rode k2 with sebatron

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by davewike, May 2, 2005.

  1. davewike

    davewike Guest

    I wanted to get some opinion on this guy's remarks about the Rode K2 I just purchased to go with my sebatron... I'm certainly willing to get a new mic, I just didn't want to do it based on one guy's opinion. If a few of you think he's right, I'll give the peluso a chance...

    here's what *he* said:

    "I've spent my career as a recording engineer, tracking everything from pop vocals to classical orchestra. But most importantly, my affiliation with ____ has allowed me to test just about every piece of gear out there. And while many others may have more years on me in the studio few have as much time on as many different mics and pre's on as many different applications.

    While I appreciate some of the advice you've received, I do disagree that it is not so black and white. I don't just shoot from the him, but can speak from many years of not only recording engineer experience, but more specifically different combinations of gear. While there may be a special effect that someone is trying to get out of purposely a less than ideal combination of gear, such as combination is just that- less than ideal. I can appreciate someone saying something is too bright, or harsh, or even too detailed (in very rare situations), but in your case (sebatron w/ Rode K2), it is just a simple fact, that the combination of those two units will have an upward threshold of detail that will greatly limit your ability to capture the nuances and detail of an acoustic guitar. Muddiness is generally a lack of clarity and detail, but is not lack of brightness (or darkness). While warmth can often be what a lot of people are looking for, muddiness, as a general rule of thumb is not. This is not a question of brightness vs. darkness, that is a different issue. This is more of question of fidelity and detail vs. muddiness. While the Neumann KM184 is far too bright for my tastes as well, it's warmth and detail are both pretty pleasing. However they are too bright for many, many applications, indeed often harsh, but at the same time detailed. Frankly the Neumanns are so bright that they are harsh. In fact, you can verify by looking at the K2 frequency curve) while the K2 is also bright, but it is muddy at the same time.

    It sounds to me like you don't like the brightness of the Neumanns, which means you may not like the brightness of the K2 since they are curved similarly. I personally find the entire line of Rode mics, and certainly the K2, to be not only harsh and thin in a lot of applications, but badly lacking in clarity and detail. We tried the K2 on many applications through many preamps for many engineers in some extensive testing, and were overwhelmingly unimpressed. The combination of mudiness, thinness, and lack of clarity was not only not appealing, but pretty dissatisfying.

    The bottom line is that an acoustic guitar is a difficult instrument to record, and requires care in mic preamp selection. Again, if you were purposely going for alo0fi special effect, or a slightly muddy guitar sound, they might be a unique "color combo" that could work, but I would be shocked to find a legitimate guitarist who records using a Rode K2, through a tube preamp with as much color and saturation as the Sebatron. The combined effect is what some might consider too much color, competing color, or more correctly, Sebatron Color + Rode Muddiness = lack of clarity on an acoustic guitar. But, who knows, it may be the exact, albeit unusually muddy, guitar sound that you are after.

    Nevertheless, a mono guitar recording is certainly not the way to capture the instrument, and even if you plan to use one channel of DI, tracking with at least a stereo pair of mics is a minimum for a realistic and quality stereo image, and great guitar sound. That being said, should you choose to add another mic, even if you keep the Rode, you should definitely consider moving into something with better clarity and detail. If you want something on the more colorful side of things, you could certainly look at something like a Gefell M930, or if you are looking for pristine Schoeps-like accuracy, the Peluso CEMC6's are a wonderful microphone, and an incredible value... you don't have to spend more money to get a more appropriate mic... the Pelusos are only $275/ea for example.

    The bottom line, is even should you choose to keep the Rode, I can definitely see some great benefit of completing your stereo image with a second microphone that is much more detailed. Of course, I wouldn't have picked the K2 to begin with, but you can still add and position a second microphone in stereo configuration to the Rode that could bring back some of the guitars more careful nuances and detail, while maintaining what you may like out of the K2.

    Just some thoughts... I hate that I hadn't reached you sooner on this, I know no one wants to have buyers remorse, especially on a recent purchase, but I don't think that the K2 is an ideal guitar mic, but it is particularly tough through the Sebatron. Agreed, you may be used to much worse, and the Sebatron is so good, that it will even have the K2 sounding pretty decent... but, the problem is that they are two pieces that just don't play that well together (at least not as compared to other things on the market).... If you already had the K2 I'd probably have recommended a different pre... and since you already have the Sebatron, then I would obviously recommend something else. Either way, you might be able to use the K2 for color through one channel while adding a second mic for accuracy and detail, while making a cool unique blend of the two... such a combo might be very nice... I might say that start with the Peluso, no one can argue with the price."
  2. davewike

    davewike Guest

    I made it a little easier to read... anyone, anyone? :D

    BROKENBONES Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Home Page:
    i would disagree with him.the k2 has plenty of output so you can run the seb preamp with the pad negaitive 25db or -15db.this makes it quite transparent and of course you will not need much gain since the maximum output of the k2 is around +30dbu.air and locut should work the best.
    i once had a guitar teacher that said i shouldn't mix fender guitars with Marshall amps BOY Was THat a mistake ! :evil:
    it was years before i tried that combination and i never looked was right for me.
  4. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    ive never used the peluso mics(i bought a capsule but never finished that mic) though i would tend to agree with him about the rode mics though i know manny people love the K2 and i have not used them. what you should do, i assume you have bolth the K2 and a sebatron, try it. see how it sounds. you might like it, though if its an acoustic i would recommend a small diafram condencer like a hm1 or c4. though ive heard and recorded plenty of desent recordings of accoustics with a LDC.

    if it sounds right it is right.
  5. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    I believe Phil at thge vocal booth has a seb and a K2 for his vocal chain and loves it- you might want to post overthere and ask him- I havent tried my K2's with a seb but I am definitely happy with them overall-
  6. davewike

    davewike Guest

    thanks for the feedback.

    Yeah, I was just surprised at how dogmatic he was about something that seems more like a preference. I realize some mics are better than others of course (especially for certain applications), but it seems in that price range, it becomes more preferential. Who knows.

    I heard a my buddy's Ryan guitar with the sebatron/K2 combination and it sounded amazing... as a matter of fact, it's what sold me on the combo. (Of course that Kevin Ryan guitar sounds good by itself!)
  7. KB

    KB Guest

    K2....muddy sound?...... I don't think so.... I use to record Rode K2 with Avalon 737Sp (warm up preamp for 3 hrs.) It still in the clear rage character to my ears but if you said AKG Solid tube have muddy sound I'll second to that qoute.
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    3 frinkin hours?!?!?!?
    Holy Mohamad Islam?
    That's a Loooooooong time!
    I never would have thought it :eek:
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    I try to warm my K2's 2 hours before a session-
    I've done some sessions with only 15 minutes warm up though, and it sounded ok
  10. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003

    I love the sound of the K2 with the seb. The room I track in is large but a little dead so I'm not fighting any harshness there. The author of the first post may have a point, and may have more experience than I do so I won't say he's wrong outright. I just am not getting the type of sounds he describes out of that set up. The language he uses in the review makes me think he wants to hear the problems he describes. I haven't heard a better set-up for the price on vocals.
    He's describing acoustic guitar so I can't comment. I haven't tracked a great player and to me, that could be a telling sign that I can't really contradict what he has said.

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