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Old 08-06-2019, 11:12 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Default Audio Test Kitchen

There's a very cool shootout site that just launched. The video explains how to get there and get access. It makes it very easy to compare mics and perhaps make more intelligent purchases (this could have saved me a bundle if existed 15 years ago). I recommend listening to the samples on good studio monitors of quality headphones. If you're a bit of a gear head, the site is a lot of fun.

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Old 08-07-2019, 06:12 AM
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Very cool site! Thanks for posting.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:06 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Originally Posted by catdaddy View Post
Very cool site! Thanks for posting.
I spent hours playing around with that site yesterday. It was a little tough figuring out how to navigate things at first, but I figured it out for the most part. Then this morning I saw they put up a tutorial video.
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:17 PM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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Tutorial was helpful. I've listened to about a dozen different mics ranging from roughly $150 to $5000 in cost. I've yet to hear a "bad" mic- all have their strengths, just some that I prefer over others for specific instruments. I find the differences so far to be real, but surprisingly subtle- probably a function of my abused and aging ears. :
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by catdaddy View Post
Tutorial was helpful. I've listened to about a dozen different mics ranging from roughly $150 to $5000 in cost. I've yet to hear a "bad" mic- all have their strengths, just some that I prefer over others for specific instruments. I find the differences so far to be real, but surprisingly subtle- probably a function of my abused and aging ears. :
The slider that lets you hear the mic solo and the mic in the mix is helpful in hearing how nicely a mic plays with others.

Initially, I was most interested in hearing how the Flea 47 stacked up against the other 47 clones. Happily, I didn't hear a 47 type mic I liked better at any price and that's makes me feel pretty good about the money I spent on it.

Next, I put the Flea 47 up against just about all over the higher-priced mics and it was still my favorite. I'm not insinuating any of the mics were bad, just that the Flea has a vintage vibe I really like.

I'm a fan of the U67. I've never used one but there are many recordings that I've heard over the years where a 67 was used and there's something special about that mic and the way it takes eq. All the 67 clones these days tend to be too bright. I wish they had the new 67 reissue on that site but I was pretty impressed by the TLM67. I've no idea if it takes eq as well as the original but what I heard has me curious.

The mics that always disappoint me are the modeling microphones. I thought the Townsend models were a bit lacking and the Slate models were just poor.

Being able to hear so many microphones on the same source and recorded through the same system can really help people make better choices. When folks buy microphones, they're often flying blind to some degree. That was the case for me when I bought the Flea. There were a few YouTube videos that gave me some sense of the mic but this Audio Test Kitchen tool would have been really helpful. I hope those guys expand on what they've done. I'd love to see SDCs on there and more ribbon mics.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:09 PM
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Jim,

It would be good if you’d stop figuring out new ways to make me poor(er).

Thanks,

Greg.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:43 PM
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Jim,

It would be good if you’d stop figuring out new ways to make me poor(er).

Thanks,

Greg.
I probably should have warned you not to go there. My apologies to your checkbook.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:05 PM
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I probably should have warned you not to go there. My apologies to your checkbook.
I haven’t yet but the site is calling my name like the sirens from The Odyssey.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:20 AM
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There was another extensive mike and preamp comparison on the internet called "The Listening Sessions" (not the one you will currently find in google search).
It was very well controlled. It was all higher end gear. My take away was how similar it all sounded.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:11 PM
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Either my ears are shot or my system is in the toilet. I'm listening with headphones through my Focusrite to various mics, ranging from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand and the differences are almost zero.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TBman View Post
Either my ears are shot or my system is in the toilet. I'm listening with headphones through my Focusrite to various mics, ranging from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand and the differences are almost zero.
But if you visit an audio forum like Gearslutz you'll get the impression that the difference between mics is stupendous and having the "right" mic is absolutely crucial to achieve an acceptable recording. And let's not get started on preamps and a/d converters! But one of my absolute favorite threads over there is one in which people talk about mics they've owned, hated, and dumped:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remo...umped-why.html

Name your favorite mic and the odds are very good that you can find someone trashing it in that thread.

Here's a blog post I did with several mic comparisons:

http://www.homebrewedmusic.com/2014/...es-a-mic-make/

With a price spread of a couple of thousand dollars one might expect the differences to leap out at us. Is that the case for you?

Fran
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:55 PM
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That gs thread is a hoot.

I think what we need us a site that can compare how a mic sounds on a recording on the day it’s recorded compared to how it sounds a day later. :-)
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Old 08-10-2019, 03:09 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Sometimes the differences can be slight; sometimes they can be stark. I loaned my Flea 47 to my friend Vin for this shootout. I was there when he did the recordings and we listened to the samples in his studio afterward. Vin was very high on the Slate VMS system. He thought the models were pretty close to the sound of the mics they emulated. Vin was also impressed by the Advanced Audio line and he owned the AA mics in this video.

We both walked away with pretty much the same opinions afterward. When the Slate 47 emulation went up against the Flea, it sounded underwhelming and thin. The AA mics faired better. They had a nicer top end than the Slate but were lacking in fullness on the bottom and lacked any depth to the sound. Someone could absolutely make good recordings with those AA microphones. The Flea, however, was something in a whole different league. The top was silky and smooth and the bottom had a roundness and fullness that made your ears smile.

Now whether the differences are worth the $4k pricetag is something every person would have to decide on their own, but those differences are there.

I spent about 15 years going from economical mic to economical mic looking for one I really liked on my voice. I kept my purchases to mics under $1k because I thought it was nuts to pay more than that for a microphone. A couple of times I landed on choices that kinda worked for me (or at least I didn't hate what I was hearing). The AKG Solidtube was my go-to vox mic for a while. It was a bit dark but that can work on my voice. At some point I traded an M5 preamp for a Blue Kiwi. The Kiwi was okay but it really shined when I paired it with a Demeter VTMP-2c tube pre. It was better than the Solidtube but I still felt like something wasn't quite as good as it could be. The Flea 47 changed that. I'm getting everything I want on vox tracks from that mic. I don't even look at mics for vocals anymore.

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Old 08-10-2019, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
But if you visit an audio forum like Gearslutz you'll get the impression that the difference between mics is stupendous and having the "right" mic is absolutely crucial to achieve an acceptable recording. And let's not get started on preamps and a/d converters! But one of my absolute favorite threads over there is one in which people talk about mics they've owned, hated, and dumped:

...[snip]...
It's valid what you say about that other forum, but I'd guess their members would wonder how we hear such significant differences in our various guitars. I remember one of their members listed all the details of his studio's high end recording gear (mics, preamps, converters, etc) but when he got to his available instruments what we feel is so important he simply stated it as an "acoustic guitar".

I'm fine with whatever level of detail we each like to fuss with. What's important to one, may not be to another.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:20 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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It's valid what you say about that other forum, but I'd guess their members would wonder how we hear such significant differences in our various guitars. I remember one of their members listed all the details of his studio's high end recording gear (mics, preamps, converters, etc) but when he got to his available instruments what we feel is so important he simply stated it as an "acoustic guitar".

I'm fine with whatever level of detail we each like to fuss with. What's important to one, may not be to another.
Well it's about inspiration, isn't it? We can draw that inspiration from a guitar, or from gear, or from anything ...but the important thing is that we are inspired.
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