"Mug's Game"


Sep 29, 2012
Northern California
Gear owned
An instrumental in progress, and whose title was inspired by a fine gent on the DM3200/4800 Forum, John Flynn. Thanks John for the title idea - dedicated to you! :)

Tracked/mixed with PT10 and the reliably PHAT sonics of the DM3200 - OTB. All instruments - me; all horns, Ray Kurzweil. :) (Likely to be replaced with real horns later on).

Go to the SECOND player on this page; it's the most recent.


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I gotta say, the guitar tone is wonderful!
Obviously, the main ingredient is the guitar and your playing.
How did you translate that so beautifully?
Happy Thanksgiving
Thanks Waterstrum. Short story: the lead gtr sound was captured with a 1953 vintage RCA 77D ribbon mic, into a FocusRite ISA-1, Tascam pre-bypassed direct to ADC. Mic was about 18" from a Fender Super 60 tube amp, above the grill, angled down about 20 degrees.

I should mention also, the instrument is a 1965 Gibson L5CES with a bonafide PAF and very played-in wood. Strung with Tomastik BeBop .13/53 rounds.

I've been a fan of ribbon mics for years, but this old RCA is on another level entirely; with its infinitely adjustable pickup patterns and 'wide ears,' it adds a pleasing mid range quality with none of the 'zzzzzst' a lot of LCD mics tend to produce. And it's quite versatile; works with acoustic gtrz, as a room mic, and terrific voice over choice if you're seeking depth and bottom.

Here's a show/tell of it being used in a 'Mid/Side' Stereo setup:


Thanks for the kind words and interest!

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Holy Moley!
Much appreciation for your generous sharing of your technique.
Sending great respect for your devotion to the art of recording.
I can only hope to implement bits of what you are describing.
Great stuff!
Finally got to hear this. Agreed nice guitar tone!
I'm discovering, using an astonishing phantom-powered ribbon by British designers Sontronics, that nothing I've ever done captures the sound of a guitar through an amp better than a ribbon mic. I guess that "stick a 57 in it" thing that's been repeated so many times is just OK if you're doing the high gain thing... but for capturing more nuanced playing, a good ribbon rules. (And it works better for gainier sounds, too.)
Absolutely true. And I really like the sound of your Sontronics, having heard it in person. :)

I've never really liked the bare sound of a 57 on a grill - at least for the kind of sounds I usually go for. I think it might be okay if used in combination with a distance mic, but by itself, it doesn't ring my bells.


I only like my 57 on a cabinet when it's paired with something else like my Sennheiser e609. For bass I get really good results with a 57 and my Audix d6.
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Nice track indeed, and +1 on the guitar sound. I do hope you'll manage to replace the horns with real ones - the arrangements deserves it!

And for an aspiring ribbon mic buyer (don't own one yet), do any of you guys know a currently available brand/model that you can recommend? I was looking at the sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 - good reviews, but also applauding the more 'condensor sound' that I fear takes away from the classic ribbon character..? (Sorry for derailing the topic a bit..)
The more "condenser-like" sound was the reason I sold my Shure KSM313. You couldn't even tell it was a ribbon mic, sounding so much like a KSM32 it didn't make any sense to own it.

I replaced it with a Sontronics Sigma, which imparts a warmth and a shining "you are there" quality to anything recorded with it, especially guitars. $850 new (including the hyper-cool retro shock mount), although there is a used one on eBay right now for 5 bills. Absolutely worth it, unless you can find and afford a vintage RCA 77D.
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Thanks Jim, that looks like a fine contender for € 549,-; even less than the Voodoo. The sound clips of it that I heard sound very nice and warm too.
I love mine all to pieces. The mic hangs semi-permanently in my closet/iso booth about 12" from the cabs (there are two in the booth), slightly off center. "Never have to move it, don't gotta EQ it."™ I run my guitar rig (Egnater Rebel head, Barber Tone Press, EP Booster, Wampler Euphoria, Crowther Hotcake in the front end, Line 6 M13 in the effects loop, into either an open-backed or closed cab) with the convenience of a modeler... switch it on, bring up the channel, there it is.

My rave review of the mic is on the Sontronics website. Here's an example of a more pop-oriented guitar sound recorded with it:

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General observation re: contemporary mics:

There are quite a few attractive offerings these days. Seems the trend is to recreate the mics of yore in modern affordable packages. (Must admit that the $1200 Peluso tube mic very closely mimics the character of the hideously expensive ELAM/256).

But the bigger question is about quality control and build; I suspect some of the <$250 Guan Zhou flavors may not be very long lived.

So - it pays to shop around, ask questions, read reviews, and make comparisons.


Arjan - thanks for checking out the ruff mix. Indeed, I have some Mississippi horn players lined up to replace the Kurzweil samples. But the funny thing is, on some playback systems, I'm kind of liking the sound of those 16 bit plastic versions. :)


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