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Hi - Hoping for a little advice. I purchased the AMT VP2 microphones many years ago - back when they provided 3 mics with the setup. The way they were mounted on the instrument was cool, but I was not happy with the 'thunk' sounds added - vibration transferred from the frame I assume. I also had issues with bleed on stage. Then after attending a couple Worldwide Vibes conferences and reading posts on this forum, I learned to mount the mics under the instrument - and this has been working out quite well. I'm using 2 of the mics now - you can see how they're mounted in the pic I have included. I just raise that rig up between the resonators. I do have hot spots, but they aren't too bad. So, I'm wondering if it would be worth adding the 3rd mic to the mix. Would this help even the sound out a little? Would it introduce phase issues that might make it a bad idea? Each mic would have its own channel on a Mackie mixer where they could be managed separately. I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to mics and understanding what causes phase issues with 3+ mics. And also: where to people think the best locations (under which bars) are for a 2 mic setup and a 3 mic setup? I also know the distance from the bars makes a lot of difference - I've kind of settled on about 5 inches, but open to recommendations. Hope this post makes sense - thanks!

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IndianaGlen Fri, 06/09/2023 - 11:36

Phase in a signal sense I don't think would be an issue; although, having to adjust for a hot spot mic overlap may.

I have 2 AMT mics and I use a small inexpensive mixer with XLR inputs so I can adjust the signal for each one. Once I got it all dialed in, it's pretty quick to setup and take down. I even took a picture with my phone in case something was tweaked I could refer back to a reference point.

It did take a bit to find the happy spot with my amp and the mixer. I too didn't like the thump and I made a couple brackets and put them on two straight floor mic stands to mount in front and over the bars. I may be able to find a pic if you're interested, but looking at your setup, I think you'd get what I am saying.

I have put them under in some really loud garage kind of jam situations. Three mics would have been nice because I could have put them closer to the bars, gotten better coverage and turned down the gain which helps other instruments from bleeding in.

I'm not a pro or an audio expert so consider this more of an opinion than fact :)


pcheckel Sat, 06/10/2023 - 08:58

Thank you! I think I'll give the 3 mics under the instrument a go and I like your idea of being able to lower the gain. Hopefully by trying different locations and distances from the bars I can come up with something.

tonymiceli Sun, 06/11/2023 - 21:01

if you only have two mics, I recommend micing from above. doesn't make sense to me to mike underneath. The sound comes from the resonators and shoots more or less up. Also micing underneath you deal with the instrument noise.

I have the 3 mics as well. When I use 3 it's 2 above and one underneath. I don't use three any more. I use two above and it works great. Just don't set up in front of the drummer. Be as far away from him as you can!

tonymiceli Sun, 06/11/2023 - 21:29

i wonder.... you said mic 5 inches under the bars. HOWEVER the bars make little or no sound. If you ARE going to mic underneath then would the thought be to mic up close to the bars to get the sound coming out of the resonators.

now... if someone could make a mic that you clipped or dropped into each resonator, that would be amazing. but that means one mic for each bar. I think it would be amazing. any vibe players out there that know a lot about sound?

IndianaGlen Mon, 06/12/2023 - 09:52

Does anybody have issues with hitting the mics when mounted above. Always a challenge to get as close the bars as possible but not in the way. Always best to stay away from the drummer as far as possible at all times. Drummers like to borrow money and eat the toppings off the pizza.

tonymiceli Mon, 06/12/2023 - 13:36

In reply to by IndianaGlen

put them far enough away and don't use soft mallets. you prob know all this Indiana, but make sure you're the loudest thing going in the mic. might require hard mallets and might require you hit the instrument hard. no one EVER has trouble hearing warren wolf play right? No matter what the micing situation is. something to learn from that.

IndianaGlen Mon, 06/12/2023 - 15:01

In reply to by tonymiceli

Thanks Tony, good points indeed! And then it comes back to Hitting hard (which also has to do with Grips) and Mallet Choices. It's all interrelated, frankly that's what makes this instrument so freakin' interesting. Oh yeah and I forgot to mention PRACTICE and having a good teacher. If one ain't playin' good notes and at the right time, all this other stuff really doesn't matter, right?

Tony - I have to respectfully disagree about putting the mics underneath! I also used to think that would make no sense at all since the sound comes out of the top of the instrument. However, after listening to Steve Shapiro and Gary Burton talk about mic placement for noisy live performances and both of them saying putting them underneath worked surprisingly well, I gave it a try. I now always mic underneath - even in quieter settings. Frankly, I'm not sure why it works as well as it does! There's certainly a lot less bleed. Like I said, I was skeptical, but now I'm a convert! Now I'm trying out 2 vs. 3 mics underneath.

tonymiceli Mon, 06/12/2023 - 13:39

In reply to by pcheckel

that's cool, put them underneath. I never saw gary burton live with mics underneath the instrument. can you find a video where that's the case? would love to see that. i'm sure there is if you say he talked about micing underneath as well.

but as my mom used to say, whatever floats your boat! :-) randy sutin also puts them underneath. I never have a problem being heard and I'm happy with them above. but one of these times i will remember this conversation and i'll try them once more underneath!

Jerry Weir Mon, 06/12/2023 - 15:14

I used 3 Pro35 AT Mini Cardioid Condenser Mics underneath the bars and attached directly to the thin reinforcement bar that binds the resonators together. They would be pretty close to the bars. I ran each separately into a Mackie mixer (EQ'd out any thumping on the low end) and then into a Bose L1 (lots of discussions on VW about the L1). Worked fine most of the time. I tried this setup after reading a post or hearing Steve Shapiro talk about using it. The sound was great I thought and it was super simple. One caveat is that Steve had said there would be no trouble with feedback but I did have trouble sometimes. I am not especially skilled in all of this stuff and if I brought Steve to my gig he probably would have said something like "well just do this and that will be fixed." As for phase problems I know less than anyone else on this thread probably but I do know that the feedback wasn't just because of a 3rd mic as I did try using only 2 from time to time. Hope this helps.


Randy_Sutin Mon, 06/12/2023 - 15:14

Here’s my two cents…

Mics underneath is not my preference for all the reasons stated above, but it can and does help in some higher volume situations. Underneath does pick up more rattles and frame noise; anything mounted on the frame will carry some low frequency impact noise.

More that two will sometimes result in some phase issues, but they are easily remedied if you know to look for them and fix them during setup. Just play a chromatic scale up and down and listen for notes that are unnaturally quiet. Move the nearest mic about a half an inch to an inch or so and test again.

I’ve done this with as many as four mics and had them very close to the bars. This would be the setup that I gave Lionel Hampton back around 1988 or so; he used it a couple times when playing with really loud groups, never with his own band. Yes, it can create some hot spots and/or phase cancellations, so again this is something to adjust during your setup.

In my opinion, it never sounds as good as two mics overhead. It does capture more sound though if volume is key. It works best with instruments like an M55 or an old Deagan that have the falsely long resonators on the higher accidentals because those help block other sound from getting to rhe mics which are cocooned. It works even better on instruments like a newer Musser Century or an old Deagan Imperial that have solid side panels to block sound coming from that direction and reflect the notes played back around under the axe. If you don’t care about cosmetics, wrap a packing blanket around the whole thing with the mics underneath.

If it’s so loud in stage that you need to do any of this, the extra rattles and squeaks won’t matter because they’ll be masked and you can roll off anything below 100hz or so to control frame noise.

…or you could just take work with bands that play at a sane volume. :)

pcheckel Mon, 06/12/2023 - 16:00

This thread started with me asking about mounting 3 AMT mics under my instrument and I started to play around with this only to discover 2 of my AMTs are dead! So I'm kind of back to the drawing board and this is all very helpful. I'm not sure I can invest in more AMTs. Jerry - the Pro35 AT mics look like an inexpensive option and maybe worth trying. Can these mics be used below or above?

Randy - Great info on a way to sort out phase issues! I do find bleed a problem with mics over the instrument even in relatively quiet situations (many stages are pretty crowded). And you know, I might say something about someone in the audience and everyone hears it!

I know next to nothing about all this stuff and just want someone to tell me what to do! ;o) I know I need to work at it.

IndianaGlen Tue, 06/13/2023 - 08:09

In reply to by pcheckel

Have you thought about sending the Mics in to AMT for testing/repair? Maybe Tony would have a contact at AMT.

I'm guessing you've done all this with your mics but it won't hurt to mention here. I have an amp that does +24V phantom, my AMT mics seem to work much better with a full +48V. I've heard some condenser mics can run on less than 48, others are more picky. Would it explain one working and two not, probably not, but still may be worth giving it a go. Have you unplugged and plugged back in and/or swapped the pre-amps? (those bullet shaped things where the XLR cable connects) It seems odd to me that two out of 3 mics would go out at the same time. Make sure you test by tapping or talking and not blowing into them.

I can't vouch for these but a very inexpensive option are the small condenser mics at monoprice around $75 a pair. (Stage Right by Monoprice SC100 )


pcheckel Tue, 06/13/2023 - 11:32

In reply to by IndianaGlen

Thank you for the advice - I will follow it. I also have an email thread started with Ron at AMT to help me troubleshoot. I too was very surprised to discover 2 out of the 3 not working! My AMTs (at least 15 years old I think) have the old boxy pre-amp that uses a AA battery. I will also try using 48v phantom instead. When troubleshooting I take the configuration of the working mic (same pre-amp, XLR cable, mixer channel, etc.) and just swap in either of the other two mics. I speak into the mics - 1 works, other 2 don't. Hoping AMT can help out before I give up!

Jerry Weir Mon, 06/12/2023 - 16:32

Yes, pcheckel, I had the 3 Pro35 AT mics clipped on to the thin metal piece that helps reinforce the resonators. If my recollection is correct - maybe on the high end I clipped it directly to a resonator tube on the naturals side. I'm sorry that I don't actually remember - tried a lot of different things but most stuck with that. I just sold my M-75 so I can't sort of re-imagine it in my mind.


pcheckel Mon, 06/12/2023 - 16:39

In reply to by Jerry Weir

Thanks Jerry. Other than having my mics on an independent mic stand, that's what I was thinking of doing with the AMTs. Now that two of them are dead I'm thinking the Pro35 ATs might be a good option.

pcheckel (Paul Heckel)

Steve Shapiro Tue, 06/20/2023 - 01:31

The mic discussion continues... I think it really is just preference. I always had good results micing underneath. The sound is usually a bit more concentrated, and never had any issues with frame noise as long as the mics are not clipped directly to the frame itself (use elastics).

This is an old video using 2 AT-Pro35x underneath: