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Which pair of Earthworks for classical/orchestral stuff? Condenser Microphones
Old 16th December 2010
  #1
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rich robinson's Avatar
 

Talking Which pair of Earthworks for classical/orchestral stuff?

Sup dudes,

I'm speccing up a recording studio setup primarily, but I also will need to cover the classical concert recordings we will be doing in the great hall as well.

People have suggested looking into the Earthworks stuff for classical/orchestral stuff, so I was thinking a pair of SR25s SR30s would be a suitable choice for both applications?

Other mics on our studio list:
2x Peluso 2247
2x Neumann KM184
2x ShinyBox MXL £358
4x Sennheiser MD421 £290
Electro Voice RE-20
Audix D6
Beyer M201
Audix i5

Any opinions on a suitable set for both classical and studio use would be muchly appreciated.

Cheers.

Rich
Old 16th December 2010
  #2
Matched pair of qtc40's should work just fine.
Old 17th December 2010
  #3
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bassjam's Avatar
 

Which pair of Earthworks?

We have a pair of QTC50's they are amazing on orchestral sessions and are great for drum overheads!
Old 17th December 2010
  #4
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A pair of Schoeps CMC6 w/ MK4 capsules, in an ORTF configuration, allows you to make a superb orchestral recording.
Old 17th December 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich robinson View Post
People have suggested looking into the Earthworks stuff for classical/orchestral stuff, so I was thinking
Among engineers who specialize in the recording of classical/art music, Earthworks microphones rarely surface in a discussion of microphones in common use.

Look toward DPA, Schoeps, Sennheiser, Neumann, and others.
Old 17th December 2010
  #6
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
Earthworks SR30 would work for classical music

I own a pair of SR30 mics and I use them whenever my Neumann KM74 and KM184 mics do not sound right. As much as I love my Neumann KM74 pair, some instruments just don't get along well with Neumanns and can sound a bit muddy, usually because of a build up in the low mids. You can eq the Neumanns to make them work, but sometimes its better to just change the mic and the Earthworks SR30 always seems to sound good when the Neumanns don't. I would describe the sound of the SR30 as super fast and accurate with minimal proximity effect (especially for a cardioid pattern mic). I use them mostly for acoustic guitar and piano, but they are also good drum mics and can sound great on a snare (top or bottom), high hat, or overheads. I would think they would be excellent mics for classical music if you need a cardioid pattern small diaphram mic. The are a worthy competitor to the DPA mics and in the same general sonic territory. I believe both the DPA and the Earthworks are electrets.
Old 18th December 2010
  #7
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Eganmedia's Avatar
I've had a pair of TC30Ks for about 13 years. They sound great, but are noisy as hell. I love them on ham-fisted piano, big jangly acoutics, madolin, all kinds of things, just so long as there aren't any really quiet passages. I've thought about getting another pair of the quieter ones for room mics. The 30s sound great, but as soon as you start compressing them the noise floor gets in the way. If the quieter ones sound like quiet versions of the TC 30Ks, they're great.
Old 18th December 2010
  #8
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
Total silence is a big part of orchestral sound. Earthworks is not really suitable for all purpose classical recording.
Old 19th December 2010
  #9
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

I'm with those who think Sennheiser MKH8020 is a better choice for classical. The cost for a pair is ~$250 more but it's worth the difference.

My favorite use of QTC-40s is when you must put mics under the lid of a jazz piano. They're exceptional in that application and cheaper than Earthwork's (ahem, overpriced) piano mic system.
Old 19th December 2010
  #10
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Corran's Avatar
 

Get the QTC-40's. They are great for a ton of things. My favorite multi-purpose omni.

They are only noisy in the quietest settings. Don't use them for solo flute or other very quiet chamber concert.
Old 19th December 2010
  #11
And for the budget conscious, a pair of QTC 30's ain't half bad...
Attached Files
Old 19th December 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
I'm with those who think Sennheiser MKH8020 is a better choice for classical. The cost for a pair is ~$250 more but it's worth the difference.

My favorite use of QTC-40s is when you must put mics under the lid of a jazz piano. They're exceptional in that application and cheaper than Earthwork's (ahem, overpriced) piano mic system.
Agree. I have a pair of QTC40 but got me a pair of MKH8020 when I started recording professionally.


/Peter
Old 20th December 2010
  #13
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The EW mics has their positive sides and some negative. In general, a little higher selfnoise level is one of their bad sides. I would suggest some different omni mics instead.

On the low price side, DPA 4060 + phantom power adapter: these supersmall mics are much lower priced than the EW, similar noise level, odd looking they might be but sound very good. In my mind a better capsule than the EW ones.

Slightly up in budget, Neumann KM183: an often overlooked but very good true omni mic. This one has a slight emphasis in the high frequencys but that is easy to correct with EQ or sometimes by pointing the mic slightly away from the thing to be recorded. ( The reason for the high frequency emphasis is that they are balanced to be used far from sound sources, where naturally the highs are attenuated ) .

Yet a step up in price, Sennheiser MKH8020 och MKH20: I actually preferr the MKH20, but your mileage may vary. Both are really good.

Standard mics in this category used by classical recordists include the MKH mics mentioned as well as the Schoeps MKH2* capsule ( there are several variations on the MKH2, slightly differently balanced ) , the DPA 4006 or the DPA 4003 ( which needs some special powering ) . There are some really good specials as well, one favourite of mine is the Microtech Gefell M296.

And sorry, very few uses of the EW mics in this category of classical recordings, but as you probably know it is not really about the equipment but about how you apply it.

// Gunnar

Above that you are into specialty territoir,
Old 20th December 2010
  #14
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Great input as usual Gunnar, one thing though..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghellquist View Post
Slightly up in budget, Neumann KM183: an often overlooked but very good true omni mic. This one has a slight emphasis in the high frequencys but that is easy to correct with EQ or sometimes by pointing the mic slightly away from the thing to be recorded. ( The reason for the high frequency emphasis is that they are balanced to be used far from sound sources, where naturally the highs are attenuated ) .
I think the major reason for this emphasis is to get the mic's power response linear (or closer to linear) in the diffuse field.

For a mic/capsule to be linear in the free field as well as in the diffuse field it has to be very small.. like 4061 and Earthworks omnis.


/Peter
Old 20th December 2010
  #15
Gear Nut
 

With DPA omnis (4006, 4003) you can get nearfield and diffuse field characteristics by simply changing the grid (just never touch the diaphragm).

In addition, there are optional acoustic pressure equalizers (APE) available, to give the mics a presence boost (LB30, LB40) or an overall high frequency lift (LB50). There is also an optional nose cone, which gives the mics a true omni charcteristic (like EW, but with the larger 16mm diaphragm of the DPA's). These accessories are mechanical and do not change the electrical characteristics (e.g. noise, phase) of the mics in any way.

All optional accessories included in the DPA 4006 / 4003 stereo kits.
Old 20th December 2010
  #16
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Phase is changed when frequency response is changed, no matter if the cause is acoustical or electrical.


/Peter
Old 20th December 2010
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
Phase is changed when frequency response is changed, no matter if the cause is acoustical or electrical.
??? So any mic, which does not have a dead flat frequency response changes the amplitude and the phase ??? Electrical (without phase compensation): yes;
mechanical (acoustical): no.

Please read this for a better understanding of APE and it's effects (no phase shift !!):

DPA Microphones :: Acoustic Modification Accessories
Old 20th December 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltemi View Post
??? So any mic, which does not have a dead flat frequency response changes the amplitude and the phase ???
Yes!

Quote:
Please read this for a better understanding of APE and it's effects (no phase shift !!):

Microphones (as any electroacoustical transducer) are minimum phase devices which means that phase follows frequency response.


/Peter
Old 20th December 2010
  #19
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Check this link..

Scroll down a little for an explanation on transducers and phase:

http://books.google.com/books?id=7ao...0phase&f=false


/Peter
Old 20th December 2010
  #20
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghellquist View Post
Standard mics in this category used by classical recordists include the MKH mics mentioned as well as the Schoeps MKH2* capsule ( there are several variations on the MKH2, slightly differently balanced ) ,
Schoeps MK2* (MK2, MK2H, MK2S). MKH is for Sennheiser and KM for Neumann.
Old 21st December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltemi View Post
With DPA omnis (4006, 4003) you can get nearfield and diffuse field characteristics by simply changing the grid (just never touch the diaphragm).
With other mic's it is even simpler-just point the mic in a different direction.

Or there's that wee leetle switch on the MKH20.

There are many ways to achieve different results with an omni, they all have their advantages and disadvantages.
Old 21st December 2010
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
Check this link..

Scroll down a little for an explanation on transducers and phase:

Recording Studio Design - Google Böcker


/Peter
??? A mic is a minimum phase system ???

??? A mic is the same thing as a speaker (i.e. transducer = transducer)???
Old 21st December 2010
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
With other mic's it is even simpler-just point the mic in a different direction.
By turning the mic in a different direction, you can get a diffuse field characteristic out of a mic designed as a nearfield
(e.g. turning a Schoeps MK2 into a different direction gives you a Schoeps MK 3) ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
Or there's that wee leetle switch on the MKH20.
Yes, but the compensation is electrical, not mechanical.
Old 21st December 2010
  #24
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PoxyMusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm View Post
Total silence is a big part of orchestral sound. Earthworks is not really suitable for all purpose classical recording.
As an owner of a pair of QTC 40's, it pains me to agree. They sound wonderful, but they are indeed noisy. Now, if we're talking about drum overheads it's a different story.
Old 21st December 2010
  #25
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jnorman's Avatar
i have used miniature capsule omnis on many occasions for classical work, and in this day of effective noise reduction software, taking care of bit of mic hiss just doesnt seem to be that much of a problem. and i frankly like the amazingly smooth off-axis response of small capsule omnis like the DPA 4061s and 4090s, and the earthworks QTC series. i generally have WAY more of a problem with HVAC, traffic noise, and other extraneous noises than with any self noise of my mics.

i have read about david blackmer and it sure sounds like that guy was quite knowledgeable about the physics and audio topology of the equipment he designed. he understood exactly what he was doing with his mic designs - both the benefits and the drawbacks - and the EW QTC series is the result, along with the very nice EW preamps, which i believe to be among the best made.

at any rate, i would not hesitate to use QTC30s or QTC40s for classical applications. they are very flat, accurate, and realistic.
Old 21st December 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltemi View Post
??? A mic is a minimum phase system ???

Yes

??? A mic is the same thing as a speaker (i.e. transducer = transducer)???
Yes.

A dynamic mic such as a SM58 is the equivalent of a dynamic loudspeaker driver. A ribbon mic is the equivalent of a ribbon speaker. A condenser microphone is the equivalent of ESL.

A motor and generator is the same type of device only the flow of energy is reversed.


/Peter
Old 21st December 2010
  #27
Gear Nut
 

@Audiop:

1) I was talking about true pressure omnis (DPA 4006 / 4003), not pressure-gradient mics like SM58, ribbon mics or the condensers you mention above. Although you are right about the physical principle (a motor is the inverse of a generator), in practice (mic / speaker) it's not that simple. Otherwise any speaker could easily be used as a mic by simply inverting the energy (soundfield) flow.

2) Putting a mic into a soundfield always disturbs the soundfield before it reaches the diaphragm of the mic, like a bridge pillar does disturb the water flow in a river. This disturbance is related to the outline and construction of the mic and influences it's frequency response and polar pattern. The diaphragm always picks up the disturbed soundfield. The output of the mic is therefore not an exact 1 to 1 analogon of an undisturbed original soundfield.

3) The trick of the APE (acoustic pressure equalizer) is to disturb the soundfield in a deliberate way. Reflections and diffractions occur in the soundfield itself (i.e. phase changes at different frequencies in the soundfield) before it reaches the diaphragm, which eventually gives you a specific frequency response and polar pattern of the mic. The mics own phase behaviour is not affected by this method (contrary to electrical compensation).
Old 21st December 2010
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltemi View Post
@Audiop:

1) I was talking about true pressure omnis (DPA 4006 / 4003), not pressure-gradient mics like SM58, ribbon mics or the condensers you mention above.
I was also talking about pressure omnis.

Quote:
Although you are right about the physical principle (a motor is the inverse of a generator), in practice (mic / speaker) it's not that simple.
Yes, that simple.

Quote:
Otherwise any speaker could easily be used as a mic by simply inverting the energy (soundfield) flow.
And that is exactly the way it is. Lots of guys use speaker boxes to mike up kick drum.

Quote:
2) Putting a mic into a soundfield always disturbs the soundfield before it reaches the diaphragm of the mic, like a bridge pillar does disturb the water flow in a river. This disturbance is related to the outline and construction of the mic and influences it's frequency response and polar pattern.
An obstruction only has an effect where wavelength is small compared to the object. It's called the baffle effect and is accounted for in mic designs.
It's an integral function of the transducer and affect both phase and frequency response.

Quote:
The diaphragm always picks up the disturbed soundfield. The output of the mic is therefore not an exact 1 to 1 analogon of an undisturbed original soundfield.
For a measurement mic flat in the free field there's a 1 to 1 relationship. The pressure build up on the surface of the capsule is the same mechanism as the baffle step in loudspeakers.

Quote:
3) The trick of the APE (acoustic pressure equalizer) is to disturb the soundfield in a deliberate way. Reflections and diffractions occur in the soundfield itself (i.e. phase changes at different frequencies in the soundfield) before it reaches the diaphragm, which eventually gives you a specific frequency response and polar pattern of the mic. The mics own phase behaviour is not affected by this method (contrary to electrical compensation).
The mic response is the capsule + the housing + electronics. Sure, we can analyze each part or link on its own but in the end we have a sound and we have an electrical output. In the end that's all that counts.

In speakers we have a electrical driving signal and we have the acoustic output. Basically does not matter if the transfer functions is intrinsic in the drivers or a result of driver + box + crossover/EQ/contouring network.


So yes, APE balls will have an effect of the phase response as well as frequency response.

You need digital filters in order to manipulate frequency response without affecting phase response.

The opposite is not true though.. You can manipulate phase in the real world in some situations without affecting frequency response, such as in multiway loudspeakers with acoustic crossover slopes higher than first order (6dB/oct).


/Peter
Old 21st December 2010
  #29
Which pair of Earthworks for classical/orchestral stuff?

Although I also like the QTC40's, also check AKG's 480 B-ULS with an omni capsule. This underestimated mic will give you usable bandwith up to 30K and has very low selfnoise. I have amazed many collegue engineers with them. AKG has a name for harsh sounding mic's but this one sounds very nice and open.
Old 21st December 2010
  #30
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Is this a Swedish / Swiss dfegadoff?

Cumon guys, take it outside or at least to the geekslutz forum! Do you really think the OP and most other readers care?
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