Neumann U87. Doh!

That’s one expensive mo-fo.

I’ve been advertising lately, and been working my way into the film and gaming circuit. There was a company that contacted me recently, willing to fly voice talent into my area, but would not budge on their requirement of having a U87.

On one hand I’d love to have an excuse to buy a U87. On the other hand, I don’t want one. The duration of the sessions will be too long to rent one. I told them that if they sign a contract to retain me for the entire film it would be here in a week. I have mixed feelings about this. I’m kind of annoyed they wouldn’t even try the Blue. But then again, I’m understand how things work in this business. I want this job bad enough to cave to it.

Rant over lol.

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For collaborative VO work, you need a TLM 103 at the least, U87 at the most. Also, having a Sennheiser MKH 416 is probably mandatory. You didn’t know this?

There’s perception and then there’s reality. I think that company’s perception is misguided and focused on the wrong thing.

Agreed. If you used an SM58 how would they even know?

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Shhh. You’ll put several dozen Sweetwater account reps out of a job. :wink:

Those people don’t care about the sound, they care about the name/model. And if they fly somebody to Jonathan’s location he can’t fake that.

BTW, why in the world do they want to fly somebody in? The voice talent may already have a U87, or can go to a local studio where they have one. There are ways to do sessions remotely.

Why would it take more than a few hours? Are you doing a whole video game with just one voice talent?

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Meet Stan (Hardline tv interviewer) Halen.

Tell them to supply the mic or you will use an alternative moc with similar frequencies.
This sounds like horse shit of an offer,
Who is this ‘voice talent’ sir Ian mckellen?!
How can they request a certain microphone? What sort of nonsense is that!
Good luck

“Watch for breaking news at the top of the hour! And now a word from our sponsor …”

It’s like requesting an SM58 for a live performance, a Shure mic rather than a no-name mic. It’s what they’re used to and what they think is their industry standard. The Coca-Cola and Pepsi of the voiceover world.

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Believe it or not, I haven’t needed a U87 up to this point. I was personally never blown away by this mic. I can borrow a 416 pretty easy. And if I needed my own, they’re not as expensive to buy.

Because you only ever hand dialogue editors raw audio. Even if you were allowed to EQ it, It’d be pretty hard to dress up a 58 to sound like a U87. Now a C414 or a cheap $1000 Peluso clone? I think they would be pretty hard pressed to tell them apart from a U87, especially if they weren’t in the room when it was recorded.

Thats true. In the music world, the techs and engineers have some say in the equipment. As @Stan_Halen said, its more like a live sound gig, where the backline company shows up with the gear the artists management requires them to on the rider. Its a little bit of a different world.

I offered to explore that option with them. Source Connect seems to be the standard these days. Some of it has to do with budget and schedule. Also, some directors are also more hands on than others.

These are gonna take a little longer than that :smiley:

I get what you’re saying there but I disagree, an sm58 is chosen because its known to be bomb proof, reliable and sound good with all manor of singers. It has prooves itself through many a live test and always delivers. Plus it only costs about £90

This is a question of people not knowing about mics and how they work and requesting one because its the most expensive they know (although still cheap to lots of high end mics) and therefore they belive it to be 'the best’
Maybe work was done before on one and they likes the sound, not knowing the sound came from the preamp or the post processing.
An sm58 is good for throwing about and still working.
This mic requested will be in a studio, there is no comparison

This is one of those situations where you don’t really have the option to care about ideologies. Either you want this job, or you don’t care about this job, and owning that microphone is part of getting the job, because they are the ones creating the job description.

You can take into account the cost of the mic when you are negotiating your price, and you can figure out from there whether it’s a job worth taking for $X.

I’d personally view it as though the mic has no value after this project is over. You can’t view it as “I get this job, and I also have this microphone at the end of it” because you yourself said you never had the need for this microphone before, so it doesn’t really provide any value for you beyond this one job. Any job down the road that it can be used for is purely a bonus, and not something to consider.

That’s kind of how I feel, and ironically, I want to think my feelings matter because I’m the one who has to buy it. Though in the grand scheme to things, no…they don’t matter. I think the Peluso is dang close to a U87ai, and its $1200 cheaper. Considering that you are expected to hand in the edited audio dry and unprocessed, I wouldn’t attempt to use an sm58. But I’ve also seen an AKG 414 do real well on spoken word voiceover.

If they want that mic they should either provide it or charge them to rent it.

Yup. This one is basically a take-it-or-leave-it. But I do think I have some leverage because of the financial and logistical inconvenience of having to dub in another region.

I’m on the fence here, but leaning toward agreeing. Any job it CAN be used for is a bonus, but is any job it MUST be used for still a bonus? Or does it become a necessity at that point?


Just a couple of questions for you. 1- Would you know if there are other ‘‘Studios’’ competing for this contract. If not, ask. Some companies and government agencies have a ‘‘Best Practice’’ policy to follow - they must go by the book, no deviation is permitted. So they will specify what is required in the contract proposal. Usually a minimum of three companies are sent invitations to bid on the contract.
In some cases and has been my experience, they already have a desired target contractor in mind, but they are obligated to show transparency in the process.
2- did this contract come out of the blue, or is there a known networking contact involved, which will tell you which way this deal is trending to.

Good move - you will still have to bid.

your sentiments

Your decision

Best of fortune:sunglasses:

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How many jobs do you expect that to be the case? How many years have you been doing this and this is the first time this mic has been needed. Extrapolate that into the future and you have your answer.

Unless you feel like owning the mic will be able to get you more jobs. Maybe that is the case. But if that was the case, wouldn’t you have bought it already?

We don’t really know, so we’re just speculating. But my point was that people like to use what they know, “a known quantity” so to say. Anything else will inject uncertainty into their world, or make them think harder than they want to. They might end up having to explain this to someone else (a decision maker) above their head, so they may not want to go there at all.

At this point the cost becomes a justification for you, which isn’t a bad place to be, but just wherever you want to line up on it. As Kinfolk pointed out, if there is any competition in this scenario and you put the cost of the mic in your quote for the job, you may cost more than the competition. Someone who already has the mic may therefore have an advantage.

If instead, you are looking for more work beyond this job with the same company/people or hope to get referrals from them to others who are potential clients, owning the mic would be an investment. So I guess it depends if you’re looking at this as a one-off job, or if it’s in your future wheelhouse.

You could split the difference and build part of the mic cost into your quote (i.e. depreciation), with the assumption that you could sell the used mic for $X later on, recouping your investment.

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Jonathon, you can always buy a cheap Chinese U87 knock-off and set it up perched above your mic of choice (AKG 414, or something similar). When people see your fake U87 they’ll love the sounds you’re actually getting with your AKG 414 that’s in very close proximity to it. :grinning: I bet most people wouldn’t know the difference between the U87 and a sub $200 mic.

SO you DO care enough about the job to throw your weight around a bit in order to change the job it is. Goddamn.