In this video Jess Orestano, the songwriter featured in the Pro Tools For Beginners video series kindly offered to provide some vocals for a simple, side by side test of some microphones. This isn't intended as much to be an exercise in finding the best vocal mic as it is a demonstration of the character of different mic types on identical source material.
The mics used were chosen because they represent examples of the three principal types of mic: Dynamic, Ribbon and Condenser and a second condenser is included to illustrate an example of a relatively cheap condenser with a relatively expensive condenser. In all cases, the mics were recorded through a BAE1073mpf with no compression or EQ and some reverb provided by the UAD Lexicon 224.
The mics used were:
- Neumann TLM103 - A relatively expensive cardioid condenser mic
- Beyer m201 - A hypercardioid dynamic mic
- Coles 4039 - A passive ribbon mic (fig 8). No EQ
- AKG Perception 220 - A relatively inexpensive cardioid condenser mic
All mics were used from the same distance apart from the m201 which was used at a distance appropriate for the mic.
While not all of these mics would be an obvious first choice for this application, it was an interesting exercise. The response to sibilant sounds was particularly interesting to me. Which would you choose of these four and if you could include another mic in this test what would it be?