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AKG C214 for Rap Vocals
Old 25th January 2013
  #1
AKG C214 for Rap Vocals

for the past few months i've been trying out different LDC's in search of a new main vocal mic for rap and r&b vox... I now have the AKG c214. Before purchasing it i couldnt find many examples of it being used for rap... and the examples i did find were raw and not sitting in a mix (rendering them virtually useless). So... in case your like me and like to hear a mic "in action" i recorded a quick short track and put a rough mix on it... lemme know what you think of it, and if you have questions about the mic feel free to ask...

chain: AKG C214 > Focusrite ISA One > Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 > Adobe Cs6 (DAW)
Attached Files

Joon Jukx-Throw It Away (ruff).mp3 (3.40 MB, 13117 views)

Old 25th January 2013
  #2
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drethe5th's Avatar
I used a 214 on a couple tracks & liked it better than the newer 414's. I was suprised being that the 414 is a mic Ive recorded 75% of my material with.

Its lack of pick up patterns & lo-cut switch isnt a bad thing at all since its specifically marketed as a vocal mic. I like the 214 and plan on buying one myself soon enough.

Posted via mobile device.
Old 25th January 2013 | Show parent
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by drethe5th ➑️
I used a 214 on a couple tracks & liked it better than the newer 414's. I was suprised being that the 414 is a mic Ive recorded 75% of my material with.

Its lack of pick up patterns & lo-cut switch isnt a bad thing at all since its specifically marketed as a vocal mic. I like the 214 and plan on buying one myself soon enough.

Posted via mobile device.
i find that cardiod only suits my current situation, i dont record instruments or more than one person at a time so it was an easy buy for me. i do find that its a bit bright... but that makes it excellent for cutting thru the mix, so all in all i like it
Old 26th January 2013
  #4
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Sounds good man. How are you liking the C214 in comparison to the 4047 you had?
Old 26th January 2013
  #5
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prizebeatz1's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I like the way that mic sounds too. Very clean and bright without sounding harsh. The AKG's and most of the mics from Europe (especially the German ones) have a certain quality to them that is just amazing to me. There's so many choices sometimes it's like you want to have them all right?

I highly recommend that you try a ribbon microphone the first chance you get. I bet they would play really well with the ISA One. I've fallen in love with my ribbon and now that is almost all I want to mess with. Be warned though, ribbon mics are an acquired taste. You might not like it at first but when you start to see how the measure up to condensers you will learn to appreciate the subtle warmth, smoothness and big bottom end.

Can you also explain the Adobe DAW you're using? I'm confused with that....
Old 26th January 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I just copped one yesterday. Will give it a quick test when it arrives. If it doesn't work for my needs check the classifieds. I usually can tell within a day or two if a mic will work for its intended purpose.
Old 26th January 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrides ➑️
I just copped one yesterday. Will give it a quick test when it arrives. If it doesn't work for my needs check the classifieds. I usually can tell within a day or two if a mic will work for its intended purpose.
Curious to hear your opinion, drop a yay or nay for me after you put it through the paces? I've been trying to see if its recommendable for a few of my clients home setups (basically; will I be able to mix the fu*ckin thing lol)
Old 26th January 2013
  #8
Man I've yet to find a mic I love more than the 4047, but that mic took some getting used to... so for the time being considering I just got the mic I would suggest I answer that question after I had a bit more time with it. The top in is indeed a bit "sharp" to me at times... I find that I can't really play with the hf much at all on my vox... but then again the highs don't seem to need much work... a little tinkering with the hmf and the vocals pop out of the mix

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Old 26th January 2013
  #9
I was considering trying a ribbon, but thus far everyone I know use the strictly on drums... lol

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Old 26th January 2013
  #10
With a bit of acoustic treatment it has a very good natural pick up for male and female vocals (especially good on a female). The hi's tend to be a bit funky to me but then again I'm not used to having such a bright mic

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Old 26th January 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
OP,

I just listened to the clip. How did you process the vocals EQ and compression wise. Becaause, I will be extra salty if the mic sounds that thin, when I get it.

EDIT: I have a Neve style mic pre that I will be testing it with. It might end up being a beefier combo, so I won't trip at this point.

Cool lil song idea though. You from the West Coast?
Old 26th January 2013
  #12
and the DAW (digital audio workstation) I'm using is adobe audition cs6

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Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio507 ➑️
Curious to hear your opinion, drop a yay or nay for me after you put it through the paces? I've been trying to see if its recommendable for a few of my clients home setups (basically; will I be able to mix the fu*ckin thing lol)
Yep. I can make that happen. If it gets here before the weekend, I should be able to give it the once over. Will probably trying it through a MA5 since I t appears a tad bright. If it gets here on Sat then Superbowl related errands will take precedent.
Old 26th January 2013
  #14
Nope I'm from New York, and I ran it thru waves ssl e eq + waves r comp

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Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoonJukx ➑️
Nope I'm from New York, and I ran it thru waves ssl e eq + waves r comp

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What kind or treatment do you hqve up?
Foam?
Traps?
Blanket fortress?

A
Al a
Old 27th January 2013
  #16
At the momment its still bit of a work in progress, bed foam on the walls and 4" auralex on the ceiling

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Old 27th January 2013
  #17
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoonJukx ➑️
I was considering trying a ribbon, but thus far everyone I know use the strictly on drums... lol

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Or electric guitar...or acoustic guitar...or brass...but rarely for vocals here.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoonJukx ➑️
At the momment its still bit of a work in progress, bed foam on the walls and 4" auralex on the ceiling

Sent from my LG-C729
That might explain a lot. With the next loose $$ 25 you have, snatch up a couple of moving blankets from harbor freight or u haul. Grab a couple of $10 room dividers (or maybe boom mic stands) and some clamps. Attach the blankets to the dividers and make a C-shaped wall behind you. Since the mic is cardiod it should reject much of room behind it. You want to block the room behind you though. Nasty hi freq stuff gets tamed. This should help your vox sound fuller. I think the Jigga Rubin 99 probs recording vid shows this concept. (Not with blankets though). Might have even used an AKG on that song too actually lol.

This is a very cheap vocal upgrade that is often used as a portable solution. You can get rid of the foam if you want at that point.
Old 27th January 2013
  #19
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoonJukx ➑️
Man I've yet to find a mic I love more than the 4047, but that mic took some getting used to... so for the time being considering I just got the mic I would suggest I answer that question after I had a bit more time with it. The top in is indeed a bit "sharp" to me at times... I find that I can't really play with the hf much at all on my vox... but then again the highs don't seem to need much work... a little tinkering with the hmf and the vocals pop out of the mix
Just listening to your track on Hd600s, I don't think there's much wrong with the vocal sound at all! Certainly "acceptable" - better than a lot of the stuff I get sent to mix (or even that I see that has been recorded at a decent room). All the things I'd change to do with the vocals are taste and not really to do with the mic itself (Eg editing the voice smacks and tightening the flow in places). A bit of saturation, a bit of level automation and you're good I should think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoonJukx ➑️
At the momment its still bit of a work in progress, bed foam on the walls and 4" auralex on the ceiling

Sent from my LG-C729
This probably isn't helping the mixing side of things (hi and hi mid trapping; no bass trapping) but doesn't seem to be hurting the vocal sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrides ➑️
That might explain a lot. With the next loose $$ 25 you have, snatch up a couple of moving blankets from harbor freight or u haul. Grab a couple of $10 room dividers (or maybe boom mic stands) and some clamps. Attach the blankets to the dividers and make a C-shaped wall behind you. Since the mic is cardiod it should reject much of room behind it. You want to block the room behind you though. Nasty hi freq stuff gets tamed. This should help your vox sound fuller. I think the Jigga Rubin 99 probs recording vid shows this concept. (Not with blankets though). Might have even used an AKG on that song too actually lol.

This is a very cheap vocal upgrade that is often used aw a portable solution. You can get rid of the foam if you want at that point.
I wouldn't get rid of the foam (at least not all of it - it's probably helping the comb filtering/flutter echoes) but I'd add some bass trapping!

But essentially having a portable vocal booth that tames high end reflections without reflecting bass energy isn't a bad idea. Might well cut down ambient noise as well (I can't really tell with the crunchyness of the beat if there's much noise, but it's always a possibility!).
Old 28th January 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Exactly. Less boxy. I tried the same concept with traps and blankets worked better for my use. Ive heard worse vox for sure. Far far far worse. I have also passed on mics that resulted in a simiarly thin sound. We will see when I get mine. I would still like to hear the op with a blanket fortress though. I have seen vox go from kinda thin to dayum by adding one. Also it fould be mic placement. Might just need to step closer.
Old 28th January 2013
  #21
Looked around for somethin like that, couldn't find room divders for 10$ anywhere, and the only problem I find with the booth is no low end control... I figured some bass trapping would solve that... I kind of like having an area that closes off from everything else just for the vocalist

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Old 28th January 2013
  #22
As I just previously stated with no bass trapping in the "vocal booth" harsh lows are an issue... so stepping closer only adds to that, I ended to purchase some bass trapps this weekend and see where it goes from there

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Old 28th January 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Word. Well do your thing man. If you have a booth than my guess is probably wrong. Perhaps I am being foo critical, since I have clear expectations ot this mic.
I am hoping to coax a bit more low mid out of it without a lot of effort.
We shall see. I know it can work well on female vox as you stated earlier. I could justify it for that alone if it doesnt do what I originally intended, to my liking.
Old 28th January 2013
  #24
Its a strange mic, as it has some kind of warmth to it while still remains bright as well... I believe as I get bass traps and other acoustic solutions ill further achieve a desired sound

Sent from my LG-C729
Old 28th January 2013
  #25
Gear Addict
 
OmegaP's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoonJukx ➑️
for the past few months i've been trying out different LDC's in search of a new main vocal mic for rap and r&b vox... I now have the AKG c214. Before purchasing it i couldnt find many examples of it being used for rap... and the examples i did find were raw and not sitting in a mix (rendering them virtually useless). So... in case your like me and like to hear a mic "in action" i recorded a quick short track and put a rough mix on it... lemme know what you think of it, and if you have questions about the mic feel free to ask...

chain: AKG C214 > Focusrite ISA One > Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 > Adobe Cs6 (DAW)
Take that Focusrite ISA One back and get a Warm Audio Wa12,she smokes the ISA one,and Gap73. I bet you get a better sound using that,i've used all three and can tell you the Wa12 is nothing but the truth.
Old 29th January 2013
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
API tends to be mid forward. Not sure how that would work with a bright mic ane a somewhat high / I perhaps even somewhat nasal voice (woulr have to listen again)

API doesn't usually work on my voice and I am a little deeper. Neve style for me works on a wider range of voices. I never reach for them on vox anymore. YMMV

I agree that the ISA might not be the best pairing though.
Old 29th January 2013
  #27
Don't know if i'd get that pre, been thinking about getting a daking

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Old 1st February 2013
  #28
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Sounds great through my headphones, listen through as many different speakers as possible. Nice and clear.
Old 2nd February 2013
  #29
Thanks man, I do a lot of "A/B" test during the mix

Sent from my LG-C729
Old 2nd February 2013
  #30
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrides ➑️
API tends to be mid forward. Not sure how that would work with a bright mic ane a somewhat high / I perhaps even somewhat nasal voice (woulr have to listen again)

API doesn't usually work on my voice and I am a little deeper. Neve style for me works on a wider range of voices. I never reach for them on vox anymore. YMMV

I agree that the ISA might not be the best pairing though.
I don't like Api for vocals.

We were doing scratch vox the other day for a project, beta 57 through daking...everyone thought it sounded great...till we switched to the m149/schoeps pre vocal chain!

At any rate, I'm sure the dakings are great...
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