bova ball

Recently I bought a couple of the Sage Mic Pre’s and two of their Bova Ball Microphones.

I wasn’t sure what to make of those strange looking mics when I saw them online, but why not find out?

I was trying out the SAGE Bova Ball Mic, and recording in another studio than mine (although one in which I’ve worked a lot before), so I wanted to “be sure,” just in case I did not like the Ball on vox. Also, I wanted Cat (first time working with her) to feel as normal and comfortable as possible. And staring at a Bova Ball is not really normal!

So I put up the 47 in the normal way, and placed the Ball as adjacent as possible.

The 47 went through the old Neve console’s 1073-based pre, and the Ball through the Sage.

Each mic was tracked separately.

Once in mixing, I just found that my favourite vocal sound for the song was the two mic’s mixed together. Neither one was as good independently as the two mixed.

For me, that is a rare occurrence.

I attribute it partly to the excellent quality added by the Ball, and also to the fact that its omni pattern added good ambience, rather than phase problems and cancellation.

I have found this several times recently, on things such as amp’d guitar overdubs, or percussion overdubs. Using an LDC cardiod in conjunction with an sdc omni can work a lot better than two cardiods.

Also, on the SAGE support front, I had one supply blowing fuses, and Janet and Phil spared no effort or expense to make it right, immediately. They are great folks to work with.

Really liking the mic pre.
Terry Manning of Compass Point Studios, then Nassau, Bahamas


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SAGE Mic Pre and Space Alien [message #172691 is a reply to message #172190]

Plus, the pre seems to take about anything you can throw at it, so a pad isn’t as necessary as on many pre’s.

The mics, however, are really out there…at least in looks. If you haven’t seen them, be sure to peruse. They could be alien space eyes looking back at you.

Seems to be a small diaphraghm (very small) condenser in omni, although by the laws of physics, they get a bit less omni at highest freq’s.

My first usage of this system was for some new acoustic + vocal Cat Power tracks. I put one mic/pre on acoustic guitar as the only pickup for that, and the other mic/pre combo on Cat’s vocal, in conjunction with a U-47 through an old Neve.

On both sources, the mics were amazing. Nothing else was needed on acoustic (about 4″ away pointing at 12th fret joint)…the omni pattern worked great, and I could move the mic in a bit more towards the sound hole if needed, without massive proximity buildup.

On the vocal, the Ball gave an excellent “airy” sound in conjunction with the 47. Once I had the two together (positioned as carefully as possible for phase issue avoidance), I could never listen to just the 47 alone…I had to add the Ball in there.

Anyway, I will be doing a lot more experimentation with these, and will report back if anyone wants.

Is anyone else using Sage?

Terry Manning
Compass Point Studios, then Nassau, Bahamas

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