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more cowbell
Old 27th December 2007
more cowbell

Any thoughts on what kind of mic to use on a cowbell? I am thinking of trying a dynamic or even a ribbon. Any other insights on mic`s and technique would be great, thanks.

Old 27th December 2007
Royer R121 always does it for me - i think any ribbon mic would be perfect for short percussion where the transient is everything. claves, xylophone...
Old 27th December 2007
Thanks Ricey

How close do you normally mic it. I going to try a naked eye on it(only ribbon I have at the moment)

thanks for the response,

Old 28th December 2007
i usually do my own percussion tracks - i get right up on the mic and play softly. same with tambourine, cabasa... again, i think any ribbon will get you there, but i can't wait to try the Naked Eye!
Old 28th December 2007
Gear Maniac
donsimpson's Avatar

AKG C451 or Groove Tubes GT-33 work great for all kinds of percussion. EV RE-20 sometimes as well. I close mic just about everything.
Old 28th December 2007
Lives for gear

For cowbell I usually want to get back with the mic and hear a bit of the room.
This is assuming that the room sounds good.

I would want a mic that could pick up a fairly beefy, lower midrange tone like a dynamic, ribbon or robust condenser like a U87.
I have used AKG 414s namy times as well.

Percussion is a funny thing because some sounds are good up close and others neew a room sound to tell you that they are BIG.
Things like shakers can be intimate and up close, but other stuff like cymbal swells, crashes and stuff like tympani need the room.

I once put a cymbal swell on a cut that had HUGE procuction (band/brass/HUGE kids choir and then a HUGE adult choir, etc.)
I was in a hurry and used a close mic on the cymbal.
I always wince when I hear that cut because the cymbal swell sounds wrong.
Old 28th December 2007
Hey guys thanks for the advice.

Bubba, what you say about shakers versus cymbal swells makes good sense to me, my room sounds pretty good. I think I might just try close and far mics just to see how they each sound.

Ricey, the Naked Eye sounds pretty good so far, only had it a few days. It is the first ribbon for me. I used it on a guitar amp the other day and it sounded pretty smooth. Comes with a trippy mount though.

Old 28th December 2007
Lives for gear

I put all kinds of reverb on that cymbal swell, but there were overtones that would have only been heard when it was close-mic'ed.

The funny part was that I owned half of the publishing on the piece and the writer GAVE it to HBO for them to use on a Comedy Relieve show.
I was kinda' excited that they used it.
It was called "Mr. President" and was about the plight of homeless people.
This was in about 1988 and they had Dionne Warwick sing the song.
Did I ever see a bit of publishing? NO!
HBO won't pay publishing and when I contacted an attorney he said that it was a lost cause because ut'd be pointless.

Oh well!
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