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Main Array Mics Condenser Microphones
Old 5th June 2017
  #1
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Thread Starter
Main Array Mics

Hi,

I'm doing more classical remotes these days after a lifetime of doing more pop/R&B etc. multitrack style production. I need to get more mics. I do not own any SDC pressure omni's at this point. However, since I'm doing more live remote recordings of classical, I need to get some more kit. I'm very curious about some of the mic manufacturers that don't get much mention, such as Pearl Microphone Labs, Sanken, etc. I could of course go the obvious routes like Schoeps or DPA, but I'm very curious about the path less travelled and would like your input. I'm actually strongly interested in the Gefell offerings, such as M221 and M296(or M294/295 for ORTF and X/Y) also. Have liked the sound of nickel diaphragms in KM 54's in the past.

So far, I've been using what I have, which is 414TLII's in an ORTF, with cardiod flanks like TLM 103. I've been getting decent results, but could be much better with better mics and positioning. Need to get some better tall stands too, but that's been covered in other posts.

I must say I prefer real pinpoint positioning cues that ORTF and X/Y provide. I have never been a fan of M/S except as a problem solver. Being a classical musician myself who attends a lot of great concerts, I want to hear how the musicians are placed on the stage and not blurred out by M/S. Don't have A/B personal experience yet because I don't own SDC pressure omni's.

Thanks,
Rob
Old 6th June 2017
  #2
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boojum's Avatar
IIRC the AKG's are multi-pattern so you do have omni's. As for blurry MS recordings that has not been my experience. I have recording of a Misa Criolla posted with excellent imaging. Another MS I recently put up is not quite dialed in yet but alaso has excellent imaging. I had to give up using omni AB as the piano would wander all around the stage.

With what you have I would go for the Neumanns as the ORTF and the AKG's as the flankers set to omni. You could set the AKG's to figure-8 to use with the Neumann's as a MS. You can use the AKG's as a Blumlein array or XY.

Anyway, ORTF with omni flankers is an old warhorse. John Eargle favored it in his books on microphones and that was a man who knew microphones.
Old 6th June 2017
  #3
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Thread Starter
Thanks for your reply Boojum.
I listened to Missa Criolla before I posted. You used the Samar in Blumlein as opposed to M/S, that's a whole 'nother thing. Nice recording, btw. I have Eargle's book too. I'm familiar with many coincident and near coincident techniques. And yes, 414's have a lot of patterns, from hyper to Omni. The reason I'm interested in SDC pressure omnis is that they have numerous advantages/different characteristics to dual backplate pressure gradient mics, such as the ones I have. Anyway, do you have any experience with Pearls, Sankens or Gefells? I will probably pickup at some point a Blumlein ribbon like the Samar or an AEA, but those need the right room and placement to work.
Old 6th June 2017
  #4
Gear Addict
You should not be getting blurry soundstaging with M/S. If you are, then there's likely an issue with microphone type, placement of the mid and side mics, or post processing.

Nothing blurry about M/S. Imaging should be pin-point, if done properly.
Old 6th June 2017
  #5
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ten10MXR View Post
Thanks for your reply Boojum.
I listened to Missa Criolla before I posted. You used the Samar in Blumlein as opposed to M/S, that's a whole 'nother thing. Nice recording, btw. I have Eargle's book too. I'm familiar with many coincident and near coincident techniques. And yes, 414's have a lot of patterns, from hyper to Omni. The reason I'm interested in SDC pressure omnis is that they have numerous advantages/different characteristics to dual backplate pressure gradient mics, such as the ones I have. Anyway, do you have any experience with Pearls, Sankens or Gefells? I will probably pickup at some point a Blumlein ribbon like the Samar or an AEA, but those need the right room and placement to work.
No, no, no. It was Blumlein MS which is to say that one ribbon faced the performers and its back faced the audience. And, of course, the other ribbon was at right angles to the forward facing ribbon. So the S channel gets duplicated and phase inverted.

I have a Pearl DS 60 which Yannick was kind enough to sell me. I like it a lot as it is rugged like a condenser but has a shimmering ribbon-like sound. Not exactly a ribbon but a similarity. I use it by itself and have used it with omni flankers. It has never let me down. It is very natural and also flattering to voice. The small amount of recording I do now seems to be falling to Samar now. Mark makes great mics.

See what you think of the Umoja track I posted in another thread. MS also.
Old 6th June 2017
  #6
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post
You should not be getting blurry soundstaging with M/S. If you are, then there's likely an issue with microphone type, placement of the mid and side mics, or post processing.

Nothing blurry about M/S. Imaging should be pin-point, if done properly.
Jim is sure right here. Blumlein, Blumlein MS and regular MS all give superb clear imaging. You have one half of a figure-8 facing forward into the center of the action. The two S channels re-utilize the setup as an XY at 45º to the left and likewise another at 45º to the right. In effect it is like combining three mic arrays into a phase coherent array. It is accurate enough in placement that you could be calling in artillery rounds with MS, or Blumlein which MS mimics. The real MS/Blumlein guru here is Rolo 46. Check out his threads and the tracks he has posted if you want to hear what a real pro can do with MS.

Last edited by boojum; 7th June 2017 at 05:11 AM..
Old 6th June 2017
  #7
Regarding Gefell microphones. I own and and really love the m950 wide-cardioid. I use them as main pairs for chamber and full orchestra (nos, ortf, a/b and variations therein depending on room or ensemble). For full orchestra, I add flanks (dpa4006 or schoeps mk5). I just acquired a pair of gefell m221 omnis, but I've not used them in orchestra yet. I bet they'd sound great alongside the m950. I like the m950 as much as I like my schoeps mk21s. They're just different.
Old 6th June 2017
  #8
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I have an older Pearl stereo mic and would agree that it is somewhat ribbon-like. It is certainly rather dark compared with most modern capacitor mics (especially those designed for diffuse-field pickup) but has a lovely warm tone to it and good off-axis sound.
Old 7th June 2017
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

I am a little confused OP because you are interested in omnis but you want pin point stereo imaging. AB omnis, relying on time differences for stereo imaging, are probably the least precise. I still love them, personally, but for exact stereo imaging they would not be my first choice unless used as a baffled pair.

FYI, here are what I believe the rough equivalent directional patterns for MS (assuming S is brought all the way up);

2 cards at 180 degrees = MS with omni

2 cards at 90 degrees = MS with wide card

Supercards at 90 = MS with card

2 hypercards at 90 = MS with super card

Blumlein xy = MS with figure 8

Last edited by shosty; 7th June 2017 at 06:57 AM..
Old 8th June 2017
  #10
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Thread Starter
Thanks for all the replies. I will revisit MS with experimentation and reading. I suppose I was prejudiced against it because intellectually I don't see how using the matrixed S signal can actually give relevant L & R information.
In response to the omni (assuming A/B) vs. pin point imaging discussion, I get your point, but one should have enough of various types of mic to handle multiple situations and acoustical environments. (I saw Mike Donohue at Soundmirror has over 100 various Schoeps, and must have 500 mics overall in his locker!) There is no one size fits all micing standard, or at least there shouldn't be. I'd use omni's as flanks, in a Jecklin disc, in a Decca tree. I'd experiment with A/B. I've read where some people have modified their Decca tree to have omni's on the sides and replace the mid omni with an ORTF, which sounds like an interesting technique. Of course, the omni's are going to have better bottom too. Cardiods and fig 8's always have low end rolloff, so there's a tradeoff no matter which way you go.
I really like this particular forum at Gearslutz, it seems to have the most thoughtful and experienced posters on the whole forum. I appreciate the insight.
Old 8th June 2017
  #11
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If you want a figure 8 where the bottom holds up pretty good the Sennheiser MKH30 should be considered or a good ribbon such as the Samar which on paper have excellent bass, but have only used the MKH30's and usually still have to bump the bottom a little bit. On paper they are almost ruler flat from 40hz to 20khz. If you look at most Figure 8's, they roll pretty high, 200 to 300+ hz.
Old 9th June 2017
  #12
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Plush's Avatar
I recommend highly the Pearl Mikrofon Laboratorium AB model CC22 cardioid mics.

Fantastic detail and sparkle with accurate tonal (timbre) characteristics.
A rectangular capsule mounted axially makes for easy set up of ORTF, NOS, etc.

Reasonable price for such high quality. Extended freq. response.

Pearl CC22.

Also good are the Sanken CU-55 mini mics. FAntastic neutral sound, small profile.
Old 9th June 2017
  #13
Rob, can you post a picture of your M/S 414 array as deployed? It may be that folks here can make a simple suggestion or two that will improve your results with them. Depending on the mounting technique, you may have some unintended comb filtering going on. In the meantime, try pushing the center channel forward and backward in time by a few samples while listening. You might find a time alignment where the imaging snaps into place.

To your original question, I've never used any the Pearl mics. Apart from the capsule shape mumbo-jumbo, their main claim to fame would seem to be that their tall shape makes them more directional in the elevation plane. That's similar to what you'll experience with ribbon mics, and can be good or bad depending on the application. People who use Sanken mics always have nice things to say about them but, again, I can't add anything.

I don't know what current pricing is on the Gefel pencil mics, so it's hard for me to comment on their value. My recommendations tend toward DPA & Schoeps SDC's on the high end (depending on your tonal preferences), and Sennheiser MKH 40xx as a more cost-effective choice that is still really excellent. In recent years, "street" price on the Sennheisers has been low enough that, when people ask me about buying anything cheaper, I tell them to save their money until they can afford "real" recording mics. For classical location work, there's just a huge sonic gap between the three brands I just mentioned, and any of the "down market" pencil microphones.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 10th June 2017
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post

Anyway, ORTF with omni flankers is an old warhorse. John Eargle favored it in his books on microphones and that was a man who knew microphones.
John used Sanken CU-41s in ortf (though he was not a stickler for angles and spacing, always adjusting for room/ensemble). For flanks, he used Sennheiser MKH-20s.

I loved those Sankens. Heavy, and spendy, however.
Old 11th June 2017
  #15
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Old 28th June 2017
  #16
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John Willett's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post
Don't forget the Josephson C617.
Excellent mic. - uses the same Gefell MK221 capsule that Gefell use for the M221.
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