Pierce -- I think I understand. Thanks.
A U87?? Now you're just trying to make Bob, and the rest of us without one, jealous. Very cool man.
I know... I feel so guilty!!! You guys kick ma tush in skill-- sincerely! I know at least ONE thing: A mic ain't nothin' without your great pipes, not the other way around.
So... Does one want an imaging demo with all the same mic? I thought it was suggested (somewhere), that you should show a variance of your voice on different mics. (dyn's, LDC's, different patterns, etc) ... Just curious.
A good producer will mix your demo to sound like it came from different sources, and in the case of imaging, different radio genres.
That said, in a perfect world I would have done an imaging demo with different mics. The truth is, I didn't really care. Imaging was so foreign to me, and since I had a thriving VO career anyway, I dove into imaging without any expectations, and frankly any idea of what I was doing. I guess whatever I was doing it was right. And I was fortunate to book right away and have a demo made up of real imaging spots rather quickly.
If I can jump in here. Most of my business is imaging work, though I'm not anywhere near as big as Bob. Anyway, go listen to the demos on AllAccess.com v2.0 and VoiceHunter.com -- 1-866-810-1922 -- free voice over casting and the like. Figure out who's getting work and really pay attention to their stuff. I'd guess the vast majority of people end up using the same mic chain all the time (until they upgrade to the next big pre or mic anyway).
Producers do use all kinds of tricks including EQ, Compression, phasing, etc. to achieve different sounds. I have several favorites I use all the time.
It's not really about the mic anyway, it's about the attitude. PD's aren't listening to your demo going, "Now is he on a 416 or a U-87?" or TLM 103 or AK-47 and on and on and on. They're thinking: Is this the sound I want? Is this the voice that can sell my brand? Does this voice have the right personality for my station? etc. That's what you have to showcase on your demo(s).
Anyway, everybody likes the 416 because it has an frequency bump that can really make the VO sit well in a mix. Also when used properly, it can really reach down in your throat and draw out that ballsy sound. When used on the wrong voice or placed inappropriately it can really bring out sibilance and mouth noises.
Do you need good gear? Sure, but it's just one small cog in the business wheel.