Mics..Vibraphones and SPL's

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Swift, Oct 2, 2005.

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  1. Swift

    Swift Guest

    I have 2 AKG TLII (3 years old) going into an Avalon AD2022, going into a Roland VS2480..

    I play the Vibes and have a home studio set-up

    These mics are notoriously great for Vocals and overheads, and loads of other instruments...but I'm finding that I get distortion when I really lay into my instrument..on certain note or when a coulple notes start ringing together (especially with vibrato on)

    Are there mics I should be looking at that can handle the overtones and transients a vibraphone can produce...and handle the SPL's?

    I use the 20db pad on the Avalon and the Pad on the Roland to get a decent sound..i don't use the 10db Pad on the AKG's

    Mostly..I'm wondering if I should use the transformer version of AKG mics... or any other brand for that matter


  2. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Have you tried using the pad on the mics? If those are whats overloading you may not even need the pads on the other gear.
  3. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    There are a few things I would do in a similar situation.

    Firstly I would work on really understanding what the source of the problem is. As when you solve an Agatha Christie murder puzzle it is not always the most obvious person that is the murderer, ahem, the reason for the problem.

    I would start with one mic, as stereo micing can have some surprising effects. Put it a fairly long distance away from you instrument. Use the pad on the mic, pad on the mic pre, record at -10 to -20 db. Now listen at the material at a low volume. If you have no problem here, you can branch out from that point and go closer and closer. Finally adding in the second mic.

    If you find that the things done above still poinst to the mic, I would try a different one. My favourite in this kind of situation is the DPA 4007, but it is a bit on the steep sida as far as price goes.

    You should probably try to create a good accord with a local music store and ask if you could borrow a few mics to try out at home. Sometimes they allow that, sometimes not, depends on a whole number of factors.

    Otherwise you could try to rent a few mics to try out. Renting a mic a day or two is often surprisingly cheap if you compare to buying it. And if that investment stops you from buying the wrong mic for your usage, then it is very much worth it.

    There are quite a few mics to choose from on the market and they all behave differently (well, a few lemons always sound bad). You simply have to try it out yourself. It might be a good idea for you to widen your search to include omni microphones as well as the more typical cardoid. You may even want to try the age-old studio workhouse Shure SM57, more than once it surprises with good recordings (not that I really believe it to be a good choice here).

    Best of luck in your search.

  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Gunnar's approach is spot on.

    I would be inclined to think that it is not likely the mics. To overload these would require a LOT of decibels. I'm VERY familiar with Vibraphones, and unless you're using a ball pein hammer as your mallets, you're probably not creating enough SPL to overload them to the point of clipping.

    It's more likely a case of the preamp receiving too hot a signal (which either pad - mic or pre - would work to fix).

    Try getting your gain on your pres low enough to handle the fast transients of mallet instruments.

    Just some thoughts.

  5. route909

    route909 Guest

    As J and Gunnar said. FET (and tube) Preamps are usually built upon several steps of amplification. The first amp stage is often pre set to roughly 12-24 dB. Some preamps use two transistors and some use three - the last stage being a make up gain stage. Depending on how they are constructed, some preamps can only take a certain level before clipping. Often the signal´s actually clipping between the first (20 dB?) amplification step and the second. The second amplifier can´t take the high level being fed to it, hence the bad sound. A pad might be in place before this step. Having a pad on the mic can prevent or lessen this kind of overload.

  6. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    i agree with you! just the other day i used two sp c4 on a live gig for a vibraphone and didn't have a problem!
    i also have a c414 tlII and it's clipping point is ver different from the c4...

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