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MXL black widow

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Nutti, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Greetings folks!
    I was just curious if anyone here have tried these mics? I had some extra cash and itchy fingers so I just clicked home two of them in hope of maybe use them as overheads or stereo mics on acustic guitar. Maybe they are to crap for that so I might end up using them as room mics when recording drums...?

    Anyways, atleast they look cool so if they can't be used I'll just make some wallighting of them or maybe candlelightholders :D

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  2. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    Never tried one but based on the price alone I personally would spend my money on a good dynamic mic.
    Just my two cents.
  3. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Yeqh, I have some nice dynamics already. I run sm57 on everyting but bottom snare where I use an audiotechnica. I'm also getting a 421 for floortom and vox soon but the overheads are terrible. Behringer c2 harsh, disgusting condensers.
    With the black widows I'm hoping to capture atleast more of the kit, but if they also suck I'll try them on anything else. If they wont do on anything then so be it, not that great loss anyway.

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  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Most Affordable Condensers I tried and some I still own had that harsh sound you're talking about.. I wish the Black Widow is different.

    I imagine that the industry knows that the first mistake of a beginner is to want a crisp clear sound from a mic and the designers count on this to sell more.. No fact here, just plain frustration from years of recording on a budget ;)

    All in all, you can always use a multiband compressor or a dynamic EQ to smooth you sound. Also, since I begin to buy more High end gear, I learned that the mic is part of an equation with your preamp and converters. I had succes with not so expensive C1000s and also KSM 32(nicely priced used on ebay) I should receive 2 shure KSM 44 today, from ebay.. I choose those over C414 because they are known to be less crisp than the C414. I'll let you know about them when I have time to make some tests.
    Thinking about your harshness.. Your room sound may not helping you... Did you consider trying some dynamic mics as overheard.. sm58 or 57 ??
  5. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    No I havn't tried that but I'll give it a try! I'll be testing out different mics on different drums as soon as I get them. I'll check if I have a pic of my room to.

    As far as preamps go I still got a long way to go. I use a behringer xl2400 board to preeq drums befor my presonus firestudio interface so there I have a very weak link in the chain. The eq sucks on it but I don't think I have my studios income to afford a new board at this point so I'm upgrading mics and plugins instead and try to get as good as it gets with what I got. I've been looking at presonus studiolive 24.4.2 and behringer x32 with the midas preamps but it's big showel in the goldmine for those :(

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  6. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Here's two pics I found. As you can see it's cheap foam absorbers an diffusors randomly on walls and ceiling. No analyze or anything like that, just clapping my hands in various positions to find the echos and remove those with foam.

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  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i work outa 2 studios owned by the same dude, one of them uses the AT3035 on overheads, which beat out the 414's, nt5's, sm81's, which are all very nice mics in their own right, and often parked above a kit.

    these mics are great and at about 100 bucks a pop, will not be beat for a budget LDC imo.

    they pick up a bit extra high end like all condensers, and aren't quite as smooth as the 414 is for other things, but the 414's tended to pick up a bit more cymbals than i like, so the AT's win for the 'default' setup we use at this studio. that said i've had good luck w/ a 414's, and 81's. i've also heard good things about the ksm series mics as well.

    also, if your using the 8ch fire studio, why not just bypass the mixer, or if your using more mics than that, save the board for the less integral things like hat/ride, or maybe for toms, that could have some samples layered?

    +edit+ mono price ldcs, got some very positive reviews in tape op recently, at 80bucks, it's worth a shot, and i think they have a 30 day guarantee as well.
  8. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    I searched for the at3035 but they seem to be discontinnued, no luck with ebay on this side of the globe either :(

    I like to have knobs on a analoge mixer to set eq on drums so thats why I got this mixer. It was the only one in my pricerange with direct outs. For me it feels harder to do all the eq itb with plugins, I don't know but I actually don't get as good results as going through the mixer. It's wierd...but I guess it has become a standard to preeq and that messes up my eq itb if I don't use a board.

    Anyways, I love this time ayear! Great deals show up since people need money for christmasgifts or whatever. I just clicked home a beta 52, so when I get all mics I'll try a recording with beta 52 on kick, sm57 top snare, at mb2k bottom snare, sm57s on racktoms, 421 on floortom one and d112 on floortom 2. I think this might be a good setup for closemics, maybe a sub on the kick also. So then I just need to get decent OHs that woukd capture the whole kit instead of the crap behringers that just sound like hyped cymbalmics.

    Maybe it's time to start practice without a mixer also. I got a firestudio and firestudio project daisy chained so I got 16 inputs for all mics. Atleast they should have better preamps...

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  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Yeah, while tracking, I'd try to not preeq anything. Just connect the mics to the PreSonus firestudio interface and/or the FireStudio™ Project and see how it sounds. Play with the placement if you don't like something. EQ at mix time and see if it makes a difference.. And also watch out for phase problems it can play alot on the results.
  10. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Wow, I just checked out the mono price ldc mic. 64bucks!? How can someone make a mic at that price and get any profit from it? That's just insane :D

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  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    (Dead Link Removed)

    here's some 3035's. i love to eq and compress on the way in, but i just wonder if your improving your sound or not w/ an eq like that. but obviously thats up to your ears. you might want to look into the Rane pe15, (Dead Link Removed)

    your drum mic array seems nice for your close mics.

    overseas manufacturing, and higher tolerances. we use there trs cables/adapters for headphone runs, instead of those skinny black radio shaft ones, and two years later not a hint of a bad connection. Monoprice has an excellent reputation.
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I never EQ on tracking and refrain from compression as well (of course sometime you don't have a choice)
    The reason is, this is some destructive moves, you can't go back. Let's say your converter tricks you and what you hear while tracking is actually difference from what the converter output to your DAW. Maybe paranoia !! ;)
  13. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Thanks for the links, but I'm afraid I got a shop-oholic kick the past few days and ran out of cash :D got a 421 and a beta 52 coming in hopefully next week and I also stumbled over two uad-2 solo cards for 300$ so I just had to get them as the uad cards are rare over here and a new one cost 400$ so it felt like a nice deal. I'm having some hope on the black widows as overheads but I'll just have to wait and try before I get anything else there. I'm also about to finnish a ep for a band so with the payment of that I'll be getting a sub and a new headphoneamp and I also need more xlr connectors soldered between the rec and control room. So I got alot going on and the money is rollin out almost faster than it gets in :D but I'm glad to be stepping up in the game now gearwise.

    I'll upload a raw drumrecording from the latest session later so that you guys can hear what it sounds like with the setup I use now.

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  14. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    plus one!
  15. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Here's the dry drums from my latest recording going through the behringer mixer with eq on. Only thing I've done is set volymes, pan and invert phase on subkick and bottom snare. Here's a list of the mics used:
    Kick: akg d112 inside and a diy subkick
    Snare: sm57 top and audio-technica mb2k
    Toms: sm57
    Hihat: behringer b2pro LDC
    Overheads: behringer c2 SDC xy-setup
    Room: t.bone em500 SDC

    So tell me what you think?


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  16. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Hey how do you use the rane eq since it's just one channel? Do you rerun all tracks through it once they are recorded and in your daw?

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  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i never put off to tomorrow anything i can do today.

    things either sound good or they sound bad. i eq to tape and i compress to tape (only if needed). i think a lot of people compress too many things, too much. only a few things in a mix really need compression. . compression can always be added later if it's needed for effect or to help bring something forward in the mix.

    eqi'ng is something that either sounds right or it doesn't. sometimes you just have to make a decision. put too much off till mix and you will be confused by the myriad of options. make a freakin' decision once in a while.
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    except for the UA LA2A. I track with that baby going in every time! Sheer vocal heaven. Never sounds quite as lush after.
    +1 on compression. Nothing like killing a mix using comps on everything. Even just having plug-in comps on the chain is destructive.

    I need a few of these for side chain. What a deal.
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Nice. I like the kick. Nice work actually . The cymbals sound a bit swirly but you have a really good start imho. Individually the tracks sounds like good potential. The snare might lack a better mid that comes with better mic and pre but hey, keep rocking.

    Not to depress you but I love how Uli Frost makes drums sound.

    I shoot for this, the intro and the ending have a few spots where you hear some serious size. : It may help you open you ears into where it should be or could be. If you are relevant to the mix, thats the main objective.

  20. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Thats fantastic! All that outboard gear :p

    I'm thinking this as an realistic budget for me: I recently bought 2 uad2 solo cards real cheap and hoping to get them befor the 31st this month so I could shop some plugs on sale. I think I will go for the ampex tape machine and a channelstrip and run the tape across all inputs and simply print the the tape as sound is recorded to free dsp for mixing. With the channelstrip I've been looking at the neve 88rs and controling all parameters with my behringer bcr2000 midi controller. Then it would feel more like having a console infront of you and as I've read the uad plugin sound is very accurate to the actual hardware products. I think I could then ditch the behringer mixer with ease.

    This thread kinda flew away from the original topic but it is so interesting to talk with guys that actually no what they are talking about. :)

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