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Old May 17th, 2004, 08:09 AM   #1
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Tube Mics

In a given recording--voice, music or combo thereof, would a tube mic work in conjunction with a stereo mic? That is, what goes into one mic can also be supplemented by another mic concentrating on something else (one on voice, one on music). How versatile is a tube mic?

I think of microphones as I do paintbrushes--each one having their own purpose and strength.

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Old May 18th, 2004, 12:29 AM   #2
 
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Tube mics are (generally) warmer, fatter, and slightly noisier than their counterparts. Tubes have their places, but for video work, about the only real use is in the studio as a V/O mic. They are marginally fragile, typically very expensive....
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Old May 18th, 2004, 02:07 AM   #3
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Actually a good tube mic will be less noisy than a FET mic. Well really the mic doesn't change at all, what changes is the preamp. The output of the capsule on a condenser mic is so subtle that there is always a preamp in the mic itself or very nearby. Yes, tubes are delicate and usually expensive, not to mention large, so I don't think I would use one outdoors. For the usuall sound for picture applications, you can get audio which is almost as good with small surface condensers and even some impressive moving coil mics. In the studio where I work we have a pair of super-cardioid Beyer Dynamic mics which are better than some condensers. Don't know the exact model name.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 06:17 AM   #4
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Most tube mics also have their own power supply which can be a hassle if the mic ever has to change position.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 07:21 AM   #5
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I had a Rode NTK which I absolutely loved, but the dedicated tube power supply proved to be too much of a pain to bring the mic to any location...

As it turned out, after trying the nt2000, I found the nt1000 to have a similar sound and it didn't need the tube power supply.

The tube mic was clearly more flattering to everyone's voice... but in the case of the NTK for videographers I'd suggest people have a listen to the nt1000...

I love tubes, but I hate hassle... for studio-only, get a tube mic and I'll bet you'll love it.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 08:07 AM   #6
 
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ignacio Rodriguez : Actually a good tube mic will be less noisy than a FET mic. -->>>

"Good" being the operative word here. Most folks reel from sticker shock when they see the price of "good" vs avg. The least expensive, great sounding tube mic I've heard is the AT 3060. This new Studio One that everyone seems to be in love with is a very weak sounding mic, IMO. One of our trainers bought one and spent more time fixing the sound than he spent recording.

Not all tube mics have dedicated power supplies or preamps, although the "better" ones generally do.
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