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Suggestions needed - what to use on a Leslie?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by tnjazz, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. tnjazz

    tnjazz Active Member

    Hi all,

    Just wondering what mics the folks here would use to mic a Leslie cabinet (from a Hammond B3 of course). Hi and Lo ideally - not necessarily stereo.

    Looking for ideas for my next mic purchase, I guess...

    Thanks in advance!
  2. tomtom

    tomtom Guest


    I have never had the chance to record a Leslie, but I remember that on the Royer Labs website, there are good pictures of recording of a B3. I think it's the Ray Charles and Norah Jones sessions if I remember well. This could help you with placement and/or mic choice.
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Several combinations of mics I've used in the past come to mind. One thing to remember is to move the mic off-axis to the horn if you dont want the sound of the air being spun by the capsule.

    Here's a short list....SM57 top rotor SM57 Bottom rotor......SM57 top RE20 bottom MD421 top and bottom... MD421 top MD441 bottom Any combination of these....And for a little 147 I once used a Neumann U87 out in front about 3 feet away...
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    421s sound great, top and/or bottom. I used to use AKG C451/452EB on the top, with the 421 on the bottom. The 452s are gone :cry: So now I use the 57s on the top, still have the 421s on the bottom. Placement is pretty crucial to avoid that rotor-spinning noise around the louvers. I l-o-v-e that REAL B3!! I have to settle for an M3 rigged through a Bogen-powered Leslie that I ripped the solid-state guts out of... :(
  5. tnjazz

    tnjazz Active Member

    Interesting...thanks! A little background on why: A lot of the bands I record in clubs have organ and quite a few have leslie cabs. As of now I'm taking a split from the stage lines, and the mics are typically 57s. I'm looking to expand my mic collection and I'm looking for something not TOO expensive that would work well on a Leslie. I hadn't thought about the 421s, but it looks like a lot of folks use these for a lot of different things. Maybe I should pick up a couple as "all purpose" mics?

    Anyone else have a suggestion on what I might use without breaking the bank? (Sure would love to use a Royer, but that's out of the question for me!)

    Thanks again,
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I have an M3 in the room also. Home made leslie(one rotor 12" )that I use the 62 B15 head on. I also will mic the speaker in the Hammond for that direct sound and also if I'm using the percussion and the vibrato, it comes out clearer than through a leslie. We also have a 120 model Leslie which we use from time to time. Guitar gets to go through this stuff too. The Blues Jr. and the Leslie is GREAT!( Thanx to George for this! RIP)
    Dirk....The 421 is a great all-around mic. You cannot go wrong with these. Many times I've been happy to have access to one when nothing else sounded quite right. I used to own an M500 Beyer ribbon mic. It sat on top rotor a lot. Probably why it died! But the sound was incredible. I'm thinking for a budget(though I have not tried one yet) an ADK Hamberg or Vienna for a LDC would be good...I know my slightly altered A51 V's do great work on small amps, I think an SDC would be a little strident...like the C451 that was mentioned....but every leslie sounds different, so YMMV. The Audix i5 is a mic I would put up on a Leslie just to see.. Since I like the 57's and this mic has a bit more detail and still retains the tone of a 57. No matter what you use, its still all about placement and keeping the wind out of the diaphram.
  7. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    You do have a point about SDCs being harsh on the tops. I replaced my C452EBs with a pair of Rode NTs, and they are not really useable for that. The AKGs WERE, but they had to have a certain amount of "air" between them and the louvers. I got the idea to use the AKGs there several years ago in an article in MIX. Some guy showed how to do it -in stereo- with a pair of 421s and a pair of 451s, complete with photos. It looked pretty wild, all gobo'd up. It sounded pretty good in stereo, but my mic cab was pretty well usurped for a live session, as I only had 2 of each and had more important things to mic up then a stereo Leslie.
    I am interested in your comments about the ADK Vienna...I will have to try mine on that. I haven't really tried mine on anything other than vox and room. Nice tip. And I was wondering how the Audix i5 was against the good ol' 57...."more detail" and just $10 more (+/-) makes it very intriguing...thanks!
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I was visiting a studio one time, and he had a really nice 122R leslie and a B3 from around 59 or 60. He also had a great mic collection and they had a session set up for a blues/jazz organist. He had a U67 on the top rotor and a U47fet on the bottom. I got to hear some prelim roughs from that and I'll never be the same again. Until my budget allows this, I'll have to be happy with what I got.!!......I have worked with a LOT of B3 players, and they all are freaks about that stuff. One fella, had all his drivers in the rotors changed to these really dark and dangerous sounding ones. It was that set of Leslies that you C452's woulda been great on. We stuck a pair of SM81's in an X/Y stereo array on the top and a 421 on the bottom. He had a rheostat he built to control the speeds down to fractional rpms. And a kill switch which stopped them all at center for that John Lord sound. Used amps he built based on the Tweed Bassman schematic. My ears still hurt!
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Wild! I know what you mean about "freaks". I used to hang around Lynyrd Skynyrd's demo/rehearsal studio during their heydays in the mid-70's. Billy Powell (keyboardist) had a buddy from Nashville named "Rick". He had a B-3 with some sort of whacked synthesizer circuitry added as an aftermarket deal under the keys (this was a real pain to install). Anyway, this B-3 was a monster and he had (2) 122s for it. They were loaded with JBL components and he drove them with...McIntosh M275 tube amps!! He had some sort of deal with the pedals where they went to an Acoustic 360 bass amp ( I have no idea what it took to split the pedals out to it, but he did). It was a real hoot...
    He would bring his rig down with a MiniMoog and a ....Mellotron.It took an entire truck and crew of 4 just to move the rig. Mic'd with 421s.
    On another note, I too, have lamented the passing of my Beyer M500s. I would love to find a couple of the silver anniversary ones they were marketing a couple of years ago.... :cry:

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