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Countryman Isomax 2 for instruments Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 17th December 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Countryman Isomax 2 for instruments

Hi folks,

I would like to hear about your experience with Isomax II on woodwinds (especially flute) and stringed instruments, like guitar and harp. They look like a great alternative for DPA mics, with plenty of mounting options, but really not many reviews and sample out there.
I'm interested to use them both in live/project studio application. In studio as close-up mics in addition to stereobase. So probably with hypercardiod pattern.
I appreciate your input. If you can supply some recording samples that would be even better!

Thanks a lot.
Old 17th December 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
I am a devoted user of Countyman Isomax II's.

There are lots of posts regarding them on the forum.

See: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remot...i-similar.htmlfor starters

A search for Isomax or Countryman will yield many more results.

I have used them for everything from symphonic work to live TV sports.
Rugged, sonic excellence, great response, small profile and a great company if and when you need service.

Regards;
Danny
Old 17th December 2010
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thanks, DannyL. Actually I have read that thread before and your posts inspired me to do more research on this mic
However some samples would be really good to hear as well as getting some tips on using\positioning this mic on flute and cello.

Flute, as most woodwinds, is especially problematic to get sound right.
Old 28th January 2011
  #4
Here for the gear
 

The flute sounds really cool on stage with Isomax H. One could expect a harsh sound from so close positioned mic, however it is not the case. The sound is very natural and mellow. The mic doesn't capture breath or other wind noise, yet gives a very detailed sound.
What it does capture, however, is the keys action.

I think it will be also very useful in recording as an auxiliary mic. Will put later some samples.

BTW, occasionally learned that Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) uses this mic for amplyfing the flute on stage since 80's.
Old 4th September 2011
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Hi,

it's a bit off-topic, but I am not that familiar with Isomax series, and hanging intrument mics. So my question is the following, is it a bad idea to use the Countryman Isomax-II-O for vocal and or speech, interviews and so on, as hidden lavalier mics?

Thanks!
Old 4th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kecske View Post
Hi,

it's a bit off-topic, but I am not that familiar with Isomax series, and hanging intrument mics. So my question is the following, is it a bad idea to use the Countryman Isomax-II-O for vocal and or speech, interviews and so on, as hidden lavalier mics?

Thanks!
I don't think that's such a good idea for Isomax II omni... It is a rather dark mic, you would need to boost some presence for speech and since it is also rather noisy, you would get too much noise for speech. Maybe if you use it very near the mouth - but that's not "hidden" then...

It's a great mic, though, just not for this application IMO. I use it inside the udu drum and it's perfect for that and I lent it a couple of times to my friend oud player (arabic lute) who used it live on stage - it provided great sound plugged into the AER acoustic amplifier and also directly to FOH... despite being omni we didn't have problems with feedback - since it was taped on the body of the instrument, near one of the sound holes of oud - so it was picking it up directly and very naturally I must say.

Inside the udu drum - with just a bit of high boost on the console - it works great - strong bass, not much feedback problems, nice clay tone... but I'm talking live applications, not for the studio.
Old 5th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 

The Kronos Quartet has used Isomax mics as stick-on bridge mics on stage and in the studio for many many years now. They nearly always have standard (Neumann) mics as well (KM140 under for live, U87 over in the studio) and their engineer makes their sound out of a combo of both, for live and recording. They sound great to me!

phil p
Old 5th September 2011
  #8
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
The Kronos Quartet has used Isomax mics as stick-on bridge mics on stage and in the studio for many many years now. They nearly always have standard (Neumann) mics as well (KM140 under for live, U87 over in the studio) and their engineer makes their sound out of a combo of both, for live and recording. They sound great to me!

phil p
Yes, they work very well directly on the body of the instrument (which is dealing with a very loud sound source - even such a "quiet" instrument as oud (arabic lute) is very loud if listened near its sound holes where we put the mic - or violin at the bridge, phew, that's sonic torture of piercing mid-range loudness, even when played softly...), but the last question was about the use for speech as hidden lavaliers - they are honestly too dull sounding (actually linear, no "speech range" boost as most lavaliers have) and noisy for that - I tried it... You have to boost them too much to get acceptable levels of speech (if you don't use them as headset - directly near the mouth where they don't require any presence boost - for that position they might be fine, although still quite noisy) and so you get too much noise. If you hide them away from the direct source as quiet as speech is - there is no way to get a good enough noiseless signal.

(headset sample of Isomax II-O attached)

I also attach turkish ney samples (sorry for poor playing) - to show the noise is not an issue with micing instruments - it picks them up very naturally as they really sound - ney is a quite breathy and sharp sound - it's not mics fault - it works perfectly I must say. I don't have much samples, since I use it mostly live for percussion and as I said a couple of times for the lute - oud. The samples are all without EQ or anything - showing the mic as it is... I just added reverb on the last sample - like one would always do for ney - it just doesn't sound right without it.
Attached Files

Isomax II as headset.wav (3.41 MB, 1262 views)

Isomax II as ney flute mic.wav (3.25 MB, 1301 views)

Isomax II as ney flute mic reverb.wav (6.91 MB, 1465 views)


Last edited by The Listener; 5th September 2011 at 10:01 AM.. Reason: adding a sample
Old 5th September 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al9chemist View Post
The flute sounds really cool on stage with Isomax H. One could expect a harsh sound from so close positioned mic, however it is not the case. The sound is very natural and mellow. The mic doesn't capture breath or other wind noise, yet gives a very detailed sound.
What it does capture, however, is the keys action.

I think it will be also very useful in recording as an auxiliary mic. Will put later some samples.
That's good to know. I might need a flute mic for a live sound application in the near future. I'm a big fan of the DPA 4099 for acoustic instruments and own several, but it's a little larger than I'd like to see on the flute, since you can't separate the head from the gooseneck. The Isomax looks like it will be less visible and distracting to the audience. Key-clicking sound won't be a problem because this will be used on keyless flutes. Please do post some samples, if you can.
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