Has your studio dog been bad lately? Has he been snapping at cables, chewing on knobs and gnawing on mic stands? Perhaps you ought to get him his own mic.
I recently discovered the Snoop Dogg Vinyl Microphone model (with squeaker) and have gotten fun (but mixed) results.
This 6.5-inch toy transducer is sized for medium and large dogs and appears to be a dynamic handheld. It's probably better as a pawheld, and the oversized windscreen looks capable of taking some serious chewing, as well as plosive barking. The sound quality is excellent with some serious woofiness down low, a lot of midrange bark and balanced out with a nice high end bite.
Right out of the packaging I knew this mic was a winner, as “studio dog in training” Jojo immediately put the mic in his flappy jowls and tried to say lay some vocal tracks. Under high SPL (snout pressure level) the mic couldn't take it and emitted a clear squeak -- delighting Jojo, but it was not the sound I needed for the track.
In fact, that may be the problem with the Snoop Dogg mic: this mic is such a sure fire hit that dogs may tear into it with excessive vigor. Like a good rapper “bark boxing” -- cupping that mic with his sturdy paws and spitting all over it -- Jojo once amazingly gnawed through a Snoop Dogg mic in a mere four hours, ripping it to shreds!
Further testing with “studio managers” Tribble and Sugar -- two cats that smugly supervise all activity here at the house/studio -- revealed that the Snoop Dogg mic is designed to be a species-centric product. Repeated attempts to lay down either meow or mewling overdubs were met with boredom, silence and blank stares. The management was so uninspired by his mic that during the entire review period Tribble's only comment was “Feed me now ... noow ... noooooow!”
Rumors abound that Snoop is working on a new model with ultra-sonic squeaker; only the dogs and mastering engineers can hear it, requiring frequency response beyond 20 kHz. Time to upgrade!
Rob Tavaglione is the owner of Charlotte’s Catalyst Recording.