Sennheiser e609 Silver Electric Guitar Microphone

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In this post, I’m going to discuss a mic that I’ve owned for a number of years: the Sennheiser e609 (also referred to as the “e609S” or “e609 Silver”). Like its sibling and confusingly-similar named Sennheiser e906, this dynamic mic is designed for use primarily as a guitar amp mic, but you could just as easily use it on a snare drum or rack tom of a drum kit. It employs a side-address design (similar to many large-diaphragm condensers) that makes it ideal for hanging it by the mic cable from the top of an amp, with the capsule pointing straight at the speaker. Some people will try this same trick with other dynamic mics (e.g. the Shure SM57), but that generally doesn’t work as well, because the source is off-axis with relation to the capsule. So if you like doing that sort of thing for miking an amp, the e609 may be just the thing for you. Even if you’re not hanging it by its cable and are putting it on a mic stand, it’s side-address design keeps the mic cable and connector pointing up or down instead of out, allowing the mic to sit closer to the amp and more out of the way than an SM57 or other similar mic. Continue Reading »

Behringer iNuke NU4-6000/NX4-6000 4-Channel Power Amplifier Review

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For a number of years, my live sound system was limited to only two monitor mixes shared between 4 stage monitor speakers. So for a typical 4-piece rock band, the drummer & bass player might share a mix, and then the guitar player and singer would share a mix. Each band member had their own monitor speaker, but they did NOT have their own monitor mix. There were two reasons for this. First, my old analog mixer only had two pre-fader aux/monitor sends. Second, the power amp that I used for my monitors was a standard stereo/2-channel amp. However, when my analog mixer bit the dust, I purchased a new Behringer X-Air XR18. The XR18 has 6 Aux Buses, each of which can be assigned as a pre-fader monitor send. This opened up some new possibilities for me: if only I had a 4-channel power amp, I could run 4 separate, independent monitor mixes–one for each speaker. Enter the Behringer iNuke NU4-6000, a 4-channel amp that seemed to be tailor-made for my intended purpose. Continue Reading »

Connection options for the Behringer Powerplay P2 Headphone Personal Monitor Amp

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A couple of years ago, Behringer released the Powerplay P2, a beltpack headphone/personal monitor amp that has opened up the world of In Ear Monitors to even the most budget-conscious musician. What this compact, flexible little gem allows you to do is this: Continue Reading »

ART Pro MPA II VU Meter LED Bulb Lamp Repair and Tube Swap

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I own an ART Pro MPA II mic preamp, which I really like. I most often use it for tracking vocals, in conjunction with my ART Pro VLA II compressor. I bought the Pro MPA II used, and ever since I’ve had it, it’s had a problem: when the unit was first powered on, the right VU meter would not light up. If it was left on for a while (usually a few hours), the light would usually eventually come on and stay on until I powered it off. This didn’t affect the performance of it as a mic preamp in any way, but it was annoying and looked bad when paying clients would come into the studio and my gear didn’t appear to be working correctly. That doesn’t exactly instill confidence in your customers. Continue Reading »

How to Reinstall Android Firmware for Dragon Touch M7 Tablet

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I’ve got a cheap Android tablet (the Dragon Touch M7) that I use for controlling our Behringer X32 at church. I typically run the excellent Mixing Station software to do this. I also connect the headphone out of the tablet to a DI box and connect that to our system to run some stems on a few songs in our repertoire. I paid around $60 for this tablet back in 2015, and it only gets used for a few hours a week during band rehearsals and church services. And it really only gets used for that purpose–I don’t use it for web browsing, watching YouTube videos, etc. So the tablet really sees very little use. A few weeks ago, it starting acting a bit erratically. I noticed a couple of times that it automatically rebooted. It had never done that before. Continue Reading »

MXL A-55 Kicker Bass Drum Mic Review

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The MXL A-55 Kicker is a dynamic instrument mic that’s specially designed for use on kick drums and other low frequency instruments such as bass guitar amps. The mic has a tailored frequency response that gives you plenty of low-end punch and beater snap–what you typically want and need in a kick drum mic. I wasn’t necessarily in need of another kick mic, but I picked up an A-55 when I saw a deal on one that was just too good to pass up. Continue Reading »

Adding Remote Music Playback for the Behringer X-Air XR18

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After getting comfortable using my Behringer XR18 wi-fi mixer on a few gigs and many rehearsals, I finally took the plunge and sold my old analog snake cable. This meant I would no longer have to carry or connect that cumbersome 100-foot beast, but it created a new issue for me: without a snake, I could no longer locate the XR18 at the FOH (Front-Of-House) mix position. It could only be positioned at the stage, so all of cables (microphone inputs, line inputs, line outputs, etc.) could connect directly to the XR18 stage box. So now the question became this: how can I control the music playback in between bands/sets and before or after the gig? To answer this question, I came up with a few possible solutions: Continue Reading »

Audio Technica ATM230–a New Standard in Tom Mics?

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If you’re in need of some tom mics, check out the Audio Technica ATM230. These relatively new mics are getting rave reviews, and receive favorable comparisons to many classic tom mics, including the Sennheiser MD421 and e604, Shure SM57, and Audio Technica’s own ATM25 and ATM23HE. One forum post commented that based on the specs, the new ATM230 is “…basically an ATM25 in an ATM23HE housing”. The ATM230 normally sells individually for $139, or can be purchased new in a 3-pack for $349. Zzounds even has a steal of a deal on a warehouse resealed 3-pack for only $220! Each mic includes a zippered storage pouch and a drum rim clamp.

Balanced Line-Level Stereo to Mono Summing Box

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One of my most popular blog posts has been The Stereo to Mono Summing Cable that No One Makes. I get contacted pretty much on a weekly basis from someone who wants to buy or build that cable to connect their iPod, phone, laptop, etc. to their PA system. I decided to take the concept a step further and build a balanced, line-level stereo to mono summing box. Just like the mono-summing cable, it appears that there aren’t any readily-available, off-the-shelf products that do exactly what this box does. There are some mic combiners (e.g., Galaxy Audio’s JIB/C) that are made for connecting two microphones to a single input, but those use much lower-value resistors, making them unsuitable for line-level signals (I even contacted Galaxy about the JIB/C, and that’s what they told me). Continue Reading »

RCF HD12-A: The Best Live Sound Speakers You’ve Never Heard Of

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Last year, I was in the market for some compact, lightweight, loud PA speakers for my own live sound system. I considered the Yamaha DSR112–a favorite in the powered speaker market, and one of the loudest in its class. But I was somewhat put off by the heavier weight and relatively high price compared to other similar speakers. Then I discovered the RCF HD12-A. The HD12-A seemed to fit the bill for what I was looking for. It’s a compact, lightweight, powered speaker that has excellent sound quality and can go really loud–some say on the order of the DSR112. Continue Reading »