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Janis Joplin/Dick Cavett Show 1970 mic
Old 19th February 2018
  #1
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Janis Joplin/Dick Cavett Show 1970 mic

Janis sings (er, swallows the mic) twice in the first 25 mins of this episode: YouTube

I wonder if that's because, no matter how close she holds it, she's ain't gettin' none of that old familiar SM58 proximity from it ? Holds up pretty well regardless, despite her treatment. What is it..omni, dynamic, EV ?
Old 19th February 2018
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd give odds that its an Electro-Voice mic, but which model? Long body like an RE55, but the head is like the 635A. Pretty sure its omni as there is no visible porting. Its a mystery!

Love how she pitches the mic on the floor at the end of "My Baby"! Makes me doubly sure its a Buchanan hammer of some description.

Last edited by jimjazzdad; 19th February 2018 at 01:09 PM.. Reason: Added comment
Old 19th February 2018
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Old 19th February 2018 | Show parent
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
Was the "L" model available back then Tom? Looking at 22:06 in the video, it seems that it might just be a regular 635A with a pad or something jacked in the end...a logical possibility, given Ms. Joplin's high SPL when belting out a song...maybe an EV Model 380, like this:
Old 19th February 2018
  #5
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Seems likely to me Jim...the mic overall seems longer in length than a typical 635, and I think I see the release button of the pad unit also. It would appear that a variety of vocal mics were used over the years, as shown in the slideshow at the top of this page: https://dickcavettshow.com/ ...although this particular model seems to have been favoured for 'rock singers'
Old 19th February 2018 | Show parent
  #6
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad ➡️
Was the "L" model available back then Tom? Looking at 22:06 in the video, it seems that it might just be a regular 635A with a pad or something jacked in the end...a logical possibility, given Ms. Joplin's high SPL when belting out a song...maybe an EV Model 380, like this:
I doubt the mic was available but knowing Lou Burrows, EV might have made a special microphone just for the singer. The most popular interview mic back then was the 655C which had the nickname one cannot say in polite company. A great sounding microphone but it used the dreaded "D" connector which meant you had to carry a special adapter or not use it.

You are probably correct and it is a 635 with a 10 to 20 dB pad attached.
Old 20th February 2018 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
You are probably correct and it is a 635 with a 10 to 20 dB pad attached.
... or maybe a high-pass filter. The 635A (my 35-year old version has sadly gone missing, have to make to with an RE50) was not bad in sensitivity to plosives, but maybe they had one to protect the console front end from having to deal with that LF pre-EQ. Maybe the consoles then didn't have front end pads.

(A local blues singer held my record for 'loud' - SM58 into a Yamaha PM700, pre-amp sensitivity -40 with a 20dB pad in front of it, and he was still clipping the preamp (20dB headroom). Do the calcs and the 58 was experiencing greater than 120dB SPL. Not a place I would like to be ... )
Old 20th February 2018
  #8
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It's the long handled version of the 635a.

635L Classic Handheld Interview Microphone w/ Long Handle by Electro‑Voice

Edit, although the link say the long handle is a new addition I've seen them other tv clips from the same era.
Old 20th February 2018 | Show parent
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junkshop ➡️
It's the long handled version of the 635a.

635L Classic Handheld Interview Microphone w/ Long Handle by Electro‑Voice

Edit, although the link say the long handle is a new addition I've seen them other tv clips from the same era.
That's a very likely candidate for the mic shown in the video clip, and quite a claim from the manufacturer: "completely pop-free" but with a "4 stage pop and dust filter" involved it's clearly effective !

However...at 23:04 - 23:17 you can see the mic on the stand with a release catch visible on the body...and the XLR connector isn't that long...suggestive of the short handle version, with a pad or filter added...maybe ?
Old 20th February 2018
  #10
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🎧 15 years
Her mic def has something plugged inline between the mic and the cable--I think the 635a with an inline pad is a good guess (unless it's a transformer). They certainly could have done better by her with a diff mic though....
Old 20th February 2018
  #11
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Yes, it'd be interesting to talk to the studio engineers of ABC at the time and discover their ranking criteria for mic selection: I'm guessing it might run:

1. overload/popping immunity 2. ruggedness 3. discreet size equal 3. overall sound quality/fidelity ?

At the same time, over the ocean in Britain and France, Germany, Scandinavia you'd see Neumann, Schoeps, Sennheiser 421's For example (not a TV studio show however) Aretha 1968 Concertgebouw: YouTube

Last edited by studer58; 20th February 2018 at 03:52 AM..
Old 20th February 2018
  #12
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've seen other JJ clips and photos in studio settings where she's definitely singing through a 635... and a lot of other mics du jour. Shure 565s (Woodstock), the occasional UniDyne III with the collared foam blast filter... and what looks like a German riff on the 635 omni... AKG or Sennheiser maybe?... as well as the occasional BeyerDynamic. Looks like she sang through what she was handed, or what was at hand. Google "Janis Joplin in Studio" and have fun!

HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 20th February 2018 at 03:45 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
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Hi. I know the post was started a while ago, but I want to contribute for the hive mind. On this video (compilation of Janis' performances at Dick Cavett), luckily we are given the dates of the performances in the description.

On the June 25, 1970 performance, she seems to be using a plain 635, as others pointed out. The thing is, the mic IS clipping.

So, on her following performance on Aug 3rd, 1970, she seems to be using a similar microphone (definitely not the same mic, but it looks similar. Like the head was modified in some way) but with a pad. Attached is a clear screenshot.

Attached Thumbnails
Janis Joplin/Dick Cavett Show 1970 mic-screen-shot-2021-04-04-10.58.52-am.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
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On first glance I thought that pic was Rod Stewart, circa 1974 ! He probably lifted more than a little of his stagecraft from Janis too ..... feather boas included !

By mid 1970 she'd finally got herself a competent backing band, I think some of them were Canadian ? There's a great 1970 concert DVD of her touring across Canada by train, on a package tour with Grateful Dead, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Delaney and Bonnie, Flying Burrito Bros, Buddy Guy....well worth seeking out, it's called 'Festival Express'

If there's clipping in the June 25th TV audio, it's just as likely to be the mic preamp or some later part of the audio signal chain....although by that stage they should have been able to cope with any singer's output ?

Maybe it was simply the studio engineer's skills that were clipping !

Last edited by studer58; 2 weeks ago at 01:12 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
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emrr's Avatar
 
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In America at that point many/most inputs were still designed with high gain input transformers and expectations were for speech more than anything loud. Especially in broadcasting, so yes the preamp likely and thus the need for an inline pad. I've had a couple singers who could clip an old preamp while 3 feet back from an old ribbon mic, it is possible. It was painful to be in the room with them, and they could do it for hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
If there's clipping in the June 25th TV audio, it's just as likely to be the mic preamp or some later part of the audio signal chain....although by that stage they should have been able to cope with any singer's output ? Maybe it was the studio engineer's skills that were clipping !
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
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🎧 5 years
So it seems the pad was plugged directly into the mic. I wonder why they did not consider putting the pad at the other end of the cable, so it wasn’t visible to the camera? On TV, the way things look is paramount.

Unless, someone preferred to look of the longer mic.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkermann ➡️
So it seems the pad was plugged directly into the mic. I wonder why they did not consider putting the pad at the other end of the cable, so it wasn’t visible to the camera? On TV, the way things look is paramount.

Unless, someone preferred to look of the longer mic.
A bit like today's ribbon mic phantom-powered dB boosters (Fethead et al) ...but with the opposite purpose in mind ?

Or maybe...that's what the illustration in the quickstart guide showed to do, in 1970 !

Last edited by studer58; 2 weeks ago at 01:17 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #18
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emrr's Avatar
 
24 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkermann ➡️
So it seems the pad was plugged directly into the mic. I wonder why they did not consider putting the pad at the other end of the cable, so it wasn’t visible to the camera? On TV, the way things look is paramount.

Unless, someone preferred to look of the longer mic.
console pushed up against a wall, no space to plug it in there?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr ➡️
console pushed up against a wall, no space to plug it in there?
When you're talking about hand-held mic-shaped objects, longer is always better....right ?
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