October 1, 2014

Shooting Out Dynamic Mics

The recording session for my new mic shootout happened last week. If you're not familiar with the term, a "mic shootout" is a comparison of microphones which have in common either functionality or application. So it could be a test mics of a particular type, such as ribbon microphones, or mics intended for recording a particular instrument, such as piano. (See this excellent example.) The idea is to answer a question -- in the most objective manner possible -- such as "What are the sonic differences between ribbon mics?" or "How do these different mics sound on acoustic piano?"

In this case, I wanted to explore the sonic differences between dynamic microphones when used on electric guitar amplifiers. Paul Tavenner and I ran the tests at his studio, Big City Recording, which consisted of recording the same guitar track over and over, each time with a different mic. It's a fairly arduous process. The next step will be gathering together a few seasoned pairs of ears together to give all the tests a listen and see who likes what. After that, I'll write up the results and send it off. Matt McGlynn from my all-time favorite website, RecordingHacks.com, has agreed to publish the results, so look for it in about a month. I'll post a link when it's ready.