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Ultimate ORTF pair
Old 18th June 2019
  #1
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DaveyJones's Avatar
 

Ultimate ORTF pair

Hi all,

For orchestral and/or choral recordings, what are you absolute favourite and 'best' sounding pair of mics for ORTF?

ORTF because I have used it a lot and it works for me very well in conjunction with other setups.

I have used KM184s at the beginning of my career which were fantastic. I then began using a pair of TLM102 mics which I have found absolutely superb for smaller (16 or fewer) choirs. I have also used my schoeps MK4 in ORTF which have worked well on much larger choirs and then also a pair of Thuresson CM402 on orchestra.

I'm just curious if any of you have ever discovered.anytjing absolutely outstanding, LDC, SDC or even something inbetween.


Thanks, Dave
Old 18th June 2019
  #2
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jnorman's Avatar
My go-to pair is cmc64s, but the Sennheiser mkh8040s are also wonderful. Older DPA 4011s are also hard to beat .
Old 18th June 2019
  #3
A pair of B&K 4011 for me.
Old 18th June 2019
  #4
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DPA 4011-TL
Schoeps CMC64

in that order
(have tried a bunch of LDCs for ORTF -- U67, 170R, UMT70s, U87, etc. -- but haven't found one I like as much as the SDCs for this purpose)
Old 18th June 2019
  #5
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Particularly when mic'ing a solo performer or smaller ensemble at a closer distance, a pair of Microtech Gefell M930 can produce lovely results.
Old 18th June 2019
  #6
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if not the soundfield, i'm using ortf very often, mostly the schoeps* for medium to larger ensembles but i'm also getting very good results with a pair of tlm103's, especially on very soft ensembles playing old music which sometimes can profit from the mic's hf emphasis over a fairly wide range (something i mostly can't stand on spots).

other than what the frequency plots suggest (and by comparison to other mics), the tlm103's have quite much lf output (i really can't figure out how neumann got this curve?!) but also have a very hot overall output level which imo is not necessarily needed, but sometimes a handy feature (for very long cable runs). the very low selfnoise (amongst the lowest of all mics) doesn't hurt either.

my most weird (pseudo-)ortf setup so far: tlm103's used as pzm's (to get additional output level) on a very, very soft source in a very large cathedral...

* with mk4, mk41 or mk21 capsules
Old 18th June 2019
  #7
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Don't use ORTF much, but when I do, its MK22's.
Old 18th June 2019
  #8
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tourtelot's Avatar
4011 in ORTF with 4006-TL in near flankers. Awesome for medium to large ensembles. I still really like AB for orchestras,

D.
Old 18th June 2019
  #9
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DaveyJones's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Don't use ORTF much, but when I do, its MK22's.
MK22s for ORTF?

Anyway, seems like the old B&K 4011 is just the ticket. I'll have to look into that. There are a number of threads from a few years ago claiming any DPA 4011 isn't worth it compared to the older B&K branded ones. Does this still stand today?
Old 18th June 2019
  #10
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mk22's are about as unusual for ortf as 4006's - but hey...

[i once did a 'test' using pretty much any mic pair i had available, not as ortf for mains but as an ambient pair in the back of a hall - neither me nor a couple of engineer friends could guess which mics (manufacturer), mic type (ldc/sdc), mic pattern (from fig8 to shotgun) or technique was used upon playback (except for some very obvious setups such as ribbons in very wide a/b)]

..why not?
Old 18th June 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJones View Post
There are a number of threads from a few years ago claiming any DPA 4011 isn't worth it compared to the older B&K branded ones. Does this still stand today?
No.
B&K 4011 and DPA 4011 were the same mic. The tolerances between mics were much worse back then. (You can look at any capsule plot and see it.)

DPA 4011-TL came later. Capsules were much tighter to specs due to improved manufacturing. Electronics were improved (quieter, higher dynamic range)

DPA 4011A is the current (which is also a TL model.) It has minor improved specs but most importantly the changeable capsules.

All 4011 models are transformerless. The "TL" was added to the name to be consistent in naming with the 4006 model when the 4006 became a transformerless model (and they sold a transformer model beside it) and the 4011-TL was given the same improved electronics as the 4006-TL.

You can pretty much use any 4011-TL or 4011A as a pair within their series (though you can specifically buy matched pairs with more precise matching.) If you are buying B&K 4011 or DPA 4011, I would make sure they were sold as a matched pair -- because as mentioned, they were not as consistent so factory matching for ORTF is more valuable. IIRC, when they were B&K 4011 and DPA 4011, matched pairs were sold with sequential serial numbers. When the 4011-TL was sold, matched pairs are given the same serial number with "A" and "B" following. I don't know what they are doing with the 4011A (I imagine the same A, B system)
Old 19th June 2019
  #12
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I have found the Sanken CU-44xII to be the non-plus-ultra for orchestral ORTF. Their very good off-axis helps keeping colourless center and the small diaphragm for the highs holds transient info perfectly intact. The larger capsule for the lows has an omni-like tonal character, which is what you need for the power of an orchestra. The classical ORTF uses Schoeps Mk4 capsules, but the Sankens go way beyond their sound, with convincing authority.
Old 19th June 2019
  #13
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fred2bern's Avatar
A pair of Sennheiser MKH800 Twin for me.
They are my live pair since last year.
The possibility to change the figure in post in my control room is something that no other microphone can offer and always a big help to make it sounds at its best.

Fred.
Old 19th June 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern View Post
A pair of Sennheiser MKH800 Twin for me.
They are my live pair since last year.
The possibility to change the figure in post in my control room is something that no other microphone can offer and always a big help to make it sounds at its best.
Off the top of my head: Microtech Gefell UM 930 twin, Josephson C700S and C700A, Lewitt LCT 640 TS Authentica and to some degree Audio-Technica AT4050ST.
Old 19th June 2019
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Off the top of my head: Microtech Gefell UM 930 twin, Josephson C700S and C700A, Lewitt LCT 640 TS Authentica and to some degree Audio-Technica AT4050ST.
Yes you're right, I should have write "no single output microphone".
Old 19th June 2019
  #16
BRÜEL & KJÆR 4011; been using my pair for nearly 30 years.
Old 19th June 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
mk22's are about as unusual for ortf as 4006's - but hey...
Why?
Old 19th June 2019
  #18
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fred2bern's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Why?
MK22 are "open cardioid" and are "normally" used at 110° 21cm instead of 17cm, which gives no more an ORTF setup.
By the way I love this MK22.

Fred.
Old 19th June 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Why?
...'cause schoeps originally even suggested using hypercardioids, mostly 'normal' cardioids are getting used and more wide capsules patterns combine in different ways than more directional capsules, not forming a typical ortf in the traditional sense.

but again: nothing wrong as long as things sound good.
Old 19th June 2019
  #20
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The MK22 has almost identical directivity to the MK4 for +- 90, 180 degrees total. How much and which bit of the directivity arc is important for ORTF?
Old 19th June 2019
  #21
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fred2bern's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
The MK22 has almost identical directivity to the MK4 for +- 90, 180 degrees total. How much and which bit of the directivity arc is important for ORTF?

Maybe the "almost" is the right word.
Attached Thumbnails
Ultimate ORTF pair-mk22-williams.jpg  
Old 19th June 2019
  #22
Gear Addict
A bit OT, bit this may be informative about ORTF:
https://www.ina.fr/video/CPF86625997...que-video.html

At 12:05 an early Schoeps version is showed.
Old 19th June 2019
  #23
AKG Blueline cardioid mics are what I use for ORTF. Seem to work GREAT! FWIW
Old 19th June 2019
  #24
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern View Post
MK22 are "open cardioid" and are "normally" used at 110° 21cm instead of 17cm, which gives no more an ORTF setup.
By the way I love this MK22.

Fred.
Schoepes makes what they call an ORTF mount for the MK22 caps, STC-22:

"About Schoeps STC 22
The Schoeps STC 22 "T" Mounting Bar (Matte Grey) is intended for use with the Schoeps ORTF Microphone System. The STC22g is simply the stereo "T" bar used to mount the (2) MK22 microphones included in the system.

Schoeps STC 22 Features
For ORTF stereo recording"
Old 19th June 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiFiJeff View Post
Schoepes makes what they call an ORTF mount for the MK22 caps, STC-22:

"About Schoeps STC 22
The Schoeps STC 22 "T" Mounting Bar (Matte Grey) is intended for use with the Schoeps ORTF Microphone System. The STC22g is simply the stereo "T" bar used to mount the (2) MK22 microphones included in the system.

Schoeps STC 22 Features
For ORTF stereo recording"
More information:

STC 4
Distance between the microphones 170 mm
Recording angle mit MK/CCM 4: 95 °
Head swivel degree span 110 °
Stereophonic recording technique ORTF

STC 22
Distance between the microphones 210 mm
Recording angle mit MK/CCM 4: 100 °
Head swivel degree span 110 °
Stereophonic recording technique ORTF

The STC22 is 4 cm longer.

Source:
https://schoeps.de/en/products/acces...lamps/stc.html

Fred.
Old 19th June 2019
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Is this really your ultimate ORTF pair?
Old 19th June 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern View Post
Is this really your ultimate ORTF pair?
No...but it's still pretty good
Used here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcO2DuQXEjs
Old 19th June 2019
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
I have found the Sanken CU-44xII to be the non-plus-ultra for orchestral ORTF. Their very good off-axis helps keeping colourless center and the small diaphragm for the highs holds transient info perfectly intact. The larger capsule for the lows has an omni-like tonal character, which is what you need for the power of an orchestra. The classical ORTF uses Schoeps Mk4 capsules, but the Sankens go way beyond their sound, with convincing authority.
The Sankens are incredible for orchestra pickup. I got to know and love them with John Eargle. Although, he used the CU-41 as his main pair. They’re great if you have a heavy-duty stand/boom. For live concert capture, they’re a bit too large and obtrusive.

I’ve been extremely happy with the Neumann TLM170 (in wide-cardioid) lately for chamber-music. Same issue as the Sankens, though. Great for sessions, too bulky for live concerts. My go-to for ORTF in live settings is either the Gefell M950 or the Schoeps MK21 (in that order).

P.s. I’m well aware of the wide-cardioid isn’t real ORTF argument. I choose eternal damnation
Old 19th June 2019
  #30
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Plush's Avatar
Schoeps MSTC64--a French radio microphone.

Exact ORTF specifications and angle.

Original design of ORTF used Schoeps Hypercardioid (MK41) microphones.
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