The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
AKG 414 : cardiod vs hypercardiod ?
Old 22nd July 2020
  #1
Gear Addict
 

AKG 414 : cardiod vs hypercardiod ?

Tell me about the hypercardiod pattern on the AKG 414 --
is it noticeably tighter than the cardiod pattern?

Would the 414's hypercardiod do a better job of reducing the effects of a poor-sounding room, compared to its cardiod pattern?

I'm just doing research...thanks for your input! The intended use is for recording small jazz groups in a home environment. I am seeking an open condensor-mic sound, while minimizing room sound and bleed between instruments. (Currently I use hypercardiod dynamics almost exclusively, for this style of recording).
Old 29th July 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Which 414? They are not all the same.

In general, the hypercardioid will have a small advantage in room noise pickup, but the real advantage is that there are two pretty sharp nulls so you can null out specific instruments. Not much win for bad rooms, but a great win for dealing with leakage in good ones if placed well.

The 414B/ULS "cardioid" and "hypercardioid" patterns are not uniformly cardioid or hypercardioid, but are both kind of ragged and of course they all turn into omni in the lower two octaves. But the nice nulls in the hypercardioid pattern are useful for singer-songwriters... keep the guitar in the null of the vocal mike and the vocal mike in the null of the guitar mike.
--scott
Old 29th July 2020
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
In general, the hypercardioid will have a small advantage in room noise pickup, but the real advantage is that there are two pretty sharp nulls so you can null out specific instruments. Not much win for bad rooms, but a great win for dealing with leakage in good ones if placed well.
Thank you, this is extremely helpful.

It seems to me that, in general...when microphones are discussed, folks don't pay proper attention to pattern qualities and off-axis response.
Old 29th July 2020
  #4
I’m not sure what types of jazz instruments are being recorded, or if there is a vocalist involved.

If the players move around, or the vocalist likes to work the mic, there might be a trade off between bleed and the mic capturing the performance the way you hear it.

The cardioid will work better for those situations. Super might be better for stationary sources or those that require less bleed/room.

Figure 8 works well with acoustic and vocal pairs as well. Depends on the sound of the room, the act being recorded, the vibe you want.
Old 29th July 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkermann View Post
Thank you, this is extremely helpful.

It seems to me that, in general...when microphones are discussed, folks don't pay proper attention to pattern qualities and off-axis response.
If you want something for spot mikes on jazz ensembles that has reduced leakage, and where the leakage that exists sounds good, look into the Sennheiser 441.
--scott
Old 30th July 2020
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
If you want something for spot mikes on jazz ensembles that has reduced leakage, and where the leakage that exists sounds good, look into the Sennheiser 441.
--scott
Yes I have a 441, it’s excellent. I wish I had more of them! The 441 and my 3 Beyerdynamic M160s are my most-used mics.

Was asking about the AKG 414, because...everyone always wants better fidelity. I’m quite happy with what I’ve got now, but can’t help but wonder if condensers might give me a more “expensive-sounding” result.
Old 30th July 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
I have a pair of AKG C414 XL II condenser mics; and yes the hyper-cardioid mode is definitely noticeably tighter than the cardioid pattern.

However, in a small room and needing to control the pattern, I'm likely [but not always] preferring my Schoeps CCM 41 hyper-cardioid - which I owned for years but used pretty much only for dialog until recently. I might actually even prefer my Schoeps miniCMIT over the my C414 mics in a small room if I can keep it far enough away from ceiling and side reflections. . .but I've not tried avoiding bleed from other instruments with it. Could very well be a fail there? Others will have to comment. Probably going to prefer my CCM 5 in cardioid as a first take, though.

It is not subjective that my Schoeps CCM 41 and CCM 5 mics are technically much more uniform with off axis response than my C414 mics. But a question is: Am I going to prefer the sound of some particular mic with some particular player doing some particular part of some particular tune on some particular instrument for some particular mix in some particular room on some particular day? And somehow this has to be balanced against the need to control bleed from other instruments. . .probably much easier for other people than me.

I've used the Sennheiser 441 quite often since the mid '70s, and while I love that mic, I think of it kind of how I think of my AEA A440. I think it has a lot of color. . .way more than other's tend to assign to it. I think of the 441 as being way more colored than my C414 XL II mics in any of the C414's supported patterns [1]. In practice, I think this mostly means I'm not preferring more than a couple of them [i.e., more colored mics] in a mix - if I am doing the mix.

I'm not a purest, and am a humble musician trying to get my bearings after a very long layoff. But to my ears and brain, my C414 mics bring better fidelity than any dynamic mic of which I am aware. But for the pure goal of fidelity, they are not going to beat a high quality, SDC like the Schoeps. . .at least, generally. There are questions of realistic mic placement options and sound levels, etc. that may get in your way. I should think these to be very room/situation-specific issues.

One source that has helped me in thinking about patterns, etc. is the old text by Lou Burroughs - Microphones: Design and Application. It generalizes some of Scott's points.


Best wishes,

Ray H.

[1] I'm not absolutely certain this is technically true, but I would strongly suspect it is. Perhaps one with more technical analysis experience with both the C414 XL II and the 441 can correct or confirm?
Old 30th July 2020
  #8
Lives for gear
 

it's pretty much impossible to tell just from listening to a recording of a signal from a single mic whether that sound mostly stems from the mic 'itself' (its typical behaviour and design) or to what degree the result was affected by the specific situation (source, room, positioning, humidity, temperature etc.).

only the most radical differences in design and application between two different mics can get distinguised when comparing tracks but upon processing, these idiosyncrasies mostly disappear and anyone not being given context about the recording cannot judge under what conditions these tracks were recorded; with some experience, one can make an educated guess but that's about it...

i have been using pretty much any incarnation of c414's, from c5600 to oc818, on their own, by the dozens* and mixed in any possible way without too many issues: the more signals we're mixing, the less we can tell what shapes the sound - we can tell though whether we like the (overall) sound!

___


* when using dozens of mics of the same design from the same manufacturer, not all mics fare equally well: some imo become almost 'un-eq-able' so over the years, i carefully curated my own 'hate list' - i'll gladly admit that my decisions what mics (and other gear) to use is often dictated my own prejustice and/or circumstances...
Old 30th July 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
it's pretty much impossible to tell just from listening to a recording of a signal from a single mic whether that sound mostly stems from the mic 'itself' (its typical behaviour and design) or to what degree the result was affected by the specific situation (source, room, positioning, humidity, temperature etc.). [. . .]
Totally agree, it matches my very much shorter experience - and it seems there is a lot in the final 'etc.' for me.

Quote:
[. . .] only the most radical differences in design and application between two different mics can get distinguised when comparing tracks but upon processing, these idiosyncrasies mostly disappear and anyone not being given context about the recording cannot judge under what conditions these tracks were recorded; with some experience, one can make an educated guess but that's about it. [. . .]
Where I have end-to-end control in the recording-mixing process: then my mind becomes polluted with the knowledge of what I did and what I used - and I can't get those notions out of my head. . .because that context then won't let me go. Maybe if I were more forgetful, I could give alternatives a more fair shot?

Similarly, it is surprising to me how many tracks - made by very successful recordists - sound weak to me in isolation [i.e., apart from the mix]. Once I hear such a track isolated, I usually have trouble recovering respect [or liking] for the mix. Sometimes I am told what gear was used, other times not. Of course, there are many more cases where I don't have access to the tracks.

Quote:
[. . .] i have been using pretty much any incarnation of c414's, from c5600 to oc818, on their own, by the dozens* and mixed in any possible way without too many issues: the more signals we're mixing, the less we can tell what shapes the sound - we can tell though whether we like the (overall) sound! [. . .]

* when using dozens of mics of the same design from the same manufacturer, not all mics fare equally well: some imo become almost 'un-eq-able' so over the years, i carefully curated my own 'hate list' - i'll gladly admit that my decisions what mics (and other gear) to use is often dictated my own prejustice and/or circumstances...
Continuing from my comments above, I have less concerns that I will be unhappy mixing many tracks captured via my AKG C414 XL II mics than I have about mixing many tracks captured via my AEA A440 [or a 441]. . .though I love the latter mics.


Thanks for the thoughts,

Ray H.
Old 30th July 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
Where I have end-to-end control in the recording-mixing process: then my mind becomes polluted with the knowledge of what I did and what I used - and I can't get those notions out of my head. . .because that context then won't let me go. Maybe if I were more forgetful, I could give alternatives a more fair shot?
making a lot of noise (meaning working on all different kinda projects of various size and ambition, of different genre, under various and varying conditions, using unkown rental gear etc.) helps - not making any (mental) notes helps too! :-)

seriously: as much as i respect techs who meticulously document ALL proceedings, i don't care much other than
- carefully position mics (in terms of distance, direction and angling/pattern, spill etc.) after listening to the source (if i get a chance to do so at all)
- hit the claves close to the mains
- shoot the room (if i get a chance to do so at all)
- keep the measurement mic running during showtime and record the signal onto a track
- label channel/track with instrument and mic (vio 1st 170)

the latter (type of mic, occasionally just the pattern or a comp, hpf, notch, whatever) to me is nothing but a reminder of how a track then 'should' sound or what specifically i better check while mixing but it mainly serves passing along some information if tracks get mixed by someone else.

Quote:
Similarly, it is surprising to me how many tracks - made by very successful recordists - sound weak to me in isolation [i.e., apart from the mix]. Once I hear such a track isolated, I usually have trouble recovering respect [or liking] for the mix. Sometimes I am told what gear was used, other times not. Of course, there are many more cases where I don't have access to the tracks.
not trying to diss too many folks but imo there's a HUGE difference between a 'recordist' and a 'mixer'...

and soloing can be VERY misleading - do not use unless you have to isolate a track for trouble shooting (or want to frustrate someone); maybe worth noting that even some of the greatest artists can sound terrible when their tracks are getting solo'd!
Old 30th July 2020
  #11
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
I've used the Sennheiser 441 quite often since the mid '70s, and while I love that mic, I think of it kind of how I think of my AEA A440. I think it has a lot of color. . .way more than other's tend to assign to it. I think of the 441 as being way more colored than my C414 XL II mics in any of the C414's supported patterns [1]. In practice, I think this mostly means I'm not preferring more than a couple of them [i.e., more colored mics] in a mix - if I am doing the mix.
The 441 doesn't have the flattest midrange of all time... it is no Schoeps. But the coloration it has is pretty pleasant for the most part, and I don't think it is offensive when it builds up on multiple sources. And the off-axis coloration isn't nasty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
I'm not a purest, and am a humble musician trying to get my bearings after a very long layoff. But to my ears and brain, my C414 mics bring better fidelity than any dynamic mic of which I am aware. But for the pure goal of fidelity, they are not going to beat a high quality, SDC like the Schoeps. . .at least, generally. There are questions of realistic mic placement options and sound levels, etc. that may get in your way. I should think these to be very room/situation-specific issues.
I think of the C414B/ULS and most of its successors as being kind of bright and forward. Not bright and forward like the U87, but still bright and forward. The EB and TL are less forward, the TLII is more forward, and I don't know about the XLII... but I don't think of them as clean uncolored mikes in the way I think of the Schoeps.

The Schoeps has two basic problems.... first of all when you get up close to an instrument, it sounds different, and sometimes if you get a natural sound on an instrument up close, it sounds nothing like that instrument sounds at a distance. Put a Schoeps omni into a kick drum and you'll see exactly what I mean. So although you often want perfectly clean mikes, you may find that you don't want them as much as you think all the time.

The second is that the Schoeps costs a whole lot of money. This is only a practical consideration, but it's a big one if you have to write a check.

I think for spot mikes on jazz groups, the 441 and Beyer ribbons are an excellent start. I'd add into that some RE-20s (which have the best off-axis sound ever) and some EV N/D 468s, which I think are a total sleeper.

My inclination for jazz is to record with an overall pair (Schoeps, Josephson, what have you) that is intended to be clean, and then add in judicious amounts of spot mikes as needed to bring things closer. I tend to like a more distant sound than is currently fashionable, though. And if someone comes in saying they want to sound like a Van Gelder or Bob Theile record I'll do something totally different. That's just where I am coming from on this.
--scott
Old 30th July 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
Similarly, it is surprising to me how many tracks - made by very successful recordists - sound weak to me in isolation [i.e., apart from the mix]. Once I hear such a track isolated, I usually have trouble recovering respect [or liking] for the mix. Sometimes I am told what gear was used, other times not. Of course, there are many more cases where I don't have access to the tracks.
The isolated track is only -part- of that instruments sound in the mix. It's not the whole thing. In a small close group where there is a lot of leakage, that isolated track is sometimes a very tiny part. So don't let that isolated track cause you to lose faith in the whole mix.

I did a recording not too long ago where there was bass leakage into everything. It sounded great! I didn't even use the mike on the bass. People ask me how I got that great bass sound and... it was leakage and EQ working together.
--scott
Old 30th July 2020
  #13
If your room is good, I think you might be happier with a stereo set of ribbons. In my experience they can offer a bigger sound than the dynamics. They pick up more subtlety in the performance, with a more natural top end. The AEA big ribbons are fantastic on this type of material. AEA have a bunch of excellent videos on their site about placement for all sorts of scenarios.
Old 30th July 2020
  #14
Lives for gear
Thanks much, Scott!

Ray H.
Old 1st August 2020
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
My inclination for jazz is to record with an overall pair (Schoeps, Josephson, what have you) that is intended to be clean, and then add in judicious amounts of spot mikes as needed to bring things closer. I tend to like a more distant sound than is currently fashionable, though. And if someone comes in saying they want to sound like a Van Gelder or Bob Theile record I'll do something totally different. That's just where I am coming from on this.
--scott
It's an important question, what's the concept for the recording, what kind of listening experience should the viewer have? I prefer jazz recordings with each player individually mic-ed. The classical strategy of single-pair-plus-spots might work with certain jazz styles, but not the ones I'm usually involved with. Jazz is a music of individuals forming a collective, so they should be recorded that way: each player with their own mic(s), and mixed to highlight the players' relationships and their work as a collective. Arguably, classical music is primarily about the vision of composer, and less about the individuality of the performer.

Also, I feel confident of my ability to track and mix using close mics. But, the classical approach to recording seems like a black art to me, I wouldn't have a clue how to do it well.

Last edited by Honkermann; 1st August 2020 at 02:29 PM..
Old 1st August 2020
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkermann View Post
(...)the classical approach to recording seems like a black art to me, I wouldn't have a clue how to do it well.
no black art but overrated - and a bit too many recordists are making a big fuzz out of it while in fact it's dead simple...
Old 1st August 2020
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
(...)The Schoeps has two basic problems.... first of all when you get up close to an instrument, it sounds different, and sometimes if you get a natural sound on an instrument up close, it sounds nothing like that instrument sounds at a distance. Put a Schoeps omni into a kick drum and you'll see exactly what I mean. So although you often want perfectly clean mikes, you may find that you don't want them as much as you think all the time.

The second is that the Schoeps costs a whole lot of money. This is only a practical consideration, but it's a big one if you have to write a check (...)
cannot agree on the first 'problem' that it's typical for schoeps - i do agree on the second 'problem' but then i've got ALL my schoeps second hand (maybe except for a few capsules) and some people seem to be willing to pay ridiculous prices for vintage german tube mics...
Old 3rd August 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
cannot agree on the first 'problem' that it's typical for schoeps - i do agree on the second 'problem' but then i've got ALL my schoeps second hand (maybe except for a few capsules) and some people seem to be willing to pay ridiculous prices for vintage german tube mics...
Oh, sorry... I was not clear. I didn't mean to say that it was typical for Schoeps microphones to sound different up close. I was saying that it is typical for ALL microphones to sound different up close and therefore when you close-mike an instrument but want it sound like it does at a distance, you frequently need a microphone that is colored in some way.
--scott
Old 3rd August 2020
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
Oh, sorry... I was not clear. I didn't mean to say that it was typical for Schoeps microphones to sound different up close. I was saying that it is typical for ALL microphones to sound different up close and therefore when you close-mike an instrument but want it sound like it does at a distance, you frequently need a microphone that is colored in some way.
--scott

ah okay - so yes, either this (use a different mic with a specific behaviour/sound) or then process until one gets the typical sound.

if in a hurry, i prefer the latter, using 'generic mics' with 'uniform' (but of course typical) behaviour across patterns such as schoeps.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 5582 views: 1778242
Avatar for Drumsound
Drumsound 23 hours ago
replies: 90 views: 105085
Avatar for dabigfrog
dabigfrog 11th July 2014
replies: 11 views: 19333
Avatar for Jackson Highway
Jackson Highway 1st November 2014
replies: 1104 views: 224410
Avatar for Audio Atelier
Audio Atelier 3 days ago
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump