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New Overheads - Suggestions?
Old 6 days ago
  #1
New Overheads - Suggestions?

So I am fairly happy with my LDCs on overhead but my ears just prefer something more mellow, thinking of going with ribbons.

Small drum booth but very well treated (good balance of lows to highs). I will be using them as "out front" overheads in the style of Steve Albini. Because it's a small room I am not so interested in getting a lot of room sound but not too worried about rejecting a lot either.

I was thinking of 4 different options:
  1. A pair of M160's - Good side rejection and they are priced right. I have never used a pair for overheads.

  2. A pair of R121's - I already have a single R121 and it sounds great as far away as I can get it from the kit. Not sure how it would work as a stereo pair closer in.

  3. A pair of Coles 4040's - I already have one of these as well which I love, but it's a little brighter than I think I am looking for.

  4. A pair of 4038's - Of course this is the old standby, but they are also the most expensive option and the mounting system is a PITA.

Any suggestions?

Last edited by not_so_new; 6 days ago at 05:42 AM..
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
You will not regret going for the 4038’s! Go big or go home!
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
You will not regret going for the 4038’s! Go big or go home!
I was really afraid someone was going to say that...



There has been a little voice in the back of my head saying exactly the same thing.
Old 5 days ago
  #4
A pair of tlm193s would likely sound great and fit your criteria (natural/mellow). Also the Lauten Atlantis is a versatile mic with voicing selection on it.
Old 5 days ago
  #5
Thanks Nathan, but I have kind of settled on one of the options above.

Anyone else have feedback?

Thanks again all.
Old 5 days ago
  #6
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milab 96b only mic u need
Old 5 days ago
  #7
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Seamus TM's Avatar
 

Don't forget about older Beyer M260 (before the HPF model).

Stager SR-2N for more Coles-ish sound.

Anything by Samar.
Very linear.

There isn't much more satisfying than a pair of 4038, though.
Yes, mounting them is a pita.

Last edited by Seamus TM; 5 days ago at 09:05 PM..
Old 5 days ago
  #8
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Suspects's Avatar
 

Not on your list, but:

Royer SF-12 stereo ribbon - easy to use, no phase issues, sounds great...

or

Mesanovich Model 2A active ribbons - handbuilt in Detroit with a 20Hz-20KHZ frequency response; sound kind of "condenser like" but with the rich midrange of a ribbon...


Dave/Suspect Studios
Old 5 days ago
  #9
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jwh1192's Avatar
i have one 4038 and wish i had two .... do it SLUT do it !!!
Old 5 days ago
  #10
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Suspects's Avatar
 

Maybe it's just us, but we prefer 4038's as room mics instead of overheads. We like to keep them fairly close to the floor (36") in order to add punch to the kit. It also makes mounting them a lot easier...


Dave/Suspect Studios
Old 5 days ago
  #11
In my studio, and to my taste, the M160s are the best for overhead duties. The Coles sound great, but like others I prefer them as room/FOK mics.

My suggestion is to buy a pair of the 160s and ONE 4038 to use as a mono overhead or room!
Old 5 days ago
  #12
Thanks for all the replies everyone.

So I was doing some testing earlier today using my 4040 and the back side of the R121 (it's brighter and matches up closer to the 4040).

Really digging the smoothness of the cymbals, it's been a long time since I used ribbons for overheads, should have messed around with this before.

I am leaning toward getting a second R121 and using the "darker" side of the mics along with my A-Designs Hammer to brighten them up if needed. Frankly, I can get the 4040 and the R121 pretty close to each other using the Hammer
Old 5 days ago
  #13
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Seamus TM's Avatar
 

That decision seems too reasonable and I do not accept it.
Old 4 days ago
  #14
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Suspects's Avatar
 

If you go with the second R-121, I highly recommend the Pacifica as the mic pre for the overhead pair. It's "API-ish" brightness adds a nice top end sheen to the Royers. Also, FWIW we are using a Hammer with our overheads as well; not only does it give you some nice top end options, but the midrange control can do some cool things to the snare tone as it appears in the overhead spread as well...


Dave/Suspect Studios
Old 4 days ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus TM View Post
That decision seems too reasonable and I do not accept it.
LOL

Right on!

Old 4 days ago
  #16
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R88. Impressive mic perfect for what you’re looking for
Old 4 days ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suspects View Post
If you go with the second R-121, I highly recommend the Pacifica as the mic pre for the overhead pair. It's "API-ish" brightness adds a nice top end sheen to the Royers. Also, FWIW we are using a Hammer with our overheads as well; not only does it give you some nice top end options, but the midrange control can do some cool things to the snare tone as it appears in the overhead spread as well...


Dave/Suspect Studios
Thanks Dave!

Great thinking. I am actually using a Great River MP-2NV with my overheads now and it's a great box. I have a pair of Louder Than Liftoff Chromas with API module so I might give that a try as well.

The Hammer is just a rock solid EQ for sure. It's great for many things but it lives on my overhead mics for tracking duties almost all the time. You hit the nail on the head, everyone talks about the high end but the midrange is killer as well.
Old 4 days ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by phanlon View Post
R88. Impressive mic perfect for what you’re looking for
I totally forgot about the R88, very good point! Thanks, I will put that on the 'to consider' list

I am still leaning pretty heavy toward the second R121, I was pretty impressed with it during my testing yesterday.

That said....

My ears are probably made of lead but the R121 and the 4040 were not very far apart in terms of tone. There is obviously a difference between them but I can dial that out with the Hammer, I doubt anyone could notice the difference when I add in 10 or so other drum mics let alone the full mix.

The difference between the backside of the R121 and the 4040 is less than the difference between moving mics around the kit a few inches in either direction. It's the gear and how it's used.

I think we get a little hung up on the details as engineers and we miss the forest for the trees... but that's a different conversation I guess.

Thanks again!
Old 4 days ago
  #19
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Old 3 days ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rito25 View Post
milab 96b only mic u need
I! SO! AGREE!

How come nobody knows this mic'? Completely underrated! Phenomenal on acoustic guitar too... and female vox, and piano, and... and... and... i'm overjoyed whenever a studio has a pair of these. a pair will find it's way into my mic' locker within the year. gotta find a dealer that'll make me that special deal!
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