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CM3 - really THAT good? Condenser Microphones
Old 23rd September 2016
  #1411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I've attached here the CM3 only pair, and in addition added a very steep notch filter at 7999 Hz as you suggested (the lighting hum and RF breakthrough is left unaddressed though) The CM3's alone are quite respectable...they still render the space and ambience very well !

Incidentally the RX Plug-In pack is on offer during Sept for $99, with 4 modules: De Click, De Clip, De Hum and Dialogue De Noise, but I'm sure this is basically an Essentials kit, without the power of the regular RX Audio Editor facilities for $249...or the Advanced version for even more $ ?
I much prefer this version. To me, the imaging and tonality is much more natural than the one including the omni flanks, at the expense of a little less treble presence. That's not to say the treble is necessarily dull here - for all we know, it may be a more accurate presentation of reality. Only you can judge that since you were there.

Good job notching out the whine; that makes things much more listenable. Now that you took that out, I wonder if the hall had an active PA system which could be contributing to some of that hiss, or if it's all RF. I record in school auditoriums most of the time, and that's one of the things I need to use RX for (and HVAC noise even more so). Speaking of...

IMO, you want the regular RX Audio Editor. That's what I have, although still on version 4 right now. The Plugin Pack is priced attractively, but you only get the Dialogue DeNoise, whereas the Editor has Spectral DeNoise which is MUCH more powerful and effective on music, and worth the price of the full program alone. If you've heard any of the before/after samples I've posted here with RX, that's the module that I've used. It does require quite a bit of experimentation to find that place where hiss and rumble are reduced acceptably without introducing artifacts into the music or killing the hall ambiance. After a few years of trial and error, I've found a default setting that I can adjust as needed, and it works on the majority of my recordings.

I don't think the Advanced version is necessary unless you need the specific features it includes, which are quite impressive but I think more useful in TV / film work, particularly the Ambiance Match and DeReverb modules.
Old 23rd September 2016
  #1412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I much prefer this version. To me, the imaging and tonality is much more natural than the one including the omni flanks, at the expense of a little less treble presence. That's not to say the treble is necessarily dull here - for all we know, it may be a more accurate presentation of reality. Only you can judge that since you were there.

Good job notching out the whine; that makes things much more listenable. Now that you took that out, I wonder if the hall had an active PA system which could be contributing to some of that hiss, or if it's all RF. I record in school auditoriums most of the time, and that's one of the things I need to use RX for (and HVAC noise even more so). Speaking of...

IMO, you want the regular RX Audio Editor. That's what I have, although still on version 4 right now. The Plugin Pack is priced attractively, but you only get the Dialogue DeNoise, whereas the Editor has Spectral DeNoise which is MUCH more powerful and effective on music, and worth the price of the full program alone. If you've heard any of the before/after samples I've posted here with RX, that's the module that I've used. It does require quite a bit of experimentation to find that place where hiss and rumble are reduced acceptably without introducing artifacts into the music or killing the hall ambiance. After a few years of trial and error, I've found a default setting that I can adjust as needed, and it works on the majority of my recordings.

I don't think the Advanced version is necessary unless you need the specific features it includes, which are quite impressive but I think more useful in TV / film work, particularly the Ambiance Match and DeReverb modules.
The hall's PA was off during the performance (at least that was the plan, with a wireless announce mic being switched on and off as required).

I recall what probably went wrong with that piece now...having heard it in rehearsal I knew what to expect in terms of crescendo level at the end...so I correspondingly turned the gain way down at the start in anticipation, hence the hiss when amplified.

My guess is that the RF is likely always there at a constant low level, but when mic gain is turned up to a more realistic level the signal swamps the RF ?
Old 23rd September 2016
  #1413
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I've attached here the CM3 only pair, and in addition added a very steep notch filter at 7999 Hz as you suggested (the lighting hum and RF breakthrough is left unaddressed though) The CM3's alone are quite respectable...they still render the space and ambience very well !

Incidentally the RX Plug-In pack is on offer during Sept for $99, with 4 modules: De Click, De Clip, De Hum and Dialogue De Noise, but I'm sure this is basically an Essentials kit, without the power of the regular RX Audio Editor facilities for $249...or the Advanced version for even more $ ?
I started with the plug in pack then upgraded to the Editor. The Editor has what you need for this stuff, the plug in pack does not.

With the Editor on sale for $249, that's a very good deal. I just got it and am starting to learn how to use it, I will use these tracks for practice as well.
Old 27th September 2016
  #1414
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[In the voice of Eric Idle]:

And now for something... completely different...

First marching band competition of the season, and as the tech / media guy for my wife's band, I was there to record their show. We had a surprise guest performance by the Boston University Marching Band, who did a really fun pop set during intermission from the competition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVFIGOfyrfM

Mics located at camera perspective (sorry for the overexposed cell phone video). This was CM3s in the SRS "Wide ORTF" mount, direct into my Jim Williams mod Tascam DR-70D. Rode WS8 windscreens also used.

I went with this mount simply because I needed something very compact, and quick to setup and break down with a clamp onto the front railing of the stands. In the past I've used 60 cm spaced omnis for this, but it just takes up too much room and interferes with the other spectators next to me. (No, setting up a stand isn't an option for these competitions.) I knew the SRA would be a bit too wide for this distance, but it's marching band, not a Palestrina mass in a nice chapel.
Old 27th September 2016
  #1415
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
[In the voice of Eric Idle]:

And now for something... completely different...

First marching band competition of the season, and as the tech / media guy for my wife's band, I was there to record their show. We had a surprise guest performance by the Boston University Marching Band, who did a really fun pop set during intermission from the competition.
That was a lot of fun to watch and hear....great precision all round ! The CM3 pair did a good job of rendering a big width and depth of field, and the presence boost when the players came forward for the finale was thrilling ! Good balance between the marimbas and the amplified instruments and the brass too, hats off to the FOH tech. The wide-screen audio complements the vision very well !
Old 27th September 2016
  #1416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
That was a lot of fun to watch and hear....great precision all round ! The CM3 pair did a good job of rendering a big width and depth of field, and the presence boost when the players came forward for the finale was thrilling ! Good balance between the marimbas and the amplified instruments and the brass too, hats off to the FOH tech. The wide-screen audio complements the vision very well !
Thanks. I actually had to knock my levels back on the fly at the end, as peaks were already hitting -4.

Not sure if you were joking, but there's no FOH for these things, every band does their own PA, which is always minimal. In this case, the only things amplified were the "pit": mallet instruments, keyboards, triggered samples from the laptop, but not the cymbals, bass drum, etc of course. Everything else is natural. That's the typical setup for all of the high school and college bands at these events.
Old 27th September 2016
  #1417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
Thanks. I actually had to knock my levels back on the fly at the end, as peaks were already hitting -4.

Not sure if you were joking, but there's no FOH for these things, every band does their own PA, which is always minimal. In this case, the only things amplified were the "pit": mallet instruments, keyboards, triggered samples from the laptop, but not the cymbals, bass drum, etc of course. Everything else is natural. That's the typical setup for all of the high school and college bands at these events.
Yes, I meant those foreground mallet instruments, keyboards etc...nicely balanced against the unamplified brass band
Old 27th September 2016
  #1418
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boojum's Avatar
Fun! Good recording.
Old 27th September 2016
  #1419
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Yes, I meant those foreground mallet instruments, keyboards etc...nicely balanced against the unamplified brass band
Agreed - the only thing I saw that I couldn't hear was the shaker in "Don't stop 'til you get enough".

And the "amplified instruments" got just enough in my opinion.

Nice performance. Makes the little bit of BU terrier in my background (1 semester in 1983) swell with pride.
Old 5th November 2016
  #1420
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CM3 makes a pretty good trumpet spot mic too.....recorded this tonight
Attached Files

Trumpet Concerto.mp3.mp3 (15.18 MB, 2751 views)

Old 5th November 2016
  #1421
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
CM3 makes a pretty good trumpet spot mic too.....recorded this tonight
Nice!

Since I pretend know a thing or two about trumpets, where did you put the mic in relation to the instrument?

Regards, Christine
Old 5th November 2016
  #1422
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connloyalist View Post
Nice!

Since I pretend know a thing or two about trumpets, where did you put the mic in relation to the instrument?

Regards, Christine
It was about 1.5 metres out from the bell, but maybe 30cms lower than the bell, pointing up towards it.
Old 5th November 2016
  #1423
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
CM3 makes a pretty good trumpet spot mic too.....recorded this tonight
Very nice - may we also know who composed the piece. I'm also curious about what microphone setup was used aaprt from the CM3

::
Mads
Old 6th November 2016
  #1424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
Very nice - may we also know who composed the piece. I'm also curious about what microphone setup was used aaprt from the CM3

::
Mads
Composer was Alexander Arutiunian (1920-2012), the Concerto written 1950.

ORTF pair of NT-5 cardioids above the conductor, outrigger pair of NT-5 omnis, plus the CM3 spot on trumpet.....no added reverb or delaying, kind of Telarc-y really.
Old 6th November 2016
  #1425
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jpgerard's Avatar
On horns I like the safety of the included Foam windshield or a good external popfilter (original Stedman comes to mind). That said at 1.5m there's little chance of a gush of air ruining a take (and the Line Audio pop doesn't eat too much HF).
Old 6th November 2016
  #1426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
On horns I like the safety of the included Foam windshield or a good external popfilter (original Stedman comes to mind). That said at 1.5m there's little chance of a gush of air ruining a take (and the Line Audio pop doesn't eat too much HF).
There is actually very little air movement out of the front of a trumpet.

Regards, Christine
Old 6th November 2016
  #1427
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jpgerard's Avatar
In Classical, probably. In Funk and Reggae sessions I've been often surprised at what came out or Trumpets.
Old 6th November 2016
  #1428
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mljung's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Composer was Alexander Arutiunian (1920-2012), the Concerto written 1950.

ORTF pair of NT-5 cardioids above the conductor, outrigger pair of NT-5 omnis, plus the CM3 spot on trumpet.....no added reverb or delaying, kind of Telarc-y really.
...and in a slightly dry acoustic, which works fine for the music in my opinion ;->

Thanks for info!

::
Mads
Old 6th November 2016
  #1429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Composer was Alexander Arutiunian (1920-2012), the Concerto written 1950.

ORTF pair of NT-5 cardioids above the conductor, outrigger pair of NT-5 omnis, plus the CM3 spot on trumpet.....no added reverb or delaying, kind of Telarc-y really.
Superbe ! Music and recording !
Old 6th November 2016
  #1430
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
In Classical, probably. In Funk and Reggae sessions I've been often surprised at what came out or Trumpets.
If you can get much air movement from the bell of a trumpet, or any other brass instrument, or any kind of woodwind instrument, I'll be impressed. Sound isn't made by blowing air through the instrument; the sound is made by causing the column of air in the instrument to vibrate in sympathy with the vibration of the players lips (or with the woodwinds a single reed, or double reed).

Air movement around a trumpet is much more likely the product of body movement by the player, other players, or their surroundings.
Old 6th November 2016
  #1431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
If you can get much air movement from the bell of a trumpet, or any other brass instrument, or any kind of woodwind instrument, I'll be impressed. Sound isn't made by blowing air through the instrument; the sound is made by causing the column of air in the instrument to vibrate in sympathy with the vibration of the players lips (or with the woodwinds a single reed, or double reed).

Air movement around a trumpet is much more likely the product of body movement by the player, other players, or their surroundings.
Correct (I have been playing the trumpet since 1979).

Regards, Christine
Old 7th November 2016
  #1432
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Just speaking from experience during studio sessions here. But you could be correct - I can't guarantee that the issue I had several times recording horns without popfilters was due to air blasts straight from the bell. However, I know what I felt with my hand in front of it when I was trying to find out why I'd get distortion on hits using condensers and ribbons on horns and I also know that using popfilters or foam socks resulted in clean recordings for me since. It's totally possible that sudden players movement would be enough to push air and shake a ribbon, that's a very good point, especially when you have three guys coming forward blowing their horns in one mic. And also you make another good point: my tracking room is small and opening or closing the main door bottoms out any condenser in the room for a split sec. So again, in a bigger room, this would not be an issue and it is possible that what I experienced would have not happened in a larger space. I should also mention that we typically close mic'ed everything at the studio (room mics being the exception).
Old 7th November 2016
  #1433
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FWIW there were some photos of a woman trumpet player doing a recording for Decca, I think, who had about eight mics on her horn. They were on either side of the horn and not in front of it. Most were ribbons.
Old 7th November 2016
  #1434
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Funny you should mention that, I recall back in my early engineering days, trying everything I'd read in mic technique books on mic placement, and quickly found out that proper placement was usually not compatible with the way players position themselves re: the mic. Personally, and it's a very subjective thing, I always found that on axis mics yield relatively aggressive sounds (even with a ribbon), and I always was happier with a placement off axis, which sounded to me more like what I heard listening to the actual instrument. Horns and Winds were always fascinating to me because what seemed to be the Sweet Spot was almost never where you'd instinctively put a mic... over time it became apparent that producers but also musicians were often looking for the sound of the mic positioned right in front of the instrument because it gave maximum impact and presence. This always made my life harder when mixing! As time went by I understood that few people were actually looking at reproducing the real tone of the instrument in a recording. The end result had to sound like that one record they liked. It meant, more often than not, basic mic placement and a lot of EQ... I still prefer to spend time finding the sweet spot but rarely get to practice that art especially now that I don't record sound much. Still makes more sense to me. Yet pretty much all the session photos you see nowadays show straight on axis mic'ing, whatever the source, or mic...
Old 12th November 2016
  #1435
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGBrian.M View Post
My order of preference:

2) Here's where I differ with the other responders so far: I found this to sound more detailed than 1, with a nice weight to the sound. I actually thought 3 sounded more nasal.

Brian
Yeah, me too. I like that this mic preserves the clarity of individual notes on the trills. The others seem to wash out--but this may be my old Sony MDR V-6 phones. I had to EQ some upper mids out to make any of these sound good. Maybe if I took a little more out, I'd switch my thinking. Guess I need some better monitoring.

In my phones, the other mics make this piano sound more 'American', esp. 3. More like a Steinway to my ear.

Is this the same mic placement as in the SDC omni shootout? Or did you have your piano worked between the 2 sessions? Because I'm not getting the velvet glitter thing here like I did with all 3 of those mics.

Maybe you were just playing differently.... there's some good glitter on those C#s near the end just before it dries out. Were you just getting better at dialing in the ppp as time went on??

Well, thanks a million for posting these!

-eric
Old 12th November 2016
  #1436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodslanding View Post
Is this the same mic placement as in the SDC omni shootout?
No. Small AB in the bow of the rim here instead of beside the tail.


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodslanding View Post
Or did you have your piano worked between the 2 sessions? Because I'm not getting the velvet glitter thing here like I did with all 3 of those mics.
Both sessions are two year apart. Even if the piano has not been voiced meanwhile, I don't remember (tuning every 6 month, voicing when the technician thinks it is necessary and he has time to do it...), the sound shall be different (becoming harder).
Old 12th November 2016
  #1437
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
No. Small AB in the bow of the rim here instead of beside the tail.
....
the sound shall be different (becoming harder).
I guess I like the sound by the tail a lot better. Sounds more like what I hear as a player (especially when I remove the music desk.) Was the lid all the way up in both cases?

And yes the sound will get harder, esp. if you are getting lots of practice time!

Do you use much una corda? I realized that could make a big difference as well. I use it a lot on the Schimmel.

cheers,
-eric

P.S. I am glad you chose a piece I am happy to hear hundreds of times!
Old 12th November 2016
  #1438
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodslanding View Post
Was the lid all the way up in both cases?
Yes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodslanding View Post
Do you use much una corda? I realized that could make a big difference as well.
Not so much... Often enough.
For instance, in this piece for the repeat of the chords in the introduction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodslanding View Post
I am glad you chose a piece I am happy to hear hundreds of times!
I ended to be tired from having it played so many times...
I am now coming back to it. Just for musical pleasure, not for microphone testing.

Last edited by didier.brest; 3rd December 2016 at 09:21 PM..
Old 3rd December 2016
  #1439
I just got a pair of CM3s a couple of days ago and am loving them with my Chandler TG2 pre on acoustic guitar! I had an SM81 a few years ago but hated it, these sound far more natural.

[EDIT] Question, the CM3's impedance is stated at less than 100 ohm, so for the flattest sound should I set my TG2 pres to 300 ohm or 1200 ohm, I am assuming 300 as it's closer?

Last edited by Hermetech Mastering; 4th December 2016 at 06:15 PM..
Old 8th December 2016
  #1440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermetech Mastering View Post
The CM3's impedance is stated at less than 100 ohm, so for the flattest sound should I set my TG2 pres to 300 ohm or 1200 ohm, I am assuming 300 as it's closer?
Bump, anyone? Sorry my focus is more studio based recording than live/location sound, but this thread has been amazing (spent the last week reading through the whole thing), and I'm pretty sure there are a lot of knowledgeable people here who might be able to help me out.

I've been doing a bit of research and testing on this today. I usually set the pres to 300 ohm when I use an SM57 as it seems to give a more "open" sound/better high frequency response, and I've read many articles saying the 57 needs to see/was designed for a lower impedance than a lot of more modern mics, to get the best sound. But the 57 is a transformer balanced cardioid dynamic, and a very different beast from the CM3...

I've noticed when switching the impedance with the CM3, that the 300 ohm position is substantially louder (around 6dB I think, not tested exactly yet). When I recorded some acoustic guitar like this a few days ago I was happy with the sound (better than a 57!) but not blown away, but today I tried it at 1200 ohm and the results were just stunning, (single CM3 30cm from 14th fret where guitar meets body, on axis) very natural, albeit a bit quieter, I needed another 5dB of gain on the Chandler TG2 pre.

Research has stated that for most mics and pres these days, a pre's input impedance should be around 10 times higher than the mic's output impedance, which would basically back up my experience so far (1200 seems to sound better, more natural etc.)

I do have a pair of CM3s and the TG2 is a stereo pre, so what I really need to do is tape them together and set one at 300 ohm and the other at 1200 ohm and hit record... When I get around to it I'll post back with my findings after level matching them and having a very close listen (might even post files if I can work out how to do it).
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