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Beyerdynamic

Beyerdynamic

There are a number of pro audio products that used to be in every major studio but with time have become overlooked and have slid off the radar. Amongst the most obvious I would list GML dynamics and eq, Summit audio tube equipment, Milab mics and…

Beyer have been making some of the best microphones in the world for sixty years. Most of the great rock recordings from the ‘70’s and ‘80’s and (I would be so bold as to say) all classical recordings of the last four decades in part owe their full bodied sound to Beyer mics.

Beyer dynamics and ribbons are an essential whenever I’m setting up to record a kit or strings but have slid into the mists of public perception in recent years, which is a tragedy. Why? Beats me. Maybe in the age of the World Wide Web Beyer suffer from the fact that their mics don’t cost squillions of pounds and come in fancy wooden boxes. Or maybe the reason is that, as with so many consumables, those manufacturers who shout loudest and squander their $$$ on massive ads have successfully convinced the public that their products are the only ones worthy of consideration. And so it is that true, conservative standards of quality and craftsmanship have become neglected, hidden behind a smokescreen of new fangled glitter. The trouble is, in my experience, the majority of the newest generation of (largely Chinese) mics may claim everything but in reality suck, and suck big time. The distributors buy profile by giving away their clumpy mics in exchange for endorsements (and I should know; many of these endorsees come here to sell their freebie mics the day after receipt, happy to grin out of the magazine pages to promote mics that they wouldn’t in reality let within a mile of an important session. And who says payola is dead?)

I grit my remaining teeth in frustration at the frequently held belief that if a piece of kit doesn’t threaten bankruptcy, it can’t be any good. Balderdash and piffle. My valley and Dbx compressors are used every time I mix, but cost a fraction of the fat, clumpy room heater of a tube compressor that gets turned on once in a blue moon (usually in winter) to warm a vocal (and defrost my toes). The tube jobby is an object of desire, of course, and is coveted by my friends, but let’s be honest…when the door closes and I put the mix up on the board, it’s the VCA comps that do most of the hard work on kit and guitars, and their combined price was probably less than the cost of the electricity used on the session by a Fairchild.

But I digress.

Beyer dynamics will capture the thump of toms or kick drums, the rasp of an electric guitar cab and may even work wonders on a lead vocal (try the M88 on female vocals for a rich, full bodied sound. I know plenty of top line albums recorded with these). For guide vocals or routining, use a hypercardioid M69 with its fierce back to front rejection (in the control room with the monitors or nearfields wired out of phase). And for spot-micing strings (and even classical guitar) the double ribbon M160 takes a lot of beating and is half the price of a Coles or Royer. Try a pair of M260’s on acoustic piano. For around £360 a pair, they’re hard if not impossible to beat. As with many classic ribbons, though, the output is low so ensure you’re plugged into a good, honest mic pre with plenty of gain (a GML or Neve perhaps).

Check out the Beyer range. You could well end up with the sound you’ve spent years searching for and have sufficient change from a Monkey to take your pet chimpanzee on holiday to boot.

Eccentric

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