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Mic Impulse Response
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JustAnotherUser
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4th April 2010
Old 4th April 2010
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Mic Impulse Response

So I know that Earthworks makes a big deal about their mics' impulse responses, but I can't even find another maker that gives out that information, except for Royer. So, are the EW mics actually that much better than DPA, Schoeps, and the like in terms of their impulse response, or is it all marketing?
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4th April 2010
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...like everything else... it's all marketing.... with a touch of fanboy hype.
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4th April 2010
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Marketing.. but....

Sure its marketing, but impulse response is very real. I suspect Earthworks is merely putting their best foot forward. Impulse response graphs give a sense of "speed" and dynamic range. Since the earthworks mics are very small diaphragms (1/8th") they will of course respond faster than other mics so their impulse response looks good. But.. do you care?

I used to own some earthworks mics, and liked them for some things.. but I thought they were noisy (another natural result of a very small diaphragm), and not very flattering, although flat (at 6 inches, for the cardioid). With the Cardioids, the proximity effect is engineered to be flat at 6 inches from the source, but that is not always what you want... and even at 12 inches, you lose a lot of lows, so they sound quite clangy. The Omni's are well respected, and the measurement mics are great too...

Overall, i suggest going with mics that are time tested, loved by slutz in many applications, and sound flattering generally, since you will always get more business and make better product by making average players sound better than you will from making them sound exactly like they sound. imo. of course.
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4th April 2010
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With some additional research, I no longer have any idea what impulse response actually is. It was my understanding that it was how well the mic's diaphragm followed an impulse and how quickly the diaphragm returned to rest after, but I have found so many conflicting opinions that I can no longer tell which way is up. When EW says their mics have above average impulse response, what does that mean?

(I think I'm beginning to understand why few other companies even mention impulse response in their tech specs.)
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4th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAnotherUser View Post
or is it all marketing?
Yes and no! It's real but the FR says it all.


Quote:
With some additional research, I no longer have any idea what impulse response actually is. It was my understanding that it was how well the mic's diaphragm followed an impulse and how quickly the diaphragm returned to rest after, but I have found so many conflicting opinions that I can no longer tell which way is up.
An impulse response tells you about the frequency response and phase response of a system.

Quote:
When EW says their mics have above average impulse response, what does that mean?
It means they have more extended and more flat frequency response.


/Peter
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4th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcconnell View Post
Impulse response graphs give a sense of "speed" and dynamic range.
How do you effectively judge dynamic range from an IR?

Yes, speed (extension of the frequency response in the upper range) can be indicated by the rising edge.


/Peter
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4th April 2010
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Does anyone have impulse response graphs of mics other than the earthworks? Or know where I could get them? How do you measure the impulse response of a mic?
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4th April 2010
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Just to play devils advocate... not intending to be negative....

Why does it matter? Do you have a specific experiment which requires the best IR?
IMO the only thing that matters is user experience. Buy an EW and listen to it. Do a side-by-side comp with other great mics. Then use your ears to determine which one has the best impulse response.
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5th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joenovice View Post
Just to play devils advocate... not intending to be negative....

Why does it matter? Do you have a specific experiment which requires the best IR?
IMO the only thing that matters is user experience. Buy an EW and listen to it. Do a side-by-side comp with other great mics. Then use your ears to determine which one has the best impulse response.
It does not matter in the least. I was merely curious as to why only one company published the spec while others don't so much as mention it. Had it been some other spec that EW published that others didn't, I would have asked about that.
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5th April 2010
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