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Wide cardioid: Schoeps or Gefell? Condenser Microphones
Old 27th December 2010
  #1
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Talking Wide cardioid: Schoeps or Gefell?

I feel like getting a pair of wide cardioids for classical recording. The question is if I should get Schoeps MK21 (with CMC6) or Microtech Gefell M950. It is a fight between my rational (Schoeps) side or the romantic (Gefell) side. They are both high quality and cost about the same (within 400€ for a pair). At the moment I am leaning towards Gefells (quieter, cheaper, different, more "exotic"). Help anyone?
Old 27th December 2010
  #2
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May I add: or the cheaper MBHO?
Old 27th December 2010
  #3
I have been thinking of the same thing between the same two mics. It is either the best of the Schoeps capsules with the rarest of the M series mics of Gefell. I am leaning toward the Gefell myself. The sound is absolutely spectacular and slightly unique compared to the familiar Schoeps.
Old 27th December 2010
  #4
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avebr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
(...) It is either the best of the Schoeps capsules with the rarest of the M series mics of Gefell.(...)
Wouldn't the Neumann KM143 be a mid-point between them?

I used it twice and it was just gorgeous!

I would be curious also about the MBHO...


all the best,
ave.
Old 27th December 2010
  #5
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JonesH's Avatar
Wide cardioid: Shoeps or Gefell?

I have no experience with either but really like both the DPA 4015 and Neumann KM143.

Edit: See clarification below - I have no experience with the Schoeps or Gefell but DO have experience with the models I suggested!
Old 27th December 2010
  #6
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the MK21 is one of my favorite Schoeps capsules. The other fantastic wide card is the DPA which costs more, but is a really stellar microphone as well.

--Ben
Old 27th December 2010
  #7
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Petrus,

take a look at Line Audio CM3.

I'm buying quad in a week or two.

Technical performance is really good and sound wise they are basically at the level of MKH8000 and Earthworks which I own and use as well.

Frequency response and polar pattern is very similar to MK21.

Noise spec is 16dBA compared to 14dBA for MK21.

I hope I get a chance to compare CM3 to MK21 and if I feel MK21 is better I will likely buy a pair of those as well.


/Peter
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
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Do I want to buy oranges or apples? The Microtech Gefell M950 is a LCD, where as the Schoepps is a SCM. That makes for considerably different sounds.

To my knowledge, the Microtech Gefell M950 is unique in being the only large condenser microphone which has a single wide-cardioid pattern. It would be more appropriate to compare the Microtech Gefell M950 to the AKG 414 series, or something similar, which offers a wide cardioid as one of several selectable paterns.

FWIW, I've used the AKGs in wide cardioid and have been more than satisfied.
Old 27th December 2010
  #9
Quote:
To my knowledge, the Microtech Gefell M950 is unique in being the only large condenser microphone which has a single wide-cardioid pattern. It would be more appropriate to compare the Microtech Gefell M950 to the AKG 414 series, or something similar,
It is a Large diaphragm mic, but it is unique in that it has a very small body and perhaps the best off axis response of any LDC I know, much like a SDC. It may be an orange, but it tastes like an apple. It is like an LDC in that is has a very smooth, rounded response, and better low frequencies than the Schoeps.
Old 27th December 2010
  #10
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Well, Daniel, sounds like a pair of Gefells, then...
Old 27th December 2010
  #11
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Brook View Post
Do I want to buy oranges or apples? The Microtech Gefell M950 is a LCD, where as the Schoepps is a SCM. That makes for considerably different sounds.

To my knowledge, the Microtech Gefell M950 is unique in being the only large condenser microphone which has a single wide-cardioid pattern. It would be more appropriate to compare the Microtech Gefell M950 to the AKG 414 series, or something similar, which offers a wide cardioid as one of several selectable paterns.

FWIW, I've used the AKGs in wide cardioid and have been more than satisfied.

The Gefell M900 is a large condenser that is called cardioid, but is actually very wide-cardioid. I can't say enough about this microphone, one of my favorites.
Old 27th December 2010
  #12
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I'm not sure if MG makes it, but what about a pair of Josephson 617's with a wide cardioid cap? The MK21 is a fantastic sounding mic and extremely versatile. The DPA wide cardioid is on their new demo CD. Definitely worth a listen!
Old 27th December 2010
  #13
Quote:
I'm not sure if MG makes it, but what about a pair of Josephson 617's with a wide cardioid cap?
Don't think they make one, not really a pattern popular for measurement. And I don't know of any other 200v wide cardioid capsules.

Though that is a rig I would like to try. Much like the Faulkner 4 mic system with MK 2 and MK21 Schoeps, a system with C617 and M950.

Can I borrow $6500 anyone?
Old 27th December 2010
  #14
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Semantic Problem

There is a semantic problem which bothers me whenever the "wide cardioid" subject comes up.

In fact, very few "wide cardioids" are wide in any way. What they are is "subcardioid." There is a world of difference. The "wide cardioids" and subcardioids are usually down by 6 dB at 90 degrees, the same as a cardioid. Where they differ from a cardioid is in the rejection from the rear, not the sides. The subcardioids are usually more frequency independant throughout their polar pattern (parallel lines in the polar plot), and additionally, many of them have a very slight peak on axis, as opposed to cardioids, which tend to have little peaks off axis, generally from 45 degrees to 110 degrees or so-non parallel polar plot lines at these frequencies. (Cardioids that are intentionally built with an on axis bump still have the the additional boost off axis, and very often this occurs in the vicinity of 6 to 8.5 kHz.)

It gets even more complicated, because many mic manufacturers describe a capsule as "cardioid" (and not "wide" or "sub") which actually are subcardioid.
Old 27th December 2010
  #15
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Good points JEGG!


/Peter
Old 28th December 2010
  #16
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Don S's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
There is a semantic problem which bothers me whenever the "wide cardioid" subject comes up.
True. We should be using the same terminology as Schoeps by describing the capsule in terms of frequency and directionality.
Old 28th December 2010
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claying View Post
May I add: or the cheaper MBHO?
Not a very good experience with the MBHO sub-cardio in classical recordings. The cardio was more neutral and silent.

JMM
Old 28th December 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
There is a semantic problem which bothers me whenever the "wide cardioid" subject comes up.
Halfway between omni (pure pressure) and "fig-8" (pure pressure difference) lies the true "cardioid" (combining in equal ratio pressure:pdiff working). Between cardioid and fig 8 there are two other recognised patterns. The "supercardioid" (37% press, 63% pdiff) has maximum isolation front hemisphere to rear hemisphere, and the "hypercardioid" (25% press:75% pdiff) which has the greatest ratio on-axis to reverberant pickup. You can pick which one by the angle(s) at which the nulls occur 126 degrees for the super, 110 degrees for the hyper.

One would expect that there would be a "dual" for each of the above types (defined using the corresponding opposite - a "subcardioid" (63%:37%) and a "hypocardioid" (75%:25%) (Etymological note: super-/sub- are opposite Latin prefixes; hyper/hypo are Greek - both pairs have the same meanings - perhaps we should call them Latin or Greek cardioids). Anyway, there is only one accepted definition in pressure-dominated directional mics - a "subcardioid" which works on a 70% press:30% pdiff ratio. This gives a relative output at 180° of -8dB. There appears to be no accepted definition of "hypocardioid" or a "wide cardioid" parameters.

As an example, the Schoeps MK41 is correctly described as supercardioid (as they do), rather than hypercardioid. The MK21 "wide cardioid" has a 180° response of about -12dB which corresponds to the "Latin" sub-cardioid. The MK22 "open cardioid" with a 180° response of -18dB is halfway between a Latin subcardioid and straight cardioid - a hybrid as Schoeps themselves imply. A true Greek hypocardioid would have a 180° response of -6dB.

The world of pressure dominated directional mics does not have clear differentiation in acoustic characteristics, compared to the super and hyper cardioids. As a relatively new breed, the semantics have not yet settled down, and the definitions "wide", "sub" and (rarely) "hypo" tend to be used interchangeably.

This of course has nothing to do with how a microphone performs, or its suitability for various applications. It's just us engineering pedants who occasionally get upset at loose use of mathematical descriptions ...
Old 28th December 2010
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post

The Gefell M900 is a large condenser that is called cardioid, but is actually very wide-cardioid. I can't say enough about this microphone, one of my favorites.
I just checked the polar patterns on the Gefell web site, and they don't appear similar at all. The M900 appears to be a true cardioid. The M950 and AKG 414's polar patterns are quite similar.
Old 28th December 2010
  #20
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Brook View Post
I just checked the polar patterns on the Gefell web site, and they don't appear similar at all. The M900 appears to be a true cardioid. The M950 and AKG 414's polar patterns are quite similar.
It is suppose to be, but in my experience it is not very directional, really seems to pick up the whole room.
Old 28th December 2010
  #21
I think it would be a mistake to compare the Gefells with a dual diaphragm LDC whose pickup pattern is a combination of front and rear facing capsules. The way they capture sound is far more different than a purely acoustic pattern such as the M950 vs MK21. The biggest difference is really the size of the capsule and the mic, which makes the LDC more directional at higher frequencies. The 414 will act completely different at higher frequencies than the Gefell. The latter is more like an omni with a spherical baffle, in terms of direction and sensitivity.
Old 28th December 2010
  #22
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i'm with johannes and ave on this one - the km143 is probably the smoothest subcard i have heard, but i have also tested the DPA 4015, and it was very very nice.
Old 28th December 2010
  #23
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JonesH's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesH View Post
I have no experience with either but really like both the DPA 4015 and Neumann KM143.
Heh, I should clarify this big time. I meant that I have no experience with the gefell or schoeps offerings. The Neumann I have used a lot and I own three of the DPAs. My precious post came out all sorts of wrong...
Old 28th December 2010
  #24
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Several years ago I had a loaner pair of 4015 (only the 130v version whose number I cannot recall) for a major festival. In one chamber orchestra concert rehearsal I had a chance torun up a pair of Mk21 on a stand (the DPAs were flown) within half an inch for a A-B comparison. The DPAs used the HMA5000 pre. If a recall correctly the spacing was 12 inches with 110 degree angle (and yes I know that Schoeps says 120 degrees).

The DPAs were what I expected-- crystal clear and clean. The Schoeps were not quite as revealing and "warmer" (whatever that means today). Later using Algorithmix LPEQ I was able to make them sound almost identical by adding a little at 12kHz with a broad Q. The still remained the "family sound" difference that I refer to as "merlot" (Schoeps) vs "dry white" (DPA).

At the end I could not say which I preferred as this took place in an extremely dead theater and the decision would rest with how the acoustic was rendered. I suppose it would be similar to the piano discussion where Plush prefers Bosendorfer up through Schumann and Steinway thereafter.

Rich
Old 29th December 2010
  #25
I use the 4015, MK21 and KM143 regularly and but typically for very different things.
The only one of the group that I use as mains are the MK21's and only on chamber music and typically in not so great halls. I probably space them wider than most here, usually 70-100cm. It is usually a fix for when omni's don't work.
I normally use MK21's as inside string fills, 4015's for woodwind and tympani spots and KM143s for percussion spots.

All the best,

-mark
Old 29th December 2010
  #26
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Hey Mark,

I also find myself using MK21 when the room is not so great and it can be a lifesaver. I don't mind using MK43's as mains and U89's in wide card as well as spot mics. Unfortunately, I haven't tried the 4015's

I was just in NYC and went to a New York Philharmonic concert. I noticed Larry Rock is hanging all of his spots a bit lower than you typically do for Boston. Just a bit over folks heads as they walk across stage. Mark, you must know whether Larry Rock is using wide cards as most of those close spot mics? I would assume that he is. Especially at those distances.

Nothing seemed unusual in his setup. I believe a spaced pair of Neumann Omni's a full meter apart as mains, MKH800's as flanks, 4006's maybe ten feet back from main array and 25 feet apart facing straight down. Three mics over the winds. 2 spots on perc, and brass and a Harp spot. Also, 4 mics as inside string fills as well. I didn't see any others.

And by the way, that hall is soooo beneath that orchestra. I don't get why they don't blow it up and build a real hall.

Happy New Year!
Cameron
Old 29th December 2010
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roonsbane View Post

And by the way, that hall is soooo beneath that orchestra. I don't get why they don't blow it up and build a real hall.

Happy New Year!
Cameron
That hall has been wrong from its first iteration. It apparently has never had a good sound to it despite all the money and revisions to it. Do you think they will ever get it right? It is nearly 50 years now. Avery Fisher Hall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Old 29th December 2010
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by roonsbane View Post
Hey Mark,

I also find myself using MK21 when the room is not so great and it can be a lifesaver. I don't mind using MK43's as mains and U89's in wide card as well as spot mics. Unfortunately, I haven't tried the 4015's

I was just in NYC and went to a New York Philharmonic concert. I noticed Larry Rock is hanging all of his spots a bit lower than you typically do for Boston. Just a bit over folks heads as they walk across stage. Mark, you must know whether Larry Rock is using wide cards as most of those close spot mics? I would assume that he is. Especially at those distances.
Larry and I approach spot micing in a similar way. We both tend to use wider patterns to cover bigger sections. His mics are really not that low, usually about 270cm for strings, except Cello and concertmaster which hang a little bit lower. Larry also dead hangs his WW spots, which I find tends to find get a weird floor bounce. I typically go another foot forward and angle the mics down. I find it feels less spotty and more natural.
John tends to do the exact opposite at the BSO. He uses more directional mics and tries to get a little more separation on the sections. Just goes to show that there are no set ways in a single company.

Quote:
Nothing seemed unusual in his setup. I believe a spaced pair of Neumann Omni's a full meter apart as mains, MKH800's as flanks, 4006's maybe ten feet back from main array and 25 feet apart facing straight down. Three mics over the winds. 2 spots on perc, and brass and a Harp spot. Also, 4 mics as inside string fills as well. I didn't see any others.
And by the way, that hall is soooo beneath that orchestra. I don't get why they don't blow it up and build a real hall.
Happy New Year!
Cameron
While the hall may be a bit of a barn, it is actually capable of being a perfectly good recording venue. The stage is big and sounds pretty good. The biggest problem is that it dries out dramatically when there is a full house and there are some weird lateral reflections just in front of the stage. The size of the stage and reflections are one of the reasons that Larry has gone to using the MKH-800's as outriggers. They also double as string fills. With the equalized LF of the MKH's they get a good balance of the hall sound and the string presence.

All the best,
-mark
Old 31st December 2010
  #29
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Hey Mark,

That is interesting about the roughly under nine foot spot distance that Larry is using. Maybe someone else was recording that night because the wind spots were not dead hung and when I walked down to the box at the side of the stage during intermission I was about three feet above the stage and pretty close and it seemed that the wind players were sort of avoiding them when they stood up. So the mics were a foot above the average persons heads. The brass spots on the other hand were dead hung upstage in the corner. I also am not a fan of dead hung spots unless I can't get a pull line which is more often than I would like.

In my opinion, with almost any crowd size and location that I have experienced, and that includes being empty, Boston Symphony Hall is sonically about a 9.5 on a scale of 1-10. This leaves room for some German improvement. Avery Fisher Hall is a 4 with the size crowd in the hall from the other night. I would estimate the reverb time to be a bit under one second where I was sitting in the top balcony. It was not lush or enveloping. On the other hand everything was nicely clear. I am not saying a nice recording can't be made from it. I prep NY Phil. files often for Performance Today and they are fine recordings.

You my friend have a significant sonic advantage don't you.

Again, Happy New Year everyone.
Cameron
Old 1st January 2011
  #30
I thought the Gefell M950's I had for a month this spring were fabulous... and I can prove it!

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...enser-mic.html
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