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Neumann TLM 103's are everywhere & they sound very good. Is something wrong with me?
Old 3rd November 2018 | Show parent
  #211
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gravyface's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro ➡️
maybe unpopular, but one thing I've learned over decades of recording is that it is what it is. I keep liking the $29 iSK Pearl for some sources. And that's after A/B with gear like U87, 4050, 451 and such, and in blind listening opinions of others. Sometimes the character of a thing just lays in right, and it's wise to be unmoved by price tag preconceptions.
I have their 9999 headphones that I like for A/Bing my mixes on, kind of scoopy/consumer-ish, but really comfortable.

I don't like that they don't post frequency response charts at all though on their microphones. Kinda putting me off trying any.
Old 4th November 2018 | Show parent
  #212
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kennybro's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen ➡️
I found this out about the KM184 a few months ago. I re-recorded a KM184(another one people love to hate on GS) track that was an acoustic guitar that was used for fill and rhythm with my "better" microphones(TLM170, R84) and found it just sat in the mix better with the 184, with no eq at all.
I don't currently have any 84's or 184's, and I miss them. I love them on snare drum, pointed parallel to the head right over the rim. They sound a bit raw to me solo, but yeah, they sit beautifully in a mix or cut through nicely if you turn em up a touch. Older pair of 84's is top of my shopping list right now.
Old 4th November 2018 | Show parent
  #213
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kennybro's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 ➡️
Kenny, you have a terrific voice, and I thought that track sounded great!
Chris
Thank you Chris! Much appreciated.
Old 4th November 2018 | Show parent
  #214
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kennybro's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface ➡️
I have their 9999 headphones that I like for A/Bing my mixes on, kind of scoopy/consumer-ish, but really comfortable.

I don't like that they don't post frequency response charts at all though on their microphones. Kinda putting me off trying any.
Nice thing is they are so cheap, it's not a big hit if you don't like them. I have to admit that I don't often look at freq charts.
Never tried their headphones. That scoopy thing could be an issue for me, as I prefer some push in the mids.
Old 4th November 2018 | Show parent
  #215
Gear Guru
 
Sure thang! Chris
Old 4th November 2018 | Show parent
  #216
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen ➡️
I found this out about the KM184 a few months ago. I re-recorded a KM184(another one people love to hate on GS) track that was an acoustic guitar that was used for fill and rhythm with my "better" microphones(TLM170, R84) and found it just sat in the mix better with the 184, with no eq at all.


I've been using 184's on all my acoustic guitars, and found them to be very detailed.

My preferred mic on acoustic guitar for sure.



Old 4th November 2018 | Show parent
  #217
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro ➡️
I don't currently have any 84's or 184's, and I miss them. I love them on snare drum, pointed parallel to the head right over the rim. They sound a bit raw to me solo, but yeah, they sit beautifully in a mix or cut through nicely if you turn em up a touch. Older pair of 84's is top of my shopping list right now.
Yeah, solo they always sound too crunchy to me on AC guitar.

I guess this is why they say you really need to own a mic for a while to truly find out how good or useful it is. Just singing into it for a few minutes and hitting a few guitar chords into it doesn’t give one the full picture of what it’s good for.

Hope you find a nice pair of those 84’s. I’ve yet to try some for myself. I read in another thread that the Soyuz SDC’s may get close to them in sound.
Old 4th November 2018 | Show parent
  #218
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
...could it be that it reveals/exhibits too many flaws in your studio?!

i'm having no problem using it (actually lots of them!) on most any instrument when recording classical music: except for the exaggerated hf boost (which plagues so many modern condenser mics), there is nothing to complain about it (as previously mentioned)! - can't really take the constant bashing seriously...
Couldn't it also be that some people don't care for them much while other people like them?

You know that exaggerated top end you mentioned? That's exactly what I don't like about them. I find a lot of the time I have to work harder than I want to in order to reign that in. And you're right. This is a problem that plagues many other mics I'd rather not use unless I have to.

Some people, yourself included it would seem, like them. Awesom. I'm glad you like them. If it suits the way you work, then far be it from me to judge. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I don't think there must be some flaw at work when they don't.
Old 4th November 2018 | Show parent
  #219
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
you're right that there don't have to be flaws - nevertheless, a hf lift may reveal a few things that otherwise get lost in busy mixes.

the tlm103 does not have an especially exaggerated hf lift though when compared to many other mics; put it at one meter from a source (doeaker) of which you know it has a flat response - you might be surprised when measuring...

also, when listening to many modern productions, many folks seem to be obsessed with strong hf representation so imo the tlm103 could become their best friends to get this sound on the way in.

but hey, everybody the way s/he likes it!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4th November 2018 at 01:49 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 6th November 2018
  #220
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kennybro's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Resang the song, Like I Do, that was originally sung with a 103. This time I used my late 60's U87, (BTW, recently cleaned and given a 100% bill of health from Klaus).

A few interesting things happened.
It was my total intention to simply re-create the original performance with the 87 for direct A/B. But this mic emphasized a woolliness in, of all places, my falsetto voice. The 103 reacted much more like a SDC with my falsetto, but the 87 brought out a richness that didn't quite work in the harmony blend.

This caused me to rearrange the high part down an octave, giving the entire arrangement a nice separation between the changy acoustics and the richer voices. The discovery was complete serendipity, resulting from how unglued from the harmony the high voice sounded through the 87 (I did leave the second halves of verses 2 and 3 in falsetto vocal, but balanced them down quite a bit, and high-passed at about 250).

Another thing, just as big a change, is that the sound of the 87 pushed me toward Brent Hahn's advice of a more solo voice focused blend. No doubles, with lead vox out front a touch more; a more singular and focused aesthetic statement in the vocals.

So I learned, once again, how gear choice can affect performance, arrangement and mix choices. The magic of recording arts as opposed to live performance.
Attached Files

Like I Do MAS_U87.mp3 (5.63 MB, 2104 views)

Old 7th November 2018 | Show parent
  #221
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro ➡️
Resang the song...
Heck yeah, you did. Nice.

OT, both versions are loud but not squashed-sounding. What are you doing?
Old 7th November 2018 | Show parent
  #222
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kennybro's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Heck yeah, you did. Nice.

OT, both versions are loud but not squashed-sounding. What are you doing?
Thanks. And thanks for the vocal production idea. Sometimes the obvious is the most difficult to see.

Anyhoo, Not really sure, to be honest. One recording "art" I've worked hard is controlled dynamics in performance, allowing a mild 1.5:1 or 2:1 to tame without artifacts. Any problem transients are hand-clipped.

Also, I try to arrange so that feature parts are balanced throughout. Only thing that bothers me more than a photo lacking a center of attention is a photo with two competing and uncomplimentary centers of attention.

So I tend to go as easy as possible with dynamics gear. Mastering often leans on EQ; finding peaky things and cutting a narrow Q a few dB at that point.

I've never actually verbalized it like this or even thought much about it, but I guess my process leans pretty heavily on natural-sounding performance and arrangement dynamics control that allow minimal use of less natural-sounding post dynamics control. To this end, high quality and well-adjusted instruments sure do help the cause.
Old 17th June 2020
  #223
Here for the gear
 
I recently got a Neumann TLM 103 and was wondering what the best set up would be. I only plan on recording voice and mixing with the mic itself. I have a male voice with the vocal range of a baritone/tenor. With the information itself I was wondering if a preamp is necessary or if I'm fine with just using a Universal Audio Apollo Twin interface.

For preamps I was thinking of either a Avalon 737 or Avalon M5? Which would be better?

If I'm good with just an interface then which model of the Universal Audio Apollo Twin series should I use?
Old 2nd August 2020
  #224
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TS-12's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Neumann TLM103 is a terrible mic for vocals and acoustic guitars.
But a pair of TLM103s sound decent as a drum room or overhead mics.

I had it, sold it.

There was a time when a singer preferred the sound of the rough recorded vocals which were recorded with Sennheiser e835.
Old 13th November 2020
  #225
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
I have a TLM 103 and LOVE it! I also own an U87ai, TLM 102, TLM49, Plus a Wunder CM7, Peluso, 2047LE, Audio Technica 4060 and 4047MP, etc, etc...
When I want a slightly accentuated high end I reach for the TLM103 or perhaps one of the Audio Technicas. I considered the Peluso to be bright until I swapped the tube for a NOS RCA Special Red. Now it's really nice. (It was nice before.) My point is, these are all stellar mics! All of them, and many others that I own. It depends on the application or the singer. Try out various mics with different preamps. There is no right or wrong answer and if it sounds good to you, then it is good. Read the opinions here use them as a guide, and then decide for yourself. To the idiot who wants to plow the TLM 103s into a mass grave, give me a shovel!
Old 13th November 2020 | Show parent
  #226
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS-12 ➡️
Neumann TLM103 is a terrible mic for vocals and acoustic guitars.
But a pair of TLM103s sound decent as a drum room or overhead mics.

I had it, sold it.

There was a time when a singer preferred the sound of the rough recorded vocals which were recorded with Sennheiser e835.
What a waste of efforts to end up using them on overheads. I hope you recovered your money. I have never seen them be used widely in larger commercial studios, though many smaller project studios have them. I've never been in them but they show TLM103 as a main vocal and VO mic on their gear lists on their websites. In general TLM103 and NT1A are in the same category, for me at least, but TLM103 looks more shiny.
Senn e835 (and it's wireless version) is my vocal mic for live performances.
Old 13th November 2020 | Show parent
  #227
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pencilextremist's Avatar
 
9 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS-12 ➡️
Neumann TLM103 is a terrible mic for vocals and acoustic guitars.
I disagree, it works well on soft voices and works very well on acoustic guitar through a neve flavoured preamp. I use mine mainly on classical acoustic guitar when it's a naturally darker sound usually with mahogany back and sides, them guitars benefit from a slight HF boost.
Old 13th November 2020
  #228
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mbvoxx's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years

for lack of access to the beat a dead horse emoji
Old 13th November 2020 | Show parent
  #229
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist ➡️
I disagree, it works well on soft voices and works very well on acoustic guitar through a neve flavoured preamp. I use mine mainly on classical acoustic guitar when it's a naturally darker sound usually with mahogany back and sides, them guitars benefit from a slight HF boost.
To record my Aria-60CWE it's all rosewood I use my AT3031 and it sounds nice. I'm assuming you have nails on your right hand. If I need crispier sound I use pick. I used to use AT4050 on accoustic but now I am keeping it only for vocals and VO.
Old 13th December 2020 | Show parent
  #230
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Sure, some things are a matter of personal taste. But listen to this:

Penn State TV spot

The VO starts out with, "You come here thinking..."

You hear that big snap on the beginning of "come?" That sound didn't come out of the young lady's mouth. The microphone made it, all on its own. That's what the TLM 103 does. And what you're hearing there is after my best efforts to soften it and/or chop it out. This one is a blatant and obvious example, but the 103 does it all the time. And once your ear gets attuned to it, you'll never be able to not hear it.

On the other hand, since you may not have the same taste as me, you might dig it.
I do not know from the equator up, down here is not so bad mic.

In the case in question, maybe you can go a few steps to the mic locker and look for another tool, or you can tell the talent to study for a few months how to emit the voice, or to move away a few cm. Whatever is most practical for you. I would opt for the third.

I already have friends who get (very) good results with a Rode NT1, a microphone that I don't have and I don't like. I guess someone can also make a TLM sound like a Rode.

There is a lot of love here for my Sony C48. Anyway, my 103 has its fans. They are generally very good singers, who do not need the body and push that the Sony imparts (my god, you hear a distant door close and it's like a bomb dropped on the other block), but they benefit from the little "sparkle" of the Neumann. It also has to do with age and hearing; Although we tend to assume that everyone hears the same thing as us, the reality is different. Each person hears a different world. Young people of TLM age tend to prefer TLM, we tend to like tubes. From what I've tested an 87 gives a more finished sound on top and bottom, I haven't been able to buy it yet.

- The technique and the ways of the talent mean a lot ... With some singers that I already know I don't even put on antipop. With others, I put two antipops, danger tapes, double yellow lines and a star of david on the ground and look for my taser.

Please forgive my english.
Cheers

Last edited by CheloDona; 13th December 2020 at 09:52 PM.. Reason: perfectionism
Old 13th December 2020 | Show parent
  #231
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheloDona ➡️
In the case in question, maybe you can go a few steps to the mic locker and look for another tool, or you can tell the talent to study for a few months how to emit the voice, or to move away a few cm. Whatever is most practical for you. I would opt for the third.
These are always recordings that have been done at other studios and sent to me. The only time I ever use a TLM 103 is when I have to match an existing recording that was done elsewhere on one.
Old 14th December 2020
  #232
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cserrano's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttattwa ➡️
Well, I've been visiting different PRO studios lately, and I've found that, even though they have expensive Telefunkens, Bocks, and Fleas, they like to use the TLM103 sometimes they want a condenser mic, even for expensive productions, specially on vocals and acoustic guitars.

I actually listened to some recordings made with it, and I actually felt a bit stupid to see that a 1000€ mic could perform as good as other mics double or four times the price, specially after readying here in GS so many people saying that the TLM 103 is a "regular" or "entry level" microphone.

I asked the people in these studios why they were using it instead of the more expensive mics they also had, and they told me that the sound was as good as the others, simple as that.

Then they also added that they would color or not the sound with a 1073 or a LA-2A (or other preamps) depending o the source and song, but that the mic itself was good, with low noise, enough quality highs, and enough warmth.

So my question to you gearheads, is something wrong with it? Isn't it relevant that so many pro studios use a TLM103 as a good choice, even when they have some of the best of the best available as well, in order to consider the TLM103 a top quality mic for acoustic sources?

I could consider buying a TLM103 for my home studio, as I have been long debating on which microphone to buy, but have not settled yet (looking at mics double the price up to now), and this could complement the ones I have, specially for acoustic guitars.

Thanks.

P.S. I would appreciate that this thread doesn't become a pro-tlm103 vs anti-tlm103. I am not even really considering buying it as my main workhorse mic, that's not what I ask, I just ask because it surprised me seing it out in a few studios with better mics around, after reading so much bad stuff about them.
It's extremely difficult to top a genuine Neumann capsule, even their single sided ones!
Old 14th December 2020
  #233
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Ty Ford's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
"So my question to you gearheads, is something wrong with it? Isn't it relevant that so many pro studios use a TLM103 as a good choice, even when they have some of the best of the best available as well, in order to consider the TLM103 a top quality mic for acoustic sources?"

Already asked and answered. The TLM 103 is picky about preamps. It doesn't like some. Read the thread more more info.
Old 28th March 2021 | Show parent
  #234
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plainofjars's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro ➡️
Resang the song, Like I Do, that was originally sung with a 103. This time I used my late 60's U87, (BTW, recently cleaned and given a 100% bill of health from Klaus).

A few interesting things happened.
It was my total intention to simply re-create the original performance with the 87 for direct A/B. But this mic emphasized a woolliness in, of all places, my falsetto voice. The 103 reacted much more like a SDC with my falsetto, but the 87 brought out a richness that didn't quite work in the harmony blend.

This caused me to rearrange the high part down an octave, giving the entire arrangement a nice separation between the changy acoustics and the richer voices. The discovery was complete serendipity, resulting from how unglued from the harmony the high voice sounded through the 87 (I did leave the second halves of verses 2 and 3 in falsetto vocal, but balanced them down quite a bit, and high-passed at about 250).

Another thing, just as big a change, is that the sound of the 87 pushed me toward Brent Hahn's advice of a more solo voice focused blend. No doubles, with lead vox out front a touch more; a more singular and focused aesthetic statement in the vocals.

So I learned, once again, how gear choice can affect performance, arrangement and mix choices. The magic of recording arts as opposed to live performance.
I prefer the first version!
Old 28th March 2021 | Show parent
  #235
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
That U87 suits your voice very well!

Steve
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