Tag Archives: microphone

All things Revelation

Tube mics are the gold standard when it comes to capturing those warm, rich vocals that all we know and love. As a foundational audio solution, the natural compression that tube mics provide is second to none and desired by musicians around the world. At MXL, we’re obsessed with capturing the most pristine sound possible, and the dedication that we put into our REVELATION offerings represents our commitment to supporting artists, so that they can create great music.

Setting the Standard for Tube Mics

The original REVELATION tube microphone was a massive hit right off the bat. They say when something isn’t broken, don’t fix it–so instead, we enhanced it. Utilizing the latest design and manufacturing technologies, we welcomed the REVELATION II tube microphone to the MXL family in April 2020. As the successor to the renowned REVELATION tube microphone, the REVELATION II offers musicians the remarkable clarity and versatility of the classic MXL REVELATION but is more accessible to musicians on a budget.

Offering the classic tube mic sound, the REVELATION II is an ideal solution for capturing lush vocals and instrumentals for a variety of genres. Although geared towards studio use, the REVELATION II is a versatile and flexible solution that is great for both home and studio recordings, and its simple set up makes it a perfect solution for recording while on the road.

Any Polar Pattern for the Job

Adding to the mic’s versatility, the REVELATION II’s polar pattern selection is virtually limitless, controllable by a variable pattern control knob. Barry Rudolph, contributing editor at MIX Magazine and writer for Music Connection Magazine, recently put the REV II through its paces by testing out its different polar patten options. “I put the REVELATION II to work recording lead vocals at my studio while playing around with its various polar patterns,” he says. “If I am looking for more room tone in a lead vocal sound, or I am recording backing vocals, I like the omnidirectional option. On the other hand, the mic’s figure-eight polar pattern offers proximity effects, so you get a big fat sound on multiple singers as if you have a REV II for each artist. For my lead vocal track, I went with cardioid, and I love the big sound of this mic. I heard all the nuance and tone of my singer with clean highs and tight lows. And better than ever, the REVELATION II costs less than the original REVELATION, which I first tested out in 2010. I know I can always count on MXL’s REVELATION offerings for a rich, warm sound.”

Recording at Home

When Hunter Wolfe, guitarist and vocalist of Born Crooked, was forced to switch gears at the beginning of the pandemic, he knew he could turn to MXL to support him transition to recording from home. “We have a number of new songs that were slated to be recorded in-studio, but instead, we are recording them from our homes and MXL has been a part of this process every step of the way,” he says. “When I first received the REV II, I plugged it straight into my DAW and tracked without any EQ, COMP or pre/post processing to see what the mic sounded like on its own. This was the first time that I ever truly liked the sound I was hearing from my vocal track without having to add processing. The mic is rich, full-bodied with a clarity that I haven’t found in any other mic.”

For Carlos Henriquez, Bassist for Jazz at Lincoln Center, MXL was able to provide support as he recorded from home for the first time.  “When we first began working from home, I had nothing to offer in terms of recording gear other than my iPhone and laptop,” he says. “As soon as the REVELATION II arrived at my house, I was immediately impressed. From the presentation of the package, to the mic case, I could tell this was going to be a solid mic. With the REV II, the audio files I was capturing in my project studio went up twofold in terms of clarity and quality.”

Singer/Songwriter Joshua P. Fields also jumped on the MXL bandwagon when seeking a high-quality microphone solution to deploy at home. For Fields, recording tracks with the REVELATION II is his first hands-on experience with a tube mic and he says he can definitely hear the difference in his mixes. “Working with the REVELATION II tube mic has been incredible,” he says. “It offers me more versatility when mixing and enhances the detail of my tracks, which allows me to get the exact sound I desire.”

Expanding the REVELATION Family

Following the  success of both our classic REVELATION and REVELATION II mics, we knew we couldn’t stop there. We recently set out to create a mic that has the same intimacy and warmth of a tube mic but is built around a FET circuit with a smaller footprint—leading to the birth of the newest REVELATION family member, the REVELATION MINI FET. While everyone loves a beautiful, elegant-sounding tube mic, sometimes artists require a smaller, more durable solution. With these needs in mind, we put a great deal of energy into the design of the new REVELATION MINI FET in order to preserve the classic REVELATION sound while increasing the mic’s flexibility.

The REVELATION MINI FET offers great sound, versatility, outstanding value and is a rock-solid solution (even in high SPL situations) with focused representation on numerous sound sources,” says Audio Engineer and TapeOp magazine reviewer Dylan Ray. “Don’t look at the price and think ‘budget.’ This mic is a little workhorse that will be useful in several recording applications. If you’re building your mic locker, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of MXL’s REV MINI FET.”

Today more than ever, it is crucial for artists to have access to budget-friendly solutions that will not compromise on audio quality—and that’s exactly what they can expect with our REVELATION mics. By keeping our ear to the ground and placing our customers’ needs above all, we look forward to seeing how we can expand the REVELATION family even further.

Revamping Home Recording With MXL

Devoted singer/songwriter Joshua P. Fields developed his passion for music at a young age. When he decided to turn his love of music into a professional career, Fields selected MXL Microphones affordable, high-quality microphone solutions for his home studio set up. Honing in on his signature vocal style, Fields was immediately drawn to the clarity and warmth of MXL mics. Over the years, Fields has grown alongside the brand, acquiring its latest and greatest studio microphone offerings and building a complete mic locker of MXL gear.

“When I first began my recording journey, I purchased the MXL 440 Studio Condenser Mic and, shortly thereafter, graduated to the 990,” explains Fields. “Last year, I acquired the REVELATION II Tube Microphone. I still turn to my 990, but the step up to the REVELATION II is astronomical; just when I think MXL can’t possibly get any better, they prove me wrong!”

For Fields, recording tracks with the REVELATION II is his first hands-on experience with a tube mic. Comparing the MXL 990 to the REVELATION II, Fields says he can definitely hear the difference in his mixes. “Working with the REVELATION II tube mic has been incredible. It offers me more versatility when mixing and enhances the detail of my tracks, which allows me to get the exact sound I desire. With the 990, it’s still very crisp and clean, but you’re losing the classic, more detailed tube mic sound that everyone loves.”

Most recently, Fields acquired the brand’s new REVELATION MINI FET microphone and has been loving the big sound that comes out of this compact mic. “Comparing the sound quality of the REVELATION II to the REVELATION MINI, I’m blown away by the fact that I can barely hear a difference using the smaller, FET-based mic,” he adds. “The REV MINI  sounds just as great as its larger predecessor. It’s impressive what these tiny mics can do digitally, without an analog tube. I have a stereo pair and I’ve been recording acoustic guitar and vocals, and the warmth of the tones is awesome. These mics sound really huge for what they are.”

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Fields has upped his social media game, hosting a great deal of content using his arsenal of MXL mics to capture pristine audio. “Transitioning from physical performances to virtual platforms has been an interesting yet educational experience,” he says. “Playing live is always preferred―you can’t beat the electricity and buzz of a live audience in a small venue or bar. This pandemic has really pushed me to expand my social media presence and production value while also paying more attention to how my music is delivered, not just how it sounds. MXL has played a massive role in my journey of enhancing the audio quality of my music, and I look forward to continuing to rely on the brand for years to come.”

Follow Joshua P. Fields on Instagram and Spotify to keep up with his latest work as he continues to create awesome tracks with MXL mics.

MXL Greetings From California – Available Now!

MXL Microphones Pays Homage To Classic West Coast Styles

Greetings From California

The limited-edition Greetings From California Microphone Series Features Restyled Versions of MXL’s top-selling Condenser Microphones: the MXL 770, MXL 990 and MXL Tempo USB microphone.

For a limited time, alternate versions of the MXL 770 will be offered in Sky Blue and Vintage White, the MXL 990 in Coral and Surf Green, and the MXL Tempo, a USB-powered condenser microphone, in Surf Green.

“The new Greetings From California series microphones are a classic west coast take on MXL’s top-selling microphones,” states Trevor Fedele, Director of Sales at MXL Microphones. “We drew from California beach and surf culture to reimagine these microphones as if they accompanied musicians and artists on a trek down the historic Highway 1.”

MXL Tempo Surf Lifestyle Image 1

The new Greetings From California microphone series will debut in the MXL booth at the upcoming NAMM 2020 Show at the Anaheim Convention Center, Jan. 16-19, exhibiting at Booth #14302.

Contact your local MXL Dealer for more info.  Dealer Locator

MXL Microphones at Empire Sound Studio

Renowned Texas Recording Studio Utilizes MXL Microphones for World Class Recordings

Empire Sound Studio, located near Dallas, Texas, has recorded some of the biggest acts in music in nearly every musical genre — and one of their favorite mic brands to use in the studio is MXL. MXL Microphones got a chance to talk to Alex Gerst, engineer and founder of Empire Sound Studio, about how the studio got its start and why MXL Mics have remained mainstays in the mic locker throughout the years.

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Benjamin Wright's Storied History with MXL

Benjamin Wright’s Storied History With MXL

The multiple Grammy-winning producer and composer has been a big fan of MXL Mics for more than a decade. Wright first gained notoriety for arranging strings for smash hits like Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough” and “Rock with You,” and he continues to work with top pop artists today, recording strings for Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience album and Ty Dolla $ign’s Free TC. Here’s more on how MXL plays a big part in this music legend’s career.

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Broadcast Your Voice

 

A question our technical support gets all the time is, “What microphone is best for broadcasting and podcasting?” The answer is, any microphone can amplify a voice. That’s easy. But does it sound natural? Is your deep voice too muddy? Is the sound too bright? There are some subtle differences with broadcast mics that make speech sound clear and smooth, the way it should over the radio. You want to select a true broadcast microphone for your radio show or podcast, especially if you have one of those deep radio voices.

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Mic’ing a Piano

Recording a piano isn’t easy. The sound quality depends not just on the microphones, but on the condition of the piano and oftentimes the room where the piano is located. For the best results, keep your piano tuned and in good working order.  Proper maintenance will eliminate one big hurdle of recording a piano. The rest is just a matter of good mic placement.

The piano is generally recorded using close mic’ing technique. Ideally, you’ll want a minimum of two microphones. Usually, the microphone capturing the higher strings is assigned to the left channel and the microphone capturing the lower strings is assigned to the right channel in the final stereo mix, though the stereo spread generally is not hard left and right. While a single microphone can be used, the lower and upper extremities of the instrument will likely be compromised. To capture the full range of sound, pick up a pair of instrument microphones, such as the MXL CR21 Pair or the MXL 603 Pair.

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How To Mic a Guitar Amp

Guitar
When you hear a memorable guitar riff, you’re probably not thinking of how it was recorded…where the amp sat, was it on a carpeted floor, was the microphone two inches or ten inches away. But it’s these details that contribute to the sound you hear on the recording. So how do you capture the sound of an electric guitar?

First of all, you want to record the amp. While the electric guitar can certainly be recorded directly, there are times when there is simply no substitute for the sound of a real amplifier. Guitar amps have particular gain stages that facilitate the popular “crunch” guitar sound. While digital modeling and processing systems certainly have their place, they may not have the same level of realism as the sound from an amplifier. A small guitar amp can be just as effective for this application as a stack, because you don’t necessarily need to “crank” the volume. Instead, you want to increase the amp’s initial gain to achieve the desired amount of overdrive.

Typically, a guitar amp is close mic’ed to achieve the highest direct sound. Placing the microphone roughly 4 inches from the grill, aimed directly at the center of the loudspeaker will produce the most “edge” to your sound. If you move the mic further away, it takes the edge off the sound. It’ll be a bit mellower.

Now, if you’re going to put a microphone super close to an amp, it better be able to handle some high SPLs (sound pressure levels). It doesn’t necessarily have to be a dynamic mic – a condenser or two can do the job. A good instrument mic can perform well on a variety of instruments, including a guitar cabinet.

Distance from the source isn’t the only thing affecting the sound. By angling the microphone slightly off axis and towards the wall, you can add more “room sound.” Experimentation is a key factor in achieving the sound you are looking for. You might put one mic close to the cabinet and one several inches way. You’ll target the cabinet but you’ll also pick up the cabinet sound as it’s reflected in the room.Diagram of microphone placement

A ribbon mic might also give you the mix of guitar and room sound you’re looking for. The figure eight pattern picks up sound to the front and back of the mic without any creative placement. It’s what ribbon mics are made for.

Placement of the amp is another important factor. If the amplifier sits on a carpeted floor, you are more likely to reduce the amount of brightness in the sound. Similarly, elevating the amplifier off the floor may result in a loss of low-end. If you’re looking for a big reverberant tone, placing the amp and microphone in the bathroom is another popular technique. The hard tiles and other reflective surfaces can do wonders for a dull sound. In this case, move the microphone back a few feet from the loudspeaker and crank it up!

Recording audio is all about getting the sound you want. Garage band or singer/songwriter? Rock anthem or wedding ballad? “Enter the Sandman” or “Faithfully”? Determine your desired sound and then adjust your mic and amp placement until you get it. There’s no wrong answer!