After telling you that last week the Sennheiser 421 is the “go to” mic for toms in the studio, perhaps its time for our “go to” live option; the Sennheiser e604.
We actually have a mixture of 604 and 504s. The subtle difference being a silver or black grill and a different clip but essentially they are the same mic. The most obvious reason to use this is you can clip the 604 directly to the rim of the tom. This reduces the forrest of mic stands and speeds up the setup. Its small size makes it ideal, being less likely to receive abuse from even the most enthusiastic of drummers!
I’ve also been using the 604 to mic the snare by reversing the mic on the clip. Using the way the clip has been designed enable the mic to point at the sweet spot. This bypasses that tricky skill of getting a mic stand positioned in order to get a mic nice and close to the snare. There doesn’t seem to be much difference between the sound of these though the 604 has a slightly higher and lower frequency response.
Taking these mics off their clips can make very elegant replacements for 57’s in other aspects. We’ve found they work well on melodeons and accordions and even banjo’s. The aesthetics of mics on a stage is something that is often overlooked. However, it can make a subtle difference and if some thought has gone into the mics you use then that can have a positive effect on the musician. This has been mentioned in a previous post and is likely to come up again and again. If a musician is happy and relaxed then they will play better. If they play better then it sounds better and thats what being a good sound engineer is all about.