Thanks to Leni for smashing it with Santa Baby on the vocal mic shoot out at De Montfort University. Here’s Leni’s profile for anyone who might have need of a classy jazz singer who also does Ska etc. For the record, the mics that the group thought sounded best in the mix were SM58, 414, TLM103, AT2020 and the perennial NTK – which came out top for silkyness, warmth and vibe yet again. The audio is the NTK, 4th take no edits, no comping, enough Drawmer 1960 medium attack compression to sit the vocal in, tiny Focusrite RED2 EQ lifts, and some choice analogue emulation mastering sweetners on the bus – partly to try to soften the fromage frais edge off the karaoke backing track.
Complete list: Sure SM58, AKG C414 XLS, AT 2020, Neumann TLM103 & U87, Studio Projects TB1 (tube),Rode NTK (tube), SE Electronics 2200A, Shiny Box 46U (ribbon), Sony C-38B. The 58 sounded less warm, ‘old’ and classic. The 414 sounded warm and crisp, the AT and TLM sounded quite classy and warm and the NTK was rich, sleek and stand-out. None of the students thought the others were in the same league.
Not the most thoroughly rigorous of tests, but a fair and honest reflection of how these mics worked for the students and I, simply selecting what sounded best at that stage. Later review when mixing confirmed initial choices, though the C38 sounded like it would be useful if an’older’ sound was needed.