Blue's Ball mic - Gearspace.com
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Blue's Ball mic
Old 28th February 2003
Gear Addict
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Blue's Ball mic

I saw a little bit about this new phantom powered dynamic mic in the latest mix mag. Anyone hear anything about it?
Old 28th February 2003
Gear Addict
cymatics's Avatar
🎧 15 years
The flash animation promo on the BLUE Website site is your typical prerelease ad copy hype stuff without too much technical info. My interest is definitely piqued though! I love my baby bottle and the dragonfly I had for a demo was very impressive.

- jon
Old 28th February 2003
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar
🎧 15 years
is this mic for the frustrated engineer?
Old 28th February 2003
Lives for gear
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by alphajerk
is this mic for the frustrated engineer?
I know a few I can suggest it to but the application would be all but audio related ... and that would be very disrespectfull for the BLUE name ... so I'm going to leave it by a thought ...
Old 28th February 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
How do you set it up? heh

Finally, a mic you can play softball with!
Old 28th February 2003
Lives for gear
David R.'s Avatar
🎧 15 years
Wait, they want me to pay for Blue Balls?!?

tutt tutt tutt


Old 1st March 2003
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar
🎧 15 years
you always pay for blue balls.
Old 4th June 2003
Lives for gear
DanV's Avatar
🎧 15 years
anybody hear it?
Old 4th June 2003
Lives for gear
Tim L's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Nope... is it shipping yet?
Old 4th June 2003
Gear Maniac
ultima's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Its cheap....only $279
Old 5th June 2003
Lives for gear
DanV's Avatar
🎧 15 years
it's in the guitarsplinter catalog now.
Old 5th June 2003
Lives for gear
Tim L's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Street for the Ball is $199 here in the States, at least that's what's up on a few dealer sites... Has anyone actually had one of these things in their hand yet?
Old 5th June 2003
Gear Head
jbchef's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Seen it, played around with it, heard how it sounds at TapeOpCon, even got a free t-shirt from Skipper.
I can't compare it to the 421/58 where I think the application would excel where the 421/58 excels on. However, it looks like a Shure 55sh replacement vocalist jazz (who don't need to hold the mic off the mic stand)

Skipper claims that it is very durable and is now shipping (in fact, yesterday is the date)

Hopefully, I'll have one to demo soon.

Old 5th June 2003
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
Somethinn that bugs me about BLUE is that, though their mics seem to be rather specialized and have a unique sound that works well for a certain few applications (thinking of the baby bottle for guitar cabs, and the blueberry for male vocals), the ad copy never says a thing about this. Just the all-purpose "great freq response" ad copy. Why don't they just tell us what it's for, wouldn't they avoid a lot of customer confusion?
Old 5th June 2003
Gear Head
jbchef's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by jajjguy
the ad copy never says a thing about this. Just the all-purpose "great freq response" ad copy. Why don't they just tell us what it's for, wouldn't they avoid a lot of customer confusion?
I guess that's where the art of choosing microphone and testing them at instruments.
Either that or Blue could write, "Sounds great with vocal, guitar, bass, drums, orchestras"

I would prefer judging how it sounds with my own ears and conclude where it sounds best.

As Albini said, there's a microphone for every application... or something like that...

Old 6th June 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years

I think the Blue mics are amazingly versatile. Obviously some will work better than others on certain things, but I have yet to hear them on anything where I haven't liked it.

The things that they work well on, though, are pretty amazing.

Old 9th June 2003
Lives for gear
DanV's Avatar
🎧 15 years
any reviews of this anywhere yet?!
Old 10th June 2003
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
info from the manual :

click here to download the entire blue mic manual

the relevant quote :

How do I get the most out of my Ball?
The following application hints are intended to give
you a good starting point to get the most out of
this unique audio tool both in the studio and on
stage. As with all applications however, there
are no rules, only guidelines. Trust your gear
and trust your ears. If it sounds good, it is good!
Safety note: make sure to remove all tennis racquets,
baseball bats and croquet mallets from
the ball's immediate area of use.

On Stage:

These mic placement recommendations apply to the
studio as well as the stage but with one caveat. Due to the
lack of acoustic isolation in the live environment, it is generally
desirable to employ 'close-miking' techniques to achieve better separation between instruments
and to avoid monitor bleed which can cause feedback problems. However, you may want to experiment
with The Ball on stage as well. Due to its anti-resonant ABS shell and spherical shape, The Ball
exhibits excellent off-axis rejection and feedback suppression characteristics, opening up a whole new
world of sound reinforcement miking possibilities.

Vocals :

Here's a little-known secret: vocalists love singing into unique and impressive mics like the Ball.
Put it in front of any singer and you're sure to get an inspired performance. For a 'big' vocal sound,
position the vocalist within one to four inches of the diaphragm. There is no need to worry about
overloading the microphone. If you are working in a studio environment, you have the option to
use a high-quality sonically neutral pop filter to control plosives and protect the diaphragm.
Tilt the microphone slightly upward (toward the forehead) for more projection and head tone,
straight on at the mouth for maximum brightness and intelligibility, or down toward the chest for
more robust full lows and smoother highs.

Electric Guitar :

Because of its full and solid bottom end, the Ball is an excellent mic for any clean or distorted
guitar amp. Position the diaphragm toward the center of the speaker or dust cap to capture more
highs, or toward the edge of the speaker cone for a fuller sound with more low end. For overdriven
or distorted tones, move the mic towards the outer edge of the speaker cone, or back it away
from the amp a foot or more to blend room tone with direct pickup and soften high frequencies.
Give The Ball a try on electric bass, blues harmonica, and organ too!

Acoustic Guitar :

Large diaphragm mics require careful placement when used on acoustic guitar, but The Ball's rich
tone and high output are well-suited to this task. For a balanced and pure sound, position the
diaphragm facing the neck where it joins the body (usually between the 12th and 14th frets.)
Initially, keep the mic as close to the instrument as possible, tilting the diaphragm toward the
soundhole to capture a blend of low frequencies and pick sound. If you need more low frequencies,
move The Ball closer to the soundhole. For more high frequency detail, move The Ball farther away
from the guitar, either at the same neck position, or above the instrument near the guitarist's head.

Strings :

Because of its high output and natural highs, The Ball is an excellent choice for miking upright
bass and cello. In general, the diaphragm should be angled toward the instrument?s bridge to pick
up a blend of body resonance and bow sound. Placement from 3 to 6 inches in front of the bridge
is usually ideal. If you would like to try The Ball with violin and viola, it is preferable to position
the microphone 1 to 2 feet above the instrument. Angle the diaphragm toward the bridge for more
bow sound and low tones, or toward the tuning pegs to capture a more diffuse, brighter sound.

Drums :

The Ball's high SPL capability and excellent transient response offer numerous advantages when
miking drums. For kit and hand drums, begin by placing the microphone two to four inches above
the rim or hoop (where the head is secured to the shell). Angle the mic toward the player's stick
or hand to pick up more attack and definition. Orienting the diaphragm toward the shell will soften
the sharp attack of a hand drum, or pick up more of the bright, crackling buzz from a snare drum.
Moving the microphone closer to a drum generally increases the low end, shell resonance, and separation
from other sound sources, while more distant placement emphasizes the interaction of the
drum and the environment, producing a blended, clearer sound. And don't be afraid to stuff The Ball
right inside your kick drum for that classic 'thump!' We're sure you'll be delighted with the results.

Saxophones, Flutes, and Reeds :

The smooth, natural high frequency response of the Ball makes it an ideal choice for miking saxophones
and other wind instruments. For soprano sax, clarinet, oboe and related instruments, position
the mic directly above and in front of the keys between the middle of the horn and the lowest
pads. Try moving the mic up or down along the length of the body to adjust the balance of airy
highs (toward the mouthpiece) and cutting midrange (toward the bell). On flute, start by placing
The Ball above the middle of the instrument, and move the diaphragm closer to the mouthpiece if
more high frequencies and breath sounds are desired. For other members of the saxophone family,
start by placing the Ball two to six inches in front of the lip of the bell. Angle the mic upward
toward the mouthpiece to capture more air, brightness, and high notes. For a mellower sound, orienting
the diaphragm toward the floor will emphasize the low range of the sax, and will tame the
biting upper midrange that projects straight out of the bell.
Old 22nd June 2003
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
I got a Ball to demo last week. Used it on kick thru an API 312 for an instant "Indie Rock" sound, extraordinarily punchy. IMO it has some 421ish qualities, but definitely has a sound of its own. I'm going to try it on Leslie low and maybe guitar today. So far, is it a mic I couldn't live without? No, but for $200 I'll probably buy it.

Old 1st July 2003
Lives for gear
Fibes's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I put my balls through a test last night, layed one on electric guitar next to a 57 and a royer 121. Guess which mic isn't making the mix? The Ball...

Kick- didn't care for it, the proximity effect was just mudding everything up for me. I actually preferred the D112, i didn't use it but it worked better.

So, my initial reaction wasn't all that great but as with any mic i haven't learned the ins and outs of it's personality and the diversity it can bring to my old standards...

I'll check back later...
Old 8th July 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
The response curve looks very similar to a 57.
Old 9th July 2003
Gear Nut
20to20's Avatar
🎧 15 years
When I first got this mic for trial, I used it on a fatso-spanked,
whisper-to-a-scream vocal track, it it sounded great...

Then we used it for an 'off-mic' blues harp sound,
and it was great...

In subsequent applications though,
I couldn't find a thing I really liked it on:

Not on kick nor gtr cab
Not on male voice over nor trumpet
Not on pennywhistle nor bodhran

And while the 'ball & socket' mounting approach is unique,
I found it limiting especially in regard to not being able to
mount the mic in a way to reduce 'stand-induced vibration/noise'...
Old 29th July 2003
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
I've had one for about a month now. I used it on vocals right away and at first I really like it, but once I got to mixing, I found it to be extremely muddy. It can definitly be a cool effect mic. I would buy it again, but only because it sounds different than everything else I've heard. It has a really interesting proximity effect which can be used to hype the lower mids, hence making it sound muddy. Try it on vocal parts with screaming. They won't overload it, and it will pull out the upper mids, softening up the vocals. It's no good for soft parts because it has very little detail and no air.
Old 29th July 2003
Lives for gear
Fibes's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I still haven't been blown away by the Ball... It's almost as though it has a hump from 125 to 600. Don't ask me why but i'm going to start testing it next to other mics just to see if my suspicions are true. I don't always trust graphs...
πŸ“ Reply

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