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June 2017 Giveaway

sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 19 customer reviews
Questions about the sE Electronics Voodoo VR1?

Questions about the sE Electronics Voodoo VR1?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from TX - Texas May 19, 2017

    This thing is amazing

    For the price, this little mic sounds great. Rich tone with a meaty bottom end. I use a Cloudlifter with it to boost the signal. For the price point, it cant be beat

  • from Washington March 24, 2017

    Diggin the Fresh Voodoo!

    Really like the smoothness and nice low end this brings on guitars!
    Blending 57's, U 47 or any other style mic with it gave me some great tone shaping choices.
    The Voodoo VR1 was not as critical on placement as the other mic's being blended with it. This thing sounded pretty cool placed anywhere or by itself!
    Using a SPL Reducer running low volume levels the Neve 5024 and Earthworks 1024 preamps both had plenty of gain.

  • from Denver, CO March 4, 2017

    Great On Guitars!

    Just picked this mic up the other day and have only tested it on electric guitars so far. It sounds fantastic from cleans to super high gain metal. I recorded a few tracks with the Voodoo VR1, an Avantone CR14 Ribbon, and a Sennheiser e906. The Voodoo was by far my favorite. This mic is warm and natural sounding, it adds quite a bit of lows and low mids, but in a good way. The high end is still present but not harsh. Sounds great on a 2x12 when paired with a dynamic (e906) also. Definitely adding this to my setup for tracking electric guitar and can't wait to try it on other sources! If you're in the market for an "entry level" ribbon mic, do yourself a favor and get this one!

  • from Lima January 31, 2017Music Background:
    Sound Engineeer

    Great

    Great sound, a lot of bottom end!!
    I have to learn how to use that bottom better i guess

  • from November 9, 2016Music Background:
    Profesional Sound Engineer (Recording,Mixing,Mastering), Musician, Producer

    Natural highs and open low mids

    If you don't want harsh top end and want to ad low mids that are not muddy this mic is spectacular. I'm using it in combination with Brauner VM1 and it ads really nice low mids that are full and open. Great for harsh instruments also, really natural. For this price it is a gem that every engineer should have. Planning to buy second one soon.

  • from Turlock, CA March 23, 2016

    Like it... a lot

    Always wanted a ribbon mic but could not afford one and the thought of buying a $99 to $299 ribbon mic when the good ones are $1000+ scared me away for a long time. When I saw the sE mics, read some reviews, and saw who's using them in real-world applications, I jumped in. I am not disappointed.

    I purchased this as part of an "upgraded" GuitaRF recording package instead of the cheaper sE ribbon mic it comes with. My sales rep put the package together for me... the filter, SM57, this mic, two cables.

    I am now enjoying the best sounding guitar tracks I have ever recorded. Money very well spent!

    I also just recorded a voice-over (dramatic reading) for a local production with my own voice (baritone) and I really liked the results. More importantly, so did my client. But after doing that, I wish maybe I purchased the VR2 with its higher gain. My preamp was cranked pretty high to get a usable level. Luckily it's a pretty noise-free and clean preamp at those levels. No worries though, I have other mics equally well-suited to voice-over work.

  • from EAST SIDE LONG BEACH March 4, 2016Music Background:
    IMMA PLAYA

    MY SECRETT VOODOO

    IVE GOT NO EXPERIENCE WITH OTHER VINTAGE RIBBONS BUT THIS THING HAS SMOOTHED OUT EVERYTING IVE PUT IT ON. IVE USED IT ON A FEW FEMALE R&B GOSPEL SINGERS AND IT WAS SO VERY SMOOTH. I'VE USED THIS AND A 2200 2C ON THEM AND THEYVE ALL BEEN PLEASED ON MULTIPLE OCCASSIONS. MY PHONE USUALLY RINGS A FEW TIMES A WEEK AS THEY KEEP COMING BACK FOR MORE. I'VE RECORDED UKELELES WITH THIS AND IT CAME OUT BUTTERY SMOOTH EVERYTIME WITHOUT SOME OF THE ANNOYING TRANSIENTS THAT IVE NEVER LIKED ABOUT RECORDING UKES.. EVERYTIME I MIC A GUITAR CAB I PULL THIS OUT AND USUALLY ADD IT TO A SM57 OR D2 AND A SEHHHEISER 906 OR 421. HUGE FULL SOUNDS FOR CLEAN AND DIRT. IT REALLY DOES ADD SOMETHING TO MY CLEAN DELAYED CHORUSY STUFF. I ALWAYS DOUBLETRACK MOST GUITAR STUFF AND IT ALL COMES OUT SO HUGE AND FAT ITS SHOCKING.
    I USE THIS WITH A FOCUSRITE CLARETTE 8 PREX, INTO AN AUDIENT ASP880, AND ALSO HAVE THE ASP800 ON THE WAY. EXTREMELY SATISFIED
    THANKS TO MATT MCKIBBLE FOR INTRODUCING ME TO SE MICS.

    GET THIS MIC, I RECOMMEND IT!

  • from Chicago, IL June 5, 2017Music Background:
    Composer, pianist, trombonist

    Great first ribbon mic

    I've only had this mic a few days but have put it through its paces, and I'm very impressed. First, I'm happy that my very basic preamp (Steinberg UR22 mk II) has enough gain for this passive ribbon mic. Not that there's anything wrong with the UR22 -- it offers no-nonsense, clean, gain that sounds perfectly fine, especially for the price. Obviously there are far better preamps. But even so, I like how the VR1 sounds through it, a lot. Here are the three main applications I've tried the VR1 with, and my impressions.

    Upright piano -- I opened the top and positioned the VR1 above. Proximity effect seems a little exaggerated with this mic, which may be a common quality with ribbon mics, I don't know. But I pulled it back to about 18 inches above the piano, slightly off center and tilted a bit toward the higher keys. The result was a nice mono piano sound that was both crisp and airy. It reminded me a lot of how piano sounds on old jazz records from the 50s and early 60s, and also kind of like the piano in Radiohead's "Pyramid Song"...very cool.

    Solo trombone -- I used the VR1 as the "side" in a mid-side configuration with a Rode NT1 as the "mid" (the Rode was on a separate preamp, Scarlett Solo). This setup is quite nice and sounds much more expensive than it is. The NT1 is a neutral-to-warm sounding mic, so I feel it pairs well with the VR1 for mid-side. I think this setup could be a beautiful, low-cost solution for recording classical recitals or chamber music in a nice recital hall.

    Guitar amp -- I miked my Pro Jr amp with an SM57 aimed at the center, close to the grill, and the VR1 pulled back about a foot and a few inches off center. This worked great for overdriven tones -- thick, dark, smooth -- but for recording clean tones the VR1 had too much low-end in this setup, so I had to pull it back further. What actually ended up working really nicely for clean tones was a mid-side setup with the VR1 as side, and SM57 as mid, directly in front of the amp about 18 inches away. I've never heard of this setup (ribbon + dynamic in mid-side) being used with guitar amps, but give it a try, it really sounds nice. Especially if you manipulate the width and stereo placement with an imaging plugin.

    The Voodoo VR1 is my first ribbon mic, and I'm very pleased.

  • from Wisconsin May 2, 2017Music Background:
    Touring sound engineer / tech

    Vodoo Vr1

    I love the Vodoo ribbons. The sound great on guitars, horns sound pretty amazing with this two. But the size and quality of the build is very nice. Not realy worried about this ribbon mic like you are about other manufacturers ribbons. And who doesn't love the price point.
    I love the whole SE Electronics line! And I have most of them still need a few more thorough!

  • from Los Angeles April 27, 2017Music Background:
    Jazz performer, producer

    Decent intro to ribbons!

    Overall, very good quality for the price! The response is very mid heavy like expected and the 8 pattern picks a lot of room sound. Aslo not suitable for quite sources since they are not active. After some eq'ing the sound is super natural sounding and not harsh on the highs. I used them on my Hammond and it smoked the large diaghram condensers in terms of sounding natural. They didn't sound as great on the drums.

  • from Nyack NY July 31, 2016Music Background:
    Singer/ songwriter & producer

    Little gem

    I'm primarily a singer and I've never used a ribbon mic before & i have to say I was blown away. The sound is warm, sweet and detailed and made the Sennheiser dynamic mic I'd been using (no slouch) sound harsh & cheap. Haven't used it yet on any amp cabinets, but if you're looking to warm up your vocals, this mic is what you need!

  • from San Jose, CA June 2, 2016Music Background:
    Acoustic Guitar, Songwriter, Audio Engineer

    SE VooDoo Ribbon Microphone Review

    SE VooDoo Ribbon Microphone - For the price - a "no-brainer" - buy it!

    I purchased the SE VooDoo ribbon microphone to balance out my multi-mic recording of various acoustic guitars of makes, models, shapes and woods. I use the ribbon a few feet out in front of the acoustic favoring the neck profile. I usually carve out some low end notched frequencies (depending on guitar) on my main condenser microphone that I use around the 12th-15th fret. As a result, I use a ribbon to provide a smooth bottom end. I run the VooDoo through the NEVE 511 both to take advantage of that NEVE transformer sound as well as the “silk” setting on the module. I will go on the record and say I have always liked the clarity of SE microphones. I must say – I was really impressed with the volume, clarity and smooth “rounded” sound of the VooDoo. It was a perfect combination with the condenser I was using. Bringing the VooDoo into the sonic signature in combination with the condenser was very pleasing to the ear. It did not take up much of the bottom frequencies – but instead brought out more of the “wood” tones from the various acoustics without having to do any negative eqing at all. I was very happy with VooDoo. No apparent noise. The output volume is so good that I actually lowered the level of the NEVE further increasing the over-all quality of the recording. I was actually using another famous brand ribbon before the VooDoo. I found the other ribbon sound to be too broad, refined and detailed in combination with the condenser – I had to carve out frequencies on both mics. I really had to listen closely to phase, etc to use both mics in the mix. The VooDoo however – was much easier to use in my application. I am really happy with the mic. Lesson learned – if you can try different set ups, mics, mic pres, eqs. etc. you will be greatly surprised how a simple change out like a different mic can make such a big difference. The VooDoo worked perfect in my application!

  • from San Francisco Bay Area May 6, 2016Music Background:
    Industry Pro

    Great mic, quite versatile

    Bought this with a Cloudlifter CZ instead of the Neve 5017 combo that Sweetwater recommends. I am loving this mic. It has a flatter, smoother, brighter response than most other ribbons which was what I was hoping for.

    It is not super warm due to a lack of high frequency response. No matter, it sounds great on an upright bass, mic cabs and booming bass voices (mine) that other mics can't handle. The design has a piece of metal in front of the ribbon—you can see it as part of the grille. This helps protect the mic from 'plosives that may tear the ribbon (still, use a pop filter). It's my new fave for voice over work and has replaced my trusty Shure 315 for the bass.

    It is a passive ribbon. This means that, if you don't have a high gain preamp, you'll wish you did. If you have great mic pres and only need a clean boost, the Cloudlifter will do the trick. Although the 1 will work, I chose the CZ because it has switchable 12/25dB boost and variable impedance (this will make many dynamic mics come to life with modern mic pres, too).

    Other reviews have complained about the low output. It is typical of a passive ribbon. The VR2 is the active version but I am glad I got this one instead.

    The body is not that much longer than the ribbon. It is a small mic which I also like. Having all of the electronics outside is part of the appeal. It does not need the huge grille work that nearly all other ribbons have.

    One reviewer wrote, "…you receive an ok wooden box that fits the mic and clip, then outside of that is the shock mount in a white cardboard box." Yea, that's weird as the shock mount is designed for these mics and are not the generic versions you see with so many others in this price range.

  • from NW Indiana March 29, 2016Music Background:
    Guitar, bass and original music

    Who do Voodoo, I do

    Love it. I have several mics in my studio. From the usual suspects like SM 57 and 58 to several condenser mics. I have one other ribbon mic and they are my first choice for vocals and acoustic guitars. This mic is my personal favorite. It sounds silky and warm. Will be investing in more SE mics in the future. Hand made, quality mics at affordable prices.

  • from Missouri December 31, 2015Music Background:
    Production, Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Musician, Songwriter

    so far so great!

    I picked up one of these to help translate my wife's airy voice, which can come out a bit brittle on LDCs (set to harp and double bass - LDC's have been fine for rock recordings). The VR1 has worked great, so much so that I decided to pick up a second to be able to use them for stereo drum overheads as well. I recently tracked a live amplified rehearsal of her rock band, using these as drum overheads, and I was very pleased. I was also surprised by their side-rejection as the band was loud and close by but these were really focused on the drum though maybe 3-4 ft above the set.

    I had the joy years ago to use the Cole 4038 regularly, but never had a pair or even tried mono drum overhead with it, so I can't compare its use on drums. But for vocals, the VR1 seems similar, though maybe not as dark/warm. The high end is smooth as advertised and reviewed by others - not hyped.

    My one complaint about the product would be this - you receive an ok wooden box that fits the mic and clip, then outside of that is the shock mount in a white cardboard box. They didn't go through great expense to make this light wooden box - but it would be an improvement if they extended it 4 inches to hold the shockmount, too!

  • from LA, CA August 23, 2011Music Background:
    Engineer, Producer

    Love it on certain things

    I had a chance to hear this on several different sources up against some of my favs, like the Coles 4038, a few different Royers, an AT4080, etc. This was the most inexpensive mic in the bunch and it held its own. I know we all think of a mellow high end with any ribbon, but this one is tailored especially well. It seems like everything I hear from ribbons is either completely lacking high end content but has the warmest sound imaginable, or is eq'd internally to hype up the highs, while sacrificing a lot of the beautiful lows that makes a ribbon a ribbon. The Voodoo is a pretty good middle. The high end is extremely smooth, has plenty of detail, but not so much as to make it sound like a shrill condenser. And the bottom is rotund. On voice overs it performed extremely well. The only source I didn't absolutely love it on was woodwinds. It unfavorably makes the mechanics stick out too much. But that can easily be dealt with if you don't mind going more off-axis or eq'ing. I almost always favored this over the Royer R101, except of course with... woodwinds, where the R101 was completely opposite, very flattering. To me it never really beat the 4038, but that could just be because its what I love and am used to hearing. But it did get really close. And considering the fact that you could get two of these for the price of one Coles... its kind of a no-brainer.

  • from May 2, 2017

    Voodoo VR1

    Great mic. My favorite use is on acoustic guitar body. Very warm smooth sound!

  • from muscatine, IA February 12, 2014Music Background:
    trial and error !

    Great for an entry level production !

    I would say that when I first got the Voodoo vr1 I was a little weary of this little mic's capabilities , but when I plugged it into the Ruper Neve 511 mic pre, I was really amazed at how well this little mic translated. I've only tried it on electric guitar using a tube amp , and If you use the shure sm57 at the same time , WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! Ok well that is all the pro's , the cons I have about this mic when I first got it was that there was some gunky looking stuff inside of it , and it had a dent on the one of the side screens . Not ideal quality for the price , And also the knobs on the shock mount are Junk . Thanks , Sweetwater ! Remember this mic is only good for entry level . go with the vr2 , for a fatter tone.

  • from Western Australia June 30, 2016

    Great mic for guitar cabs

    I find the range of frequencies are well covered and has a warm sound, needs a good preamp to give good levels

Questions about the sE Electronics Voodoo VR1?

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