CAD M179: The Ultimate Studio Mic for Crystal Clear, Punchy Toms

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I. Introduction

The CAD M179 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone that may not be the most well known LDC microphone out there. I had never heard of it until I was turned onto it by a producer and drum tech by the name of Matt Brown. As a producer I like to find tools that excel at one specific job and build my tool kit around my “go to’s” for each instrument, and what I found in the CAD M179 is a hidden gem that truly brings out the best of my toms in my drum recordings.

II. Specifications

The CAD M179 boasts an impressive frequency response range of 10Hz to 20kHz, allowing it to capture a wide range of tones with precision and accuracy. It features a switchable polar pattern that can be set to cardioid, omnidirectional, or figure-eight, making it adaptable to a variety of recording situations. The microphone’s sensitivity is rated at -38 dBV (13mV) @ 1Pa, making it sensitive enough to pick up subtle nuances in sound.

III. Build quality and design

The CAD M179 has a rugged and durable design, with a solid brass body that feels sturdy in the hand. Its overall weight is balanced and not too heavy, which makes it easy to handle when positioning it for recording. The microphone also features a -10dB pad and low-frequency roll-off switch, which can come in handy when recording loud sources or minimizing unwanted low-frequency rumble.

IV. Performance when recording toms

In terms of sound characteristics, the CAD M179 has a pleasing mid-range that accentuates the attack of the tom without being overly harsh. The microphone also has a solid low-end that provides a fullness and depth to the sound. When used on floor toms, the microphone has a tendency to capture the full resonance of the drum, which can be very effective in creating a sense of space and depth in the mix.

When it comes to recording toms, the CAD M179 truly shines. Its ability to capture the natural tone and resonance of the drums is exceptional, with a warmth and clarity that brings out the nuances of each hit. The microphone has a tight cardioid polar pattern that helps to isolate the sound of the tom from other sources in the room. This can be particularly useful when recording in a noisy environment or a room with poor acoustics.

The Cad M179 comes with 2 mounting options -shock mount and a straight mount. I’ve found the latter excellent for getting the mic tight into the toms without getting in the way.

Compared to other microphones in its class, the CAD M179 not only holds its own, but seems to destroy the competition. The Sennheiser MD421 and Audix line of Tom mics are both popular choices for recording toms but I’ve noticed I have to to much less processing to get the sound I’m looking for with the CADs. Although I haven’t tried the Josephson e22s-which is another popular Tom mic, the difference in price is substantial (around $1500 versus $170) when you couple that with the fact that I generally record 5 toms that difference is exponential ($7500 versus $850). The m179 is an inexpensive no brainer and sounds phenomenal with zero processing.

V. Other potential uses

While the CAD M179 excels at recording toms, it is also well-suited for a variety of other recording applications. When used to record vocals, the microphone captures a natural and clear sound with plenty of detail. It can also be effective when recording acoustic guitars or percussion instruments, providing a balanced and accurate representation of the source material.

VI. Price and value

One of the key selling points of the CAD M179 is its affordability. At its current price point, it provides exceptional value for its performance and build quality. Compared to other microphones in its class, it is a much more accessible option for home studio enthusiasts or those on a budget.

VII. Conclusion

Overall, the CAD M179 is an exceptional microphone that delivers excellent performance when recording toms. Its build quality, versatility, and affordability make it a top choice for drum recording. If you want to make your toms stand out with very little investment in time OR money, do yourself a favor and grab a set of these outstanding mics.

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