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Author Topic: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?  (Read 14117 times)

Airton Pereira

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Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« on: August 08, 2011, 10:05:32 pm »

Hi,
so I saw this video of a band called Glasvegas and the singer uses a MD441 and itīs great! Has anyone used this on vocals? I think it would be great for the singer at my band. I try to run from the usual Sm/beta 58.
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Steven Leonard

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 11:31:54 pm »

Hi,
so I saw this video of a band called Glasvegas and the singer uses a MD441 and itīs great! Has anyone used this on vocals? I think it would be great for the singer at my band. I try to run from the usual Sm/beta 58.

Great Mic!!! In my opinion it is a little old school for live vocals these days nevertheless still an awesome mic!

Stevie Nicks would use it all the time back in the day. It is mostly known for its nearly textbook perfect super-cardioid pattern.

I have personally used it on Hi Hat before with great results too!

Cool Mic!

Hope that helps!
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Airton Pereira

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2011, 01:04:03 am »

It helped, thanks!
I heard itīs no good because of its high impedance, what requires more gain and more bleeding into the mic.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2011, 01:58:14 am »

It helped, thanks!
I heard itīs no good because of its high impedance, what requires more gain and more bleeding into the mic.

IIRC, the 441 is a super-cardioid and has a source impedance of 200 ohms.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

magnus söderman

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 05:02:53 am »

i have used it as a lectern mic with very good result :-)

IIRC, the 441 is a super-cardioid and has a source impedance of 200 ohms.
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Zack Marshall

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011, 09:06:33 am »

I have used it a couple of times to record male rock vocals, and I really love it for this.  Unfortunately I have always been too hesitant to ask a singer to use it on stage and it ends up on a guitar cabinet most of the time instead.  But when I do finally get to throw it on a live vocal... :-)

As far as running from an SM/Beta 58, depends on the vocalist.  But I've never come across a singer where either of those doesn't do a good job.  Never amazed, but always very fair.
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Chris Poole

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 09:42:43 am »

I like the results I've gotten with the 441 every time I've used it.  My employer buys Shure mics... but the 441 is what I have for vocalists in my personal mic kit; I own 5 of the MkII model.
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Karl Winkler

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 09:48:47 am »

Hi,
so I saw this video of a band called Glasvegas and the singer uses a MD441 and itīs great! Has anyone used this on vocals? I think it would be great for the singer at my band. I try to run from the usual Sm/beta 58.

The 441 is one of the best mics ever made, and probably the best-sounding dynamic mic ever, IMO. It holds up very well on the road, as long as it is not dropped onto concrete. The pickup pattern is very even thus it gives quite good GBF. Also, for a dynamic, the upper end of the response is quite good.
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Airton Pereira

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 10:50:45 am »

It helped, thanks!
I heard itīs no good because of its high impedance, what requires more gain and more bleeding into the mic.

IIRC, the 441 is a super-cardioid and has a source impedance of 200 ohms.

Isnīt it too high? For instance the Neumman KMS 105 has only 50 ohms.
Iīm concerned with bleeding on stage due to that high impedance.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 11:45:50 am »

IIRC, the 441 is a super-cardioid and has a source impedance of 200 ohms.


Isnīt it too high? For instance the Neumman KMS 105 has only 50 ohms.
Iīm concerned with bleeding on stage due to that high impedance.

It has no blood.  It cannot bleed.

Pickup patterns have zero to do with impedance.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Airton Pereira

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 11:47:49 am »

I know, but if I have to increase the gain level due to the high impedance, it would have more bleeding, right?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2011, 11:48:39 am »

I know, but if I have to increase the gain level due to the high impedance, it would have more bleeding, right?

No.  The ratio of direct sound to "stage bleed" remains the same.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Airton Pereira

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2011, 12:00:56 pm »

Thanks for helping!
I was afraid when I read Glasvegasīs foh enginner said:

"James Allen has chosen to use a low gain mic designed for snare drums in a studio environment, so I have to dial-in the gain higher than usual and pick up loads of other things onstage, like the snare drum."
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Karl Winkler

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2011, 12:18:20 pm »

It helped, thanks!
I heard itīs no good because of its high impedance, what requires more gain and more bleeding into the mic.

IIRC, the 441 is a super-cardioid and has a source impedance of 200 ohms.

Isnīt it too high? For instance the Neumman KMS 105 has only 50 ohms.
Iīm concerned with bleeding on stage due to that high impedance.

Impedance, sensitivity ("gain"), and pickup pattern are all separate issues.

For the impedance issue, many microphones, particularly those with transformers, often have a 200 ohm impedance. That said, some mics with transformers can have 50 ohm impedance as well. Then, more modern, transformerless designs often have 50 ohm or even as low as 10 ohm impedance. All this means is that the electrical source of the microphone has a low internal resistance. As long as you are at least 5:1 with your mic input:source, you're fine. Some people claim that 10:1 is better - I think this is splitting hairs. Since most microphone inputs on mixing consoles and mic preamps are 1K ohms, 1K:200 is 5:1 and you're good to go.

Onto sensitivity or "gain". It is a bit of incorrect thinking that equates sensitivity/gain to the pickup of stage wash. If your gain structure is correct, then you have compensated for any differences in sensitivity between microphone types. True, studio mics often are more sensitive, i.e. they have a "hotter" output for a given acoustic volume level. But again - so you just turn down the gain knob on the preamp.

Pickup pattern has a lot to do with whether or not a mic picks up stage wash: the narrower the patter, generally the more gain before feedback. However, this is also partially dependent on application: for instance, a hypercardioid mic (which has a rear lobe) may not give you the best GBF when you are using a single monitor wedge positioned just behind the microphone.

One of the issues that you don't bring up, though, is the difference between dyanmic mics and condenser mics in terms of their sensitivity to stage wash. Because condenser mics have a low moving mass and thus generally much more linear high frequency response as well as resolution, they tend to pick up more stage wash, despite the pickup pattern. This is a common complaint when using condenser vocal mics like the KMS105: it is easy to hear cymbals in particular. Typically, dynamic mics are a better choice for loud stages as a result.
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frank kayser

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2011, 12:23:50 pm »

I've used it for live vocals - outstanding!
The problem was convincing the singer it was not a side address mic :P
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Steven Leonard

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2011, 11:36:20 pm »


Impedance, sensitivity ("gain"), and pickup pattern are all separate issues.

For the impedance issue, many microphones, particularly those with transformers, often have a 200 ohm impedance. That said, some mics with transformers can have 50 ohm impedance as well. Then, more modern, transformerless designs often have 50 ohm or even as low as 10 ohm impedance. All this means is that the electrical source of the microphone has a low internal resistance. As long as you are at least 5:1 with your mic input:source, you're fine. Some people claim that 10:1 is better - I think this is splitting hairs. Since most microphone inputs on mixing consoles and mic preamps are 1K ohms, 1K:200 is 5:1 and you're good to go.

Onto sensitivity or "gain". It is a bit of incorrect thinking that equates sensitivity/gain to the pickup of stage wash. If your gain structure is correct, then you have compensated for any differences in sensitivity between microphone types. True, studio mics often are more sensitive, i.e. they have a "hotter" output for a given acoustic volume level. But again - so you just turn down the gain knob on the preamp.

Pickup pattern has a lot to do with whether or not a mic picks up stage wash: the narrower the patter, generally the more gain before feedback. However, this is also partially dependent on application: for instance, a hypercardioid mic (which has a rear lobe) may not give you the best GBF when you are using a single monitor wedge positioned just behind the microphone.

One of the issues that you don't bring up, though, is the difference between dyanmic mics and condenser mics in terms of their sensitivity to stage wash. Because condenser mics have a low moving mass and thus generally much more linear high frequency response as well as resolution, they tend to pick up more stage wash, despite the pickup pattern. This is a common complaint when using condenser vocal mics like the KMS105: it is easy to hear cymbals in particular. Typically, dynamic mics are a better choice for loud stages as a result.

Great Post Karl! Right On!
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James A. Griffin

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2011, 11:00:58 pm »

Has anyone used this on vocals?

Great mic for vocals, used it plenty of times in the studio back in the day.   In addition to Stevie Nicks, you'd also see Elton with one on TV all the time.   

The mic clip they used back in the 70's and 80's was pretty flimsy... the one used today looks more sturdy... $54.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2011, 08:36:50 am »

Quote
mic clip they used back in the 70's and 80's was pretty flimsy
Both the 441 and 421 suffered from bad clip design. great mics, terrible clips.  :o
Can't tell you how many times I had to rescue 421s off the toms.
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Bob Lee

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2011, 06:59:31 pm »

Within the MD441 body is a suspension mechanism that does a nice job of isolating handling vibrations from the mic element, so it's great for hand-held use. I've always hoped to have an opportunity to use one on a vocalist.
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Karl Winkler

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Re: Sennheiser md441 on vocals?
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2011, 09:59:04 am »

Quote
mic clip they used back in the 70's and 80's was pretty flimsy
Both the 441 and 421 suffered from bad clip design. great mics, terrible clips.  :o
Can't tell you how many times I had to rescue 421s off the toms.

I agree - the clips were terrible. The 441 had that complex clip with part clear plastic that inevitably broke. Later (maybe 15 years ago) they made a much more sturdy "soft plastic" clip. Once we had those, we were golden.

When Senn. went from the 421 to the 421 mk. II, I couldn't believe they didn't re-design that clip. Once again, complex and prone to fail. I can't tell you how many times I dropped or nearly dropped a 421 when the clip let go. Seen many of them out there duct taped to the clip so they won't disengage at the wrong moment. Then the worst is when the clip ends up taking a chunk out of the body of the mic.  >:(
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