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Advice for Looping Percussionist

As usual, Rick's advice is very sound and helpful - I'll only add
minor details here:

> Buy yourself an AKG C1000s microphone ($200 (USD) each or sometimes
> available for 2 for $300 USD)

I often called this the swiss army knife among microphones. Another
nice feature for some applications ('though not mentioned here, but as
far as I know that would be relevant when using it with a RC50) is
that you can power it with a battery, should no phantom power be
available. And you can also use it as a small hammer due to its rugged

> I'd also highly recommend that you invest in a decent set of
> in ear monitors

That is also an important advice, as well as the recommendation for
using a wireless system for your headphones. This has several
advantages (over using wired headphones), one of the most important
ones being that you don't need to attach cables when you come onstage
(and can really move around freely).
With all headphone (especially inear) based monitoring setups, there
comes a word of caution: do ensure that your levels don't get too
high. If feedback in your monitor speakers will hurt your ears, then
feedback in your inears will most probably damage your ears
irrevocably (the feedback could still come via the FOH system). In
computer-oriented solutions, a combination of a peak and RMS limiter
in the monitor output chain can save ear life - if you're not going
the computer route, look for a small and affordable compressor or
limiter (such as an Alesis NanoLimiter, or for the
sound-quality-conscious, a FRM RNLA).

> Additionally, I recommend that you either purchase or have someone
> wire you a mic cable that has a silent on-off switch and then have the
> discpline
> to continually turn your microphone off when you are not recording your
> loops.

I'm not sure if I will second this recommendation. Depending on your
acoustic setup, turning the microphone on and off can have a very
audible effect on what the audience hears which may be different to
what you intend to have. Of course, closing the loop when you don't
want to record should be done (which may be a problem with loopers
which don't have something like primary feedback).

> The Beta Shures not only have a better frequency response than the older
> SM57 and SM58

Here's another recommendation for dynamic microphones in the SM57-line
area of application: Beyer M201. More expensive, but for some
applications better sound. It's more like a C1000S, only better (and a
dynamic microphone as well).

> one cannot take advantate of the proximity effect that a good dynamic 
>microphone has

The proximity effect is neither a property of a dynamic (or a good
dynamic) microphone, but of all pressure gradient receiver microphones
- in other words, of all microphones that aren't omnis (and all the
microphones mentioned above aren't).

The proximity effect is an effect where the effect of the acoustic
shortcut between front and back of the microphone diaphragm is reduced
when the sound source is very close to the microphone. This happens
because SPL decreases with a 1/r^2 function over distance from the
sound source. How pronounced the proximity effect is has mainly to do
with the effective distance between front and rear of the diaphragm.