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Schoeps CMC6/MK4 Frustrations Condenser Microphones
Old 28th March 2018
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Schoeps CMC6/MK4 Frustrations

I auditioned a stereo pair of these for orchestral recording for reference. I loved the sound stage but it is also uneven in ORTF. The thing is, when compared to DPA 4011, the MK4 sounds stuffy. The ambient. The instruments can be heard but there is this fog that the DPAs do not have. The DPaas could not replicate the sound stage. Is the preamp the problem or the capsule on the Schoeps? I am going into a Nagra VI which is a warm and colored preamp. I am wondering if this fog would lift through a different pre? Another thing I liked is that the highs never pinched or were harsh. The MK4 sounds to ne more like a wide cardiod.

The thing I am not looking forward to is capsule shootouts. I tend to use cardiods as main pair and add room later as I cannot stand a bad room and audience bleed from coughing, sneezing, chairs, doors, babies, talking, etc;

Im getting off track. I want a more transparent sound without any other compromises. Is there a better capsule or better preamplifier other than CMC? I understand there is someone that modifies the preamps in Denmark but I cant see spending 1800 on a mic only to basically swap everything out.

Or, is this a capsule issue? It seems like there are 50 capsules fir each polar pattern.

The DPAs sound great on studio monitors and headphones. They sound like total garabage on ear buds and consumer playback devices. The opposite with Schoeps sounding foggy but on consumer gear sounds nice.
Old 28th March 2018
  #2
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Oddly enough I had a pair of Schoeps CMC5 with MK4 capsules many years ago and complained about the 'fog' as you call it but nobody else seemed to hear it. Other than that they were beautiful sounding mics. It's the sound of the Schoeps preamps not the capsules. Give the Sennheiser MKH8040 a try as they have a bit of personality and very nice sounding mics. The older MKH40 will be a more neutral, cleaner and crisper sounding mic. We tried out a pair of KMS141 on loan from Shure and the electronics in them are supposed to be like Schoeps with a Shure fast light capsule and they had that 'fog' that I heard with my Schoeps mics. All 3 of us that were there testing mics heard it as it was quit obvious.
Old 28th March 2018
  #3
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jnorman's Avatar
I have owned and used both the cmc64s and 4011s extensively and they are both excellent mics, but they excel at different things. I would certainly not blame your nagra preamps nor think that changing preamps will somehow change the character of the microphones. In my experience, the Schoeps are outstanding for small ensemble work, piano duos, string quartets, etc, and also serve well as spot mics on a number of classical instruments and voices. The DPA are very nice close piano mics, great ORTF pair for larger ensemble work (ie, more distant group applications than the Schoeps), close acoustic guitar and any application where you want to accentuate a clean defined high end. Also, both the Schoeps and the DPA take eq well when desired.
Old 28th March 2018
  #4
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tourtelot's Avatar
Yep. That's the problem with expensive microphones. Eventually, you need all of them

D.
Old 28th March 2018
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenaBzg View Post
The thing is, when compared to DPA 4011, the MK4 sounds stuffy.
I think you are describing very well the characteristics of both mics. To be honest, you are comparing the two extremes in cardioids, at least in my opinion - I love the MK4 in the studio close to instruments and in certain cases as a support in an acoustical setting. As a mains or even e.g. a choir support, it simply sounds too muffled. The 4011, on the other hand, really excels as support, especially on woodwinds and anything further back in an ensemble, whilst I do not like it very much in the studio.

Dirk
Old 28th March 2018
  #6
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i know that the neumann km184s don't get too much love from many recordists, but i have used the digital versions (into a dmi-2) in ortf for mains when all other available options (schoeps, b&k and sennheiser) didn't seem to 'cut' it: there was clarity, no fog, they didn't seem hazy nor sounded glassy nor strident (as some people claim the analog 184s would do...) - and there is no noise!

i keep on using them mostly for rear ambis or as spots on very quite sources.

(they regularly show up on ebay for ridiculous prices).
Old 29th March 2018
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I will need to look into them. Have you personally compared them to the Schoeps and DPAs? The KM184 regulars are very brittle and sizzly.
Old 29th March 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenaBzg View Post
I will need to look into them. Have you personally compared them to the Schoeps and DPAs? The KM184 regulars are very brittle and sizzly.
they are not as soft as the schoeps, but got me the clarity i was looking for in a highly reverberant church (direct comparison was done in ortf; not shure whether i still have the files somewhere. if so, i'll upload asap)
Old 29th March 2018
  #9
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Plush's Avatar
Not buying any of your (the OP's) conclusions about the sound of Schoeps mics.
DPA do have a boosted treble.

Mainly conclusions about a microphone's sound have to be made with the very best players in really great acoustics.

NOt buying it. NOthing is muffled, Nagra mic amps are not a warm or colored mic preamp.

Part of a whole series of bizarre posts from the OP over the last two weeks.

What about the noise from the Nagra?
Old 29th March 2018
  #10
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jnorman's Avatar
OP - perhaps you have not actually used km184s? I have made many many excellent recordings with 184s - they are also a high quality tool when used for the appropriate application.
Old 31st March 2018
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Not buying any of your (the OP's) conclusions about the sound of Schoeps mics.
DPA do have a boosted treble.

Mainly conclusions about a microphone's sound have to be made with the very best players in really great acoustics.

NOt buying it. NOthing is muffled, Nagra mic amps are not a warm or colored mic preamp.

Part of a whole series of bizarre posts from the OP over the last two weeks.

What about the noise from the Nagra?
I do not know why you would go on an attack. You can disagree, but I am not “selling” anything (therefore there is nothing to buy). I have my experience of 25 years, my music degree on the wall and my samples. The Nagra is a warm preamp, the Schoeps on large ensembles is muddy. I would like an apology and more so just rather you leave me alone and go kick a cat or something if you need to attack something. You can’t argue with my experience and to put me down for it and posture me as if I am leading a revolution is really dumb.
Old 31st March 2018
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
OP - perhaps you have not actually used km184s? I have made many many excellent recordings with 184s - they are also a high quality tool when used for the appropriate application.
I have used them and they are bright and harsh. If your ears hear something different, okay. If you like them, okay. If you use them, okay.

Last edited by HelenaBzg; 31st March 2018 at 02:34 AM.. Reason: Misspellings
Old 31st March 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenaBzg View Post
I do not know why you would go on an attack. You can disagree, but I am not “selling” anything (therefore there is nothing to buy). I have my experience of 25 years, my music degree on the wall and my samples. The Nagra is a warm preamp, the Schoeps on large ensembles is muddy. I would like an apology and more so just rather you leave me alone and go kick a cat or something if you need to attack something. You can’t argue with my experience and to put me down for it and posture me as if I am leading a revolution is really dumb.
To turn the discussion back to your initial post, I think you should investigate the modifications Rens Heijnis does to Schoeps, DPA and other mikes. Yes it's a pain to spend so much money on the CMC preamps just to spend more to have them gutted and replaced with his modification. But if you look around this forum, I think you'll find many people find his work worth the price.

Regarding your take on the warmth of the Nagra's preamp: this is quite heterodox and really interesting. What are some of the preamps that you find less warm?

If you're on the hunt for something cleaner, you may want to look into Rens's preamps. I've compared his work to the Nagra Seven, and while I wouldn't call the Seven "warm" in comparison, Rens's amps shine in their effortless capacity to handle complex timbre and dynamics.

Keep us updated!
Old 31st March 2018
  #14
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Plush's Avatar
For Helenabzg,

I did disagree with how you characterize sounds that I know very well. Also your posts over the last few weeks have been inscrutable. We hear very differently, that’s all.
Old 31st March 2018
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
For Helenabzg,

I did disagree with how you characterize sounds that I know very well. Also your posts over the last few weeks have been inscrutable. We hear very differently, that’s all.
Except you judge and attack others who have a different experience. I don’.
Old 31st March 2018
  #16
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Don S's Avatar
 

Kudos for trying and listening to both microphones! As you've figured out already, the DPA is a more clinical representation of the sound stage, where Schoeps can be less forgiving or you said "foggy". The MK4 is my least favorite of all the series and probably gets the least amount of use in favor of MK21 and MK2 capsules. I had a pair of DPAs for while, but found that unless the ensemble is top notch, the DPA seemed to amplify any performance imperfection. That level of detail is a plus when recording professional ensembles, but I found undesirable with a community chorus. The schoeps will always give a musical picture, no matter the level of performance and thus is what I use.
Old 31st March 2018
  #17
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jnorman's Avatar
You can hear a direct comparison between the mk2, mk21, and mk4 capsules here:
Comparative samples from the $30K mic test session
Old 31st March 2018
  #18
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I have done decades of recordings with Schoeps MK4, 41, 2, 2s with a very wide variety of preamps from prosumer to cosmic. I never heard any "fog".
Old 31st March 2018
  #19
Gear Addict
 
fred2bern's Avatar
 

This thread is funny... if you want a real sound from an orchestra, you don't play with cardio but really work with omni.
I'm not a big fan of the MK4 but seriously, in a studio work, I never saw a main pair with MK4 over an orchestra...
It's just a spot microphone capsule. You like it or not, that's your feeling..
By my side I don't use Schoeps. It's a matter of feeling, again. Neumann is, to my ears, much better.

And that's also, as a producer, a part of my sound.
and I still work, without schoeps, and I feel happy, and I have lots of clients who don't wonder if I work Schoeps, Neumann or DPA...

But talking MK4 as a main... for a symphonic orchestra sounds with post work (because you wrote you add the room etc)...: not serious to me.

Salutations, Fred.
Old 31st March 2018
  #20
Most all of these capsules are way better than any of the electronics that follows them. I've found that's where most of the issues come from. Then downstream we pile on even more.
Old 1st April 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
If I recall correctly, the basic Schoeps circuit was the starting point for many that followed, including the original Rode NT1 and NT2...is that correct Jim ?

It seems there's a definite niche for an improvement, despite how heterodox and heretical such talk might appear to be, around these parts ?

Electronic circuitry evolves that way...starting from something suitable and solid, and then pushing the boundaries further. Maybe we've been content for too long, and it's time for the next step ?
Old 1st April 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern View Post
But talking MK4 as a main... for a symphonic orchestra sounds... not serious to me.
couldn't agree less: i've been using mostly mk4 in ortf for mains - prefer the forward action/rear rejection of cardioids, like to hear more from the orchestra, less from the room... - seriously!
Old 1st April 2018
  #23
The mixture of orchestra to room is a matter of taste (and of course a matter of how good the room sounds!).
I tend to like things a little drier than others at my normal listening volume.
Old 1st April 2018
  #24
Engineers do have different tastes, but another reason for disagreements about the sonic characteristics of well-known mics is that these differences are multi-dimensional. In studio situations, it's on-axis response that matters most. Many participants in this discussion can easily describe the direct-field responses of iconic mics like the Schoeps MK4 and DPA 4011, and their descriptions would mostly agree. But in a large, reverberant hall most of the sound arrives from off-axis, and one's impression of a particular microphone depends both on its random-incidence response and on the reverberant character of the hall itself. Two engineers working in different halls may get very different results from the same microphone. Among the venues in which I regularly record, I recognize one in particular as a "Schoeps hall", and another as a "DPA hall". Swap brands in these halls and the first sounds "colored", while the second sounds "confused". Small wonder that folks can't agree on what these mics "sound like" under such circumstances.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 1st April 2018
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
If I recall correctly, the basic Schoeps circuit was the starting point for many that followed, including the original Rode NT1 and NT2...is that correct Jim ?

It seems there's a definite niche for an improvement, despite how heterodox and heretical such talk might appear to be, around these parts ?

Electronic circuitry evolves that way...starting from something suitable and solid, and then pushing the boundaries further. Maybe we've been content for too long, and it's time for the next step ?
Yes, the Rode NT's used that circuit with some changes. I also designed the improved versions for Microphone Parts.

Differences include the jfet, bipolar transistors, resistors and caps too. Schoeps used 5% 1/8th watt carbon film resistors, Wima mylar coupling caps and older BC transistor designs.

Rode used Roederstein resistors and Wima polyprop film caps. Transistors were the J305 jfet and 2SA1084 Renesas bipolar low noise transistors.

Microphone Parts uses a higher current design with a direct coupled capsule front end. They use 1% Dale CMF resistors and Wima polyprop caps. The bandwidth is extended far past the limited Schoeps bandwidth. Transistor selection is the same as what Rode used.
Old 4th April 2018
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by weltarm View Post
To turn the discussion back to your initial post, I think you should investigate the modifications Rens Heijnis does to Schoeps, DPA and other mikes. Yes it's a pain to spend so much money on the CMC preamps just to spend more to have them gutted and replaced with his modification. But if you look around this forum, I think you'll find many people find his work worth the price.

Regarding your take on the warmth of the Nagra's preamp: this is quite heterodox and really interesting. What are some of the preamps that you find less warm?

If you're on the hunt for something cleaner, you may want to look into Rens's preamps. I've compared his work to the Nagra Seven, and while I wouldn't call the Seven "warm" in comparison, Rens's amps shine in their effortless capacity to handle complex timbre and dynamics.

Keep us updated!
I compared in one setting, a millenia, a grace, a mini me, Nagra VI, Tascam OEM, a Tascam Oade modified with BK 4006’s. The winner for acoustical ensemble recording with all things considered was the mini me, followed by the Nagra. The Nagra is smoother, colored, warmer and the mini me punchy, fast, uncolored and transparent.
Old 4th April 2018
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
Kudos for trying and listening to both microphones! As you've figured out already, the DPA is a more clinical representation of the sound stage, where Schoeps can be less forgiving or you said "foggy". The MK4 is my least favorite of all the series and probably gets the least amount of use in favor of MK21 and MK2 capsules. I had a pair of DPAs for while, but found that unless the ensemble is top notch, the DPA seemed to amplify any performance imperfection. That level of detail is a plus when recording professional ensembles, but I found undesirable with a community chorus. The schoeps will always give a musical picture, no matter the level of performance and thus is what I use.
That was my hypothesis as well...but...I normally do not record bad ensembles. Thank God.
Old 4th April 2018
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern View Post
This thread is funny... if you want a real sound from an orchestra, you don't play with cardio but really work with omni.
I'm not a big fan of the MK4 but seriously, in a studio work, I never saw a main pair with MK4 over an orchestra...
It's just a spot microphone capsule. You like it or not, that's your feeling..
By my side I don't use Schoeps. It's a matter of feeling, again. Neumann is, to my ears, much better.

And that's also, as a producer, a part of my sound.
and I still work, without schoeps, and I feel happy, and I have lots of clients who don't wonder if I work Schoeps, Neumann or DPA...

But talking MK4 as a main... for a symphonic orchestra sounds with post work (because you wrote you add the room etc)...: not serious to me.

Salutations, Fred.
As far as I am concerned, you are disqualified from validity based upon your first sentence. If you want to hear just the ensemble, you would not use an omni because by its bature you are recording the entire environment. The fact that you think this thread is funny shows lack of comprehension and context.
Old 4th April 2018
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern View Post
This thread is funny... if you want a real sound from an orchestra, you don't play with cardio but really work with omni.
I'm not a big fan of the MK4 but seriously, in a studio work, I never saw a main pair with MK4 over an orchestra...
It's just a spot microphone capsule. You like it or not, that's your feeling..
By my side I don't use Schoeps. It's a matter of feeling, again. Neumann is, to my ears, much better.

And that's also, as a producer, a part of my sound.
and I still work, without schoeps, and I feel happy, and I have lots of clients who don't wonder if I work Schoeps, Neumann or DPA...

But talking MK4 as a main... for a symphonic orchestra sounds with post work (because you wrote you add the room etc)...: not serious to me.

Salutations, Fred.
Yeah, my clients want to hear the group, not the crappy room, coughing, sneezing, hacking, babies, doors, AC, lights, clicksand every percussive sound produced.
Old 4th April 2018
  #30
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hughesmr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenaBzg View Post
As far as I am concerned, you are disqualified from validity based upon your first sentence. If you want to hear just the ensemble, you would not use an omni because by its bature you are recording the entire environment. The fact that you think this thread is funny shows lack of comprehension and context.
"Except you judge and attack others who have a different experience. I don’t." - HelenaBzg
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