The good people at SamSystems were kind enough to send me their new Integral 12 microphone and I got rather excited by its concept in one of those ‘why has nobody done this before?’ moments. Basically it is a guitar amp cab microphone that you fix in place in front of one of the cones on your amp. Its easy to fit and is incredibly convenient where space is at a premium (such as on a small stage or in a home studio) because it eliminates the need to have a mic on a stand in front of the amp that often runs the risk of getting kicked or moved. The SAMSYSTEMS integral mic gives great consistency and peace of mind knowing that what ever happens, your mic will stay exactly where you want it.
I just fitted the integral mic in the time it took for my wife to have a bath, it was a simple job of whipping off the cabinets back panel, unscrewing my speaker of choice, lining up the screw holes of the Integral and putting the speaker back in place. The only slight modification I needed to make to the cab was a small hole for the wire to come out for the XLR socket. I did this in a bit of a bodger way so I can quickly and easily fit the demo unit (see pictures) but otherwise I wouldn’t have a problem with either making a hole in the side carry handle of the cab to make the socket more of a proper fixture.
The Samsystems Integral was easy to fit and is ideal for me because I don’t have a lot of space in my studio room to leave a microphone on a stand setup and I don’t want the hassle of having to go through the rig roll of mic placement everytime I start a new session. With the Integral microphone, I get the consistency and ease of use of running a DI but with the sound and feel of having a real microphone on my amp.
The SamSystems Integral 12 is a super cardioid dynamic microphone with a full range frequency response, pressure tested at extreme volumes and housed within a central ‘pepper pot’, strategically aimed off-centre of the speaker coil, delivering the true, balanced ‘ANALOGUE’ output from the speaker via an XLR connector to the mixing desk and onward to monitors or front of house PA.
In terms of sound, it is noticeably biased towards the mids and highs, although the lows are far from being neglected, it certainly does have a bright character to it. As we all know, it is easier to take away, or roll back, these frequencies than it is to add them in and cause hiss, so I wouldn’t really consider this to be much a negative point.
I haven’t been able to test this in a full live band environment yet but I am very confident that it would deliver the goods and give me plenty of cut-through. I’d have no reservations in taking this with me to a gig and insisting that the engineer hooks it up to the desk.
For more information on these brilliant mics, visit their website or get in touch with me and I’d happily fill you in on how I’ve been getting on with it.