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Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios

Can you help identify the small cylindrical vocal mic used here on a 60's Dylan session, presumably CBS studios New York (possibly Nashville)
Attached Thumbnails
Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios-image.jpeg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Head
Electro-Voice 648 probably...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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jnorman's Avatar
Maybe an EV 646?
Attached Thumbnails
Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios-05098530-9d55-44ee-81de-c9280fce8003.jpeg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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Thanks guys, it does indeed look like one of those E-V's Interesting how big a mic back in the late 50's could still be considered a lavalier, compared with how they've shrunk to today's sizes.

http://www.coutant.org/data/646.pdf

Note in the description and specs sheet above, the option to engage a rising HF eq simply by turning a screw (Fig 3)....would that have been an active circuit, or something mechanical, like a phasing object in front of the diaphragm, which raised or lowered via the screw ? The spec sheet suggests the HF boost is best reserved for lavalier mode, which had the mic at mid chest or lower height

We could maybe use something like that today....to switch between diffuse and near field use with Omni condenser SD's ? It looks like the output impedance could also be changed at the transformer, between 50...150...250 ohms

I guess a dynamic Omni might've had a chance of taming the gravel in a young Bob's voice (not to mention that piercing harmonica !)...or maybe they were using it as a pre-Neumann trial, as you tend to see him in front of a U67 or 47 from the mid 60's on in most studio shots ?

In outdoor festivals of that era, plus the 1966 'Judas' tour, mostly the SD Schoeps or Neumanns with the white golfball windscreen are what's seen in historical video and still shots for voice and guitar recordings

I'm guessing the guitar mic shown in the pic is a KM56 ?

Last edited by studer58; 3 weeks ago at 05:32 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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The head grill looks like it has parallel lines like the KM54 (but not the KM54.) I can’t see the grooved pattern selector ring at the end of the mic near the cable connector. And the proportions of the shockmount (which would have been the Z38) to mic body look off. So I don’t think it is the KM56 though I can’t tell you what it is.

Update:
Never mind. Probably the KM56. I took the image into photoshop and played with contrast and brightness and I can find a telltale bump of the pattern selector on the edge of the image of the mic and the parallel lines on the head look possibly to be scan/pixellation distortions. As for the proportions being off, I think the whole picture is slightly elongated to fill the back jacket cover or it is a photo-angle aberration that is narrowing the mount. I don't think anyone else made a small spider shockmount back then but Neumann for the KM5x/KM25x series mics so that would have to be the KM56.
(this was doing my head in so much I pulled out one of my own KM56 and Z38 to see if I could get it to look the same )

Last edited by pentagon; 3 weeks ago at 12:32 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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jnorman's Avatar
Neumann km74?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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12ax7's Avatar
 

In that picture, I see THREE MICS:!

(...Two just on Bob's vocal.)
Attached Thumbnails
Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios-09-four_lights.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
(...Two just on Bob's vocal.)
I think what you are seeing as the second vocal mic is just the weird right-angle mount used with the EV mic. (unless you are spotting another object I'm missing)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
[INDENT]In that picture,[B] I see [I]THREE MICS
No I don't think so, do you mean there's one at the rear of his Harmonica holder ? It appears there's just a set of complicated gimbal adjusters for mic angle, for the vocal and guitar mic.

I found a few more pics from the same session...I'll add them soon
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
Here are pics from different angles...
Attached Thumbnails
Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios-4da4ff31-f55c-442d-95ec-c2ca59eb4a02-01.jpg   Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios-a65c1934-e1bd-46e8-8a51-a93f4b7cdff8-01.jpg   Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios-47fcdef7-c2dd-4b33-bff3-296f0c74c9ef-01.jpg   Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios-e99b5bb0-fb4e-40a6-8b50-212e96b0afeb-01.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
No I don't think so, do you mean there's one at the rear of his Harmonica holder ? It appears there's just a set of complicated gimbal adjusters for mic angle, for the vocal and guitar mic.

I found a few more pics from the same session...I'll add them soon
Ah...

...Right you are.

I can see that now that I've seen the photo at "full size".
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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Robo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
The head grill looks like it has parallel lines like the KM54 (but not the KM54.) I can’t see the grooved pattern selector ring at the end of the mic near the cable connector. And the proportions of the shockmount (which would have been the Z38) to mic body look off. So I don’t think it is the KM56 though I can’t tell you what it is.

Update:
Never mind. Probably the KM56. I took the image into photoshop and played with contrast and brightness and I can find a telltale bump of the pattern selector on the edge of the image of the mic and the parallel lines on the head look possibly to be scan/pixellation distortions. As for the proportions being off, I think the whole picture is slightly elongated to fill the back jacket cover or it is a photo-angle aberration that is narrowing the mount. I don't think anyone else made a small spider shockmount back then but Neumann for the KM5x/KM25x series mics so that would have to be the KM56.
(this was doing my head in so much I pulled out one of my own KM56 and Z38 to see if I could get it to look the same )
Possibly KM54a with Z29 attenuator? Makes it a little longer and has the ring selector you can see in the pic.

http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/Neumann/KM-54
Attached Thumbnails
Help identify this mic: Columbia Studios-image.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Freewheelin is my fav Dylan acoustic album
Produced by John Hammond and latterly Tom Wilson after Grossman fell out with John H.
Great cover.
Great Sounds.
Bob Dylan from 62 is good
The Times they are a Changin from 64 is variable in SQ, are the pics from that period, that was Tom Wilson, he was a jazzer.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Possibly KM54a with Z29 attenuator? Makes it a little longer and has the ring selector you can see in the pic.

http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/Neumann/KM-54
No, the headbasket of the mic in the pic is not as subdivided like that of the KM54 and the pattern selector ring bulge you can see with some photoshop manipulation is on the cable end like on the KM56. Just the spidermount looks very narrow compared to the Z38. It's an optical illusion of the camera angle or a lens/printing adjustment. Definitely can get my KM56 to look like that.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Freewheelin is my fav Dylan acoustic album
Produced by John Hammond and latterly Tom Wilson after Grossman fell out with John H.
Great cover.
Great Sounds.
Bob Dylan from 62 is good
The Times they are a Changin from 64 is variable in SQ, are the pics from that period, that was Tom Wilson, he was a jazzer.
All of the 60's Dylan albums had good sound and engineering....but the mono mixes of all received far more mix detail balance attention than the stereo (similar story to The Beatles here...) :http://www.electricdylan.net/General...MonoStereo.htm

Fortunately Sony/Columbia released them as a box set in 2010 (or better still, the individual 60's SACD/CD's from Mo-Fi, see further below): https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_...ono_Recordings

The forensic hunters have done a good FBI job on it : http://www.searchingforagem.com/1960s/MonoLPs002.htm

The ultimate mono version available now is probably the $20 SACD from Mobile Fidelity, which presumably has a regular CD layer sandwiched in there too :
https://www.mofi.com/product-p/udsacd2178m.htm

Last edited by studer58; 3 weeks ago at 03:23 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Here are pics from different angles...
Your welcome!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Your welcome!
Thanks for the 90 degree pic rotations Steve...was driving me nuts !
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
All of the 60's Dylan albums had good sound and engineering....
I don't agree entirely. The electric side one of "Bringing It All Back Home" sounded pretty tinny and ill-balanced. And the drum sound on his records never got good until "Blonde On Blonde".
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmusic View Post
I don't agree entirely. The electric side one of "Bringing It All Back Home" sounded pretty tinny and ill-balanced. And the drum sound on his records never got good until "Blonde On Blonde".
Ah, must be those stereo versions then...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Ah, must be those stereo versions then...
Nope, I didn’t hear stereo until 1967 at University. At home we had a blonde Philips console with two big speakers in beautiful MONO. (Eventually I used it as a guitar amp...) It was easy to hear how much beefier the Stones mixes were and how better recorded were the Beatles.

But side two of Bringing It All Back Home was excellent in all regards.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
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Robo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmusic View Post
a blonde Philips console with two big speakers.
Reminds me of someone.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Reminds me of someone.
She was also beefier and better recorded.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Lives for gear
I thought about posting this to the autophagic spiralling Miles/Kind of Blue thread, but since these guys have more of a Columbia Studios connection in general, this is probably the better place.

Some nice interviews with a few key players from that studio:

Don Puluse: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s7KX1G8zlWc

He talks about his work for CBS Records with Chicago, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Glenn Gould, Leonard Bernstein, Laura Nyro, Miles Davis, and others, with an emphasis on his time in the 30th Street Studio in New York City.

Frank Laico (on his 90th birthday.....should we all aspire to be this happy and have such good recall at that age !): includes many session sketches of mic placements, session photos and Laico recollections !

Part l... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KJbhGHmY_UA

Part II .... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wHPKf9CaQ-w

George Schowerer: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKMmFoNoEiM

Last edited by studer58; 1 week ago at 07:11 AM..
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