Tell me your creative applications of the Sennheiser MD 441

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Tell me your creative applications of the Sennheiser MD 441

Post by Front End Audio » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:50 am

I have recently acquired a Sennheiser MD 441-U and have used it on a variety of sources and found it performs excellent on everything I have thrown in front of it! So my question is what are some of your favorite applications you have used this mic on? How did you have the microphone placed and what type of mic preamp were you using? Maybe there are some things this mic does not work well with if so let us know.

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Post by AndyHutchinson » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:01 am

I've used a 441 on tenor sax, on axis, about half a foot to a foot away. I've used it as an inside kick, also on axis, and about 4-6 inches out, close to the beater. Really, as you said, just about anything. Any time I need a dynamic with limited proximity effect, I'll reach for the 441 over a 57 or even a 421.

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Post by centurymantra » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:33 am

I don't have an MD441 anymore but when I did, the big surprise for me was that it became a go-to mic for bass amplifiers.

Outside of that, it is great on all the usual suspect applications, although I never loved it on snare drum as much as others seem to. In my studio, the Beyer M201 usually won out for that use.

Oh was unusually awesome as a mono OH - when you're looking for that kind of sound.

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Post by sears » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:52 am

I've used it as a room mic with my Hamptone preamp. Even facing away from the source.

Percussion, voice, bass cab (but not guitar cab for me)..

My 441 is my only "high end" mic and I love it too.

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Post by Front End Audio » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:59 am

I don't have an MD441 anymore but when I did, the big surprise for me was that it became a go-to mic for bass amplifiers.
I have been really pleased with the sound I get when using it on bass amplifiers! It captures all the right frequencies and provides a real punch that I usually have to use 2 mics to get! Thanks for your input!

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Post by Scodiddly » Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:23 am

Love it on sax. Better, more natural, than anything else I've ever used.

Great banjo mic, too. Very graceful in handling those crazy transients.

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Post by junomat » Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:35 am

the 441 is totally my new 57.

i use it on the bottom of snares, trumpet, banjo, guitar cabs. sounds awesome with pedal steel guitar amps... great on vocals with too much sibilance.

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Post by DrummerMan » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:35 am

441,oh yeah!!!

Trombone or any brass, but freakin' awesome on tbone.

Love it on guitar amp. Slightly off axis, just within 6-12" from the cone.

Was a snare top go-to for a while but I always have a hard time positioning it in there the way I want it to sound while still out of the sticks' flight path.


Never tried it as mono OH. Have to give that one a shot. I've put it through whatever pre is available: LA-610, TAC Scorpion channel, Toft ATB channel, hell... even a presonus blue tube. It always sounds good to me. Mines got a slight grounding hum going on so I haven't used it on more delicate sources much but I seem to remember it kicking ass on acoustic guitar too. Gotta get that hum fixed.

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Post by dubh dubh dubh » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:29 am

ah I miss mine for sure. Used on everything. So much tonal variation to be had 'cos of tight pickup pattern & response-curve selectors, couple that with slight distance or angle adjustments (well, like with any mic really) and you can get quite the range of tones.

AND, like many directional mics, you can make it quite omni with some masking tape! The blue, non-residue type is best & easiest to get on and off. All you gotta do is wrap a couple layers around the side grilles, right to flush with the top, flat part. You'll be blocking off the phase-ports that make it hypercardioid & end up with a good omni-ish pickup pattern. Then try the different tone settings on the mic's bottom ring.
A whole lot of tonal variation to be had, and it can sound a whole lot like a variety of condensor mics too.
You can of course try it with the sides only half covered, or just 2 sides, whatever- but YMMV! That'll lead to unpredictable freq. response off-axis, which might be a dream or a dud on a given thing. and

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Post by joninc » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:12 am

love mine on some vocals, guitar amps - acoustic - snare!! - toms! - horns!

i gotta try that omni trick...
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:33 am

It can be used on literally anything (save for maybe orchestral field recording or whatever).

Mine gets used on SN drum around 100% of the time, when I'm tracking drums.

But it's also great on:

Bass amp
Upright bass
Guitar amp
Ac. guitar

You name it really.

One of the best ever, IMO.

Only thing I consider, in regards to preamps, is how much gain it has, IF I'm recording something quiet. Otherwise, any good one will do.
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Post by 0-it-hz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:22 am

Everything. It is the best mic ever made. Seriously.
Everything louder than everything else.

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Post by Bob Weston » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:28 pm

Loved it on snare and vocals.

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Post by Scodiddly » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:28 pm

Somewhat off-topic, but...

I work for a live sound company, and we currently have a Soundcraft Si3 digital console in as a demo. We've all spent some time fooling around with it, not real happy with the feel of the knobs and faders (given the price tag), but it seems pretty cool.

Now I used to use my 441 a lot for acoustic instruments live, but in the past couple of years haven't been happy with it in that application. We'd always end up swapping it out for a condensor. Most all of those shows were with a Yamaha LS9, another digital console. So in the back of my brain is one of those little "hey, maybe..." things. Maybe there's something about the LS9 vs. a 441 where a mic preamp actually makes a difference.

I should warn you all that I'm a serious skeptic on the whole "mic pre" thing as far as it concerns live work. But this seemed like a good test case, a low-output dynamic mic, long cable runs (150' snake!), quiet source.

So, I dropped by the shop Saturday morning with my acoustic guitar and did some comparisons between the Si3 and an LS9. I did it first with a short mic cable, then with 200 feet of mic cable.

I really couldn't hear a difference, except that maybe I liked the LS9 a tad better on the guitar.

To push it back somewhat towards on-topic, I was using the 441 with a lot of gain as my combined guitar and vocals mic. One of the advertising things about the 441 is that they claim a near-perfect cardioid pattern at all frequencies. Yup, it's true. Even if you're off-axis it still sounds good. I had a sax player at one show assume that it was side-address and adjust it accordingly... I had to crank up the gain, but it still sounded great.

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Post by accordion squeezist » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:45 pm

like it on acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitarists hate hearing the playback. go figure.
like it on 2nd fiddle part for different flavor. 1st fiddle gets the ribbon mic.
like it on accordion about 42" away, but prefer ribbon or oktava 101. now that's a plethora of a microphone, the 101!

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