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Author Topic: Something About 57s  (Read 9040 times)

bilco

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Something About 57s
« on: July 12, 2006, 12:25:49 am »

After I got my RNP I found that for my voice the SM57 through the RNP is about as good as I've ever heard my voice sound anywhere.

I have struggled with getting my Martin Shenandoah to sound good with an SM81 and the RNP.  Solid top, but laminate sides and back, so it's not the nicest sounding Martin, but it sounds good just sitting around picking.  I can't get it with the SM81.  Moving the mic around to a variety of positions has resulted in alternately boxy, honky, jangly, harsh and just plain ugly tones.  Where is the silky sheen that I hear in the kitchen???

So out of desperation I plugged in the SM57 and although it's not perfect, it is actually closer to what I want than the condenser.  About 6" away just where the neck meets the body sounds pretty good.  Somehow that mic is taming the edgy tones I hear, kind of mellowing out the harsh overtones and it has kind of a compressed sound to it.  I may have to try two 57s in an X/Y pattern and see how that sounds.  

I am puzzled by this.  How often do any of you actually end up using a dynamic to mic an acoustic instrument?

Thanks,
bilco
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wwittman

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2006, 01:53:37 am »

Is a bass drum an acoustic "instrument"?

because if not, then the answer for me is "almost never" if you mean "dynamic" in the commonly used way to mean only moving-coil dynamics.

On the other hand, I use ribbon mics (which are dynamic) on lots of things from time to time.

But i must admit that 85% of the time I use condensers.

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William Wittman
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maxim

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2006, 02:25:10 am »

57 on acoustic gtr is not unheard of, especially, if it's a supporting instrument

it kinda makes it sound "rocky"
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Vertigo

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2006, 11:06:14 am »

See - I've always said there was something special about the '57/RNP combo Wink

I use a D19c (dynamic) on acoustic guitar all the time. If I need a "big wide" acoustic sound I'll add in an SDC on the fretboard and an LDC "over the shoulder". I've used the RNP for these and gotten great results, but this is really dependent on the frequency response of the mic and the tone of the instrument. The RNP is aggressive in the upper mids, which is generally perfect for vocals, but can be unflattering on a lot of sources. If changing placement isn't working then you'll need to try another mic or pre.

If the '57 sounds good then go with it Smile

-Lance

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Michael Nielsen

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2006, 01:57:31 am »

I was working with a singer...we tried 4 different mics on him, none sounded good (he had a particularly nasal, reedy voice).  So I put up a 57 for a scratch vocal, and bam! he sounded good on a mic for the first time!  

On another note, I keep reading that Danial Lanois uses 58's on U2's acoustic guitars.  Wouldn't be my first choice, but sounds good on there records.
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hargerst

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2006, 11:48:31 am »

A lot of people ask "which mic is best for this or that?", when what they're really asking is "which mic is most flattering for a particular voice or instrument?".  And that's unanswerable, except for, "It depends".

I've used horrible mics (that have harsh high end peaks) to record female singers and they worked great, because their particular voices didn't excite those peaks.  

Many Martin D28's generate weird overtones that aren't in the chord, and some mics just make those notes stand out like a sore thumb.  Again, it depends.

Often, it will require switching to another mic, but equally often, a slight placement change will solve the problem.  I've said it at least a hundred times in various forums:

"Mic placement is often more important than mic selection."
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
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compasspnt

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2006, 12:29:53 pm »

hargerst wrote on Sun, 23 July 2006 11:48




"Mic placement is often more important than mic selection."


Crochet this in a curly flowery font onto a wall placque.

Hang behind your console, should you have one.

Of course, that's assuming a decent mic to start with.
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bilco

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2006, 06:03:57 pm »

hargerst wrote on Sun, 23 July 2006 10:48



Many Martin D28's generate weird overtones that aren't in the chord, and some mics just make those notes stand out like a sore thumb.  Again, it depends.

"Mic placement is often more important than mic selection."


....and I am still experimenting and not getting too far...

On this Martin D2832 Shenandoah:

Flattering = light gauge strings/SM57/Behringer Board/Unbalanced cables/16 bit PTLE session

Unflattering in a BIG way = medium gauge strings/SM81/RNP/
Balanced cables/24 bit PTLE session

...so it SURE isn't about throwing money at it....

I hadn't even read the big mic thread when I recorded the scratch tracks that are flattering.  I didn't have a clue about mic placement.....  

I'll try light strings again.  Maybe the mediums are bringing out the worst attributes of the laminate back and sides.  Then I guess I'll try a Sennheiser 441 and see if reducing the room in the equation helps any.  

By God, when I DO find it, I'm stickin' with it!

I dunno,
bilco
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hargerst

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2006, 08:52:08 pm »

bilco,

Sorry, I tried to make it to your Friday gig in Austin.  Here's what happened:

Left Friday morning, 10AM, for Austin.  Got about a mile away from the house and noticed no cold air coming out of the AC.  Went to the shop that put in the new AC for a check up; they found a leaking fitting, replaced it, and refilled the Freon.

While they were checking the system with the engine running, they found a radiator seam leak.  It needed a new radiator (located about 45 miles away).  By the time we got out of there on our way to Austin, it was around 3:30.  

Figured we'd make some time on the highway, but discovered the AC only worked at around 55 mph; above that, the cold air (and the blower) shut off.

We finally hit Austin around 9:30 PM, shot to shit.

And that's why we didn't get to your gig, but we intended to.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

bilco

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2006, 10:11:24 pm »

Harvey, sorry about your AC ordeal - no fun in July.  You didn't miss much and we are there EVERY Friday if you're ever in town again.  The guitar player works at South Austin Music and I didn't know it till after the fact, but he was at NAMM on Friday and Sunday.

Take care,
bilco
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compasspnt

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2006, 11:18:10 pm »


Harvey, that's the oldest excuse in the book!
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Fibes

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2006, 11:24:11 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Sun, 23 July 2006 23:18


Harvey, that's the oldest excuse in the book!




"Officer he smelled of alcohol because he had to fill his 68 VW bug with coolant after it overheated.
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wwittman

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2006, 11:46:37 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Sun, 23 July 2006 12:29



Of course, that's assuming a decent mic to start with.




which would exclude the SM-57 <g>
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William Wittman
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hargerst

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2006, 12:51:03 am »

compasspnt wrote on Sun, 23 July 2006 22:18


Harvey, that's the oldest excuse in the book!


Terry, the trip there was nothing, compared to the trip back.  The AC quit working completely, and we drove back with the windows wide open, in 105
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

Teddy G.

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Re: Something About 57s
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2006, 08:03:10 am »

So, the 57, then, sounds "better" because of what it's NOT picking up.....? Hummm.....? Makes sense!

TG
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