cover_50kribbon

 

My friends Matthew McglynnRyan Canestro, and Randy Coppinger spent a good amount of time with a LOT of expensive microphones creating The $60,000 Ribbon Mic Shootout for recordinghacks.com. It’s an extensive review covering  AEA, Audio-Technica, BLUE, Cascade, Cloud, Coles, Royer Labs, Samar Audio, sE Electronics, ShinyBox, Shure, and Sontronics mics on a variety of recorded sources

I hosted part of the shootout at my recording studio where we some testing on the mics as drum overheads. I played a simple drum groove multiple times through the various pairs of ribbon mics to see how they sounded and reveal the differences. This part of the review can be found here. There are recorded examples to listen to, and there’s an option to download the high resolution files for your own inspection.

We all share a love for the art of recording and engineering, and mic shootouts like this are a great way to compare differences between microphones. It’s also a good excuse to get friends together and geek out on drool worthy gear

 



An experiment replacing the snare with a 14″ floor tom, an octoban played with the left foot, and no proper high hat. Featuring FMP percussion and Istanbul Agop cymbals. I often get inspired by different setups, mixing things up a bit, and seeing what happens. This groove appeared soon after setting up a 26″ Gothic Radius cymbal which compliments the toms. Technical note: This was the first time had used Michel Joly modded Oktava 219 mics on the toms.

A quiet groove that I can imagine someone like Jon Hassell or Brian Eno layering some soundscapes on top of.

The best way to check out recording gear is in your own studio where you know the environment, the live room, and you know intimately how your instruments sound. Especially with microphones, you can really hear what they sound like and what character they bring to a familiar space. For me, engineering and sound design is all about experimenting with sound, and learning what’s possible, so I’ll jump at the opportunity to geek out with gear. Lucky for me a had a whole set of new Sure Beta Microphones.

Recordinghacks.com is a tremendous resource for microphones, and they have a plethora of reviews, specs, and audio files to listen to. I’ve written a number of reviews for the site, including the one below.

sure_room_mic_tests

I asked my engineer friend Stan Katayama (Rage Against The Machine, Judas Priest, Paul Gilbert) if he’d lend me a hand and his ears to help out. We tested the Betas out in various ways including the ridiculous room mic test where we did a shootout with a vintage 70s Neuman U87, Shure SM57, JZ BT-201, and a Telefunken/AKG D19 (aka the Ringo mic).

The Beta mics we recorded with were the Beta 91, Beta 98AMP,  Beta 98A, and the Beta 181, It is an extensive review with lots of sound clips, video, and pictures.

Good times!

 

Read the full Shure Beta microphone review at recordinghacks.com

Shure_Beta_Mics

It’s no secret that I think JZ Microphones are some of the best around. My affinity for their mics started with a review of their DMK1 drum micing system that I did for recordinghacks.com. I asked my friend and colleague, Matt Forger (Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones) to lend a hand (and ears) to test out these unique sounding and looking microphones.

We did some mic shootouts with other microphones (Neumann KM 140, AKG C451C, AKG C460B, and Studio Projects C1) and were surprised and pleased with the results. I was so impressed that I had to buy them.  Besides sounding great, they have a distinguishing look all their own, and clients in the studio ask about them often.

JZ_BT-201

 

Over the years I’ve used them on a variety of sources, and they sound especially great on acoustic guitars, horns, classical harp, and low end percussion (cajon, djembe, congas, etc…). Lately, they have become my tom mic of choice.

Read the full DMK1 review with sound clips at http://recordinghacks.com/2011/01/13/jz-dmk1-review/

jz_dmk1

An excerpt from a recording session I did for composer/arranger John Sawoski. 8:15am is never to early to rock out.

These are raw tracks (no plugins on the individual channels),  with just a little love from the Vertigo VSC-2 Compressor by Brainworx on the master bus in Pro Tools.

All cymbals by Istanbul Agop
All drum heads by Aquarian Drumheads

Instrument: Microphone / Mic Pre:

  • Kick: Shure Beta 52 / API
  • Snare top: Shure SM57 / Universal Audio 4110
  • Snare bottom: Shure Unidyne III / Universal Audio 4110
  • Toms: JZ BT-201s / API
  • Overheads: AKG 451s / API
  • Room mics: Oktava 219s (Michael Joly mod) / Universal Audio 4110

Over at Contently.com there’s a great looking page aggregating all of my recordinghacks.com microphone reviews, microphone shootouts and more: https://jonmattox.contently.com/pub/recordinghacks-com

My love of JZ microphones began with those mic reviews. Outstanding mcs!

contently_recording_hacks

 

Thank you Contently.com!

 

 

I