All set up again! Ready to track some cool grooves over here…

From what I have researched for dynamic mics, the Shure SM57 is the way to start for anything drums. Everyone recording from the bedroom studio to million dollar facilities have a number of these because of the “papery” familiar sound it gives on snares and guitar amplifier cabinets.

My first dynamic mic setup consisted of one 57 over the ride cymbal pointing at the snare plus a Beta 57 in the kick. Using just these two you can instantly hear the drum sound from all your favorite records. When it came up mic up my toms, I luckily found a KILLER deal on a pair of Sennheiser’s for the rack and floor. 421’s do NOT disappoint when it comes to toms, super full and punchy tones easily.

These Drum Cube’s are the first and last of the MXL mics I used while learning to record, so I’ll keep them forever! I use them for overheads but I typically tame their brightness a bit in the mix. They get a nice spread if you have the room to distance them out, my last rehearsal room had more space which allowed me to experiment a lot with these.

Since my drums are now in a smaller space, I’m considering replacing the Cubes with pencil condensers to focus on the cymbals only, and possibly swapping the Spark for a 47 clone on the outside kick.

Gear List:
Kick In – Shure Beta 52
Kick Out – Blue Spark
Snare Top/Bottom – Shure SM57 (2)
Rack and Floor Toms – Sennheiser MD-421II (2)
Overheads – MXL Drum Cube (2)
Mono Room (Not Shown) – AKG 414XLII

Gear Review: Mackie Big Knob Passive

My first gear review! Cross your fingers, let’s see how this goes…

If you’ve been thinking about getting this monitor controller for any number of reasons, I’d say do it! You might find yourself wondering how you got along without this device before. Besides switching between inputs and speakers it has some very useful functions.

At times in my small studio I leave the door open from the iso booth to communicate to the artist faster. The mute button is the quick way to make sure I didn’t leave the monitor volume up during recording eliminating any feedback to the active mic. We use headphones while tracking, then listen back through the monitors after numerous takes. Not many people listen back in Mono when mixing down, but it can be VERY useful for phase issues and making sure levels are in balance. This is a lost feature on many current recording interfaces and I’m really glad to see it available here. I’ll be honest, I do not currently use the Dim button but maybe in the future a use will surface. It does exactly what is says, lowering the signal -20db when activated. But also returns to the previous volume immediately when released. I’d rather just turn the knob, which I can access much easier now that it’s not confined to just the front of my interface.

Before I only had one set of 6.5″ near fields available for play back but they’re positioned for mixing while sitting down. Since I like to stand while working, my small satellite-style PA setup helped to expand the listening area as far field monitors. Now having the Big Knob connecting between the two is super easy. Not only can I now switch between my near and far field speakers, but also the inputs from my recording interface or the output of my DJ mixer for practicing on my turntables. 

You’ll notice first thing there is some weight to it which is Mackie all the way. Solid and heavy in true “Built-Like-A-Tank” construction. Signals pass through with complete transparency and no coloration just like their mixers. The volume knob is just loose enough but stops or “sticks” where you leave it and is SUPER SMOOTH.

Like I said, if you’re on the fence make the jump! For a passive switch I’m not sure it can get any better than this when you compare feature for feature.

A big thank you goes to my friend Shawn who is always supportive in my pursuit of music 😀

Geek out on the Mackie website and owners manual links below

Mackie Big Knob

Passive Big Knob Owners Manual

Studio time…

I realized I haven’t posted on my blog for quite a while! Mostly because I’ve been locked in my studio watching You Tube videos, getting better at recording and producing… you can check out some of my music at www.soundcloud.com/marcdevasconcelos.Still DJing of course, although I started DJing because I wanted to be a producer, so here we are!

So far I’ve been working with a couple different artists, helping with arrangements and recording. So far the process has been awesome and am looking forward to doing much more with this 🙂 Any inquiries for music projects please call me at (415) 632-7508 or email info@marcdevasconcelos.com