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The SM57/MD421 amp micing thread
Old 25th May 2020
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProgFree View Post
A md421, a sm57 and John Eppstein walk into a bar...
Eppstein asks the bartender how much Laphroaig he can get for each mic.
Old 25th May 2020
  #32
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
I know, off-topic, but can we get any love for a 441 on guitar?

KOTS
Not on electric, not really
Old 25th May 2020
  #33
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Works for me. Little classier sound.

I like Royers for guitar, too. And U-87s. Actually, any good mic if you have a good guitar sound going. I did some stuff at Capitol and they have a whole bunch of old ribbon mics they usually don't use for loud guitar because they are kind of delicate. But they let me use them for some stuff and they sounded really cool hitting them hard [don't tell : )].

But this is off the topic, and 57 / 421 is indeed a venerable combo, especially for rock.


KOTS
We use all the ribbons, bar exposing them to distraction. I dont like Royers, although we have 6 of them (122's, 121s). Much prefer Coles, AEAs, even dx77 occasionally, personally like Sentronics, occasionally BK5A/B and really like Crowley and Tripp ribbons (now owned by Shure). But usually they are secondary blend.
Condensers (u67, u87are) my primary source. And of course dynamics like Sennheiser md409, Sennheiser md906, Heil PR30,AKG D19s, Bayer m201. Havent used 57s much at all in the last 10 years, and Sennheiser md241 for the probably since the 90s. Sennheiser md441 overdrives very easily and not in a nice way, as is similarly sensitive AKG D224E. Nice on acoustics, but hate them on electrics.
Old 25th May 2020
  #34
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Yeah... 3 to 1 rule. I generally adjust the mics while listening to the results. Headphones or someone in the CR telling me what's up in there. That said, I've been recording guitars with a single U87 lately. About 4 feet from the cab. I might never go back.
I tried a tlm103 about 5 feet away on a distorted lead slide track yesterday and it turned out great! Thanks for the tip! I usually combine a tab 57 with a 421 and a ribbon on a mesa 4x12 open and closed back cab 421 and 57 on one open back and the ribbon on a lower closed back speaker. Gives you the option to add a darker source to blend if needed.
Old 25th May 2020
  #35
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
... and John walks out unscathed after beating the MD421 into a pulp by using the SM57 as a hammer...
If a Shure SM57 is a hammer, then an EV-664 was a 25 kilo sledge! :D

On a serious note, at least for live reinforcement of guitar cabs, I very much liked EV 635A/PL-5 Mics. They are cheap but serious quality and being omnidirectional have less weird bleed from lobes but balanced ambience and even work well just draped over a cab pointing at the floor as well as on a stand pointing at the speaker. Never tried that for recording though. For recording, I guess I just fell into the SM57 + DI crowd as "good enough"
Old 25th May 2020
  #36
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sm57/md421/m160

57/421 is the 'classic' combination which i've adopted as my default festival patch a long time ago, a pair on each side of the drum riser (which of course can get split into four individual mics on some rare occasions); adding a beyer m160 gets me all options i need.
Old 25th May 2020
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
I know, off-topic, but can we get any love for a 441 on guitar?

KOTS
More than for the 421, for damn sure. 441s work pretty well on most anything. 421s don't, and they have some of the worst off-axis response in the whole world.
Old 26th May 2020
  #38
Lives for gear
I stopped using 421's for that reason. I like the sound of it close, but the bleed just sucks.

That one detail took me on a long search for better alternatives of Large moving coil. Now I have EV38, 409-U3, FV300, DM1000, all kinds of uncommon stuff.
Old 26th May 2020
  #39
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Well, like it or not, if you want "that sound" out of the old ribbons, you kind of have to hit them hard. Not great for the elements, but ..........that's how you get that compressed vibe.

If you don't like Royers on electric guitar, then you are the Lone Ranger on that one, man. But to each his own.

I don't know about some of the other stuff you mentioned. So I can't really speak to those. But you may have too many options. : ) What kind of console are you using with all those?

I agree on the large body condensers, esp. U87s

If you have the problems you describe with your 441, then I would say you have a broken one, because in my experience they do not behave as you describe. Very nice for electric guitar, even alone [no 57 required : )]. As John Eppstein also mentioned, they are just great mics that work well for a lot of sources.

All that said, you should be able to get an effective rock guitar sound with 57 and a 421, either separately or together, right?


KOTS
I know many who don't like Royers. They are liked for the mid-range on heavy guitars. Sound kinda dull on everything else. And the mid-range can be had better from many cheaper mics. One of the ribbons I didn't mention is the M160. Not very versatile but very useful overall.
441 - I have 6 of them. In front of a driven amp closer then 1 foot it distorts real quick. All of them. They are good mics but for guitars - only in some instances. On acoustic - very nice.
I can get a decent guitar tone with 57 alone (m241 is not a favourite). But can get a better tone with the others.
Old 26th May 2020
  #40
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Ha ha, now you're just argumentative, I think, with perhaps a strongly held opinion that you wish to promote. IMO, its safe to say that Royers are generally well-liked for guitar.

And it also sounds to me like you have 6 broken 441s. Don't know how the hell you managed that. : ) Also not too sure why you would need 6 of them.

We do understand that you have lots of guitars and audio equipment. You have more "stuff" than most of the other posters here. But, FWIW, sheer amount of money or equipment does not carry the day, imo. Unless you are a music store or rental company as a side business. : ) Even then, making music is definitely not a contest for who can buy the most gear.

With all the other stuff you are collecting, I keep wondering what kind of console you have. That's where it all happens, you know. You don't want a half-ass console sh*ting all over a cool guitar sound, right?

BTW, you keep referring to m241. Are you meaning to say 421? The thread is about 421s and 57s, right?

Take it easy.



KOTS
All our mics are in EXCELLENT working condition. And are used daily. The large number allows us various option and also availability should the same model be required in both studios.
Studio A has a 72 channel SSL 4072 G+. Plus 66 channels of outboard pre-amps. Serving a 120sqm main room with 2 booth. 5m ceiling and acoustically balanced design
Studio b has a 64 channel Tonelux /API modular, with motorised automation. Plus 72 channels of outboard pre-amps. Serving a 111sqm main room with 2 booth. 5m ceiling and acoustically balanced design
There are other smaller areas
The inventory has 460 mics. Lots of outboard.
I think we are OK sound-wise, don't you think?
Old 26th May 2020
  #41
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Nah. I don't care for those consoles myself. But its your studio, not mine, and your decision on what kind of console you like, obviously.

You're actually using all 6 of your 441s daily, in two rooms?

I dunno, there are so many vanity studios all over the globe now, but most of the real good work gets done elsewhere, it seems.

Here ya go. https://www.uniqhotels.com/nhow-berlin









KOTS
I have no doubt you have a better one. So your comments are not envy, but just an honest opinion based on xxxx facts.
However, we work with professionals who want THAT sound, so there it is.
WRT the 441s, I usually use one on the bottom of the snare. Other engineers use a few at a time. Occasionally as a secondary "sound" vocal mic. Sometimes in an acoustic guitar array (or the AKG224E). To supplement brand (Neumann, Gefell, Schoeps....) mic. Also as they do go bad, I always have a backup. I don't select one, just get one from the shelf. So yes, they are in continuous rotation. And yes, I have many years of experience using them.
And no, its not vanity. Its having the required tool available within a few minutes and spares on hand, so as not to slow down the session and the creative process. This is called PROFESSIONAL SERVICE.
Old 26th May 2020
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
I fairness, 421s do work pretty well for Toms. Do you like them there?

Sax players seem to favor them also, now that I think about it.
no bashing of 421's here: i've been using them on toms, congas, timpanis, kick in earlier days, leslie (mostly low), horns, sax, guitar combos/stacks, bass cabinets etc.
has been working very well for hundrets of drummers/percussionists/horn sections, for anyone from the neville bros, dr. john, tower of power, blues brothers, irakere, ruben blades e il son del solar, michael landau just to name a few...

...but of course the 421's are far from being the only dynamic mics in my collection: md421, md441, e906, re20, m201, m88, re20, sm/beta57, sm/beta58, m80, m81 etc.
Old 31st May 2020
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Well, like it or not, if you want "that sound" out of the old ribbons, you kind of have to hit them hard. Not great for the elements, but ..........that's how you get that compressed vibe.

If you don't like Royers on electric guitar, then you are the Lone Ranger on that one, man. But to each his own.
Actually he's far from the Lone Ranger, but given the intense amount of Royer Hype on the internet most people who don't like their mics broken from the factory don't usually talk about it much.

WAIT A MINUTE! That's this "broken from the factory" stuff?

Well, it has to do with David Royer's "patented" "two sounds out of one mic" thing.

You see, when designing and building a figure 8 (bi-directional) ribbon mic it is utterly crucial to get the ribbon centered exactly (front to back) in the magnetic gap. If you don't do this your frequency response will not be balanced from front to back. Since figure 8 mics are intended, by design, to have identical front and rear response this is pretty crucial - if your back doesn't have the same response as the front then your off-axis room tone is going to be pretty screwed up, and if you try to do traditional figure-8 ensemble recording with players on both sides of the mic half of your instruments are going to sound wrong - and you can't use EQ on he problem because front and back are recorded in the same track and "correcting" one side will mess up the other. Furthermore the mic will be totally useless for a side mic in an M-S array.

Well, back when David Royer was designing his mic he screwed up and got the ribbon misaligned, but instead of correcting this (historically well known) error he got the idea of turning his mistake into a sales gimmick, er, "feature" and started advertising "two sounds in one mic" to clueless amateurs who had no familiarity with the uses of Figure 8 mics. He even managed to sneak a patent out of the (now largely incompetent) inspectors at the patent office, who were apparently unaware that this the "new feature" he was attempting to patent was in fact a manufacturing error that has been well known to ribbon microphone manufacturers since the 1930s if not earlier, and as such is in the public domain and not patentable.

So if Royer mics are broken from the factory, how come they're so popular?

Well, that's actually unrelated to the design flaw - it's because Royer mics were some of the very first ribbons that could stand up to high SPL and hence could be used to close mic guitar cabs. So all the metal guys looking for a ribbon they could use on a loud amp jumped on it. They really didn't give a damn about the screwed up rear pickup because up close on a really loud source the inverse square law guarantees that the very loud front sound will pretty much totally swamp out any sound coming from the back anyway, so in that particular specialized application the flaw doesn't matter much.

Kinda reminds me of the old Offenhauser Indy cars that had different sized front wheels because on an oval track they only needed to turn in one direction.

But anyway there are a lot of older, more experienced engineers who don't like Royers for exactly the reason I explained above.

I have several various ribbon microphones from several different manufacturers. None of them are Royers. If I had a shot at a Royer really cheap I'd probably add it to the collection (because you never know what might be useful sometime), but it's not on my "look for" list and it would have to be pretty cheap since I don't foresee a huge need for it.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 31st May 2020 at 11:51 PM..
Old 31st May 2020
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Ha ha, now you're just argumentative, I think, with perhaps a strongly held opinion that you wish to promote. IMO, its safe to say that Royers are generally well-liked for guitar.

And it also sounds to me like you have 6 broken 441s. Don't know how the hell you managed that. : ) Also not too sure why you would need 6 of them.

We do understand that you have lots of guitars and audio equipment. You have more "stuff" than most of the other posters here. But, FWIW, sheer amount of money or equipment does not carry the day, imo. Unless you are a music store or rental company as a side business. : ) Even then, making music is definitely not a contest for who can buy the most gear.

With all the other stuff you are collecting, I keep wondering what kind of console you have. That's where it all happens, you know. You don't want a half-ass console sh*ting all over a cool guitar sound, right?

BTW, you keep referring to m241. Are you meaning to say 421? The thread is about 421s and 57s, right?

Take it easy.



KOTS
FYI, Yuri owns a very large commercial studio in Australia. That's why he has all that gear. Which gets used. Which is why he has stuff like 6x441s . If you've got sessions running in 3 rooms it would not be unheard of to need 6 441s.
Old 31st May 2020
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
I fairness, 421s do work pretty well for Toms. Do you like them there?

Sax players seem to favor them also, now that I think about it.



Best,


KOTS
421 are HORRIBLE for toms. HORRIBLE. One of the worst possible choices.

But not because of how they sound on toms. Their directly on-axis pickup is just fine.

The problem with the 421 is that the off-axis sound is pretty atrocious, which means that, while they might sound fine on the toms themselves, they'll totally bork your snare tone and will reduce your cymbals to garbage can lids.

I own 4 of them. They've been reduced to occasional floor tom use (when I'm actually close-micing the FT, which isn't often these days), bass amp when I don't have a free RE-20, AKG D-12, or N/D868 available, or, very rarely, a guitar amp. Live. Not in the studio.

And, of course, they have the world's worst excuse for a mic clip.
Old 31st May 2020
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
no bashing of 421's here: i've been using them on toms, congas, timpanis, kick in earlier days, leslie (mostly low), horns, sax, guitar combos/stacks, bass cabinets etc.
has been working very well for hundrets of drummers/percussionists/horn sections, for anyone from the neville bros, dr. john, tower of power, blues brothers, irakere, ruben blades e il son del solar, michael landau just to name a few...

...but of course the 421's are far from being the only dynamic mics in my collection: md421, md441, e906, re20, m201, m88, re20, sm/beta57, sm/beta58, m80, m81 etc.
You're a live guy, yeah?

I've got a lot of mics I use live that I avoid for recording. Usually live there's enough ambient noise that there's not that much point in getting precious about off axis leakage. And for the most part I don't want to risk my good recording mics in a live environment.
Old 1st June 2020
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Ha, ha. Well, HORRIBLE is HORRIBLE. No mincing words there. So I guess we'll put you down as a no for the 421s on toms.

I have honestly not had the problems you are describing with them. I think its kind of about how you aim them. Its been a while since I've had mic'ing up the drum kit chores, but I believe we've used them on Vinnie Coliauta's kit a bunch in the studio, and we've always gotten great drum sounds.

But there are plenty of choices, I guess, and I'm sure you have what works for you worked out.

What mics do you like on Toms?


KOTS
I suggest you try a couple of AMT25s on toms (or the Telefunken m81). You will never touch the 241 again.
Old 1st June 2020
  #48
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
So my question was to John Eppstein, right?

But what "241" is it you keep referring to?

Is that like BOGO, or are you talking about microphones?

I mean, what's not to like about 241?


KOTS
MD421? Makes you feel better? IMHO md421 is way overrated, mainly because it was used live by big-name acts. Guys who didn't care much about what the live engineer would put up.
We use them occasionally , on client's request. Sometimes on guitars, sometimes percussion. And rarely on brass. Unwillingly (they are too much work to make sound right), but the clients get what clients want.
And fair enough, back to your conversation with John
Old 1st June 2020
  #49
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GuitarPimp's Avatar
Hi there!

I used a lot of mics, settings & combinations in different studios.
Mics like: SM57, MD421, Royer, Neumann u87, M160
I was allways interested in new ways to record and learned quite a few tricks to record the guitar: the out of phase setup trick, backward mics, room mics.

I like them all, but most of the time i prefer one mic to capture the sound and maybe a room mic.
Shure if I need the mid bite. MD421 if I need the smoothness.

Right now for my recordings most of the time i use just one mic:
Telefunken M811 which is a kind of MD421 (a studio guy told me so) Β΄
Shure SM57
Neumann U87
and sometimes a try a mic and keep it if its sounds right.

I think royers a little overrated and M160 underrated.
The 160 got nice natural sound on guitars.



Telefunken M811 - Neumann U87 Room
Old 1st June 2020
  #50
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarPimp View Post
Hi there!

I used a lot of mics, settings & combinations in different studios.
Mics like: SM57, MD421, Royer, Neumann u87, M160
I was allways interested in new ways to record and learned quite a few tricks to record the guitar: the out of phase setup trick, backward mics, room mics.

I like them all, but most of the time i prefer one mic to capture the sound and maybe a room mic.
Shure if I need the mid bite. MD421 if I need the smoothness.

Right now for my recordings most of the time i use just one mic:
Telefunken M811 which is a kind of MD421 (a studio guy told me so) Β΄
Shure SM57
Neumann U87
and sometimes a try a mic and keep it if its sounds right.

I think royers a little overrated and M160 underrated.
The 160 got nice natural sound on guitars.



Telefunken M811 - Neumann U87 Room
Never heard the md421 called smooth. It just has a peak abit lower then the 57. And it is VERY different sounding from the Telefunken m811, which from memory has an MD431 Profi-Power capsule but has less bottom end.
M160 is pretty popular and i find it more useful then the Royer, but some engineers may disagree.
Old 1st June 2020
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Well, apparently Sweetwater has it all mapped out for everyone!

A lot of them sound pretty much the same. Ha, ha.


https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/gu...-mic-shootout/



KOTS
The weirdest collection it is. Condensers sound woollier then ribbons and the 57 is fuller sounding and smoother then any other dynamic. Almost super-condenser quality on this set. Wonder how they got that lot.
Maybe they mixed the mics up?
Old 1st June 2020
  #52
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GuitarPimp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Never heard the md421 called smooth. It just has a peak abit lower then the 57. And it is VERY different sounding from the Telefunken m811, which from memory has an MD431 Profi-Power capsule but has less bottom end.
Thanks for the infos.
Old 1st June 2020
  #53
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GuitarPimp's Avatar
Here is an other shootout:

Old 1st June 2020
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
You're a live guy, yeah?

I've got a lot of mics I use live that I avoid for recording. Usually live there's enough ambient noise that there's not that much point in getting precious about off axis leakage. And for the most part I don't want to risk my good recording mics in a live environment.
i like your expertise in all things related to guitars but regarding the md421, imo you're missing the point or actually put an unnecessary focus on one of its idiosyncasies:

first of all, i'm not but a 'live guy' but own and run now four studios (five up until just recently), i'm doing a fair amount of location recording (mostly classical) and broadcasting (everything except comedy and sports) besides live mixing/touring.

more importantly though, IF off-axis behaviour would be such a huge issue as you want us to make believe, i'd be using nothing but my schoeps (which imo deliver the smoothest behaviour, not only in terms of off-axis performance).

also, i really don't think off-axis behaviour is much of a concern if you put a mic an inch in front of a blasting 10" or 12" speaker (or a couple of them).

then, ANY mdc or ldc shows vastly worse off-axis behaviour than any sdc so not much of a surprise.

i'm tempted to post some fft's including the md421 to show how 'bad' it performs...

add the advantages the md421 shows in many other regards compared to some other dynamic mics and i think it's pretty easy to like it a lot: i need to tweak eq way less than with a sm57 or m160 and i MUCH rather use have a dozen of md421's in a studio or on a stage than more than two sm57's (or sm81's or c1000's to mention my other 'best-hated' mics).

but hey, nothing stops you from using what you like - i dig the 421 quite a bit!
Old 2nd June 2020
  #55
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bmanzer's Avatar
Is there preferred versions of the MD421 and preferred preamps to use with it?
Old 2nd June 2020
  #56
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanzer View Post
Is there preferred versions of the MD421 and preferred preamps to use with it?
Hope it wasn't a long wait

Pre-amp for
1. what sound
2. in what room
3. what instrument
4. what song
5. which part of the song

Or maybe it should be answered by someone who prefers MD421 on most other things (especially if it is used in a commercial studio - it just doesn't fit guerrilla aesthetic of the home amateur setup)
Old 2nd June 2020
  #57
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Wait,........ Yuri Kogan has a studio with a bunch of gear?

Who knew? I mean, he never mentions it.




KOTS
Yeah, i like talking about it
How did you know? Its a wonderful creative space. A kinda fairy-tale environment for musos
Would you like to know more?
Old 2nd June 2020
  #58
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Gearslutz!!!!!

aka:

Yuri's Braggatorium,

and noted purveyor of free advertising for obscure studios!





Gotta love it.



KOTS
Are you saying you don't like it? I definitely spotted some drool
Maybe I need new glasses
Can we see yours? I want to assess my competition. You are SOOO critical of mine. Should be something to it?
Old 2nd June 2020
  #59
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
W T F is your question?

Never mind, it doesn't matter.






KOTS
Just don't quite understand what is your problem with the fact I have a large commercial studio?
But as you said - dont bother.
Old 2nd June 2020
  #60
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Nope, you don't understand.

See above.

I think its well-established that I literally would not give a sh*t if you had a "large commercial studio", or if you somehow thought that what you had was a "large commercial studio".



KOTS
At least we understand each other
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