sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

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Larry Mal
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sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:30 pm

I have a little budget and have been kind of wanting a ribbon microphone to play around with. These get good reviews and the full frequency response of them is often mentioned, but I've never used one. In fact, the only ribbons I've every used for any real time are Royers and I didn't own those and sure can't afford them now.

Basically, I can get a VR-1 (that's the passive one) for not much money, which is probably a fine deal and should be fun. Anybody ever use one? Are they any good at all?
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:23 pm

Well, I bought the stupid thing, so if you think it sucks, I'd rather not know now.

I don't know why I put this thread up, the microphone didn't really cost anything if it doesn't seem useful then I'll just put it in the drawer or sell it.
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by jorri » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:19 pm

Well i have the x1r which is the ribbon miles below that price range and that's pretty good, if not that ribbony (sort of flat like a condenser, its in between the condensers i have and the apex 210 dark voiced one) , so they must be pretty good at them.

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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:00 pm

Yeah, I had some thoughts that this might not be all that ribbony because of the extended frequency range. I mean, if it's just trying to be a condenser then maybe I should just use a condenser.

But who knows. Sadly, I might not ever know, because this microphone comes with a shock mount, but when mine arrived today the shock mount isn't in the package. I haven't heard back from the seller, but that's a deal breaker for me, because I don't want to turn around and have to buy some special shock mount for this microphone from sE Electronics if I even can.

If he doesn't have the shock mount and won't make good on it it'll be heading right back- I don't know if I can use anybody else's shock mount, and I don't care to learn, this shock mount came with that package and to me "mint" means it comes with everything it should come with.

Fucking Reverb online music sales. It's just a hassle, but man, I work so hard to make sure that my buyers know exactly what they are getting and I would never send out something like this.
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:04 pm

I will say thought that just from holding it it's a nice and solid piece of kit, it feels heavy and solid in the hand. Seems like a pretty well constructed little thing, it doesn't feel cheap at all.

Maybe I'll use it for some recording real quick before I send it back, but I probably won't be able to since my child watching just fell through on Sunday and tomorrow is booked. Maybe I can get a little acoustic recorded at work or something, I have to head there tomorrow to do some school stuff.
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by jorri » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:36 am

Yes its less ribbony but its still its own thing and in fact that makes it a workehorse for its price, getting used where condensers would. It still has extended bass. I paired it with an avantone sdc on guitar, expecting night and day difference but i was hard pressed to tell much difference honestly, not in the highs or mids at least. Not like using a 57, or 421 with an ldc or anything.

Glad it worked out.

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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:07 am

I did spend a little time with it, maybe a half hour, I recorded my Gibson J-35 under less than ideal circumstances.

My quick thoughts are that for all it's vaunted high end, it's still a microphone that lives in the lows and low mids, no question. Maybe I'll grab a screen shot of the EQ. But there is no way that this microphone will fill the role of a condenser.

Which you might think, no shit, it's a ribbon but sE Electronics really makes a lot of the extended frequency response. Still, I didn't buy it to be a small diaphragm condenser and I'm not faulting it for that.

To make a long story short, it seems like a nice enough microphone and would be something that would be very useful to have in the mic locker as they say but only after you've gotten all the other things out of the way.

On it's own, it might be good for vocals, and it might be good for the other things that they always say ribbons are great for, brass and such. I can't tell you.

My impression for my own uses would be that it would be useful as a blending microphone, I planned to use it on a guitar cabinet for instance, in tandem with another microphone like the ubiquitous SM-57 or maybe even a condenser. I think it would be nice for that, however, I still get the feeling that this microphone would still be adding a lot of low and mid low information even there that might muddy a mix up real quick.

Bear in mind this is very quick and superficial thoughts I'm expressing. But I seem to remember other ribbons I've used back in the day seeming to be more versatile, but those were high end Royers, and this was about a decade ago at this point, and I didn't get to use them very heavily, either. So understand I'm no expert on ribbon microphones at all.

I also liked this OK on acoustic, but again my imagination only makes me think of it as a blending microphone. It would again be nice here with a condenser of some kind. But I didn't feel that this really sounded all that good on its own that I would be happy with it, and when I think about using this microphone on something like my L-00 for an old time sound, I don't feel it would be all that strong there either. It is a pretty modern sounding microphone after all.

Remember these are very basic thoughts based on little use. I could upload the acoustic tracks I did if anyone wants to hear that.

I thought this was a nice microphone, a good one, not a great one. I would absolutely enjoy having it and would use it but I probably won't make all that much effort to get another one. It's going to be returned, not because I didn't like it but only because it didn't come with the shock mount. Maybe that's not a big deal, but if I ever decided I wanted one, it might be a hassle to get one from sE Electronics and I don't want to deal with it. I still don't know if I could use any other shock mount- there are probably some that would work- and I don't care to learn.
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by jorri » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:50 am

One thing for sure: i would rather have cheap ribbons and SDCs than any of the many cheap LDCs i have tried. Even a lot of the dynamics, i use those for colour more than ribbons, because at least re20 or 441 is out my budget.

I think a staple technique of steve albini is ribbons and sdc combined, actually on guitars, drums, maybe not bass but i have used it on bass and its not what i expected (very round, clean, fat, dubby, like a compressor is on nd tone is rolled down already-very useful--so that was very different to the condensers- perhaps just not on harsh treble guitar tones! ). I did find that technique on guitar most natural, place sdc+ribbon 6-12" away, adding ambient mic, maybe replace with another bright/dark combo. Its easy to angle one of the mics to make them different enough in the end.

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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:56 am

I ended up returning the Voodoo, and buying a Neumann small diaphragm condenser instead, the not always loved KM184. I remember liking them as overheads, though- honestly, that's all I can remember using them for at the moment. Been a long time since I had access to them, they weren't mine.

But, like you mention, now I kind of wish I had kept the inexpensive ribbon since that would probably work nicely with the KM184 which can be a bright mic. The two could probably be nice on acoustic guitar, which is more or less what I got it for.

I kind of used up the available budget on the 184, though.
Last edited by Larry Mal on Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by jorri » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:51 am

I'm sure that's pretty useful too...

Another sdc is probably on my list along with an re20. I hear they are good on snares, which i never get satisfied with dynamic mics. At least the examples i have heard of decent sdcs on snares, sound like they don't huge amounts of eq added, compared to the sm57 samples. I have been using up the avantone ck1 sdcs for room mics, on basically every instrument however.

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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Maggieo » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:25 pm

Royer.
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:31 pm

Sure, that's an obvious choice, I did consider their R-10 but even that was a little out of reach financially. Or, that is to say, I'm not all that sure how much use I'll be getting out of a ribbon microphone so I wanted to experiment a little before I jumped on in.

But, who knows. If you have an R-121 then you will probably find a lot of uses for it. I used to like those back in the day. Can't afford one, though.
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by somanytoys » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:00 pm

Goddamn at the prices of ribbon mics!!!! :wtf:

I know a lot of mics and mic types are expensive, but just damn. And those aren’t even the holy grails in their category.

I checked the price of a Royer (121) first, which gave me sticker shock, that then lead to anxiety about ever affording one of them, or being too scared to use it if I did.

Then I checked that Voodoo, which is still 5 Bennys brand new. None available used. I stopped looking after that.

I’ll just have to stick with the mics that I already have, they’re nice enough for what I’m (currently not) doing.

It’s not like I really have a great idea what the hell I’m doing anyway.
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:45 pm

Well, there will be one used, I'll let you know when he gets it back. He accepted $250 from me.
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Re: sE Electronics Voodoo VR mics- any experience?

Post by Dok » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:23 pm

From my limited experience, anyone looking to experiment with a ribbon would do well to try a Beyerdynamic 160. They can be had for around $400 used and they are just one of those perfect mics on guitar.
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