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Dave Rats Go-To Microphones

By Clive Young. Dave Rat wears many hats—gear designer, consummate pro audio blogger, co-founder of Rat Sound—and he’s been known to mix a gig or two, such as Soundgarden’s by-all-reports-dynamite Lollapalooza reunion show, not to mention every Red Hot Chili Peppers tour in recent memory. Given his experience at getting pristine mixes out of acts that would be a muddy mess for others, I asked Dave what mics he tends to turn to in order to capture a band properly.

Dave Rat
By Clive Young.

Dave Rat wears many hats—gear designer, consummate pro audio blogger, co-founder of Rat Sound—and he’s been known to mix a gig or two, such as Soundgarden’s by-all-reports-dynamite Lollapalooza reunion show, not to mention every Red Hot Chili Peppers tour in recent memory. Given his experience at getting pristine mixes out of acts that would be a muddy mess for others, I asked Dave what mics he tends to turn to in order to capture a band properly.

“I really lean on small format condensers whenever possible,” he responded. “Dynamics always have some resonance due to diaphragm weight, while large condensers tend to pick up a lot of unwanted sound from behind and such. The big drawback to small condensers tends to be higher noise/hiss levels, but since I only deal with mid to high level instrument volumes, mic hiss noise is a non-issue.

“Currently, I use the Audix M44 or Shure Beta 98s on toms, high hat, bass mics, and quite often snare top as well. They could be used for anything you want–vocal, guitars, whatever.”

“The newest addition to my mics onstage is the Royer R122 phantom powered ribbon mic on guitars. I am not fond of the figure 8 pattern, but wow, talk about a clear and open sound! It makes most other mics sound broken. The figure 8 pattern does pick up a lot of stage noise though, so I use them sparingly just to highlight one or two instruments.”

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