A good use for the cheap Chinese mics
Silent Sound
Thread Starter
#1
27th June 2010
Old 27th June 2010
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Silent Sound's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
A good use for the cheap Chinese mics

All of these cheap Chinese mics on the market now, and everyone wanting to know which ones sound best... but what about for the other ones? Microphones are, after all, just tools, and while some tools are more useful than others, there's still a use out there for just about any tool.

Today I recorded a Blumlein pair using an Apex 205 (also a cheap Chinese mic, but a good one) with a Avlex LDC in figure 8 mode on mandolin placed just a few inches from the body pointed at either end. The end result sounded really good. Sorry I won't be able to post anything, but using ribbon mic that was too dark with the LDC that was too bright, gave me some interesting options for EQ just using the volume and pan options. I don't think you could use that combination as drum OHs or anything, but I bet you could find other good uses for that combination when recording a single, smaller source.

Anyone else found good uses for their cheapo Chinese LDCs or any other bad sounding mic, using some creative thinking? That high frequency bump has got to be good for somethings...
#2
27th June 2010
Old 27th June 2010
  #2
Gear addict
 
chout's Avatar
 

I've used my cheap mxl's for snares and really liked the sound...mainly the sdc 603...its gets a nice snappy sound that cuts through a mix well.

My apex 205 beat out my beyer m160 tracking some guitars recently...the 205's darker sound was beneficial to the extremely bright tone the guitarist had.
#3
28th June 2010
Old 28th June 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
guitarmax_99's Avatar
 

Last year I used an MXL 990 to mic up a hammer dulcimer at an outdoor gig. Slid a windscreen on and put a high pass filter on it to minimize feedback. The instrument is tremendously bright by nature. It worked like a charm, and I didn't have to bring anything super nice to an outdoor gig (the kind where things are subjected to wear and tear and stand a higher chance of getting damaged or stolen!).
#4
28th June 2010
Old 28th June 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 

chinese capsules are bullshit

i used a mxl to drive a nail into a pine 2x4. then i used it to hold a door open. then i used it to keep a stack of papers from flying off my desk. this mic is great!
#5
28th June 2010
Old 28th June 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
Anyone else found good uses for their cheapo Chinese LDCs or any other bad sounding mic, using some creative thinking? That high frequency bump has got to be good for somethings...
A dozen years ago I mixed FOH for a jazz trio using a pair of MXL 2001-P's on the Yamaha grand piano, and the pianist was so impressed with his sound that he asked me if I'd sell him my mics! When I refused he wrote down the make & model # so he could buy his own pair.
#6
29th June 2010
Old 29th June 2010
  #6
Gear addict
 
chout's Avatar
 

I've found that my mxl 2003s are great tom mics too.

I've gotten nicer mics since, but I don't imagine parting with any of my cheapos.
#7
29th June 2010
Old 29th June 2010
  #7
Gear Head
 

The MXL 3000 has worked really well as a utility mic for me. On a rough day where I ended up forgetting the case of all my nicer stuff, I actually got a fantastic sound with it for an acoustic guitar track combined with a Shure Beta 58. The 3000 was near the 12th fret @ about a 45-degree angle towards the sound hole side, maybe 4-5 inches off the neck. The Beta 58 was above and in front of the guitar about 5 feet away, pointing down towards the neck/body joint. I was recording the kid for free, so it wasn't a huge deal that I forgot stuff, but it ended up sounding quite good, even if only God knows why.
#8
29th June 2010
Old 29th June 2010
  #8
Gear Head
 

Also, one more thing: sat in with a good friend recently on a session, and the drummer (who happened to be a VERY good session drummer) insisted on bringing his own mics. Most of the stuff wasn't exactly unheard of - a Beta-57 for snare, 3 AKG 451s for cymbals and hihat, an MD421 for kick. But oddly enough, he threw some red Avant CK-6s on the toms (only 2, a rack and floor), and I'll be kicked in the nuts if they weren't the crispest and cleanest thing I've heard on toms. Great detail, and they handled the close-mic'ing really well (not as close as you'd toss dynamics on, but they weren't more than a 4-6 inches from the heads). The way he set up had great rejection, too. If I didn't just get hitched, I'd pick up three of them. Even if they didn't work out, doesn't hurt to have solid utility FETs, right?
#9
29th June 2010
Old 29th June 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
mikethedrummer's Avatar
I was expecting:

Door stop
Paper weight
Talk back mic
Decoration
..someone keep the list going?
#10
29th June 2010
Old 29th June 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Puffer Fish's Avatar
My Nady RSM5 ribbon mics are great. I changed out the transformer on one of them. I plan on doing a side by side with the pair on a number of sources before I change out the transformer on the other one. Great for electric guitar--big, big sound. Wonderful for velvety, old school vocals. It is the short ribbon motor design. I plan on sometime acquiring an Apex 205 for the long ribbon version of the chinese ribbon mics.

The KEL audio mics are all from China, but they are a different breed and well worth purchasing and using on all sorts of sources based upon my limited experience with them. The HM2D sound awesome on drum toms and snare. It is a nice option for vocals, but only as an option to reel in some voices as I can see at this point. It sounds okay on guitar, but I have other microphones that sound better. i would really like to get at least one more KEL Audio mic.

These tools are better than door stops. Just like any other microphones, it behooves us all to read as much as possible so we know what to expect before bringing one of these cheapy Chinese mics home. Everyone always likes to say 'try them out first' but that simply is not practical for a lot of us. One exception is the KEL Audio microphones where the owner of the company has a very generous trail period. Obviously he suspects if you have one delivered to your house, you will not want to send it back.

Anyway, I think there are good uses for these mics. Although I admit, I am in no hurry to buy any of the microphones with the crazy bright top end. And of course, these mics are often candidates for mods to remarkably improve the sound quality. Even with mod $$$ added to the price, they are often great deals.
Silent Sound
Thread Starter
#11
29th June 2010
Old 29th June 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Silent Sound's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
So far, there's some interesting stuff here. But I was really trying to open a thread about uses for the mics without modding them. In other words, say you bought an old MXL back in the day as your first condenser. Years later you find it in your closet and have to blow the dust off the case to see what's inside. You are both embarrassed by it, and fond of those early memories. You can't sell it, cause it won't bring much (and the memories!), and if you are going to mod something, there are better mics out there to start with. So all that's left to do is find a use for it. It might be the perfect mike for a triangle or something. Who knows, that harsh high end might be the only way to get that tiny triangle to stand out in dense mix. It may only work as a triangle mic, but it could be the best mic you have for triangle.
#12
1st July 2010
Old 1st July 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 

MXL 2006 (89 € @ Music Store): good for vocals, acoustic guitar and some cymbals.

I bought it five years ago because it looked like a real mic and at the time I thought it was expensive. It's still my weapon of choice for vocals, beating these: Sennheiser MD-21, 421, 441, Shure SM-7B, 57, Rode NT3 & M-Audio Solaris.
#13
1st July 2010
Old 1st July 2010
  #13
Gear nut
 
CatInTheFurnace's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikethedrummer View Post
I was expecting:

Door stop
Paper weight
Talk back mic
Decoration
..someone keep the list going?
If you had 2 you could use the mesh guards as eyes for a very elaborate fancy dress costume and go to the party as a bumblebee?
#14
1st July 2010
Old 1st July 2010
  #14
Gear nut
 

A good use for the cheap Chinese mics

I just did a demoing session with my new band. I used the GJ method with two MXL v67i's as the OHs. There was a bit of nastiness in the high end, but I managed to eq it out without much loss of desirable high end. Nice mics... Especially for the money. Also, we tracked guitars with a Blue Ball on one speaker and a MXL R144 on the other and blended to taste. It's turned into a bit of a 'cheap mic' experiment, and it's been fun!
#15
2nd July 2010
Old 2nd July 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
It might be the perfect mike for a triangle or something. Who knows, that harsh high end might be the only way to get that tiny triangle to stand out in dense mix. It may only work as a triangle mic, but it could be the best mic you have for triangle.

Bad example: In my experience, cheap Chinese condenser mics are never the perfect mic for triangle. There are plenty of things they can work surprisingly well at, but triangle is almost universally not one of those things. In fact, a triangle (perhaps second only to a set of house keys) is practically the perfect test instrument to determine whether you have a nice condenser mic or a cheap condenser mic; it's a Pass/Fail proposition.
#16
2nd July 2010
Old 2nd July 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod View Post
i used a mxl to drive a nail into a pine 2x4. then i used it to hold a door open. then i used it to keep a stack of papers from flying off my desk. this mic is great!
So, did you find a better mic to hold the door open? Onewith a bit more ahhh.. stability, depth, clarity?

And did you do an AB test to find the best mic for a paperweight?

Do tell!

L
#17
2nd July 2010
Old 2nd July 2010
  #17
Gear Head
 

Alright, got a good one. MXL 3000 the other day worked WAAAY better for hihat than any of my SDCs. SDCs were too picky about placement. I couldn't get the right balance of rejection of hi-tom, snare, and crash (all placed close to HH), high end from cymbal resonance, and stick contact. Out of frustration I put up the MXL 3000 and it was just right, and much more forgiving about where you placed it. The MXL 3000, from what I understand, isn't really a large-diaphragm condenser, closer to an SDC despite the LDC-style body and side-address. But if it sounds good, use it, right?
#18
3rd July 2010
Old 3rd July 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 
rcb4t2's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikethedrummer View Post
I was expecting:

Door stop
Paper weight
Talk back mic
Decoration
..someone keep the list going?
Cheese grater? (with the right grill design...)
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
elisha wiesner / High end
47
catfish11 / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.