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If you only had 1 Crown PZM mic and were recording a 20-pc jazz orchestra (drums, bass, elec. gtr, piano, keys, perc, 4 trmpts, 5 trmbns, 5 saxes, LdSax, 2 LdVs and up to 8 BGVs) in a live setting....

...where would you use the PZM?
...or would you use it at all?

BTW - your PZM is NOT the only mic you have to work with.....its just an option.


tmix Tue, 01/28/2003 - 08:41

I bought 2 of the ecm8000s and returned them immediately, they had way too much self noise for my taste. I have used some earthworks omnis before that didn't seem to be anywhere near as noisey, but they are a whole lot more money. I believe from reading other peoples posts that small diaphram mics may in general exhibit more self noise( i don't know) I ended up getting a pair of oktava mc012s and liked them much more.

mixman77 Tue, 01/28/2003 - 08:48

We appologize for the inconvenience, but this member's posts have been deleted.


[ January 29, 2003, 12:38 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]

arnoldb Tue, 01/28/2003 - 10:06

And yes, the smaller the diaphram, the noisier the mic is by itself. That's why large diaphram mics are used in studios. The more cross-sectional area that is available for the air to move, the greater the output from the capsule, or sensitivity compared to the amplifier noise. Smaller diaphram condensers have a flatter response, but less sensitivity, thus, higher comparative self noise (Stephen Paul can explain this much better than I). Measurement equipment electronically subtracts the noise during evaluations, so that's not critical.

Flat response is what you want for measurement purposes, and very popular for natural sounding recordings, but a little uninspiring (IMHO) for music.


mixman77 Tue, 01/28/2003 - 12:51

We appologize for the inconvenience, but this member's posts have been deleted.


[ January 29, 2003, 12:39 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]

maak Wed, 01/29/2003 - 04:27

That's interesting about diaphragm size...guess it makes sense.

I recently used a [half cardiod] PZM on kick drum.
I placed it place where the resonant head would have been if it were there, on a small piece of wood, with suprizing results.

Do others use pzm's on kick?

arnoldb Fri, 01/31/2003 - 09:30

I have used PZMs on (or should I say IN) kick drums a few times, mainly, because I didn't have anything more appropriate. As an omni mic, I think they are slightly sweeter sounding than measurement microphones, but still so flat that it doesn't enhance any of the drum's musical character. Even without a larger base (you used wood), it will translate quite a complete sound when stuffed inside the drum shell. The real problem, though, is now the entire drum becomes a pick-up, and all the other drums, and bass, can come through almost as loud. Impossible to prevent feedback in a loud PA system without totally deadening the drum. YMMV. It's going to depend on the drum and the environment.


Violin Dan Thu, 02/20/2003 - 18:40

Jeff Lowes said: "As for the pickup pattern of a boundary mic, I assume that they all are hemispherical. I can't see that the placement makes any difference in the pattern since all signal is captured from the reflection off the plate. I suppose there could be some exceptions....."
I just checked the Crown web site on the PCC 160 and it's described as having a "half supercardioid" polar pattern and the polar plot shows a good 10-20 db difference from the front to the back, in the plane of the floor, so this puppy is not hemispherical, but quite directional. I guess the 3d plot would look like a fourth of a football...think about it.
This would make for some interesting situations in the "flying" scenario, not to mention setting them inside the lid of a piano ;>}
What say???

valleysounds Thu, 02/20/2003 - 22:51

no sound production or recording studio should be without at least 2 pzm's i have used them in nearly all situations from recording drums inside pianos inside open backed guitar cabs conbined with an SM57 (Sounds awesome) acoustic guitars (just stick it on the wall and play guitar at it) and vocals (smae just stick it on a wall at mouth level and sing at it ) and also in many live band situations... when i fist got into recording they were the first 2 mics i had so i experimented with them on everything ( i love em) :)

will keeris Sun, 03/02/2003 - 14:14

hello y'all,
sorry for bringing this post up again, but reading it got me thinkin'.
i have two of the 'radio shack'-pzm's. they need a 1,5 V battery. i heard or read somewhere that they worked better with 2 of those batteries, but these need to be at half size. now i've never come across the batteries, but would it be possible to use a 3V external power supply?

btw: just lurked around so far, really great site!
(Dead Link Removed)

valleysounds Mon, 03/03/2003 - 01:51

I also have 2 of the radio shack PZM's and i use 9 volt batteries on both of mine they work alot better than the standed 1.5volt i just soldered a 9 volt clip on to the prongs of the old batt holder and taped the 9 volts on the side... been working fine for 10 years now ..wish you could still get them here(radio shack model pzm)

entleybay Tue, 03/04/2003 - 21:19

My old band used two mics on the drums live: a PZM overhead and the house kick mic. The PZM was a Radio Shack modified to accept phantom power. It was mounted to a plexiglass plate on a boom stand and flown face down direcly over the drummer's head.. If we had a buck for every house engineer who told us it wouldn't work only to end up loving it by the end of the night, we'd still be together!