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  #1  
Old 11-24-2012, 08:33 PM
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GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is offline
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Default MXL 993 mics

I have two of these I am using for overhead recording and am a bit confused as to the settings of the two switches. Any help would be appreciated. I am using these with a Zoom H4 to record. Thanks.

http://www.mxlmics.com/microphones/900-series/993/
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: MXL 993 mics

The switch is a -10dB pad on the low-end. I don't know which frequencies it's rolling off but it's probably everything under 150Hz. Anything under (at a guess) 150Hz will have -10dB taken off the recording - starting with a small reduction at 150Hz and with the full -10dB down at around 40Hz. It's called a shelving filter.

If you're recording with just the two mics, don't use it. It will take a lot away from the bass drum. It's primarily there to reduce stage rumble in live situations.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: MXL 993 mics

Thanks Duncan. I appreciate it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: MXL 993 mics

Also be aware of the proximity effect - as explained by wikipedia:
"The proximity effect in audio is an increase in bass or low frequency response when a sound source is close to a microphone."

That is, even with the roll-off switch disengaged your mics will pick up more bass/low frequencies the closer they get to the sound sorce. Thus, you have a kind of EQ effect depending on the distance between the mics and sound sorce.

According to the manufacturer's website...
http://www.mxlmics.com/microphones/900-series/993/
...the -10dB is just a 'pad'/level attenuation in case you're dealing with extra high levels, to not overload the mic.

Duncan, the roll-off in dB in the low/high area depends on the frequency response/curve of the mic (depicted in the above link - but those curves are usually 'cosmetics' and would look more jagged than what you see). -10 dB/pad engaged is just a rough ballpark, it might be a few dB more/less actually.

With the roll-off disengaged you'll pick up more bass but of course are free to reduce them with an EQ afterwards. Having the roll-off engaged, you can still add more EQ afterwards but the sound is not the same. Just try what works best for your application.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: MXL 993 mics

Well said Arky.

As I'd explain it, the -10db pad just makes the mic take in 10db less for very loud sources (and will help eliminate the mic picking up every little room noise) and the roll-off gives you the option to pick up less low end. So, if you mainly want high end cymbal shimmer have it on, if you want the full range sonic perspective including plenty of lows, then run it flat.

I have these mikes and they tend to buzz. Unscrewing and then re-attaching the capsule on top fixes this. Still, it's a pain and that's why they sit in their case now.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: MXL 993 mics

I tend to mention mic guru Michael Joly from time to time... He's the man behind
http://www.oktavamod.com/

He has several cheapo but superbly modded mics in his store, MXL mics included. I just checked - the 993 model is not among them. But he might add a modded 993 version available as "new" from his store in the future.

You might drop him an e-mail and inquire whether you could have your MXL modded. Or take a look at the cheaper mics he's offering. They have tremendous bang-for-the-buck factor.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: MXL 993 mics

MXL mics are kinda whatever for me. I had a 990 a long time ago that was the worst piece of cardboard that I ever used. I got it when it first came out. I mic'd a Taylor acoustic guitar with it for a different flavor and I can't explain it but it was like someone had submurged the high freqs under water. Like a bad mp3 file. Couldn't fix it with positioning or EQ. I still have a song on my 2nd album from 2006 I used for it (had to keep the performance) and it's clear the mic was not doing its job. The SM57 I used on other songs sounded 100x better, I mean a night and day difference, and its a dynamic cardoid!

A few years later I was sitting with a friend of mine FOH and was mic'ing a choir with 990s at their church and before I heard it I kind of subtly said something along the lines of, "990s? No way. I had bad luck with them, there's better mics out there...." and then I heard the choir come in and it was crystal! So either I got a bad initial batch or there's some really bad quality control issues going on there.

I know I'm not the only one who's had problems with the MXL mics.


On the flip side, I just ordered the 910 and did a thorough test of vocals, guitar, and drums and it is phenomenal on everything but the drum overheads. It edged my long-standing AT3035 with more headroom and lower frequency response. Pleasantly surprised.

Personally I'd try the CAD CM217 if you are on a budget. I tried them on hats only and thought they sucked but then I used them for acoustic guitar and overheads and they rock. They also have a low roll off and a -10dB pad.
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