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CM3 - really THAT good? Condenser Microphones
Old 2nd August 2013
  #721
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jpgerard's Avatar
In fact the Line Audio preamps used to come with an AC converter, no more. the actual rectification and regulation took place inside. But following new CE regulations the new versions coming this fall will have an actual switching supply out of the box. Still, I agree that replacing a wall wart is cheaper and faster than fixing a built in power supply...
Old 2nd August 2013
  #722
Gear Head
it's true that there are a lot of poorly designed and manufactured wall warts out there that give all wall warts a bad name. Also the fact that they are all (almost all?) made in China gives it an even worse reputation. China is a big place though...

Nevertheless I must agree with my opposers that if you have a very unstable power source you could have issues, depending on your setup. But bear in mind that you could have the same issues with an internal PSU as well. Internal doesn't automatically mean better in my opinion.
Old 2nd August 2013
  #723
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren View Post
Internal doesn't automatically mean better in my opinion.
I recall Bryce over at Warm went internal for the Tone Beast, but after NAMM decided to go back to the wall wart, because it gave him better noise specs. For him and his it has been a matter of the best sound at the best price.
Old 2nd August 2013
  #724
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Earcatcher's Avatar
A good power supply uses a big toroidal transformer for stability when power peaks are wanted by the amplifier. It will be surrounded by good filtering components and be very well shielded. A good power supply makes up a big chunk of the cost of a piece of fine equipment. Wall warts are crappy power suppliers, often not shielded so you must be very careful where you put them. They can cause serious disturbance of signals flowing through mic cables, for example. And especially the switched ones can cause pollution of the mains power because of their peaky drain behaviour, thus negatively influencing other parts of your precious chain.

If an internal power supply is not implemented correctly it can cause lots of problems for the circuitry of the apparatus that it should support. Moving your cost/design problems to the outside world by using a cheap wall wart is not the solution, IMO. It is just a wrong way of saving costs, as it may be helpful for your specs (when keeping the wall wart away from the box), but may defy the whole purpose by deteriorating other parts of your chain.
Old 2nd August 2013
  #725
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Omicron_9's Avatar
 

Well said, Earcatcher.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
A good power supply uses a big toroidal transformer for stability when power peaks are wanted by the amplifier. It will be surrounded by good filtering components and be very well shielded. A good power supply makes up a big chunk of the cost of a piece of fine equipment. Wall warts are crappy power suppliers, often not shielded so you must be very careful where you put them. They can cause serious disturbance of signals flowing through mic cables, for example. And especially the switched ones can cause pollution of the mains power because of their peaky drain behaviour, thus negatively influencing other parts of your precious chain.

If an internal power supply is not implemented correctly it can cause lots of problems for the circuitry of the apparatus that it should support. Moving your cost/design problems to the outside world by using a cheap wall wart is not the solution, IMO. It is just a wrong way of saving costs, as it may be helpful for your specs (when keeping the wall wart away from the box), but may defy the whole purpose by deteriorating other parts of your chain.
Old 2nd August 2013
  #726
Lives for gear
 

I don't know if it's THAT good, but it's a great microphone for an amazing price.
I've probably bought a dozen.
Old 3rd August 2013
  #727
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
A good power supply uses a big toroidal transformer for stability when power peaks are wanted by the amplifier. It will be surrounded by good filtering components and be very well shielded. A good power supply makes up a big chunk of the cost of a piece of fine equipment. Wall warts are crappy power suppliers, often not shielded so you must be very careful where you put them. They can cause serious disturbance of signals flowing through mic cables, for example. And especially the switched ones can cause pollution of the mains power because of their peaky drain behaviour, thus negatively influencing other parts of your precious chain.

If an internal power supply is not implemented correctly it can cause lots of problems for the circuitry of the apparatus that it should support. Moving your cost/design problems to the outside world by using a cheap wall wart is not the solution, IMO. It is just a wrong way of saving costs, as it may be helpful for your specs (when keeping the wall wart away from the box), but may defy the whole purpose by deteriorating other parts of your chain.
I would say most internal PSU's are also switching mode power supplies just like the external ones (correct me if I'm wrong ). So they distort the AC signal the same way as wall warts. Therefore every PSU would have filters to avoid coupling noise back to the mains signal. A linear PSU at mains frequency ist simply too big and very unpractical for work on location.

I think your claim about the shielding is true, but who would run his mic cables just right next to the wall wart and power strip even a small space of a few inches is enough to get away from the magnetic field, since it falls very rapidly with distance. I even made a test with my laptop PSU, placing it right on the mic cable. The noise was about at -70 to -80 dBu and was coming mainly from the AC cord rather than the PSU itself so I think with good cables this should not be an issue.
Old 3rd August 2013
  #728
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren View Post
I would say most internal PSU's are also switching mode power supplies just like the external ones (correct me if I'm wrong ). So they distort the AC signal the same way as wall warts. Therefore every PSU would have filters to avoid coupling noise back to the mains signal. A linear PSU at mains frequency ist simply too big and very unpractical for work on location.

I think your claim about the shielding is true, but who would run his mic cables just right next to the wall wart and power strip even a small space of a few inches is enough to get away from the magnetic field, since it falls very rapidly with distance. I even made a test with my laptop PSU, placing it right on the mic cable. The noise was about at -70 to -80 dBu and was coming mainly from the AC cord rather than the PSU itself so I think with good cables this should not be an issue.
Most of my equipment has no switching power supplies. Most of my preamps have oversized transformers in their PS section. My headphone amps have them, my microphone power supplies have them. The outboard in the studio has sometimes huge toroidals (check out the monster in the SPL Passeq). My Mytek AD-converters have transformer based PS. I run my SD 788T's from battery power as much as possible. If I keep their (switched) power supply within 2 meters (!) from my Royer 122V I will get a nasty buzz in the signal. It is not a matter of inches. Many people complain about the "dirty" power they get on location, but 9 out of 10 times it is caused by their own equipment.

I am using very well shielded cables with Neutrik EMC plugs on location, but recently some powerline that crossed it was able to even disturb that one. It turned out someone had plugged in a wall wart to charge his cell phone.

I recently acquired some new outboard and much to my dismay it showed a switching power supply inside of it. In itself not a problem, but it turned out that the designers had given in on the headroom of the box, compared to a previous version that had a proper PS. I had to find out the hard way because I got distortion way within the levels that I am normally working at.

If you can supply steady and clean power to the DC sockets of a preamp there is nothing wrong with that of course. But you won't get that from the cheap wall wart that came with it. Don't underestimate the importance of good power supplies throughout your entire chain! There is a good reason why some state of the art mic preamps run on battery power entirely.
Old 4th August 2013
  #729
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Most of my equipment has no switching power supplies. Most of my preamps have oversized transformers in their PS section. My headphone amps have them, my microphone power supplies have them. The outboard in the studio has sometimes huge toroidals (check out the monster in the SPL Passeq). My Mytek AD-converters have transformer based PS.
You are using fine gear, no doubts there. The question is, could you get the job done with different great gear that uses SMPS? sure you could! whether linear or switched is a matter of design philosophy of a manufacturer. And there are good reasons to go linear - much easier to service, mostly handmade in the EU or USA using selected components etc. but think about the fact that there is quite an amout of gear out there that uses SMPS and delivers excellent quality and noise specs. Take for example Apogee or the whole RME product line - I have colleagues that record symphonic repertoire with huge dynamic ranges using 3 Micstasy's and have no issues with noise floor. 3 Micstasy's means 3 SMPS plugged into the same power strip - no probs there


Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
I run my SD 788T's from battery power as much as possible. If I keep their (switched) power supply within 2 meters (!) from my Royer 122V I will get a nasty buzz in the signal. It is not a matter of inches.
It's not the first time I hear complaints about ribbons and interference probs. Heard about AEA but Royer is news to me. I would really like to understand why they are so prone to interferences. Good condensers are very resistant to cellphones, wifi and wireless phones - tested it myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Many people complain about the "dirty" power they get on location, but 9 out of 10 times it is caused by their own equipment.
What people? what equipment are they using? what's the venue? care to specify?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
I am using very well shielded cables with Neutrik EMC plugs on location, but recently some powerline that crossed it was able to even disturb that one. It turned out someone had plugged in a wall wart to charge his cell phone.
Exactly my point - crappy wall warts like those give all wall warts a bad name. Are you sure the noise came from the cable and not from the highly distorted power signal itself?

I strictly forbid my musicians to plug their accessories to my power strips or on the same phase. So far I got away with it. The EMC plug was originally designed for mics with the so called "pin 1 problem" after Neil Muncy and Jim Brown presented the problem at the AES. If you are using high quality mics I don't believe the EMC plug is necessary. If your cables are not resistant enough consider using starquad cables, as they are extremely resistant to EMI/RFI.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
If you can supply steady and clean power to the DC sockets of a preamp there is nothing wrong with that of course. But you won't get that from the cheap wall wart that came with it. Don't underestimate the importance of good power supplies throughout your entire chain! There is a good reason why some state of the art mic preamps run on battery power entirely.
I know Rens Heijnis' claims about battery power supply being the best etc. He also claims Phantom power is inadequate and high voltage power is the right way to go. I don't buy that. I think he is merely trying to avoid the ground loop caused by his own high voltage mic PSU which of course has to be grounded. Now you have some few volts of ground potential difference running in the shield of your signal cables. Would a battery make things quieter in this case? sure it would! Well designed gear will give you excellent noise specs connected to a decent power source - isn't it
Old 18th August 2013
  #730
Gear Nut
 

Ok, got my CM3s (thanks JP).

Did some vocal and acoustic guitar testing.

Vocals sound very good so far. High end is not over-hyped.

Guitar sounds very good as well. Very flat. But my first
take was about 9 inches from the 12th fret, and the
proximity effect was a bit too much. So I took it to
12 inches aimed at the 12th fret on the next take, and
it was much better. The low end wasn't as boomy. It
may even be better just a tad farther away, and I will
try a stereo pair next time.

For acoustic guitar, would you all recommend AB, ORTF, or
NOS?

I would like to try these on a good piano some day.

I'll keep you all posted on my further tests, but so far, so good...
Old 19th August 2013
  #731
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul678 View Post
Ok, got my CM3s (thanks JP).

Did some vocal and acoustic guitar testing.

Vocals sound very good so far. High end is not over-hyped.

Guitar sounds very good as well. Very flat. But my first
take was about 9 inches from the 12th fret, and the
proximity effect was a bit too much. So I took it to
12 inches aimed at the 12th fret on the next take, and
it was much better. The low end wasn't as boomy. It
may even be better just a tad farther away, and I will
try a stereo pair next time.

For acoustic guitar, would you all recommend AB, ORTF, or
NOS?

I would like to try these on a good piano some day.

I'll keep you all posted on my further tests, but so far, so good...
A 6-10" AB for acoustic would be my recommendation
Old 19th August 2013
  #732
Lives for gear
 

I have been really impressed with a pair of CM3's in an ORTF pattern on solo classical guitar. There is surprisingly little room noise and the absence of a hyped high end is what I've been looking for in a SDC!
Old 19th August 2013
  #733
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Given To Fly View Post
I have been really impressed with a pair of CM3's in an ORTF pattern on solo classical guitar. There is surprisingly little room noise and the absence of a hyped high end is what I've been looking for in a SDC!

I will try different methods, and see which one I like.

When you use ORTF, how far away are the mics from the
guitar? Do you simply imagine a line down the center of the
110 degree angle, and just "point" that at the 12th fret or
the sound hole?

Can you all recommend a good, but cheap, stereo bar
that will handle the CM3s with the CMEH elastic holders?

Thanks for the feedback, fellas.....

Old 19th August 2013
  #734
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jpgerard's Avatar
The K&M stereo bars are sturdy and cheap and the AEA stereo bar is beautifully made with orientation marks so it's easy to do a variety of setups with ease - but it's not cheap.
Old 19th August 2013
  #735
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
A good power supply uses a big toroidal transformer for stability when power peaks are wanted by the amplifier.
Well desigend converters, preamps and other low level/low power gear uses regulation which never ever draw peaks from the transformer. Good power supplies can be made with switching solutions as well if the designer is competent, within or outside the box.


/Peter
Old 19th August 2013
  #736
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul678 View Post
I will try different methods, and see which one I like.

When you use ORTF, how far away are the mics from the
guitar? Do you simply imagine a line down the center of the
110 degree angle, and just "point" that at the 12th fret or
the sound hole?

Can you all recommend a good, but cheap, stereo bar
that will handle the CM3s with the CMEH elastic holders?

Thanks for the feedback, fellas.....


I have been using ORTF at about 3 feet back, maybe a little less/more depending on the preamps gain settings. I'm still experimenting too.

As for a stereo bar, I'm on the border of just going all in and getting a Grace SpaceBar. I've been using the Shure A27M and the AEA Stereo Protractor (cheap, about $20, its not the fancy stereo bar) along with a real protractor and ruler. This works, but it takes longer to get everything oriented and since the CM3's are so small it doesn't always work, hence me being on the border of buying a Grace SpaceBAR.
Old 20th August 2013
  #737
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Given To Fly View Post
I have been using ORTF at about 3 feet back, maybe a little less/more depending on the preamps gain settings. I'm still experimenting too.

As for a stereo bar, I'm on the border of just going all in and getting a Grace SpaceBar. I've been using the Shure A27M and the AEA Stereo Protractor (cheap, about $20, its not the fancy stereo bar) along with a real protractor and ruler. This works, but it takes longer to get everything oriented and since the CM3's are so small it doesn't always work, hence me being on the border of buying a Grace SpaceBAR.

Yes, it would not surprise me that around 3 feet would be
the sweet spot for spacing.

Do you fellas see anything wrong with this one:

Aliexpress.com : Buy Pro Mic Stereo Bar Black T Bar Thread Adapter Stand Mount Two Apart H50 Pro New Wholesale Free Shipping from Reliable T-bar suppliers on Shanghai WGT Co., Ltd.
Old 20th August 2013
  #738
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul678 View Post
Yes, it would not surprise me that around 3 feet would be
the sweet spot for spacing.

Do you fellas see anything wrong with this one:

Aliexpress.com : Buy Pro Mic Stereo Bar Black T Bar Thread Adapter Stand Mount Two Apart H50 Pro New Wholesale Free Shipping from Reliable T-bar suppliers on Shanghai WGT Co., Ltd.
It may be fine but I would recommend going with the K&M stereo bar or AEA Stereo Protractor which are each under $30. My experience with hardware of this sort has taught me the cheaper an item costs the more often it needs to be replaced. K&M and AEA makes high quality products that will last as long as you want the to last.
Old 21st August 2013
  #739
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Another shoot-out including Line Audio CM3, Josephson C42, Schoeps CMC621 and DPA 4021.
I liked no.2 best, then no.4!
Old 21st August 2013
  #740
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

2 is Josephson C42,
4 is DPA 4021,
1 is Line Audio CM3,
3 is Schoeps CMC6 + MK 21.
Old 21st August 2013
  #741
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
2 is Josephson C42,
4 is DPA 4021,
1 is Line Audio CM3,
3 is Schoeps CMC6 + MK 21.
Thanks!
Old 25th August 2013
  #742
Here for the gear
 

Hi,

I have been asking questions and learning quite a lot from this website. This is the first recording that I made for my son's piano playing. He is 15 years old.

https://soundcloud.com/abcvermonter/...sionata-iii-by

2 CM3 50 in away, about 100-110 degree, with a height of about 5 feet; going into a Steinberg UR22, then a mac with Audacity at 16 bits.

Feedbacks are welcomed. Thanks.
Old 25th August 2013
  #743
Quote:
Originally Posted by kc248 View Post
Hi,

I have been asking questions and learning quite a lot from this website. This is the first recording that I made for my son's piano playing. He is 15 years old.

https://soundcloud.com/abcvermonter/...sionata-iii-by

2 CM3 50 in away, about 100-110 degree, with a height of about 5 feet; going into a Steinberg UR22, then a mac with Audacity at 16 bits.

Feedbacks are welcomed. Thanks.
Very good work!

Were the mics spaced, or coincident?

The recording balances to the right quite a bit, I think you've probably noticed this, so perhaps next time, when you set up the mics, try to aim them in such a way that the piano appears more centered in the stereo image. I probably would also have raised the mics up a bit more, for a slightly more brilliant sound, and moved a bit back to capture more of the room sound. This is my personal preference, fwiw.

It's also common convention to record at 24 bits digital now regardless of your sample rate, so I would also do that in the future.

The recording has a very good, warm timbre though, and your son is an excellent young player. I hope you are very proud of him (and yourself!)
Old 26th August 2013
  #744
Lives for gear
to your son.

May I ask what size room this was recorded in?
Old 26th August 2013
  #745
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Very good work!

Were the mics spaced, or coincident?

The recording balances to the right quite a bit, I think you've probably noticed this, so perhaps next time, when you set up the mics, try to aim them in such a way that the piano appears more centered in the stereo image. I probably would also have raised the mics up a bit more, for a slightly more brilliant sound, and moved a bit back to capture more of the room sound. This is my personal preference, fwiw.

It's also common convention to record at 24 bits digital now regardless of your sample rate, so I would also do that in the future.

The recording has a very good, warm timbre though, and your son is an excellent young player. I hope you are very proud of him (and yourself!)
Thanks a lot for your suggestions and feedback and liking my son's playing.

I wanted to record at 24 bits and specified it in a new track, but when I pressed the recording button Audacity popped out another new track at 16 bits to record it. So I went with it.

The 2 CM3 were coincident.

It was recorded at a university concert hall with about 300 seats; so it is a small-medium size concert hall. The hall is super echoey, with 90% of surface covered by either concrete or glass. It is a heaven for singers, but a tricky place for pianists.
Old 26th August 2013
  #746
Lives for gear
I have used Audacity quite a bit and love it for some applications, but you may want to move into a different recording software such as the software that came with your UR22.

For some reason, I'm thinking the CM3's would have captured a deeper, fuller piano sound in that size space from a concert grand? I only listened on Beyerdynamics DT770s plugged into my laptop so maybe it's just me?
Old 26th August 2013
  #747
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
I have used Audacity quite a bit and love it for some applications, but you may want to move into a different recording software such as the software that came with your UR22.

For some reason, I'm thinking the CM3's would have captured a deeper, fuller piano sound in that size space from a concert grand? I only listened on Beyerdynamics DT770s plugged into my laptop so maybe it's just me?
Remember, they're wide cardioids. All of my omnis would give more of that sound you're describing at the distance he used. However, he may have pulled them in more if he used omnis due to the room. Just a guess.
Old 27th August 2013
  #748
Lives for gear
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/9363930-post35.html The Listener's recent post of CM3's on an upright in another thread for comparison.
Old 1st September 2013
  #749
Gear Head
 

hey guys - microphone newbe here

- got 2 CM3s few days ago & I have a strange "problem"
I have a fireface ucx & I have to put +40db on gain (mic channel) to get about
20RMS speaking directly (10cm) in to the mic. It's same for both mics.
Is this normal? feels kind of strange to put so much gain on.

besides I have to set headphones channel to 0db to hear something
- while I am listening music @ -20db set.

@ FULLgain (+65db) I can hear clearly-loud the room ambiance, cars, mouse clicking
what I would expect from 0 db Gain.

the 48v is on of course... I don't seem to make anything wrong or do I?
Old 1st September 2013
  #750
Lives for gear
 
jpgerard's Avatar
The CM3 has a relatively low sensitivity, 6mV/Pa, so you would have to boost more than, say, a TLM 103.
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