Jan Folkson

Member
Messages
1,440
There are so many factors to consider, that without significantly more information you can't possibly get a worthwhile answer.
 

62Tele

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,681
I was trying to keep this a little more open ended to see what surfaces. But if it helps - my voice is something along the lines of Marc Cohn, fairly strong output, and I have reasonable mic technique.

I'm looking to find a decent vocal mic to use with an Apogee Duet 2 into my Mac. I'll record mostly original stuff with an acoustic or electric and overdub other instruments as needed. I'd like to get decent sound quality but have no illusions that this will replace a good studio (I've worked enough in great studios to know better).

I'd like to find something versatile enough that it might serve some other duties - it will be part of a set with a 414B-XLS and a pair of C451B's (which I might be selling). Can't see really spending several K for this one, since it's out of proportion with the rest of the setup.
 
Messages
488
SM7B

The others can be a bit fiddly for someone not used to recording or in a not so hot tracking environment.

SM7B fits most voices and is easy to use.
 

KidArchitect

Member
Messages
405
PR 30 can get sibilant and its good for scratch tracks, but ive never liked it on a final track.

SM7b is ALWAYS a decent choice. 4047 is another decent choice for the money. MA200 is a decent choice, but doesnt fit very many singers.

SM7b or RE20 are pretty versatile on singers. Or a U47 if you can spend that much. I'd also agree with that 251. The Bock should be more available than the Telefunken, but both are going to be ridiculously expensive and probably way out of the budget.

With all that said, SM7b. I was so against the idea of it, thought it was so overhyped, but eventually caved in and bought one. Best decision of my life.
 

62Tele

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,681
The SM7b sounds like it might be a winner; I want a solid performer as opposed to a prom queen. How's the construction on these? I have a newer SM58 that isn't exactly the Shure mics I grew up with.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,335
The SM7b sounds like it might be a winner; I want a solid performer as opposed to a prom queen. How's the construction on these? I have a newer SM58 that isn't exactly the Shure mics I grew up with.
As long as you dn't take it to gigs and hammer nails with it, you'll be fine.
 
Messages
896
I used the PR30 for a rapper recently and really liked it, however used it for the female singer from the same band and wasn't so happy with it (she was also a terrible singer). I can post the track beginning of next week for you to hear.
 

Somniferous

Member
Messages
1,207
Just watch out using the SM7 with an interfaces pres, it tends to need a decent amount of clean gain to sound best. Most interface pres won't be up to the task.
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,432
My faves for male vox (listing only mics I own or have owned, since those are the ones I'm most familiar with; and everything depends on the singer, of course!):

Blue Mouse, Neumann U89i, Rode NTK, Blue Dragonfly, Blue Kiwi, Shure SM7B, AKG 414 BULS.
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,610
Out of the mic's i've used (so that rules out neumann's and what not), but essentially sm7b, md421, Rode K2. I never bought a K2 because i just didn't have the cash for it...however for some reason it's dropped to like $700 new in Australia...it was about $1300 a couple of months back...

To a lesser extent, believe it or not, i had this one male singer who's voice worked great with my Rode NT1a...but he had a soft voice, everyone else was way too bright with that mic.

On to the sm7b, you do need an extra pre...personally i use a UA 710 with mine, but i've heard a lot of good recordings with just the pre73...but it really is one of those mic's that opens right up when you have a good pre with it.
 

62Tele

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,681
So would you guys think the pre's in the Apogee Duet 2 would be inadequate SM7B?
 

alohachris

Member
Messages
63
Aloha,

IMO, there is no such thing as one mic for all male vocalists. Vocal mic's are completely voice-specific. Therefore, the question becomes, "On which male voice?" And that means you probably need more than one "favorite" to be prepared.

Assuming the question refers to studio recording & not live vocal mic's (completely different choices), my favorite mic's in the top echelon on male vocals are:

Neumann U-87 vintage (easier to find than U-47's, U-67's etc. in great shape), Telefunken Elam 251, AKG C-12, & Brauner VM-1. (I've used all of these, but only own the U87). All are fantastic for different reasons & different male voices.

More affordable: Peluso 2247LE, Pearlman VM-1, Neumann Gefell CM70, AEA R-44, & Schoeps CMT series. I also like the Schoeps CMC6 Mk4 with a thick pop filter & the right spacing.

The primary studio vocal mic that my voice chose for me is the Mojave MA-200 cardioid tube (go figure, over all those other great & $$$ mic's). It works perfectly for me: warm, detailed, open & accurate, & sounds great on my Pacifica, MDP-1, MP-2NV, SPS-1, & Apogee Duet & Ensemble pre's.

I have an SM7b that never gets used. Most of the male voices I record prefer the other, quieter, condenser mic's in the locker & aren't necessarily rockers (on whom the SM7b can really shine). If I need a dynamic mic for male vocals, I've recently been choosing the Heil PR 35 - a great mic for studio or live, IMO. That one is a surprise!

The two I use most often on male vocal recordings are the MA-200 & U87. I have others available for different vocal apps. & voices.

Again, favorite mic choice all depends on the male voice I'm recording. One does not fit all. Interesting choices so far.

If you're voice is a bit on the raspier side like Marc Cohn's, then yeah, an SM7b may be just the ticket. It does require A Lot of rated Gain to avoid hearing hiss & has a lot of self noise, but is a good value. I love the sound of pre's in the Apogee Duet. AND, with a gain stage rating of 0-75dB, the Duet has more than enough headroom to work with such a noisy mic as that SM7b dynamic. That's not the case with most two-channel mic preamp's available for under $1.5K.

A Hui hou!
alohachris
 
Last edited:

jmoose

Member
Messages
4,805
I like the one that sounds "best" on that singer, with that music...

When it came time to do vocals on hero patterns 'cut you out' we did a blind mic shootout... we had time for that stuff and the guys had some money, not a whole lot of money but enough to rent a few nice pieces of gear to augment what I owned.

I put up maybe a 1/2 dozen mics in tight proximity... there was a 414 B/uLs - TLM103 - SM57 (they wanted to try it) - C12 (rented) etc. all patched into my favorite preamps for those mics. Then I had Jay read a magazine or book while I set basic levels... he was maybe a foot and a half from the array of mics. No compression. Too much of a variable.

Armed all the tracks, hit record and rolled through half a song... let the guys sit at the desk and sort through it. There were a couple we didn't like, a couple that were "ok" and one almost unanimous winner!

The winner?

Oktava MC12

The little pencil mic... I think plugged into an API. We did end up using a few other mics on other songs, it wasn't just the Oktava the whole way through.

I'm not sure that i've ever used the oktava since then for a lead vocal... and its certainly not because I haven't tried it!!!
 




Trending Topics

Top