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Rode's Faulkner mics
Old 12th October 2016
  #1
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Rode's Faulkner mics

A while ago there was some discussion here about mics made by Rode for / with the name of Tony Faulkner. If memory serves these were more or less reproductions of Neumann M49 or M50 (forget which).

Any word on those? Things seem to have gone quiet on that front and I am curious. Not that I could afford them probably.

Regards, Christine
Old 12th October 2016
  #2
Gear Nut
I am also curiously awaiting release of these mics....

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remo...rototypes.html

Quote:
Tony Faulkner: "I’ve always had a fascination with valve omnis like Neumann’s M50. Røde saw it as a challenge to come up with a microphone that had similar characteristics the characteristics that most of us like about those old microphones but without the grief associated with using them."
Røde TFM50?
Old 13th October 2016
  #3
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I've asked Røde and they told me they [of course] don't disclose anything on it. So, we'll just have to wait and see.
Old 13th October 2016
  #4
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Of course, when Rode make their characteristic 'big splash' announcement of its availability (once they have sufficient stocks on hand to satisfy the immediate demand) we can expect to see owners of the original M50 (recording companies and studios like Abbey Road, plus well regarded independent types like Tony Faulkner and Plush) to immediately dump theirs on eBay at bargain prices and replace them with the new Rode product ?

Maybe....
Old 13th October 2016
  #5
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And I believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy too...
Old 13th October 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
And I believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy too...
But...but...new is (always) better, right ??
Old 13th October 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
But...but...new is (always) better, right ??
Sometimes it is.

TF travels extensively and often has one day and one shot to get a recording.

Given the choice of travelling with a stable of mics that can be somewhat fussy, or a couple of modern ones that suit his purpose and get the job done he seems to prefer to choose the latter, most of the time.

There is room in this world for more mics, and what's the harm in having another (perhaps excellent) choice?
Old 20th October 2016
  #8
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As on Røde's Beethoven9th DVD, here you find the interview with Tony Faulkner. They show a picture of the internals of the TFM50, showing the capsule in the ball and quite a big transformer.
Note: it seems to be a [standard?] large diaphragm capsule, which is quite different from the SDC in the m50.

http://www.rode.com/animaeterna

Still, "if it's good enough for Tony Faulkner" ...

Last edited by heva; 20th October 2016 at 03:28 PM.. Reason: video online too
Old 20th October 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heva View Post
As on Røde's Beethoven9th DVD, here you find the interview with Tony Faulkner. They show a picture of the internals of the TFM50, showing the capsule in the ball and quite a big transformer.
Note: it seems to be a [standard?] large diaphragm capsule, which is quite different from the SDC in the m50.

Anima Eterna

Still, "if it's good enough for Tony Faulkner" ...
The interview with Tony Faulkner is very interesting, I recommend watching the whole thing. Also apparently, there is a new version of the Rode NT5 around the corner. And a new style neutrik connector. Not compatible at all with our current XLR. Supposed to be much more RF resistant.

Regards, Christine
Old 20th October 2016
  #10
And you can get the recording in 96/24 wave files FOR FREE!!!!! And it sounds very nice.
Old 20th October 2016
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connloyalist View Post
The interview with Tony Faulkner is very interesting, I recommend watching the whole thing.
Agreed. Very interesting stuff.

Did you notice that the distance has narrowed yet again for the interior pair of his four mic array? It was 47 cm, then 42 cm, now 41 cm. Hmmm....
Old 20th October 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
Agreed. Very interesting stuff.

Did you notice that the distance has narrowed yet again for the interior pair of his four mic array? It was 47 cm, then 42 cm, now 41 cm. Hmmm....
Yes, I saw that too. And ORTF.

Regards, Christine
Old 20th October 2016
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connloyalist View Post
Yes, I saw that too. And ORTF.

Regards, Christine
The ORTF must be some meant in a very 'broad sense' - it should be 17cm and 110° (pretty far from 41 cm). Interesting interview non the less - Tony Faulkner is a pleasure to watch and listen to. Time will show whether or not Røde has luck doing a modern M50 equivalent (it's pretty clear though that the diaphragm size is larger, probably the same size as their other omni sdc, compared to the original Neumann capsule).

::
Mads
Old 20th October 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
The ORTF must be some meant in a very 'broad sense' - it should be 17cm and 110° (pretty far from 41 cm). Interesting interview non the less - Tony Faulkner is a pleasure to watch and listen to. Time will show whether or not Røde has luck doing a modern M50 equivalent (it's pretty clear though that the diaphragm size is larger, probably the same size as their other omni sdc, compared to the original Neumann capsule).

::
Mads
Yes, I meant ORTF in the sense of 110 degrees. It would make sense that they re-use a capsule they already have.

Regards, Christine
Old 20th October 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connloyalist View Post
Yes, I meant ORTF in the sense of 110 degrees. It would make sense that they re-use a capsule they already have.

Regards, Christine
I didn't hear them mention the angle, and I'm not sure that it is really 110 degrees. I think they are using "ORTF" quite casually to simply mean a pair of directional mics splayed outwards.

The mics show in the image at 14:56 (screencap below) are definitely angled out at 90 degrees, which is what Tony described in detail for his previous version of this, array with the 47 cm and 67 cm distances. I believe that an earlier version still actually did start with a true ORTF pair in the center and had the omni flanks.

They also don't mention if he's still using subcardioids for this, as the "47/67" array does. It should be noted that Røde does not make a subcardioid capsule, so given who is making this video that could be why it's not mentioned. In one interview from a year or two back, I believe Tony mentioned he liked Schoeps CCM21 subcardioid and CCM2 omni (don't remember which variant) for the 4-way array.
Attached Thumbnails
Rode's Faulkner mics-4wayarrayupdated.jpg  
Old 20th October 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
And you can get the recording in 96/24 wave files FOR FREE!!!!! And it sounds very nice.
Mine were 16/44.1. Where was there an option for 24/96? I download both the FLAC and WAV to check.

https://rodemicrophones.bandcamp.com...d-minor-op-125

I agree that it sounds great, and I really appreciate that he was able to cover everything with only 14 mics. The orchestra sounds very natural, and the character of the period instruments is very apparent. Those NTR section spots blend in quite nicely. Maybe when the "TFM50" is closer to release, we'll be able to hear a track with them alone.

EDIT: Grammar!
EDIT2: Removed my inane rambling. Apologies.
Old 21st October 2016
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I have a major problem with the last movement though, and it has nothing to do with Mr. Faulkner's recording which captured everything as it appeared. Every time a conductor splits a choir in half far apart for something that is not an antiphonal double-choir piece, it drives me absolutely nuts. Even with a professional choir such as this, you are making it far more difficult for the singers to do their job properly. You hear the results with a lack of overall blend (a couple sopranos and altos sticking way out here), misaligned consonants, etc., particularly in the middle part of the movement. I'm sure this was done for acoustic reasons, but it compromised the performance quality.

I have not and absolutely will never do this for any choir I conduct, but I've experienced it several times as a singer and it was beyond frustrating to try to align what I was doing with the people 40 feet away. You know what you'll never see? A orchestral conductor compromising the cohesion of a section in his/her orchestra. Please give us choir members the same respect.
As assistant conductor to maestro van Immerseel, I can comment that he has the utmost respect for choir members. And he makes orchestral compromises, as he would normally always prefer to have the double bass section split at both sides as well. Putting the choir behind the orchestra would give balance problems with so small a vocal group, so splitting is the only option to put them more forward for sound projection. I personally have never found that a problem, neither as a conductor nor as a singer myself. On the contrary, singing at the back of the hall with the conductor and strings 40 feet away is way more complicated in my opinion.
Old 21st October 2016
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apotheosis View Post
As assistant conductor to maestro van Immerseel, I can comment that he has the utmost respect for choir members. And he makes orchestral compromises, as he would normally always prefer to have the double bass section split at both sides as well. Putting the choir behind the orchestra would give balance problems with so small a vocal group, so splitting is the only option to put them more forward for sound projection. I personally have never found that a problem, neither as a conductor nor as a singer myself. On the contrary, singing at the back of the hall with the conductor and strings 40 feet away is way more complicated in my opinion.
Sorry for the rant; I guess I've been on the receiving end of this too many times from conductors who were less than thoughtful about this and it made for a frustrating experience.

I'll delete my comment as I feel I may have offended you and that was not my intent. My apologies.
Old 21st October 2016
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
Mine were 16/44.1. Where was there an option for 24/96? I download both the FLAC and WAV to check.

https://rodemicrophones.bandcamp.com...d-minor-op-125

I agree that it sounds great, and I really appreciate that he was able to cover everything with only 14 mics. The orchestra sounds very natural, and the character of the period instruments is very apparent. Those NTR section spots blend in quite nicely. Maybe when the "TFM50" is closer to release, we'll be able to hear a track with them alone.

EDIT: Grammar!
EDIT2: Removed my inane rambling. Apologies.
you get them from the store, as if you were buying the blu-ray, and there's an option for HD wav 24/96 there for $0.00.

And of course I have to run them through reaper to a format that my ipod will play before importing into iTunes, but the pure wavs sounded very nice.
Old 21st October 2016
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
you get them from the store, as if you were buying the blu-ray, and there's an option for HD wav 24/96 there for $0.00.

And of course I have to run them through reaper to a format that my ipod will play before importing into iTunes, but the pure wavs sounded very nice.
I see, thank you. I had clicked on the "download" link on the web player which takes you to a different page where you have the choice of various formats for which you can also pay what you want, and the lossless files there are 16/44.1.

Incidentally, one of the formats available there is ALAC for lossless on your iPod.
Old 21st October 2016
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I see, thank you. I had clicked on the "download" link on the web player which takes you to a different page where you have the choice of various formats for which you can also pay what you want, and the lossless files there are 16/44.1.

Incidentally, one of the formats available there is ALAC for lossless on your iPod.
Cool I just used 320 Kbps mp3, which works out nicely. I'll have to try ALAC though.
Old 21st October 2016
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I agree that it sounds great, and I really appreciate that he was able to cover everything with only 14 mics. The orchestra sounds very natural, and the character of the period instruments is very apparent. Those NTR section spots blend in quite nicely. Maybe when the "TFM50" is closer to release, we'll be able to hear a track with them alone
Actually it's fewer than 14 mics, as shown on his Pyramix check sheet:
TFM50 (L+R), WW (L+R), Choir (L+R), Soloists (1-4)...all NTR's... and high overhead outriggers (new black NT5 omnis L+R). Mics 13-16 are spare NT6's and spare NTR's.

However the 'Behind the Scenes'video shows an ORTF pair of black NT5 cardioids also being prepared, so maybe that was yet another spare ?
Old 21st October 2016
  #23
Thanks for the interesting links.

initially this didn't overwhelm me soundwise. Sounds more convincing on headphones than studio monitors.

maybe it is the NTR, which I think sounds sterile.

the strings sound ok not harsh, not dull, so the new M50 must be ok,
but overall, the recording lacks warmth, maybe the hall and small amount of strings has to do with this.


No idea about Rode's omni SDC. any experiences anybody?

needless to say that putting the choir close to the public and main mikes is the best way to handle the small size of the choir.
Old 21st October 2016
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I didn't hear them mention the angle, and I'm not sure that it is really 110 degrees. I think they are using "ORTF" quite casually to simply mean a pair of directional mics splayed outwards.

The mics show in the image at 14:56 (screencap below) are definitely angled out at 90 degrees, which is what Tony described in detail for his previous version of this, array with the 47 cm and 67 cm distances. I believe that an earlier version still actually did start with a true ORTF pair in the center and had the omni flanks.

They also don't mention if he's still using subcardioids for this, as the "47/67" array does. It should be noted that Røde does not make a subcardioid capsule, so given who is making this video that could be why it's not mentioned. In one interview from a year or two back, I believe Tony mentioned he liked Schoeps CCM21 subcardioid and CCM2 omni (don't remember which variant) for the 4-way array.
Agreed that the angle of the mics in the picture and the tekst don't match. I would have to listen to the interview again, but I don't think Mr. Faulkner mentioned the angle and distance of the inner microphones?

As for the subcards. I seem to remember hearing or reading Mr. Faulkner say somewhere that when he uses Schoeps he used the subcardioids, but when he uses Rode he uses cardioid mics. The Schoeps or Rode decision was related to how much "reach" he needed if memory serves (Schoeps = less, Rode = more).

Hypothesis: perhaps the inner mic distance is 47 cm with subcards and 41 cm with cardioids?

Regards, Christine
Old 21st October 2016
  #25
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When the TFM50 (or whatever it will eventually be named) hits the marketplace you can be assured the quality control and sample/sample consistency will be high, given Rode's reliance on automated manufacturing processes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SBKi9W7JM4

This might be common to most if not all mic manufacturers nowadays ?

Best way to not be beaten to market share by being saddled with high labour costs... is to have no labour, as Peter Freedman says !

The meek robots shall inherit the Earth. Not strictly true, as you still see humans involved in the assembly process, but the manufacturing of parts seems to be largely robotic.
Old 21st October 2016
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connloyalist View Post
Hypothesis: perhaps the inner mic distance is 47 cm with subcards and 41 cm with cardioids?
This seems very likely to be the case, particularly as Tony F says in the video "I'm terribly empirical", so he's presumably had much opportunity to derive spacings which work for him in varied field conditions.

Plus if you plug the 41 and 47 cms into Eberhard's SRA visualizer you'll see a noticeable variation in coverage, which probably translates to more or less 'reach' as well ? http://www.sengpielaudio.com/SRAflash.swf

Last edited by studer58; 21st October 2016 at 10:00 AM..
Old 21st October 2016
  #27
I think this 4 mike phased array is not to be used for small ensemble, but for orchestra. I have tried this 4 mike TF phased array once on a Lied CD. It was a mistake. Afterwards piano sounded great, but there was a hole in the middle, tenor sounded thin, too far away. Sengpiel warns on his website not to angle out omnis unless used in AB100cm or wider.
Old 21st October 2016
  #28
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I have an electronic and an acoustic question regarding this new M50. Please excuse me if the answers are obvious:

What are the benefits of using a tube preamp circuit and transformer output on a modern mic such as this, as opposed to a FET circuit and transformerless output? I know that sometimes tubes and transformers can be used to add a certain desired "tone" (or not), so could it be simply to help replicate the sound of the original M50 by using a similar circuit design?

How does the directional performance of the M50 (and in theory, this new version) differ from modern small-diaphragm pencil omni mics with similar size spheres such as those currently available from Neumann and Gefell? I realize that large and small diaphragms have different off-axis characteristics. For example, would an M50 be more directional in the treble than a Gefell M 221 using the larger sphere?
Old 22nd October 2016
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I have an electronic and an acoustic question regarding this new M50. Please excuse me if the answers are obvious:

What are the benefits of using a tube preamp circuit and transformer output on a modern mic such as this, as opposed to a FET circuit and transformerless output? I know that sometimes tubes and transformers can be used to add a certain desired "tone" (or not), so could it be simply to help replicate the sound of the original M50 by using a similar circuit design?
It seems clear in the Faulkner interview that he really enjoys the sound of the original tube based M50, others (such as Plush) has also endorsed this microphone, especially for its low-end response.

Still from a 'modern' perspective it seems a little strange to replicate (if that's their intention) a microphone like the M50 which given it physical construction (that at least from the look of it) could have reflection issues from the big head-basket and body. At the same time Røde is not going all the way when it comes to diaphragm size. It's also interesting that Decca records, often endorsed for sound quality recordings, modified their M50 tube sets to FET versions.

Maybe others (better informed) can chime in

Now that Røde is releasing their version of M50, I hope they'll also include a sphere ball for their new version of the NT5 omni - for those that prefer the focus of the sphere but don't want the tube-trouble

::
Mads
Old 22nd October 2016
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
Now that Røde is releasing their version of M50, I hope they'll also include a sphere ball for their new version of the NT5 omni - for those that prefer the focus of the sphere but don't want the tube-trouble

::
Mads
Now THAT would be a VERY interesting proposition! It would give us a sphere / APE / etc. option that is more affordable.

Regards, Christine
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