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 >producer/drummer/percussionist/band leader. 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 trick: 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. --m. -- _____ "I want to keep you alive so there is always the possibility of murder... later"