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Author Topic: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?  (Read 14304 times)

rankus

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Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« on: November 25, 2006, 02:12:46 pm »


Well this in the budget section cuz I'm on the cheap here...

I have a metal band with two kick drums coming in for an album soon, and I only have one NS10 "mic"....

So I'm looking for a speaker that can be used as an alternative to the NS10 driver because they are getting rare and expensive... I know I can just try some speakers, but I will have to probably buy one, because I just don't have any old speakers lying around right now.

Any suggestions?
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compasspnt

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2006, 05:23:26 pm »


A Microphone.
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PaulyD

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2006, 10:33:42 pm »

The word on the street is the NS-10 mic thing was started by Michael Wagener, and, when Yamaha saw what he was doing, developed the SubKick. Pictures of them with the cover off reveal a driver that looks a lot like the one in an NS-10, but gray colored. Never tried one, but have heard nothing but good things about them. Most places sell it for $300 USD.

Paul

Fibes

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2006, 12:25:08 am »

IMO the speaker works WITH a mic not solo.

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Fibes
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2006, 02:09:18 pm »

PaulyD wrote on Sat, 25 November 2006 21:33

The word on the street is the NS-10 mic thing was started by Michael Wagener, and, when Yamaha saw what he was doing, developed the SubKick.  good things about them. Most places sell it for $300 USD.

Paul


Well, except that Michael uses a Fostex woofer, and has for years...

I know of engineers using speakers on kick drums back as far as the 1970's, when they would simply roll an Ampeg B15 cabinet in front of the kick and take the output of that into a DI; it's really not that new of a concept. but taking that as a starting point, there's no reason that you can't try any cabinet that has only one speaker in it - a 1x12, or a 1x18 and connect it to a DI with a guitar cord; it'll either make you smile or it won't... Anc certainly you can try any raw speaker (Michaels subkick is a bare speaker mounted on an aluminum frame) as well, as long as you can jury-rig some method of keeping it in position.
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wwittman

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2006, 03:32:59 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Sat, 25 November 2006 17:23


A Microphone.




Damn! he beat me to it again!

It FASCINATES me that the people who seem to think they need a mud-only 'microphone' to pick up sub-sonic frequencies, seem to be the same people who think they need to filter the bottom out of all of their sounds to "make them fit"!


how much information below the range of, say, an RE20 do you NEED from the bass drum?

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William Wittman
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Fibes

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2006, 04:31:51 pm »

Yeah, in todays world of the shoehorn style mix and occassional tap with a DBX SubHarmonic synth or a multed track with a high passed signal is PLENTY.

Or that triggered 808 gated and triggered...

Havene't done any of it in quite a while.
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Podgorny

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2006, 10:11:17 pm »

wwittman wrote on Sun, 26 November 2006 14:32

It FASCINATES me that the people who seem to think they need a mud-only 'microphone' to pick up sub-sonic frequencies, seem to be the same people who think they need to filter the bottom out of all of their sounds to "make them fit"!



Have you ever actually tried a subkick?

It really works quite well.

But judging by the fact that you're still using an RE20 on kick, I assume you're not going for that kind of thing.

All I know is, I haven't used a kick drum sample on any rock stuff I've done in the last year.
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James Duncan

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 09:50:08 am »

I get what William is saying *philosophically*, but once you hear what one of these bastards does to the sound of a kick drum, you will see what it can do!!!

It adds a special "something" to the kick. That is all I can say.
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compasspnt

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2006, 11:38:17 am »


Something is better than nothing.
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Tim Halligan

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2006, 11:47:43 am »

James Duncan wrote on Mon, 27 November 2006 22:50

I get what William is saying *philosophically*, but once you hear what one of these bastards does to the sound of a kick drum, you will see what it can do!!!

It adds a special "something" to the kick. That is all I can say.


I "get" both sides.

One wonders if this subkick bizzo will merely become the next fad that gets abandoned in the search for even louder records.

Cheers,
Tim
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Spiritwalkerpro

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2006, 11:48:17 am »

I agree I like the subkick, but I do use a second mic in case I need a little more twack.

Norm
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Dave Martin

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2006, 12:10:02 pm »

I like 'em, and use one. But I can certainly get a drum sound I like without it.... index.php/fa/3780/0/

That's a Yamaha Sub-kick in the picture.
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rankus

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2006, 02:09:16 pm »


Um,  Yes of course I use a real mic as well... I usually use a 57 , 421, or recently purchased D6 inside the drum.... Sometimes within an inch or two of the beater for some "point"

My question was not "what is a sub kick mic" ...  Rolling Eyes

It was "what alternative woofers" have folks used as a mic in place of an NS10 that is not too expensive.... (Somebody mentioned a Fostex driver... thank you) (I don't want to buy another NS10 driver)

The earliest I have heard of using a speaker as a mic was the Beatles when they tried one on Sir Paul's bass ... Dunno what their success was.

I have heard of folks using them on guitar amps and bass amps as well.... (Recent John Mayer album of all places)
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Podgorny

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2006, 03:32:04 pm »

Just for the sheer fun of it, I've tried the Subkick on Kick Drum, Floor Tom, Bass Amp, and Heavy Guitars.

IMHO, it's completely useless for anything other than kick.  But it sure is great on kick.
We have a few NS10 woofers (aside from the ones in the NS10s), and I prefer them to the subkick, but any sonic benefit is far outweighed by the Subkick's ease of placement.

As far as what other woofers you could use, just about any woofer that isn't too stiff should work.  I imagine a smaller speaker (8" or less, with a small voice coil) would probably be a little more manageable, both in sound and placement.  What about something like this?

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Greg Thompson

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2006, 06:19:42 pm »

  I picked up one of those Parts Express woofers to use as a subkick mic.  Didn't work as well as the NS-10.

I used a Radio Shack dual voice coil 8" speaker into a DI once and it was perfect.  It was *the* sub kick sound.  Actually at the time I was unimpressed, thinking "I can do this with a DBX 120 and not use up a track".  But DBX 120s and digital ITB mixing didn't get along until automatic delay compensation came along.  (that's how long ago it was that I used this particular speaker).  I also haven't found a good plugin simulation of the DBX 120 either.

As far as I know, that Radio Shack woofer is discontinued.

Greg
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wwittman

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2006, 06:34:39 pm »

Podgorny wrote on Sun, 26 November 2006 22:11


Have you ever actually tried a subkick?

It really works quite well.


Yes I have, For ME it doesn't "work" quite as "well" as adding as much 50Hz as I need using the desk EQ.


Podgorny wrote on Sun, 26 November 2006 22:11

But judging by the fact that you're still using an RE20 on kick, I assume you're not going for that kind of thing.


what kind of thing? Muddy, indistinct? or pointlessly complicated? Twisted Evil

I particularly enjoy the use of the term "STILL using..." as though this is hopelessly out of date.


Podgorny wrote on Sun, 26 November 2006 22:11

All I know is, I haven't used a kick drum sample on any rock stuff I've done in the last year.


and I haven't either since about 1990.

Maybe you should try an RE20!


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William Wittman
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Podgorny

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2006, 07:14:23 pm »

wwittman wrote on Mon, 27 November 2006 17:34

Maybe you should try an RE20!



Have one, thanks.

Using a speaker outside the kick drum isn't just about adding low end.  It's perfect for picking up the low end vibration of the resonant head, without too much bleed from the rest of the kit.  This means you end up with some the kick's "boom" hanging out after the note, which can be great for a modern rock kick sound.

When I say you're "still using an RE20", I mean that you've chosen a microphone that delivers a particular sound.  If I want a less-hyped, classic sort of sound, it's money.  But then, if I was going for that sound, I probably wouldn't use the subkick either.

I did use an RE20 on kick (no hole) on this track, Two Tone Sam.  It delivered exactly what I wanted.  The problem is, very few of the country or rock/metal artists we record here want that sound.

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wwittman

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2006, 08:50:39 pm »

yet that sounds not much like any bass drum on records I make.


It's not like that's the "sound of an RE20" and it won't do anything else.


ALL of the adjectives and descriptions you use for what the 'sub-kick' gives you, seem to equate to more bottom. Which is LOGICAL.

I still say I get the same thing with EQ (and with fewer problems)

how about this?

myspace.com/actionaction
or
myspace.com/threeyearsolder

are these a "modern" bass drum sound to you?
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William Wittman
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Podgorny

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2006, 10:55:27 pm »

wwittman wrote on Mon, 27 November 2006 19:50

ALL of the adjectives and descriptions you use for what the 'sub-kick' gives you, seem to equate to more bottom. Which is LOGICAL.

I still say I get the same thing with EQ (and with fewer problems)



You know full well I'm not going to question your ability to get great sounds.  After all, you're William Wittman.

But I contend that utilizing the sound of the drum's resonant head to fill in low end and adding low end via equalization will yield vastly different results.  If you're happy using your methods, then by all means, keep doing what you're doing.  I just think it's borderline arrogant to completely disregard a widely accepted technique, simply because you don't like it.  But then, I guess that's kind of the bread and butter of internet forums, isn't it?

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wwittman

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2006, 11:18:11 pm »

Podgorny wrote on Mon, 27 November 2006 22:55



You know full well I'm not going to question your ability to get great sounds.  After all, you're William Wittman.

But I contend that utilizing the sound of the drum's resonant head to fill in low end and adding low end via equalization will yield vastly different results.  If you're happy using your methods, then by all means, keep doing what you're doing.  I just think it's borderline arrogant to completely disregard a widely accepted technique, simply because you don't like it.  But then, I guess that's kind of the bread and butter of internet forums, isn't it?




Hey I don't discount at all that YOU like what YOU get for YOU!
After all, you're Podgorny!

Seriously - I don't claim that what I do is "right" and what others do is "wrong" (well, except for the 'choices' of mic pre thing... that's just DUMB Twisted Evil )

The sound of the drum's "resonant head" is picked up by a microphone.
The sub-kick is just a large diaphragm, inefficient microphone.
It's not picking up anything that any other mic doesn't except PERHAPS low bottom (because of its size)
and there again, unless you leave all that bottom...

I'm sorry if you think it arrogant. It's not my intention and I really don't SEE it that way.

I tell people what i do, what I hear, what I think.

It would be disingenuous, at best, to NOT say that I think it's unnecessary... right?
Whether it's "widely accepted" or not.

Honestly, are most records worth copying, sonically, for you?

Think most people's techniques are worthy of investigation and imitation?

There are lots of talented engineers out there... I am by no means saying *I* am any authority on the "right way" to do things (or the only way).
But i do ALSO think there's a LOT of internet follow the leader - and often it's an unknown, untested leader.


If the sub-kick works for you then great!

But that shouldn't be threatened by people who don't like it or see the point in it.

Don't you think opinion is more valuable, on internet forums, than pile-on validation of what you already think?

Hey Ross Hogarth says he doesn't agree with my view on stereo placement of instruments.
Should I be hurt? Challenged?
Is he arrogant to disagree?
Should he keep it to himself?

or is it that when someone I think is talented and experienced says something, I can listen, understand and STILL make my own choices?



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William Wittman
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compasspnt

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2006, 01:22:48 pm »

rankus wrote on Mon, 27 November 2006 14:09


The earliest I have heard of using a speaker as a mic was the Beatles when they tried one on Sir Paul's bass ... Dunno what their success was.



99.whatever% of Beatles recordings do NOT have this technique employed.
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wwittman

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2006, 01:44:00 pm »

Yes.
According to Emerick (for what that's worth) it was on Rain and Paperback Writer.

Period.
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William Wittman
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rankus

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2006, 01:55:38 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 28 November 2006 10:22

rankus wrote on Mon, 27 November 2006 14:09


The earliest I have heard of using a speaker as a mic was the Beatles when they tried one on Sir Paul's bass ... Dunno what their success was.



99.whatever% of Beatles recordings do NOT have this technique employed.




Thanks Terry.  I was not suggesting this was part of their sound or anything... I was speculating in response to a musing in a post above, wondering who started this idea... Possibly the Beatles/Martin/Emerick ?  (they pretty much get credit for everything else) (even stuff that had been done a decade or more earlier, but that's another thread LOL)

PS:  Thanks William as well.. I will have a listen.
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maxdimario

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2006, 09:04:59 pm »

I think it's quite interesting that it was indeed an NS-10 which was used by whoever it was that invented this technique..

I mean just the kind of thing that everybody feels obliged to have but many keep disconnected and on the floor..



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wwittman

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2006, 01:29:11 am »

Not if you consider Emerick having "invented the technique" on Paul's bass amp.

that certainly wasn't an NS-10 in 1966

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William Wittman
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2006, 03:36:27 pm »

Back in the'70's, I assisted Phil Scheir in recording some Bill Withers' tracks at the Record Plant in L.A. The drummer was Russell Kunkel. Phil had him remove the front head from his bass drum and proceeded to attach an Auratone speaker to the rim of the head with four leather straps. Great sound to tape, but I'm certain Russell had a lot to do with the sound.

index.php/fa/3805/0/
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wwittman

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2006, 02:03:10 am »

it WOULD take some extraordinary effort to make Russ Kunkel sound bad.



a drummer I always LOVED recording.
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William Wittman
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Dave Martin

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2006, 08:32:05 am »

wwittman wrote on Sat, 02 December 2006 01:03

it WOULD take some extraordinary effort to make Russ Kunkel sound bad.



Which goes to show you that there WERE some extraordinary effots made in a few of those early 70's recordings! Smile

Not that Russ PLAYED bad, but when I listen to some of those records I have to ask myself, "What WERE they thinking????"
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compasspnt

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2006, 08:44:43 am »


I got good sounds out of Russ...but sadly, with mic's.
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wwittman

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2006, 12:46:55 pm »

I know. I feel so old-FASHIONED.

I'm thinking of recording a string section through a pair of headphones... what preamp should I use? Twisted Evil
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2006, 08:20:06 am »

I made my own with an old JVC 6" hi fi driver. A lot of reggae acts like it as I left it in the studio I use. I think it works best when the arrangements are sparce.
I found it was fun for a while, but have just gone back to a single mic as it was too easy to overload the low end of the mix so much that I'd have to filter it any way as there was too much clashing with the bass. So much so that I'd end up using the 'normal mic' on its own.
Barks


...did all that make sense?
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compasspnt

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2006, 10:09:50 am »

Barkley McKay wrote on Sun, 03 December 2006 08:20


...did all that make sense?


Totally.
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wwittman

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2006, 02:08:52 pm »

EXACTLY.

let's get all this cool sub bottom.

now let's highpass the piss out of EVERYTHING.


you don't need to do either.
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Les Ismore

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2006, 05:27:10 am »

If the theory of a much larger diaphram picking up the low end better was correct (I don't believe it is) shouldn't you be using a 15" or even an 18" speaker as a mic instead of little speakers like ns10s that roll off at 80hz?

just wondering.
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2006, 11:21:08 pm »

NS-10's go down as far as 80Hz?  Twisted Evil
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2006, 03:58:56 pm »

We use another speaker brand, i'll have to find out what it is, but the thing works!!  I'll report back soon.
Steven
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2006, 06:20:31 pm »



Thanks Steven!
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2006, 10:13:01 am »

I've used Auratones for this purpose a couple of times, works well for some applicaions. They're "tight"-sounding speakers and that seems to translate well when using them as a mic...

But there's no way I'd ever just use the speaker, it's got to be in combination with a mic - my personal favourite with the auras is an Audix D6.

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chorga1

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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2007, 02:23:43 am »

I've tracked several times using an NS10 as an addition on the kick. I find the sound works particularly well for rap...

And I can also imagine many situations where it would be of no use.
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2007, 01:11:38 pm »

The one I got here is an 8inch Goldwood sound.  It does the trick and I don't recall it being too pricey either.

I should point out that when A/Bing the woofer microphone wired to a 1/4" to DI, vs to an XLR, we liked the DI version better.
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2007, 01:40:46 pm »


Bang wrote on Tue, 02 January 2007 10:11


The one I got here is an 8inch Goldwood sound.  It does the trick and I don't recall it being too pricey either..


Thanks Bang!  I will try to track one down.

Bang wrote on Tue, 02 January 2007 10:11


I should point out that when A/Bing the woofer microphone wired to a 1/4" to DI, vs to an XLR, we liked the DI version better.


Vindication for my earlier post... Thanks again Bang.  I too use a DI and feel it makes a difference
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Re: Alternatives to NS10 as Mic?
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2007, 04:10:44 am »

i use an ns10 wolfer wired directly to an xlr pluged into a pre, i have used it on bass drum, and bass guitar. sometimes it works some times it gets cut. i would suspect a stock speaker out of a 96 toyota cammery to work just as well.
the thing i found with this technique is that it made the bass sound like it was there on systems that could not reproduce that bass. and it got this effect pretty effortlessly. although some times it was better to just raise 50-60Hz on the eq.

another thing, the ns10 i use is from a refurb shop. it has a creased cone, and cost me about $30. that beats the $300 subkick, and all i do for mounting is ziptie it to a short stand.
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