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CM3 - really THAT good? Condenser Microphones
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1651
Lives for gear
 

Sorry for the delay. Slammed the past couple of weeks.

The Neumanns were A (ORTF), the Line Audio was B (NOS). If the responses have revealed anything, it's that the CM-3's can compete head-to-head with the 140's, at 20% of the cost. The mixes I sent to the orchestra folks were full mixes, with EQ and other processing, and with outriggers and spot mics added. Responses were mixed there as well, with a slight favoring of the CM-3's.

One thing I've found interesting is that some people felt the CM-3's were brighter, while to my ear the 140's are clearly brighter and the CM-3's warmer. The different perceptions may be partly due to the material being recorded. While there was no definitive answer here, my take is that I'll tend to use the 140's on lighter material and concertos, and the CM-3's on the bombastic stuff.

Thanks to all for listening and commenting.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1652
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jpgerard's Avatar
I know, I've also noticed contradictory comments on most A/B's... so; good conclusion. Thanks for the test!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1653
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spambot_2's Avatar
It's all my cheap headphones' fault, I swear
Thanks for the shootout anyway, much appreciated.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1654
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spambot_2 View Post
It's all my cheap headphones' fault, I swear
Thanks for the shootout anyway, much appreciated.
No worries. Because the two mics have different polar patterns and were placed in different configurations, it wasn't a true A/B comparison, anyway.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1655
thanks for the results, I think it's a question of listening environment, my monitoring is accurate enough to be able to hear a difference, however it's not a huge difference and if I hadn't have heard A then I'd still think B was acceptable, you basically get what you pay for, the best mics I've ever heard are DPA and schoeps for classical recording, but look at the price!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1656
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
thanks for the results, I think it's a question of listening environment, my monitoring is accurate enough to be able to hear a difference, however it's not a huge difference and if I hadn't have heard A then I'd still think B was acceptable, you basically get what you pay for, the best mics I've ever heard are DPA and schoeps for classical recording, but look at the price!
Yeah, I'd love to have a pair of Schoeps, in particular, or even MKH 8040's, but there just isn't enough of this type of recording in my area to justify the expense. Of course, when have I really needed justification for spending gobs of money? This is Gearslutz, after all.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1657
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

My 10-years-long standing European summer vacation church music festival video/audio recording gig (which gig provided the impetus for a second NT-1, a NT-4, pairs of Gefell M296, MKH8040, DPA4061, and TLM193) ended in Coventry in 2010, after a boffo week in Rome in 2009 (12 venues in 6 days, with two of us recording and cam-opping) and I was left to wonder about the joy of additional "new" tools in my future.

Thanks to ongoing gigs with two private high schools (both with rooms requiring more-than-a-little help from mics selection) and a couple of local churches, a pair of CM3s and a quartet of 4099s have come to my rescue (the Gefells, MKH and TLMs were too brutally honest about the space... and both gigs require amplification as well as a recording) and allowed a couple of more "Oh, Boy!" moments when the UPS truck arrived. Alas, this may be nearly it...

...but I think I hear a Focusrite Thunderbolt interface (to replace a slightly wonky '08 Apogee Ensemble FW) calling my name...



HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 2 weeks ago at 05:25 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1658
Gear Maniac
 
Vesta's Avatar
 

Hearing this last orchestral sample, I am left wondering why they even bother recording orchestras with so many mics all over the place. The stereo pair of the CM3 or the other mic provided the kind of full, rich sound you'd expect from a commercial release. The low end was there, I could hear the strings, the winds and the brass clearly, with good separation. I even compared this with some other recordings I have of major orchestras. This isn't far off.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1659
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
Hearing this last orchestral sample, I am left wondering why they even bother recording orchestras with so many mics all over the place. The stereo pair of the CM3 or the other mic provided the kind of full, rich sound you'd expect from a commercial release. The low end was there, I could hear the strings, the winds and the brass clearly, with good separation. I even compared this with some other recordings I have of major orchestras. This isn't far off.
Yes, I think there's good reason that most 'experts' seem to agree that the main front array is the critical element. There have been a few instances where I wished I'd had some woodwind or harp spots, but it's never been a disaster without them.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1660
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
Hearing this last orchestral sample, I am left wondering why they even bother recording orchestras with so many mics all over the place. The stereo pair of the CM3 or the other mic provided the kind of full, rich sound you'd expect from a commercial release. The low end was there, I could hear the strings, the winds and the brass clearly, with good separation. I even compared this with some other recordings I have of major orchestras. This isn't far off.
Remember also that a great deal depends on the acoustics of the space in which you are recording. And other factors as well, for example in a reverberant hall with a live audience vs. a pristine recording studio, etc.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1661
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jpgerard's Avatar
Depends, doesn't it?

Are you a veteran and can you place the single stereo pair at the best spot with confidence? Are you a beginner and prefer to rent a bunch of mics to make sure you can change the balance at a later stage?

Do you have good monitoring to place the stereo pair properly, or are you guessing because you only have a set of cans (headphones) that don't offer enough isolation, or not option to monitor in a separate room? Or perhaps you can't trust what comes out of your HP's at all?

Is the customer (producer, orchestra, etc) known to have very specific ideas that may or may not match your decisions, making it difficult to work with a single stereo pair?

Are you confident recording a stereo track from a stereo pair with no chance of altering the direct to room balance? Or the balance of the sections of the orchestra?

I'm a fan of single stereo recordings but you need to be really knowledgeable and experienced. And when it's a paid gig... it's tempting to add mics to be able to change things around a bit later. Artificial reverb can help but only to a point... and it can be a pain programming a reverb to match an existing recording's room.

So both are good approaches, it depends on the project. It's quite amazing that some engineers out there go and put two mics on a stand and get it right with minimum effort (apparently!). It's also amazing how many mics some folks use and sometimes end up with less than stellar results.

I'm guilty of having used multiple mics as a backup instead of committing and being more confident. Then I've also regretted minimalist mic placement sometimes, with no real choice but to add reverb and try to EQ things to sound better. But facing a stereo recording with poor mic placement resulting in a bad balance of the source (or bad placement of the musicians!) is no fun
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1662
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
I'm a fan of single stereo recordings but you need to be really knowledgeable and experienced.
Or just dang lucky. I consider any success I've had mostly a product of divine providence. And this forum, of course.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1663
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jpgerard's Avatar
Takes more than luck especially if it's repeatable Experience is key. You can read about technique and mic specs all day, the proof is in the pudding. It's a learning process and usually once you've made a big fat mistake you don't do it again - that's how I function anyway. Experience works wonders.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1664
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G-Sun's Avatar
Saw you we're talking about cm3 on vocal,
so had to try it out.
CM3 + dbx676 = wow, really stellar sounding
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1665
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jpgerard's Avatar
Always try mics on sources they're not popular on. There's no reason why a very linear mic wouldn't sound good on, basically, anything.
Old 1 week ago
  #1666
Gear Nut
Here is a recent jazz recording with a pair of CM-3 close miked on a drifting-out-of-tune piano. Unfortunately there is a lot of reverb in the sanctuary for jazz so I have to close mike as much as possible. I used a cheap Nady ribbon on the cornet to warm it up, that particular horn sounds nasal without it. I had a Shure Beta 58 on the cornet too, just in case I did not care for the ribbon mic. Shure KSM141s were on the overheads, a Shure Beta 57 on the snare, Shure Beta 52 on the kick, Shure Beta 58 on high hat, and DPA 4099 on the bass. The piano and horn mics were running through a D.A.V. BG-8 preamp and all other mics were running directly into the Antelope Goliath preamps.

I had an extra pair of CM-3s but I think they would have picked up too much room to be used as overheads due to the wider polar pattern. I would like to try them as overheads in a less-than-live room.

Old 1 week ago
  #1667
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrshv80 View Post
Here is a recent jazz recording with a pair of CM-3 close miked on a drifting-out-of-tune piano. Unfortunately there is a lot of reverb in the sanctuary for jazz so I have to close mike as much as possible. I used a cheap Nady ribbon on the cornet to warm it up, that particular horn sounds nasal without it. I had a Shure Beta 58 on the cornet too, just in case I did not care for the ribbon mic. Shure KSM141s were on the overheads, a Shure Beta 57 on the snare, Shure Beta 52 on the kick, Shure Beta 58 on high hat, and DPA 4099 on the bass. The piano and horn mics were running through a D.A.V. BG-8 preamp and all other mics were running directly into the Antelope Goliath preamps.

I had an extra pair of CM-3s but I think they would have picked up too much room to be used as overheads due to the wider polar pattern. I would like to try them as overheads in a less-than-live room.

Sounds really nice! A very vintage ECM vibe. Not to distract from the CM-3 focus, but I'm especially impressed by the bass sound with the 4099. Where was it mounted?
Old 1 week ago
  #1668
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
Sounds really nice! A very vintage ECM vibe. Not to distract from the CM-3 focus, but I'm especially impressed by the bass sound with the 4099. Where was it mounted?
Thanks Shawn! I used some of the vintage compressor and EQ hardware inserts from the Antelope interface. Their emulations do a pretty decent job. I used the iZotope Ozone tape saturation plugin with a 15 i.p.s. bias on the master stereo bus out.

For the bass I had the DPA mic pointed directly 90 degrees from the body under the strings in alignment with the center axis of the instrument. Since it's a live performance every Sunday I did not get much time for a sound check or experimentation. I may try to pull the mic a little further out from the body of the bass for a better overall "picture" of the instrument at the risk of picking up more bleed from the drums and point it off axis more toward the F hole. With the drummer and bass player liking to be practically on top of each other bleed is always hard to combat.
Old 1 week ago
  #1669
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Very nice Chris! The players obviously feel very at home, comfortable together. The sound is nicely balanced, both in playing and the recording. And the composition is tasty too. Thanks for sharing
Old 1 week ago
  #1670
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
Very nice Chris! The players obviously feel very at home, comfortable together. The sound is nicely balanced, both in playing and the recording. And the composition is tasty too. Thanks for sharing
Thanks, they have played together for quite awhile. The trumpet player toured as a soloist for the Ray Charles orchestra for about 14 years. After listening to the song on some more sources I think it may be a touch on the dark side. I should have added in a touch more air on the stereo bus.
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