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Strangest microphone technique & placement

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by jagsound, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. jagsound

    jagsound Active Member

    What is the strangest place you have used to get that exact sound you or some producer was looking for. What place was it,closet,barn,Oven etc. and what did you use to get the sound?
  2. jkchuma

    jkchuma Active Member

    In college I knew some guys that stuck a mic in a trash can and put it in the other side of the room when recording drums. I never found out how that worked out for them.
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Heres a couple. Not all that strange....The cargo area of an old bread truck....A single mic....I think it was an RE15, and two old AR stereo speakers with a Crown D60 amp. Ran the guitar tracks out through the speakers and moved them around as well as the mic till we got that crisp, fast, metallic reverb sound for heavy 70's hairband lead.

    Ran the snare drum track out to a Fender Bassman 100 head plugged into a Bassman 1-15" cabinet. Laid the cabinet on its back and put another snare on top of the grill cloth and mic'd that. Ran this track back and mixed it with the original snare track. It added a lot of body to the track. Works for ANY rock. Theres zero bleed from this track...also.

    Both of these are 'old engineer' tricks.....

    One other. Ran a DI'd bass track back through one of those GK amps with the 5" speakers. They had a real heavy chorus and compressor built into the amp. Mic'd the speakers at a low volume and added a touch of each of the effects. Blended with the DI'd track. Kind of an amazing sound achieved that way. Semi classical based rock music.
  4. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Lol.. this is fun...
    Stereo mic into Tascam HD-P2 through a 20 meter long mic cable. I was secured hanging half over the gaping chasm of a wild gorge
    named Höllentalklamm ( Devil's valley gorge ) and lowered the mic into the narrow canyon. This was for a documentary with a narrator
    explaining wonders of nature. And I wondered if I make it back home, alive...lol..
    Another very impressive location was the Cango Caves in South Africa, with its 90 x 50 x 18 meter large cavity and 4 km
    long cave passages. I almost got stuck in the most narrow part of the cave.
    And, a little gross, a friend had to swallow a tiny mic to record the SFX for the guts of an Alien... sounded worse then we thought..lol..., but we got it back out.
    Last memorable recording was the Peters Dome in the Vatikan. I wished, I could remember more about that, but the red wine was full of
    rather strong and unholy spirits...But, at least, the recording came out huge.

    Höllentalklamm (700 m long)
    click me
  5. jagsound

    jagsound Active Member


    Those are some interesting methods.
    I had used an empty toilet with an sm-57 deep in the bowl, one pass I used a small oratone speaker in the toilet as the source , another pass had a JBL 4411 mid field monitor.

    Also recorded a saw (yes a craftsman saw) played with a bow in a bathroom for the old Al Pachino movie Cruising.
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I used to have a house with a swimming pool (in Florida, that's the LAW!!!), and it was suffering from a hairline fracture that was losing water by many gallons every day. I had to drain it to get it inspected, and while it was empty, I used it as a reverb chamber. I placed an old Yamaha 4115 PA speaker at one end, and mic'ed the other side with a C452. Ran the guitar track out to the speaker and played with the mic's positioning. Turned out pretty good, gave new meaning to the term, "swimming in reverb".
    When I was a lot younger, I used to take a little Fender tweed Deluxe amp and "fire it" at this really nice grandfather's clock that my dad had made from scratch. I'd open the little glass door on the front of the clock and "aim" the amp up to the chimes.
    Then I mic'ed the chimes with an old Shure 565 mic and run that into an old M67 mixer, then to my Teac 3340. Dimed the amp and those chimes would start resonating, Gave the guitar a really haunting reverb-like "halo". I recently inherited that clock after my dad passed away, I need to try that again...
  7. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    I like to sometimes run vocals through a speaker aimed at an acoustic guitar with a magnetic pickup (you could do this with peizo pickups but you'll get a lot of the original signal too, not so good for this purpose) and then use the signal from the guitar as "reverb". Very haunting, more like a freaky sustaining echo than verb usually is (it actually sounds like the words are being sung by the guitar).

    I'd love to try this with something with more strings like a dulcimer or piano, but I'd probably need to wind some pickups specifically for the job (it is on my list of things to do though, I'm utterly in love with sympathetic resonance). Actually, I hope to do a whole project of strictly sympathetic resonance one day, but that's in the future...
  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Looks like a good spot for a detective to wrestle a criminal mastermind mathematician until both fall to their death.
  9. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member


    It was a good occasion to be grateful for the invention of dipers, anyhow.

    Nah, I was rather safely held by a former comrad . We served together in the Bavarian Mount Devision spec forces for some time.
    And the equipment was borrowed from friends of the excellent mountain rescue service in our area.
    The mic got all wet, but somehow it survived and is still in use, today. Only the left channelsounds a bit watery at times.

    Now, since you mention it...There was a long tall person lurking from behind a rock, wearing a strange hat... and a coat.. :eek:
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    John's post brings to mind one of the other "bad guy" mathematicians. There is a legend that there is no Nobel prize in Mathematics because Gosta Mittag-Leffler seduced Alfred Nobel's fiance. (Nobel invented dynamite and generated a tidy fortune.) Probably not true, but a good story

    Special bonus trivia question: What was Michael Corleone's career goal before he decided to join the family business? Professor of Mathematics. (This is in the book, not the movie.)

    You may now resume your regular thread hijacking.
  12. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I've placed a mic parallel to a hardwood floor, about 0.5" - 1" above the floor and a couple of feet in front of both (a) a guitar amp and (b) an acoustic played sitting down.
    In both cases, I got some nice results. It's not something I'd repeat on a regular basis, but it's worth trying if you have the time to play.
    This wouldn't be a main mic, but might approximate something like a slap-back delay.
    The tones I got were fairly bright, so it helped create a nice "splash" on the guitars.
    Watch out for foot-tapping...
  13. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    I would love to hear about bass drum / drumset recording with a NS 10 woofer as microphone and how this technique with the mic in a large, empty water bottle in front of the BD sounds. It is pretty hard to get an empty one of this size at my place.. Here, they usually fill beer in containers this size and upwards...lol...
    bottle 5 gallons.jpg
  14. vttom

    vttom Active Member

    Sort of the opposite of this... YouTube - Speaking Piano - Now with (somewhat decent) captions!
  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Germany and Oregon have many things in common. One of which is Beer.

    I have built several sub-kicks. I have one now with a 6.5" speaker housed in a Tama metal accent tom with a Fender grillcloth. Combining this track with the ATM25 inside the 20" kick gives me any size kick drum I want. I dont think you can properly appreciate the huge nads available with this technique, unless you have tried it. The NS10 trick was simply to sit the speaker in front of the kick and take the wire to an input(DI'd of course) This is very 'old skool' and when Yamaha discovered people doing this they built the Sub-Kick with mounts and housing. They also charged an arm and a leg for it. I have $30 in my setup including all the hardware to mount it.
  16. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    I'm building a similar rig, but with a smaller woofer, a 5 inch. I'm toying with adding a sliding tube off the back off it that I can use to "tune" it with phase cancellation. Might work, might not... we'll find out! (It'll be a 2 foot piece of PVC pipe that the woofer fits perfectly inside, and then a second layer of pipe that fits perfectly with the inner that can be slid out to make it up to 4 feet long).
  17. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member


    I still have a 15" bass cabinets speaker from the '60s in my storage room....
    Would that give a good ooomphh?

    Bavaria and Oregon is even more closely related....Mind you, there are parts in Germany were they drink their Ale out of tiny little glasses of 0.2 liters.
    What a waste of kinetic energy if the arm movement is about the same for a Masskrug...


    View attachment 708
  18. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I think you will find the only difference is the sensitivity. This is not about the tonal differences due to larger or smaller speakers or containers for the speakers, this is about getting the speaker close enough to the source to be physically moved by the spl and create a signal to be amplified. I have built 5", 6.5" ,8", 10" and 12" sub-kicks. The smaller ones have more definition to the sound simply because of the physics involved with moving the diaphram of the speaker, but the tone remains fairly constant.
  19. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    That's interesting to hear, I would have thought there'd be more difference from size to size. I used an 18" once (to mic a bass guitar as well as kick) and that was definitely not sensitive enough, there wasn't really any attack at all, just a low rumble.

    I'm also using a speaker with a foam surround this time instead of cloth or paper, looks like it has a less rigid spider as well, should help with sensitivity. It's not a high wattage speaker either, so it appears to be lighter in construction all round (pressed frame not cast, so not super high end either). I'm thinking of trying out a neodymium speaker next.

    The tube behind the speaker isn't so much for tonality (though I do expect some changes, however minor), it's for playing with the polar pattern. I have no way to predict how the pattern will change with my limited understanding, but I'll take measurements to find out. It's not something I'm sure will work by any stretch, just something an old AE recommended I try. It does make sense to try and block/delay some of the signal that'll be coming around the back of the speaker.

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