The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
MD421 vs SM7B on toms (& other sources) Dynamic Microphones
Old 20th August 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

MD421 vs SM7B on toms (& other sources)

I have been contemplating buying 421s for a looooong time now. I have never used them, personally, so I have no experience with their sonic signature and various uses. I've handled them several times.

In terms of dynamic mics, they *feel* cheap and the clip looks/feels brittle....especially given their relatively high price (for a dynamic). Seems like it would break pretty easily.

The primary use would be rack toms. Bu I like the idea of a versatile mic in the cabinet. I am really starting to like the Shure SM7B It is in the same price range. In terms of versatility, everyone seems to know what they're good for.

My question in for anyone who has compared the 421 and the SM7B on toms, and what other uses the 421s might trump the SM7Bs on if I add them to the locker.

I already have 2 SM7Bs. I was thinking of buying 1 more and having 1 for each rack tom , plus a hi hat mic. I usually use a beta 52, Audix D6, RE20 or DRK218 on the floor tom.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Old 20th August 2007
  #2
Gear Head
 

I know I'm going against the grain here, but I don't like 421s for toms. They sound fine, but $350 for a bulky mic with a poorly designed clip (that will eventually fail) just does not make sense to me. Call me crazy, but I think a tom mic should sound good, be compact, durable, secure and affordable (b/c some guys like to use more than two toms and that adds up really quick). Ever since I sold my 421s I've been using Audix D series, which I think sound good and they're only $100 bucks a pop. These mics are a little dark by themselves, but since I get all the attack I need with my OHs, the D's fill out the body of the drum nicely. Obviously there are many other options that are just as good if not better.

The SM7B is a great mic, but still on the expensive side, IMHO, if you want like four of them. I just think that money could be better effectively allocated elsewhere.
Old 20th August 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
crypticglobe's Avatar
I have been using 421's for drum mics for years with outstanding results. I have never broken one, or it's clip either. I have had some hit VERY hard by drummers and survive with no ill effect.

I would be happy to use something else, but I have yet to find anything I like as much. I record mostly rock music, and they are just the ticket.

I do occasionally stick a 58 on the floor tom. That can be amazing, especially on a really deep one. Michael Wagener told me recently he uses 58's a lot on toms as well, but in combination with another mic on the bottom.

Anyway... lot's of love for the 421 here.
Old 20th August 2007
  #4
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

The CAD M179 is killing the 421 on toms all the way around: bleed, depth, attack, punch, ease of positioning...and yes even price.

We compared them here on the same session:

Microphone Clips and Audio Samples at ***************.com

The M179 is such a no brainer on toms, rack and floor.

War
Old 20th August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

Thanks to both of you (so far).

Budget is always a concern, of course, but I am not opposed to spending ~$350 on a dynamic mic that sounds great.

Have either of you used the SM7B on t0ms? I'm REALLY curious how they compare to the 421.

As for the Audix, I assume you're talking about the D2? I have an I5 and a D6 (both of which I really like!).

I've heard great things about the D2s, but if the 421 (or SM7B) sounds <-> this much better, I'm willing to spend the extra money to get the sound.

I'm ALL about getting the best sound on the way in. I HATE not knowing! When there is a popular mic out there, like the 421, that I do't have access to, it KILLS me. I really want to be sure I have the best setup for the sounds I strive for. I CERTAINLY don't mind spending less, as long as I get the sound I like.

Perhaps I will try the D2. Knowing my dealer, I could oprbably get one for well under $100. Even if I couldn't return it, and I didn't care for it on toms, I wouldn't be out much and I will always find a use for it.

Keep the advice coming...please!
Old 20th August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

I've been following your posts on drum micing for quite a while now. I have a lot of respect for your knowledge and experience. You've also made me very curious about the CAD for a long time now. It is and has been on my short list. Unfortunately, I do not have a place to demo them locally.The SM7B just recently made my list. I'd really like to get all three in my studio for a few hours and hash it out!

One more question....You wouldn't happen to know how the CAD compares to the SM7B, would you? Especially in drum applications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
The CAD M179 is killing the 421 on toms all the way around: bleed, depth, attack, punch, ease of positioning...and yes even price.

We compared them here on the same session:

Microphone Clips and Audio Samples at ***************.com

The M179 is such a no brainer on toms, rack and floor.

War
Old 20th August 2007
  #7
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Ive been using 421s since 1995, love em.





Mike Vick. You are one of the best to play the game but " Stay away from my Dog "
Old 21st August 2007
  #8
Gear Head
 

There are quite a few 421s on ebay right now. You can probably get one for $300 and sell it for the same if you don't like it. I don't think you can get around not trying one; I had to do the same for myself. Keep in mind, I have no complaints about the sound. I just didn't like the cost/benefit for my applications.
Old 21st August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
johnwayne's Avatar
 

I love the 421 on guitar cabs in addition to a 57 and a LDC. 421 really gives me a midrange sound on the cab. Great for toms also. I also have an Sm7b and I've yet to try it on toms, but I love it on snare and vocals. The 421 has more presence than the Sm7. I tried the Sm7 on guitar cabs and like the 421 way better.
Old 21st August 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Daedalus77's Avatar
I'd note that the 421 is a good all-arounder, in addition to being many folks' staple for toms. In some applications it's great on kick; it's a good choice on guitar cabinets (for certain genres, and mostly used in conjunction with something else, like a 57, a good condenser, or a ribbon); and I've had some success with it on brass. So, given your need to know what the "fuss" is with 'em, you should probably pick one up and see what you think—in mutiple applications.

I do think they're exceptional on toms, but I also like the D2s (on rack) and D4 on floor. We got the whole Audix set awhile back (including the D6, which is a great kick mic, I think). I've been happy with all the Audix stuff on drums, including the i5 (which, like a 57, has other applications, too, of course).

Hope that's been helpful. Best of luck.
Old 21st August 2007
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

421's are great on toms, but they are absolutely necessary to me for bass cabinets and guitar cabinets, i dont think you would be disappointed with the versatility of the 421 in the least. SM7B also works great for me on kick drums, havent given it an honest go on toms, but i cant see it sounding bad
Old 21st August 2007
  #12
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manthe View Post
Unfortunately, I do not have a place to demo them locally.The SM7B just recently made my list. I'd really like to get all three in my studio for a few hours and hash it out!
That isn't a hard thing to accomplish really. You buy all 3 and send back the "loser(s)".

Quote:
Originally Posted by manthe View Post
One more question....You wouldn't happen to know how the CAD compares to the SM7B, would you? Especially in drum applications.
I've not really done any side by side with them, but in the near future I will have to toss one on a tom or floor tom and see.

Like trevvahhh said, I'm sure it wouldn't be bad at least.

War
Old 21st August 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
I've done the side by side between the 421 and M179 on toms. Here's basically what happened.

Me, right up until the moment I pressed record with the M179 on toms: "The 421 sounds so great on toms, why would I ever want to mess up a good thing."

Me, right after the moment I played back the recording of an M179 on toms: "Wow...and to think I've been using a 421 on toms all this time. That won't be happening ever again."

Pull the trigger on the M179. You won't regret it if you like your toms to sound big, punchy, clear, with detailed stick attack, and focused bottom end.

Brad
Old 21st August 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
chrispick's Avatar
 

All I can say is a really like 421s on amp cabs when recording bluesy stuff.
Old 21st August 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 
dokushoka's Avatar
 

Quote:
I know I'm going against the grain here, but I don't like 421s for toms.
I'm actually with you on this. I loathe the clips and the body is so big it can be troublesome. The other thing I don't like about 421s on toms is I feel like I always end up getting sort of a "juga juga juga juga" sort of late 80s early 90s tom sound from them. I actually prefer to use sm57s on toms over 421s. When a studio has enough of them, I like the m88s the best, though.
Old 21st August 2007
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
That isn't a hard thing to accomplish really. You buy all 3 and send back the "loser(s)".





War
just make sure that where you buy them from as a return policy. FWIW, when I worked at GC we never accepted returns on mics, as per health code.
Old 21st August 2007
  #17
Gear Nut
 
echojulca's Avatar
 

It might sound crazy but try some AKG 451`s or 452`s or Oktava 012`s
You will be glad you did, they sound great and specially the oktava`s are very solid.
Sound is nice and punchy crisp with nice low end, pure butter!
Try it!
Old 21st August 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosby View Post
just make sure that where you buy them from as a return policy. FWIW, when I worked at GC we never accepted returns on mics, as per health code.
This is actually the issue I run up against a lot with mics. Many retailers will not accept mic returns.

I *rarely* buy from on-line places anymore because you end up having to pay full retail. But, a lot of local places (around here) do not carry the item I'm looking for some of the time...there-in lies my pickle (well....in my boxers, too heh).

I have a good relationship with several of the dealers and retailers in my area. I usually get exceptional deals....sometimes ridiculous deals! It makes it hard to look elsewhere. Not to mention, their is a sense of loyalty too. They've been good to me and I show my appreciation by continuing to return.

Maybe I'll ask one of them to order in some CADs. i already have a couple of SM7Bs. Most of them carry the 421s. I just need to figure out a way around the strict, microphone return policies that a few places have.
Old 21st August 2007
  #19
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

The health code thing I simply don't believe, if anybody knows otherwise please share. Out of the dozens of mic manufacturers we deal with not once has a health code been cited as a reason I can't take back a microphone. Our policy is simple: if it's a normal stock / sell item and we come to an agreement that it's the item for you to try, you try it. If it doesn't work out, you simply exchange or return.

War
Old 21st August 2007
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
imdrecordings's Avatar
 

Heil Sound PR40
big ups on toms.
Especially on Floor tom.
thumbsup
Old 21st August 2007
  #21
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

I agree. It is the biggest BS policy I've EVER heard. ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that GC sells used mics!!! So...if I get pneumonia from using a used mic that I buy from GS, will they cover my hospital bills?


Stupid, stupid, STUPID!

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
The health code thing I simply don't believe, if anybody knows otherwise please share. Out of the dozens of mic manufacturers we deal with not once has a health code been cited as a reason I can't take back a microphone. Our policy is simple: if it's a normal stock / sell item and we come to an agreement that it's the item for you to try, you try it. If it doesn't work out, you simply exchange or return.

War
Old 21st August 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imdrecordings View Post
Heil Sound PR40
big ups on toms.
Especially on Floor tom.
thumbsup
I've had an interest in the PR30 and PR40 for a while now too. Have you ever compared them to the 421s?
Old 21st August 2007
  #23
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I'd like to hear that too and may get a chance to try it in the near future. However, my love for the M179 is not only in its sound but in its ease of placement.

War
Attached Thumbnails
MD421 vs SM7B on toms (&amp; other sources)-cad_m179_toms.jpg.jpg  
Old 21st August 2007
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

when looking into a 421, are you guys talking about the 421 U5 or the 421 II (the new version). Both just came up in an eBay search.
Old 21st August 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
I'd like to hear that too and may get a chance to try it in the near future. However, my love for the M179 is not only in its sound but in its ease of placement.

War
Looks cool. How is the rear rejection of the M179? The way my studio kit is set up, I have a lot of cymbals directly above the toms.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense that a design like the Heils or the CADs would be a lot better than, say a SM57, SM7 or even a 421.

Top address mics are part of my issue. I guess that puts the SM7B closer to the bottom of the list (even though I already have 2!).

Does any one know if the PR30s or PR40s are better for toms?

If I understand their applications, the 30 might be good for the racks and the 40 might be good for the floor.
Old 21st August 2007
  #26
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lanervoza View Post
when looking into a 421, are you guys talking about the 421 U5 or the 421 II (the new version). Both just came up in an eBay search.
The originals have a somewhat smoother sound to them. The new "II" version by comparison sounds pretty similar, the biggest difference however is a peak around 3k which could be considered a bonus for kick and tom mic'ing...or a minus of course. Side by side I would typically choose the original over the new ones. It's all a matter of taste and application.

FWIW, you can still order cartridge replacements from Sennheiser for older 421's. They do not possess the 3k bump in my experience (local studio owner fixed a couple of his old 421's recently and they sounded different than the "II" version we compared them to).

Hope this helps.

War
Old 21st August 2007
  #27
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manthe View Post
Looks cool. How is the rear rejection of the M179?
Excellent, hypercardioid just slays (M179 has variable patterns, you can roll the selector around until it hits whatever pattern you prefer on whatever source).

Quote:
Originally Posted by manthe View Post
If I understand their applications, the 30 might be good for the racks and the 40 might be good for the floor.
See, I don't like mis-matching mics on toms and want a consistent sound! Personal preference.

War
Old 21st August 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post

See, I don't like mis-matching mics on toms and want a consistent sound! Personal preference.

War
Interesting. I've always used a different mic on my floor tom. I use the same on the racks, always. But, I typically like something with better low-end response on the floor than what I would 'typically' put on the racks.
Old 21st August 2007
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Ok, not to hijack, but I see good things here about the mk012's and the M179's. I have three 012's (with pad's, luckily), but haven't tried them on toms. I plan on getting M179's and doing this myself sometime, but has anyone tried both and can compare?
Old 21st August 2007
  #30
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Microphone Clips and Audio Samples at ***************.com

Please read the session notes, the Oktava and CAD were tested on different sessions so this is NOT the same tuning of the drum etc ok? There is no picture posted of the Oktava MK-012 yet either (most session 3 pictures aren't uploaded as of this writing).

War
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
musaee / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
6
blackcom / So much gear, so little time
0
manthe / So much gear, so little time
25

Forum Jump
Forum Jump