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Vocal microphones

A lead vocal microphone should flatter the voice and make it sound better than it really is. For that reason, vocal mics are not the most accurate mics in the world...

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For popular music vocals it is common to use a large-diaphragm mic, often a vintage tube model.

A large diaphragm mic generally has a less accurate sound than a mic with a diaphragm 10-12 mm or so in diameter. The off-axis response will tend to be poor.

Despite this, models such as the Neumann U87 are virtually standard in this application due to their enhanced subjective 'warmth' and 'presence'. Although the U87 does not use a tube as its preamplifying device, the warm sound of the diaphragm is sufficient to make this probably the classic vocal mic.

By David Mellor Wednesday May 7, 2003
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