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Acoustic Guitar Samples KM84 vs MC930
Old 23rd March 2009
  #1
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trustyjim's Avatar
 

Acoustic Guitar Samples KM84 vs MC930

I just got me a pair of vintage KM84s! To celebrate, I made some quick clips for my fellow slutz.

I recorded my Taylor acoustic with old strings using one KM84 and one Beyer MC930 spaced as close together as possible during the performance (one mic right above the other). They were about a foot away from the 12th fret, angled slightly towards the soundhole.

The signal chain was LaChapell EG -> AD16X, both mics being recorded simultaneously. I level matched the clips (RMS) and added the same Waves REQ on both clips. Finally I went back out through a Retro 176 -> Mix690 -> Neve 33609 -> AD16X again. All settings were exactly the same when I bounced each clip. Yeah I know it's super slutty for one measly acoustic guitar clip.

Now for the fun part. You get to guess which is which!
Attached Files

Acoustic Guitar A.mp3 (2.28 MB, 17894 views)

Acoustic Guitar B.mp3 (2.28 MB, 15076 views)

Acoustic Guitar A Unprocessed.mp3 (2.28 MB, 12677 views)

Acoustic Guitar B Unprocessed.mp3 (2.28 MB, 12178 views)


Last edited by trustyjim; 23rd March 2009 at 06:01 PM.. Reason: Added unprocessed clips
Old 23rd March 2009
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Great clips - I just posted some samples myself comparing my LaChapell 992 EG to Forssell and others at:

Pre-amp shootout - LaChapell vs Avalon vs Pacifica vs Forssell - samples included

of yours I slightly preferred A - a more musical, gentle sound guessing it is the 84 - but I was also surprised at how small the difference was - at least to me listening on my laptop with Beyer DT770 headphones

thanks for posting - i've long wanted 1 or 2 84s and I'm really curious how you are liking them and the applications they are serving you well in.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #3
Here for the gear
 

km 84 versus Mc 930

Is the B sample the km 84?
Old 23rd March 2009
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Listening through basic laptop speakers instead of the headphones - B's top is nicer - lovely soft attack on the strings

Basically B is more hi-fi a bit - either way I'm torn
Old 23rd March 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
Based on my experience with the mics I'd say A is the Km84 and B the Beyer.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

B is the 930, A is the 84 I reckon.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

thanks for posting, Im really curious...
listening on PC speakers I cannot really tell which one I prefer more, so beyers looks like great deal
Old 23rd March 2009
  #8
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666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by trustyjim View Post

I went back out through a Retro 176 -> Mix690 -> Neve 33609 -> AD16X again...
Thanks for the clips. Been wanting to hear what all the fuss is about regarding the 84.

I'll have to guess that clip A is the 84 as it's softer, more colored, a bit darker, seemingly a bit more compressed, etc..... clip B is more clear and present by comparison... which I happen to like.

I probably would have voted to not have run the signals through all the extra processing (176, 33609, etc) just in the name of getting a more direct sonic picture of the mics themselves... but then again, perhaps the extra processing creates a more realistic depiction of what the "end results" might be in a mix after typical processing.

I do think the 84 is doing something "special" here, it's a neat color. But again, at the same time, I dig the 930 here as well, one is certainly not "better" than the other, just a matter of preference, or more accurately, a matter of what might sit better in a given mix.

But consider, if you had only a 930 and wanted to achieve a more 84-ish type color in the mix, I'd think this could be done via various colored outboard, plus a little careful eq-ing, extra compression, etc... you wouldn't get it exact, but you could get "close enough" I'd think.

I tend to prefer recording more on the "clean" side, and then "coloring" later per taste via outboard... because it's sometimes hard to predict in advance what a mix might call for. I could imagine instances where the 84 sound might not be the best thing.

But having said all that, the 84 is indeed nifty.

This test also leaves me impressed with the 930, I would not hesitate to pick some up... hey!... you're probably a Beyerdynamic pimp! heh
Old 23rd March 2009
  #9
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Hi Trusty,

Could you also post the 'untreated' files as well?

And thanks, I've been seriously hoping for a comparison between these mics as well!

R.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #10
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gwailoh's Avatar
 

I believe that A is the 84, B is the 930.

I have to admit, these files don't sound level-matched to me. Perhaps I'm being fooled by the fact that B is slightly brighter, but B sounds about 1 db louder to my ear.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #11
I think track B has a more modern and brighter sound, which is quite nice at first listen. I think track A will sit better in a mix, it sounds a bit warmer and I don't get tired of it as easily as with track B. Around 1:10 I'm starting to get convinced that A is the winner in my ears. I've never used any of these mics, but from what little I know, I'd guess A is the KM84.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #12
Oh and by the way, with new strings, I think mic A would be a killer!
Old 23rd March 2009
  #13
Gear Nut
 
TheMIXIMAL's Avatar
 

my guess, based on not having knowingly heard an MC930 yet:

A is the KM84,
B is the MC930


EDIT: here is the MC930 product page link;

Studio microphones
Old 23rd March 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Guruceta's Avatar
 

So, just based in the sound, which one would you choose to record your own stuff?
I like the brighter sound of the B model.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #15
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gwailoh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guruceta View Post
So, just based in the sound, which one would you choose to record your own stuff?
I like the brighter sound of the B model.
Either. They both sound good on that guitar. I kinda prefer A which seems a little more full, but it's a close call. Maybe A with a slight eq.

FWIW I record more aggressive-sounding 6-string players (think Pete Townshend), typically with jumbo-sized guitars. I like to close mic at the sound hole, and cut the mud with a narrow eq. For the way I do it, the KM84 is more clearly superior to the MC930 IME than these two samples would suggest. Yet the MC930 is still a nice mic and I do use it on 6-string and snare.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondegreen View Post
Oh and by the way, with new strings, I think mic A would be a killer!
+1.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #17
Gear Head
 

A is the Beyer.heh

I did a similar KM84/MC930 comparasion on drums and the Beyer was a bit smoother and less bright. Go figure!
Old 23rd March 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joba View Post
A is the Beyer.heh

I did a similar KM84/MC930 comparasion on drums and the Beyer was a bit smoother and less bright. Go figure!
If "Sample A" is the Beyer I am definitely buying one. Much more pleasing tone. If I wanted a bit more presence I would "Pultec up" some high frequency EQ. "Sample B" sounds a bit "thin" and "brittle" which is what I would associate with my transformerless KM184.(good for strumming though).

I thought
A - KM84
B - MC930

Those Lacheppelle pres sound awesome.

Thanks for taking the time to post those. - Tom
Old 23rd March 2009
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Orrow View Post
If "Sample A" is the Beyer I am definitely buying one. Much more pleasing tone.
But at one foot the difference between the two positions can be quite large, so perhaps you should not buy it only because of this shoot out.

Still: A is the Beyer!

(hint hidden in the "silence" before he starts to play)
Old 24th March 2009
  #20
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swafford's Avatar
 

They both sounded like crap on my laptop speakers. I'm surprised they sounded so similar.
Old 24th March 2009
  #21
Gear Addict
 

A sounds much better here, much softer, maybe I dare use the word "dimensional" too. Of course I'd like it to be the cheaper mic, but...
Old 24th March 2009
  #22
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

I prefer A, unprocessed. KM84?

-R
Old 24th March 2009
  #23
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staudio's Avatar
 

I liked A more, both processed and unprocessed.
Old 24th March 2009
  #24
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BluegrassDan's Avatar
I think that "A" is the KM84. It has that low proximity effect thing going on.
Old 24th March 2009
  #25
Gear Nut
 

I like B better...I hope it's the cheaper mic.
Old 24th March 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Just listened to the unprocessed clips.

Both those mics sound excellent and all thats needed is the right EQ.

I think the first clips with "Identical EQ" gave a false representation of both mics.

"Sample A" is still smoother, darker(in a good way), and yes as someone said....more dimensional to my ears.

Sample B sounds great but is a bit bright and "tinny" aka a bit cheaper sounding. IMHO

I might try to do my KM184/M160 and MA-200 on acoustic if I have time this week. BTW....my only 3 good mics.

Thanks again and post the results.
Old 24th March 2009
  #27
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666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Orrow View Post

I might try to do my KM184 / M160 and MA-200 on acoustic if I have time this week.
That would be great

Please do.
Old 25th March 2009
  #28
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Jimbo's Avatar
Sample A (unprocessed) reminds me of my mc930s on acoustic guitar. The mc930 does not have a forward upper mid like sample B. Also, the Beyer mic can sound a little closed at times, and I'm hearing this in Sample A. This "closed" timbre gives the mic a somewhat concave sound, deep and withdrawn, and mixes very well. Sample B sounds convex and forward.....couldn't be the Beyer.

So:
Sample A: MC930
Sample B: KM84
Old 25th March 2009
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
lambro's Avatar
A is the 84

I think if the 84s had a bit more open top it would be earth splitting but old strings...

I missed the fullness on B and wasn't as drawn to its top as I was to the full sound of A, but I could also see it being a choice for where it would seat the acoustic depending on the piece/band (Dave Matthews strangely came to mind....yikes)

the LaChapells dont hurt the equation at all....


I would l love to hear some stuff with a sharper more staccato pick attack too
Old 25th March 2009
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

so which is which?

i slightly prefer B, i think its KM84...
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