18th September 2012
18th September 2012
^^^ lol....yep, I think that one wins the ice pick competition.
I just got a blast from the past tonite when I mentioned this thread to a friend of mine who does live sound:.
We were standing by his FOH board at a gig he was doing, talkin' about useful dirt-cheap mics, when he casually reached over, pulled open a drawer in the rack and dug down under all the pigtail adapters and whatnot and pulled out an old Radio Shack 588 (circa 1977)!
The 588 was basically a cheaply-made version of an sm58-type "balltop" mic which was stuffed with out-of-spec (but fully functional) '58 capsules rejected by Shure.
They're kinda "hit and miss" on frequency response and/or sensitivity, but if you can manage to get the right ones in front of the right instruments, its kinda like gettin' a free "one-preset" EQ with each mic!
For this reason, back when I first started doing live sound in the late '70s (when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth), you could trade those things like baseball cards or marbles among economically-challenged "in the know" sound-brethren.
The weak ingredient of the 588 was the windscreen: Not only was it made outta cheap screenwire (really more suited to keeping mosquitoes out of your kitchen than it was for a microphone), but also the foam inside the balltop was crap even when it was new. (So you can best bet that if you have one of them today, its pretty much cheese.)
If you happen to find a box of 'em somewhere try pulling off the balltops, and go through 'em one-by-one, trying 'em on guitar cabs!
...Anyway, back to the story:
Just for yucks, when setting up the next band, my friend added the 588 as a second mic on one of the guitar cabs. - And yep: Sure enough, the 588 just happened to sound better!It can really put quite a silly grin on your face to be tracking a great-sounding guitar part with absolutely NO EQ using a mic that cheap!When recording, don't forget to try 'em with different mic preamps, just like you would with more expensive mics. (Some folks tend to forget this matters, even with cheap mics.)