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MKH 416 vs TLM 103 (My Voice Sampler Inside)
Old 31st July 2013
  #1
Registered User
 
🎧 5 years
MKH 416 vs TLM 103

Time for another one of these topics!
To be fair, I haven't seen a topic yet comparing these two mics. My apologies if one is already out there.

As the name implies, I'm looking into purchasing one of these mics for VA and VO work, but I'm not sure which better-suits my personal needs. Originally I was considering the RE-20, but I quickly learned that it's more of a radio standard than a VA and VO standard.

I've done quite a lot of background research on both of these mics, know that they're both VA/VO industry standards at this point, and that they are both either loved or hated (more often loved).

As VA will be my primary focus, I need something that sounds true to life, versus something that makes me sound like "the voice of god" that some voiceover mics can have. While that would be useful for VO work, I imagine I can gain that effect through pre-amps, and more importantly, I don't want that effect to come through while I'm doing animation work.

Animation and video game voice acting would be my primary niche, but I'll be taking any work I can get, even if that falls into the commercial world of voice over. So I need a good mic for pretty much all potential situations.

Unfortunately no store in my immediate area has both of these mics for me to test out myself, and YouTube is pretty limited in demos.
You can find my voice on my company YT channel, "CleverNoobs".

I've read that the Sennheiser is less forgiving to non-professional recording environments, which could be a problem. I'm working on making my own portable sound booth that won't sound "boxy", (you can see that topic here), but even still, I can't imagine the final product of what I'm currently working on with John (jhbrandt) to rival that of a full sound studio.

However, I also do video production, so on the positive side, the Sennheiser would also be great to have while I'm in front of the green screen.

As for the TLM, I've read it's basically the staple (next to the U87) for animation and video game VA work. I've seen it used in many different studios, whereas I haven't really seen the MKH 416 being used in any studios, despite hearing that they are used.

As of right now, everything I've ever recorded has been through a Blue Yeti USB Microphone with a pop filter, sitting in front of a home-made reflection filter with 2" Auralex foam. It's served me well, but I need something more professional now that I'm advancing my VA and VO career a bit.

Thanks so much to anybody who takes the time to help!

PS: Any matching pre-amp suggestions for both mics would be very helpful as well, because I've never had to purchase a pre-amp before!
Old 31st July 2013
  #2
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Honestly, the MKH 416 is a great-sounding, well balanced mic. And since it's a shotgun mic it can also be used to record samples, SFX, Foley, whatever else you might need, and so would be more versatile.

The TLM-103, despite being one of the least "tasteful" sounding mics by Neumann, nevertheless has some of that classic Neumann sound, and if that's what you're after, it might be worth trying out. It's much less versatile and robust. It's meant to be set up nicely on a stand and left there. You wouldn't use it on a boom, generally. And while it does sound nice, I don't feel like it's vibe would fit yours. It will probably come across as "old fashioned" sounding. It's great for VO, but for VA or ADR it would not be my first choice, since you wouldn't want that kind of lush low end for those applications.

For your purposes I feel the 416 is a no brainer.
Old 31st July 2013
  #3
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
These two mics are very very different and are not comparable at all.

The 416 is a short gun mic. and is only used for VO work where you have to replace dialogue that was originally recorded with a 416 so that you get consistency.

The normal cardioid (or switchable) VO mics are things like the Neumann U87, TLM 67, TLM 103, M149, Gefell M930, Brauner, etc... The Neumann "on air" mic. like the BCM 104 could also be considered.
Old 31st July 2013 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett ➑️

The 416 is a short gun mic. and is only used for VO work where you have to replace dialogue that was originally recorded with a 416 so that you get consistency.
Not true at all John. It's one of the most widely used v/o mics for close work too. And to the original poster, I find the 416 is rather forgiving of less than perfect rooms as it is so directional (again, the opposite of what you may have read). Needs stellar mic technique though and some experimentation to find the sweet spot for you.
Old 31st July 2013
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
416 and the 87 are the two mics every VO studio must own. I have owned both for 20 years. Two of the fussiest high-end male VO talents I record on a regular basis carry their 416's from session to session and ask me to take down the 87 when they're coming in. 87 is critical to producers because they may be revising a spot that was cut in a different studio, and everybody has an 87, so for a match/security they want to book a room with an 87. 103 tends to show up where people want an 87 but won't spend the $$$, so they roll the dice on a 103 and then try to convince themselves they have a great mic. The 416 sounds like it already has upper mid EQ lift applied, so voices, particularly male/tenor, cut through a mix great. Yes it is excellent for ADR and spot FX pickups also. I listened to your voice - you will sound great with the 416. If it picks up unwanted room sound, treat the room. You can eBay these for $500 and that is exactly what I would do if I were you.
Old 31st July 2013
  #6
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🎧 10 years
trust your ears. Plenty of VO pros using one or the other, or both.
Old 31st July 2013 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayo ➑️
Not true at all John. It's one of the most widely used v/o mics for close work too. And to the original poster, I find the 416 is rather forgiving of less than perfect rooms as it is so directional (again, the opposite of what you may have read). Needs stellar mic technique though and some experimentation to find the sweet spot for you.
OK - I know the 416 is widely used, but I had thought is was mainly for dialogue replacement.

If it's used also for normal VO work - that's fine, I had not realised that.
Old 31st July 2013
  #8
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
If you are looking for a VO shotgun, you should have a listen to the KM81 before settling on a 416, that would be my choice. The km81 is an obscenely fantastic mic that shares alot in common with its circuit as a u89 which is a fantastic, fantastic amplifier. I relied on an 81 professionally for years and years and its a love affair that is still going strong. A 416 sounds kinda "chalky" in comparison to an 81, which IMO is one of the smoothest mics in the old neumann transistor lineup. A 416 beats every phantom or T mic ever made in a rain forest, or if you are in a situation where you've lost your hammer and you need something to drive nails. It is a humidity proof workhorse, while at the same time being a great sounding mic. If you've seen a movie made in a decade that started with 197 or 198 you know the sound of a 416. For interiors though, an 81 while more humidity sensitive, will never let you down and sounds a million times more sophisticated than a 416. The pattern on an 81 is also much wider so it sounds a little more natural in comparison. IMO an 82 sounds closer to the pattern of a 416 than an 81. 416 is pretty magical, an 81 is really nice though.

If you want a large (ish) diaphragm mic for what you are doing, Id look at something with a hyper pattern, especially if you are even remotely thinking about a shotgun. If you can get right up on the grill of a U89 in hyper, that is a sound for sure. TLM170 is another consideration. I would go either of those routes I think before a U87. The odds of either of these in common use are somewhat low so you might consider:

If you will be working with other studios and your tracks will need to cut with other people's work, you should just buckle down and buy a stock u87 regardless of what your opinion (or anyone else's) is of that mic. Every studio has one and its used quite a bit for VO for exactly that reason. I was on the stage at dreamworks a while ago and was surprised to see a pair U87s up on the stage where they record the VO for all the animated stuff. I asked why, when they could chose any mic under the sun, would they go with a U87. Response was, we are tracking actors all over the place at different studios, what other mic is everyone going to have? Consider that.

As for a 416s (or any shotgun really) and unfriendly acoustic environments, if you using this the way you describe, you are going to be 1" from the diaphragm (well, 1" from the end of the tube, the diaphragm is actually at the bottom of it but you get the point). You can %100 remedy ANY interior recording environment with the smallest outlay of cash into some acoustic blankets when you are able to be that close to the mic. Alot of internet speak can get bizarrely translated sometimes.

If I was in your boat, Id spend less time trying to figure out what is the cool sounding mic (which is the kind of advice you are likely to get here) and spend more time researching the commonly used mics in the industry you'll be working in and just go and get the thing that everyone is using. When it comes to producers (motion industry producers, not record producers) requesting equipment packages, they are hiring the guy with that gear first. Talk to professionals who are working and discover what is demanded of them because when you break into that world, thats what is going to be demanded of you and when your name is on a list of freelancers available for hire and a line producer is calling 30 guys in an afternoon, they dont want to hear or care about if you have something that sounds better than what they think they need. They are just trying to staff their problem and have their parameters and if u87 is on that list, you should have one. Much of the gear we use in the motion picture industry is mandated by the production companies or the post houses getting the tracks. Luckily, most of what they want is mean high quality equipment so its not the biggest bummer in the world to outfit yourself with cool sounding stuff that will provide a solution to what both you and they are looking for.
Old 31st July 2013 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AwTAC ➑️
If you are looking for a VO shotgun, you should have a listen to the KM81 before settling on a 416, that would be my choice.
I think you mean the KMR 81i ???



Excellent mic. - I have one in my mic. kit.
Old 31st July 2013
  #10
Registered User
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks for your input everybody!

I have to say, I'm actually pretty surprised. This entire time I was thinking that the TLM 103 was the better suited mic for a neutral sound and was more commonly used in the VA industry.

Honestly I'm glad, because the Sennheiser is the one I've been feeling more biased towards this entire time, but I want to make the decision based on what's best for my voice, versus what my biases tell me to do.

There are a few concerns though: I've noticed a very high influx of "Chinese knockoffs" flooding the eBay market. While obviously you're going to get a fake if you purchase the mic for $400 and it ships from Hong Kong, I'm still worried that some of the ones listed in the USA, could be Hong Kong knockoffs just being resold by people who bought them.
I've heard that it's becoming harder to tell the difference between a knockoff and a legitimate 416, and as somebody who's never used one in person, I fear I could end up with a knockoff and never know it.
I like to think my ears know better, because I've heard enough samples of a 416 to know what it SHOULD sound like, but even still...

Lastly, are there any pre-amp suggestions to compliment either the MKH 416 or the TLM 103? I'm not sure what to go with here.

Thanks again for everybody's input! I'm still undecided on which mic to get, although I'm starting to lean more toward the 416.
Old 31st July 2013
  #11
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MichalS's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
As recording voice talents for animation, and generally dubbing work is what I do for living, I would add a few choices. First consider SDC supercardioid (like Shoeps CM6MK41, or sennheiser MKH 50) as they sound more natural in rooms then shotgun, yet they still give better directivity then LDC mics. Theese are mics that Sony Animations in Europe likes us to use, our local Disney also likes them better, and I absolutely love my Shoeps. Then there are games clients who ask to record for them on DPA 4060 lavalier mic. I find it really convenient on TV series too as, if mounted properly, they let the artist move freely, and the sound is surprisingly natural. That said I recorded commercial today with some dubbing, and vo, and after recording dialogues with Shoeps, I dusted off U87 for voice over, because there were a lot of loud heavy music going on, and I knew it will work better. U87 always sound like a vo for me, It's very hard to blend voices or effects recorded with it. It's a standard, but nobody actualy understands why. I have never used tlm103 but, as it has a reputation of brighter U87 poor brother, I expect similar problems. Small diaphragm mic is where I found the spund I've been looking for.
Old 1st August 2013
  #12
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🎧 5 years
I'd love to get even more input if anybody else out there has ever used either of these mics! =]
Old 1st August 2013 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ownaholic ➑️
I'd love to get even more input if anybody else out there has ever used either of these mics! =]
The most neutral sound would be the MKH40 or MKH50 (the same, other than polar-pattern).

Speech I hear through the MKH 40 (I don't have a 50) sound like a real human being, rather than a recording of a human being.

I'm not saying these are the "best" as sometimes you want "warmth" or a bit of "colour" - but for giving you what is there without change I find these are the best. It's the symmetrical capsule in these mics that take IM (double-tone) distortion to an extremely low level that makes these so clear and neutral.

I discovered this property when listening to an old Sennheiser CD comparing the MKH 40 with other high quality mics. The CD was actually talking about distortion and noise, but I found myself relaxing every time the spoken word was through the MKH 40 and suddenly realised that the ultra-low noise and distortion was making the speech so much more "real".
Old 1st August 2013
  #14
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Ownaholic

I'm a pro vo talent, worked for the past 20 years, and own a tlm-103, mkh-416, u87, m149, and a few others. Most often, the mkh-416 is on. It cuts through better than the others and sounds great on most projects. The U87 and M149 are more natural sounding in my opinion. There are plenty of great professional vo talent that are using the tlm-103.

I've done loads of work with both the 103 and 416, if you want to talk via phone at some point to discuss, I'll be glad to share my experience.

The Rode NTG-3 is very similar to the mkh-416 and is $600 new. I've used them side by side with the same preamp setup and its difficult to pick one over the other. Your point about Chinese knock off mkh-416's is interesting. I was just with another talent last weekend who commented he could sometimes find a *new* mkh-416 for $600 on ebay from Hong Kong and it made me wonder if they were knock offs. Thankfully I bought mine over the past 10 years prior to the fakes being manufactured. My suggestion would be to look at the serial numbers of ones you're considering. Don't know what serials in the knock offs look like. For what it's worth, I have used a couple mics that were Chinese knock offs of the u87 and they sound really really good for under $200.

Maybe there are some people near you that would get together on a weekend to let you sample some of the ones you're considering in your own studio?

Sean
www.seancaldwell.com
Old 1st August 2013 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanFL ➑️
Ownaholic

I'm a pro vo talent, worked for the past 20 years, and own a tlm-103, mkh-416, u87, m149, and a few others. Most often, the mkh-416 is on. It cuts through better than the others and sounds great on most projects. The U87 and M149 are more natural sounding in my opinion. There are plenty of great professional vo talent that are using the tlm-103.

I've done loads of work with both the 103 and 416, if you want to talk via phone at some point to discuss, I'll be glad to share my experience.

The Rode NTG-3 is very similar to the mkh-416 and is $600 new. I've used them side by side with the same preamp setup and its difficult to pick one over the other. Your point about Chinese knock off mkh-416's is interesting. I was just with another talent last weekend who commented he could sometimes find a *new* mkh-416 for $600 on ebay from Hong Kong and it made me wonder if they were knock offs. Thankfully I bought mine over the past 10 years prior to the fakes being manufactured. My suggestion would be to look at the serial numbers of ones you're considering. Don't know what serials in the knock offs look like. For what it's worth, I have used a couple mics that were Chinese knock offs of the u87 and they sound really really good for under $200.

Maybe there are some people near you that would get together on a weekend to let you sample some of the ones you're considering in your own studio?

Sean
www.seancaldwell.com
Thanks for the input Sean, I'm honored to be getting advice from one of the pros! I've actually heard your name somewhere before and even recognize your voice.
I'd love to pick your brain sometime, if for nothing else but random tips on sound quality and where to find work outside of voices.com and voice123.com.

But either way, I appreciate the post! I think given all the information here, that I'll most likely be getting a 416. I've heard about the Rode NTG-3 before, and have even liked some of the audio samples I've heard from it, but I think it might be a smarter investment for me to get something that I know a lot of the studios use. That way I would have more opportunities to record from my home and save everybody time and money in the long run.

- Julian
(I probably should have used my name as the username; strange, because I usually do, but I figured the norm here was to use a username rather than a real one, haha)

PS: Does anybody happen to have any pre-amp suggestions for the 416?
Old 2nd August 2013
  #16
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Julian

glad it helped, I've gotten tons of great advice here on GS.

Preamp wise, tell us what you want to spend. There are a few that I've used in the $300-$500 range that are decent. Presonus mp20 comes to mind...I used it for years and it sounded pretty good...discontinued, find one on ebay near $300. A friend of mine that I trust said he loves the P-Solo from True Systems for vo ($600 ish). Others can chime in if they know of some around that price range.

Have more to spend? You're really in a game of inches at that point...it takes a lot more money to get a noticeable improvement for vo work. If you did want to spend more, there is tons of advice on pres all around gear slutz. Some of my favorites over $1000 are the Great River mp-2nv (or the one channel version), the Aphex 1100 mk2 (find it used on ebay near $1100).

Same advice...try some and see what you think, especially if you're going on the high end.

Sean
www.seancaldwell.com
Old 2nd August 2013
  #17
Registered User
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks again for the response Sean, I've actually got a few more questions for you if you don't mind!

Since I'm just starting out and have the chance to do this right, do you think getting an audio interface with a built-in preamp and phantom power included would be a better route to take, than just getting a standalone preamp?
I'd rather have the preamp, the phantom power, and the adapter that lets me connect my mic to the computer to record, all in one fell swoop. It'll make the whole process of actually recording with the mic that much easier for me, to simply be able to plug the mic into one thing, and have that thing plug into my computer. And from what I understand, that's what audio interfaces appear to do.

If you think it's a wise choice, do you happen to have any good suggestions? I'd like to stay roughly around $200-$300, if not lower.

Also, I'm actually considering switching my choice back to the TLM 103, despite all the positive mentions of the 416 here. I can't really find any decent deals anywhere for the Sennheiser 416, but the TLM 103 has a lot of great deals for $200-$300 cheaper than the 416 right now on eBay. Plus I won't have to worry about it being a counterfeit, as I haven't read any reports about that for the TLM 103.
Not to mention that every picture I've seen of professional VAs in the studio (Steve Blum comes to mind, for instance) seem to be recording on a Neumann or another LDC mic; not to say that the 416 isn't also used, it just seems like the TLM series is used more often in the niches I'm looking at.

Thanks again so much for your time!

- Julian
Old 3rd August 2013
  #18
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Julian

I would start with an interface that has a pre and phantom power. The two that I've used are the m-audio fast track pro and the focusrite scarlett 2i2. Both are in the low $150 range, both will work with Windows 64 bit if you're pc based. Our of those two, the preamps and converters sound much better on the focusrite to my ears.

A much better choice is the Sound Devices usb pre. While they have a newer model (usbpre 2) that is $850, you can find the older usbpre for $250 ish on ebay. However...they don't officially support 64 bit windows on that unit. There is a third party driver that I got that has worked fine for me. If you found it didn't work, you could probably resell it for the same you bought it for. The pre's on the sound devices are in a totally different league compared to the previous two mentions. It does phantom power, line in and out and is an awesome high quality box.

A good portion of commercial vo pros will record their mic straight into the audio interface. The downsides to that is you lose the ability to do any bass rolloff or eq'ing with hardware. But you probably don't need that at this time. And either way, you're going to buy one of these interfaces whether you do an external preamp or not...so buy a good interface with decent pre's and you are on the way.

I agree that I see many voice actors doing character work using the tlm-103. Quite often in pixar / disney setups they use the 103. Around LA (and somewhat new york) you will not find the 103 used as much as the u87 or mkh-416 for higher end commercial vo in my experience. You'll be happy with either the 103 or the 416.

Sean
www.seancaldwell.com
Old 3rd August 2013
  #19
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Okay I went back and re-read your first post...if your niche is going
To be animation and video games, the TLM 103 is the definite choice.
Old 3rd August 2013
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
I'd say a U-87 or 416 are the 2 most common mics hanging in VO booths. I've seen Tlm103's and Telefunken Ak47's and others but nowhere near as common.
I don't think you could go wrong with a John Hardy M1 pre. It's also very commonly used, sounds awesome, has enough gain for most mics/voices. If you get the solo version, it's small enough that you could take it with you in a travel bag if needed.
Old 3rd August 2013
  #21
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
The 103 needs a good pre, it's more pre-dependent IMO than the 416.The John Hardy would be good with it but the Hardy runs about 1k new.
Old 6th August 2013
  #22
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🎧 5 years
Bah! This is a hard decision, someone help me rationalize this decision out (not like you guys haven't already tried).

In a world...where a man has to choose between two excellent microphones...

Just kidding.
But seriously, after doing even more sampling and reading and re-reading what's already been said here, it seems evident that the TLM 103 is more suited for animation, while the MKH 416 is amazing for commercial and promo work.

The problem is, I want to do both!
I've read that voices.com and voice123.com tend to list commercial and promo work primarily, over animation or video game work. So while animation and video games might be my target niche, it seems like I will most likely be getting more promo jobs than anything else (hypothetically speaking).

From what I've been reading, using the MKH 416 is undesirable for animation and video games because that "cuts through the mix" thing can end up getting annoying when you're listening to it for a prolonged period of time.
But the TLM 103, on the other hand, doesn't have that "oomph" and "electric sound" that the MKH 416 is capable of, which is essential for the commercial and promo work, which I think I've found a great voice for recently.
At the same time, certain characters for animation work might benefit from the sound that the 416 produces, such as deeper, villain-esque characters.
And in favor of the TLM 103, I've read that it can take a beating from screaming and yelling (what you'll find with animation and video games) better than the MKH 416. Is that a rumor, or a fact?

Money is also an issue too, because so far I've been able to find the TLM 103 for around $600-$700 on average, while the MKH 416 has been running for $700-$800 on average. I don't want to spend more money for something that is going to isolate my work to just promo and commercial work. Yet I also don't want something that won't sound good for promo and commercial work, either (I do love that "cut through the mix" sound in the promo scene).

I feel like my chances of getting VO work (which is more prominent) are going to be higher with the 416.
And, I feel like my chances of getting VA work are going to be higher with the TLM 103.

Which mic would be better-equipped to handle both realms?

It may also be useful to know that my recording environment now consists of a PVC frame that is 3.5' x 4.5' x 6.5', covered in a double-layer of Audimute Sound Absorption Sheets. In theory, it's going to sound amazing. Right? RIGHT?! ...Right.

So, bah I say!
Someone make the decision for me; Or just buy me both (You know, whatever you guys feel like).
Old 6th August 2013 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ownaholic ➑️
But seriously, after doing even more sampling and reading and re-reading what's already been said here, it seems evident that the TLM 103 is more suited for animation, while the MKH 416 is amazing for commercial and promo work.
dude, you are seriously reading too much and thinking about this way too much. Either will work for VO. Neither will sound good without a decent mic amplifier. Your talent as a VO artist will get you gigs, not some piece of gear. All you need is something good enough that puts you in the game and either will do.

A tlm103 is going to be much easier to sell than a 416 I would think. Why not start there and sell it if you dont like it. Buy a used one and you wont lose much if anything on the resale.
Old 6th August 2013
  #24
Gear Addict
 
MichalS's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
It would be ideal if you could try both mics on your particular voice. Both are good choice for some voices. I don't agree that mkh 416 is undesirable for animation and video games (It's one of mics specified for BF4 which I'm recording right now). Screaming, and yelling shouldn't be a problem for any of these mics. Your chances of getting any work would be higher if the mic will emphasize what is good in your voice. If you can, arrange an hour session in studio equipped with both that would be enough. If you can rent just one, buy another one, check both, and decide if you want to keep yours, or you want to resell.
Old 6th August 2013
  #25
Registered User
 
🎧 5 years
@AwTAC

I suppose I am being slightly over-analytic; but I was raised to be overly-analytic over big purchases of this caliber. =P

I'm positive both would sound phenomenal, and I've heard enough demos to feel confident that my voice would sound great on either one. The question is which would be more applicable for a broader range of jobs?

@MichalS
I'm glad to know that's a myth with the 416, straight from someone in the business. Is it possible to just condense the tracks down a bit, if it DOES end up with the harsh cut-through sound?

I've looked into recording studios in my area (there aren't many), but haven't found anything with those mics within a normal distance.
And most of the "studios" being advertised are simply cheaper in-home studios with the same level of proofing and absorption quality that I'm going to end up having, sadly. It's hard to find good help in PA. =P

I suppose I could always try GuitarCenter and see if they have the mics, but I feel like it would be rude to go to GC, try out two (or more) expensive mics, and then not buy anything. I'm 100% going to be buying my mic on eBay, and don't really want to be a huge jerk by going in, trying out a mic, taking up their time, without any intention of reimbursing them for their time. Or is something like that commonplace?
Old 7th August 2013 | Show parent
  #26
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MichalS's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ownaholic ➑️
I suppose I could always try GuitarCenter and see if they have the mics, but I feel like it would be rude to go to GC, try out two (or more) expensive mics, and then not buy anything. I'm 100% going to be buying my mic on eBay, and don't really want to be a huge jerk by going in, trying out a mic, taking up their time, without any intention of reimbursing them for their time. Or is something like that commonplace?
I'm all the way with you on this one. I have some other rules, as not to talk about a gear that I didn't use personally. I've used Neumann TLM193, U87, U89 in voice over situation but never TLM103, and I don't know your voice so I won't give you simple advice to take this one or the other. I love sdc mics on voice, for me it's more workable sound. It means I can do more with it during the mix. With ldc condenser though if you like how it sounds you've got it right at a source. And AwTAC has the point with reselling issue. You will probably be happy with either one for a long time, and maybe some day buy other one just to have a choice. So I think it all points a little bit at tlm103.
Old 8th August 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Matt Nolan's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Here's my sage (or not) advice:

Buy the 103 and perhaps a good pre-amp for it. Get some VO work. Spend some earnings from the VO work on a 416. Get some more VO work and some VA work. Live with them both for a while. Sell one on if you decide you can do it all with the other. Or keep them both if you feel that they excel at different things and it is worth having the flexibility. Simple :-)
Old 9th August 2013
  #28
Registered User
 
🎧 5 years
Here's another thought to throw a wrench in the chain:
How about the TLM 102? It's cheaper and right now I could pick up a new one for roughly $500.

Does anybody have experience using this in professional VO and VA jobs? Would this be an acceptable mic to use out of a home studio for most paid jobs?

I'm still leaning toward the 416 given it's versatility, durability, and more complimentary to deeper, bassy voices like mine; plus I'm happy to know it DOES get used in animation and gaming jobs, which is nice.
Old 9th August 2013
  #29
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 20 years
Lots of people do spots and promos from their home studios, but how many people who aren't established "stars" do animation from home?
Old 10th August 2013 | Show parent
  #30
Registered User
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➑️
Lots of people do spots and promos from their home studios, but how many people who aren't established "stars" do animation from home?
That's actually a really excellent point...

Anybody have an MKH 416 they want to sell for less than $700?
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