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A mic discovery
Old 16th November 2002
  #1
Moderator emeritus
 

A mic discovery

I just finished an acoustic project - fiddle, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, banjo, dobro, acoustic bass, acoustic guitars, a baby Taylor guitar, and some other things.

For the last couple of years, I've been using a Neumann/Gefell M-582 with an M62 capsule for fiddles; it's by far the best fiddle mic I've ever heard. But on mandolin this week, I used another M582 with an M94 capsule - magic! It was one of the two best mando mics we (that is, me and the mandolin players) have ever used. If and when my THE mics with the 26MM capsules show up, I'll want to do an A/B comparison, but I was just knocked out by the sound of the M 582 on mandolin (when the THE was here, I was knocked out bay that - the mandolinist bought mine, and I've been waiting for the new one to show up). I just wanted to share that with someone... Now I want to find a dobro mic that sounds as good.

And incidently, I just noticed that this was my 500th post to Gearslutz.
Old 16th November 2002
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 

Re: A mic discovery

one word.


km56
Old 16th November 2002
  #3
Jax
Lives for gear
 

recorderman,

What about it?

How did it open your ears, and in what applications?

Thanks
Old 16th November 2002
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
recorderman,

What about it?

How did it open your ears, and in what applications?

Thanks
A-gtrs/National Gtrs/Dobro, etc.
I'm cutting "The Jenkins" with them and there's great! Glassy, Open,Airy...great mids'...LOVE THEM (sadly don't own 'em though).

BTW...wait till thisa record comes out...these Girls...can they write and sing....
Old 16th November 2002
  #5
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Dixie Chicks II soundin'?

I admit I kinda like the DC.
Old 17th November 2002
  #6
Moderator emeritus
 

Speaking of the KM56...

Quote:
Originally posted by recorderman


A-gtrs/National Gtrs/Dobro, etc.
I'm cutting "The Jenkins" with them and there's great! Glassy, Open,Airy...great mids'...LOVE THEM (sadly don't own 'em though).
And I've had less than stellar luck recording dobro and acoustic guitar with the same mic - recently, I've come to want a warm and creamy sound on dobro rather than a wiry aggressive sound. With acoustics, I almost always want a little sparkle in the top end, which usually sounds pretty nasty on resonator guitars.
Old 17th November 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Speaking of the KM56...



And I've had less than stellar luck recording dobro and acoustic guitar with the same mic - recently, I've come to want a warm and creamy sound on dobro rather than a wiry aggressive sound. With acoustics, I almost always want a little sparkle in the top end, which usually sounds pretty nasty on resonator guitars.
What about a U-47 up on the neck a bit pointing somewhat towards the resonator?

Rick
Old 17th November 2002
  #8
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman


What about a U-47 up on the neck a bit pointing somewhat towards the resonator?

Rick
You know, a 47 was what we (that is, me and the dobro plaer) were talking about trying on the next session. Standard placement here seems to be 8-12 inches over the resonator, between the bridge and the bottom of the instrument. But if fortune prevails, we won't have 14 zillion parts to put on in 2 sessions the next time, and I'll have a bit of freedom to experiment, both with mics and with placement.
Old 19th November 2002
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Just curious, how is the 582 on vocals? I know, depends on the singer, room, song etc. but is it generally ok or generally bad and never a first call? What else do you find yourself using it on?
Old 19th November 2002
  #10
I've had really good luck on dobro with mono U47 (or combined with one single mic of the following pairs), ribbons in Blumlein/x-y, and Neumann KM-86's in Blumlein (not all at the same time of course). 8/10 times I like to just step back a little into the room and find a natural spot that makes my ears happy...it tends to sound very balanced and more naturally leveled dynamically that way. But of course that really only works if the player is doing his/her part in isolation. I'd like to experiment with some m/s micing on it in the future. Not enough bluegrass for my tastes in these parts though.
Old 19th November 2002
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
Dixie Chicks II soundin'?

I admit I kinda like the DC.
No...way more soulful and hearrtfelt.
Old 19th November 2002
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Speaking of the KM56...



And I've had less than stellar luck recording dobro and acoustic guitar with the same mic - recently, I've come to want a warm and creamy sound on dobro rather than a wiry aggressive sound. With acoustics, I almost always want a little sparkle in the top end, which usually sounds pretty nasty on resonator guitars.
I cam agree with that. On this "Jenkins stuff" I was mixing aombinations of:
Km56, Royer122 ,C21 ,U47....mostly the first two. Mid neck positions w/ the '56....and bridge with the 122's. Usually two Gtr'ists at a time nfacing each other for the main rythm's.
Old 19th November 2002
  #13
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by recorderman

No...way more soulful and hearrtfelt.
Yeah, I don't look to the DC for soulful stuff. But I think they rock!
Old 20th November 2002
  #14
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Just curious, how is the 582 on vocals? I know, depends on the singer, room, song etc. but is it generally ok or generally bad and never a first call? What else do you find yourself using it on?
Never tried it, Jay - it's a small diaphragm mic, and I don't generally think about using small diaphragms when I'm setting up for vocals. My own fault, I guess - I've never even considered it. I guess I ought to, though...
Old 20th November 2002
  #15
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by recorderman

I cam agree with that. On this "Jenkins stuff" I was mixing aombinations of:
Km56, Royer122 ,C21 ,U47....mostly the first two. Mid neck positions w/ the '56....and bridge with the 122's. Usually two Gtr'ists at a time nfacing each other for the main rythm's.
I'm assuming that you're talking about miking acoustic guitars with these setups, right? Not Dobro? That actually brings us to another question - both you and Nathan talked about using multiple mics on dobro - how do you pan them? And if you do that on a lot of instruments, how do you avoid having what is essentially a huge mono track?
Old 20th November 2002
  #16
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


And if you do that on a lot of instruments, how do you avoid having what is essentially a huge mono track?
Not sure I follow what you mean Dave, since when is Blumlein mono? I find it to be very wide in natural stereo with a very natural open sound, especially in a medium size room where the sound isn't overly ambient.
Old 20th November 2002
  #17
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by NathanEldred


Not sure I follow what you mean Dave, since when is Blumlein mono? I find it to be very wide in natural stereo with a very natural open sound, especially in a medium size room where the sound isn't overly ambient.
Blumlein isn't mono, nor is XY, or any other stereo technique. But let's create an example. Take a 'typical' acoustic band - upright bass, mando, acoustic guitar, fiddle, and dobro. If you record each instrument in stereo (I think you said that you like to do overdubbed dobro), and pan each of these instrument tracks hard left and right, then all the insteruments will essentially be in the center of the stereo field. Does this make sense? If you'ge got the stereo acoustic panned hard left and right, then it's actually in the middle of the stereo field. Do that with every instrument, and there's no one off to the left or right sides - they're all in the middle. That's pretty much mono to me. Ambient mono, perhaps, but mono nonetheless.

When I'm mixing an acoustic act, I tend to pan the instruments to reflect more or less the way that they stand on stage. With the instrumentation mentioned earlier, bass would normally be centered, I could pan the mando and the acoustic slightly left and right, and put fiddle and dobro farther out on the left and right. That way, they each have a place in the sound stage.

Sure, you could do this with the relative levels of the left and right channels of each instrument, but I'm not completely sure how much the second track would help in that situation. For instance, with the acoustic guitar; if you recorded it in XY, you could set the volume of the left channel at 60% and the right at 40%, which would effectively move him to the left; reverse the mando levels so that he's 60% on the right ant 40% on the left. Then make the diffle and dobro 70%/25% left to right. But how much more helpful is that compared to finding the single best spot for a mic and panning it to the center, or to 1:00 or to 3:00?

Just playing devil's advocate, here...
Old 20th November 2002
  #18
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Kris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


You know, a 47 was what we (that is, me and the dobro plaer) were talking about trying on the next session. Standard placement here seems to be 8-12 inches over the resonator, between the bridge and the bottom of the instrument.
Hey, I must be getting good cause that's what my ears (actually ear, cause I was plugging one up) told me when I recently miced my first dobro in the studio... Thanks for the back D. Martin
Old 20th November 2002
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


I'm assuming that you're talking about miking acoustic guitars with these setups, right? Not Dobro? That actually brings us to another question - both you and Nathan talked about using multiple mics on dobro - how do you pan them? And if you do that on a lot of instruments, how do you avoid having what is essentially a huge mono track?
On Dobro, I was/am using either the km56 or the C12 (I f I remeber...I really don't worry...I jsut use the best mic I can find on that day with the part in mind and frequently switch mics if they don't reach a threshold of "yes!" on first listen). I'm only using one mic on dobro...finding the sweet spot with cans...wich has been so far up over the resonator, more towards the bridge.

As for using two mics on the A-gtrs...more for coverage. Generally If I use bothe later it's a balance between them, and usually there kept together...do for example, If I record an A-Gtr w/ a km56 on the neck and a 122 on the bridge on two gtrs...I'll pan both gtrs wide left & right and keep both mics for each gtr together (adding the 122 to the 56 if I feel I need more body&depth).
I always get the phase between the two (or more mics) spit on so I not having any of those issues.
Old 21st November 2002
  #20
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by recorderman


As for using two mics on the A-gtrs...more for coverage. Generally If I use bothe later it's a balance between them, and usually there kept together...do for example, If I record an A-Gtr w/ a km56 on the neck and a 122 on the bridge on two gtrs...I'll pan both gtrs wide left & right and keep both mics for each gtr together (adding the 122 to the 56 if I feel I need more body&depth).
I always get the phase between the two (or more mics) spit on so I not having any of those issues.
Well there you go - as long as it works for you.
Old 21st November 2002
  #21
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


Well there you go - as long as it works for you.
Actually I've been recording dobro fairly often lately and can never seem to get the whole instrument on one mic. I was lately using a Microtech Gefell (whatever their cool large diaphragm mic is) over the resonator, but when I added the 47 up the neck the instrument somehow became real. On that particular track, which was a duet with acoustic guitar on Amazing Grace, I still kept a stereo spread on the dobro mics, but had them panned over enough to get a sense of two players in two different places. Like how I would balance a B-3 against a piano. The difference was enough to where I made a mental note that in future bluegrass sessions I'm going to go the the extra effort to do stereo on all the instruments. Seems like acoustic bass is also hard to capture with just one mic.

Of course, you can capture an entire bluegrass band with just one mic, but that's anudder thang.

-R
Old 21st November 2002
  #22
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman


Actually I've been recording dobro fairly often lately and can never seem to get the whole instrument on one mic. I was lately using a Microtech Gefell (whatever their cool large diaphragm mic is) over the resonator, but when I added the 47 up the neck the instrument somehow became real. On that particular track, which was a duet with acoustic guitar on Amazing Grace, I still kept a stereo spread on the dobro mics, but had them panned over enough to get a sense of two players in two different places. Like how I would balance a B-3 against a piano. The difference was enough to where I made a mental note that in future bluegrass sessions I'm going to go the the extra effort to do stereo on all the instruments. Seems like acoustic bass is also hard to capture with just one mic.

Of course, you can capture an entire bluegrass band with just one mic, but that's anudder thang.

-R
Rick, I was talking to Bil Vorndick (those who don't know Bil may want to do an allmusic seach; the first name IS spelled like that) today, and he said that a U67 is his standard 'go to' mic for dobro. But I like your approach, especially with a duet. The other thing that Bil and I talked about is placing instruments in the stereo field, especially when you recod them in stereo. He said that a good starting approach is to go ahead and pan each instrument's mics left and right, then control placement with the relative volumers, as was mentioned earlier in this thread.

I worked with Byron House last week (the bassist on the new Nickel Creek record, the new Dixie Chicks record, and a bunch of other stuff that isn't coming to mind right now. We had enormous success with a Royer and a DI. I has been pretty happy with the Royer alone (in fact, it smoked the 77DX I usually use on my upright), but a hint of the DI made it all come together. In his case, both the mic and the DI were panned center.
Old 23rd November 2002
  #23
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dave-G's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Never tried it, Jay - it's a small diaphragm mic, and I don't generally think about using small diaphragms when I'm setting up for vocals. My own fault, I guess - I've never even considered it. I guess I ought to, though...
I'm often pleasantly surprised when I try SD mics on vocals. And, FWIW, I believe it came up in a conversation or perhaps an article somewhere that George Massenburg recorded a lot of the lead vocals on those Earth Wind & Fire records with a KM84 . . . . which to come off this tangent, is also quite nice on resonator guitars/dobros.

-dave
Old 23rd November 2002
  #24
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dave-G's Avatar
also, on the dobro tip, I've been pretty consistently pleased with Coles 4038 and/or Beyer 130 ribbon mics... somehow there hasn't been a Royer around when I've tracked dobro, but I would imagine it's lovely in that application.

-dave
Old 23rd November 2002
  #25
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by dave-G
also, on the dobro tip, I've been pretty consistently pleased with Coles 4038 and/or Beyer 130 ribbon mics... somehow there hasn't been a Royer around when I've tracked dobro, but I would imagine it's lovely in that application.

-dave
Well, I've tried both RCA 77's and my trusty 74B on different projects - both were too dark for the sound I needed. I seem to remember someone saying that the Beyers were fairly bright as ribons go - that may be an interesting experiment.

But I'll be tracking dobro either next Wednesday or the following Monday - if I can talk Bob Ohlsson into loaning me one of his U67's, I'll give it a whirl, and if I can round up one of the Beyers, I'll do the same.
Old 24th November 2002
  #26
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
[B]

Rick, I was talking to Bil Vorndick (those who don't know Bil may want to do an allmusic seach; the first name IS spelled like that) today, and he said that a U67 is his standard 'go to' mic for dobro. ]
Yup, I had mine on the fiddle for the above-referenced session, but at other times I've used a 67 on the dobro and the sound is just huge. In my situation, recording in a small room, it almost has to be an overdub because I like to get the mic off the instrument a bit.
-R
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