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Unusual Cos 11 usage. - Drums, other instruments, or...

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I'd like to hear some stories about unusual usage of Sanken cos 11's, where you may have been forced by necessity, visual reasons, or "they were all you had" to put them on guitars, drums, car engines, hydroelectric dam turbines, or whatever.  

 

I thought of this question 'cause I may have to record some drums next week, and wondered whether I could use my Sankens instead of bringing out the the old faithful Sennheiser 421's, Akg D112 etc.  From what I know about cos 11's, I think they could sound pretty good, and potentially better than some of the usual drum mic suspects,  but I wonder if they can handle the SPL of a close miked drumhead. I also wonder how a Lectro transmitter would affect the sound of a close miked drum.

So drum stories would be especially welcome, but it occurred to me that if you have hundreds of clever sound recordists around the globe using what is already in their kit for unusual purposes, it might make a more general and interesting thread.

 

A few years ago, I had to record an upright piano in a Pacific Northwest rainforest, with a number of wide shots and no ability to see the microphones.  I used a Sennheiser M/S rig at frame line, and had 2 Cos 11's inside the piano as well.   They were a little clunky sounding with very clear recreation of the piano pedal movements, but they also picked up the piano nicely, and the rather avant garde pianist actually liked the unique sound that the Sankens created in the mix.

(and the MKH 50/30 midside rig sounded awesome in that environment)

 

Any other fun uses of Sankens?  And use on drums?

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

 

 

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I recently used a Cos-11 as a stage mic for a bluegrass jam and it worked great. I'd be a little hesitant about close mic'ing drums with them as you usually want a cardioid mic (plus the spl issue), but I have been curious about using them as a drum OH or room mic.

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I think they get crunchy on loud dialog, so I can't imagine they'll hold up to close miking of drums. Also, wireless might have an issue holding on the the peaks unless they're turned way down. You won't get any nice decay.

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I've used the cos 11's multiple times on instruments, guitars, clarinets, piano's to name a few...

There are most certanly better mics for the job but i think you can get decent to good results with them.

On the clarinet I put the mic just between the knobs and the horn for best result. I think with a sax you could try something similar.

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I recorded a dance performance a while back, at one point during the show a piano was rolled on stage, played a passage, then rolled back off.  I chose to use a pair of cos-11's on wireless mounted on the lid of the piano to keep the rig mobile, and the stage free of stands and wires since the dancers used the entire stage.  The piano sounded decent.  Considering it was not the main focus, it actually worked quite well in the final piece.  This was a case of logistics first in decision making, but it worked out well.

I have used them inside of acoustic guitars many times for shots where I needed isolation and could not get the boom close enough.  I wrap the transmitter in neoprene and drop it into the body of the guitar, then mount the mic on the edge of the hole inside.  The mic is attached to a small square of foam or neoprene to isolate it from the vibrations of the guitar body.  There is usually one spot that sounds quite balanced, every where else suffers from pretty strong resonances.   I still use this technique, although the DPA lavs are much smoother sounding and produce a more natural tone.

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The COS11D has a max SPL of 127dB. I'd advise against placing the mic close to a drum. They might work okay a bit farther away or with a quiet drummer, but otherwise I'd stick with the old faithfuls.

There are other small condensers that can take a lot of sound pressure without taking much space, including clip ons, if space is your only concern.

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Thanks for the replies- just got some more info on the gig - they don't need a album quality drum kit - overhead stereo mic of the kit in the room should be fine.  

 

Still interested in hearing about weird things people have fastened their COS 11's to though...

 

cheers,

Brent Calkin

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Pianos, bluegrass jams,car dialog plants, car engine sound FX, buried on a battlefield of a civil war re-enactment, the cab of a locomotive, taped to a remote control car, planted on an overhead light in an operating theatre, on a gurney, planted in a bouquet of flowers, hidden in a clipboard, the inside of a hollowed out pen, in hats, on sunglasses, in wigs, in neckties and my personal favorite, on a ventriloquist dummy.

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On drums.

On a guitar amp.

On a concert hall's balcony for room mics.

On a bicycle, on a wheelchair's back - both to record PFX.

In a shopping bag - now we come to "normal" mic planting.

Under a tablecloth, in a lampshade and so on.

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I put one on a dog. We wanted sounds of the dog barking and whining but all he wanted to do was attack the boom.

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This isn't exactly a story about creative uses for a COS-11. They hadn't yet been invented in 1974 when this anecdote occurred but I think it's a relevant story of improvised use of a lavalier mike and the process by which an expedient technique done in haste can become a standard. Jim Webb was working on California Split and had to scramble to record a piano in a scene. The whole account is in the Winter Edition of the 695 Quarterly from a year ago. Here is a link to the Jim Webb profile in that issue:

 

http://695quarterly.com/6-1/6-1-jim-webb-a-profile/

 

Scan to the end for the piano anecdote.

 

David

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