AN ARTICLE WRITTEN WITH A LITTLE MORE CLARITY - I'M IN THE MARKET FOR A NEW VOCAL MICROPOHONE...
So yesterday I wrote a quick blog post about how I believed that microphone shootouts were a big waste of time, but what I failed to do, was to clarify what was in my mind at the time when I wrote it. I watched a microphone shootout from a retailer. A woman was going between each one singing, and I thought - "Well that particular microphone sounds great with her voice, but how could anyone make a purchase decision based on a microphone shootout online with a totally different person, in a different studio than mine, with a different microphone preamp than mine?
I am in the market for a microphone for my wife. She's a powerhouse of a singer with a deeper tone, and an insane range. I can't just watch a video of a random lady with a totally different sounding voice, and say - "yup, since that microphone on that lady sounded the best, that's the one I should buy."
I was in no way saying that a microphone shootout in your own studio is a waste of time - because it's not
Check out a screen capture from my Mixing 101 page (which i've had active for over a year):
But there's no way you can tell me this right here:
...is going to be in anyway helpful for making a microphone purchase decision for my own snare, and in my own studio. At best - it will give me a "rough sketch" of a microphone's voice. Now as an engineer with over 25 years of experience and 100's of projects under my belt, i've heard most of those microphones over and over on snare drums. I have my go to's because I am familiar with each of their voices, and what has worked for me in the past. Now I can say, "for that particular snare drum, microphone x sounded the best in that video." But, what if I have a snare drum made out of birch with an Evans Strata 700? There is no way from that video, that I could determine which microphone would sound best in my own situation.
microphone shootouts in your own place on your own gear
This is where I failed to clarify my position. You can't read my mind.
Just about every engineer with a decent mic cabinet will change out microphones in a session to determine what sounds the best according to the client's instrument - but in the real world, if a client is paying you by the hour, you better already know your mics so that you aren't wasting a lot of time. This is called being professional. Of course, nowadays, there's not much of that kind of work (hourly) going around anymore...
Do you like vintage recording gear and articles? You should visit our sister site: The Vintage Audio Portal!
**Advertise With Us! We have thousands of visitors a day. Contact us here to learn more.