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Recommendations for stage mics

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Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Raphbass » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:42 pm

Spin-off from the thread about SM58s...

Any recommendations for stage mics that might be more suited to sax, trumpet, guitar amps etc?

For the moment let's disregard cost - if something's way beyond the budget (and it will be!) I can just drool!

I'm particularly thinking of (but not only) a jazz club, we recently had a couple of SM58s nicked hence trying to buy new ones. But I'm wondering if there might be better alternatives as we mostly get guest saxes, trumpets, guitarists, and very rarely have a singer. There's also the occasional flute, percussion, once in a blue moon there's an accordion. Any eulogies about your faves are welcome...
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:01 pm

Straight off the top of my head:

Saxes - Sennheiser MD421 and EV RE20

Guitar Cabs - Sennheiser e606 and e906

... and a good all-rounder which has been discussed a bit here recently is the Beyer 201.

Sadly all these are out of my reach - especially as I've had some "unexpected expenditure" (non gear-related) this week... :frown:

So I use a Yoga D606 on the rare occasions that I have to mic a sax live and a Superlux PRA 628 on cabs - again comparatively rare for me. Despite their bargain price both give a good account of themselves and have been commented-on favourable by musos.

You might also want to check-out the Thomann/t-bone Ovid system which a couple of us here think is good value for money for live work.
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Bob Bickerton » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:59 pm

Up until recently, I'd be saying a dynamic on brass such as the Electrovoice N/D467, RE20 or SM7 and a neutral condenser on sax such as the Sennheiser e614. Guitar cabinet e906.

However, having recently purchased a Beyer M201, I would use it in preference on just about all those sources! That's not to say I might have a preference for individual instruments or styles, but as a go to dynamic mic it's really doing it for me right now. With it's included foam sock you could also use it for vocals and flute, actually it's a very good vocal mic.

I have another m201 on the way and will probably end up with four. £179 from Thomann.

Bob

Oh and apologies to Mike's bank manager......... ;)
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Raphbass » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:20 pm

On second thoughts I'm not sure that disregarding cost was a great idea!

The MD421 and the RE20 have been on my drool list for years, but there hasn't yet been a moment when feeding my puur wee bairns hasn't been a priority - soon I'll kick them out to work in the mines and the quality of my PA gear will improve overnight! 8-)

Meanwhile the Beyer M201 sounds promising.

I think we're going to have to spend some money on security as well - as some cretin made off with two SM58s, I can assume they'll help themselves to anything nicer. I keep thinking of improving the PA (Behringer desk and 25yr old Amcron amp) but maybe it's better that it's a bit [email]cr@p.[/email]

Or, that we use cheaper mics that are reasonably tolerable. So the question predictably changes to "any recommendations for cheap mics?"
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:37 pm

I've only had gear 'lifted' once in the many years I've been doing live-sound - but it's not nice.

Because I tend to work with the same relatively small group of artists for the majority of the time, I've got to know some of the 'fans' quite well; they come and have a chat before the show and in the interval. Several will ask after the show 'Is there anything I can do to help?". These days if the venue seems at all dodgy or there's too-ready access from the outside world, I'll position one at the mixing position and one at the stage with the injunction to "look fierce"!

... and I'm not listening your Bob-ness!! You're preaching to the converted anyway about the quality and versatility of the 201...

I was all set for an evaluation of the Sennheiser HD25 cans as a probable precursor to buying this week. Then my nasty pain in the wallet crept up and left all thoughts of upgrading gear firmly on the back-burner for at least a month or so... :frown:
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Stef Andrews » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:22 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:
I have another m201 on the way and will probably end up with four. £179 from Thomann.

Bob

Oh and apologies to Mike's bank manager......... ;)

Just in case you haven't bought them at that price, GAK are doing them at £150 a pop with a free Venom 10ft XLR cable, and studiospares at £164.
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby tacitus » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:02 pm

+1 again on the M201 - I have half a dozen now and if my live work hadn't tailed off a bit I'd have more. My other favourite is the old ATM25, now superseded by the ATM250 (have I got that right, guys)? I only have one of them but I like it for kick and it's my goto for saxes, especially tenor and bari.

Out of 40+ mikes (though that includes some pretty ropey 'beginner' models from way back, I only have 1 SM58 and 1 Beta58, mainly for the times people specifically ask for them (or look disappointed when the mike I give them doesn't look like a 58). There's not much I haven't used the M201s for over the last decade or so. And there don't seem to be many fakes about ...
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby grab » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:20 pm

I regularly use my Sennheiser e835s on guitar amps when they're a bit too spikey for an SM57. And they're also a decent vocal mic. (e840 has some benefits on polar pattern too.)

When I was ordering some Silver Bullets from Karma, I got a pair of K10 pencil condensors too. They're only around £60 a pair (depending on vagaries of exchange rates of course), and a very decent bit of kit.
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:37 pm

+1 for Silver Bullets, great little mics (especially for the ridiculously low price).
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Raphbass » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:03 am

Sam Spoons wrote:+1 for Silver Bullets, great little mics (especially for the ridiculously low price).
Are Sliver Bullets those little mics the size of XLR plugs?
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:18 am

Yup, 8-)
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Fishnish » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:56 am

MD 421

Great Mic, terrible clip though. Rig up a "clip protector" before use!!

Seriously - a great all rounder - toms, brass, sax, percussion, guitar cabs. All good.

And the clip is only really an issue if you have a drummer with poor aim.
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Billum » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:06 am

Raphbass wrote:I think we're going to have to spend some money on security as well - as some cretin made off with two SM58s, I can assume they'll help themselves to anything nicer.

Not necessarily - when I worked at Maida Vale studios we had loads of up-coming bands through every day doing sessions, and the only mics that went missing were the SM58s! Presumably bands took what they knew, and those lovely U87s and 4038 ribbons were just junk technology to them...

If I were you, I'd buy a load of very cheap SM58 clones (e.g. Samson 3-pack) and leave them out as you pack away until last, as pure distraction-ware :beamup:
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Billum » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:08 am

Sam Spoons wrote:+1 for Silver Bullets, great little mics (especially for the ridiculously low price).

These are lovely omni room mics, but one of my pair has gone annoyingly very noisy now and then as of late - anybody else had them do anything like that? If it's a one-off, I'll buy another one (or pair), but if they're prone to it, I'll look elsewhere.
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:38 am

Billum wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:+1 for Silver Bullets, great little mics (especially for the ridiculously low price).

These are lovely omni room mics, but one of my pair has gone annoyingly very noisy now and then as of late - anybody else had them do anything like that? If it's a one-off, I'll buy another one (or pair), but if they're prone to it, I'll look elsewhere.

I've not noticed much noise but then I tend to use them in noisy environments, but I have noticed they're not as "matched" as they once were. Not bad enough to actually investigate in great detail but enough to direct me to one rather than the other for mono O/H.
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:58 pm

Mine seem fine, used them as close Tom mics on a jazz kit last time, 4" from top head, great sound.
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Raphbass » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:22 am

Billum wrote:
Raphbass wrote:I think we're going to have to spend some money on security as well - as some cretin made off with two SM58s, I can assume they'll help themselves to anything nicer.


Not necessarily - when I worked at Maida Vale studios we had loads of up-coming bands through every day doing sessions, and the only mics that went missing were the SM58s! Presumably bands took what they knew, and those lovely U87s and 4038 ribbons were just junk technology to them...

If I were you, I'd buy a load of very cheap SM58 clones (e.g. Samson 3-pack) and leave them out as you pack away until last, as pure distraction-ware :beamup:

We've had a suspicion before that stuff gets borrowed - all our nice K&M mic stands go missing and get replaced with really rubbish ones, and things I could have sworn I'd packed at the bottom of the box are at the top the following week... A couple of times something's gone missing and turned up again the following week. This is the first time something's disappeared and not re-appeared. Turns out it's three SM58s we've lost, not two - can't say I feel too easy-going about that. We now lock up the mic stands in cases I've made out of drainage pipe, with long-shackle padlocks through the lids. I'm looking into bolting an ammo box to a shelf in the cupboard and putting a huge great bike lock on it. It wouldn't stop someone determined but they'd have to wreck quite a lot to get the mics out.

Anyway, back to the topic - very useful suggestions, I think some M201s are on the list.

PS what are cheap Shure mics like? e.g. PG58?
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:25 am

For cheap I'd be thinking Sennheiser e835......................

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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Raphbass » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:07 pm

If we get any more SM58 thefts I'll bulk-buy some Sennheiser e835s then. It's unlikely though, now the mics are in an ammo box I've locked through a shelf in the top corner of a dark cupboard... nevertheless they can always hack the whole shelf out!

Meanwhile got myself a Beyer M201 as recommended above. Very nice! Gonna try it with sax this Friday.

MD421 still on the drool list...
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby OneEng » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:18 am

Kick - Audix D6
Snare/Toms - Sennheiser e604's (cool clips too)
Guitar cabs - Sennheiser e609 or e906 (a bit more expensive)
Vocals - EV ND767a

These may not quite be as good as some of the more expensive mic's mentioned here, but they are up on the curve of diminishing returns (in other words you have to spend quite a bit more to get a little better sound).

I have an MD421 and have A/B'd it extensively with an e609 on a guitar cab. I'll give it the nod ... but only barely. The convenience of the e609 on cabs of any kind is very hard to beat. Also, the MD421 feeds back easier on a noisy stage than the e609.
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Raphbass » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:02 pm

I got an Audix D6 a while ago as I always found I was EQing the middle out of bass drums with a D112, and the D6 has the sort of curve I was always EQing - means it's more "plug'n'play" even if it's not faithful to anything. Still have the D112 for those "notey" jazz bass drums. And perhaps the occasional trombone...

Sennheiser e604 - I sometimes use one of those on my upright bass, clips onto the top two strings below the bridge (haven't tried above the bridge!!), pointing to the treble f-hole, as near as possible without it bashing when it swings about a bit. On a really cheap nasty DB you could try it on the bass side. Works really well, despite it being very much not what it's meant for.

Interesting about the MD421/e609 comparison. For me it's more about toughness - a couple of MD421s used in a band I worked with years ago were seriously mangled and beaten about - that's not what I'd be intending to do to one (!), but it does bode well for longevity, which I find quite valuable in stage gear!
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:40 pm

I found the D6 too hyped for jazz and let it go.

RE20, SM7 and M99 far better, or if it's likely to be stolen an e602!

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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby OneEng » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:15 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:I found the D6 too hyped for jazz and let it go.

RE20, SM7 and M99 far better, or if it's likely to be stolen an e602!

Bob

Never did jazz Bob, mostly modern and classic rock with big kick. The D6 did good for this. I can see where jazz wouldn't be its thing though ;)
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:09 am

I just done puck me up a Beyerdynamic m400 (Soundstar mk2). I had one years ago and was heartbroken when it was carried away by some swinging legs and dropped in the middle of the dance floor - never to sing again.

If you can find one on eBay - don't other, they're crap (he-he, no-one will suspect my evil plan to buy all the m400s on all of eBay)
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby James Perrett » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:04 pm

Always liked the Beyer M300 too - the Audix OM5 sounds similar but more directional.
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Re: Recommendations for stage mics

Postby Raphbass » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:26 pm

OneEng wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:I found the D6 too hyped for jazz and let it go.

RE20, SM7 and M99 far better, or if it's likely to be stolen an e602!

Bob

Never did jazz Bob, mostly modern and classic rock with big kick. The D6 did good for this. I can see where jazz wouldn't be its thing though ;)
yep that's why I've kept the D112 as well. I do too many jazz gigs (full stop!)... where the PA guy thinks it's ACDC at the hammersmith bl00dy odeon and turns the bass drum into seismic cataclysm rock armageddon, whereas its supposed to be a notey "boing". I'd even risk heresy and suggest he's only supposed to amplify what it actually sounds like! When its soul or rock though, the Audix seems perfect. Nice thud, nice click and not too much note or flapping.
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