Hi Eric - I note you like using these for Toms - quite an esoteric choice!
I have only ever seen/used one in my life on vocals, and acoustic guitar, I'd describe it as a fairly neutral mic with lovely clear top end.
What do you prefer about the C12A on Toms as opposed to the "usual suspects"?
I first heard about using C12As on toms in an Alan Sides article. He said it was his favorite tom mic. I tried it and really liked it. It is a very natural sound on toms. C12As are a little smoother sounding than regular C12s and seem to have a really great tonal balance for toms. They always come up in the control room sounding very much like the toms do when you're sitting behind the kit. I have always felt like 421s need a lot of EQ before they start sounding anything like the toms in the room. I do occasionally use other stuff when I am going for a specific effect. On the Slash album I was using AKG D20s on the toms for a dryer thuddier sound.
Was that Matt Laug on drums for the Slash recording. Matt is a friend and what an amazing drummer
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The majority of the drums on the slash record were played by Josh Freese. Dave Grohl played on 'Watch This', Steve Ferrone played on Back From Cali and Starlight. Steven Adler played on a song called Baby Can't Drive.
Eric, did you had the chance to work with "budget" OHs mics that you actually liked? Something like the Sm81 maybe?
I do own an SM81 and do use it. It was the mono room mic on the recent TBS record. There is also this crazy Apex 460 tube mic that is impossibly cheap. You can get it for $189 with a great shock mount, power supply, and plastic case! Its insane. I couldn't get someone in the US to make the metal housing for that microphone for less than $200. Anyway, it is an incredible value. The mic actually sounds pretty good as is. Its a little hypey sounding in the high end. Not the most natural sound I've ever heard in my life but totally usable. We moded the circuit to replace some of the very cheap components and clean up some lazy choices in the circuit design and it sounds a bit better (there is lots of info about mods for that mic on the web). I am still searching for a replacement capsule. If I find the right capsule there is no reason that mic wouldn't be as usable as my 67s or 251 or C12As.