Cannot Get a Good Sound Out Of AKG C 414 B
Old 21st May 2009
  #31
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by bino_5150 View Post
Problem #1. "I use the built-in preamps on my Digi 002 "

Problem #2. "All these little buttons are kind of confusing."
you dn'y need to rub in my stupidity, I openly admit it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bino_5150 View Post
This: "these mics randomly cut out and I have to turn off the Phantom Power and turn it back on." I would almost bet money that this is a preamp issue with your Digi or power supply to it. *ESPECIALLY* if more than one mic is doing it... I doubt very seriously that it's the mics.
I think you're rght, because it cut out on the at4050 yesterday... Maybe they're trying to hard to push my screaming?
Old 21st May 2009
  #32
Dan
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If you're screaming into the 4050 as well, it could also suffer from the same condensation issue, but yeah, it's looking like a power supply issue. However, it could also be a switch issue. Try using a different channel on the unit. You'll need to send in the 003 for service if it persists.

It's not from "trying to hard."


p.s.

Is it possible to be a "Gay Mother F*cker?"
Old 23rd May 2009
  #33
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Thread Starter
I use pop and socks.
While we're at it, does ayone have an SM7b for sale? I don't trust eBay with this sort of thing.
Old 23rd May 2009
  #34
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I had excellent luck with the Electro Voice RE-20 mic on screamers. It has a low output level so you do need a good mic pre. The Shure SM7b suggestion is also a good one, but the RE-20 will smooth a voice out even more and is sensitive enough to handle the spoken parts as well. You REALLY NEED A GOOD COMPRESSOR if you are BOTH screaming and then speaking in the same song. Otherwise its going to be very hard to hear both well at the same time unless you can keep one hand on the level control to turn it down for the screaming parts and up for the speaking ones.

J. Mike Perkins
Old 24th May 2009
  #35
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Thread Starter
anyone want to sell me an SM7b or a RE-20?
Otherwise, I'm giving the money to Sweetwater...
Old 25th May 2009
  #36
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audiogeek's Avatar
 

just say no

i never use a 414 on vox. just have never gotten the sound i want... usually too thin. vocalists usually have to eat the mic to get the right tone out of it, imo.

although the multi-patterns are nice. i'm usually going cardioid but occasionally like the bi-directional setting depending on the room.
Old 25th May 2009
  #37
I bought my sm7b (new) on ebay and got a good deal on it. Look for those "Best Offer" deals and low ball it. I think I got mine for like $280 or maybe $300, with a cable and a stand or something. As long as the dealer has 99% or higher, and a lot of sells, you should be good.

I definitely agree with the screaming / intense vocal with this mic. It's got this kind of compressed sound, which sits very well in a dense metal or rock song. I do run it through a Great River ME-1NV, because it has a fairly low output.

Also, you might want to look for a used Sennheiser 441, it has a very smooth sound and can also sit nicely in a dense mix. It can be found for around $300-400 used on ebay, which considering the new price, is a steal.

I'd definitely get a good preamp before you upgrade the mic, though You might really like what happens with your current vocal mic (or like a 58/57).

Hope this helps
Old 28th May 2009
  #38
Gear nut
 

Well I use to think that too and in fact how i met Jim williams was through a guy in NYC when i called him and said i was getting rid of my (2) 414 BULS and getting something else . He convinced me to call Jim and see what he could do
and 14 years later i still have them both and they are my favorite mics to use. I have over 30 other mics but in the end these are my go to mics for most anything
Now there is different mods depending on the type of 414 but the BULS are the ones i have and Jim has used them for classical as well as jazz recordings and they sound amazing. I also own a JIm Williams Audio Upgrade Pre so they signal chain doesnt suffer.
If you do get the one modified i bet you will never part with it
Give it a try
And for the guy looking for the SM7 i got mine on Ebay for $225 for a buy it now price and it was in mint shape
and no you cant purchase it from me
Old 28th May 2009
  #39
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RobinJacobsson's Avatar
 

Hi guys!

I have a question about the 414's. What is the difference between B-XLS and B-ULS ? I'm thinking about buying a 414 from US, It's cheaper than it's here in Sweden, but would like to know the difference between those extensions.

/Robin
Old 29th May 2009
  #40
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9th Ward Records View Post
While we're at it, can I get a preamp recommendation?
For the cheapest, I would recommend an FMR Audio Really Nice Preamp. It's the cheapest pre I've used that actually sounded OK, although when I was using my 002R as a primary interface, I got some decent mileage out of my RME Quadmic which I bought to go into the 4 lines in. Those can be found even cheaper than the RNP (hint, hint, alright, I'm shameless. I'm selling one).

However, I recently recorded a folksinger with a Seventh Circle J99 into a Metric Halo 2882 and really liked the results. I realize folk is pretty different from aggressive vocals, but I bet it would also sound great for that as well. The Seventh Circle N72 would also be a great bet.

For mics, it really depends on the voice. I would definitely second (or third) an RE20 or SM7B. I love RE20s on so many different sources. It's really a very versatile mic.

Edwin
Old 29th May 2009
  #41
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Fletcher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
What happens is just like your mirror in the loo. Get up on it, breath and that fog you see causes a short across the diaphram surface causing the polarization voltage to drop. After the fog evaporates, the mic restores current and works again.
If that were the case it would happen with new mics as well as old.

While I do not have direct capsule cleaning / rebuilding skills, I was given the "being held by the backplate due to increased weight" information by Klaus Heyne. No, I don't have self generated empirical evidence, but when it comes to capsules I am more than willing to take Klaus's word on technical issues as Gospel.
Old 29th May 2009
  #42
If one stops to think about it, the "being held by the backplate by increased weight" doesn't add up. If the capsule had increased weight, it wouldn't be held by anything but it's own mass, a mass suspended will return to it's position under Newton's law. It will not be "held" by anything but it's own mass. The same thing can be said of a speaker or dynamic mic cone. If that much dirt was there to increase the mass to the point it would swing back into the backplate, one would find the mic would have little high frequency response as that would be severly damped.

Now if that diaphram did smack and stick to the backplate, it would not be silent like the mic fading out due to moisture shorting out the current. You would hear a loud crack, so loud it would get your attention fast. I have heard that happen before from loose diaphrams. it's not the fade out effect the poster decribed.

Dirty diaphram U-87's have this problem. It happens because the dirt/grease/dust lodged on the diaphram creates a short when moisture is applied via the voice.
If one has one of these mics, just lightly breathing out on it shorts it out with little sound pressure, certainly not enough to push the diaphram back into the backplate. If that did happen, the dynamic range of conderser mics would be extremely limited. New 87's don't have the problem because the dirt is not there yet to short out the current across the diaphram under moisture.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 30th May 2009
  #43
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
this dirt adds weight, so when you get "loud" the diaphragm will temporarily stick to the capsule's "backplate" causing the microphone to shut down for period of time.
Quote:
While I do not have direct capsule cleaning / rebuilding skills, I was given the "being held by the backplate due to increased weight" information by Klaus Heyne. No, I don't have self generated empirical evidence, but when it comes to capsules I am more than willing to take Klaus's word on technical issues as Gospel.
I am sorry, Fletcher, there may have been a misunderstanding about what effect is caused by what action.
Let me quote you from my book's chapter on capsule contamination (shameless self-promotion for "The Vintage Microphone Handbook", to be published shortly by Hal Leonard):

The capsule should not get into contact with contaminants like dust, spit or dirt, for two reasons.
One, to keep the two types of capacitor surfaces - diaphragm(s) and back plate(s) - electrically well-insulated from each other: we are talking about a resistance of ten thousand-million ohms or more that is necessary to prevent the two capacitative sides to discharge against each other.

And two, to prevent these tiny foreign objects that have settled on the diaphragm to build up to a level where their cumulative weight would slow down the diaphragm’s ability to respond speedily and adequately to high frequencies.

Why does the mic's sound level drop and/or thundering discharge noises occur when I sing or speak into a contaminated capsule? Because the moisture emanating from my mouth will complete a conductive path formed by the accumulated contaminants. The moisture, with other words, will lower the high isolation resistance between the two capacitor plates enough to electrically shorten the capacitor (capsule) so that it no longer can hold its charge. This I refer to as ‘electrical collapse’.

The other form of collapse that usually exhibits slightly different audible symptoms than an electrical collapse is a mechanical collapse of the diaphragm.
It is most often encountered in AKG’s original CK12 capsules made from the 1950s to the 1970s: here, a large diaphragm surface (one inch or larger in diameter), which is entirely unsupported by any center attachment, unlike Neumann’s capsule designs, will with time and abuse eventually lose enough tension so that it can no longer resist the constant electrostatic suck created by the back plate’s polarization voltage. The diaphragm's center will then get sucked into and remain stuck against the back plate, either as a result of a hefty dose of ‘plosives, or sometimes just merely by the attraction of the back plate. The mic’s output drops significantly or, at minimum, the low end falls off so severely that the mic becomes useless.
In multi-pattern mics, a mechanically collapsed diaphragm can easily be confused with inadequate supply voltages- for example, a collapsed front diaphragm will show up as a healthy cardioid sound on the rear side of a mic that was switched to figure eight.
Old 8th June 2009
  #44
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
Why does the mic's sound level drop and/or thundering discharge noises occur when I sing or speak into a contaminated capsule? Because the moisture emanating from my mouth will complete a conductive path formed by the accumulated contaminants. The moisture, with other words, will lower the high isolation resistance between the two capacitor plates enough to electrically shorten the capacitor (capsule) so that it no longer can hold its charge. This I refer to as ‘electrical collapse’.
^ i leik this guy

That's why I won't by a used mic from eBay. ("like new, works great, only 1.5 ounces of spit")

Anyhow, I managed to get a good sound out of this mic on an acoustic guitar and a kick.
Old 9th June 2009
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
ha another Swiss-Slut!
Tichenese, too! If I ever win the lottery, I'm moving to Gandria...
Old 29th July 2009
  #46
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hazelmossobrien's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
I am sorry, Fletcher, there may have been a misunderstanding about what effect is caused by what action.
Let me quote you from my book's chapter on capsule contamination (shameless self-promotion for "The Vintage Microphone Handbook", to be published shortly by Hal Leonard):

The capsule should not get into contact with contaminants like dust, spit or dirt, for two reasons.
One, to keep the two types of capacitor surfaces - diaphragm(s) and back plate(s) - electrically well-insulated from each other: we are talking about a resistance of ten thousand-million ohms or more that is necessary to prevent the two capacitative sides to discharge against each other.

And two, to prevent these tiny foreign objects that have settled on the diaphragm to build up to a level where their cumulative weight would slow down the diaphragm’s ability to respond speedily and adequately to high frequencies.

Why does the mic's sound level drop and/or thundering discharge noises occur when I sing or speak into a contaminated capsule? Because the moisture emanating from my mouth will complete a conductive path formed by the accumulated contaminants. The moisture, with other words, will lower the high isolation resistance between the two capacitor plates enough to electrically shorten the capacitor (capsule) so that it no longer can hold its charge. This I refer to as ‘electrical collapse’.

The other form of collapse that usually exhibits slightly different audible symptoms than an electrical collapse is a mechanical collapse of the diaphragm.
It is most often encountered in AKG’s original CK12 capsules made from the 1950s to the 1970s: here, a large diaphragm surface (one inch or larger in diameter), which is entirely unsupported by any center attachment, unlike Neumann’s capsule designs, will with time and abuse eventually lose enough tension so that it can no longer resist the constant electrostatic suck created by the back plate’s polarization voltage. The diaphragm's center will then get sucked into and remain stuck against the back plate, either as a result of a hefty dose of ‘plosives, or sometimes just merely by the attraction of the back plate. The mic’s output drops significantly or, at minimum, the low end falls off so severely that the mic becomes useless.
In multi-pattern mics, a mechanically collapsed diaphragm can easily be confused with inadequate supply voltages- for example, a collapsed front diaphragm will show up as a healthy cardioid sound on the rear side of a mic that was switched to figure eight.
^^^ awesomely well put, and said so that it's easy to understand!

yea!
Old 30th July 2009
  #47
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Dee View Post
Tichenese, too! If I ever win the lottery, I'm moving to Gandria...
Ahahahah!! Very near to my house! I'm not living in Gandria though..10 min away..

If I ever win the lottery I'm moving to San Diego

Ciao!

Cheu
Old 31st July 2009
  #48
Gear maniac
 

[QUOTE=hazelmossobrien;4423965]^^^ awesomely well put, and said so that it's easy to understand!

And the reason why I am submitting my first post after years of lurking on this site. Thank you Klaus for that wisdom, and thank you all Slutz for everything I have secretly learned from you all these years. This is a great thread. Without getting too far off topic; I have several of the Blue Bottle Caps, live on the Pacific Coast in Northern California, and can't get a good sound out of them. I don't record vocals, but I believe I have a moisture problem with the capsules anyway, just from the high humidity of the coastal environment. If the capsules work at all, they will usually crap out eventually, usually in the middle of the best take, when they begin sounding like they are recording underwater. I've given up using them. Is there a fix for the moisture problems Klaus described, other than moving to Arizona? All my other mics work without problems.

Mike Cabaniss
Old 31st July 2009
  #49
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hazelmossobrien's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=cabbo;4428732]
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelmossobrien View Post
^^^ awesomely well put, and said so that it's easy to understand!

And the reason why I am submitting my first post after years of lurking on this site. Thank you Klaus for that wisdom, and thank you all Slutz for everything I have secretly learned from you all these years. This is a great thread. Without getting too far off topic; I have several of the Blue Bottle Caps, live on the Pacific Coast in Northern California, and can't get a good sound out of them. I don't record vocals, but I believe I have a moisture problem with the capsules anyway, just from the high humidity of the coastal environment. If the capsules work at all, they will usually crap out eventually, usually in the middle of the best take, when they begin sounding like they are recording underwater. I've given up using them. Is there a fix for the moisture problems Klaus described, other than moving to Arizona? All my other mics work without problems.

Mike Cabaniss
contact BLUE and send them in, they can take care of it, dunno at what cost though.

...Or maybe contact one of the godfather slutz on here. Jim williams or klaus might clean or re diaphragm. I know the guy from beez neez mic's does. If you start a thread asking for someone to clean/fix capsules you'll get tons of responses.

....but I'd call BLUE.

....and get a dehumidifier to store your mic's near, and perhaps some of those gel packets to keep in the case with the capsules.

Old 31st July 2009
  #50
Gear maniac
 

Thanks. I do run a dehumidifier. I think it's time to build a mic locker as well.

cabbo
Old 31st July 2009
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
If I ever win the lottery I'm moving to San Diego
Ciao!
Cheu
The house 3 doors down just went up for sale, only $767,000.
6996 Mimosa Drive, Carlsbad, CA. It was appraised at $900,000 3 years ago. 2,734 sq. ft. 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths.

I know a guy on the big island of Hawaii near volcano national park. It rains 200+ inches per year. He has industrial de-humidifiers installed, no air as it's cooler up the slopes. That unit poors out a continuous stream of water like a water pipe!

Even with that, he replaces his diaphrams every 5 years or so due to moisture damage. Cost of doing business...

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 31st July 2009
  #52
Gear maniac
 
antichef's Avatar
I've got two B-ULS mics that I often run without top-of-the-line preamps and I get results that are good for me (then again, I have no business being here in the high end forum). I generally use them for acoustic instruments and drum overheads, but have had good results on some (mostly female) voices.

One very practical issue I run into that would likely not be a problem with high end preamps is the lack of enough phantom power for the mics. In my experience, they want a fulsome and manly 48 volts (and that's not necessarily what my preamp/interface is serving up). I worked around that by getting a two channel phantom power supply, and now I'm happy.

I'm not familiar with the 002 (my 001 fell short, if I recall correctly), but this issue is worth considering. Without enough power, they're thin and crappy sounding, but I don't remember them cutting out. I don't notice the phantom power issue with some other condensers I have -- some mics are happy with less than the full amount, but not these, in my experience.
Old 31st July 2009
  #53
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The house 3 doors down just went up for sale, only $767,000.
6996 Mimosa Drive, Carlsbad, CA. It was appraised at $900,000 3 years ago. 2,734 sq. ft. 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths.

I know a guy on the big island of Hawaii near volcano national park. It rains 200+ inches per year. He has industrial de-humidifiers installed, no air as it's cooler up the slopes. That unit poors out a continuous stream of water like a water pipe!

Even with that, he replaces his diaphrams every 5 years or so due to moisture damage. Cost of doing business...

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

I'm going to think about it, Jim... but I'm not a US citizen...
for sure Carlsbad is an amazing place to be...and as a plus you get an incredible gear upgrader...hey there's Vigilucci's italian restaurants...and the Claim Jumper!! Yummi!!
Could I ask more?

I'll probably come back in october to pick up my stuff..

bests,
Cheu
Old 31st July 2009
  #54
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Jimbo's Avatar
Regarding the cutting-out issue with the mics:

My xlii demands a full 48v phantom. I've had it not turn-on completely (some leds light up, but no sound), and completeley cut-out. In both these cases I was using the mic for live stage use, and it came down to a problem with improper phantom from the PA board.

I now bring my Hamptone to each show, and never have a problem with 'lectricity to the mic.

....it also sounds great with the Hamptone!
Old 31st July 2009
  #55
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For loud rock vocals (screamers etc) its hard to beat a Great River ME-1NV and a SM7 or RE-20. I slightly prefer the RE-20 but its a bit apples and oranges. Even a 57 or 58 will work well for those duties. Throw a distressor or Purple FET 77 in the chain to keep things in range and you are good to go.

The thing I like about the GR is the ability to drive the gain to thicken the sound while rolling back the output so you won't hit the tape/daw too hard.

Besides the Great River is well know swiss army knife pre that will work well on a lot of different sources. The same chain will work just dandy on electric guitar cabs. For the project studio user.....you can track about everything you need with that combo.

I have recorded a lot of loud vocals with the 414 and a Great River. Just engage the pad and cut the lows. Its a very versatile mic that I have never had issues with in terms of SPLs. With the 20DB pad engaged I have recorded a cranked half-stack many times. No vocalist can compare to that noise level.

Old 31st July 2009
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9th Ward Records View Post
I own both the ULS and the XLII and I can never get a good sound out of them. I do a lot of wispering and screaming vocals, but I don't want to sound distorted like Rage or Manson, but that's all I seem to get with these mics.

I use the built-in preamps on my Digi 002 (I plan on buying a real preamp soon) and these mics randomly cut out and I have to turn off the Phantom Power and turn it back on.

I have had good luck with cheaper mics (like the AT4050) and feel like I've wasted my money on these.

(As many of you know, I'm not a real producer, but just some rich kid who spends 1/2 of his trust fund on stripper orgies and the other 1/2 on making myself look like a musician) Maybe you can help me make some sense out of this: All these little buttons are kind of confusing. Is there are recipe to use these mics? Just tell me what knobs to turn, what buttons to push and what plug-ins to use and I'll do it.

Thanks.
you have not stated how you are using the mics and what kind of screaming you do... there is no reason at all not to use a dynamic for screaming vocals. RE20 will do a great job pretty cheap .. get an FMR RNP pre..cheap as well, and it will take a TON of signal. It will do a great wisper job as well.

the 414's are fine mics, I actually use mine the most for 'old school' screaming (PLANT, GRAHM etc kind of stuff) but you have to be back a few inches and have a decent sounding vocal space..especailly in omni mode

the new school 'I sound like SATAN' vocals can best be done by holding an SM58 by the ball, leave a small opening in the front, put your lips on it and scream away.. this technique does not work well with condensers, it will make them shut off after a while...what kind of screaming are you doing?

the two mics you mention (414 and 4050) are the most used mics in my little space, but we are not doing much modern screaming.
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