MD 421 mics

whatdya think?

What do you old hands think about the 421II mics? Worth 350 bucks? Like how they sound?

Hi Tom:
I had the oppertunity to buy one of them from a drummer… I think I could have talked him into mabey 300 - 325 for it. I didn’t have the loonies just then. or I would have had IT…

I think a mic locker that’s worth anything… should have one-or-two of them…


They are pretty much the bomb on toms, guitar cabs, horns… anything else you can think of. Great mics. As Bill said, every locker should have one or five… It is on my list for future purchase.


They are pretty much the bomb on toms, guitar cabs, horns… anything else you can think of. Great mics. As Bill said, every locker should have one or five… It is on my list for future purchase.

Spoken for truth. The studio we went to a couple of weeks ago used them on the 4x12 cabs, and they sounded fantastic - I’d heard of them, but that was my first run in with them.

Good. You guys are an invaluable resource. I now have one. :) More equipment to help me hear how bad I really sound. :D

Ii KkNnOoWw… :O :laugh:

IT’s something like takeing off Dark Glasses on an overcast day and seeing what’s Out There…


I really like the sound that my “Soup Can and Fishing Twine” gives me… And… the price was right… TOO… :p

That one I almost got from that drummer… may have been “Sour Grapes”… But you know… the drummer could have hit that mic with a drum stick… and IT wasn’t any good…

Buyer… Beware…


Make use of that roll-off on the back end, Tom. Maybe you know this already, but the “M” setting is no bass roll-off, and the “S” setting is maximum.

We have 3 421’s of various vintages. I use one on something every session I do. Worst stand mount in the industry, but a great mic…

Yeah, great mic. I have one (not the II series) that was used for kick or snare, depending on my feelings at the time. I switch between a MD441 and a MD421. I finally ended up using the 441 on snare and 421 on kick. The 421 had less ultra lows, which worked better of bringing out the punch in the kick without the rumble. The 441 was smoother on both ends of the frequency range. The 421 was more SM57 like of the two, which is good for more general use. The 441 was more condenser like. I’ve had both since the late 70’s. The 441 has been rebuilt once. Both are in need of rebuilding today unfortunately. They got a GREAT number of years of very hard labor on the road, working in many smoke filled rooms and getting in lots of fights. They never let me down, though one of the does have a rattle in it now.

I really like the looks of the 441 - apart form what it sounds like! :) Someday I will get one of those. I tried the 421 on snare, on kick, and even as a mono overhead, and in all cases it is quite a step up for me. Also really great on my strat through the fender blues deville amp. Mmm, tubalicious. :)

Clava, gotta agree about the mount. It really sucks. Especially for a mic in that price range. Um, about the roll off, um, I’m sometimes a moron, but, no, I did not really know that, I am going to look at the mic again, do you set yours at M for, say, guitars? (thank you for the tip!)

Can’t wait to try it on the Lanilei 3350LT that is going in the mail TOMORROW! :D <–BIG SMILE

Anyway, th

I use the 421 on Tenor Sax.

It’s an excellent horn & radio vocal mic (It used to be a staple in radio studios before the EV RE-20 became the standard…)

OK, the literature that comes with the mic sucks pretty badly as well - there is no specific info about the amount or freq of roll off at variou ssettings. Clava - do you know?

Did you see the frequency graph? Check out their web site as it shows the roll off at the various positions. It doesn’t appear as though it is a perfect 8 then 10 then 14 then 18 db per octave scheme or anything like that. But really use your ears to decide what roll off setting is right.

421 Specs PDF

See that? “bubba-on-the-spot” has the appropriate documentation linked.

I keep stuff like that 421 sheet in a single binder labeled “mic specs” in the control room. If freelancers have any questions about patterns or frequency response of any of the 30-some mics I have, they can easily look it up.

The real magic behind that roll-off switch is using it to compensate for proximity effect. As you might expect, the 421 generally gets used in very close quarters to the source. It’s directional, so that means you’ll get some proximity effect in the lower frequencies when close to a source. Think the result is too boomy or deep? Move the switch one closer to the “S” point and try again…

My mic came with a graph, and it was a graph for that very mic, but it only had one response on it, and the lit only mentions the roll off in one very inconspicuous place, and I didn’t notice it in my rush of joy to plug it in, and while I have used the mics a couple of times in the past I really knew (know?) little about them, and (excuses, excuses)…so, here’s egg on my face. :)

Anyway, thank you very much for the link and info guys!

Eh, ain’t no thing. I ran sound for a band on a board I had not used before. The whole night I could not get decent levels out of the FOH to save my life. At the end of the night during tear down I noticed the line/mic level switch next to the main outs and it was set to mic level. Yeah, I was sending mic level to the power amps. Luckily with punk bands they are loud as #### to begin with and no one cared about the vocals really. (Or so I tell myself to feel better.) There was enough bleed from the monitors… right? :O