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soundfield mic for stereo application
Old 4th March 2011
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leddy View Post
John, have you compared using the Soundfiled or Tetramic (assuming decoding to fig 8's at 90 degrees) with using a traditional Blumlein pair (like the MKH30's)?
No, not yet, the Soundfield is too new for me - not had the chance.

I did a quick comparison with a friend's TetraMic - but it was pretty quick and the TetraMic was noisier (as we expected, given the price difference).



Old 4th March 2011
  #32
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Soundfield is rather new for me as well, but so far, I'm liking the ms pattern a lot.
Mike

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Old 4th March 2011
  #33
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Old 5th March 2011
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
As a Soundfield freak I notice a better crossed figure of eight (Blumlein) with the SPS 422B than a self arranged non Soundfield set-up.
Also bass is substantially better with the Soundfield mic than standard figure eight mics.
This sounds like a potential gearslut myth. What is a "standard figure
eight mic"? Can Soundfield really be configured to record Blumlien, or something that sounds similar to Blumlien? Blumlien originates from a different era way before Soundfield was invented, and was originally defined as an array using two figure 8 mics. If it can be proven technically that Soundfield
can record Blumlien, to back up your evaluation you would have made a
comparison with a considerable number of "standard" figure 8 mics.
Old 5th March 2011
  #35
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I own and record with an ST250 (AMS era, but much breathed on by Soundfield since), an SPS200-SB and a Core-Sound TetraMic.

Coupled with a good (and I mean really good - I use a ULN-8) front end, the TetraMic is superb for chamber music. Yes, the LF is very extended, which does mean that you get every rumble and that you need to be very careful with suspension mounts. Dave McGriffy has now re-built the VVTetra & VVMicVST plug-in so that a) it works in Nuendo and b) it works at high sample rates - up to 192. CoreSound will also supply the necessary files for high-sample rate work as well.

I love my ST250 and have done some great recordings with it over the twenty-odd years I've owned it and it makes a great stereo mic with hardware decoding, so its not going anywhere, and the SPS200-SB is now my go-to mic for location effects recording. It's happy on a boom, the suspension and windshield from Cinela are excellent and the Soundfield software works well.

The ST-450 promises to be a step up, but the price is pretty steep - I understand that it'll be close to US$6,500 (UKL4,000) whereas the TetraMic is around US$1,250 once you've added cables and adaptors, so about a fifth of the cost.

If you're just testing the water, then I'd go for the TetraMic. If you've got cart-loads of cash and can wait a bit - I don't think the ST-450 is shipping yet - then by all means go for the Soundfield, but I'd give both of them a thorough test under the conditions that you're likely to use them in. I'm pretty sure Len offers a 30 day trial period on the TetraMic, so you might want to take advantage of that. Oh, and Rycote now do a version of their InVision Lyre suspension mount that suits the TetraMic for a reasonable sum, which certainly helps with LF transmission.

I'll post a link to a couple of TetraMic samples in a day or so.

Regards,

John
Old 5th March 2011
  #36
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First sample - recorded a couple of days after receiving the TetraMic almost three years ago. Last minute request to record what was effectively a rehearsal in a local church that also hosted a creche, hence the extraneous noises. No time to check mic positioning - best guess method used - and no time to set levels - err on the side of caution. Front-end is a ULN-8 in beta mode, i.e. no front panel controls. Wooden floor transmitting almost every movement in the church.

https://files.me.com/johnsound/fnn1oy.wav


Example No 2. Recorded in a small wooden hall with the harp positioned hard left and slightly to the rear of the TetraMic. Because this was a live performance, the microphone was almost at stage level - probably about a foot above, and angled slightly upwards. This fragment of a chamber opera by Jonathan Dove is transcoded and down-sampled from the 96 kHz original (recorded on a Doug Oade-modified Edirol R-44) via VVTetraVST and VVMicVST in Plogue Bidule

https://files.me.com/johnsound/cyony7.wav

Bearing all that in mind, have a listen and see what you think.
Old 5th March 2011
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsound View Post
the SPS200-SB is now my go-to mic for location effects recording. It's happy on a boom, the suspension and windshield from Cinela are excellent and the Soundfield software works well.
I use my SPS200 in a Rycote USM-L as I use it indoors, rather than out. I have also now purchased the 20cm flexible tail to go from the mic. through the cable grip in the USM before connecting to the main Soundfield cable. This helps decouple the mic. from the cable and minimises handling noise.

Although the Soundfield Cinela mount is superb - if I do use it outdoors I will use the Rycote Baby Ball Gag and Windjammer in the new Softie mount.

Oh - and Soundfield have recently updated the SPS200 software - it now includes a conversion to B-format, which the original didn't do, among other things. It's a free download from the Soundfield website.

I like this very much as I can record using the SPS200 and someone else can edit the recording easily as he can download the software for free - good work Soundfield.
Attached Thumbnails
soundfield mic for stereo application-sps200-usm.jpg  
Old 6th March 2011
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
This sounds like a potential gearslut myth. What is a "standard figure
eight mic"? Can Soundfield really be configured to record Blumlien, or something that sounds similar to Blumlien?
The SF and other similar mic's (Tetramic) can virtualize any single point array technique.

Compared to many other directional mic's, the SF system may have more extended and flatter frequency response.

Each "model" of figure 8's has different performance parameters, so naturally the SF system will sound somewhat different, just as any "real" pair of 8's will sound different than any other "model" of 8's. (There must be a better word, but I don't have it.)
Old 6th March 2011
  #39
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Old 6th March 2011
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leddy View Post
The only thing I can say about comparing them at this point is that the Tetramic is supposedly EQ'd flat accross a really wide range. Everything I record seems to have some extreme low and high that I have to cut to sound natural. I don't know if the Soundfield is the same or not. The Sennheisers usually sound right without any EQ, and they have less noise.
My (Ancient) Calrec Soundfield is /very/ flat - beyond the normal range of human hearing. Similar - but "better", in terms if high extension than, a certain high end "piston response" small diaphragm omni that I also love.

I would imagine/hope that modern Soundfield (V) and AMS-Soundfield (IV) mics - or any other mic that purports to be "ambisonic" would hit the same kind of standards of frequency response.

Sure sometimes the low end pressure blast is a pain (and my meters certainly moan about it!) and the high-end prone to picks up stuff that you would not expect it to.

My biggest moan is the sensitivity to the slightest draught, or noise from computer monitor and ultrasonic, or near, emissions from cheap laptop switch mode power supplies (spit) both of which can present like electronic white noise sometimes. And heaven forbid if a certain bass player switches on a concealed fan heater or two for a quick warm between takes (this has happened a few times in the cold winter of 2009/2010, and marred a few recordings. I was recording "in the room" with cans at the time, and its just not so noticeable when a band is playing around you, but bit me in the ass at decode time. The turbulence from the blades in the fan in my DAW PSU is a big pain in the ass too, the soundfield system seems to really pick up on it.

I also play with crossed small diaphragm cardoids, and a pair of vintage ribbons, but neither system can come near what the Gerzon tetrahedral array (as used in the Soundfield/Tetramic) can do. However I don't discard Blumlein techniques. Everything has its sound, and its uses. However I can do that with the Soundfield (and some delay lines to introduce phase errors) so... :-)
Old 6th March 2011
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
The SF and other similar mic's (Tetramic) can virtualize any single point array technique.

Compared to many other directional mic's, the SF system may have more extended and flatter frequency response.

Each "model" of figure 8's has different performance parameters, so naturally the SF system will sound somewhat different, just as any "real" pair of 8's will sound different than any other "model" of 8's. (There must be a better word, but I don't have it.)
The problem I was addressing was the notion that a particular microphone can consistently work better than others for a specific array, in all
situations.
Old 6th March 2011
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
The problem I was addressing was the notion that a particular microphone can consistently work better than others for a specific array, in all
situations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
This sounds like a potential gearslut myth. What is a "standard figure
eight mic"? Can Soundfield really be configured to record Blumlien, or something that sounds similar to Blumlien? Blumlien originates from a different era way before Soundfield was invented, and was originally defined as an array using two figure 8 mics. If it can be proven technically that Soundfield
can record Blumlien, to back up your evaluation you would have made a
comparison with a considerable number of "standard" figure 8 mics.
A standard fig 8, as opposed to an ambisonic mic decoding to a fig 8. Ambisonic mics use sum and difference principles to arrive at the various patterns. Blumlein from a Soundfiled mic is like XY from a mid-side pair.

You were very harsh with Plush considering that he was only saying that he preferred the Blumlein derived from the SF over Blumlein from a pair of fig 8's.

No GS myth. Just an opinion.
Old 6th March 2011
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leddy View Post
he was only saying that he preferred the Blumlein derived from the SF over Blumlein from a pair of fig 8's.
too many possible fig 8 mics, too many possible recording situations, for this statement to be meaningful = gearslut blumlien myth
Old 6th March 2011
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
too many possible fig 8 mics, too many possible recording situations, for this statement to be meaningful = gearslut blumlien myth
Have you used a Soundfield mic?
Old 6th March 2011
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
too many possible fig 8 mics, too many possible recording situations, for this statement to be meaningful = gearslut blumlien myth
aracu:
You have demonstrated that you don't have any idea of how the system works.

You also fail to distinguish anecdotal reports from quantifiable information.

You also fail to understand what is quantifiable and what is not.

And you seem not to know that *any* particular model of microphone will perform different from any other.

If your intent is merely to state mistaken presumptions and mistaken conclusions, that are each mutually exclusive, you are doing a very good job.

You've been treated kindly and with patience so far. Be grateful for that and move on.
Old 6th March 2011
  #46
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johnsound's Avatar
Fixed - apologies.

John

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
bad link, at least now, for me.
Old 6th March 2011
  #47
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
As a Soundfield freak I notice a better crossed figure of eight (Blumlein) with the SPS 422B than a self arranged non Soundfield set-up.
Also bass is substantially better with the Soundfield mic than standard figure eight mics.


Also the other reason to use Soundfield is to be able to simultaneously record a 4 channel B format version. Then one can steer and post-produce the stereo picture with software after the recording.
Correct me if I am wrong here, but I understand that one of the beauties of the SF is the excellent phase coherence derived from the extremely close placement of its capsules. This cannot be duplicated in a regular Blumlein and additionally a self-arranged Blumlein almost always is not truly overlapping figure 8's with included angles of exactly 90 degrees.

Is this correct??
Old 6th March 2011
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Correct me if I am wrong here, but I understand that one of the beauties of the SF is the excellent phase coherence derived from the extremely close placement of its capsules.
This is one of the benefits that they seem to sell, but if you are like me and don't hear phase problems in your own recordings (perhaps due to inexperience), then it is not really the main beauty.....for me it is the software that enables me to adjust the sound after the event that is the real beauty. I am not very experienced in recording and the Soundfield can bail me out, at least to a certain extent.
Old 6th March 2011
  #49
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Thread Starter
speaking with a professor in parma (italy) that is one of the most important researcher in the world in soundfield theme, he told me that first order ambisonics can work well only with a set-up of at least 7 loudspeakers.
the less is the order of ambisonic, the more the loudspeakers i need.
to have a good stereo image we need at least three order ambisonics.
this is the reason because i haven't bought soundfield or other similar products.
professor angelo farina told me in two-three year we can have these mics of greater ambisonics order.

Angelo Farina's Home Page

ths is the home page, inside a lot of interesting articles..

now he is working with:

the Eigenmike® microphone array

with the commercial software inside eingenmike we can obtain three order ambisonics.

with the software developed by Farina that was showed in japan at the end of 2010 we can reach six order ambisonic with the eingenmike.

but only the mics is 20.000 euro i think and i don't know if it is for measuring acoustics parameters or also recording music. i don't know about the capsules...

Alessandro.


MICHAEL GERZON WAS A LOT OF DECADE AHEAD ANY GEAR OR TECHNOLOGY THAT NOW WE HAVE.
BRAIN IS BRAIN, MACHINE IS MACHINE, SO I WOULD SPEAK ABOUT BRAINSLUTZ :-)
Old 6th March 2011
  #50
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johnsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fafalio View Post
to have a good stereo image we need at least three order ambisonics.
I'm not sure that Angelo would have said that to have a good stereo image we need at least third order ambisonics. I think he may have been talking about periphonic surround.

I'll ask him on another list.

Regards,

John
Old 6th March 2011
  #51
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fafalio's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
in a e-mail he told me what is written below. please traslate in a language software if you don't know italian. Let me know when you will have an answer from Farina. But at the end of the e-mail he write about at least 3-order ambi for stereo. I'm new to ambisonics, so i don't understand the reasons, but this is what he told me.
best regards!
Alessandro.

"Per la normale riproduzione sterefonica, il metodo Ambiosnics standard
non offre una risoluzione angolare sufficiente, in quanto utilizza
microfoni cardioidi coincidenti, che danno una immagine stereo poco
separata.
Ambisonics primo ordine funziona bene per un surround orizzontale con
6 o 8 altopralanti disposti ad angoli uniformi (esagono od ottagono).
Funziona male anche per il surroind "da cinema", secondo la standard
ITU 5 camali, visto che gli altoparlanti sono posti in posizioni
angolari molto disuniformi dal punto di vista angolare.
Paradossalmente, tanti MENO sono gli altoparlanti, tanto piu' grande
deve essere l'ordine della codifica Ambisonics utilizzata, Per il
surround 5.1 occorre almeno un Ambisonics secondo ordine, per lo
stereo ci vuole il terzo ordine...."
Old 6th March 2011
  #52
Gear Nut
 

Hi folks,

I own an SPS200 with the Cinela Zephyx windshield and I must admit it's a deadly combo !

But today I want to share with you a discovery made by a bunch of friends, a discovery that is going to revolutionize the Ambisonics world.

HARPEX

Harpex

The concept behind Harpex is a new way to decode B-Format with such efficiency that the results, believe me or not, are close to what you can have with A 3RD ORDER MICROPHONE !

The plugin is still in the beta stage but you can have a copy of it, the only requirement to make it work is to be connected to internet (kind of an online dongle).

I'm by no way affiliated to Sven the conceptor, but I'm so enthusistic about Harpex that I can't help myself to rave about it, especially because the Ambisonics users community is such a small community.

Feel free to try it and tell me after that that SurroundZone is not a piece of sh*t compared to Harpex !

Stephane.
Old 6th March 2011
  #53
Gear Maniac
 
fafalio's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
hello stephane.
do you have put in comparision a first order ambi with harpex plug in to a 3 order ambi mics?
which mics have you put in comparison?
the harpex plug was put in a soundfield mic? which model?



FOR JOHN:
in some forum they said sps200 is not on the same quality (about capsules) than other soundfield models.
what do you think about? do you know something about?
Old 6th March 2011
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Correct me if I am wrong here, but I understand that one of the beauties of the SF is the excellent phase coherence derived from the extremely close placement of its capsules. This cannot be duplicated in a regular Blumlein and additionally a self-arranged Blumlein almost always is not truly overlapping figure 8's with included angles of exactly 90 degrees. Is this correct??
Two ccm mk8 can be placed in an MS Blumlien array so that at the
nearest point the capsules are approx. 2.5 mm apart, or approx.
18.5 mm apart if measured from the centers of the capsules.
Old 6th March 2011
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
it is the software that enables me to adjust the sound after the event that is the real beauty
Any coincident array recorded with two coincident mics can be adjusted
with software, an example is Waves Stereo Imager.
Old 6th March 2011
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
Any coincident array recorded with two coincident mics can be adjusted
with software, an example is Waves Stereo Imager.


But in a much more limited way when compared with ambisonic mics.
Old 6th March 2011
  #57
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by fafalio View Post
FOR JOHN:
in some forum they said sps200 is not on the same quality (about capsules) than other soundfield models.
what do you think about? do you know something about?
The SPS200 capsules are different from the others in that they are cardioid, slightly smaller (I think) and individually enclosed.

As far as I know, all the capsules are specially made for Soundfield by MBHO in Germany.

I would not say that they are not as good, just slightly different.

MBHO, I would say, are up with the very best when it comes to microphones and capsules (after all, they also make capsules for Brauner). I would say that the SPS200 is pretty well equal in quality to the others - it is cheaper because you don't have external hardware to pay for, though you do lose the heating element that the others have to keep them dry outdoors.
Old 6th March 2011
  #58
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
Two ccm mk8 can be placed in an MS Blumlien array so that at the
nearest point the capsules are approx. 2.5 mm apart, or approx.
18.5 mm apart if measured from the centers of the capsules.
Yes, but a soundfield mic. has the two fig.8s as if they are in exactly the same place - 0mm apart.
Old 6th March 2011
  #59
Gear Maniac
 
fafalio's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The SPS200 capsules are different from the others in that they are cardioid, slightly smaller (I think) and individually enclosed.

As far as I know, all the capsules are specially made for Soundfield by MBHO in Germany.

I would not say that they are not as good, just slightly different.

MBHO, I would say, are up with the very best when it comes to microphones and capsules (after all, they also make capsules for Brauner). I would say that the SPS200 is pretty well equal in quality to the others - it is cheaper because you don't have external hardware to pay for, though you do lose the heating element that the others have to keep them dry outdoors.
thanks John.
the problems is there is no true comparisons between an sps 200 recording and a pair of sennheiser, DPA, schoeps as stereo main in recording an orchestra or a classical ensemble or a classical piano.
i have do searches in lots of forum, but there are only ambiental recordings about sps200 and it is not a test for high quality musical recordings.
it would be fantastic if someone a day could make this comparation. And i think John you are the only that have SPS 200 and high quality sennheiser to make this test. :-)
i say all this because the frequency range between an MKV and sps200 is totally different....
Old 6th March 2011
  #60
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fafalio View Post
hello stephane.
do you have put in comparision a first order ambi with harpex plug in to a 3 order ambi mics?
which mics have you put in comparison?
the harpex plug was put in a soundfield mic? which model?
Ciao fafalio,

I invite you to read the whitepapers on Harpex's site :

About harpex

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and start reading the first 2 the documents. You can also download the online examples in any format you want !

The only "real" comparison I made was between Harpex plug and Surroundzone plug : it's like night and day ! I HONESTLY didn't know that the SPS200 could product such great results !

The point with Harpex is that it strongly reminded of the Trinnov SRP in term of spatial resolution. Plus you have extensive controls, a binaural mode, a shotgun mode (yes, you can turn your Ambisonics microphone into a shotgun microphone !). The only drawback I can see is that it's really CPU hungry (but keep in mind it's still a beta).

Harpex is just a plug-in, if you have an ST350 you use it instead of SurroundZone, if you have an SPS200 (like me) you use it after the SurroundZone plug-in decoding only the A-Format in B-Format.
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