Dave Rat’s 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.
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Dave Rat
By Clive Young.

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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.”