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CM3 - really THAT good? Condenser Microphones
Old 20th November 2011
  #91
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Matti's Avatar
I cannot fault this one, good recording and good music
Thanks

Matti
Old 20th November 2011
  #92
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empiria View Post
Sounds very nice! What was your mics position and signal chain? Though it's close micing, the room seems to be good, too.
Thanks! Recorded straight to a Sound Devices 702. Recorded in a very lovely concert hall on a very lovely Steinway D. Of course, you don't hear much of the hall, but it is there in a very subtle amount. We consciously wanted something very dry and present.

Mic position was rather unusual. It is a 90 degree angled pair (maybe about 25 cm apart), *but* facing downwards. This was the best solution I could come up with to capture both instruments equally with one pair and keep things dry. I performed facing the piano. I think this wouldn't have worked with normal cardioids, but with these wide cardioids, it seemed it was a possibility (and, a testament to the lack of off axis coloration). It may have even helped to naturally roll off some of the brightness that can come from close-mic'ing a new Steinway.

You can see a picture here: Opali?ska & Whates • We’ve just recorded our debut album. Looking... - though this picture is a bit deceiving. In reality, the mic's were a little bit lower (imagine half way between between the lid and the lip) and nearer to the crook than it looks in the photo.

Anyway, the thing I am most happy about this recording is the tonality. To me; it sounds full and rich but not muddy. The piano and bass sound is truly represented. And the recording has what I can only describe a "Schoeps-like" detail without harshness. Very impressive, especially for such a low-priced microphone.
Old 20th November 2011
  #93
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matti View Post
I cannot fault this one, good recording and good music
Thanks

Matti
Thanks!
Old 20th November 2011
  #94
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jpgerard's Avatar
Nice indeed - for this kind of work, the CM3 is indeed a pretty good match. I hope I can get you guys some SM3i and SM6i recording samples soon.
Old 20th November 2011
  #95
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I believe it was the concert hall of Filharmonia in Rzeszow. Was it? Your setup was quite original but the result was very good.

Pricing mics and other gear is crazy sometimes. Price differences often do not match quality differences. CMC3 is a good example.
Old 20th November 2011
  #96
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empiria View Post
I believe it was the concert hall of Filharmonia in Rzeszow. Was it? Your setup was quite original but the result was very good.
Old 20th November 2011
  #97
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mljung's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Whates View Post

Anyway, the thing I am most happy about this recording is the tonality. To me; it sounds full and rich but not muddy. The piano and bass sound is truly represented. And the recording has what I can only describe a "Schoeps-like" detail without harshness. Very impressive, especially for such a low-priced microphone.
Wonderful music and recording - sweet sound - "full and rich but not muddy" as you write, I agree.. and it just works so well with the music! So you simply captured both instruments with this single pair of CM3!? - amazing!

This tells us - once again - that good instruments, good location and microphone technique is the most important components in a good recording. It also shows that you don't necessarily need a Schoeps [or smiliar] to capture good sound! There's nothing lacking here and no need to look elsewhere, to get a "better" sound.

If this recording was made with Schoeps pair, I'm pretty certain that a lot of people would have given the main credit to the Schoeps pair, but it isn't - it's a CM3!

Don't forget letting us know when the album is out!

Old 20th November 2011
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
Wonderful music and recording - sweet sound - "full and rich but not muddy" as you write, I agree.. and it just works so well with the music! So you simply captured both instruments with this single pair of CM3!? - amazing!

This tells us - once again - that good instruments, good location and microphone technique is the most important components in a good recording. It also shows that you don't necessarily need a Schoeps [or smiliar] to capture good sound! There's nothing lacking here and no need to look elsewhere, to get a "better" sound.
Yes, definitely. And good musicians, of course

Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
If this recording was made with Schoeps pair, I'm pretty certain that a lot of people would have given the main credit to the Schoeps pair, but it isn't - it's a CM3!
Quite possible. I have owned and used Schoeps extensively, and I have not found these little CM3 to be an inferior microphone. Inferior build, maybe. And, like I say, it's hard to say about reliability and longevity, but so far so good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
Don't forget letting us know when the album is out!
Sign up to the newsletter on owduo.com and you'll be the first to know

Old 21st November 2011
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Whates View Post
Yes, definitely. And good musicians, of course
It goes without saying

¤

Don't like newsletters much, but I hope you can post a beep in this thread when it's out...

::
Mads
Old 21st November 2011
  #100
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
Don't like newsletters much, but I hope you can post a beep in this thread when it's out...
Of course
Old 22nd November 2011
  #101
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The Listener's Avatar
So, I am slowly starting to love the little buggers...

We were just recording soundtrack for a certain dance performance and for the intro, full of percussive FX I just set up the stereo pair of CM3 - going into DAV BG1U and recorded everything with it - all the percussion, water fx, some metal plates (I had to use another mic for close up of that - because the CM3 were too sensitive to air movement) - in the attached clip - everything except the metal plate is recorded with this stereo pair - no EQ on most of the things - only added reverb and some modulation fx on one voice percussion. No other fx either - the strange sweeping sounds are made with objects dipped into water... or swinging them in circles in the air in front of the mics...
They work beautifully in my opinion - give a nice sense of depth - nice colour of the instruments, etc.
Attached Files

cm3 example soundtrack.mp3 (1.92 MB, 4379 views)

Old 5th December 2011
  #102
Gear Nut
 

Recording solo piano right now with 2 close (4 feet from instrument) pairs (for comparing, on one stand, one pair is one inch higher than the other): newly acquired CM3 and CMC6.21.
CM3 are good mics, but definitely noisier than Schoeps. Schoeps also give more defined and musical sound, CM3 tend to be a bit straightforward, less informational or "flat". Space is much better with Schoeps as well.
Both pairs are going into same preamp (Millennia HV-3R), same converter (Genex GXA8).
CM3 will find their use, they are great mics, especially for the money, but for most part I am sticking with Germans.
No match.
Old 5th December 2011
  #103
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Please, could you upload samples ?
Old 5th December 2011
  #104
Gear Nut
 

I will next time I'm at work.
Old 5th December 2011
  #105
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ifrit View Post
Recording solo piano right now with 2 close (4 feet from instrument) pairs (for comparing, on one stand, one pair is one inch higher than the other): newly acquired CM3 and CMC6.21.
CM3 are good mics, but definitely noisier than Schoeps. Schoeps also give more defined and musical sound, CM3 tend to be a bit straightforward, less informational or "flat". Space is much better with Schoeps as well.
Both pairs are going into same preamp (Millennia HV-3R), same converter (Genex GXA8).
CM3 will find their use, they are great mics, especially for the money, but for most part I am sticking with Germans.
No match.
Great, if you can - can you post some audio examples?

I like the CM3 at the moment as a useful workhorse, but I still have appetites for "better"... I heard some outstanding work with DPA and Schoeps mics from another forum member "Georgiev": Samples and it confirmed in my mind that great equipment combined with talent is the key. There are NO short-cuts. Also not with the mics.

Another example of CM3 in action attached.

I just have a stereo pair set up all the time now and if I have to record quickly some clip/idea for some dance performance, background for a jingle or anything - I don't think which mic to use - I just record with them and get very good results on pretty much any instrument all the time, but I use them rather close - ca. 1m.

In that clip I just added additional Isomax II omni inside one of the udu drums for more bass - but the other - bigger one is recorded just with CM3 and I got a nice balance of clay tone and bass - which is very hard to do. Udu drum is a quite demanding instrument to properly record. Shakers and triangle are also recorded with a stereo pair of CM3 and no EQ.

For that money - NO OBJECTIONS anymore, just praise.
Attached Files

Udu groove example CM3.wav (2.49 MB, 2579 views)

Old 5th December 2011
  #106
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The Listener's Avatar
And that percussion recording used in the context of the song for a certain dance performance. The rest was recorded with Gefell UM70 and M70 mics. All, including the CM3 for the percussion were used with DAV BG1U preamp and TC K48 converters.
Attached Files

Soli demo.mp3 (8.56 MB, 3961 views)

Old 5th December 2011
  #107
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ifrit View Post
Recording solo piano right now with 2 close (4 feet from instrument) pairs (for comparing, on one stand, one pair is one inch higher than the other): newly acquired CM3 and CMC6.21.
CM3 are good mics, but definitely noisier than Schoeps. Schoeps also give more defined and musical sound, CM3 tend to be a bit straightforward, less informational or "flat". Space is much better with Schoeps as well.
Both pairs are going into same preamp (Millennia HV-3R), same converter (Genex GXA8).
CM3 will find their use, they are great mics, especially for the money, but for most part I am sticking with Germans.
No match.
The CM3 microphones pick things up very differently to the CMC621, so comparing them both in the same position doesn't make sense to me. I feel the CM3 mic's are more directional than the MK21, so maybe try coming back from the source a bit with the CM3 if you need to pick up more room.
In my opinion, the CM3 leave me wanting nothing compared to the Schoeps. They are their own microphones and are not necessarily better or worse, just different.
Old 5th December 2011
  #108
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Whates View Post
In my opinion, the CM3 leave me wanting nothing compared to the Schoeps. They are their own microphones and are not necessarily better or worse, just different.
That's great, but for me the extra noise is definitely a disadvantage.
Old 5th December 2011
  #109
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ifrit View Post
That's great, but for me the extra noise is definitely a disadvantage.
I haven't noticed the noise level to be a problem, but I haven't directly compared it to any other mic. About the noise that is there, it doesn't seem to be of the distracting variety. It's smooth noise, if that makes sense.
Old 5th December 2011
  #110
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Whates View Post
The CM3 microphones pick things up very differently to the CMC621, so comparing them both in the same position doesn't make sense to me.
However CM3 and CM621 sounds very close in this test.
Old 5th December 2011
  #111
Gear Nut
 

Here are the today's samples, pre/ADC is Yamaha AD8HR.
Old 5th December 2011
  #112
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Thank you a lot. I hear a great difference because of the disturbing low frequency noise level (< 100 Hz) on the left channel of one sample, which is likely the CM3 sample. I observed also on my CM3s this LF noise excess in spectral analysis but not at the same extent like for your ones and I do not hear it.
Old 6th December 2011
  #113
I made a test with pairs of CM3, KM184, C42, C451B and it held well. Darker, or let`s say less bright than C451 and C42 (everything is darker than this one), but brighter than Neumann which was most neutral. It still does not make me like SDC`s, but it is really good microphone.
Old 6th December 2011
  #114
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Thank you a lot. I hear a great difference because of the disturbing low frequency noise level (< 100 Hz) on the left channel of one sample, which is likely the CM3 sample. I observed also on my CM3s this LF noise excess in spectral analysis but not at the same extent like for your ones and I do not hear it.
Yes, there is a low end rumble in one of the examples, it might be coming from regular stand mounts and the other pair was on the Shure shockmounts. Floor/stand noise, as far as I understand, but there is a certain amount of electrical hum as well. Might be the lighting. Which arises the question how good they are standing against such disturbances.
The great difference for me, though, isn't this rumble, but rather overall sound and hiss (noise level). I'll try to put another 2 pairs for flute and piano, both on shockmounts. Should one pair be MK4? Or DPA 4021 or 4028?
Old 6th December 2011
  #115
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The Listener's Avatar
How far away from the source did you record that piano to have such noise issues? The part of "white noise" were also the sounds of the piano pedal...
I guess the noisy no.1 is CM3?

I put them in perspective - they can fool anyone for substituting Schoeps-like mics for some occasions, but they are a bit more than usual sensitive for low vibrations, maybe they even accentuate the low end a bit, I don't know, but I like them for semi-close micing - they work very well. I would have another pair of some other mics ready when working on location, though - I fear that low rumbling effect for some applications and maybe they are too noisy in combination with even a good preamp (that has to be pushed more because of their low sensitivity) for distant micing of not so loud sources.

Any noise-less choir or string quarte recordings with CM3, anyone? Classical guitar in a concert hall? I know they work at ca. 1m distance in the studio - noise free...

All in all - I am content that I was able to put into perspective the price/quality relationship. They are great for the money, sound great for some applications, but they cannot be a universal substitute for Schoeps MK21 and the like for 230 EUR per pair that made me open this thread in amazement and curiosity in the first place.

MY CONCLUSION: You get more than you pay for - a great sounding mic for SOME applications but NOT a substitute for Schoeps MK21 or anything in that class of mics.

The quality level of recordings I consider satisfactory for "high-end" is this: http://georgievsound.com/samples/ and I was not convinced till now that for those applications the CM3 pair would do. No audio proof with such a high level of quality as in those recordings, yet.

But they are more than fine for what I decided to make them do.
Old 6th December 2011
  #116
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
MY CONCLUSION: You get more than you pay for - a great sounding mic for SOME applications but NOT a substitute for Schoeps MK21 or anything in that class of mics.
I haven't concluded anything, but I would agree with you that they are not a MK21 substitute.

However, about this idea of a "class" of microphone--I assume by that you mean price. Or maybe you mean history? Or...? Anyway, all I can say is that these CM3s are not cheap-sounding microphones. And I would like to comment on the "bassiness" some have mentioned. A few people have described this as an excess of proximity or susceptibility to rumble--maybe. All I know is that they have this weightiness to them which I like and--truth be told--favour to the Schoeps sound in this regard.

The only thing no-one can really conclude is how reliable the microphones are. With Schoeps, I feel I can trust them and they wont fail (although, I have had two fail on me in the past!). I wouldn't trust the CM3s yet, as they don't have a long enough track record.
Old 6th December 2011
  #117
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Whates View Post
I haven;t concluded anything, but I can agree with you that they are not a MK21 substitute.

However, about this idea of a "class" of microphone--I assume by that you mean price. Or maybe you mean history? Or...? Anyway, all I can say is that these CM3s are not cheap-sounding microphones. And I would like to comment on the "bassiness" some have mentioned. A few people have described this as an excess of proximity or susceptibility to rumble--maybe. All I know is that they have this weightiness to them which I like and--truth be told--favour to the Schoeps sound in this regard.

The only thing no-one can really conclude is how reliable the microphones are. With Schoeps, I feel I can trust them and they wont fail (although, I have had two fail on me in the past!). I wouldn't trust the CM3s yet, as they don't have a long enough track record.
Yes, the price can be part of orientation, but sure - not the only thing. The quality is what counts. It would be REALLY stunning if you would get the quality of DPA4011 or Schoeps MK2(1) and the like for 230 EUR (per pair!), but I don't see those companies going bankrupt because of Line Audio - that's reality check... And I mean NOTHING bad with saying this. Just trying to put things into realistic perspective.

When someone posts a recording with CM3 on the level of examples on this link: Samples , especially - the classical guitar, String orchestra with soloist and the piano example (btw - true - not even expensive mic examples by some members here were not on the same level as that example) - then I would consider CM3 in the same "class".

If they can't provide that level of quality for distant orchestral recording and other subtle applications - they are not in the same class. Simple.

Again - this is not a critique of CM3 - they are great mic for what they are. Just trying to put everything into a more realistic perspective. I drew my conclusion and I am content.
Old 6th December 2011
  #118
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ifrit View Post
YThe great difference for me, though, isn't this rumble, but rather overall sound and hiss (noise level).
Here attached a Wavelab display of the noise spectrum measaured on the initial silence of your recording. Indeed there is a difference at both spectrum ends. The A-weigthed noise level difference between CM3 and MK21 is 2 dB according to the specifications from Line Audio Design and Schoeps (14 dBA for MK 21, 16 dBA dor CM3). A small amount of noise removal processing is sufficient for solving this issue. I have processed in this way the CM3 right channel, to be compared to the MK 21 right channel but I encounter some difficulty for uploading them now on the site. I will try later on.

I have got also a comparison test on piano between CM3, MK 21 and DPA 4021 (the compact version of the DPA 4011), which I'll try to upload also. It appears that the CM3 noise level is about the same like the one of the DPA 4021, but the CM3 sounds closer to the Schoeps than to the DPA.
Attached Thumbnails
CM3 - really THAT good?-mk21-white-vs-cm3-red-2.jpg  
Old 6th December 2011
  #119
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
If they can't provide that level of quality for distant orchestral recording and other subtle applications - they are not in the same class. Simple.
But you're drawing conclusions before you have been presented with the facts. Listening to those examples you mention, I'm confident the CM3--given the correct placement--is more than a match for the Schoeps in terms of quality of sound. Would the pickup pattern be what you require? Maybe not. That's where the Schoeps system shines -- the sheer number of polar patterns available, all with a fairly homogeneous house sound. It's a bit like using one brand of prime-lens. You will get a look and tone that is similar throughout the range.

I haven't tried the CM3 as a distant pickup for an orchestra, so I can't comment. But, for piano and violin - the CM3 is definitely not leaving anything to be desired.

And another comment about noise - I have been using these mics with the SD702 recorder and have never once found their self-noise to be a problem.

The thing that continues to strike me about these CM3s is the detail but not at the expense of weightiness. This is usually the specialty of LDC valve mic's, but I'm hearing this with the CM3s and it suits me fine.
Old 6th December 2011
  #120
I've got such a sample, classical guitar and voice, unfortunately I'm having trouble uploading it here. Let me try later to see if the uploader will work then.

KB
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