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Rode TF5 tests
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Rode TF5 tests

[ADDED 21st SEPTEMBER: Please note that the piano video linked here has not been presented as a definitive example of a Rode TF5 recording. I consider it a novelty and an interesting discussion point, but it was never meant to be taken as seriously as some commenters took it before I added this edit!]

Just sharing this video here, a baby grand piano in a tiny room, recorded with Rode’s TF5s.

The stereo image isn’t great because I chose to keep a narrow subtended angle between the mics; the moment either of them was aimed beyond looking inside the piano the nearby walls dominated in this very small room. Two different mic placements, as shown in the video...

https://youtu.be/S9MjqV5Cwx4

Last edited by Simmosonic; 4 weeks ago at 10:40 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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The magazine I reviewed the TF5s for has uploaded the test recordings to Soundcloud. To find them, search ‘AudioTechnology’ in Soundcloud, and you’ll find the Rode TF5 comparison files there. Steel string and nylon string acoustic guitars, close (30cm) and distant (1.5m or so), with TF5 compared against Neumann’s KM184 and DPA’s 4011.

The following is a short piece I wrote to explain the thinking behind the tests, and is appearing as a separate item in the magazine. The magazine has allowed me to reproduce it here to accompany the test recordings:

MAKING MEANINGFUL COMPARISONS
In this issue I reviewed Rode’s TF-5 small diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone and made comparison recordings to share with readers. I put the TF-5 against two established favourites I’m familiar with: Neumann’s KM184 and DPA’s 4011. Between the three, I aimed to create a set of comparison recordings that allowed the listener to determine where the TF-5 sat on the price/performance scale. The process of making meaningful comparison recordings was harder than it seemed, with each method inviting uncertainties that rendered the comparisons meaningless.

Raising the bar
For my review purposes the recordings only needed to highlight enough differences between the mics so that I could make informed opinions, but those opinions were also informed by a lot of background stuff: I made the recordings and knew what the instrument sounded like in the room, I’d experimented with different microphone and instrument positions, asked the musician to play specific things to highlight differences, exchanged opinions with others at the session, and even went back and did it again to confirm my initial impressions. All that background context is lost when the recordings are passed on to someone who wasn’t at either of the sessions. So if I was going to make comparison recordings for readers to form their own opinions, those recordings needed to be meaningful on their own. The standards of the recording quality, and the musician’s playing, suddenly got higher.

Triangulation
How hard can it be to compare three microphones? Stick them side-by-side, match the gains and hit record, right? That’s okay if you’re miking from a distance, where a few centimetres between diaphragms will probably be irrelevant. But it’s not okay for a close-miking test. For the comparison recordings I used acoustic guitar, and anyone who has miked an acoustic guitar from 30cm or less knows that moving the microphone a few centimetres can make a noticeable difference to the tonality of the captured sound. It’s the kind of difference that can render the comparisons meaningless: are you comparing microphones or miking positions? So the goal was to get the diaphragms as close to each other as possible. But how?

One mic at a time
Ideally all three diaphragms would be in exactly the same spot. That’s not physically possible without doing three separate takes, one microphone at a time, and that’s only going to provide meaningful results if the performer can give exactly the same performance from exactly the same position, every single time. Separate takes means separate performances, and that means it’s impossible to tell if tonal differences between recordings are due to the microphones or the performance. The comparison recordings are no longer meaningful.

Three mics at once
How about laying two of the microphones side-by-side, laying the third along the top of them like stacking logs, and taping them together? They all have tubular bodies of similar diameters, and when bundled this way each diaphragm would be as close as possible to each other diaphragm. There are two problems with this approach.

First, these are all end-address cardioids with ports behind the diaphragms. Bundling them together as described here means each microphone will have its ports obscured at two points (one point from each of the other microphones). Whether or not that will affect the tonality of any of the microphones is debatable, but as long as it is debatable the comparison recordings are meaningless.

Second, each of the three microphones has an outer diameter of around 20mm, so the closest any two diaphragms can get to each other is around 20mm centre to centre. That distance is unavoidable, of course, but could result in each microphone capturing a different tonality from the instrument if the relative orientation of the microphones is not considered. Which orientation provides the least tonal differences on the instrument being reviewed: vertical, horizontal or diagonal? Get it wrong and the comparison recordings become meaningless.

Unmatched pairs
I decided to focus on two microphones at a time: the TF-5 and the one I was comparing it against. I’m not comparing the KM184 against the 4011, so I don’t need them in the same test.

The next decision was placement. As any experienced engineer knows, the best spot for one microphone may not be the best spot for another. To avoid playing favourites, I used a consistent placement of 30cm from the guitar, perpendicular to the soundboard, with both microphones aimed at the point where the guitar’s neck joins the body – my preferred starting point when recording acoustic guitar. For the distant miking tests I pulled the microphones back while keeping them focused on the same spot.

For orientation, putting one microphone above the other (rather than side by side) yielded better tonal consistency during subtle performance movements of the guitar – the tonal differences between microphone positions was significantly smaller than the tonal differences between the microphones themselves, and therefore irrelevant. I left a small gap between the microphones to avoid any possibility that one microphone was blocking the ports of the other.

To ensure consistency between comparisons, the guitarist composed four short pieces to reveal different aspects of each microphone’s performance: long slow strums, fingerpicking, muted strums and full-bodied strums. Finally, I sent a blend of the two microphone signals to the headphones so the guitarist could ‘work’ the microphones; staying on-axis and subtly moving closer and further back as desired, just like any normal recording session.

Matching perceived volumes
The final step in preparing the comparison files was to carefully match the perceived volumes of each pair of recordings. This was essential because the TF-5’s frequency response includes a shallow dip from 2kHz to 7kHz, falling to almost -1dB from 4kHz to 5kHz. This dip includes the range of frequencies that human hearing is most sensitive to, meaning the TF-5 will probably sound lower in perceived volume when compared to a microphone without such a dip. In contrast, the KM184 and 4011 both have a subtle boost in the upper part of that same range of frequencies. Any attempt at simply matching the peak levels or matching the waveforms consistently resulted in the TF-5 sounding dull and uninteresting in comparison to the others when, in fact, it was being reproduced at a slightly lower perceived volume. As any experienced engineer or hi-fi salesperson knows, if you want someone to prefer one sound over another make it louder. Without carefully matching the perceived volumes, the comparison recordings would always favour the louder of the two files and would therefore be meaningless.

END

Last edited by Simmosonic; 4 weeks ago at 09:45 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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I am interested in your conclusions. Where can I read them?

What you post above is describing why you cannot test them. That is not the idea of a test. Also the piano recording is useless. Room is small and piano does not have good tone.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I am interested in your conclusions. Where can I read them?

What you post above is describing why you cannot test them. That is not the idea of a test. Also the piano recording is useless. Room is small and piano does not have good tone.
https://www.audiotechnology.com/revi...er-microphones is the review. The acoustic guitar comparisons against KM184 and 4011 are of some illustrative value, but I'm afraid the untuned baby grand in a small room is of no help.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simmosonic View Post
When the electronic version comes out I’ll share the URL here..
Again, it's here: https://www.audiotechnology.com/revi...er-microphones
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
What you post above is describing why you cannot test them. That is not the idea of a test.
I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that it is “not the idea of a test”.

I was doing a product review for a magazine. I was given a deadline date and a word count limit and was told that the magazine would be happy to upload any recordings I thought were worth sharing for readers to listen to. With that in mind, as part of the reviewing process I decided to make a series of comparison recordings specifically for readers to hear how the TF5 sounds alongside two established industry mics that it will be competing against in the market.

It’s important to understand that I did not have to make those recordings to share with readers; it was not part of what I was commissioned to do. I had already made enough test recordings with the TF5s to form an opinion for the review. That’s how audio magazines have been doing it for decades – providing nothing but written opinions about how something sounds.

Having decided to make a set of recordings specifically for readers to listen to, my aim then was to make the most informative recordings I could by eliminating variables and ambiguities, and providing pairs of files (TF5 vs reference mic) that people could import into their DAW and compare to reveal differences between the TF5 and the reference mic in the same placement on the same sound source during the same performance.

My previous post explains the rationale and approach behind those recordings. I’m not sure how you can interpret that as being “not the idea of a test” when the whole post is about minimising variables and ambiguities so that listeners can make proper judgements. In other words, a valid comparison or test.

Last edited by Simmosonic; 4 weeks ago at 04:13 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ithinknot View Post
Thanks!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Also the piano recording is useless. Room is small and piano does not have good tone.
That’s why the video is titled ‘small piano small room’ and includes a still image of the piano and mics so readers can see the context. I added the files to the downloadable comparison files because they had a later deadline than the written review and I figured ‘why not?’

It should be obvious to any working audio professional that this piano recording was going to be a difficult job. The kind you might even walk away from or hand down to an assistant, LOL! The picture is taken from the doorway of the room, which remained open during the recording because I had to make a trade off between spill from outside (door open) against boxy room sound and reflections off the glass wall back into the mics and piano (door closed). The entire wall from where the pic was taken was glass. I chose the spill...

I had two hours in total from arrival to departure, in a location I had not visited before, with a musician I had not met before, and I was working in the same room as the musician (spot the Nagra sitting upright on the table in the bottom right corner of the video). As soon as I entered the room I realised it was not going to be easy. I had been assured by another musician that the piano was in a large space and sounded great the last time they heard it; clearly it had been moved from that large space. By the time I’d gone through the meeting/greeting with the artist, quietened external noise sources as much as possible, set up and pack down, I guess I had about an hour of actual recording time.

My goal with that recording was to come out with something that felt distant enough and dry enough that I could add some reverb and hopefully create the impression of a much larger piano in a much larger space. (The audio excerpts used in the video are straight off the mics, of course.)

It wasn’t initially part of the review, more of an opportunity that came up to try them on a piano – an opportunity that was looking very remote as the review period was running short.

A few people who regularly record grand pianos in concert halls had seen/heard that video and said it was informative to them, so I decided to share it here. Those who are able to listen around the shortcomings of the instrument itself and focus on what the recording equipment is doing should find some value in it. If not, at least you didn’t have to pay for it!

You’ll note that it’s an unlisted Youtube video; I’m not looking for something that’s going to go viral or be shared widely, and it’s not being promoted by the magazine as part of the review. It’s just a data point that I’d rather keep among the community I’m sharing it with: industry professionals who could imagine themselves faced with the same situation as I was when they entered the room (through the doorway where the pic was taken) and come out with something acceptable from an engineering point of view within a very short time frame. It’s also the kind of scenario that is often discussed in this thread: people trying to get acceptable piano recordings from small rooms at home or wherever. Hopefully they’ll get something useful from it.

Last edited by Simmosonic; 4 weeks ago at 10:02 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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from reading your previous posts (i did not read your review), i think you did a serious effort - question is though how valuable this is to others, but anyway: don't worry, some folks will like it, others will dismiss it...

i do however have a few things to critique on the conditions as well:
- i wouldn't call something a 'test' or else i'd expect to see measurements/data from the lab (but okay, this is only semantic).
- i would excpect to have two more mics included, preferably from brands which most likely get used by professional engineers and maybe yet another mic with a lower price point from the same manufacturer
- the lack of this prevents me from reading the comparison.

(the example with the piano i find pretty much useless for myself and imo is just another example in a million)

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 08:03 AM.. Reason: edited/typo
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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One aspect of the published specs not commented upon is the rising extreme HF (it might even be called the 'air zone', as other preamp and mixer mfrs have done previously) which begins at around 8k and continues to rise to a 2dB shelf by 20k.

It's not a big lift, compared with the 6-8dB peaks around 8-10k of the KM183 and Rode NT45-O omni mics, but I'd expect it to provide some offset to the extreme HF shaving due to air friction when used in the diffuse field in large halls...and perhaps some additional shimmer to cymbals etc when used overhead on drumkits ?

It's certainly well past the nasal ring zone of the old NT5 cardioid, but I'm wondering if it might have any noticeable effects in those particular use contexts (which weren't part of Greg's testing procedures this time around) ?

The plot for reference is about 1/3 down the Simmosonic review page: https://www.audiotechnology.com/revi...er-microphones

Maybe Hugh Robjohns has commented on it in his SOS review in the October issue (linked-partially-above, in post #3 ) ?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Nope. I read the whole review twice. I think a bunch of conclusions in the review are made up. Such as the long winded discussion of freq. response dips and rises supposedly relating to changes in polar pattern diagrams. To summarize, I expect a writer to use expertise to specifically characterize and describe the sound of the mic in the English language. This would include differentiating the new mic on test from familiar competitors. Instead we are referred to poorly done sound samples to make our own conclusions. I want the expert to make the conclusions. While relaxing in Bali, I think I’ll do a piano recording and dump it into my “review.”

Yeah it’s tough to come onto GS with some stuff.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Nope. I read the whole review twice. I think a bunch of conclusions in the review are made up. Such as the long winded discussion of freq. response dips and rises supposedly relating to changes in polar pattern diagrams. To summarize, I expect a writer to use expertise to specifically characterize and describe the sound of the mic in the English language. This would include differentiating the new mic on test from familiar competitors. Instead we are referred to poorly done sound samples to make our own conclusions. I want the expert to make the conclusions. While relaxing in Bali, I think I’ll do a piano recording and dump it into my “review.”

Yeah it’s tough to come onto GS with some stuff.
Well Plush, didn't you try out some some samples of the TF-5 recently....if so, what were your conclusions ?

If not, here's another which might be more to your liking : https://www.musictech.net/reviews/st...ear/rode-tf-5/ ?

Last edited by studer58; 4 weeks ago at 04:54 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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No, I did not get to hear / test them. That mission was scrubbed. In the future I will do it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
No, I did not get to hear / test them. That mission was scrubbed. In the future I will do it.
Looking forward to your results.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
here's another which might be more to your liking : https://www.musictech.net/reviews/st...ear/rode-tf-5/ ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pickford in MusicTech
The matte black, scratch-proof casing surrounding the capsule is perforated, which is visually attractive as well as undoubtedly contributing to the mic’s performance.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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How is the TF-5 different from the NT-5? What are we getting for the extra price?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I think a bunch of conclusions in the review are made up. Such as the long winded discussion of freq. response dips and rises supposedly relating to changes in polar pattern diagrams.

Dear Hudson,

Please remove your bonnet and let that bee out!

You’ve made some ridiculous and unfounded assumptions there, accused me of fabricating conclusions, and mocked my observations of correlations between the frequency response and polar responses which I suggested in the review might explain why the mic sounds a lot more natural than the frequency response and polar responses imply it would. As I pointed out in the review, the TF-5’s frequency response and polar responses are less than ideal from the point of view of accuracy, and yet it sounds very natural.

As for your suspicions that I’m making stuff up, if you knew how much time and effort went into drawing those polar responses shown in the review, you’d agree it was not worth it for a fabrication. Let me explain... The TF-5’s polar responses as shown on Rode’s website at the time of the review (and also up to the moment of writing this) are actually 2dB larger on the graph than they should be. Take a look for yourself: at 0° a polar response is normally at 0dB, but the TF-5’s published responses put it at +2dB. I’m assuming this was an error during the measurement process where the mic gain had been accidentally calibrated to the +2dB line instead of the 0dB line. Whatever the cause, I spent hours working remotely, back and forth, with the magazine’s graphic artists to trace the polar responses correctly, recreate the grids correctly, and then scale the re-traced polar responses back onto the grids so that 0° was at 0dB. Those are the polar responses seen in the review. It would’ve been faster, easier and cheaper all around if I were to make something up instead, as you’ve implied, and avoid the whole problem. But I wanted a visual way of showing people what I was talking about in that respect, so I did the extra work and got the graphs drawn properly.

Likewise with doing the guitar comparison recordings properly. All up, I spent about $500 US on studio time and musician time, which is about half of the payment offered to write the review. The magazine did not pay for that stuff because they didn’t require it; they were happy enough with a written opinion, as audio-related magazines have been using for decades. So that payment came out of my pocket and I dismissed the loss as part of the review process. I would not have bothered spending any money or time on that if I was fabricating something.

I also filmed every take in the guitar comparison recordings with the intention of creating videos indicating which mic is being heard at the time. I would not have bothered dragging the cameras, lighting and tripods to the session and thereby clocking up more paid studio time to set them up and pack them down if I was fabricating something. [I now also know with absolute certainty that sharing such videos here on GS would be a waste of time. I’d just get a whole bunch of comments like “Why did you use that camera?”, “You should’ve used a different lighting angle” and perhaps even “I think he made it up with CGI”.]

Factoring in all the content I captured as part of the TF-5 review process, there is 91.93GB of stuff. I bought a new hard disk to store a backup of it for future reference. I would not have bothered doing that if I was fabricating something.

I’ll address your ‘relaxing in Bali’ slur in my next post, because aside from your sarcasm the background is worth discussing... [Edit: Changed my mind about the Bali slur after Hudson’s post #20 . I’ll leave it here...]

Last edited by Simmosonic; 4 weeks ago at 04:35 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
I thought it was an interesting and informative review, personally, especially compared to the kinds of reviews I usually read for new equipment. The choice of the 4011 and 184 for comparisons make it more relevant to the classical folks here than most magazine reviews give.

I found the analysis regarding the uniformity of frequency response and polar pattern to be interesting, and above and beyond for relatively short magazine reviews like this.

I’m not sure why a few here have had such a mean-spirited and aggressive response to what you’ve posted. It’s inappropriate, and I think you’re owed an apology by certain folks here.

We can and should be better about supporting the sorts of work that are highlighted in this thread. Thank you for your contribution here.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
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No bees here. But since I am a reviewer myself, I know what makes good writing. No need to justify your methodology here for your whole review. The part I said I thought you made up only applied to the freq. response / mic pattern conclusions. The sin was the piano and there was no slur.
I have no need to report or comment further since I already wrote what I meant.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i do however have a few things to critique as well on the conditions as well:
All good points for critiques! To continue that conversation... The choice of comparison microphones took a bit of thought. Maybe I got it wrong, maybe I got it right.

Ideally I would’ve liked to compare the TF-5 against a Schoeps MK4, a Sennheiser MKH8040, a DPA 4011 and Rode’s NT5 or NT55. I still would’ve done them just two at a time, however. Apart from the orientation/placement issues I described in an earlier post, I had read the on-line German review of the TF-5 which had three or four microphones to compare simultaneously and I found it was too easy to get distracted and start comparing the other mics against each other in the process. I wanted to avoid that and stay focused by just doing the TF-5 and one other mic at the same time. I could almost hear the magazine saying “we’re paying you to review the TF-5, not do a ‘round up’ comparison of small single diaphragm cardioid condensers!”

The studio where I made the comparison recordings had KM184s, which I considered essential for the comparison because it is clearly what Rode are positioning the TF-5 against in the market. The studio did not have the MK4 or MKH8040, but it did have the 4011. It also had the NT5 but I left that out because it had been done quite well in the German review and also because I was paying for the studio by the hour and didn’t want to rush it with too many comparisons. I’d rather use just the two reference mics and try to do them well.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
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Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
It's hysterically priceless, that one....makes you wonder if the writer ran QC, he'd throw the unattractive, non-perforated ones into a seconds bin....or decide that they'd perhaps make pretty darned good omnis...

At least that review did address my query about the "air lift" ....it would seem that it's effect is benign and pleasing, rather than contributing to yet another toppy-sounding SD condenser mic (the world has enough of those....)

I for one particularly appreciate the effort Simmo went into to re-draft those graphs....and the fact that his observations correlated with their revelations vindicate his decision to do so. Same goes for the 1:1 guitar mic comparison, to avoid the oft-encountered shadowing, reflections and diffraction encountered by jamming too many mics shoulder to shoulder...in similar shootouts

As for any critique of Bali as a location, how often are Sennheiser RF mics touted as the only sane choice in a high humidity, tropical location....don't you appreciate Simmo just validated the TF-5's use in such an environment, into the bargain. Any popping or crackling encountered mate ? Nope....well, there's another field test passed then....

Last edited by studer58; 4 weeks ago at 07:50 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simmosonic View Post
(...) Ideally I would’ve liked to compare the TF-5 against a Schoeps MK4, a Sennheiser MKH8040, a DPA 4011 and Rode’s NT5 or NT55. I still would’ve done them just two at a time, however. (...)
i like the fact that you choose to do just two mics at the time (although a next step would have included a comparison between your methodolgy and using a multitude of mics at the same time).
the other mics you mentioned are exactly those i would have liked to to be included in the comparison! and of course there a bunch of others; a comparison just between newer contenders might also be of interest to some - so maybe there's gonna be an update? start a fundraising campaign to pay for the studio... :-)

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 04:57 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
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A microphone review is done by one man with his own mind, his own artistic and technic views and his own ears.

Some will say this microphone is wonderful because TF, others will say we don't need it, some don't like Rode because it's more (for microphones) home studio low budget oriented etc.



Why do you work DPA instead of Schoeps, why Sennheiser instead of Neumann?

I choose my gear with my ears, not with the help of any review written by someone else.

For example I'm a Neumann fan, how many Neumann bashing threads are on this forum?
Everytime I open a Neumann box I'm happy because I love these microphones, I love the company etc.
Is DPA better? for some folks absolutely, and I trust them but not for me.

So any reviewer here has to be thanked for the time he gave and... to expose to the popular anger their own opinion.

But in my opinion, I also find that the piano sample on the video sounds horrible, but I can't say anything against the microphone because the acoustic situation doesn't allow a critical listening.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
At least that review did address my query about the "air lift" ....it would seem that it's effect is benign and pleasing, rather than contributing to yet another toppy-sounding SD condenser mic (the world has enough of those....)
I meant to reply to your earlier comment about the HF boost. I know it was a concern among some followers of the thread that started after the TF-5s were first announced. It was definitely worth being aware of in theory, but once I got the mics in hand and spoke into them (first test every time, LOL!) it never entered my mind – as in, it never drew attention to itself.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern View Post
But in my opinion, I also find that the piano sample on the video sounds horrible, but I can't say anything against the microphone because the acoustic situation doesn't allow a critical listening.
If you have the time, please download some of the acoustic guitar files from soundcloud, import them into your DAW and compare them. Hopefully you’ll find them to be much more informative and worthy of critical listening.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
A few thoughts:

1) in the review Studer and Didier, where it talks about the “perforated holes” contributing to the performance, I think you are reading into it wrong. I read that as “these rather unique perforations probably contribute in a different way than traditional slat venting”. Anyone who’s ever used an sdc is aware of the venting. What’s different about this mic is the way it’s done. And it’s a legitimate question to ask “why” it’s done that way.

2) with regards to this mics frequency response divergences: the high mid cut seems less than 1db, and the hf boost around 1.5, at least on their published specs. The mid boost and high mid cut especially show the kinds of characteristics that many manufacturers might just smooth over and say “flat within a tolerance of +-1db”. That they’ve shown it here seems deliberate, set to a scale of 3db instead of the usual 5 or even 10, to make a statement about how this mic is tuned relative to other high end sdc’s. I think if you’re reading it as “oh, this is a colored sdc”, you’re missing the point that ALL of our favorite sdcs exhibit some kind of unique color or tonal characteristic. Røde is just trying to put theirs on paper for you.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
I think if you’re reading it as “oh, this is a colored sdc”, you’re missing the point that ALL of our favorite sdcs exhibit some kind of unique color or tonal characteristic. Røde is just trying to put theirs on paper for you.
`

Yes, it seems that the new Rode mic is more intentionally 'voiced' or tuned so that boosts and cuts are both deliberate and complementary (vs unplanned and unavoidable !) Those novel perforations perhaps play some part in this too ?

Similar in a sense to the way the best desk eq's have their crossover points, Q and overlap regions working in concert between the various bands...or the way a good domestic speaker has port tuning, structural bracing, benign driver roll-offs etc etc to produce a rewarding sound across many possible sources.

It's my guess that this sort of intentional tweaking (Tony F's input ?) has resulted in the currently praised performance. Maybe the small offset deficits are the sort of pattern changes that Simmo has noted, lowered peak handling, less of that immediately apparent (but ultimately fatiguing) 'fake detail' ? Every mic has a particular set of vices, virtues and character...contingent upon who's listening to it !

Last edited by studer58; 4 weeks ago at 03:51 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
A few thoughts:

1) in the review Studer and Didier, where it talks about the “perforated holes” contributing to the performance, I think you are reading into it wrong. I read that as “these rather unique perforations probably contribute in a different way than traditional slat venting”. Anyone who’s ever used an sdc is aware of the venting. What’s different about this mic is the way it’s done. And it’s a legitimate question to ask “why” it’s done that way.

2) with regards to this mics frequency response divergences: the high mid cut seems less than 1db, and the hf boost around 1.5, at least on their published specs. The mid boost and high mid cut especially show the kinds of characteristics that many manufacturers might just smooth over and say “flat within a tolerance of +-1db”. That they’ve shown it here seems deliberate, set to a scale of 3db instead of the usual 5 or even 10, to make a statement about how this mic is tuned relative to other high end sdc’s. I think if you’re reading it as “oh, this is a colored sdc”, you’re missing the point that ALL of our favorite sdcs exhibit some kind of unique color or tonal characteristic. Røde is just trying to put theirs on paper for you.
i did not (as i did not read the review/comparison for said reason) - my comment was strictly aiming at the methodology which i basically appreciate, as well as the op's effort in general (even though i personally hardly ever listen to such kind of comparisons but rather try for myself).

i'm with you though that EVERY mic has its strength and weakness (the mk4 however comes pretty close to an 'ideal' cardioid imo) and that learning to read and interpret data is crucial or else one better stays away from commenting just based on specs or comment on the design if not being an electrical engineer/designer/manufacturer.

i wish i'll find a cardioid sdc which offers a performance 'somewhere in between' an mk4 and a km184 - could be the tf5 will do just about that!
Old 4 weeks ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
1) in the review Studer and Didier, where it talks about the “perforated holes” contributing to the performance, I think you are reading into it wrong. I read that as “these rather unique perforations probably contribute in a different way than traditional slat venting”.
I think that you are elaborating John Pickford's intent much beyond what he wrote. You may be right about TF5 venting being special (how ?) but interpreting the single sentence about the venting in this review as John Pickford sharing your guess, rather than simply observing that casing surrounding the capsule is perforated, which is visually attractive and suspecting (undoubtedly) that it is contributing to the mic’s performance, is too kind from you.

Cardioid sdc venting design is important in general. For instance it would be the cause of the HF boost of the km 140/184 w.r.t. the KM 84.

Last edited by didier.brest; 2 weeks ago at 11:07 AM..
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