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Mic Pad and Rolloff features?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by dmbandtimmy, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. dmbandtimmy

    dmbandtimmy Member

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    No, not Matt and Amy Rolloff :D

    Hey guys! I have another quick question for you. I just purchased a matched pair of B- Stock SP B1's from PMI audio. They were $140 shipped for the pair. However, they are the old ones without the pad and roll off features. The guy told me not to worry because most preamps have these features.

    However, the firepod (which I have) and a lot of other preamps I have researched sure don't seem to have them. Would these features have been worth spending the extra $30 per mic?

    I am thinking about blowing these out at $130 shipped on the bay and upgrading myself. I tried to cancel the order when I found out, but they had already shipped [​IMG] Any input would be greatly appreciated [​IMG] Thanks!
     
  2. covert

    covert Member

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    If/when you need them, they'd be priceless. You can probably compensate for the lack by varying your mic placement, but you'll loose a couple of options in the process.
     
  3. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    You can always buy or build in-line pads and filters if you absolutely need them but they aren't as convenient as hitting a button.
     
  4. dmbandtimmy

    dmbandtimmy Member

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    I knew I should have waited :( Do you guys utilize these features often ?
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    I have been in the composing/recording business for 20 years or so, and I have pads/rolloffs on my console, and pads and LF rolloff switches on several mics.

    I NEVER use them. EVER. Pads and rolloff switches CAN solve problems, especially in live sound, but so can using the right mic and mic placement. In the studio, one can easily move a mic. You get better sound when you avoid using a pad.

    The problem with pads is that they seriously degrade the sound quality. I've not experienced LF problems that can't be solved with a decent shockmount.

    You can buy mic pads for pretty cheap if you ever find you need one. They look like an XLR connector.

    Many high end European mics do not have pads/rolloff switches; some designers prefer minimal circuitry and disdain such devices. My favorite mics, the Blue Mouse ($1300) and Kiwi ($2000), have no pads or roll off switches at all, for example. Don't spend a second worrying about it.
     
  6. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    There are certain instances when I've use a pad and fewer times when I used the HP filter. The ones that come to mind:

    I like to take the line out from my B15 and send it to a BAE 312. It sounds sick but when the amp is at a moderate volume, the signal going throught the 312 is too hot for the converters that follow, so I use the pad. Some preamps have gain even with the knob turned all the way down.
    Another time when I had limited mics to work with, I put a LDC up on a Guild jumbo acoustic, had to use the HP filter to help it sit in the mix. FWIW, you can apply a HP filter in your software and get the same result.
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I agree with Les re: pads. They really do impact sound quality, at least any I've had. I have used them live sometimes when there's been an unavoidable impedance mismatch, but that's about it.

    I do sometimes use a low roll-off on the preamp (not the mic), e.g. if I'm going for a certain sound and low-end proximity thumps are an inevitability, like a very close-miked vocal. I've not found that a low roll-off filter on a good preamp hurts the sound quality. Maybe it depends on how its designed.

    Anyway, as Les said, don't worry.
     
  8. dmbandtimmy

    dmbandtimmy Member

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    Thanks again guys for the very informative posts! I really learn a lot around here! I've decided to keep the B1's after reading your replies. I am just getting into recording and am trying to find the best bang for my buck while still in school. I think its now time to start focusing on the recording process :) Thanks again!
     

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