Mics For (and thoughts on) a 2channel 1-bag rig?
VillageOp
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#1
7th June 2013
Old 7th June 2013
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Thread Starter
Mics For (and thoughts on) a 2channel 1-bag rig?

I’m building a second rig for highly mobile two channel concerts- mostly recitals in bad halls with no elevators. Power shouldn’t be a problem, though I will be exploring a totally battery powered option in the future. Rig would consist of:
SD UsbPre II [Standalone mode]
Tascam DR-100 mkII [using the spdif in to avoid the converters]
(unspecified backup, ideally with an optical in. possibly another cheap flash bitbucket, or a netbook)
75’ stereo cable
ZAGGsparq usb power for the UsbPre
Sony MD7506 headphones
Tall Lightstand
Akg stereo bar

Currently I haul my normal rig up the stairs, and use 414s in a Faulkner phased array (spaced 8s) to eliminate the floor/ceiling slap in one space, and the highway/hallway rush of the other. As these are student recitals, the strong center image has been lauded.

I need help with choosing mics for this! Parameters are:
$500ish ea.
Figure 8 capable
Good for voice, yet an all –rounder.
Color is good, as these will double as spots for bigger gigs


Contemplating Beyer M130s, AKG 414s.
Wondering about Miktek C4 or Cascade Fathead (lundahl).
Concerned: Is there any forehead-smackingly obvious ones that I’m leaving out?

Thanks!

VillageOp

Last edited by VillageOp; 8th June 2013 at 04:12 PM.. Reason: Forgot an important parameter!
#2
7th June 2013
Old 7th June 2013
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matyas's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageOp View Post
Contemplating Beyer M130s, AKG 414s.
Wondering about Miktek C4 or Cascade Fathead (lundahl).
Concerned: Is there any forehead-smackingly obvious ones that I’m leaving out?

Thanks!

VillageOp
I use 414s as well for this very purpose. They do the job, and the multiple polar patterns (and thus the ability to set up nearly any type of stereo array) have proven useful time and again.
If I didn't already have the 414s, I would be looking at AT 4050 and Shure's offerings. But honestly, I don't know if there's any need to look elsewhere if what you're after is a multi-pattern LDC, unless you want to spend significantly more money and go Neumann.
#3
7th June 2013
Old 7th June 2013
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Pohaku's Avatar
 

If you were really doing this on the cheap, I'd say a pair of ADK A-51 TL mics (a very nice used stereo set just went for $500 on the TS Yard Sale), but at $500 a mic, it would be hard to do better that a pair of used C414s or their AT or Shure counterparts.
VillageOp
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#4
7th June 2013
Old 7th June 2013
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Thread Starter
Thanks guys,

I've been using 414s for recitals for the past 10 years (my first purchase) and while they are very effective and versatile...I'm a little bored with them. Now that I think more about it I realize I'd like something with a different flavor and a bit of mojo- I'm competing with install systems of nice, poorly placed small diaphragm condensers, and I could use another color for big sessions.

I have settled onto spaced figure 8s for both of these halls, so the multi-pattern flexibility is not crucial

Anyone have experience with the Beyer M130 in distance micing applications?
#5
7th June 2013
Old 7th June 2013
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Distant ribbons can be noisy

Try your 414s in MS for a change,especially 8 MS or Omni MS.
Boredom may become fascination.
VillageOp
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#6
7th June 2013
Old 7th June 2013
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Thread Starter
Thanks Rolo,

I use my r88 more often for that, though when the 414s are main they are almost always MS (and quite good for it!). In these specific recital setups I've never had anything good from the sides of the room- I've tried NOS, ORTF, A-B, MS, and Blumlien... and the Faulkner phased array wins hands down. I don't want to take the 414s out of circulation too often, and I'd like to add another tool to my workshop.

It sounds like you're suggesting the 130s would be too noisy for a soprano/piano recital @6-10 feet?

outside of 414s, what would you use for such a task?
#7
7th June 2013
Old 7th June 2013
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
Id agree with Rolo, especially since you are looking to keep the recorder/pres in a small footprint you are going to be hard-pressed to find them with the necessary hi-gain needs to keep noise down.

I love my 130 but it only ever sees spot use. It is rather dark compared to most other ribbons I've used
#8
7th June 2013
Old 7th June 2013
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
I've actually thought about picking up a second 130 for exactly what you are talking about, a small, very live rectangle room where many recitals take place. The best results I've got in there were AB cardioids.... The thing is that I don't really love the 130 enough to buy another, I'd rather save and grab a pair of r84 or 4038.... Oh the dilemma!
#9
7th June 2013
Old 7th June 2013
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414 s were the BBC radio utility mike of choice ,tracing back to the noble '50s C12 capsule
BBC TV used the 451 modular system for studios
Sennheiser MKH for film.
I suggest a look at used MKH s, SDC 's
MKH 80 ,20,30,40,50 and 60.
Roger
#10
7th June 2013
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matyas's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageOp View Post
outside of 414s, what would you use for such a task?
I also have come to enjoy the 414s in mid/side.

If you were to buy new mics for this purpose, however, I would think you'd probably want SDCs.
#11
8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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I would think SDCs would be the way to go too, but not if youre looking for color.

I have a pair of fathead 2s (stock transformers) and have used them to record student bands and choirs. I think they are way too dark on their own. For this reason I used AT 4050s simultaneously and blended to taste.

Tom
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8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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Gentlemen, I realize that I had forgotten to clearly state my pattern parameter! my apologies.

I must have a figure 8 pattern on any mic that I choose. It can be LD, SD or ribbon, but figure 8 is my goal.

On a related note, does anyone have experience driving ribbons with the Sound Devices UsbPre2?
#13
8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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Erm...not a reply for your post above, but don't you have a monitoring problem with M/S if you use USBpre2? I know SD 7 series have a onboard M/S decoder, but USBpre2 doesn't. If you decode in post, that won't be a problem, but...
#14
8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
Erm...not a reply for your post above, but don't you have a monitoring problem with M/S if you use USBpre2? I know SD 7 series have a onboard M/S decoder, but USBpre2 doesn't. If you decode in post, that won't be a problem, but...
The AETA MIXY has on-board MS as well as analogue and digital outputs (digital in AES3, S-PDIF, optical and USB).
#15
8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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Two MKH 80s..
You dont have to listen to decoded MS on site
Good M is Good Stereo
VillageOp
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#16
8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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Thread Starter
Masaaki, I'm not planning to use MS in this rig- it has been suggested a lot so I understand the confusion (probably because nobody really likes the idea of spaced figure -8s)

Didn't I read somewhere that you have a similar setup? what are you using for backup?
VillageOp
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#17
8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Two MKH 80s..
You dont have to listen to decoded MS on site
Good M is Good Stereo
Rolo, I can't find or afford two MKH80s! If you have a pair for $1400 total I will gladly take them off your hands, I think they would be perfect for what I'm trying to do
#18
8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageOp View Post
Masaaki, I'm not planning to use MS in this rig- it has been suggested a lot so I understand the confusion (probably because nobody really likes the idea of spaced figure -8s)
Ah, okay, got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageOp View Post
Didn't I read somewhere that you have a similar setup? what are you using for backup?
Yes, indeed, almost identical setup. SD USBpre2 and Tascam DR100mkII, with Anker battery pack (20,000mAh) and Denecke PS-1A phantom power. Back up is actually a laptop (Thinkpad W520), but this laptop is power hungry, so I have to use AC/DC power adapter. I'm thinking Nexus 7 for replacement, because I can use Nexus 7 as a video monitor as well.

One thing I have to warn you is, DR100mkII's digital input uses 2.5mm TRRS jack. A special cable is included in the box, and the other end of this cable is just RCA female plug, so you can connect from USBpre2. But when I first used the cable, digital sync was cut off several times when I moved the cable. It was reproducible when I applied lateral pressure to the cable, so I thought the female port in the unit had some oxidization. I carefully used a plastic-safe deox (CRC) on cotton swab and applied on the jack, quickly insert and rotate several times, hoping I can scrape the oxidized surface. Luckily, after doing this 'treatment', I tested many times, long hours, inserting cable in and out, the digital sync was never cut off.

But I still have a fear if the digital sync is lost during recording, so I feel now I should have gotten Marantz 661 or something bigger that has regular RCA jack for SPDIF input.
#19
8th June 2013
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8th June 2013
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I don't have experience, but Oktava MK012 now has figure 8 head. The head itself is $200, but the body plus two capsules (Omni and card) is about $300ea, so you could get Omni, card, fig8 at $500.
#21
8th June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
I don't have experience, but Oktava MK012 now has figure 8 head. The head itself is $200, but the body plus two capsules (Omni and card) is about $300ea, so you could get Omni, card, fig8 at $500.
I don't own the figure-8 head, but I do own both MK012s and C414s. If the 414s aren't making the OP happy, I doubt 012s will.
Also, I don't think the 012 figure-8 head is a true figure-8. I think it's back-to-back cardioids (which is, after all, what the 414 figure-8 is also, for that matter.) It kind of seems to me that if you were to invest in mic purely for the spaced-8 configuration, a true figure-8 is probably what you want.
#22
8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Two MKH 80s..
You dont have to listen to decoded MS on site
Good M is Good Stereo
MKH 800 - the MKH 80 was discontinued just after the MKH 800 came out.
VillageOp
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#23
8th June 2013
Old 8th June 2013
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Thread Starter
Thanks Masaaki, good idea on the Oktavas. I checked them out, and it is actually two cardiod capsules screwed on to a set of summing electronics. I think that would be too approximate for me. It did lead me to the idea of the MBHO figure 8 caps- since I have the bodies they just barely fit in the -stretch- of my budget
Matyas, I'm not picky about "true" figure 8... but its gotta be a good pattern!
Right now I'm looking at:
MBHO figure 8 caps $750/ea
AT 4081 active ribbon $700/ea
AT 4050 LD switchable $500/ea
sigh...AKG 414 LD switchable $600/ea

Any other contenders that should be on the list? R84 and coles 4038 are both going to be too big and fragile, Royer SF-1, MKH 30, 80, 800 and Nevaton MC50 (seriously!) are all breaking the bank- This is for student recitals in bad halls!
#24
8th June 2013
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You might get 2 used MKH 30s for $1500 ish
#25
13th June 2013
Old 13th June 2013
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+1 for the AT-4050. Given the bad environment you may even consider the AT-2050. Same concept as the 4050, but half the price. Picked them up on a whim when they were on sale and had a rebate. Got the pair for $300. One of the best bang-for-the-buck bargains I have come across. I have had great success using them in M/S and Faulkner Phased Arrays. I am admittedly a bit biased, though. I have never come across an AT mic that I didn't like. Highly underrated.

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T
VillageOp
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#26
15th November 2013
Old 15th November 2013
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Thread Starter
Just to follow up (finally!)

I ended up needing vocal spots for a session well before the student recital season; therefore I picked up a pair of Milab DC-196. Fairly happy with them- the 414s now are mostly left in the bag and will take over the recital duties when necessary

Thank you for all your input!
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