Posts belonging to Category Reviews



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. (more…)

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: (more…)

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.

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. (more…)

Sbode Bluetooth Earbuds Review

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In addition to my involvement with pro audio and recording, I also do a fair amount of casual music listening and consuming other media on my phone, tablet, and computer. At the office, I’ve typically used a pair of standard wired earbuds for listening to music on my computer while I work. Apart from being a little bass-heavy, those earbuds (some cheapies I bought from Monoprice) have always sounded fine, but somehow the fabric-covered wires often get twisted, tangled, and knotted-up in such a way that I find myself spending more time than I like just straightening out the cables. At home, I’ve used a pair of regular wired headphones (some budget-priced Sennheisers) for listening to music or watching movies on my phone before going to sleep at night. However, those headphones tend to block out too much background noise (I actually WANT to hear any unexpected “bumps in the night”), and the 6-ft cable on them can also be cumbersome. More than once, I’ve tripped and nearly fallen just getting out of bed while wearing them. To that end, I recently found myself in the market for a wireless listening solution, which led me to the Sbode Bluetooth Earbuds. After testing them out for a few weeks now, they’ve left a very positive impression.
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Tom Mic Shootout Revisited

A few years ago, I blogged about a tom mic shootout that I conducted between two very popular mics for toms: the Sennheiser e604 and the CAD M179. At that time, I had been using the e604’s for recording my tom tracks and really wasn’t too thrilled with them. Meanwhile, I had been reading many positive reviews about what a great tom mic the CAD M179 made, so I ordered a pair to try them out. (more…)

Yamaha CBR12 Passive Speaker Review

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The Yamaha CBR series of loudspeakers are passive versions of Yamaha’s powered DBR series. It uses the same cabinets and (presumably) the same drivers as the DBR, minus the built-in mixer and power amp, and (being passive) include a passive internal crossover network. The DBR12 generally gets very good reviews from owners, so my expectations for the passive CBR12 were high when I purchased 4 of them to use primarily for monitor wedges. I wasn’t disappointed. (more…)

Behringer P16 Personal In Ear Monitoring System

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The P16 is Behringer’s personal in-ear monitoring system. The features and performance of this system rival that of competing systems (e.g. Aviom, Allen & Heath) that cost 4 or 5 times as much as the Behringer. After using the P16 at church twice a week for over a year now, I thought it was time for a comprehensive review of this system for others who may be interested, but may be unsure of exactly what components they need to integrate it into their own existing sound system. (more…)

In Ear Monitoring with the Behringer X-Air XR18

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As I’ve written about previously, I’m the proud owner of a Behringer X-Air XR18 digital Wi-fi mixer. I love this thing. After using it for about a year now, I could never imagine going back to an analog mixer and a huge rack full of heavy analog gear for my live sound system. One of the things I like about the XR18 is its flexibility. When I recently decided to go to a wired in-ear monitor system for myself (I’m the drummer in the band), I discovered there are no fewer than 3 options for doing so with the XR18. The other guys in the band will continue to use floor wedges, but after getting accustomed to using in-ear monitors at church for several months now (and abusing my own ears mercilessly for over 25 years playing drums), I decided to do the same thing with my own PA system. (more…)

Roc n Soc Nitro Drum Throne Review

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Over the years, I’ve owned a half-dozen drum thrones from different manufacturers, ranging from less expensive budget models on up to some that were considered top-of-the-line when I purchased them. But they’ve all suffered from the same problems: the joint on the bottom of the seat that attaches to the base did not allow me to adjust it to a point where it was comfortable, the seat wasn’t comfortable, the height was difficult to adjust, and when the height was set, it wouldn’t stay set for very long. (more…)