Welcome back to another blog, and as many of you may already know - our Black Friday Sale has begun! I know many of you have been looking forward to this time of the year due to this and I thought I’d help you decide on which microphone to get next, by sharing how the professionals apply them in their day to day scenarios and the unique ways in which they've all grown to love our microphones.
So, with that all said and done, let's dive in!
V67 & The Amethyst
By now, many of you will already know how these mics sound, and that the both of these mic's are some of not only my favorites, but also favorites of nearly every JZ Mic's user since they were first conceived; and understandably so, I might add!
Grammy Award nominees and winners alike have been using the V67 in particular for a long time, allowing the V67 to also star on many number 1 records, singles, and even fall into the hands of legendary artists such as U2, Sting, Foo Fighters, Aerosmith and many more. Given that it has the reputation it's so widely earned, you'll likely not be surprised when I tell you that it is one of our best selling microphones of all time. The thing that makes both of these microphones so applicable to the plethora of sources it shines on, is due to the capsule it houses; and before you ask, yes they are in fact identical. The differences in their sound are attributed to the acoustic shadow each microphone has (you can read more about this impact here).
The capsule theses mic's share is based off of the early U87 and 67 capsules which have starred on many records and been a common staple within the industry for decades. But why the capsule and the microphone came about in the first place is much simpler in nature than breaking down how the capsule works and why.
Simply put, in my humble opinion, vintage is another word to describe a piece of equipment that has well surpassed its intended time being used, and this has had some adverse effects on the circuitry and sound that piece of equipment now has - otherwise known as vibe, mojo, or other such terms. So bringing that sound into the modern world, with the revolutionary technology readily available now seemed like a very sensible thing to do to allow the common engineer to access the sound heard on records of yesteryear but at a fraction of the cost and without the laborious maintenance needed to keep the microphone in good working order!
A great example of how closely we've managed to achieve that task can be put into one of my favorite engineers' work on the most recent record from Manic Street Preachers. Dave Eringa didn't simply use the V67 on one source, it shined on all of the vocals for the record, the acoustic guitars, and Dave has even admitted that his pair of V67 stay on the overheads for any drum session he has simply due to trusting the sound he knows they can provide. Dave's friend Romesh Dodangoda, Grammy Nominee and esteemed JZ mic's artist, has also been using the V67's he has available as both overheads and room mics too; he also agrees with everyone else that puts the V67 or Amethyst to the test, that it's one of the best vocal microphones available in the world!
Justin from Sonic Scoop was kind enough to compare both the V67 and the Amethyst on a few different sources back to back to show the true differences between these mic's, but I think after hearing them you'll agree as do many, that they both are outstanding in their sonic characteristics, as well as their ability to shine on any source you may find yourself in need of recording:
V11 & HH1
These 2 mic's might be the lowest in cost regarding the rest of our entire range, but they have surprised engineers just as much as the V67 and the Amethyst mentioned above. I love both of these mics for many reasons that we'll get into shortly, but let's start with the HH1. It's quite difficult to take on a stance of building a mic that stands out on its own merits in a world where that's more clones of products than ever before; yet the HH1 has a unique and incredible sound that lends itself to a number of sources that you might not expect!
In my own experience, the HH1 is the only microphone that we use in both of my touring bands for all our live performances. Each member has a very different voice as well, so even I was surprised to hear them all together at the first show we tried the HH1's at a couple of years ago and find that they just worked and didn't need any tampering at the front of house to get them to fit in the mix live.
A name many of you know, Sean Genocky, also loves the HH1 for use on the top side of a Snare drum, as well as bottom, and thanks to its gentle roll off on the low-end of the frequency spectrum it can help tame smaller toms as well. A lot of people also don't know that it also sounds great on acoustic guitar, and there's been a number of records that have started with a shootout of the HH1 and a condenser microphone, only for the HH1 has been the preferred choice.
My band, Novastatus, as well as my other bands always rely on the HH1 live, as you can see Luc (right) using here in one of our last shows.
I think it goes without saying that the HH1 is an obvious choice for electric guitar amps, but the V11 is equally as deserving of a place in front of the speaker as well. The V11 has the darkest profile of our range, and an almost ribbon like quality on the lower end of the spectrum but with a fair amount of sparkle in the airy upper mid-range frequencies, which is one of the main reasons that so many love to use it religiously from session to session. Ryan 'Fluff’ Bruce from Riffs, Beards and Gear described the V11 as being his 'do it all’ microphone, and a utilitarian swiss army knife which can excel on guitar amps. In the video below you can hear just for yourself how great the V11 sounds in a variety of situations for clean, crunch and high gain tones:
But as Fluff also mentions, guitar isn't the only place that the V11 shines on. Grammy Nominee, Adam Greenspan, needed some help on the most recent Bloc Party record and so I opted to help out with some of my own microphones; one of which being the V11, simply due to his insistence that it was the best sounding Tom drum microphone he's ever heard. The V11 also shines on lower SPL level sources, and within our community we have a member by the name of Alexandros who has demonstrated over and over again just how versatile the microphone can be by utilizing it on many piano and vocal recordings (both male and female).
All of our microphones including the ones we've discussed in today's blog are currently a part of our biggest sale of the year, Blcak Friday, and you can snatch yourself the best deal of the year simply by following the link here. As I'm sure you'll be aware, this is a limited time sale, so make sure you don't miss out before it's too late!