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OK golden eared ones....I need your help...
Old 11th September 2002
Lives for gear
Kamurah's Avatar
🎧 15 years
OK golden eared ones....I need your help...

Hello all....

I really need your help. You see, the time has come. I have finally gotten the DAW up and running like I want it to....and.....well....now it's time for the front end.

I need recommendations on a mic/pre combo.

Let me give you my characteristics and what I am thinking about, then please guys tell me if I am running down the wrong street here.

First off, the only thing I will be recording with this is myself. My voice. Now please understand I have a somewhat unusual vocal range / timbre. The most common descriptions / comparisons I get are a "cross between Daryl Hall, George Michael, and the guy from Simply Red". I didn't make that up, and it isn't necessarily the description I would choose for myself if I had to....but....well, that's the kind of feedback I get.

For a sample of my vocal work go here:


Click on the song titled "Always for You". It's about as good an example as anything to demonstrate the character of my voice.

Now for the gear....

I have been looking at a lot of different combos....but here are the choices I have narrowed my purchase down to:


Amek 9098 DMA
Phoenix Audio DRS-2
CraneSong Flamingo
Great River NV

For mics my choices are:

Soundelux U195
Brauner Phantom C
Neumann TLM 103

Now I know these choices range from clean to colored....but.....well, that's the delimma. I am not so bent on getting something that sounds affected, and if the unit doesn't have tons of "character" well so be it.....I just want a good vocal sound.

Whaddya think?

For what it's worth, I don't really like to track with compression going in if I don't have to....and my mic technique is passable so usually it isn't a problem.
The combo will be going straight into an Apogee Rosetta and then either Logic or Pro Tools (I use both, but have just switched to OS X so am waiting on drivers before I go all Logic)

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to help a poor schlep out

Old 11th September 2002
Lives for gear
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Jeez .... difficult one .....

here's a few rules for Vocals :

1. There are no rules
2. a setting or a combination or a vocal chain or a signal path or how ever you might like to call it that sounds FANTASTIC on one singer might SUCK bigtime on the next.

All of that stuff you listed is nice .... all of it might work for you or suck on your voice.

My best advice therefore is to try to get them all to try out and try different combinations.

If you can't ...; I'd say you take the least risk in getting either the 9098 or the Flamingo .... lot's of people out here will favour the Flamingo but I wouldn't forget the 9098 before I tried it ...

Mic's ...; can't go realy very much wrong with the TLM 103 IMVHO

Most importantly though .... don't forget to enter over here :

Old 11th September 2002
Gear Guru
thethrillfactor's Avatar
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Hi Kamurah,

I have one word for you...EQUIPMENT RENTAL!!!

Rent a couple of things before you buy, and try them out. Honestly i am not crazy about any of your choices. I would prefer a pre with an EQ in there, just to tighten up some things especially if you are doing this at home. I would recommend the Amek CIB actually(what I am using a lot these days for vocals). Its got a pre/eq/and a compressor and it sounds great. For a mic, well you are in trouble there. I would love to see a U47 in there(which was used on a couple of those guys ), but hey maybe check out the Soundelux E47. Good luck!!
Old 11th September 2002
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Hi Kamurah,

I have one word for you...EQUIPMENT RENTAL!!!

You need to get youself a bottle of wine and max out your CC limit renting all your dream ****, record for the weekend with the rest of the world shut off, then make mixes the best you can and make a cd documenting the different combos - also invest in a x-former based mic-level splitter to send one mic to two preamps (very very rarely any problems unless you are using ****ty transformers"

Also., buy a whirlwind line level 1X2 split so that you can send one stem to the DAW straight up, and the other to compression or EQ > DAW

then take this cd somewhere and all places you can reference it and see how it translates, you must do some work to get the best product, it isnt the same way a doctor can prescribe meds for you, you are the only one in the end that can diagnose and write presriptions for gear" damn, that's another t-shirt I need to make before AES
Old 11th September 2002
Lives for gear
Kamurah's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Hey guys thanks for the input so far, I really do appreciate it!

Unfortunately, rentals are somewhat problematic for me....you see I am loacated about 3hrs drive from anything resembling a modern city that would have rental facilities. (Am in Carmel, CA.....I assume the closest place would be SF....LA is even more distant)

I will look into it anyway, hell maybe one of the rental houses can overnite some items to me. Anybody on the West coast that can recommend a place to try?

Again, thanks a lot. Of course that route makes the most sense.....I suppose I was taking a shot that there might be a consensus leaning toward one setup or another......silly me
Old 11th September 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar
🎧 15 years
personally i would go with a Crane Song Flamingo or a GT vipre. noth of those give you numerous variations on the sound.

as for the mic, i cant really recommend much... thats something you need to try out for yourself. personally i hated the tlm103 [still do] and would go with the U195 over that [more personality and wider variation with the FAT switch] but again, your voice, you need to try them out on it.
Old 20th September 2002
Here for the gear
The Specialist's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Audiorents in El Lay has a pretty substantial inventory. They are actually in Hollywood. Probably audiorents.com. I can't think of any dealers in the bay area who have the gear you are looking for. The closest you may come is Leos in Oakland. If you are serious enough to spend the money to demo the right setup, audiorents should be able to help you, although it may not be cheap.

I work for a major gear retailer in the bay area, but we never stock this stuff, if you need help finding contacts, drop me an email. I'm not trolling for sales, just helping out.

[email protected]

spend time and make the right decision!

Old 20th September 2002
Lives for gear
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
🎧 15 years
My 2 cents worth is:

Phoenix DRS-2 and any of the mics...

But most of all listen to what each of the pres and mics sounds like and go for one that you will be happy with not one that you feel compelled to purchase because of the 'emperors new clothes' syndrome or simply proaudio fashion.

BTW... congratulations on getting you rig together and welcome the perpetual financial black hole that is recording... they dont call this forum Gearslutz for nothing u know!!!

Old 20th September 2002
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
If you're going to drop that kind of cash, I'd say it's worth the drive to and from L.A. twice to get some rentals. Or, drive up to SF and visit Cutting Edge Audio. They're great about letting you try out stuff and return what you don't like. Or/Also, get that mic pre shootout CD from 3D Audio . It's cheap, fun, and slightly educational.http://www.3daudioinc.com/
Old 8th October 2002
Lives for gear
Kamurah's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Just wanted to write a quick "thanks" to all who replied.

I ended up ordering the Amek 9098 DMA. Should arrive in a week or two. Still haven't decided on a mic.....but if the website is correct...Atlas Pro Audio is offering a free Neumann shock mount with the purchase of either a TLM 103 or a M 147 until Dec.

Looks tasty. yuktyy
Old 8th October 2002
Lives for gear
cashewcupcake's Avatar
🎧 15 years
If anyone's interested, I've got a mint condition flamingo for sale. Send me an email.
πŸ“ Reply

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