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Lessons for the weekend - Mics!


the_bees_knees22
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So most of of the discussions on here are asking about how to get this sound or that sound, or just how to get a good sound period. 

Most of the responses are usually just "eq it", or "use an IR."   I don't really always buy those responses, as I feel like I've been able to get some pretty great sounds for what I want out of the helix just right out of the box without too much hassle.   I think a large part of why some people have issues is that they don't understand all of the mic choices, and what/how to use to them put them in a better zone for the tone they want right off the bat.  

So how about a discussion for what people use when they want a certain sound.  

 

Ex)  I like the ribbon 121 for modern and fat sounding.  (rarely ever use an sm57 on the helix since I feel it's too thin, and tiny in comparison even though it's been a standard for ages).   For bass I love the 4038 and 112.   The 4038 for something super thick (but i put it 4-6" away depending on what bass I'm playing with to keep it from being too boomy), and the 112 since it's still thick, but has a little more shape to the sound. (for a non scientific explanation)

For those that are curious, there are lots of comparison vids on youtube as well that are super informative.  Or you can just google "best mics for guitar" or "best mic's for bass guitar" and it's pretty good at giving you the most popular ones for a particular instrument.   

Anyway, what are your people's go to mics when you're going for a specific sound, and why?

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I'm also very happy with a 57 mostly.  But a general question - in what conditions...............................

So if I'm trying to cut through the mix in a live situation, the 57 helps me do that - if I'm trying to get a sweet sound at low volume, then ribbon is good.

But this is directly connected to EQ and the good old Fletcher Munson curve - that extra "thickness" is my enemy on stage in a live situation.

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Seem to me that cab/mic/IR choice is completely relative to the amp settings you're using, and vice versa.

 

If you build a patch listening through a 4x12 mic'd with the 4038 an inch away, then switch to a JBL 10" mic'd 12" out (no I don't know where to get such an IR), you'll probably hate it. But the reverse is true too. There's no such thing as an absolute standard here. You could probably get some cool sounds cranking tons of highs through a bassier cab, or less highs through a brighter cab.

 

Sometimes I think we tend to be reactive, starting a patch through one cab, then judging other ones through the lens of that amp tone. You'd get really different results picking a cab first, flattening the amp controls, and working from there.

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I'm also very happy with a 57 mostly. But a general question - in what conditions...............................

So if I'm trying to cut through the mix in a live situation, the 57 helps me do that - if I'm trying to get a sweet sound at low volume, then ribbon is good.

But this is directly connected to EQ and the good old Fletcher Munson curve - that extra "thickness" is my enemy on stage in a live situation.

i find if i'm playing at home or solo performance the ribbon sounds great but yes, with a busy band it's too thick
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I like to use, for e-guitars, a dual cab with one ribbon 121 and one m57. On both I dial in a touch (around 5- 10) of direct reflections, but different proportions on every cab, and this is often bingo for me :-) I do always use a stereo EQ after though to have more control of the sound!

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One of the advantages of IRs is the ability to have mixes of mics on a cabinet if provided by the manufacturer.  Most often what sounds best to me is the combination of an R-121 ribbon mic and a MD421 dynamic mic.  To my ear that's a perfect blend of fullness with a touch of brashness to cut through the mix.

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