WE DON’ LIKES MIC SO MUCH A couple of things about September’s EQ bugged the shit out of me. And one seems like a move in the right direction. I thought I’d point them out to you. (You DO want to hear my opinion, right? . . .) First off . . . I am disappointed at the magazine’s tendency lately to take pieces of o

A couple of things about September’s EQ bugged the shit out of me. And one seems like a move in the right direction. I thought I’d point them out to you. (You DO want to hear my opinion, right? . . .) First off . . . I am disappointed at the magazine’s tendency lately to take pieces of old interviews with different folks and blend them into a “new” article. It suggests a lack of budget, at the least . . . and possibly a lack of imagination as well. Boring, and disjointed. Doesn’t work. Then there’s that review of the Heil sound pr40 mic by Monte Vallier. Did anyone edit that? Let me quote here: “the frequency response is from 28Hz and stays perfectly flat to 18kHz with mid-range rise that gives it great natural articulation. . . .” Bad grammar, followed by a non-sequitur. “Perfectly flat with a mid-range rise?” Your audience IS recording people, but even those with no understanding of the subject will know that is illogical.

Now, the good move is to have real guys reviewing gear and willing to point out its shortcomings. Takes me back to the good old days of Studio Sound magazine, whose reviews pulled no punches, and were therefore actually useful. We all know that you are reviewing equipment from your advertisers, so you have to be concerned about dissing them too hard, lest they pull their ads. But a magazine like Mix has no credibility due to the fact that they love everything. So letting someone like J.J. Blair speak his mind (more or less) is a good step. The only problem with the mic reviews is comparing $2,500 mics to $250 mics. Not only isn’t it fair, it isn’t really meaningful. I mean, if Car & Driver compared a Mercedes to a Hyundai, you’d scoff, right?

For awhile EQ was the best recording mag out there, but lately it has really slipped. I now find more of interest in TapeOp, which surprises me since I’ve been in the biz for 30 years. You have the beginnings of something good . . . just don’t drown it in laziness.

Gary Mankin

Monte Vallier responds: Gary Mankin whilst technically correct in regards to my review (EQ ed. informs me that this mag, however, recycles nothing) is still an ass.

Hi guys. I just wanted to tell you I have been waiting for years for an issue like this. As an avid mic collector for about 10 years now I found this issue of EQ [September 2005] to be superb in every way. It is so great to read all the little insights from the great engineers on their mic techniques and to see images and read random shootouts. To me this enormous article feels like the most “real world” comparison and opinion piece on microphone usage ever written. It is very inspiring to me and I can imagine very useful for any engineer just getting their feet wet in microphone recording techniques. This issue is a definite saver for years to come. Thank you very much! I have also attached a .jpg image of my decent growing collection for you to view! Cheers!

Rob King

You implied that September was a “bitch” to put together. Well, it looks seamless from here and terrifically comprehensive.

Supercalifragilisticextralidocious, indeed.

David (by email)

My jaw dropped on the floor.

I don’t know if you have above expression in English but the Mic issue of EQ magazine is simply incredible. Congratulations!

Now, are you going to continue doing Madness Issues around one specific never-ending topic?

Antoni Ozynski

Our mouths are saying YES. Our sanity is saying NO. So, yes, of course, we’ll be doing at least one more in 2006. Topics are open for suggestion. Make yourselves heard America!!! —Editor

I just got the Mic Issue of EQ. Great job! I really like this one. And thanks so much for the Heil write-ups. We think this microphone line has a great future (and a great personality behind it!). One thing ended up looking somewhat confusing, and I would like to clarify. In the “Quick Pick,” your writer said that the PR40 “streets” for $200, and in Russ’ “Desert Island” part he says it is $325. It is correctly $325 MSRP. Several months ago, it was available for $200 from the Heil website as an introductory offer. Unfortunately, that price is no longer available. We still feel, however, that at $325 it sounds as good as or better than microphones of twice the price!

All the best,
Todd Peterson
TransAudio Group

Just a quick note with some additional information on the CAD m177 and m179 microphones that were reviewed in the Ultra Mega [OK] Mic Madness issue. The reviewer noted that the biggest drawback he found with these mics was the lack of a good shock mount, but that CAD probably had one on their drawing boards. I checked their website recently, and found a listing for the MZM-5 shock mount in their Accessories list. BSW USA also offers the shock mount in a package with the mic. Just thought I’d mention it. I’m not affiliated with CAD, by the way. Just interested in these mics, especially the m179. Nice to have a U.S. alternative to the Chinese mics in this price range. Especially with such good features and performance.

Phil Raymondo (by email)

I’ve just finished John Payne’s article about Bruce Swedien in your September EQ Magazine. If possible would you pass on to Mr. Payne what a great article it was about a great guy. Having been in Chicago some 40 years, Bruce’s path and mine crossed on several occasions. I watched the installation of Bruce’s original design console in Dick Marx’s music studio. Not only that but I believe they had Chicago’s first 8-track tape recorder. I’d never seen anything that amazing. At the time I worked at WCFL, a Chicago radio station, and if you’re old enough that’s where I produced Dick Orkin’s very popular radio series Chickenman. All my work was done on Ampex 440 mono recorders, so Dick Marx’s 8-track was like a gift from heaven.Well anyway thanks for giving a very special man the credit he deserves and has worked a lifetime to achieve.

Many Thanks,
Mike King