Gearslutz

Gearslutz (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/)
-   So Much Gear, So Little Time (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/)
-   -   Anyone still using PZM mics out there? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/1142844-anyone-still-using-pzm-mics-out-there.html)

Phil Cibley 6th March 2017 08:40 PM

Anyone still using PZM mics out there?
 
I remember when these were all the rage in the '80s with people putting them
everywhere from piano lids to walls to stage floors etc. Now I don't see too
many articles mentioning their use, so besides conference room tables, and
podia, are any of you still using PZMs for anything?

joeq 7th March 2017 05:09 AM

I still use them. They make great room mics, I use them a lot on percussion overdubs. They make a nice 'alternative' kick drum mic, just sitting on the blanket inside the drum.

They are also a great contender for documenting jams, rehearsals and gigs. Slap em on the wall and hit record. It might not always be what you want for an album, but the same reason you want them for the 'conference table' is why they are great for this purpose - have a certain kind of 'clarity' - that I would call "informational" - almost "forensic" - if that makes any sense.

I don't do the piano lid thing - most of my piano recording is too "serious".

RightOnRome 7th March 2017 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil Cibley (Post 12485504)
I remember when these were all the rage in the '80s with people putting them
everywhere from piano lids to walls to stage floors etc. Now I don't see too
many articles mentioning their use, so besides conference room tables, and
podia, are any of you still using PZMs for anything?

this^ was me big time in those days!

arnoldorodeo 7th March 2017 06:21 AM

I never heard such a massive kick drum since I saw a PZM in action !! Far far better than the usual Shure etc...

dfchandler 7th March 2017 11:36 AM

I still use mine. Everything but vocals.

Denny

chrisso 7th March 2017 11:48 AM

I've seen them sitting in bass drums quite a bit recently.

James Lehmann 7th March 2017 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil Cibley (Post 12485504)
I remember when these were all the rage in the '80s with people putting them everywhere from piano lids to walls to stage floors etc.

Yup! I had a couple of $20 Radioshack ones permanently taped to the ceiling of the rehearsal room.

Come to think of it, they might still be up there! kfhkh

Beefyblue 7th March 2017 12:53 PM

Yep! Got a pair up permanently up on the walls in the live room. I'll usually record when doing drums and they're great for some room/extra width if needed.

Phil Cibley 7th March 2017 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RightOnRome (Post 12486396)
this^ was me big time in those days!

But are you using them today?

Phil Cibley 7th March 2017 02:24 PM

Good replies, thanks everybody. Joeq: I've pretty much found the same thing
as you. I never liked them on piano lids, but then again I'm not really a fan
of putting any mic that close to the strings of a piano. Back in the day I
remember putting one on a ceiling over a bed for a film shoot (no it wasn't
porn) and liked the clarity, but it picked up too much of the room. Lately
I've been thinking about resurrecting 1 or 2 PZMs for down and dirty rehearsal
recordings. I guess there are many others who think the same way.

junkshop 7th March 2017 03:11 PM

I have 2 old realistic ones that have been modded for 9 volt operation. I still bust them out every now and then but not as often as I did in the days before I had nicer mics. Like everybody else I like them as an alternative room mic. Often they end up being a live room talk back mic ( into a limiter so things don't blow up) and just as often they'll end up getting tracked. Inside kick drum is also pretty great.
I don't like them taped to the lid of grand pianos but I do like them taped to the foot panel of uprights. Combined with something nice on the back (d19 or d224 are favourites) they work really well.

JAT 7th March 2017 04:02 PM

An old but good Crown usually sits on the wood floor in front of the kick - haven't tried inside of one.

Brent Hahn 7th March 2017 04:22 PM

I have 4 Beyerdynamic boundary mics of the type intended to go in a hole in a conference table. Got 'em really cheap on eBay -- maybe $15 apiece. I've used them without the boundary for bg vocals and as room mics on acoustic instruments. Without the boundary they have no bottom at all, but the rolloff is extraordinarily natural-sounding.

Phil Cibley 7th March 2017 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brent Hahn (Post 12487118)
I have 4 Beyerdynamic boundary mics of the type intended to go in a hole in a conference table. Got 'em really cheap on eBay -- maybe $15 apiece. .


Interesting. My local Guitar Center had about 10 of these recently at
a similar price. Must be some Karmic thing going on.

James Lehmann 7th March 2017 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by junkshop (Post 12487006)
I have 2 old realistic ones that have been modded for 9 volt operation.

I think there was even another mod that enabled them to work with Phantom power?

MaxwellJPorter 7th March 2017 05:22 PM

Yes here at the Cleveland Institute of Music we use them for every opera production we do. We can't have hanging mics because they get in the way of the set, props, and the supertitles projector for the lyric translations. The pzm mics work great in this scenario.

junkshop 10th March 2017 04:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by James Lehmann (Post 12487148)
I think there was even another mod that enabled them to work with Phantom power?

Yes although it's trickier to implement then the 9 volt mod. I've thought about it a few times but honestly the price of a used crown makes it seem like too much trouble.

James Lehmann 10th March 2017 09:37 AM

Amusing to note the number of slutz of let's say 'a certain vintage' coming out to roost in this post. :heh:

Throw us a 'bone of nostalgia' like this and we're all over it!

<< resumes editing backing vocals on an Akai S900 >>

kafka 10th March 2017 01:41 PM

I remember the whole "get a couple of Rat Shack PZM's and be done with it" thing. I know there's a product for every amount someone wants to spend, but how much have PZM's improved since then?

oudplayer 10th March 2017 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kafka (Post 12494707)
I remember the whole "get a couple of Rat Shack PZM's and be done with it" thing. I know there's a product for every amount someone wants to spend, but how much have PZM's improved since then?

Well, there's the Schoeps BPM03 for a more "high fidelity" take on the PZM formula... I'm pretty sure that's what the San Francisco Opera uses as their main foot mics.

Jesse Mangum 10th March 2017 07:51 PM

I have a pair of 819's stuck to the wall behind my upright piano; they work GREAT for this application.

Aural Endeavors 10th March 2017 11:49 PM

No but I'd like to get a set of Crowns, as they bring back some good mammories.

Gaz D 11th March 2017 01:35 AM

Weve got a pair of crown PCC 160s on the back wall of our live room. I like them. They just sound like the room. Very clear. Got them going into 2 RND 511s. Very convenient having them permanently gaffa taped to the wall.

Weve got a SM91 that gets used inside kik occasionally. Not my preference but 2 of the guys use it.

joeq 11th March 2017 03:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aural Endeavors (Post 12495976)
No but I'd like to get a set of Crowns, as they bring back some good mammories.

the remind you of the time you recorded Dolly Parton?

Aural Endeavors 11th March 2017 03:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeq (Post 12496396)
the remind you of the time you recorded Dolly Parton?

Haha yeah, something like that. Memories, too.

John Willett 11th March 2017 12:43 PM

If, by PZM, you mean a boundary mic. - then, yes.

NB: A PZM is a boundary mic., but a boundary mic. need not necessarily be a PZM.

I have a pair of the Neumann GFM 132 and I also use the Maier Sound "Turtle" that will convert almost any small diaphragm condenser into a boundary mic.

I don't use them all the time - but there is definitely a need to use them at times.

The best boundary mics, IMHO, were the Neumann and Shcoeps - though the Neumann is now discontinued; and the Crown PZM was good.

A lot of modern boundary mics weem to be low cost devices designed to be used on stage by a band - which is why I find the "Turtle" so useful as I can use any mic. I want.

kafka 11th March 2017 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Willett (Post 12496860)
I have a pair of the Neumann GFM 132 and I also use the Maier Sound "Turtle" that will convert almost any small diaphragm condenser into a boundary mic.

That looks really cool.

robert82 11th March 2017 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brent Hahn (Post 12487118)
I have 4 Beyerdynamic boundary mics of the type intended to go in a hole in a conference table. Got 'em really cheap on eBay -- maybe $15 apiece. I've used them without the boundary for bg vocals and as room mics on acoustic instruments. Without the boundary they have no bottom at all, but the rolloff is extraordinarily natural-sounding.

Don't you essentially end up with a micro-capsule omni mic this way?

bitman 11th March 2017 03:33 PM

I was going though my mic closet last weekend, (A wooden file cabinet with all the mics in pouches stuffed in there), looking for a particular one, Unzipping a pouch I came across my rat shack pzm. I thought "Oh, the pzm, I forgot about you" and went on searching. I used to use it for pianos. I replaced it's head amp with an amp from Elliot Sound so it's both balanced, phantom powered and hotter than you can believe.

Don't know it I'll ever use it again or be able to sell it for the level it which it performs. I can see it be one of the last things sold off in my estate sale. Along with the minimus-7s

Old guys and their, silly whims.

bumpkin

fritz.john 11th March 2017 03:43 PM

I bought a stereo PZM mic many years ago and had it modded for a touch more output by the guy that made it at Crown. Don't remember the model number but it looks like a head rest. I haven't used it in ages. I think it's time to take it out for a spin again. Maybe another set of drum room mics... I remember it was very "realistic" sounding. No color.