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Stero pair to record classical music Condenser Microphones
Old 20th April 2018
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
I think most of us avoid using LDC's for a main pair due to their poor off axis response and sluggish transient response by comparison, especially in semi coincident and spaced pair arrays. There are a couple good LDC stereo mics out there of course.
i know and from looking at specs, one might not expect ldcs to behave well as main mics - however, if i have enough time, i often set ldcs up in addition to the usual sdcs (for comparison) and more often than not, i like and sometimes even prefer the sound of ldcs...

[two setups i keep coming back to are two tlm 103s in ortf instead of a schoeps mstc64u (otherwise often my main mics) and three tlm170r in l/c/r instead of my various other sdcs from schoeps, neumann, sennheiser, b&k, soundfield]

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 20th April 2018 at 03:55 PM.. Reason: edited
Old 20th April 2018
  #32
I must say, I struggled over how to categorize Neumann's KM18x series. There's no doubt that KM183's belong in tier one, and anyone who reads Richard King's book will notice that they feature prominently in some of his examples. But entry-level classical recordists don't usually buy omni's for their first SDC pair, and the KM184 has been controversial since its introduction. I think there is little controversy about the mics I did place in the top tier. If the KM 140 series were still in production, they would have made the top tier as well.

Also, please note that it was my conscious choice to only include SDC's in my listing. Many, many fine recording have been made using LDC's. In my view, they really come into their own at greater distances where their polar narrowing becomes an advantage rather than a defect. For that reason, I consider them to be "specialty tools", at least in the world of classical recording. Beginning recordists rarely get "big gigs" starting out; they are more likely to be recording smaller ensembles at closer distances in smaller spaces. My belief is that they are better off beginning with a SDC pair.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 20th April 2018
  #33
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jnorman's Avatar
Here are sample clips with a direct comparison of the km140 vs the km184:
KM184 vs KM140
Old 20th April 2018
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Here are sample clips with a direct comparison of the km140 vs the km184:
KM184 vs KM140
Not this again.
Archive - Sensitivity of KM140 vs KM184
Archive - km184 vs. km140
Archive - 184 vs 140
Old 20th April 2018
  #35
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jnorman's Avatar
David - every time I hear someone claiming the virtue of the km140 while implying that the km184 is somehow lesser quality makes me want to show once again that they sound virtually identical. I used both mics for years interchangeably - they are excellent mics for many applications.
Old 20th April 2018
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
David - every time I hear someone claiming the virtue of the km140 while implying that the km184 is somehow lesser quality makes me want to show once again that they sound virtually identical. I used both mics for years interchangeably - they are excellent mics for many applications.
Yes Jim, but I like to go to the source and quote Neumann. There certainly appears to be cognitive bias problems in audio and this is no exception.
Old 21st April 2018
  #37
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FWIW, and it may well be psycho-audio, but I like (not love) the sound of my 140s and hated, hated, hated the SOUND of the 184s. And I trust my ears pretty well. Love to do the ol' double blind but I think I could EASILY tell them apart.

D.
Old 21st April 2018
  #38
TC2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
+1
Certainly the Neumann MK140 and all the 100 series are outstanding.
The successor KMA analog bodies with the current capsules are fantastic. Exhibiting that "Neumannsound" with great dignity.
Do you notice any significant difference between the 100 series and the KMA?
Old 21st April 2018
  #39
Hey guys...

The controversy of the KM184 is long-standing, and my decision to exclude it from "tier one", was partly in hopes of avoiding exactly the kind thread-derailing argument that's now blown up. Can we agree that it's still a very good mic, and well-worthy of inclusion in (at least) "tier two"? That, together with its attractive pricing makes it highly worthy of consideration by the OP. There was a smoking hot sale on pairs of them maybe a year ago, and I nearly bought a pair for myself. And I would definitely own of pair of KM183's if I didn't already have so darn many 4006 variants in inventory.

Let's try to get back on topic. The OP asked why it was so hard to choose a good pair of mics for classical recording, and then mentioned several options that I thought were decidedly mediocre. I think we've now given him many better suggestions. But based on where he was starting, I think the mics I labeled "tier one" are probably all out of his price bracket. If zorba1977 is willing to be forthcoming about his upper spending limit, we can probably find some mics in the "tier two" list that would be very good options for him, and perhaps offer some guidance on their relative merits. But let's please stop arguing about Neumann, and let the OP tell us how we can help him.

David
Old 21st April 2018
  #40
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Wasn't arguing, I don't think. Just saying that I could recommend one and not the other based on what I have heard (owned both mics.)

D.
Old 21st April 2018
  #41
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TC2 View Post
Do you notice any significant difference between the 100 series and the KMA?
KMA measures slightly better (lower noise) but I hear no differences.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #42
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
I think most of us avoid using LDC's for a main pair due to their poor off axis response and sluggish transient response by comparison, especially in semi coincident and spaced pair arrays. There are a couple good LDC stereo mics out there of course.
Agreed in principle - though I am just now adding a stereo pair of Gefell M930 to my personal mic. kit as a main stereo pair (I already have pairs of Sennheiser MKH 40 and 8040 as well as fig-8 pairs and omni pairs).
Old 23rd April 2018
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorba1977 View Post
Is there a microphone that I can use for years in almost all situations? I want to invest in a good pair that can last for years
A pair of Schoeps with the MK5 (omni/cardioid switchable cap) would keep you happy, but may start a lifetime addiction.
Old 16th May 2018
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I record anything with two Pearl CC22 cardioid mics.
Interesting, I just compared the pearl with a km 184 and the pearl sound much more natural and open. would you prefer the pearl cc22 for recording classical/flamenco guitar over Schopes or dpa?
Old 17th May 2018
  #45
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I do like Pearl CC22 when clarity and flat response is desired. These mics don’t have a presence peak like the Neumann KM184.

I can’t speak to how they work on flamenco guitar in particular (room dependant) but I would expect them to exactly mimic the source.

Pearl mics offer a pure sound without the resonances found in round capsule mics. They are one of my faves.
Old 17th May 2018
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I do like Pearl CC22 when clarity and flat response is desired. These mics don’t have a presence peak like the Neumann KM184.

I can’t speak to how they work on flamenco guitar in particular (room dependant) but I would expect them to exactly mimic the source.

Pearl mics offer a pure sound without the resonances found in round capsule mics. They are one of my faves.
Thanks for your response!
My room is small but well treated acoustically. next week im going to compare the cc22 with dpa 4011,4015 and schopes mk4s. all on nylon guitar with the same player (me) at the same room. from what I heard so far the cc22 is very natural and very balanced as far as representing the source. also its more all around mic then the dpas/schopes
Old 17th May 2018
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balas View Post
... all on nylon guitar with the same player (me) at the same room.

the cc22 is very natural and very balanced as far as representing the source. also its more all around mic then the dpas/schopes
i usually put an ldc close to the guitar (30cm) and use a stereo pair for some ambient sound further away (150-250cm).

dunno the pearl mic, but what makes you think it's 'more allround mic' than dpa/schoeps? - i can hardly think of any situation when i would not want to use my b&k and schoeps microphones...
Old 18th May 2018
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i usually put an ldc close to the guitar (30cm) and use a stereo pair for some ambient sound further away (150-250cm).

dunno the pearl mic, but what makes you think it's 'more allround mic' than dpa/schoeps? - i can hardly think of any situation when i would not want to use my b&k and schoeps microphones...
Do you think a ldc and a stereo pair for room will work better then a pair of sdc in a very small room (about 12 meteres square) ?

I know the pearl is great on vocals as well as most acoustic instruments. im sure the dpa and schopes are great too as an overall mics!
Old 18th May 2018
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balas View Post
Do you think a ldc and a stereo pair for room will work better then a pair of sdc in a very small room (about 12 meteres square) ?

I know the pearl is great on vocals as well as most acoustic instruments. im sure the dpa and schopes are great too as an overall mics!

not technically 'better' (except that there are some ldc's with very low self noise), but i like the sound better that i get from such a setup: a well defined mono center and some stereo ambient sound.

i think it's mostly worth using ambis even in small rooms.


p.s. my mic choice for such a setup is often a tlm170 or u67 and a pair of schoeps x/y (for practical reasons) or b&k in wide a/b

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 18th May 2018 at 12:49 AM.. Reason: p.s. added
Old 18th May 2018
  #50
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The problem with a small room is that it has the "small room sound." When the recordist uses ambience mics in a room where there is no ambience, they exaggerate the "small room sound."

I would stick to mid field mics (within 2-3-4 feet) and add a convolution reverb sound later.
Old 18th May 2018
  #51
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'small room sound' is not a bug, it's a feature! - of course one is going to use some efx devices (and dynamic control on the close mic)!

the setup i described imo gives more options how to portray the acoustic guitar (btw it's not much different from what you get from a spot mic/main mic setup in orchestra recording, except that i'd recommend using much more level from the close mic in a small room recording situation). but the traditionalists will probably stick to their view...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 18th May 2018 at 07:47 AM.. Reason: edited
Old 18th May 2018
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorba1977 View Post
It's frustrating to choose a pair of good mics to record classical music.

Is there a microphone that I can use for years in almost all situations? I want to invest in a good pair that can last for years.
With no other information on your other gear and/or experience most of our replies are going to be a shot in the dark, but FWIW here's my $0.02:

EITHER

If you have a healthy budget (like €3,000) and are determined to plonk down the cash on some of finest and most ubiquitous (in the classical world) mics available then I would suggest considering the Schoeps system of interchangeable capsules. Start with the omni MK2x (you need to make a decision on what size of hall you generally anticipate recording in to select the right capsule for your needs) and see how you get on. You can always add more capsules later on and give yourself a Cardioid and/or M/S rig to play with down the line.

OR

For a very modest €500 you could equip yourself with a pair of Line Audio CM3 cardioids and a pair of OM1 omnis, and get out there and start experimenting with either or both. You only have to do a bit of research on this Forum to realise that there are folks making some amazing classical recordings with only these very inexpensive bits of kit, and even if down the line you can spring for some much more expensive mics it's unlikely that you'll not still find a use for them.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 18th May 2018 at 02:02 PM..
Old 18th May 2018
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
'small room sound' is not a bug, it's a feature!
slap echoes, early reflections, boxy sound...hard to find them as a 'feature' ?

If balas is talking about 12 metres square then it will take some significant treatment to sound 'good' rather than simply heavily damped....and if that is the sort of treatment then it will require some good convolution reverb, and closer miking, as Plush has said, to give it a credible acoustic surrounding.
Old 18th May 2018
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
slap echoes, early reflections, boxy sound...hard to find them as a 'feature' ?

If balas is talking about 12 metres square then it will take some significant treatment to sound 'good' rather than simply heavily damped....and if that is the sort of treatment then it will require some good convolution reverb, and closer miking, as Plush has said, to give it a credible acoustic surrounding.
we hardly ever agree on anything on this forum...

anyway, this is my take: an acoustic guitar is hardly that loud (unless we're talking flamenco) so the op is most likely not excitung his room that much (at least not as heavy as he would with some other instruments).

the idea about using an ldc (or sdc) in cardioid close to the instrument is to avoid too much early reflections and get a pretty dry sound that can easily be adjusted to all sorts of needs.

without further tweaking, close miked instruments sound unnatural, so i suggested picking up some room sound: these tracks can either be used to get mixed with the main ldc track and/or to be manipulated differently - no one forces you to use the room mics in post, but think of them as a natural efx device with a setting that creates mostly early reflections (i always use 3 efx devices, 1st with an early reflections setting, 2nd with a small room/chamber setting, 3rd with large room/hall setting - quite nice if the tracks can replace one of the devices: hence my statment about the 'not a bug but a feature)

i like picking up room sound where 'reverb' occurs: here it's gonna be mostly early reflections though (and if it'd be a noticable splap back, i assume the op would dampen the room enough to cut it down by means of gobos etc).

if you'd use an omni pair at a somewhat larger distance, you'd pick up more of a mix of direct and reflected sound that cannot be separated anymore (and the center image would not be as stable unless the op doesn't move at all). - one may prefer the sound from omnis in a/b, i don't: not in a small room from a single instrument, not in large halls from an orchestra.

btw, i don't think that my suggestions are that far off: maybe not in the genre that you seem to be at home, but in popular music, my (educated) guess is that the vast majority of acoustic guitar recording is done in a pretty similar way: ldc or ribbon mic with directional pattern at short distance, no ambis, lots of efx.

feel free to bring up more valuable arguments or ignore me but pls stop hitting out at me (and others)...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 18th May 2018 at 03:45 PM.. Reason: edited
Old 18th May 2018
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
slap echoes, early reflections, boxy sound...hard to find them as a 'feature' ?

If balas is talking about 12 metres square then it will take some significant treatment to sound 'good' rather than simply heavily damped....and if that is the sort of treatment then it will require some good convolution reverb, and closer miking, as Plush has said, to give it a credible acoustic surrounding.
Its true, the room natural sound was terrible at the beginning, before the acoustic treatment. now it actually sounds great and Ive recorded many acoustic instruments here such as double bass, cello, Oud and classical/flamenco guitar. yet I think (maybe im wrong) that this room is more suitable for close mic placement.
here are some ex with only reverb no other process:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asBOVeR1HdE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMC_WpULsoU
Old 18th May 2018
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balas View Post
Its true, the room natural sound was terrible at the beginning, before the acoustic treatment. now it actually sounds great and Ive recorded many acoustic instruments here such as double bass, cello, Oud and classical/flamenco guitar. yet I think (maybe im wrong) that this room is more suitable for close mic placement.
here are some ex with only reverb no other process:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asBOVeR1HdE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMC_WpULsoU
Your treatment seems to have worked quite well for the small space, but still you are right that it is forcing you into using closer miking than might be desirable, and also more reliance on reverb.

A result of this is that the instrument doesn't project with the full tonal 'integration' that it is probably capable of at a greater distance (eg bass extension)...but miking at that more desirable distance would pull in more of the 'small room sound'.

So are you probably operating at the safest parameter possible, given the limits of the room. If you damped the walls further, with blankets or rugs or foam, you might be able to mic at a greater distance....but the room would not add anything helpful to the balance.

One thing you might try is a single or 25cm spaced pair of omni mics, which will extract a little more bass from the instrument, but at the chance of pulling in more "wall tone"...so you could place them even closer than a cardioid mic, as an experiment and see if you like the result ?
Old 18th May 2018
  #57
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Small room sound is awful and is never desirable. In fact, you cannot ever get a good sound in a small room.
Old 18th May 2018
  #58
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Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
we hardly ever agree on anything on this forum...
feel free to bring up more valuable arguments or ignore me but pls stop hitting out at me (and others)...
I'm sure we agree on many things, and agreement per se isn't necessarily a pre-requisite for posting here...you will generally see many points of view in just about every topic on this forum. ?

If I dispute a suggestion or method, I generally back it up with reasoning why I differ...I see no point in contradiction for its own sake, and don't believe that I engage in that ?
Old 18th May 2018
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Your treatment seems to have worked quite well for

So are you probably operating at the safest parameter possible, given the limits of the room. If you damped the walls further, with blankets or rugs or foam, you might be able to mic at a greater distance....but the room would not add anything helpful to the balance.

One thing you might try is a single or 25cm spaced pair of omni mics, which will extract a little more bass from the instrument, but at the chance of pulling in more "wall tone"...so you could place them even closer than a cardioid mic, as an experiment and see if you like the result ?

The walls on one side has rock foam (rock wool I think its called) all over it covered with wood with small spaces to let the highs pass. the sound in the room is really nice and natural and not too dry. but being a small room it almost docent have that natural reverb you get from a good size room. I always used cardiod sdc here, ill try what you said with the omni, and also I wanna try to record with a close ldc and pair of sdc for ambience, maybe it will work best. but overall I'm surprised from the room natural sound after this treatment!
*Btw I always record with the instrument facing the wall, the acoustic treatment is designed for that. at the videos we played with the mic facing the wall just to get a nicer frame
Old 18th May 2018
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I'm sure we agree on many things, and agreement per se isn't necessarily a pre-requisite for posting here...you will generally see many points of view in just about every topic on this forum. ?

If I dispute a suggestion or method, I generally back it up with reasoning why I differ...I see no point in contradiction for its own sake, and don't believe that I engage in that ?
so maybe i misinterpreted (some of) your most recent posts - thx for answering!

...while i still got a problem with these kind of posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Small room sound is awful and is never desirable. In fact, you cannot ever get a good sound in a small room.
how about adding 'imo' in front of your statement?
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