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CM3 - really THAT good? Condenser Microphones
Old 10th February 2017
  #1471
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VlaVlnPlayer View Post
The room, itself, is not too small...
It is to my ears. Listen to those first reflections. That's classic "small room sound."

Yes, you can put a lot of effort and resources into treating such a room, but in the end it's still a small room. You'll have to fix the rapid first reflection problem, which will likely deaden the room considerably. Which in turn leads to a fair amount of post processing, including artificial reverb.

Until you get out of that room into something more suitable, what you do with mics or placements aren't going to be a huge improvement. Nothing is more important than the hall you play in.
Old 10th February 2017
  #1472
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by VlaVlnPlayer View Post
The room, itself, is not too small in length, and the colors of the wall are fine ;-) However, it has a low (concrete) ceiling parallel to the floor (overall shape is a rectangular one). I'm glad to know that you don't think that there is nothing amiss with mic choice, placement or signal chain.

Besides treating the room (or using another one), could I have done anything else to improve this recording?

Thanks!
Yes a low ceiling is likely the source of that 'small' room sound, as it is going to give unpleasant, boxy early reflections, irrespective of the other more desirable dimensions of the space.

Given that the propagation pattern of the violin is largely vertical of the upper face of the instrument, that's where most of the sound is going to radiate. If you really love that room, can you ask the player to sit cross-legged on the floor..which will give you a 'higher ceiling' ?

If not...could you locate the mics a bit higher, but point them more sharply downward toward the instrument, which would put the ceiling more squarely in the rear rejection (or less sensitive) zone of the mics ?

I doubt that this will be a solution, but it might mitigate the worst effects of the ceiling on the overall sound. A bigger room is probably a simpler fix....
Old 11th February 2017
  #1473
Gear Nut
 

Choir recordings on new CM3s

Greetings. I've lurked around GS long enough to be convinced into buying a pair of these guys. I finally joined and thought I'd share a few of my recent recordings of a local high school choir using CM3s as a main pair in NOS confirguration. I also used omni outriggers, but they were around 12db down, and the recordings here are of only the CM3s that I frankly thought were quite adequate on their own.

The venue was a modern church (~1000) designed for good acoustics, but I think that is mainly to benefit the bands that play during services. None of the walls are parallel, back wall is curved, ceiling is sloped. I counted maybe just a bit over 1s reverb.

The choir stood on risers with shells, with a piano and conductor projecting onto the stage apron. Because a small ensemble earlier performed on an apron extension, I had just one spot -- truly a few square feet -- into which I sandwiched the main stand between the conductor and edge of stage (see picture). The remaining choir microphones shown in the picture aren't mine; the conductor wanted them for mild reinforcement.

I patched the CM3s into an Allen & Heath stagebox, then after conversion into a Dante network from which I grabbed the signal. While I would prefer my own mic pres and recorder, I thought the AH pres and converters sounded serviceable -- it was a high school concert, right? -- and the convenience of a Dante-enabled venue was impossible to pass up.

The samples here have no EQ or compression. A very, very light amount of RX tamed ventilation noise. I added reverb from Valhalla Room because the recording sounded too dry, which was probably a combination of hall acoustics and mic stand placement.

Dynamic range on the Kwa Wote Upendo piece is significant. Word of warning if you listen to the end.

Cheers.
Attached Thumbnails
CM3 - really THAT good?-concertchoir.jpg  
Attached Files

Ding Dong Merrily On High.mp3 (4.66 MB, 2716 views)

Kwa Wote Upendo.mp3 (14.53 MB, 2737 views)

Old 11th February 2017
  #1474
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrReid View Post
Greetings. I've lurked around GS long enough to be convinced into buying a pair of these guys. I finally joined and thought I'd share a few of my recent recordings of a local high school choir using CM3s as a main pair in NOS confirguration. I also used omni outriggers, but they were around 12db down, and the recordings here are of only the CM3s that I frankly thought were quite adequate on their own.

The venue was a modern church (~1000) designed for good acoustics, but I think that is mainly to benefit the bands that play during services. None of the walls are parallel, back wall is curved, ceiling is sloped. I counted maybe just a bit over 1s reverb.

The choir stood on risers with shells, with a piano and conductor projecting onto the stage apron. Because a small ensemble earlier performed on an apron extension, I had just one spot -- truly a few square feet -- into which I sandwiched the main stand between the conductor and edge of stage (see picture). The remaining choir microphones shown in the picture aren't mine; the conductor wanted them for mild reinforcement.

I patched the CM3s into an Allen & Heath stagebox, then after conversion into a Dante network from which I grabbed the signal. While I would prefer my own mic pres and recorder, I thought the AH pres and converters sounded serviceable -- it was a high school concert, right? -- and the convenience of a Dante-enabled venue was impossible to pass up.

The samples here have no EQ or compression. A very, very light amount of RX tamed ventilation noise. I added reverb from Valhalla Room because the recording sounded too dry, which was probably a combination of hall acoustics and mic stand placement.

Dynamic range on the Kwa Wote Upendo piece is significant. Word of warning if you listen to the end.

Cheers.
Very very nice!
Old 14th February 2017
  #1475
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrReid View Post
Greetings. I've lurked
......
Word of warning if you listen to the end.

Cheers.
Very good.
Old 14th February 2017
  #1476
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrReid View Post
Greetings. I've lurked around GS long enough to be convinced into buying a pair of these guys. I finally joined and thought I'd share a few of my recent recordings of a local high school choir using CM3s as a main pair in NOS confirguration. I also used omni outriggers, but they were around 12db down, and the recordings here are of only the CM3s that I frankly thought were quite adequate on their own.
You've done very well, especially considering the mic placement constraints you found yourself in.

The sound shell doesn't seem to be very effective, it looks quite flimsy and homemade, although it would certainly be helpful for choristers outdoors, in the case of an unexpected thunderstorm !

I like the spatial rendering of the choir's width too. The only minor quibble I have is with the 'died and gone to heaven' reverb, which is a bit over zealous to my ears...but then most choirs do love to hear themselves wrapped in such a luxurious cloak of ambience, even if it's a confection, so it's bound to keep the customer satisfied
Old 14th February 2017
  #1477
Gear Addict
 
voltronic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
You've done very well, especially considering the mic placement constraints you found yourself in.

The sound shell doesn't seem to be very effective, it looks quite flimsy and homemade, although it would certainly be helpful for choristers outdoors, in the case of an unexpected thunderstorm !
Agreed on the great recording, and the choir is outstanding also! Thanks for posting the second piece especially, as I wasn't familiar with it. (Info here for fellow choir nerds.)

I recognized the acoustic shells right away. They look flimsy because they are meant to be easily transported, as opposed to the standard shells most are used to seeing behind a choir, which are only meant to fold and roll away to the wings of a stage.
Old 14th February 2017
  #1478
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I recognized the acoustic shells right away. They look flimsy because URL="https://www.wengercorp.com/acoustics/travelmaster-portable-acoustic-shell.php"]they are meant to be easily transported[/URL], as opposed to the standard shells most are used to seeing behind a choir, which are only meant to fold and roll away to the wings of a stage.
Yes that makes sense now, indeed looking at the feet and the 'sail area' of those shell panels you certainly wouldn't want to use them outside with any sort of wind gusts possible !

The ones in the photo above looked plastic-y, but I see now they are more substantial than that...
Old 14th February 2017
  #1479
Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
Agreed on the great recording, and the choir is outstanding also! Thanks for posting the second piece especially, as I wasn't familiar with it. (Info here for fellow choir nerds.)

I recognized the acoustic shells right away. They look flimsy because they are meant to be easily transported, as opposed to the standard shells most are used to seeing behind a choir, which are only meant to fold and roll away to the wings of a stage.
And they're more effective than their appearance indicates. One of my regular schools uses them and the difference before/after is significant.
Old 14th February 2017
  #1480
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
Very very nice!
Thanks so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11a12 View Post
Very good.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
You've done very well, especially considering the mic placement constraints you found yourself in.

The sound shell doesn't seem to be very effective, it looks quite flimsy and homemade, although it would certainly be helpful for choristers outdoors, in the case of an unexpected thunderstorm !

I like the spatial rendering of the choir's width too. The only minor quibble I have is with the 'died and gone to heaven' reverb, which is a bit over zealous to my ears...but then most choirs do love to hear themselves wrapped in such a luxurious cloak of ambience, even if it's a confection, so it's bound to keep the customer satisfied
Much appreciated. I indeed wrestled with the amount of 'confection,' as you say. Having the benefit of being in the hall, I thought to achieve a more expansive sound apropos of the hall dimensions. Even so, I'm thankful for your remarking on the reverb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
Agreed on the great recording, and the choir is outstanding also! Thanks for posting the second piece especially, as I wasn't familiar with it. (Info here for fellow choir nerds.)
Thank you, voltronic. I am a relatively new transplant to my slice of heaven in the Pacific Northwest, and I was stunned to learn that a handful of local high schools, including the one I recorded here, are regularly (and nearly exclusively) state choir champions year after year. (Kwa Wote Upendo is in Swahili, Latin, and English. This performance brought the audience to their feet.)
Old 16th February 2017
  #1481
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
 

Yes, lovely recordings. And Sprague High School indeed has been legendary for their choirs for decades.

Flimsy as they might appear, those Wenger systems are essentially the "industry-standard" portable choir shell here in the US. The panels are pretty thin vacuum-formed plastic sheet snapped onto folding steel frames. I can tell you from regular experience on BOTH sides of the microphones that even those flimsy Wenger shells are quite effective at least for the singers to get some near reflections going to improve their performance and ensemble. Even if they don't do much for what the audience hears out in the venue, they significantly improve what the singers hear, and that affects even professional performers, much more so for amateurs.

I was recording/video an all-day juried, invitational choir festival once up in Vancouver, WA, just across the Columbia River. Late in the afternoon a smaller choir (around ~20 voices) was in the middle of a song. One of the girls on the back row apparently fainted and fell backwards into the Wenger shell. The panel gave way and she landed behind the risers, but the panel snapped back as if nothing had happened. There was a dull thud as she hit the floor, but it you weren't watching at that moment, it was like a magic trick. She just disappeared. Fortunately, one of the choir-moms back stage rushed over to her and she was not injured.

Old 16th February 2017
  #1482
Lives for gear
The importance of the choir members being able to hear each other can't be overstated. I haven't seen many choirs use shells around here, but would sure love to have a set.

Nice recordings.
Old 16th February 2017
  #1483
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Yes, lovely recordings. And Sprague High School indeed has been legendary for their choirs for decades.
You have a sharp eye, Richard.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
The importance of the choir members being able to hear each other can't be overstated. I haven't seen many choirs use shells around here, but would sure love to have a set.

Nice recordings.
Thanks so much.
Old 16th February 2017
  #1484
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Mats H's Avatar
Here's a recording I made on new year's day. Mozart's Krönungsmesse: Gloria. The CM3 were solo spots. I use them when I don't want infinite detail on soloists.

http://www.livingsound.se/mozartkronung.mp3

The Church is very narrow so I opted for two pairs into my brand new Zoom F8. Microtech Gefell M296 for the orchestra. Neumann KM140 in wide ORTF over the smallish choir. Sennheiser MKH30 over the timpani and CM3 for the solists.
Attached Thumbnails
CM3 - really THAT good?-gloria.jpg  
Old 16th February 2017
  #1485
Lives for gear
 
Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mats H View Post
Here's a recording I made on new year's day. Mozart's Krönungsmesse: Gloria. The CM3 were solo spots. I use them when I don't want infinite detail on soloists.

http://www.livingsound.se/mozartkronung.mp3

The Church is very narrow so I opted for two pairs into my brand new Zoom F8. Microtech Gefell M296 for the orchestra. Neumann KM140 in wide ORTF over the smallish choir. Sennheiser MKH30 over the timpani and CM3 for the solists.
Excellent as usual. What else can one say?
Old 17th February 2017
  #1486
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mats H View Post
Here's a recording I made on new year's day. Mozart's Krönungsmesse: Gloria. The CM3 were solo spots. I use them when I don't want infinite detail on soloists.

http://www.livingsound.se/mozartkronung.mp3

The Church is very narrow so I opted for two pairs into my brand new Zoom F8. Microtech Gefell M296 for the orchestra. Neumann KM140 in wide ORTF over the smallish choir. Sennheiser MKH30 over the timpani and CM3 for the solists.
Mats, you always raise the bar. Lovely recording, as usual.
Old 17th February 2017
  #1487
Gear Addict
 
voltronic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mats H View Post
Here's a recording I made on new year's day. Mozart's Krönungsmesse: Gloria. The CM3 were solo spots. I use them when I don't want infinite detail on soloists.

http://www.livingsound.se/mozartkronung.mp3

The Church is very narrow so I opted for two pairs into my brand new Zoom F8. Microtech Gefell M296 for the orchestra. Neumann KM140 in wide ORTF over the smallish choir. Sennheiser MKH30 over the timpani and CM3 for the solists.
Wow, great recording and performance! An under-performed gem of a piece, too (at least here in the US).

No one else has mentioned it yet, but to my ears your track is a ringing endorsement of the Zoom F8 quality. You might consider cross-posting to that thread. I think those who were dismissing the F8 as a piece of junk would find it hard to fault what you have captured here, with top quality mics in a good acoustic. You may have just tipped me over the fence towards buying one of these.

Would you please post a lossless sample of this?
Old 17th February 2017
  #1488
Lives for gear
I like the photo, too. Great color balance and exposure.
Old 17th February 2017
  #1489
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Mats H's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
Wow, great recording and performance! An under-performed gem of a piece, too (at least here in the US).

No one else has mentioned it yet, but to my ears your track is a ringing endorsement of the Zoom F8 quality. You might consider cross-posting to that thread. I think those who were dismissing the F8 as a piece of junk would find it hard to fault what you have captured here, with top quality mics in a good acoustic. You may have just tipped me over the fence towards buying one of these.

Would you please post a lossless sample of this?
Thanks guys! I believe I posted it on a F8 Group on Facebook as well. I like this little recorder for these gigs. The buttons and knobs are fiddly but you can buy 3d printed knobs that pop onto the existing ones. They work much better. Real time mixing can be done, preferably with the FRC-8. However it lacks EQ, compression and FX send unless one uses the sub out and sacrifice a pair of inputs. Personally I don't care much for the Iphone app.

Some people hate on the headphone port. It wouldn't work properly with my Grado Headphones but SONY headphones work properly.

http://www.livingsound.se/mozartkronung.wav

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
I like the photo, too. Great color balance and exposure.
Thanks! The Sony A7S II is great for these concerts with often poor lighting and the fact that it's got a silent shutter mode is fab.
Old 17th February 2017
  #1490
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jpgerard's Avatar
Well done Mats. Pretty damn good performance, which always helps me focus on the techie side. Did you EQ the tracks? In any case this proves that you can mix widely different mics with great success.
Old 17th February 2017
  #1491
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Mats H's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
Well done Mats. Pretty damn good performance, which always helps me focus on the techie side. Did you EQ the tracks? In any case this proves that you can mix widely different mics with great success.
Thx! Yeah I always EQ and automation to the tracks if needed. Usually around ,5 to 1 dB boosts and cuts but sometimes more. I added some bottom and top to the main pair. Some boosted lows and a ,7 dB cut at 5K on the choir. High pass on the CM3 mics. Low mid boost and a 2,5 dB boost to the upper mids for the timpani mic.
Old 17th February 2017
  #1492
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jpgerard's Avatar
Those corrections make perfect sense knowing those mics Good job!!!
Old 17th February 2017
  #1493
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrReid View Post
Greetings. I've lurked around GS long enough to be convinced into buying a pair of these guys. I finally joined and thought I'd share a few of my recent recordings of a local high school choir using CM3s as a main pair in NOS configuration.
Steve - this is an awesome recording in every respect. The second composition is just a superb piece of music and the kids sound incredible. Well done, from someone who has sat in front of hundreds of school gigs!
Old 18th February 2017
  #1494
Gear Addict
 
voltronic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mats H View Post
Thanks guys! I believe I posted it on a F8 Group on Facebook as well. I like this little recorder for these gigs. The buttons and knobs are fiddly but you can buy 3d printed knobs that pop onto the existing ones. They work much better. Real time mixing can be done, preferably with the FRC-8. However it lacks EQ, compression and FX send unless one uses the sub out and sacrifice a pair of inputs. Personally I don't care much for the Iphone app.

Some people hate on the headphone port. It wouldn't work properly with my Grado Headphones but SONY headphones work properly.

http://www.livingsound.se/mozartkronung.wav
Thanks for the lossless sample. Really enjoying it.

Regarding the headphone port - the complaint I've heard is that the amp is not at all neutral and shouldn't be trusted for serious monitoring unless you're simply using it as a level reference. The sound actually recorded is supposedly far superior to what you're hearing through the headphone amp. If that's true, that is OK with me given the price point.

I wonder if your Grado and Sony phones have significantly different impedance, and that's why it would not sound right with the Grados?
Old 18th February 2017
  #1495
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Steve - this is an awesome recording in every respect. The second composition is just a superb piece of music and the kids sound incredible. Well done, from someone who has sat in front of hundreds of school gigs!
Cheers, James.
Old 24th February 2017
  #1496
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I've been pretty gun shy with regards to cheap boutique mics over the years, but these babies have gotten so much praise here I couldn't resist. Just got my pair this week and will get to use one this weekend as a trumpet concerto spot mic (I may try to sneak my M160-DX up there as well for comparison's sake, though the narrow pattern could be problematic). I'll try to post a sample or two next week.

I'm a little hesitant to commit to replacing my main front ORTF KM140's with them, but they should be great on choir for Beethoven's Choral Fantasy in a couple of weeks.
Old 24th February 2017
  #1497
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
I've been pretty gun shy with regards to cheap boutique mics over the years, but these babies have gotten so much praise here I couldn't resist. Just got my pair this week and will get to use one this weekend as a trumpet concerto spot mic (I may try to sneak my M160-DX up there as well for comparison's sake, though the narrow pattern could be problematic). I'll try to post a sample or two next week.

I'm a little hesitant to commit to replacing my main front ORTF KM140's with them, but they should be great on choir for Beethoven's Choral Fantasy in a couple of weeks.
Sean, the combined experience in this thread is that NOS seems to work a bit better than ORTF. It is the wide cardioid pattern. YMMV, of course.
Old 24th February 2017
  #1498
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jpgerard's Avatar
"Boutique" has become a wide range of things, unfortunately. Line audio is a very rare one man company designing and actually manufacturing the product. With the exception of most capsule parts and the Neutrik XLR socket, the whole mic is made in Sweden. The basic swivel mount is comes from Taiwan or China, I don't remember, and is part of the low price of the set. I believe the plastic box is also a local item. This type of product being built locally from scratch is definitely was "boutique" is about, unlike some companies importing complete products from China selling them in the factory sealed plastic wrap... I'm not the only one convinced that Line Audio products are under-priced, which can put off some people. I'm glad that in this case GS helped someone discover how good the CM3 is.
Old 24th February 2017
  #1499
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
I've been pretty gun shy with regards to cheap boutique mics over the years, but these babies have gotten so much praise here I couldn't resist. Just got my pair this week and will get to use one this weekend as a trumpet concerto spot mic (I may try to sneak my M160-DX up there as well for comparison's sake, though the narrow pattern could be problematic). I'll try to post a sample or two next week.

I'm a little hesitant to commit to replacing my main front ORTF KM140's with them, but they should be great on choir for Beethoven's Choral Fantasy in a couple of weeks.
I usually associate the word 'boutique' with low sales volume, but I wonder if that still applies to the Line Audio mics ? Similarly I associate boutique with expensive, which these mics certainly aren't. I guess there are many makers who fit into this category: DAV, Gordon, Pueblo etc, and then you have the modifiers like Black Lion Audio and Michael Joly, so it's a term laced with many interpretations
Old 24th February 2017
  #1500
Lives for gear
There's a difference between a craftsman building one microphone one at a time versus someone selling microphones at some cheap price point churned out in the thousands by someone else in some cheap labor and materials factory. And it makes a difference to have someone like jpgerard handling sales and giving great customer service.
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