fun with guitar micing

yesterday Derek from Forging Reverie brought over a box full of vintage old microphones and stuff.  they’d been under his bed or something for years, passed down from his dad.  so i picked through them; a few old mics you might plug into a 1970’s era cam-corder.  you remember, the type you’d attach to a shoulder bag that would contain the video tape mechanics?  there were some weird cables and a bizarre passive summing mixer with RCA in/out.

then i found a couple items that do qualify as “vintage”: ElectroVoice 627c’s and an AKG D19e.  the 627c is mostly used as a harmonica mic and it’s got a switchable impedance so you can go right into a guitar amp.  the web littered with stories about George Martin and the gang at Abbey Road using the D19e on everything from drum overheads to John Lennon’s voice.

i decided to fool around in the studio for a while and try these against some of my other dynamics on electric guitar.  here we go!

(left to right: Sennheiser e609 silver, AKG D19e, Ev 627c, Shure SM57, Ev RE20)

i played around with each mic’s placement to get the sound i liked best for each individually and then balanced the volume a little bit in the mix down.  this is NOT scientific in any way, i just wanted to get an idea of what they might be useful for.

the setup is my ash Fender Telecaster moded with a Dimarzio “Fast Track T” at the bridge into my custom boutique 50w and Avatar vintage 2x12 cab loaded with original Celestion G1265’s.  for the second pass (the distorted lick) i kicked on my Hot Chili Tubester and BOSS DD-6 delay.  here’s a little detail on the placement of the mics you’ll hear in the clips:

  1. SM57 - 45 degrees off axis, pointed at the side of the cone

  2. Sennhiser e609 Silver - 20 degrees off axis, pointed at the center of the cone

  3. Ev 627c - 45 degrees off axis, pointed at the center of the cone

  4. AKG D19e - 20 degrees off axis, pointed at the center of the cone

  5. Ev RE20 - on axis, pointed at the edge of the dust cap.

have a listen…

clean [audio “”]

distorted [audio “”]

so obviously the Ev 627c really has no business in a comparison like this but, it’ll be fun as a lo-fi effect mic and it’s awesome as a harmonica mic.  (check out YouTube if you have any doubt.)  the AKG D19e on the other hand, seems to have some very useful qualities.  definitely a vintage tone.  i predict i’ll be trying this out in many situations in upcoming sessions.  the fizzy, yet soft top end is something i don’t have anywhere else is my mic locker and i really like the kind of old condenser sound it has.