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CM3 - really THAT good? Condenser Microphones
Old 5th April 2014
  #871
Gear Nut
 

Hello All

I've come accross the CM3 and have so much interest. I've listened to many samples and they sound fantastic. Very neutral and detailed. I'm in need of two mics for some Piano Recital (Steinway Grand) that I must do. I will be using the soon to be released CEntrance MixerFace along with TwistedWave.

Is there anything else I need to know or should consider before buying these mics? The data just seems too good to pass up for the cost and quality.

Can anyone share their setup for micing with these mics? I'm thinking 6-12" from the board at 45* one for high and one for low?
Old 6th April 2014
  #872
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boojum's Avatar
There are about as many techniques for mic'ing pianos as they are recordists times four. A simple successful array for CM3 is the NOS array. That at the tail of the piano about two meters distant and two meters up should do it, full stick.

Stand back, there will be a slew of other ideas. Most of them will work.


NOS: Visualization of NOS stereo microphone system - Cardioid/Cardioid mic angle 90° spacing 30 cm - Equivalence Stereo - Array with two microphones stereo recording angle SRA time difference level difference mic orchestra angle Visualizator - sengpielaud
Old 6th April 2014
  #873
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Thanks.

How do you think the CM3 compare to the much more expensive Earthworks TC20 or even the less expensive Avenson STO-2?
Old 6th April 2014
  #874
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Rembering that the CM3 is wide cardioid (subcardioid) and not cardioid...if you click that button in the Sengpielorama machine you get a somewhat different SRA (104 degrees vs 81 degrees)....not that it's going to make a lot of difference, perhaps, in the listening thereof ?
Old 6th April 2014
  #875
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fred2bern's Avatar
You can try 110° but with 21 cm space between. It works really good.

Old 6th April 2014
  #876
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Rembering that the CM3 is wide cardioid (subcardioid) and not cardioid...if you click that button in the Sengpielorama machine you get a somewhat different SRA (104 degrees vs 81 degrees)....not that it's going to make a lot of difference, perhaps, in the listening thereof ?
You are correct. I suggested the NOS array because IIRC the preponderance of users seemed happy with the results of that array, especially over ORTF.
Old 6th April 2014
  #877
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtwrace View Post
Thanks.

How do you think the CM3 compare to the much more expensive Earthworks TC20 or even the less expensive Avenson STO-2?
The other mics are omnis. They respond differently. Characteristically they will not have a proximity effect, will need to be closer and have better bass response. Earthworks has a reputation of having self-noise: Noise: 27dB SPL equivalent (A weighted). CM3: Noise level: 16dB(A), Avenson: Equivalent Noise (A-weighted) 28 dB.

The CM3 sounds sweet, has good bass, a small proximity effect, and appears at an unbeatable price. Not everybody on GS is a rocket scientist but they are pretty smart as a group. The CM3 is very popular here. A pair with a tiny recorder and a stand and some cables and you are recording with gear that can fit in a small sack, other than the stand. And, it will get you a good capture.

Yes, I have CM3's. No, I have no relation to Line Audio or No Hype Audio. If you are starting out this is a good pair to start with.
Old 6th April 2014
  #878
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Add a pair of OM1 omnis, place them right above CM3s in AB 50 cm, mix to taste in post.
Old 6th April 2014
  #879
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fred2bern's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
You are correct. I suggested the NOS array because IIRC the preponderance of users seemed happy with the results of that array, especially over ORTF.
Maybe because all the time they ask "how do I use this CM-3" they read "NOS is the way to go"...

It's of course an option to use wide cardio, but not the only one.

Try 110 21cm. Not an ORTF, not a NOS.

But also try 95 25cms or... anything else!

I should say, if you have time try the best option in the room you're recording in!

There are no perfect options, just some few rules, a lot of compromises and at the end just your ears.

All the best to all of you,

Fred.
Old 6th April 2014
  #880
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtwrace View Post
Thanks.

How do you think the CM3 compare to the much more expensive Earthworks TC20 or even the less expensive Avenson STO-2?
In Europe the STO-2 is much more expensive than the CM3: 700 € for a pair instead of 250 €.

There is a shoot-out on piano of the CM3 and the STO-2 here.

Old 21st April 2014
  #881
Line Audio OM1 versus CM3 microphone shootout test

Here's a shootout comparison test between the Line Audio OM1 and the CM3. Stereo pair of each, 14 cm apart, 65 degree angle, same mic stand and setup, aimed 10 feet from a Clavinova playing a preset song. Signal went into a Focusrite 2i4 and Reaper, and then rendered to mp3, max resolution. Recording levels on the 2i4 were set to the same level each time, resulting in having to boost the CM3 recording afterwards by 3 db to have equal loudness as the OM1 recording. This more or less corresponds to the 2 db greater sensitivity specs of the OM1.

I hear a subtle difference between the two mics. Can you? I find it remarkable that two different mic designs sound so similar.
Attached Files

om1 piano test.mp3 (2.58 MB, 1811 views)

cm3 piano test.mp3 (2.62 MB, 1816 views)

Old 22nd April 2014
  #882
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Another set of samples of acoustic instruments to directly compare CM3 and OM1 (all recorded on Line Audio 2MP preamp)


http://www.savitamusic.com/links/line.zip

Old 23rd April 2014
  #883
Thanks for posting the sound files. Nice, clear-sounding equipment. I wish the 2MP had a USB interface.

Your recordings do reveal the inherent differences in sound quality between the OM1 and CM3.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #884
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fred2bern's Avatar
Last time I used CM-3 as spot mic was for a duet recording violin/piano and mezzo/piano.
Really hard room to record in so spots were really usefull.

One was used as a spot mic for the piano for the bass/medium register (km184 for the medium/high).
Another one for the violin and later for the mezzo.
Main pair was 87ai, room mics km183.

I have in the mic locker some "big names" options to spot with, but the CM-3s did a really good job.

Back in the control room I was really happy with these tracks and they are on the final mix.

These little mics are really great.

Unbelievable quality mics for the price, they do have their place close to german products to work with!

Thanks to all of you for sharing all these samples.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #885
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How nice would it be if there were also a cardioid and a figure-8 from Line Audio for $300. I can dream.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #886
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A LineAudio fig.8 could be a killer.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heva View Post
A LineAudio fig.8 could be a killer.
Indeed. I would gladly pay $400 for one if it is near the quality of MKH 30.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #888
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Another set of samples of acoustic instruments to directly compare CM3 and OM1 (all recorded on Line Audio 2MP preamp)


http://www.savitamusic.com/links/line.zip
Thanks for these Ivo! I always love hearing your monochord clips, regardless of what mics! Such an beautiful sounding instrument.

What I'm hearing is that it is the pickup pattern which is making most difference. I feel like the OM1 CM3 are really similar in all regards except pickup pattern. That's great news. However, I think the CM3 is maybe resolving a little bit more detail? Maybe.

On flute: prefer CM3 (OM1 is picking up the room in an unflatering way, to my ears).

Monochord: I think the proximity effect really kicks in on the monochord sample, so the CM3 is maybe a touch too bassy. Back off a few centimeters and I bet it would be PERFECT. Regardless, I prefer the imaging and directness of the sound and overall clarity of the CM3 compared to the OM1.

Violin: if I had to choose, it would be the OM1. Yeah, just a bit too edgy with the CM3. A bit too phasey sounding with the OM1. Damn, why is violin so difficult to record!?

Hank drum: both sound nice in different ways. There's a bit more liveliness and cohesivness to the sound on the OM1 which I think I maybe prefer.

Thanks again for the clips. What are your thoughts on these mics, Ivo?

EDIT: P.S. I have a one of your monochord clip on my hard-drive which still amazes me. Forssell pre and Schoeps MK2, from this post, I think: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/1912353-post3.html — for me, that Schoeps/Forssell combo is in a different league, sound wise. Perfection.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #889
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Oh yes, we are talking about very good mics (and preamps) for incredible price, with the sound that is very decent and natural, incomparable to any other mics in similar price range - there we mostly get the Chinese sharp weapons

But using Schoeps and Forssell (preamp and AD) we get in COMPLETELY different sound league ... (after paying 10 times more ...)

Regarding Line Audio - I think I slightly prefer OM1 for more natural sound (as omni always is)
Old 23rd April 2014
  #890
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Oh yes, we are talking about very good mics (and preamps) for incredible price, with the sound that is very decent and natural, incomparable to any other mics in similar price range - there we mostly get the Chinese sharp weapons

But using Schoeps and Forssell (preamp and AD) we get in COMPLETELY different sound league ... (after paying 10 times more ...)

Regarding Line Audio - I think I slightly prefer OM1 for more natural sound (as omni always is)
Yeah, agreed. The CM3 (and, from what I'm hearing here, OM1) is the only sensible option for those on a budget and looking for a neutral sounding sub-card or omni. Spending above 1000 GBP and then maybe further options start to open up.

You know, it would be interesting to hear the Line Audio mics you have there with Forssell mic and AD.

(By the way, that Schoeps/Forssell clip I'm talking about was from 2008, so I think you were using Lavry Blue AD at that point.)

Last edited by elswhrco; 23rd April 2014 at 01:03 PM.. Reason: unclear sentence!
Old 24th April 2014
  #891
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
But using Schoeps and Forssell (preamp and AD) we get in COMPLETELY different sound league ... (after paying 10 times more ...)
Different? - Yes. Better? - possibly. COMPLETELY different sound league? - NO!
Old 24th April 2014
  #892
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empiria View Post
Different? - Yes. Better? - possibly. COMPLETELY different sound league? - NO!
I know what you're saying. It's not so black and white, I agree. Maybe "different league" is a bit too much.

What I can say, though... there's something about the Forssell/Schoeps combo which just sound perfect to me. But, I mean really specifically the Schoeps MK2 and Forssell SMP-2. There's some sort of mysterious synergy going on with those two pieces of equipment. Every time I hear a clip of Ivo's using that combination, it simply ticks all the right boxes. If I had to be more specific about what I'm hearing, it's hard to say. But there's this deep amount of detail without any harshness. And there's this space around the body of the sound which I'm yet to hear bettered in any other combination. And any self-noise seems utterly unobtrusive. Is that a "different league"? I think maybe yes. It's the difference between amazingly good and unfathomably good.
Old 24th April 2014
  #893
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Empiria View Post
Different? - Yes. Better? - possibly. COMPLETELY different sound league? - NO!
Well, as much as OM1 are very nice mics, recording the very same source with Schoeps MK2 brings quite a new sound dimension in all the aspects (not considering preamp and AD yet) ... I directly tried quite few times. Unless we are talking about our "wives' type of sound comparison level" (there you are for sure right) but I believe we are not ...
Old 24th April 2014
  #894
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Well, as much as OM1 are very nice mics, recording the very same source with Schoeps MK2 brings quite a new sound dimension in all the aspects (not considering preamp and AD yet) ... I directly tried quite few times. Unless we are talking about our "wives' type of sound comparison level" (there you are for sure right) but I believe we are not ...
Did you try using the CM3 or OM1 with the Forssell? A sneaky little monochord clip a possibility?
Old 24th April 2014
  #895
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Sorry about the brief side track, but would it be worthwhile to pair CM3's with a DAV BG1? There are some low end chinese mics that for the sake of illustration, I suppose it wouldn't matter what preamp they were paired with. So those of you who've use the DAV, would there be a noticeable improvement using the DAV with CM3s or would the improvement really only show with much more expensive mics?

Again, sorry for the side track.
Old 25th April 2014
  #896
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
Sorry about the brief side track, but would it be worthwhile to pair CM3's with a DAV BG1? There are some low end chinese mics that for the sake of illustration, I suppose it wouldn't matter what preamp they were paired with. So those of you who've use the DAV, would there be a noticeable improvement using the DAV with CM3s or would the improvement really only show with much more expensive mics?

Again, sorry for the side track.
The CM3's are great microphones. The D.A.V BG-1 is a great stereo preamp. Good recordings are made with this combination frequently.

Improvement over what? Low end Chinese microphones and no preamp? Yes, there will be a noticeable improvement.
Old 25th April 2014
  #897
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The preamp does not make much a difference: ************.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=1013054&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=365&fpart=1#101305 (put www. ahead and replace ************ by soundonsound).

Comparison of the DAV BG1 and the integrated preamps the Steinberg interface MR816 with Schoeps MK 21.
Old 25th April 2014
  #898
nkf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
The preamp does not make much a difference: ************.com/forum/showflat.php? [/URL]
I'm not so sure when it comes to certain recordings and you're striving for transparency. The 'dangling keys' test reveals a lot for me and I can easily hear a difference of 'neutral' or 'transparent' preamps I have (e.g. Grace Design m201 A/D and True Systems P-Solo) when using a very good microphone (e.g. Schoeps or DPA) doing the 'dangling keys' test (in favour of the Grace Design, although I like the underrated P-Solo a lot).
I cannot hear so much difference when 'just' recording voice.
Noise is another issue. The preamps in my DM2000 console are quite neutral but more noisier than a Grace Design, especially when using them with dynamic mics, like SM7B. The m201 A/D is shockingly quiet - which is a good thing in my world.
Old 25th April 2014
  #899
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
Sorry about the brief side track, but would it be worthwhile to pair CM3's with a DAV BG1? There are some low end chinese mics that for the sake of illustration, I suppose it wouldn't matter what preamp they were paired with. So those of you who've use the DAV, would there be a noticeable improvement using the DAV with CM3s or would the improvement really only show with much more expensive mics?

Again, sorry for the side track.
CM3 + DAV BG1 is a great combo for violins as well as children's choir.
Old 30th April 2014
  #900
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Temptation has passed for now since the BG1 I was looking at has been sold.
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