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MXL Genesis just sounds... bad.

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by TheVetrinarian, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. TheVetrinarian

    TheVetrinarian Active Member

    Why does my genesis sound so shitty? It's really quiet, and things sound very thin and wispy. I'm pretty unhappy, especially after spending about $500 on one. Any tips? Does this mic just suck? Is it a lemon? Does the tube need more time? Any advice would be awesome.

  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    well i have heard that tube mics take about 15min. to warm up. My first question is are you using phantom power? what mic pre are you plugging into? Did it sound that bad at the store, or did you mail-order.? I mean, i wouldn't expect it to sound like a c-12, and there are certainly a ton of mics i would buy first before a $500 Chinese condenser, but that is another topic. What are your intending to record? Is your gain staging correct? it's possible you have your outputs cranked on your interface (if your using one), and your input, very very low. hence output-boosting a really quiet, thin, sound. it'll be tough to do much more than speculate, until i/we know more detail about the situation.
  3. TheVetrinarian

    TheVetrinarian Active Member

    I am not using phantom power. Should I be? It has its own PSU. I ordered it from eBay, but the videos (fan made and MXL made) of it in action sound nothing like the thing I have. I'm using it as an overhead drum mic, vocal mic, and guitar mic, but all sound bad in the same way (thin and wispy). I'm not a super mic snob or anything, I have a Blue Bluebird that sounds better, as well as some SM58s, so I don't think I'd say I'm being picky; I think it objectively sounds just bad. The gain on it's mic-pre (profire 2626) is almost dimed out. Hopefully I've answered all your questions and this is enough info. I can also send some samples of recordings if that helps anyone.
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    You don't need phantom power. Tube mics use outboard power supplies. That's the big red box that goes between your mic and the DAW.

    The problem is most likely improper gain staging. After re reading your last post I'm thinking a bad tube? Maybe it just sucks?
  5. TheVetrinarian

    TheVetrinarian Active Member

    I have to dial the gain up to 9-9.5 for it to match the level of the bluebird with the gain at <5. This can't be right, right? Any way for me to check the tube quickly and easily?
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You should have way more gain than your description allows. This is a side address microphone and not and end address microphone. Are you sure you have the correct orientation towards the sound source? If so, then you need to try a different XLR mic input on your "board"-try it in the bluebird input and see if things are the same for instance. If not this then you may have a bad tube. The Genesis is definitely not a C12 and will be a bit crispy for a tube mic but it should provide plenty of level.
  7. TheVetrinarian

    TheVetrinarian Active Member

    yeah i switched it to different inputs on my interface with the same results. I'm going to return it :/

    I don't think im comfortable going with a tube mic any more. Any recommendations for a similarly priced large diaphragm condenser that's good as an overhead, vocal, and electric guitar mic?
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Tube microphones are great. They are more fragile than a non tube condenser.
    Award-winning microphone engineering from Michael Joly
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised it sounded that bad. I have to ask again. Are you using it correctly? This is a SIDE ADDRESS mic. That is, the mic should be upright when you sing into it. I have a low end CAD tube condenser that sounds great for the price. It ain't no U47 but it's pretty decent. See if you can get a new one and try that out. Otherwise, Rode makes some great mics. NTK, NT1.
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The side address issue is pretty darn common in new recordists. +1
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    what kind of cable are you using to come out of the power supply? Is it an XLR or are you plugging into your interface through the 1/4" inputs? You should be going into the XLR / pre amp not 1/4" line input.
  12. TheVetrinarian

    TheVetrinarian Active Member

    Singing into the side (tried all sides just to make sure), using XLR, sounds terrible no matter what I do.
  13. timshel

    timshel Active Member

    Did you purchase it new or used? It might be time for a new tube.

    And is it the genesis or the genesis II?
  14. TheVetrinarian

    TheVetrinarian Active Member

    Genesis I. Bought it sealed, brand spankin new.
  15. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Still likely a bad tube. Return for a refund or exchange.
  16. timshel

    timshel Active Member

    Indeed. Either way you're not happy with it so go with something that you're used to. You seem to like your bluebird which is a fine microphone. $500 gives you a lot of options.
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    the genesis got good reveiws in the situations you want to use it, maybe you just got a bum tube due to lack of quality control, consider maybe an exchange? i dunno. The word "tube" is a novelty i think unless your rolling w/ the big dogs, like the mics i can't afford, and drool over. i'm no fan of the mxl's i've tried, they can flaunt 'tube' or 'mogami edition' all they want, they sounded not good.

    I haven't used it, and i've heard yay's and nay's about it, but the avantone cv-12 is in your price range. i wouldn't hold my hopes to high personally, but it was used on one song on a taylor swift cd. but i bet it had to do w/ her performance being un-repeatable, and the mic just 'not getting in the way', rather than OMG her vocal tone sounds amazing thru that mic, we have to use that. if that were the case, they woulda used the $500 Chinese clone on the whole cd.

    why not just get a mic that's more 'tried and true' in that price range? Are tubes necessary? an sm7 or sennheisser 441 (used), would be just fine for those applications, and probably smoke a mid priced condenser most of the time. If your dead set on a condenser how bout saving a couple and getting a used Neumannn tlm 103? akg 214? geez i'd take a Rhode nt2 over any mxl i've ever heard.

    Just the fact that you bought a potentially defective 'brand new' mic turns me away. also it re-enforces try it- buy-it. everytime i've purchased gear w/ out using it, i've been let down, big time.

    the blue mic is nice. why do you want another mid-price condenser? what about a pre-amp upgrade? just brainstorming.
  18. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    I have tried a few MXL mics and just did not really care for them, but I think they could be a usable mic.
    A friend of mine uses some of the MXL mics and although he is not talking about them on the forums he really likes them. Based on that I would think maybe you just got a bum mic? Maybe get it swapped out if you feel you really need one?

    I like BLUE mics, but I would say rather then another mid priced mic, save a few more dollars and grab an over better mic?

    If I only had $00.00 to spend I would one set on it ( if I did not need a mic ASAP ), or I would get one or two nice dynamic mics.
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Everybody thinks that tubes give you a mellow sound. Well they can and they can also not. Many of these newer Chinese made condenser microphones feature very thin diaphragms. Generally on the order of 3 mil with some even as thin as 1.5 mill. Older condenser microphones like many of the Newmann's have diaphragms as thick as 6 mil. Everybody in recent years keeps thinking that the more high frequencies that you hear, the crispier that the mic is, the better it must be. Au contraire. It just gives you a very crispy and brittle metallic microphone sound. So it doesn't matter if it has a tube. It's a crappy thin diaphragm.

    You might want to look into is one of those active, phantom powered and buffered ribbon microphones? You get that big round of warm fat sound along with extremely accurate sounding transients. Noise is extremely negligible on these active buffered ribbon microphones. And they don't sound like any dynamic or condenser microphones. That's why a lot of recordings still utilize SHURE SM-7's. Even when ya get tight on them, you are still in the proper distance from the capsule. And they don't have a really bright and crispy sound. Quite warm actually. Even warmer when you turn off the presence rise switch. Condenser microphones don't always equal better microphones. It's called utilizing the right tool for the job. You don't use a hammer when you need a pair of pliers. Follow? You are trying to hammer out the sound of the condenser microphone to be something other than a condenser microphone. Tubes really only provide the warmth when you begin to overdrive them. That's when they start to go nonlinear and produce even order distortion along with very soft and not flat topped overloads. Otherwise they sound as clean as the transistor. And then you're not getting what you want from them. It's a false sense that the tube will make your sound right. So yeah, return the critter.

    Just because it's not rich and excessive high-frequency content does not mean it's bad.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  20. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i think CAD and/or Cascade got pretty good reviews for budget ribbon mics. Pretty sure it was in a trade mag, so i suspect some 'non-objectivity' there, but still decent reference for a starting point.

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