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Project: Commercially Viable recordings from band in Middle TN. "Heller's Blazing Star" (pigeonhole: Indie/Lofi Rock) Needed: 1 "Hit", 1 "Album Cut", 1 hit cover. MTSU STUDIOS, MURFREESBORO, TN producer: Drew Perkins

Thursday, October 23, 2003

MIC PRE SHOOTOUT, with Doug Mitchell - an AES MTSU meeting, 10/22/03 


BEST JOKE OVERHEARD AT MEETING: Q: What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend ? A: Homeless

NOTE: THESE ARE ONLY MY OPINIONS, AND I AM BUT AN EGG. Notes are verbatim from my notebook.

Sound sources:
........1. Acoustic guitar, fingerpicked, mic'd with Sennheiser KM840
........2. Female vocal, country ballad style, mic'd with Neumann M147 Tube
........3. Snare drum, Shure SM57

Mic Pre's used, no other options or effects or "impedance matching" (on Focusrite):
........a. Aphex 207 Tube
........b. Focusrite Twintrack Pro
........c. Neve "1272"
........d. Studer D19 MicVALVE A/D converter
........e. Avalon SV737
........f. TubeTech CL 2A
........g. Millenia HV-3D

RESULTS:
____________________________________
1. Acoustic Guitar:
--------------------FIRST IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - ? frame of reference
........ b. Focusrite - Brighter, faster action, slight futz at the top ?
........ c. Neve - much more gain after attack, higher RMS perceived, bright
........ d. Studer - gain-y, tube-glassy, smears a little
........ e. Avalon - nice highs, clear seperated tone
........ f. TubeTech - Active mid-hi's, not too squashed when loud, not too airy
........ g. Millenia - Flat, blah, still not much gain

--------------------SECOND IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - slow, makes it sound like nylon string guitar
........ b. Focusrite - fast, bronzey
........ c. Neve - nicer as it gets louder
........ d. Studer - slightly shaded, "darker" glassy
........ e. Avalon - much string noise (squeaks), most bright string sound
........ f. TubeTech - flatter, more voice than attack
........ g. Millenia - clear, flat, but boring

____________________________________
2. Female Vocal
--------------------FIRST IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - kinda slow and dark
........ b. Focusrite - "sshh" lisp on the esses ? excellent clarity and not too bright, allows more gain
........ c. Neve - warm, less gain on voice
........ d. Studer - stronger mids and low-mids, better for a warm male voice
........ e. Avalon - squashy, sounds like singer is "right next to me", breathing and mouth saliva noise accentuated
........ f. TubeTech - silky, not attack-y, VERY nice (wish this unit had a fine gain !)
........ g. Millenia - *shrug*


--------------------SECOND IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - there is a slight HUM noise in this unit
........ b. Focusrite - silvery, shiny, hyped hi's, high formants accentuated
........ c. Neve - clear, defined, super nice. MY FAVORITE !
........ d. Studer - warm, masculine
........ e. Avalon - mid-presence rage, maybe a little sterile
........ f. TubeTech - VERY VERY good ALSO MY FAVORITE !
........ g. Millenia - noisy by comparison


____________________________________
2. Snare
--------------------FIRST IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - dark, not very fast
........ b. Focusrite - "snare"-y, hi-end is clear & fast. AWESOME snap
........ c. Neve - short sustain, more tonal than snarey
........ d. Studer - darkish, woody
........ e. Avalon - sounds like marching snare, more shell sound & tone. Good
........ f. TubeTech - Unexciting
........ g. Millenia - just OK


--------------------SECOND IMPRESSIONS
........ a. Aphex - too dark
........ b. Focusrite - not as cracky on attack, hi-end kinda a little hyped
........ c. Neve - tighter, short tone, very good
........ d. Studer - the most "snare-y" (not like 1st impression)
........ e. Avalon - bright crack attack, NICE
........ f. TubeTech - hiss, *yawn*
........ g. Millenia - must be accurate but who cares ?



THERE YOU GO !

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