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Old 04-24-2013, 01:50 AM
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evilg99 evilg99 is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Halifax, NS
Posts: 1,042
Default Re: Your favorite boundary microphone?

I own both a Shure Beta 91a and a Sennheiser e901, and have been using both for at least six years as a bass drum mic.

There is no problem whatsoever using an e901 inside a bass drum, that's what it was designed to do. It doesn't come anywhere near 'bottoming out' the diaphragm. Yes, the Shure has a higher rating, but its either a peak SPL reading and the Sennheiser is an average SPL reading or something. Or one of them is lying about the specs, or exaggerating them ( wouldn't be the first time )These two mics are practically identical in sound....

They both sound good in bass drums but a good 'ol Beta 52 has a lot more bottom end punch. The Beta91 has a contour switch between flat and what sounds like a mid scoop with both a low end and high end boost. I prefer it flat.

In my experience, both the e901 and Beta 91 require more gain than their counterpart 'normal' or more common bass drum mics...421, Beta 52, D112, etc.

Both mics are half-cardiod condensers with integrated preamps. The older Beta 91 (no 'A') has the preamp in the barrel of a separate XLR connector with the other end being a TA3 connector -> cable > TA3 connector on the mic. That old design was a real pain in the ass. You only want the 91A.

I am a huge Sennheiser fan and have many, many of their mics. But lately I only use the Shure 91a or the Beta52. Why? The Sennheiser is shaped weird -see how the front flares out like a clam shell ? That will not fit if you have a 4" Holz in your bass drum need a 5" or bigger for it to fit in the drum.

TBH, the Beta 52 inside the drum just sitting on a small piece of foam sounds better than any boundary mic I've tried. It does sound better again on a stand but as I've ranted before - ANY bass drum mic stand is not an option on most stages I play. They get knocked out of place within seconds. Close quarters.

If not for stand and space limitations, I would use my hands down, all time, every time , favourite bass drum mic : a Sennheiser MD421.
It also happens to have the worst mic clip ever invented, guaranteed to fail at the most inappropriate moment :) hint: use an elastic band.
Unlike the Beta52, a 421 doesn't sound good lying on its side inside the drum.

Sorry for the book, good luck.


Last edited by evilg99; 04-24-2013 at 02:03 AM. Reason: Grammar
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