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IS there a site somewhere that has downloadable wav files of the same material (dialog, musical instrument, etc) using the same signal path (mic pre/mixer channel/AD converter) but different mics so I can download and listen in my own studio?

THis sounds like a nice idea if it doesnt exist.

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Thanks to Membrans Sound Design for linking to Recordinghacks; that's how I found this.

The original question is from about 10 months ago, but in case anyone is still looking, I can point to some specific resources. In all these cases, we did exactly what the OP requests -- same material, same mic position, same signal path. For many of these, you can listen blind right on the website. We have WAV downloads for most of them too.

We put 30 different ribbon mics through 5 sessions: guitar cab, alto sax, acoustic guitar, character voices, and drum overheads. This was probably the biggest ribbon-mic test in history: http://recordinghacks.com/2011/07/11/60000-ribbon-mic-shootout/

In a feature called "the ultimate podcasting mic shootout," we collected every great broadcast dynamic mic and tested them on voice: MD-421, RE20, SM7B, PR40, and more. http://recordinghacks.com/2011/06/02/ultimate-podcast-mic-shootout/

Professional voice actor Mark Keller tested two rounds of high-end condensers: Neumann, Bock Audio, Manley Labs, sE Electronics, MXL. There are HD videos for these, too: http://recordinghacks.com/2010/04/16/tube-mic-voiceover-test/ and http://recordinghacks.com/2011/09/19/manley-tube-microphones-for-voiceover/

Here are six popular LDCs on two acoustic guitars: http://recordinghacks.com/2010/09/20/acoustic-guitar-mic-shootout/

One of our most recent features lets you hear seven (or nine) popular sub-$200 condensers on sung vocals, acoustic guitar, guitar cab, and voiceover/podcasting.

In short, we do this sort of thing all the time. I won't pretend that it's as good as having all these mics in your own studio for a weekend, but we do the best we can to make these tests useful and educational, such as including popular reference mics whenever possible.

  • I am glad to able to help :) – Debsound Jan 13 '12 at 8:46
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I don't think what you're looking exists on any sort of a comprehensive scale, though this is a very cool site that comes close: http://www.ear-machine.com/myMicSoundIntro.html

You can always ask around about specific mics. A lot of people on here have access to a wide range, and might be willing to help out if they have time.

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It's not free, but if you buy the Killer Home Recording e-book at recordingreview.com, it has a lot of different mic comparisons. The site also has a few of them up for free as well. I believe I've also seen CD-ROM products in the past that had similar information.

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This guy's a bit of a Rode fanboy, but he's the only person I've seen do straightup, one-take shootouts.

Oh, if I may, I'd recommend going to the actual you tube page for each of these and watching them in 480p instead of 360p. Huge difference in audio quality. When you're on their respective pages, there should be a box below the timeline that says 360p. Clicking it usually gives you a pop-up menu for playback quality, pick the highest you can get. 3 of the 4 of these are available in at least 480p.

[youtube]FbzNgmrCBQs[/youtube]

[youtube]gZc2HzKMSsw[/youtube]

[youtube]g5xDbNczhRs[/youtube]

[youtube]KImKWfucfdw[/youtube]

  • I just remembered the quick little ad spot at the end of the last one. Mea culpa. Not intended. – g.a.harry Apr 5 '11 at 2:07
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Shotgun microphone comparison

The RecordingHacks Microphone Database

Microphone Data

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Not exactly what you're looking for, but a great resource none the less.

http://www.vocalimpactmedia.com/SoundStorage.html#U87ai

It's basically a massive list of mics being used by, unfortuantely, different VO artists and different Signal Paths. All have audio files assosciated with them and whilst it's not the most clinical of test, it does give a pretty good idea of each mic's characteristics.

Definitely one to look at.

(There's also a section near the bottom which compares the Safe Sound P-1, Apogee Duet and Mbox 2 on the same voice with four different mics)

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