A new Neumann TLM 103 mic arrived for the studio today. Yep, I was excited to try it out.
I’ve been completely happy with my Rode NT1-A for the past 5 years (in fact, I liked it so much that I bought a second one a couple of years ago), but I figured it was time to invest a little more money in my studio. The Rodes are still my go-to mics for singing in my corner booth, and mic’ing my guitars. The Neumann is going to be used primarily for voice-overs.
The TLM 103 set me back about $1,100, and the shock mount was another $150, but the quality is supposedly worth the cost. Here’s a quick video capturing my emotions at the moment I unboxed my new Neumann mic (it’s just so beautiful!):
And here’s how awesome this mic looks in my studio:
How does it sound?
The Neumann is definitely warmer than the Rode NT1-A, and more sensitive for sure. The Neumann also picks up more of the bass in my voice, where the Rode seems to be better suited for highs. The TLM 103 is quiet, but so is the NT1-A. In fact, as a comparison test, I recorded a short script exactly the same through both mics, and after adding a little bottom-end EQ and compression to the Rode audio recording, they sounded pretty comparable. Ah, but with the Neumann, I didn’t have to use any processing to achieve that rich warm sound.
From my research, more professional studios use Neumann mics than Rode, and a lot of big-time voice actors seem to favor them as well. Neumann quality seems to be well worth the price.
I really should upload a sample audio file or video at some point to see how many people can correctly guess which is the $200 mic and which is the $1,100 mic.