Archive for: November, 2011

Rode NT3 Review

Rode NT3 ReviewSome mics are built with one specific purpose in mind. Others are well rounded and can do more. The Rode NT3 is a mic that falls into this category. I needed something that was going to be versatile, durable, and accurate. I didn’t want to spend an insane amount of money wanted something that was going to be simple to use. Since I’ve been using the NT1-a for a while and absolutely love it, I figured I would give the Rode NT3 a try. Here’s my review:

Review of the Rode NT3

What’s in the Box: The mic, A padded zipper case, a sticker, a clip for your mic stand, a small foam windscreen, instruction booklet.

Physical Characteristics: It fells well built, much like the other Rode mics I’ve had a chance to use. The NT3 can be powered by a 9 volt battery or phantom power from your preamp. It is roughly 9 inches long and the bottom unscrews to access the battery compartment. The battery option is one that is great to have if you’re considering using this mic with a camera for video production. It’s durability and size make an excellent choice for a field mic. There is a power switch so you don’t have to remove the battery every time you use it.

Potential Applications: I use this mic mostly for acoustic guitar and hand percussion. It Represents the high end very well with a lot of presence in the sound, and the design allows for good room ambiance. It actually records room and outdoor conversation pretty good. I imagine that this would be a great field mic for low-budget video production.

Sample Recording with the NT3

Rode NT3  Overall Thoughts: I think that this mic has multiple of uses in a home studio. It can be used to record any acoustic instruments, which is a plus, but it also sounds good when recording from slightly farther away. I like the way it sounds as a reinforcement mic. Take a listen to these two tracks.

Solo take with the Rode NT3

NT3 and NT1-a blend


The first one is the NT3 by itself, positioned roughly 10 inches from the 12th fret of the neck of the guitar. The second one is the NT3 blended with the an NT1-a located roughly 12 inches from the back of the body of the guitar. As you can hear, the two mics compliment each other pretty well. I would imagine that this would make a fairly decent overhead mic on a drum kit based on the response I was getting from it. Unfortunately I am not able to try that at this time, however other reviews of the NT3 have said that this is one of the things it does best.

I also used the Rode NT3 to record the electric guitar parts in this cover of Here Comes Your Man (Ham), as opposed to my usual SM57. Not bad.


Listen to Here Comes Your Ham

All in all I would say that this mic would make a fine addition for any home studio. It’s multiple uses make it a great asset to have.

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My Dinner With Joey – A Night With The Pixies

The Pixies have never played in Maine, so when they announced that they were coming, I was excited. My friend Dave goes way back with Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago. I had seen the Pixies before, but this was my hometown show, and I had a feeling it was going to be special.

“Here Comes Your Ham”

I had done a little catering work with Dave (who owns the Pig Kahuna, best pig roasting in the Northeast BTW), and he had mentioned that he made up a joke band, called the “Pig-sees” and had already re-named a bunch of songs- “Where is My Swine”, and my personal favorite, “Here Comes Your Ham.” I figured now was as good a time as any to see if I could pull it off. Fortunately, since I have a couple instruments at my disposal, I had a feeling I would. It was harder than I had originally thought, just because I’ve never set out to copy something exactly how it was done. Admittedly the effort was somewhat hasty, but Dave loved it.

Listen to Here Comes Your Ham

Lobstah!

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The day of the show came around 10am I get an email asking if I want to have a lobster dinner with the band before the show. Yes. Yes, I would. Not everyone could make it, but Joey wasn’t going to miss out. He arrived around 5:30, bringing our total to 8. Soon, we were enjoying a few pre-lobster drinks. I talked some nerdy guitar stuff with Joey about his equipment, which was awesome. Then Dave mentioned that I was the one who recorded “Here Comes Your Ham.” Joey told me he heard it and liked it, to which I smiled like a buffoon. He said that I took some liberties with the guitar tracks, but overall he liked what I did. He then asked what I had used to record it on. I told him about my modest home recording set up, and mentioned that I probably would have put a little more effort into it if I knew he was going to hear it.

Then he asks “How long did it take you to record it?”
“Roughly three days, on and off.” I reply.
“Oh, we recorded Doolittle in two weeks. No, wait. On second thought make that 11 days.” He says with a big grin. With that the ice was broken, and the rest of the dinner was a smashing success. Dave had enough lobster and steak for everyone to fill up on. Soon enough it was time for the show, which was amazing. If you’ve never seen the Pixies live, you should do it. Enhance any of the photos to see a slideshow from the State Theater show.

The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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Pizza, Magic, and The Pixies watch the Pixies

After the concert, we met up with Joey and David Lovering, the drummer for the band. They had heard about a Pixies tribute that was happening after the show, and wanted to crash it. I couldn’t wait for this, however we “needed” to refuel with some more beers and pizza. During dinner in a relatively empty Pat’s Pizza, David started doing some card tricks for us. He is skilled in the magical arts to say the least, however the hilarity and awesomeness of getting a free magic show from the drummer of one of the most talented and influential bands ever would not hit me till later in the evening.

After dinner, we headed to the bar where the tribute show was happening. It was very busy for a Tuesday night, and it was very interesting to watch half of the Pixies watch a tribute to themselves. It was hard to get a read on how they actually felt about it, but not hard to see how shocked/excited the members of the band were when they realized who had been in attendance. Joey and David chatted with the musicians from the tribute band for a while before we all left. We took some photos together, I got my copy of Doolittle signed, and we were out. As we drove home, I just kept thinking to myself how crazy the past 6 hours had been, and realized that the “Where is My Swine” cover had better be awesome.

The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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The Pixies in Portland, Maine 2011

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HUGE thanks to My friend Dave of the Pig Kahuna and of course Joey and David of the Pixies.

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