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recording electric guitar/electric bass with a Sennheiser E604

Discussion in 'Bass' started by andershoeg, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. andershoeg

    andershoeg Guest

    Hi all! Just wondering if any of you have ever tried recording electric guitar/electric bass with a Sennheiser E604!? Have read people saying that the E604's sound a LITTLE like MD421's on toms, so therefor i wondered if they would be good as bass/guitar-mics. I know it is not very common to use these as mentioned, but.....anyone have any experience??
    B.R. andershoeg
     
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I just got one a couple months ago and I love this mic on guitars. I normally use a 57, 421 combo but I got this mic on sale and decided to try it out and was blown away. I dont think it sounds exactly like a 421 kinda inbetween a 57 and 421. I am going to buy a few more and try them on the drums.
     
  3. Angstaroo

    Angstaroo Active Member

    Well, there is no hard and fast rule to anything, but in my experience the e604s aren't good for anything at all. I say this because these are the only mics I have for miking toms, and they absolutely suck at this job. I've had my e604s for over four years now, and the only thing that they've sounded interesting on was a snare drum.. and even then it had a very ugly midrangey notch-filter sound.. but like I said, it was interesting. I've also used them on a guitar cabinet, and again.. they got the job done, but they weren't great by any means. You won't see me tossing an SM57 aside for one for this purpose.

    I never should've settled for the e602 and e604s. The only application they're good for is live miking. They get the job done in the studio, but I really should've bit the bullet and bought three MD421s for toms.

    I have to laugh -very- hard at anyone who thinks e604s sound like MD421s on toms. Maybe if you covered the MD421's element in masking tape first. And hit it with a hammer a few times. Okay, a few dozen times.

    As far as your bass guitar question, if you've got an e604 laying around, what else do you have? When I got all of my mics (I didn't get anything all too expensive.. big mistake, but it was just supposed to be for my own little project studio), I did some tracks with the band I was jamming with. I recorded four tracks when we did the bass track, just so I could figure out what I'd end up liking the best. I used my Trace Elliott GP12SMX preamp into a Carvin poweramp, into a cabinet with a 1x15" with a tweeter. I used my Sennheiser e602 kick drum mic on the 15", close to the outside of the edge of the driver on the left side of the cabinet about 4-6" away from the grill, a Shure SM57 closer to the center of the cone, right up against the grill, a Shure KSM27 back about a foot or so, between the 15" and the tweeter, and I took a DI line from the Trace Elliott.

    The e602 got A LOT of low end, but not a lot of the nice detailed mids.. and a really odd high end. I ended up rolling off everything above 1k and used this for the fat bottom end.

    The SM57 got all of the midrange growl, honk and detail that I wanted, but surprisingly got more low end than I was expecting.

    The KSM27 gave me a lot of top end and air that I really didn't end up needing out of the bass track for this particular tune.. but for another mix that wasn't so jam packed with stuff, it probably would've been really cool.

    The DI line ended up being the best sounding full-range tone I was looking for.

    All through the rough mixes, I just used the DI track. When it came down to the final mix, I decided that since I had gone through all of the trouble to mic the cab and everything, I might as well see what I could do. I ended up with a blend of the e602, the SM57, and the DI track, with the 57 being the dominant track. I used the e602 for the deep low end, the SM57 for most of the character, and the DI blended in to fill in anything else that was missing. I was really worried about phase cancellation, mainly between the 57 and the DI, but it never really affected anything. Here's that track, if you're interested in the result:

    http://www.angstaroo.com/audio/Soulvasq - 02 - Two Dollar Bill.mp3

    Will an e604 work? Sure, but I don't think it would sound as good as an SM57 does doing the exact same job. And if you don't have an SM57 laying around, what's wrong with you? :) Every recording studio should have at least one of these around.

    My advice? It really depends on the song, but if you're doing anything rock or heavy, with distorted guitars, loud drums and lots of vocals, you're -never- going to hear the difference anyway. Take a DI and mic the cab, and blend them to get a comprimise between the solid sound of the DI and the character of the mic. If necessary, apply some EQ where phase cancellation occurs.. for example, you could roll the bass on the mic off at 600hz, and roll the top end of the DI off at 800-2k, making the DI a nice solid low end, with the top end character of the mic.

    And finally, remember.. your mileage may vary. I'm only shitting on the e604s because they've been a major disappointment for me for the last four years, and I really haven't been able to justify the cost of new mics to replace them, so I'm stuck and have to make the most of what I've got. I've done many songs now, and I always end up with sounds I'm happy with, except when it comes to toms. Now, I'm more than willing to put the blame squarely on myself, but I know for a fact I'm not the only one who has had trouble with the e604s not sounding as well as they should. Plus, how come I get kick and snare drum sounds I'm happy with, with very little work put in to get them.. while I work for days on tom sound with no luck? They're great for live use, and they're nice because they don't get in the way.. but they sacrifice sound quality for a convenient size, and that just doesn't fly in a studio setting.

    Good luck!
     
  4. andershoeg

    andershoeg Guest

    WOW! great reading! Well, it seems that there are different opinions on this question. Angstaroo; I HAVE a sm57, so nothing wrong with me :D
    Tomorrow i'm going to record some bass, and i think i'm gonna go with the 57 and direct.....and MAYBE a cheap kick-mike from T-Bone (BD300). But i'm probably gonna get plenty of bottom from the direct signal. well, i'll find out tomorrow. BTW i also have a 1. gen Røde NT1 (NOT the "a"-model), two Røde NT-5, a T-Bone kickmike BD300, three e604, a sm57, a sm58, and thats it. so my best shot i think is going with a sm57, the kickmike (for bass), and MAYBE the NT-1 for electric guitar together with a sm57. But....i'll HAVE to try the 604 :)
    I would LOVE to have a md421........but haven't got the money. So I ALSO have to get the best out of what i've got already.
    Big thanks for your comments! And angstaroo: that is a MEAN bass-track!!! sounds great!!!! btw, the music i will record is rock in the style of Foo fighters, etc... so yeah, a couple of distorted guitars will be represented 8)
    B.R. andershoeg
     
  5. Angstaroo

    Angstaroo Active Member

    It's all good ;) I swear, when you buy -any- recording device or software, I think they should hand you an SM57 as part of your purchase.

    Depending on what you're recording to, how many tracks you can record at once, and how many tracks you have available, you can always put a ton of mics up and record 'em. Then, listen back and find what you like. After doing this a few times, you'll be able to narrow down your selection and techniques to what works for you.

    Yeah, 421s are outstanding. I just got my new Sweetwater catalog in the other day, and I'm looking at all of these awesome mics saying to myself, "Self, you need five of those, two of those, three of those, hell.. just get 'em all." As soon as I win the lottery, I will.

    And I'll tell ya what, MD421s for everyone if I win the lottery!

    No problem man. Glad ya liked the bass track in that song, that's my buddy Mark, who absolutely rips on bass. He's not bad on guitar either. That was the first song I ever produced on my own gear, by myself, so it's a little dated compared to where I'm at with things these days.. but I'm satisfied with how it came out.

    I started out as a bass player, and it's easily the instrument I'm best with.. so I hold a special place in both my heart and my mixes for bass guitar. It's the glue that holds everything together, so it's very important to me to get it to sit right between the kick drum and the electric guitars so it doesn't get stepped on or buried. Which means the bass tracks are generally loud in my mixes.. but so be it!

    Good luck, and glad my verbose blathering could be some help to someone. :)
     
  6. bounce

    bounce Guest

    Hmmm. I have a couple of 421's and lots of 57's and I'd actually have to agree with the person above who said the e604's sound "kinda inbetween a 57 and 421."
    I'm not sure what batch of the 604's Angstaroo above got a hold of (or what pre coupling they were used with) but I really like these things a lot. I use them on trumpet (great), have used them on upright bass with very good results, guitar cabs with a 57, a couple of voiceovers, and very often- toms : ) I really like these mics. They're easy to place because they're really small. On toms I place them parallel to the head with great results. I think they're very useful mics.

    mckay
     
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    After reading my last post I was not clear. I meant the 604 sounds in between a 57 and 421. I love the 421 on toms also, but I found the 604 to be a great lower cost alternative.

    I am also completely in love with the e609 on guitars. I normaly run a 421, 57 and a Royer 121 on crunch guitars. In my last session I added a e609 and ended up ditching the rest.

    here are some samples, all guitars a one e609 mic with 2 or 3 guitar tracks.

    http://www.pixelheadmusic.com/sight_sounds/music/New_Songs/Another_Day.mp3

    http://www.pixelheadmusic.com/sight_sounds/music/New_Songs/Last_Breath.mp3

    http://www.pixelheadmusic.com/sight_sounds/music/New_Songs/STP.mp3

    http://www.pixelheadmusic.com/sight_sounds/music/New_Songs/Ungreatful_Girl.mp3

    no vocals yet, we cut those tomorrow.
     

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