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Using the wrong microphone for the job.

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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 27, 2021 3:40 pm

MOF wrote:You could try positioning the microphone above your mouth, pointing at your mouth, no need for a windshield.

If the (cardioid) microphone is arranged to be side on, then the proximity effect magically disappears too...

So rather than being the wrong mic for the job, the problems all came from using the mic in completely the wrong way for that specific application.
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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby Drongoloid » Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:27 pm

I did my first ever recording of a band in 1977. MM 12-2 mixer and a Revox A77. Dynamic mics I guess as I don't remember anything about phantom power. No outboard (what's that?), no reverb, no overdubs, no treated rooms, mixed live straight to stereo. No idea what I was doing really but a whole album was recorded in a day. Most importantly - a good band. Still sounds alright.

Now I have access to all sorts of amazing gear (it's all relative) and am so laiden with information about what I should or shouldn't be doing it takes me 5 years to finish a song.

Just a thought.
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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby The Elf » Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:01 pm

There's really no need for it to be lke that. 80% of the work I do on a production now would have been pretty much the same as when I was using an A&H System 8 and a Tascam 38. If you are finding things that much different then you are being distracted by the possibilities and losing yourself in the details!
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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:51 pm

Drongoloid wrote:Just a thought.

Well if back then you had been singing in the back of the microphone instead of the front, it wouldn't have sounded alright :D
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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby forumuser915213 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:58 pm

' ... most LDCs employ dual-diaphragm capsules (whether they are multi-pattern or not), whereas the MKH40 has a single diaphragm capsule. The rear diaphragm in a dual-diaphragm capsule acts at low frequencies to increase the acoustic impedance of the phase-shifting labyrinth that determines the cardioid polar pattern. As a result, for close sound sources as the frequency reduces the capsule moves away from pressure-gradient operation and towards pressure-only operation... making it less susceptible to plosive blasts and curtailing the proximity effect.

'... And that is why studio vocal recording has, historically, mostly been done with LDCs.'

That's good to understand. Thanks Hugh!

Now why didn't anyone mention this to me before!

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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby Alba » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:33 pm

... too obvious mate :arrow:
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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby Dan LB » Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:21 am

The Elf wrote:much the same as when I was using an A&H System 8

You’ve just sparked a memory there. I used to own one of those. I traded my double bass for it about 20 years ago.
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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:55 am

So many interesting comments here!

ManFromGlass wrote:Always good to hear how others make things work. I have a waterproof mic I’ve been saving for the right moment. I’m thinking I would put it in a bucket of water in the room with the instrument I want to record. Could be crap, could be just the right sound for the project.

Seeing as my basement floors from time to time, I might get a couple of these!

The Red Bladder wrote:Whilst we are talking about 'the wrong microphone' - I use the wrong microphones all the time!

The idea that there is a 'right' way to record anything is hooey! A great vocal mic in the studio? Try an MKH416 - seriously! No, not the old silver one, the new one. It's great and does not colour off-axis sounds the way the silver ones did. In fact, you can use it on just about anything, but even at a one-meter distance, it's great! One of the unsung heroes of the mic-locker!

We have a giant piano that sounds huge all the time. I suppose if you are recording Tchaikovsky's piano-C in B-flat-minor, let the damn thing rip! But if you want that sharper, thinner Steinway sound, a pair of TLM103s do the job perfectly. In fact, the 103 is one of the great mics for all sorts of things, but many people hate them because they pick up a great deal of room noise and many people have lousy rooms!

Older dynamics are often unusual and useful - the SM59 has almost no handling noise and actually is my go-to for hi-hat. It was a reporter's mic but it's great for all kinds of stuff. You don't believe me? Go to precisely 2:08 on this video and see it in action on the hi-hat! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmd4Se9 ... 6v&index=1" target="phpbbpopup (Our studio BTW)

Can't get any good MD421s? The AKG D202 or 222 are as good, if not better. The dual capsule thing makes them excellent for any percussion jobs. Just great all-round dynamic mics. Horns, vocals, whatever!

A couple of DPA 4061s give you not only first-class lapel mics but they come with rubber mounts that convert them into one of the best PZMs around - ideal for those esoteric Kunstkopf stereo recording you always wanted to make! Get that Styrofoam head built and off you go!

But now comes one of my fav. 'wrong' mics - good mics cost money - right? I mean, even them D202s cost about £200+ nowadays as people wise-up to how good they are! And good ribbon mics cost a fortune - as in hundreds, even for the cheaper stuff. If you are going to record a bass fiddle (in ANY situation!) or even a solo cello, take a Thomann t-Bone RB500 with you. They cost £72 and give you that profound bass sound that all the magic Neumanns and all that other stuff never can. Put that sucker over the f-hole (No, not that one! The one on the fiddle!) and mic the body with whatever takes your fancy and people will applaud your engineering skills! "What a smooth and full bass sound!" they'll say!

But my best and possibly the ultimate 'wrong' mic isn't a mic at all! It's the driver out of a long-since demolished cheap sub-woofer. It's better than that goofy Yamaha thing that costs real money. Clamped to a stand and with an Audix D6 inside the kick and to one side and THAT is the sound of a good thumping kick drum.

BTW - I use the Bruce Swedien method of recording kick - empty the damn thing and take all that crap out that drummers think they have to shove in there - pillows, blankets, a dead cat, whatever. Take the resonance skin off completely and replace it with an empty hoop to stop the fittings from rattling. Cover the outside hoop with a duvet and if the drum is one of those cheapo Chinese jobs, put a cellar-block inside to stiffen it up and stop it from wandering.

Oh dear, I feel the need to avail myself of your studio again, memories flooding back, of me going all :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: when you said "you don’t need me, just go in there and do stuff" one look at that massive desk made me wet myself with fear, after calling for help, next thing I know your on the floor with an MS20 going beserk and I’m singing about Dinky Toys. Some great takes though.

FrankF wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote: The rear diaphragm in a dual-diaphragm capsule acts at low frequencies to increase the acoustic impedance of the phase-shifting labyrinth that determines the cardioid polar pattern.

Come on, Arpangel, you should know that! Even my postman knows that! ;)

Anyway, keep on "making mistakes": your music is excellent.

I must have a word with your postman, my music? I just used to do loads of it, there comes a point no matter how much you think you’re f*****g up, just by sheer quantity "something" good has to happen.
They do say that those we admire, their music, most of it didn’t work, I’m just thinking, they must be working twenty eight hours a day 10 days a week.

:D
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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby CS70 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:31 am

The Red Bladder wrote:The idea that there is a 'right' way to record anything is hooey!

To quote Andrew Scheps, all that matters is what comes out of the speakers.
If that is good, any way is the right way. "Rules" are just ways to get there efficiently, and that's about it.

Arpangel's problem was that he did not like what came out of the speakers.

Had he liked it, there would have been no thread.
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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:34 am

CS70 wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:The idea that there is a 'right' way to record anything is hooey!

To quote Andrew Scheps, all that matters is what comes out of the speakers.
If that is good, any way is the right way. "Rules" are just ways to get there efficiently, and that's about it.

Arpangel's problem was that he did not like what came out of the speakers.

Had he liked it, there would have been no thread.

The thing is, even though it sounded rough, I kept on recording, my attitude in these situations is "as long as it’s vaguely usable, it’ll be fine"
The real rub comes when you’re using an expensive mic when a thirty quid job would have done.
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Re: Using the wrong microphone for the job.

Postby CS70 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:47 am

Arpangel wrote:The real rub comes when you’re using an expensive mic when a thirty quid job would have done.

Yeah, that's the other forum.. :lol:
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