Hey everyone! Well, after purchasing the Focusrite Trakmaster Pro, I decided to test my old mic (Shure KSM 27) and my new mic (Neumann TLM 103). I can honestly say that the Neumann does not sound $800 better than the Shure. I hate to say it, but I think the Shure sounds more full. I did test the Neumann at the store and loved it. I still do love it but I am not hearing much of a difference. I have made a healthy living with the "Shure" and now I am thinking of going back to it. Help! I've become microphone obsessed! Is there a pill I can take? Anyway, if you could do me the honor and listen to my mic test and then let me know YOUR opinion, I would greatly appreciate it. JS, feel free to add your "I told you so" posting immediately. LOL!!

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Here's my 2 cents.. the TLM 103 sounds a bit more warm and full. it is definately the better of the 2. The Shure is not bad. It sounds slightly thinner. I have the KSM 32 the AT4040 and the Neumann TLM 103 and I too have had the virtual late night pacing going on in my brain. So I can identify. Before buyers remorse sets in know that now you have 2 great mics and before you had one. So if one craps out you are covered.
Late to the game to reply to this..
I listened with Fostex near field monitors -- likely the way producers will when they listen to auditions.
I found the Neuman a bit more full and warm sounding, but the two mics were both warm and nice through the Focusrite.
If I had to pick, I would pick the TLM 103 -- but as has been said, the two mics are both very good -- with the most important input coming through your lips.
Hi Terry... I realized after my post "went live" the comments I had made regarding your mic test didn't make it: Regarding your test, I like the TLM but, like most of the comments - there's only a "skosh difference". I've not worked with the Shure however with the TLM, for me, it's good accross the board. I can "heat it up" or back way off and it seems to always deliver a great response. I was especially pleased when I ran it through the dbx. What do you mean by "heavy"... compression? LF?

By the way, what sold you on the Trakmaster?
Hey Joe! Yeah, I think I am much closer to finding the right settings for the TLM 103.

It was between the DBX and Traxmaster and I thought the "Trakmaster" had just a little more thump to it. :)
Yea,
my first thought was, no compession would make for a better comparative analysis. Overall to the naked ear, and no headphones...they both sound fine and remarkably similar, and ever so slightly different. I'd say try the test again with no compression if you must. We could be splitting hairs here, but what do I know...I'm no audio engineer. Cheers!
A sincere THANK YOU, Joe! Yes, the SECOND take is the DBX "dialed-in" with your settings. I had shelved the DBX until I came across your post in reply to Terry's pre-amp quest. It's given me the confidence that I'm now submitting auditions "on equal footing".

While I agree with Don's comments, "try and make your recordings as clean and uncompressed as possible", I think the auditors tend to make their selections based on "what they are accustomed to hearing" in terms of a final mix. Then, if you are fortunate enough to get the job, they'll express their preferences to "clean" or processed.

Thanks again for the settings, Joe. And, thanks to Terry for starting the conversation(s).
I agree on the auditions, Joe! Also, most of the time I am the engineer so I needed to come up with a little heavier sound or at least have the option. Don is dead on right about the mics though. It should never be a price issue. :)
Hi Terry!
I finally got on the site and was able to listen.
I thought the first one sounded better - buy only slightly.
The second one had more "ssshhhh" (is that a word?)at the end of some words - if that makes any sense!
Hope this is helpful!
They sound pretty much the same to me. Go with the mike with which you are most comfortable. Don't let the cost make the decision for you. I would also suggest that, unless requested, try and make your recordings as clean and uncompressed as possible. Let the engineer on the other end have the option.

Don LaFontaine
Hi Terry,
The only way to really test the mics is to record both at the same time with no effects, compression, etc. at all...just clean and simultaneous - You might also want to try different types of "voices" and deliveries - also check them out in different situations (with and without ambient sound for example) - If I had to vote on the short test with light compression, the Neumann would be my personal choice as it felt richer - could hear more of the overtones and a slightly wider range without as much potential for distortion (but then, all subjective). Mics, like music, however are very personal and there is no one who can really tell you what YOU like :0) - so if there is really not that much difference to you after you have run a clean test I say, check your budget - if you need the $800 to spend on something else do it. If you can afford to have the one you like better and it costs $800 - go for it! You have a great voice and I wish you all the best success. Thanks for asking for our opinion - I learned something as well! Isn't Voice Over Universe a great place to be?
Hi Cirina! Good stuff! No, I don't need the $800 for something else. I was just hoping to hear a bigger difference but I do think it is a little better. I should have been more patient when I was working with the levels on the "Focusrite" before I created this discussion. That said, some truly wonderful feedback! :)
They both sound great, but your right about the Shure sounding more full. What suprises me is the noise floor on the Shure is so much lower than the TLM 103. In my tests using a Shure SM7, Sennheiser MD 441 and TLM 103, the Neumann always has the lowest noise floor.

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