condenser mics and bass roll off switches

i was thinking of buying a cheap MXL condenser mic
but they have no switches

i understand that bass roll off switches are utilized to turn off proximity effects when recording but are these switches needed if i have small mixer like a behringer ub 802?


The mixer doesn’t have anything to do with it.

I’d use the bass rolloff whenever recording anything where there isn’t any important signal below the cutoff frequency. Unlike treble, it’s best to keep unwanted bass out in the first place, because it can cause clipping even though the desired signal isn’t terribly loud. Think of trees on rolling hills – if the clouds are really low, trees on the plains can be higher than trees on the hilltops. The hills are the unwanted bass, and the trees are the desired signal. The clouds represent 0dBFS, where clipping happens. And the airplane breaking through the clouds … :wink:

BTW, I could be wrong about this (probably am …) but I thought that most rolloffs were at much lower frequencies, like 80 Hz, way too low for just proximity effect cancellation. In any case, I often like the proximity effect for vocals.

i guess what im really asking is that if the mic doesnt have a roll off switch, can i alter the signal to reduce the proximity effect with a mixer before it goes to tape?

Concerning low-rumbly stuff in your signal, and no lo-cut switch on your microphone:

If you have an external EQ with a High-Pass Filter on it, you can set it for 80Hz and give it a sharp roll-off on the way into your medium (disc, tape, whatever). Or maybe you can pass it through an EQ in n-Track on the way in to disc?

At worst, you can HPF it after recording, during your mix session.

Far as proximity effect, I don’t think you can really get rid of that unless the mic has a feature that gets rid of it. That’s a pretty inherent character of a microphone that behaves that way. You record not only your signal, but the character of the mic.

To some extent yes. The roll-off switch is usually more of “surgical” cut-off around 80hz. If you try to roll off the lows on the mixer, you’ll likely take more than you want. Higher quality ($$$$$) mixers do have bass roll-off switches and/or parametric EQ which would do the trick. That little Berry with it’s shelving EQ will not be as precise a cut as you would like. It may be fine. Maybe borrow one and try it?


But- can you actually lose the proximity effect totally?

that’s a very interesting idea using a plug-in para EQ. i generally never use plug-ins while monitoring as it goes down on tape because of latency issues.

thanks for clearing that up. i understand what you mean.

hmm looks like i can either try sloom’s idea or just buy another mic with the needed switches altogether.
maybe the behringer b1 mic is the better deal. they both had decent reviews as far as sound quality wise for the money. i didnt really want to spend $160 for a cheap mic heh.

Quote (Sloom @ Nov. 14 2005,11:00)
But- can you actually lose the proximity effect totally?

well obviously you can't expect the mixer, preamp, and the mic to do everything.

good mic placement is always important..but proximity effects are a pain especially when youre also trying to get the clear, crisp, in your face vocal too without the boominess

I just got a Berry B-2 mic for $80US (plus shipping) on ebay (brand new) and it has the roll-off switch as well as a switch to change it to cardiod, omni, and figure 8. It really works nice recording a choir (which I’m presently doing).


yea i think im gonna have to go with the b2
i heard it also includes a shockmount and the sound is pretty good.
i have a couple of cheap dynamic mics and a shure sm58 dynamic as well.
i would like to have at least one decent condenser mic for the vocal and guitar

Hey- have you looked into the Studio Projects mics? I just got a B-3, and it’s pretty nice. For $159.00 U.S., it’s got a 10db pad, 80Hz roll-off, and 3 patterns. Also shock-mount, windscreen, and a little vinyl zipper pouch.

I mic’d a jazz trio I was playing in at a small club in Newport, and got a rather nice sound- though I had to cool down the cymbals a bit. It was hanging from the cieling, above and out front of the kit a bit. But everything came through nicely.

My experience with the proximity thing isn’t there yet, though, I’ve still got to use it some more. So much for that offering!

what is the difference between the b1 and b2 behringer?

There’s a pattern switch on the B-2 to make it omnidirectional (or some other way to switch the pattern). I don’t think there’s any other difference. I have a pair the B-1’s – I’m going by memory from when I got the B-1’s. I’ll need to look 'em up to know if this is really true.…1…ne.html…2…ne.html

The B-2 has a dual diaphragm, so that’s how the pattern is changed. It’s also why it costs right much more.

I have a Studio Projects B3 also, and it’s a very good mike. The C1 is an excellent $200 mike, intentionally colored for vocals, and lots of folks like it for acoustic guitar, too. but for general purpose use and low cost, I recommend the B1, which is the single-pattern version of the B3 (to put it backwards), and goes between $80 and $100 last I checked. Reviews for the C1 are stellar, even disregarding the low price (as compared to mikes like Neumanns). Reviews for B1 are very good, and it’s more general purpose. I got the B3 for specific reasons like mid-side miking, even though it’s not quite as well regarded as the B1. I haven’t heard anyone rave about the Behringer mikes, but they’re probably not bad especially considering the low price.

I avoid using EQ during recording, based on the “don’t do now what you can put off for later” principal. The big exceptions to that would be bass rolloff (but only when necessary) and limiting (to save a take). I’ll definitely use a bass rolloff switch on a mike when recording something with nothing down there (which is most of the time), but I won’t usually do it using active EQ unless I hear a problem in test recordings.

Don’t worry about having a mike without a rolloff. It’s a nice feature, but it’s not indespensible by any means. Especially when recording in 24 bits, you have plenty of room to play with and can use normal high pass, shelving, or notch filters later, whichever SOUNDS BEST.