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Beezneez Omni Balls? Condenser Microphones
Old 1st October 2017
  #1
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Beezneez Omni Balls?

I stumbled across the Beesneez Omni Balls on their website. Small balls for the Lulu's and the Neumann KM 84-184-54 that fit over the capsule securely and create an Omni pattern by blocking the ports. I'm curious because I've got a pair of KM84's and I've been wanting a pair of Omnis' to try some of the techniques discussed here. Has anyone tried them? Could someone comment? They are reasonably priced. Thanks.
Old 1st October 2017
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EV676 View Post
I stumbled across the Beesneez Omni Balls on their website. Small balls for the Lulu's and the Neumann KM 84-184-54 that fit over the capsule securely and create an Omni pattern by blocking the ports. I'm curious because I've got a pair of KM84's and I've been wanting a pair of Omnis' to try some of the techniques discussed here. Has anyone tried them? Could someone comment? They are reasonably priced. Thanks.
If you don't love them, send them back! Nothing to loose.

Thanks

Ben
Old 1st October 2017
  #3
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Ben, you mention in your description of the Omni ball for the KM183 : Omni Ball for KM183, KM184, KM185 | Beesneez Microphones

"Omni microphones have been used to capture rooms, choirs, orchestras and used on sound stages since their invention. We have now created our own Omni Ball. By fixing the Omni ball to your Microphone in line with the front of the capsule your rear null point will no longer be in effect and the microphone will now capture sources from all directions, not just the front of the capsule. Apparent sensitivity also increases and of course the frequency response will now be affected by the entire room.

We know the Km183 is an omni microphone, however, even though this has an omni capsule, it is only omni due to null point of the rear backplate. Adding an Omni Ball will aid in standing wave refraction"

The Neumann description of this mic goes: 'The KM 183 is a pressure transducer with a boost of approximately 7 dB at 10 kHz in the free field. In the diffuse sound field it has a flat frequency response. The pressure gradient transducers KM 184 and KM 185 feature very smooth frequency responses not only for the 0° axis, but also for lateral (off-axis) sound incidence. In typical usage, there is no coloration of sound over a wide pickup angle'

Given that the 7dB free field boost at 10kHz is already giving some degree of directionality (or at least offset to HF losses over distance), could you expand on how your Omni ball "will aid in standing wave refraction" ?
Attached Thumbnails
Beezneez Omni Balls?-km183-plot.png  
Old 1st October 2017
  #4
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Old 2nd October 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mics View Post
If you don't love them, send them back! Nothing to loose.

Thanks

Ben
Could you please explain to us how your Beeznees Omni Ball (is it a ball or a ring?) transforms a km185 hypercardioid mic into an omnidirectional mic?

Have you tested it, and if so, what was the testing procedure?
Old 2nd October 2017
  #6
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A question posted many years ago on the Neumann forum by jnorman:
"some small single-capsule condenser mics that have selectable patterns seem to change the pattern from cardioid to omni simply by the mechanical action of closing off the rear openings in the body. is it possible to convert something like a km184 to an omni pattern by just covering the open slots at the rear of the capsule? if not, what else is going on in a selectable pattern mic such as the schoeps MK5 capsule? i just pulled out my copy of eargle's microphone book, and sure enough, the way he describes it, it sounds like just the mechanical action of the sleeve which closes and opens the rear slots on a single-diaphragm cardioid mic will give it different patterns. he includes detailed diagrams of the schoeps mk6 capsule that has omni, cardioid and fig 8 with a single capsule. of course, he goes on to discuss how important it is that the design be carefully made, and that switchable pattern mics like this often compromise certain things to accommodate the pattern switching.
what will happen if i tape off the openings on my pair of km184s?"


And the reply from Neumann:
"Dear Mr. Norman,
not a good idea. A capsules has got to be specifically designed for mechanical switching, to work properly. Nice bit of fine-mechanic engineering, but not the way one would design ( + optimize) a capsule nowadays. BTW, there are just the 2 Schoeps ones, and one 1960s SONY I know of.
Best regards, Martin Schneider Neumann Mic. Development"


So it seems that while the Beezneez Omni Balls might give you some sort of an omni mic, it won't be a KM183 or anything of predictable response?
BTW I have a pair of Shure KSM 141 that switch from card to omni by blocking the back ports; they work very well, but I assume the capsule was designed for this mechanical switching from the start...
Old 2nd October 2017
  #7
Trying to use a ball or any other device to close up the ports of a cardoid to make an omni is possibly the worst idea I've ever heard. it will get you a less directional microphone, but it will also get you a wildly skewed frequency and transient response. The omni mic is basically a closed system with a specific volume. When you close the back of the cardoid, you are making a chamber that is probably 20 times the space inside an omni microphone and also leaks... If you want an Omni, get an omni. There are plenty of perfectly good cheap omni microphones out there, even one with a nice shuttering mechanism to switch between cardoid and omni (KSM141).
Use this device for what it was intended, to modify the directionality and frequency response of an omni...
In this case, Your mileage will not vary....
All the best,
-mark
Old 2nd October 2017
  #8
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I was hoping the manufacturer (Ben Sneesby), who replied in post #2 , might engage in discussion here about his product(s).

He seems to be conflating 2 disparate ideas in the one hit: port closure around a cardioid mic capsule to attain an approximation of an omni, and adding an APE type of ball/sphere of the type that's been mentioned oft here in the past...to increase HF pickup and apparent directionality in an omni mic (as per the original Neumann M50, and replicated by DPA, Neumann , Josephson and others)

I think he's likely to have the most success with the ball aimed at the KM183 omni...although that mic already has a diffuse -field HF eq lift, as shown in the graph in a previous post above. It'd be great to have Ben elaborate on his thinking behind this product.....
Old 5th October 2017
  #9
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Yeah but maybe it works
Old 5th October 2017
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I was hoping the manufacturer (Ben Sneesby), who replied in post #2 , might engage in discussion here about his product(s).

He seems to be conflating 2 disparate ideas in the one hit: port closure around a cardioid mic capsule to attain an approximation of an omni, and adding an APE type of ball/sphere of the type that's been mentioned oft here in the past...to increase HF pickup and apparent directionality in an omni mic (as per the original Neumann M50, and replicated by DPA, Neumann , Josephson and others)

I think he's likely to have the most success with the ball aimed at the KM183 omni...although that mic already has a diffuse -field HF eq lift, as shown in the graph in a previous post above. It'd be great to have Ben elaborate on his thinking behind this product.....

Hi all.

Sorry for the late reply.

We made the Omni ball to service the needs of thousands of customers that want a m50 type sonic result from their small diaphragm condenser mics.

In this thread I see that some are discussing the merits of such a device and its use to create an Omni pattern. An Omni pattern is extremely complex as it is affected by the room in so many ways. Many Omni microphones have a vastly different actual capture response curve to their Cardioid counterparts.

The Omni ball in use provides a predictable sonic capture and works very well to offer another use for your SDC.

Thanks. Ben
Old 5th October 2017
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mics View Post
Hi all.

Sorry for the late reply.

We made the Omni ball to service the needs of thousands of customers that want a m50 type sonic result from their small diaphragm condenser mics.

In this thread I see that some are discussing the merits of such a device and its use to create an Omni pattern. An Omni pattern is extremely complex as it is affected by the room in so many ways. Many Omni microphones have a vastly different actual capture response curve to their Cardioid counterparts.

The Omni ball in use provides a predictable sonic capture and works very well to offer another use for your SDC.

Thanks. Ben
Thanks Ben...so it seems the intention is more to offer a quick method of giving the APE type of effect to existing omni mics, rather than attempting to convert cardioids to omnis.

A factor to consider with the various SD mics is that their diameters are not equivalent... Neumann KM18x series are 22mm, KM8x are 21 mm, Rode NT and Schoeps MK are 20mm, Sennheiser MKH80xx 19mm. Are you able to offer a variety of internal bore diameters (or perhaps an inner sleeve adapter of some sort) to adapt to these variations ?

I'm assuming the 3 grub screws give a good mechanical lock-on facility, but wouldn't be sufficient to cope with a 2 mm or more diameter variability, and a good close interference fit is necessary for these spheres, to whichever mic they are attached ?

Last edited by studer58; 5th October 2017 at 11:08 AM..
Old 5th October 2017
  #12
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Allow me this deviation, please,...
If a person were to somehow seal off the rear venting of a directional mic, like a cardioid,.. I'll use the L.A. CM3 in this question...
If someone were for instance, to take some thicker grade tape, like Gorilla tape, and seal off the rear venting, woud that be sufficient to create an omni-like response?
Or, would an even slightly flexible outer skin (the tape) be flexible enough over the venting to continue to supply the pressure gradient effect of the directional mic patterns??
Old 6th October 2017
  #13
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try it and report back here with your results...
Old 6th October 2017
  #14
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For fear of altering the space time continuum.

Hmmm,... I've got a gig tonight, and sunday,... gorilla tape packed in kit.
I also have a gig with a classical guitar duet on thursday; in a hall where I was bit about two weeks ago with an agressive air conditioning system introducing wind rumble noise into my ORTF pair. So, I was thinking that maybe this hall might be a good choice to tape off the capsule vents.
Old 6th October 2017
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moke View Post
Allow me this deviation, please,...
If a person were to somehow seal off the rear venting of a directional mic, like a cardioid,.. I'll use the L.A. CM3 in this question...
If someone were for instance, to take some thicker grade tape, like Gorilla tape, and seal off the rear venting, woud that be sufficient to create an omni-like response?
Or, would an even slightly flexible outer skin (the tape) be flexible enough over the venting to continue to supply the pressure gradient effect of the directional mic patterns??
The only way to do this is with any sort of measurable outcome is to use a microphone like a Schoeps MK5 or Shure KSM-141. In this case you can compare a properly closed cavity with the taped off ports.
I can tell you from experience that the sound is nowhere near the same. I had a stage hand helping me with hanging microphones. One one of the outriggers was an MK5 in omni with a ball. On the other was an MK5 in cardoid with a ball...Needless to say the one in cardioid sounded really strange. Virtually unusable.
All the best,
-mark
Old 6th October 2017
  #16
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Moke's Avatar
 

Thanks for that. Its good to avoid reinventing the wheel.
Old 7th October 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moke View Post
Allow me this deviation, please,...
If a person were to somehow seal off the rear venting of a directional mic, like a cardioid,.. I'll use the L.A. CM3 in this question...
If someone were for instance, to take some thicker grade tape, like Gorilla tape, and seal off the rear venting, woud that be sufficient to create an omni-like response?
Or, would an even slightly flexible outer skin (the tape) be flexible enough over the venting to continue to supply the pressure gradient effect of the directional mic patterns??
Hi.

Short answer; Yes!

This will change the mics pattern to omni but when you add to that the ball, you give the mic, the best possible chance of an acceptable frequency response.

Cheers
Old 7th October 2017
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Thanks Ben...so it seems the intention is more to offer a quick method of giving the APE type of effect to existing omni mics, rather than attempting to convert cardioids to omnis.

A factor to consider with the various SD mics is that their diameters are not equivalent... Neumann KM18x series are 22mm, KM8x are 21 mm, Rode NT and Schoeps MK are 20mm, Sennheiser MKH80xx 19mm. Are you able to offer a variety of internal bore diameters (or perhaps an inner sleeve adapter of some sort) to adapt to these variations ?

I'm assuming the 3 grub screws give a good mechanical lock-on facility, but wouldn't be sufficient to cope with a 2 mm or more diameter variability, and a good close interference fit is necessary for these spheres, to whichever mic they are attached ?
Hi there.

We do not outsource. We make everything ourselves (one of the only companies that does this) and do not rely on OEM for our products.

We are able to make the Omni ball to fit ANY SDC. It is important to ensure that the inner diameter is a snug fit or the Omni pattern will not prevail!!!

Thanks.
Old 7th October 2017
  #19
im looking for 25mm diameter balls for Gefell MV691.
Old 8th October 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mics View Post
We made the Omni ball to service the needs of thousands of customers that want a m50 type sonic result from their small diaphragm condenser mics.
A ball such as an m50 has, makes an omni less omnidirectional, and
lifts the higher frequencies, for recording from far away, and is not applicable
in the majority of recording situations.

A ring blocking a cardioid might make it more omnidirectional.

The product lacks any obvious principle of organization, without even a single recorded example or measured specification. The selling technique is based in a lack of coherent information, to appeal to the imagination.
Old 8th October 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
A ball such as an m50 has, makes an omni less omnidirectional, and
lifts the higher frequencies, for recording from far away, and is not applicable
in the majority of recording situations.

A ring blocking a cardioid might make it more omnidirectional.

The product lacks any obvious principle of organization, without even a single recorded example or measured specification. The selling technique is based in a lack of coherent information, to appeal to the imagination.
As the maker intends it to be used, it would effectively become a ring blocking a cardioid...thus making it more omnidirectional, while the spherical surround would modify that directionality.

If used as a sphere on an existing omni, it would function the same as any tightly fitting sphere, as already made by DPA, Neumann, Schoeps etc. Your eyes can tell you that simply by looking at the product. The precise effect on the omni pattern would be dependent on diameter, as we already know. How much 'organization' does a simple sphere require ? Caveat emptor.

I admit the 'selling technique' could use some tightening up in definitions, but as an APE sphere, like so many before it, it can sell itself.
Old 8th October 2017
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I admit the 'selling technique' could use some tightening up in definitions, but as an APE sphere, like so many before it, it can sell itself.
I think nobody here contests the use of the spheres on an omni mic, it is the rear vent blocking of a cardioid that makes any microphone designer roll around in disbelief. Given that omnis and cardioids need completely different "tuning", the resulting pattern would be chaotic.

I can't remember where I saw it, but didn't someone once measure the freq.response of a cardioid with blocked rear entry?

Best,
Dirk
Old 8th October 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I was hoping the manufacturer (Ben Sneesby), who replied in post #2 , might engage in discussion here about his product(s).

He seems to be conflating 2 disparate ideas in the one hit: port closure around a cardioid mic capsule to attain an approximation of an omni, and adding an APE type of ball/sphere of the type that's been mentioned oft here in the past...to increase HF pickup and apparent directionality in an omni mic (as per the original Neumann M50, and replicated by DPA, Neumann , Josephson and others)

I think he's likely to have the most success with the ball aimed at the KM183 omni...although that mic already has a diffuse -field HF eq lift, as shown in the graph in a previous post above. It'd be great to have Ben elaborate on his thinking behind this product.....
To reach the typical M50 curve one needs the Neumann Km183 typical diffuse field equalized characteristic, it won't work with the Km131 flat free-field omni.

I don't know why anyone would buy the Sneesby balls for that, Neumann has prefectly fitting balls for the KM183 and Km 133 types of microphones. And as mentioned before it will not work with the Km184 cardioids as perfectly explained by Mark.
Old 8th October 2017
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
Trying to use a ball or any other device to close up the ports of a cardoid to make an omni is possibly the worst idea I've ever heard. it will get you a less directional microphone, but it will also get you a wildly skewed frequency and transient response. The omni mic is basically a closed system with a specific volume. When you close the back of the cardoid, you are making a chamber that is probably 20 times the space inside an omni microphone and also leaks... If you want an Omni, get an omni. There are plenty of perfectly good cheap omni microphones out there, even one with a nice shuttering mechanism to switch between cardoid and omni (KSM141).
Use this device for what it was intended, to modify the directionality and frequency response of an omni...
In this case, Your mileage will not vary....
All the best,
-mark
Mark, your observation is correct. There is also a need to alter membrane tension. Generally cardioids have lower membrane tension than omni directional microphones, and that makes me wonder how Shure and Schoeps have solved that problem. Closing the air volume behind the backplate is not enough, the membrane tension needs to increase also.
Old 10th October 2017
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adorno View Post
Mark, your observation is correct. There is also a need to alter membrane tension. Generally cardioids have lower membrane tension than omni directional microphones, and that makes me wonder how Shure and Schoeps have solved that problem. Closing the air volume behind the backplate is not enough, the membrane tension needs to increase also.
This is simply not true!

Altering diaphragm tension will not affect polar pattern! Where do you learn this information!

I have done more Capsule manufacture and design than most and feel the need to call this what it is!!! Simply not fact!

Time is constant, even if the skin is tighter, the distance between the front and rear of the capsule does not change!
Old 10th October 2017
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mics View Post
This is simply not true!

Altering diaphragm tension will not affect polar pattern! Where do you learn this information!

I have done more Capsule manufacture and design than most and feel the need to call this what it is!!! Simply not fact!

Time is constant, even if the skin is tighter, the distance between the front and rear of the capsule does not change!
He doesn't say it affects the polar pattern. He says it affects the frequency response and system resonance.
Given my limited knowledge of capsule design, there are 3 ways you can change the frequency response and resonance of a given microphone capsule.
  1. The space behind the diaphragm
  2. The tension of the diaphragm
  3. the space in front of the diaphragm
In a DPA 4006, the space behind the diaphragm is fixed, the capsule is tensioned to a specific value to set the sensitivity/resonance and the grid in front of the microphone changes the frequency response by adjusting the cavity in front of the microphone.
IN the Km1xx series of microphones, the cavity in front is similar between all the variants. However, there is a 5dB increase in sensitivity between the 130 and 140. This would lead me to believe that the tension of the diaphragm is higher in the 130...Martin Schneider at Neumann is probably the person to ask about this.
Finally, the volume of space behind the capsule of the KM140 with the vents closed off is significantly larger than the closed cavity in a KM130. This will significantly affect frequency response.
All the best,
-mark
Old 11th October 2017
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adorno View Post
There is also a need to alter membrane tension. Generally cardioids have lower membrane tension than omni directional microphones, Closing the air volume behind the backplate is not enough, the membrane tension needs to increase also.
Adjusting the membrane tension will not affect the Pattern, just the response of the capsule.

When it comes to "generally", there is no such thing! This tensioning is set by design and purpose, not "generally"

Please don't feel that I am trying to be argumentative here but there is way too much conjecture and not enough fact!
Old 11th October 2017
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf View Post
I think nobody here contests the use of the spheres on an omni mic, it is the rear vent blocking of a cardioid that makes any microphone designer roll around in disbelief. Given that omnis and cardioids need completely different "tuning", the resulting pattern would be chaotic.

I can't remember where I saw it, but didn't someone once measure the freq.response of a cardioid with blocked rear entry?

Best,
Dirk
Hi Dirk.

Which microphone manufacturers are rolling around? Do you realise that there are perhaps less than ten microphone manufacturers in the world that actually have capsule manufacturing experience? The rest assemble from pre manufactured parts.

(Yes I realise that many skin capsules but skinning is not making! It is putting together)

Our industry has so many experts! However, from where did they gain their expertise?

Granted, there are some brilliant designers and great manufacturers, I'm sure that these though are not "rolling around in disbelief!"

Ben
Old 11th October 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mics View Post
Hi Dirk.

Which microphone manufacturers are rolling around? Do you realise that there are perhaps less than ten microphone manufacturers in the world that actually have capsule manufacturing experience?... Granted, there are some brilliant designers and great manufacturers, I'm sure that these though are not "rolling around in disbelief!"

Ben
I quoted Martin Schneider (Neumann Mic. Development) in post #6 . He did not think blanking off the ports on a cardioid mic was a good idea.
Old 11th October 2017
  #30
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If creating a reliable flat omni pattern were as simple as blocking off vents with masking tape there would be no point in manufacturers selling omni capsules (or omni mics) at all...we'd all just be sliding little 2 cent plastic collars over our cardioid mics whenever we wanted omni ?

I'm sure it's a 'good enough in an emergency' measure...or have we been hoodwinked by every mic manufacturer into buying omni capsules needlessly for the last 50+ years ?
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