Old 01-19-2020, 08:21 AM   #1
msmartt
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Default Different mics sound the same

I am recording with a Rodes large diaphragm, Rodes small condensers and a Slate Digital ML2. All seem to sound the same to me. Is there something I could have mis-configured in the set up files?? I would think a notable difference would be heard from those mics.

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Old 01-19-2020, 08:24 AM   #2
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It's probably a good thing they sound the same. Fidelity makes things harder to discern.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmartt View Post
I am recording with a Rodes large diaphragm, Rodes small condensers and a Slate Digital ML2. All seem to sound the same to me. Is there something I could have mis-configured in the set up files?? I would think a notable difference would be heard from those mics.

Thanks,
Michael
You should easily hear more bass in the large diaphragm
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:06 AM   #4
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Right - If the frequency response is similar they will sound similar. There are other differences (polar response, sensitivity, etc.) but the basic "sound character" is frequency response.


You would think that everybody wants a "flat" microphone, but it turns-out most people don't like "perfectly flat" and (slightly) different curves sound better with different sound sources.


Of course, you can adjust the frequency response with EQ so I think people go a little too crazy trying to find the best (or better) mic. If you're working in a pro studio with lots of mics available, of course it's nice to choose the best mic for every situation.


I'm not advocating using a "cheap mic" but you usually don't need an exotic mic either.




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You should easily hear more bass in the large diaphragm
That's a good generalization with large & small diaphragm mics but it depends on the particular mics.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:21 AM   #5
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That's a good generalization with large & small diaphragm mics but it depends on the particular mics.
That makes sense. Especially where in some cases the "more" low end that an LDC has (if it does) is so far down it's irrelevant in most applications. I have a little SDC here rated @ 20-20 kHz for example which is rated 10 Hz lower than it's LDC counterpart.

To the OP, mics tend to have differences depending, that's for sure, but beware of "night and day" references which is a rarity for similarly constructed mics. Meaning, there can and will be differences that do matter depending on how the different mics are used but don't be surprised if you compare two mics in their nominal sweet spot and they sound way more alike than the descriptions you hear people talking about. No one here, just in general.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:17 AM   #6
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It's probably a good thing they sound the same. Fidelity makes things harder to discern.
So would lack of fidelity. Lo-fi monitoring could be so comical that you might not be able to tell the difference between a U87 and a piezo stuck to the side of something. Laptop speakers. Blose ear buds. Beats. These toy headphones with a noise cancelling attempt failure that someone just showed me. (Literally sounded like the most hyperbolic description of Youtube artifacts or low bit mp3 with the underwater windchimes business. Can't remember the name.)
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:54 AM   #7
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I hear more today than I did years ago


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Old 01-19-2020, 11:12 AM   #8
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msmartt, what are you listening to the mics through (what kind of headphones and/or speakers)?
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:16 AM   #9
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and what is the source sound?
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:19 AM   #10
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Mics do sound different

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Old 01-19-2020, 11:49 AM   #11
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The interface I am using is a focusrite 18i20. No additional pre-amps.

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Old 01-19-2020, 11:52 AM   #12
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The monitor speakers are Rockets
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:56 AM   #13
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The monitor speakers are Rockets
Rokits.... what size, do you have a sub ?
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Mics do sound different
To SOME extent...

If they sound the same that's not a bad thing unless you don't like the sound you're getting.

I'm sure there lots of similar-sounding mics. A mic should be reasonably accurate and if they were all accurate there wouldn't be any difference. But like I said, most people don't want a mic with perfectly-flat frequency response.


But they don't want one with too much bass boost or too much treble boost, etc., so you shouldn't find TOO MUCH difference between GOOD mics.


If you use a cheap computer microphone (or just a dynamic mic) you're more likely to hear a difference.




You know... Sometimes it's the opposite problem and people think they're hearing a difference... Amplifier-A (or preamp-A) sounds MUCH better than Amplifier-B, or high-resolution sounds better than "CD quality" and then they can't hear a difference in a proper level-matched, blind, ABX test.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:19 AM   #15
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Ive been recording my voice in a pro studio recently. Asked the engineer if I could use my Rode Classic 1 instead of their U87.
My voice definitely sounded way better through the Rode, but then the engineer said "of course, I can get the same sound from the U87 with eq anyway..." Kinda bursts your bubble.

But as someone else said, a lot of it is getting so your ears are "trained" by experience to hear subtle differences. And then you get old and go deaf.
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:39 AM   #16
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Through a good preamp the mics supposedly shine their personnality more obviously or so I heard. I own a solo 610 and I did'nt even test this extensively I own only 1 good AKG414 for vocal and the rest are 57 and 58.

For sure the AKG414 is way more sensitive and needs an iso booth or it picks up every noise on the street.

Also I prefer a 57 on my voice but on my friend's the 58 sounds better to me.

So yes there are definetly differences but micing everything with 57 only has been done numerous times and it still gives out more than decent tracks.
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:42 AM   #17
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One also buys different mics for things other than sound. Using some cheap and extreme examples, a $20 Neerwer NW-800 is a condenser with uber tinny sound out of the box, unless you talk within 2 inches of it to exploit the proximity effect.

$120 Neewer NW-410s are SDC with much better sound, especially at the lower end, but they can be noisy.

A $1000 pair of sE4400a's sound close to the NW-410's in terms of someone talking or singing through them, but they are so much cleaner its blatantly obvious.

A lot depends on the source (voice, instrument), what it is going in to ($40 interface or a several thousand dollar Apollo or higher end digital mixing board). Of course the final end of the chain, headphones or monitors/speakers have a LOT to do with what you ultimately hear.

What no one touched on is recording quality levels... I find I can tell differences in dynamics and voice quality recording at 44.1 vs 192... there is a richness there that the lower levels don't have and they display the differences between mics even more.

Just my very newbie 2 cents worth.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Ive been recording my voice in a pro studio recently. Asked the engineer if I could use my Rode Classic 1 instead of their U87.
My voice definitely sounded way better through the Rode, but then the engineer said "of course, I can get the same sound from the U87 with eq anyway..." Kinda bursts your bubble.

But as someone else said, a lot of it is getting so your ears are "trained" by experience to hear subtle differences. And then you get old and go deaf.
U87's should usually be pretty nice. I don't have one...
Although I heard a recording someone who was very proud of having a U87 made one night. "... my U87... U87... my U87... with my U87" was the mantra. It sounded like an anemic 57. Part of the problem was he had it facing backwards. That'll usually be a problem. Should have still been a warm blooded recording of that but more was wrong.

Just a silly story from one night. Probably not related to your experience. Or your point of different mics suite different voices.


Aside, I thought there was a particular mic with a similar capsule that people are modding in lieu of a U87. Can't remember it right now. Might try that route (if I can remember what it is).

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Old 01-21-2020, 09:13 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by msmartt View Post
I am recording with a Rodes large diaphragm, Rodes small condensers and a Slate Digital ML2. All seem to sound the same to me. Is there something I could have mis-configured in the set up files?? I would think a notable difference would be heard from those mics.

Thanks,
Michael
the obvious question here is - did you remember to pick different inputs for each track?
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:46 AM   #20
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U87's should usually be pretty nice. I don't have one...
Although I heard a recording someone who was very proud of having a U87 made one night. "... my U87... U87... my U87... with my U87" was the mantra. It sounded like an anemic 57. Part of the problem was he had it facing backwards. That'll usually be a problem. Should have still been a warm blooded recording of that but more was wrong.

Just a silly story from one night. Probably not related to your experience. Or your point of different mics suite different voices.


Aside, I thought there was a particular mic with a similar capsule that people are modding in lieu of a U87. Can't remember it right now. Might try that route (if I can remember what it is).
In my case, I had a lot of experience using high HIGH end vocal mics, I bought the Rode after using it at a local studio & being blown away with how kind it was to my particular voice.
Nothing wrong with U87s, especially if you get a good older one.

My dream mic on my voice is/was a vintage AKG C12 I got to use in Rockfield. Stunning mic. Stunning price as well, sadly.
Never have liked C414s, but I do like older 251s.

Such a luxury to be able to actually hear what you sound like through them in a good listening environment.
Stuff like that I count myself very lucky on.

I do wish I had managed to hear myself on one of the nicer Microtech Gefell ones, though.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
I bought the Rode after using it at a local studio & being blown away with how kind it was to my particular voice.
I don't own a "good" mic but from what I've read Rode gives you a LOT for your money.

Quote:
Nothing wrong with U87s, especially if you get a good older one.
I read a review of a mic that was a "clone" of a classic Neumann. (I don't remember the model numbers.) They had two copies of the vintage mics and of course they sounded (and/or measured?) different from each other.


Of course, the conclusion from a review/article like this is always the same - Use the original if you can get your hands on it. But, that's mostly bias and they'll always say the more expensive option is better.







Quote:
Also I prefer a 57 on my voice but on my friend's the 58 sounds better to me.
From Shure.com
Quote:
The SM57 and SM58 microphones are based on the same cartridge design. The main difference is in the grille design. The SM58 was designed for vocal application and it uses a ball grille that acts as an effective pop filter. The SM57 was designed as an instrument microphone where a smaller grille size is preferred. In this application, pop and wind are not usually a concern.
The SM57 uses an integral resonator/grille assembly, where grille is actually a part of the cartridge. These two grille designs place the diaphragm of each microphone in a different acoustical environment. The distance from the top of the grille to the diaphragm is shorter on the SM57 compared to that of the SM58. This allows for a closer miking position with a more pronounced proximity effect. The different resonator/grille assembly design of the SM57 is also responsible for its slightly higher output above 5 kHz.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:47 AM   #22
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In my case, I had a lot of experience using high HIGH end vocal mics, I bought the Rode after using it at a local studio & being blown away with how kind it was to my particular voice.
Nothing wrong with U87s, especially if you get a good older one.

My dream mic on my voice is/was a vintage AKG C12 I got to use in Rockfield. Stunning mic. Stunning price as well, sadly.
Never have liked C414s, but I do like older 251s.

Such a luxury to be able to actually hear what you sound like through them in a good listening environment.
Stuff like that I count myself very lucky on.

I do wish I had managed to hear myself on one of the nicer Microtech Gefell ones, though.
I have a few Neumanns in my kit and they're all nice of course. I don't have a U87 yet. I think the modding favorite I was trying to remember is a Microtech Gefell. But nothing should be dismissed and sometimes you find an unexpected good choice for a mic.

I think the point I was trying to make with that story was to not get hung up too much on a name. In that case the dude not only had one with something obviously broken but he was so disconnected he had it up pointing backwards. And then bragging about having it the whole time. He was a weird kind of fan tagging along with the band. He "recorded" them you see. I grabbed a split of his U87 like you might do. I was already planning on using my 421s for the sax because I wanted more sax in those channels than drums and cymbals. Picky right?

Still hard to go wrong with a name like Neumann. I mean unless you're trying to buy vintage stuff and get stuck with broken stuff! Yeah, I wouldn't mind a C12 either! Unobtainium.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:22 AM   #23
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I don't own a "good" mic but from what I've read Rode gives you a LOT for your money.

I have to stress my Rode is one of the original Classis. The Mk1 version. The Mk2 is probably has a lower noise floor but they just sound different to mine on my voice & not in a good way, so don`t assume all Classics are the same. Customer Service from Rode is stunningly good though. I asked if I could buy a suspension mount for my mic since they didn't originally come with one. Rode guys actually hand modified a Mk2 version for me and sent it free of charge from Australia to the UK!!
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Old 01-22-2020, 02:57 PM   #24
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I hear audio differently now after many years in my learning of recording than what I did when I was gigging in bands and that meant three or more times a week and working a job.
I believe my ear has improved in recognizing tone and slowly pitch.
Every microphone that has not been cloned to the ninth degree will have a different sound.
Why, how has the grill been drilled what thickness the grill what dimensions.
What size the body, what kind of metal, pop filter or no pop filter.
This could go on and then there is the position of the mic relative to your voice, the room, any little deviation will give you some difference tonally.
Are you singing into under or over the mic. The list is endless really.
What I am trying to say is that if you are early to audio you may pick up later the finesse of being able to hear more clearly what golden ear people hear.
I am not there yet but I am pleased with the way I am going myself yes...
Having patience for Time will enable great learning.

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