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Re: mic recommendations; champagne recording on a beer budget
At 3:21 AM -0700 6/16/07, RICK WALKER wrote:
>I've always had to attempt champagne living on a beer budget
>throughout my musical career as a professional
I can wholeheartedly agree with the same philosophy. So, in the same
spirit, here's another mic tip.
Back in the mid-80's, I was going through recording technology
classes at university. Our teacher -- who was also a professional
studio owner of a pretty darn nice studio for its day, mostly
catering to overflow from the Nashville market -- showed us this
He took a fairly high-end AKG microphone which cost several hundred
dollars (I think it was the original C1000), and scoped it on the
RTA. He then brought out this *thing*. It looked like a soda straw
with a bunch of electrical tape and a jack on one end. He plugged in
that mic and scoped it, then compared the two snapshots -- the
frequency response was identical! We spent a little more time doing
blind tests between the real mic and this little homemade thing, and
none of us could tell the difference.
Here's what he had done. He had gone down to Radio Shack, and
purchased one of the mic elements they sell in the parts section.
He'd then soldered wires to the terminals, and run the element
(rear-end first) down an ordinary drinking straw, merely taping
around the sides to hold it in place. On the opposite end of the
wires running down the inside of the straw, he soldered a standard
XLR jack. Later, he showed us a more "advanced" model where he'd
soldered an adapter for a 9-volt battery and a cheap switch, so he
wouldn't have to rely on phantom power.
It turns out that the Rat Shack mic elements were from the exact same
parts source as those in the AKG. The only difference was that AKG
would put them through a bit more QC. Occasionally, he'd have to use
two or three elements before finding one that was perfect. The soda
straw was merely a quick and easy housing to build everything around.
You could just as easily use something a little more sturdy.
Considering the cost (95 cents for each mic element, $1.95 for a good
XLR jack, and a few pennies for wire, solder, and a straw), it was
worth the time to check a couple of elements. Especially since you
were getting a $400 mic for less than $5.
"I want to keep you alive so there is always the possibility of