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Hand held mic for female vocalist?
Old 2nd December 2007
  #1
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bongo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Question Hand held mic for female vocalist?

I'm doing a remote at our local jazz club, The Deerhead Inn. The last remote I did with a vocalist had his own Neumann. Suggestions for something I could buy for little less?
I was thinking of a Beyer M88, which might come in handy with studio applications also.
Thanks
Old 2nd December 2007
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
The Neumanns really do sound good but I've had good luck with a Sennheiser e835 and a Sure sm57 & 58. I was suprised at how good an sm57 could sound plugged into a good mic pre.
Old 2nd December 2007 | Show parent
  #3
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Options!!!!

I think the 88 is a great choice, and will always be a valued tool in your mic locker.

My M88s and M69's are killer tools I use everywhere. I also keep a bunch of other mics- regular 58's and 57s, beta 58's and beta 57's, Audix OM2,3,5 and 7s, E/V RE-20, Sennheiser 431s and 441s... man, you just can't go wrong with a great mic kit. But I'd always suggest two solid condensers (such as a '58 of some flavor and either a Beyer, E/V, Audix, Sennheiser, etc) plus one or two great vocal condensers like an AKG 535 or Neumann KM140.


Deerhead, eh?
I used to hang at the Deerhead Tavern in Evansville, IN. I wonder is every small town has one.
Good luck!
Old 3rd December 2007 | Show parent
  #4
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Farfensound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
PR20 from Heil Sound. Been using one of these for the last 3 months and wow... power and clarity and good forgiveness when backed off of by a vocalist that likes to work the mic.
Old 8th December 2007 | Show parent
  #5
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bongo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farfensound ➑️
PR20 from Heil Sound. Been using one of these for the last 3 months and wow... power and clarity and good forgiveness when backed off of by a vocalist that likes to work the mic.
I picked one of these up this week. Just got done the first set and it sounds great.

Thanks!
Old 8th December 2007 | Show parent
  #6
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johnbohn's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The Heil's great. I've used the Neumann and I've got to say that you might wanna just save up for that. I really like that mic and it actually got use this week in the studio on Lead vocals and on a mandolin track. Not only is the sound on the mic very good, it also has great rejection.
Old 8th December 2007 | Show parent
  #7
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bongo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Here's an iPhone picture from the second set
Attached Thumbnails
Hand held mic for female vocalist?-deerhead.jpg  
Old 8th December 2007 | Show parent
  #8
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
c535eb

Old 8th December 2007 | Show parent
  #9
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peeder's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I either use a Beyer M500 or a C535EB (pictured above) depending on what I need from that vocalist. I wouldn't use an M88 for a female.
Old 12th December 2007 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 15 years
Hey Bongo, how's that PR20 working out for you? I've got a similar live-female-singing-jazz-with-a-trio recording session coming up, and I'm looking for a good handheld mic.
Old 12th December 2007 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 15 years
...and I'll add that I'd be happy to hear from anyone else that has experience with the Heil PR-20, especially for live vocal recording. I've read lots of positive reviews of the sound, but some folks mention that there could be some handling noise issues. How bad is it? Any better or worse than an SM58?
Old 12th December 2007 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 15 years
I've heard great things about the KSM9 and The Neumann KMS 104 and 105
Old 12th December 2007 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 15 years
I've used the M88 with success, though I will say (in my opinion) that it has a smaller sweet spot than other mics. The pattern is tight, so if the vocalist really works the mic it can be a bit of a headache mixing. It is a great mic, though.
Old 12th December 2007 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I've had really good results with the Audix OM-6. Very tight pattern, outstanding rejection (much better than the Neumann 105), and good clarity.

An Audio Technica AE6100 also worked well, sometimes. With the right singer it gave a very big sound.
Old 13th December 2007 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 15 years
Thanks for the suggestions. I've also heard good things about the Shure and Neumann (and Beyer) models, but, sadly, they're out of my price range. I was looking for something in the under $200 range, like the PR-20, which rules out a lot of good ones. This upcoming project is real low budget, so if I'm going to get a new mic, I'd like it to be versatile enough to use on a variety of things in the future.

My experience with Audix mics has been positive so far, but I've always been a little confused by the OM series. They're so many of them that I just don't know which one would be an all around good choice. Is the OM-6 flexible, or does it need the right source? How is the proximity effect on vocals?
Old 15th December 2007 | Show parent
  #16
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Farfensound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Red face Pink PR-20 on female vocals

I have a P-20 that I'm using at our church. the women call it their Vocal Bling. Pink w/ gold windscreen does stand out.

I've not noticed any handeling noise but I also don't know if any of our female vox have tried it off the stand.

I'll tell you that I love the mic for both male and female vox. I wouldn't call it a breathy mic by any means but I will say that it gives a nice solid signal that is nice a clear.

I dont' find it as crisp as a Beta 58 and the proximity is fairly forgiving. when they back off the mic a bit it doesn't thin out quickly. We have some Superlux vocal mics FI-12's that are good but they seem to pick up alot of drums and backline. the PR-20 doesn't seem to have that tendency. We have on leader that I always will use it on him since he is a quiet singer.

So there is my review of the PR-20.
Old 16th December 2007 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the feedback on the PR-20. It sounds like a good versatile mic, but I'm still debating what to do on this upcoming session. It looks like I'm going to have to split the vocal mic with the house PA, and the singer in question is accustomed to using a handheld SM58. I might see if I can get away with using a stand mounted SM7, since I already have one, and it'll give me at least a couple options to tailor the sound should I need to. The singer is a more bluesy-earthy jazz singer. I probably won't have to worry too much about trying to capture a breathy/intimate sound.

The room is a small and bright recital hall, designed mostly for classical chamber performace. I've recorded there before, but only instrumental groups, and never with any amplification.
Old 18th December 2007 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
In that approximate budget range ($200-250) I chose the Shure Beta 87A. Used them for many years, a strong full sound for M/F singers. Easily better in my setups than the Neumann KMS105, Sennheisers, and Audix mics I have owned.

All were surpassed when I tried the Shure KSM9. I bought them, and retired all the rest. Exceptional sound quality, and uniquely for a live mic they use dual 3/4" diaphragms with switchable patterns. I have been using them for studio recordings as well, they are that good. But of course above your target budget, maybe someday check them out.

Steve
Old 18th December 2007
  #19
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
(Since this isn't the high end forum) Been using a beta 87-a for some time - always consistent. Male vocalists benefit as well, but not for rap!
Old 18th December 2007 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I bet the KSM9 is nice. I've got a pair each of the KSM44 and 141, and I like them. Although, I'm not sure that I can justify the cost of a new KSM9 right now. I'll snoop around and see if I can find a used one for cheap. I'll look into the Beta 87A as well.
Old 18th December 2007 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jungle Jazz ➑️
I bet the KSM9 is nice. I've got a pair each of the KSM44 and 141, and I like them. Although, I'm not sure that I can justify the cost of a new KSM9 right now. I'll snoop around and see if I can find a used one for cheap. I'll look into the Beta 87A as well.

Yes, The KSM9 is nice, some people like it better than the KMS 105 from Neumann... Checkout the the SKM5200 from Sennhieser, that to is a great mike, but I would go with the M-88 cause I did my homework on it and I must say it is a really great mic
Old 19th December 2007 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
As luck would have it, my local mom & pop music shop had a used Beta 87A in stock, and they have a generous return policy, so I picked it up. I couldn't find anyone locally that had the PR-20 in stock, but I'm going to give the 87A a try and see how it goes.
Old 20th December 2007 | Show parent
  #23
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I've tried using an M88 for vocals and it never sounds right to me. Too dark and wooly.

I have a KSM9 and it is a fantastic mic.

Edwin
Old 22nd December 2007 | Show parent
  #24
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Kooster's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I use the KSM9 for most all vocals these days. Love the sound. The fact that you can change the polar pattern is a big help. You can taylor the mic's dynamics to the loudness of the stage. For female jazz vocals the wide pattern sounds amazing.
Kooster
Old 22nd December 2007 | Show parent
  #25
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Graham Tobias's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Every time I've used the ksm9 I had great results. I definitely love that mic. I like beta57's too. I'm a pretty big shure fan in general.
Old 24th December 2007 | Show parent
  #26
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz ➑️
I've tried using an M88 for vocals and it never sounds right to me. Too dark and wooly.

I have a KSM9 and it is a fantastic mic.

Edwin
Agree with you on the KSM9, but curious about your M88 response. I have NEW 88s and OLD 88s. if it sounds dark & wooly, it was probably used on a kick drum for too long. A new basket/membrane sounds pretty damn phenomenal. I have two of each, (obviously marked) for specific applications. I have ended up with the "kick" 88 on a fem vocalist who was too shrill, thin, and needed warmth. YMMV.
Old 25th December 2007 | Show parent
  #27
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loujudson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo ➑️
Here's an iPhone picture from the second set
Whew! I WAS AFRAID IT WOULD BE BETTER THAN A CAMERA... sorry to shout... Interesting artistic effects!

L
Old 20th January 2008 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I've been trying a few different handheld vocal mics in the past couple weeks and here are my initial findings.

Heil PR-20: nice clear sound, seems durable enough for live use, but considerable handling noise made it unusable for me for recording.

Shure Beta 87A: tight pattern, a touch of sibilance, pretty rugged, but it overloads with a full voiced blues/jazz singer, good for soft to medium voiced singers especially in a noisy room, seems to have rolloff already preset in its response

Audix VX5: clear sound, reasonably tight pattern--but a little wider than the 87A, minimal popping, has pad and rolloff switches, responds well to various mic techniques, my all around favorite so far

SM58: well known stage standard, has some popping problems when worked close, not as clear as others on this list, but it's familiar and can take some abuse

SM57 with windscreen: liked this better than I expected, liked it more than the 58, darker than the others on this list, but not unusable, may be better for male voices than female

I'd like to try the Beta 87C, the AKG C5, and maybe one of the Audix OMs if I can get hold of them. Still curious about the KSM9, but these others are all under $250 street.
Old 20th January 2008 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 15 years
Go For it man, Check to see if you can rent a KSM9 for a couple days
Old 20th January 2008 | Show parent
  #30
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loujudson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jungle Jazz ➑️
I've been trying a few different handheld vocal mics in the past couple weeks and here are my initial findings.

Heil PR-20: nice clear sound, seems durable enough for live use, but considerable handling noise made it unusable for me for recording.

Shure Beta 87A: tight pattern, a touch of sibilance, pretty rugged, but it overloads with a full voiced blues/jazz singer, good for soft to medium voiced singers especially in a noisy room, seems to have rolloff already preset in its response

Audix VX5: clear sound, reasonably tight pattern--but a little wider than the 87A, minimal popping, has pad and rolloff switches, responds well to various mic techniques, my all around favorite so far.
You really owe it to yourself to try out the SM-86 and SM-87 - NOT BETA!!! I find all betas except Beta 57 awful and screeechy. but the SM 86 and 87 please me no end on female handheld vocals.

Also check out the Beyer M69. I'm working with a live gig I recorded with one, and it is simply wonderful for smooth and silky vocals in the hands of a good (jazz) singer who knows her mic technique.

L
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