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« on: February 15, 2013, 01:08:48 AM »

I have just purchased a new acoustic that is very rich sounding (a Morgan OM) and I am playing with the idea of not putting any PU in it.  I have A Fishman Elipes in My Larrivee D-09, a LR Baggs element in my OM-09, and a LR Baggs IBeam in my P-03R.  They all do the job BUT ... Several years ago I attended a Gordon Lightfoot Concert in Vancouver at the Orpheum Theater.  Lightfoot did something I have never seen him do before or since.  He came out without his band, sat on a bale of straw and did his closing set with just his acoustic guitar and voice all through a single microphone that was positioned about 18 inches away from his mouth and guitar.  It filled the Orpheum with incredible rich acoustic sound and everyone was mesmerized.  I have always wondered how they did it.  Granted the Orpheum has amazing acoustics but that microphone ... anyone have any idea what it could have been?  It was a tiny affair at the end of a light gooseneck , like nothing I have seen before or since.  Or does any one have any idea of present mics that could do that kind of thing through a PA system.  I Have the old traditional mics like SHUR 57s and 58s ... but one unobtrusive mic that could do it all ... sweet.
Dave
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 01:41:40 AM »

I wouldn't have any idea what kind of mic that would be, but are you 100% sure that was all he used?  Perhaps a wireless setup for the guitar or something like that?

PS, I saw him about 6 or 7 years ago here in Edmonton at the Windspear theatre which also has fantastic acoustics.  It was a great concert.  I think it was shortly after he started touring again.  He had a small group of players with him though, and I really don't remember what kind of equipment he was using.  It sure sounded good though.
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 02:14:50 AM »

I am pretty sure that's all that was being used.  I was fortunate to be right up front, close and personal like, and was ogling like mad.  It must have been in the mid 80s and back then I don't think he had started using PUs on his guitars yet, just acoustic mics.  The last time I saw him live was 2007 just after he started touring again and it was at The Centre, and he was all PU with mics too then.
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 02:26:15 AM »

There are a lot of large diaphram mic's out there that will do what your looking to do.I don't think I'd put it 18" away.I have an MXL that works great,Rhode's has a few.There are some really nice high end studio large diaphram mics you can check out.When my duo partner and I did our recording we used the MXL on my guitar about 8" away and his Rhode's place placed midway between is mouth and the guitar also about 8" away and sang and played thru the one mic.Resend me you email info and I'll foward a couple of the tune's we recorded.
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 02:34:59 AM »

Interesting Rob,
I PMed you my email.  Do you do any stage work with just mics these days.
Dave
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 02:49:20 AM »

I have used large diaphrams with bluegrass band that know the 2 step.Which is stand two steps back from the mic and when you do a solo you step up 1 1/2 steps towards the mic.I have use my 2 MXL on a couple of gigs in a 3 acoustic guitar setting with vocals but you really need a sound man who know what he's doing.I played iguitar and mando in a worship band {yes I have been in a church and it didn't come tumbling down } using the MXL.I really love playing thru mic's.I have a couple of older SM57 that I love ad when I can play using them I do.
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 04:20:18 AM »

I've seen symphony orchestras perform on TV with just a few mics strategically placed yet well away from any particular musician so I'm sure the technology exists.
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 04:39:41 AM »

When I got my L03W last year I decided to just use a mic and have been very happy with that route.  I get lots of compliments on how great it sounds (not how great I play!).  I use a regular old SM57 and am very happy with it.  There's a lot of technique to how you play through a mic which is part of the fun. 
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013, 05:01:00 AM »

The neat thing about the older SM57 is that it use a piece of foil with the Crystal on it and when your playing and get real close it cause's the mic to breakup and its a great effect.The newer 57's use a cartridge and you can get that effect anymore.57's also work great when placed 6"-8" away when recording.

When I got my L03W last year I decided to just use a mic and have been very happy with that route.  I get lots of compliments on how great it sounds (not how great I play!).  I use a regular old SM57 and am very happy with it.  There's a lot of technique to how you play through a mic which is part of the fun. 

I've seen symphony orchestras perform on TV with just a few mics strategically placed yet well away from any particular musician so I'm sure the technology exists.

 there are anywhere from 4-8 condenser mic's use fro a 26 piece orchestra.Two set out front about 12' up and two more to the center also 12'-15' up.I worked with a art rock band in the 70's that worked with a 26 piece orchestra and we would have four in front of the orchestra then two center and two floated over the back row.Mostly these were pencil style condenser's.

Other mic's that work well are broadcast quality wireless lapel mic's with the mic taped to the guitar top with the mic itself suspended over the soundhole,wireless pack attached to the strap.I have pretty much experimented with all sorts of mic's and all sorts of placements as i do prefer a mic over anything else.So far the closets pu I've tried has been the Baggs Anthem SL and its get within a few hairs but not quit there,I'm hoping that the Lyric gets me even closer if not all the way there.
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013, 05:45:41 AM »

I wonder if you're describing the type of mic I saw Peter Paul and Mary use at a concert in Seattle years ago? It had a long thin bent rod - not a gooseneck and if not for the pop filter on the end, would have had a very small head.

As I recall, it was this or a very similar setup:



I'm not a mic expert at all, but, have have always used dynamic mics, like the SM57 or SM58 or one of the E/V N/DYM products or Sennheisers. Enough to know what kind of sound I get from them. So when I played classical guitar for a choir several years ago and the sound guy set me up with a nice phantom powered omnidirectional condensor mic, I was blown away by the sound - how well it picked up every detail - even the rasp of my finger nails on the wound strings.

So that set me to experimenting a little bit with mics when I was recording some stuff to a Roland VS recorder. I bought a few tube preamps and condensor mics, large and small diaphragm - putzed with the opamps and preamp tubes, and still couldn't get that sound I remembered from the choir gig. Until I popped for a couple of omnidirectional capsules for small diaphragm condensor mics and was able to replicate that sound.

Note that they aren't expensive mics - it's a matched pair of MXL 603 mics I got for about $150 plus the omni caps about $60. The preamps are Bellari MP-105 units, with the Black Lion Audio mod - swapped the socketed factory opamps for Analog Devices AD826AN opamps. I have 3 of them - the one I use with the vocal mic uses an Amperex Bugle Boy long plate NOS ECC83/12AX7 tube from the 1950's, the other 2 for the condensors use EI elite gold 12ax7 tubes, which are a kind of reproduction of the old Telefunken long plate tubes. I did a lot of A/B testing with the tubes through the same preamp, recorded the sessions and listened to identify the best tube(s). The Amperex Bugle Boy set me back $50 or so 10 years ago - but had just a bit more shimmer in the upper frequencies than other tubes.

I would imagine a single phantom powered omni condensor through a good pre-amp would give the kind of 'mesmerising' sound you heard. What's mesmerizing about it is, the Dynamic mics, and cardioid condensor mics all color the sound - cardioid condensors often sound nasally ... the omni condensors give more of a full and uncolored sound.

Those omni's are hot though - they'll pick up your breathing, mouth noises, chair creaks, nuckles popping, etc. And being omni, need a quiet audience and a souond guy to ride the board - because they will pick up your audience.
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 05:59:12 AM »

CJ,
Those mics kinda look like what I remember, sans the pop filter though, but Lightfoot had the mic between his mouth and guitar.  AS I read these posts, I am coming to realize that what ever Lightfoot was using, it must have been the sound man that made the whole thing work, would take a special person me thinks.  This mic thread really has me thinking and tearing up the internet checking out all the equipment that keeps popping up.  In the photo, I love the Larry with the rubber band over the logos!
Thanks
Dave
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2013, 03:19:07 PM »

it must have been the sound man that made the whole thing work, would take a special person me thinks.

Being a soundman I can tell you that it is the soundman that make's all the difference in the world to what you hear front of house.We are part of the band.Most players don't think so and you can hear the difference.Treat the soundman like trash and you sound like trash. whistling

 The mic's in the pix are condenser with the main works on the back end.
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 03:41:20 PM »

Being a soundman I can tell you that it is the soundman that make's all the difference in the world to what you hear front of house.We are part of the band.Most players don't think so and you can hear the difference.Treat the soundman like trash and you sound like trash. whistling

 The mic's in the pix are condenser with the main works on the back end.

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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 04:34:44 PM »

The mics in the PP&M pic, appear to be the Electro-Voice PolarChoice Podium mic. See http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=108

They don't show up in the usual search of designated live performance mics as they are considered "installation" mics - podiums, lecterns, etc. But apparently come in an XLR version and can be stand mounted.

Per the spec, those have selectable polar patterns: Cardioid, Hypercardioid, Supercardioid, Omni.

Also a venue like the one you mentioned may use boundary mics to enhance the sound as well as the visible performance mic(s).  http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=109
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2013, 01:28:11 AM »

CJ
Huh! I am familiar with these.  I have used them many times in my full time work as a Presbyterian preacher but I never ever thought of them in terms of pickin and grinin.  They do have a good range for voice pickup.  I wonder ????  Do you think they really are what P. P. & M. are using in the photo?
Dave
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2013, 02:36:13 AM »

The mics in the PP&M pic, appear to be the Electro-Voice PolarChoice Podium mic. See http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=108

They don't show up in the usual search of designated live performance mics as they are considered "installation" mics - podiums, lecterns, etc.



Since you mentioned that, I've been using the mic mounted to the podium in the sanctuary. It picks up voice and guitar fine. Looks like what they're using in the picture. I also thought about getting a sm57 instead of a pu, mounting it to the same stand the 58 is on, for a two mic system. I stand and play/sing at a lectern most of the time. Comments or suggestions welcome.
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2013, 02:45:58 AM »

When you are Gordie, you aren't using MXL or Rode or Shure even.  I bet the mic he was using was worth more than your guitar.

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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2013, 03:33:42 AM »

CJ
Huh! I am familiar with these.  I have used them many times in my full time work as a Presbyterian preacher but I never ever thought of them in terms of pickin and grinin.  They do have a good range for voice pickup.  I wonder ????  Do you think they really are what P. P. & M. are using in the photo?
Dave


Calvinista, eh?  I'm only going by appearance and guesswork - as my own mic tests showed a marked sound/ambiance improvement using an omni condenser. Though I can't imagine that mic would be set for omni in a pulpit installation.

How it works / picks up your voice when you move off-axis would give you an idea whether or not it's set in omni mode.

Here's a brief but interesting article about using an omni mic to record guitar: http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2008/Sep/All_Hear_This_Omni_directional_Mics.aspx

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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2013, 04:33:35 AM »

When you are Gordie, you aren't using MXL or Rode or Shure even.  I bet the mic he was using was worth more than your guitar.

Ed

 They use Neuman and other high end mic's>i'd love a U57 Neuman but I don't have $3-5k to spend on mic's.
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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2013, 05:02:25 AM »

CJ
Interesting article,
Dave
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