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  • jonpowl 12:52PM

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Guitar Mics for a live show.

PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
Hey all -

Curious on faves for live shows, external mic for guitar. Presume quiet, with feedback potential low (or higher, with some of these mics putatively "good" for feedback resistance by their polar pattern, etc.)

I have an MXL603S, described as a studio instrument though I'm not entirely sure why it's not also touted for live performance. Durability?

I also have an SM58 for talkback, and/or vocals. Willing to consider other mics for vocals.

Anyway, here are some under consideration for the guitar:

AKG C 1000 S. Chris Ruppenthal of Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble uses these mic'ed into his Trace Elliott Channel 2, XLR, with output to board being pre-eq. I can vouch for these - aside from Chris's and his mate's stellar playing, they just sounded great when I saw them live a while back.

Others under consideration:

Rode NT3
Shure SM57
Royer R-121 (Nickel) (not bloody likely...still curious on people's thoughts.
Shure Beta 57A
Audix VX5
Electro Voice N/D967
Shure SM81
Neumann KM 184 Pair (Cardioid - Black (Pair))
Rode NT5
Heil Sound PR 35

pas encore, j'erre toujours.


  • pinkgarypinkgary ✭✭✭
    Posts: 282
    Beta 57.... Cos sturdiness, tone & feedback resistance are your 3 main concerns.
  • Budget???? Single guitar or group.

    The new Royer Ribbon is durable enough for the road $1500, as are the 603s just cannot DROP them. :shock: If looking at larger venues, a supercardioid pattern makes it easier to control feedback as the input cone is quite narrow.

    If it were me I would use my AKG onboard (or DPA 4099) and a 603 in the nearfield and blend the sound.

    AT $60 for the 603 it aint a catastrophe if someone drops it or swipes it.

    For me the Shure 57/58 are too edgy and harsh sounding for acoustical stuff. Singers can make them warm up some by nearly swallowing the thing.....

    The are nearly indestructible and great for micing amped guitars and such...I dont like them at all for acoustical work.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,430
    Let's call it a budget of $250. It's for guitar within a trio or quartet.

    Which AKG do you have - is this a mini, like my AT831B? What does "nearfield" mean - the art of placing the mic close to the guitar, at an angle, believe we discussed this somewhere in trying to figure out issues with my 603S/Bluetube?

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • yep 831.

    Nearfield is quite subjective until you get into the engineering side where it is defined by mic response data but for general recording inside 3 feet would not be way off.

    I think you will likely find the 603 sounds best about 1 foot or so from the hole and slightly off axis. It requires a preamp and phantom power Phantom power nominally 48 V should be at least 24 for that one to sound OK
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,430
    OK, thanks, Jay. Have just been having fun learning a bit on engineering. Plenty of redundancy for me - 603S/Ischell/831B/Stimer, though I know the opportunity to live mic may be few and far between, nice to think about a situation where it's a mic.

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • pinkgarypinkgary ✭✭✭
    Posts: 282
    Let's call it a budget of $250. It's for guitar within a trio or quartet.

    Neumann KM 184 Pair (Cardioid - Black (Pair) :shock: Good luck
  • bluetrainbluetrain Finland✭✭✭ Cach, Epiphone Triumph, Gibson ES-300
    Posts: 156
    I have good experience using the DPA d:vote 4099g. It's a miniature shotgun microphone that you can attach into the guitar or in the stand if you wish to do that. It's amazing mic. Really flat frequency response! Check out some of the youtube clips:

    In this video I'm on the right with DPA 4099g and on the left is AT PRO70.

    In this video I'm in the left with DPA 4099g and on the right is AT PRO70.
  • They are indeed great mics but somewhat more than 250 the op has indicated.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,430
    Jazzaferri wrote:
    They are indeed great mics but somewhat more than 250 the op has indicated.

    Yeah, I know of the DPA, thanks bluetrain. I have an AT 831B which will serve, I think, good service in this vein. (Also have to say, last night, listened to Stephane Wrembel and his band - he and his rhythm guy both used Ischells to fantastic effect. - nothing else). I was querying more along the lines of a decent, external mic on a stand for up to $250. I have an MXL, curious on some others.

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    Well, mics are a funny thing. Just looking at them you'd think they all function the same and that quality and size are the only differences, but truth be told, there are several different mic technologies, and the manner in which they are employed vary even more (single cartridge, multi cartridge, baffles & reflectors of various types & sizes... some microphones sense absolute change, some sense differential change, some vibrate more or less like a piston, some vibrate like a bending-wave planar substrate and some don't vibrate at all but rather simply sense pressure. These characteristics and implementations give you a huge variety of mics that are great at doing some things and rotten at doing others. So even if you're sitting in a room full of thousand dollar mics, if you use the wrong one for the job you'll get poor results. When I was designing audio equipment, I had a little microphone special made for the task by DPA that cost more than my first car which was absolutely useless for anything but capturing a sound-burst a few milliseconds in duration with perfect accuracy in both the frequency and time domains. (but it did that quite well)

    For budget guitar mics for stage use, you need a mic that can take some SPL abuse and cut side noise fairly well. the Shure SM do well with some EQ, and your first instinct (Ruppenthal's choice of the C1000s) is nearly ideal. It is a ~1/2" diaphragm back electret with the option of battery power, and it has a laughably silly little plastic cap that you can put over the diaphragm which does an unexpectedly good job of transforming it from cardioid to hypercardioid encase you're still having problems with off-axis sound. I wouldn't ever use one in a studio on anything but a drum-set because they lack detail and if you try to EQ them to get detail they wind up harsh... but for this exact situation, a mid-sized diaphragm back-electret pencil mic in cardiod with the option of going hypercardiod is a good choice. I have a pair of C1000s and I don't use them often because they lack subtlety and their sound is a bit colored, but in the right situation they're near ideal. Ask Chris what he uses for a mic-pre and EQ and just copy exact. He seems like a sharp & detail oriented guy and has probably finessed his system over a period of years. If you buy him a beer he might tell you what he does ;-)
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
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