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CM3 - really THAT good? Condenser Microphones
Old 6th January 2018
  #1741
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empiria View Post
Another guitar music sample made with Line Audio microhpones. A quartet in a nice medium concert hall. Some eq, compression/limiting and reverb.

I use Schoeps and Neumann sdc as a main pair nowadays, but have ten Line Audio babes which I like very much.
They do sound nice! Thanks for sharing the recording.



@TMetzinger @lukedamrosch @Moke - thank you all, I appreciate it


@bradh - now I have to try the "Hulk"

Konstantine
Old 22nd January 2018
  #1742
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by konstantine View Post
here are some samples of my CM3 on a classical guitar:


what do you think?
Great job playing, recording and filming. I just bought a pair to try with my mandolin. Hope to get to it in the next month or so - moved house this past weekend and everything is packed away.

Thanks again for sharing!

Avi
Old 24th January 2018
  #1743
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by improziv View Post
Great job playing, recording and filming. I just bought a pair to try with my mandolin. Hope to get to it in the next month or so - moved house this past weekend and everything is packed away.

Thanks again for sharing!

Avi
Thank you Avi, have fun with the CM3 and send me/us your recordings!

Konstantine

Last edited by konstantine; 24th January 2018 at 12:50 PM..
Old 7th February 2018
  #1744
Lives for gear
 
Gaston69's Avatar
Ordered 5x CM3

I ordered yesterday 5-off CM3 microphones and look forward to my next recording gig where I will use them as spot mics. Main pair(s) are DPA4006/4011/Schoeps ORTF all connected to a Merging Horus mix-pre/ADC 16ch

The reasons I choose the CM3

1.)Wide cardiode
2.)Compact form factor
3.)Price
4.)Positive Gearslutz reviews, praising the CM3 and comparing it with Schoeps MK21 (the MK21 is on my wish list however I am a father of 3 children with a mortgage).
Old 7th February 2018
  #1745
Lives for gear
 

I just received glowing praise from a conductor for the recording of their last concert, where for the first time I went exclusively with the CM-3's as the main front pair. I have to agree it sounded really nice.

On an interesting side note, for this concert I put the outriggers (which are at the outside edges of the stage) in cardioid instead of omni due to the loud monitors placed to the sides of the orchestra for an electric violin concerto. Really a different sound, and though obviously less ambient, I kinda like the focus and intimacy of it. Gonna have to think about whether or not to make that my modus operandi. Does anybody else choose to work that way?
Old 7th February 2018
  #1746
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jnorman's Avatar
Sean - yes, over the years I have found myself preferring less and less reverb. Depending on the space and the situation, sometimes nothing but some basic ambience can be just right. I have heard SO MANY recordings that have overwhelming amounts of reverb and it simply doesn’t appeal to me any longer. What works for a full orchestra does not work as well for a sonata, and what works for a choir does not necessarily fit for a string quartet. While it is always handy to reference your mixes to good commercial recordings that you like, it is better, IMHO, to trust your own ears and do it your way, just like any other artist.
Old 7th February 2018
  #1747
The CM3 is often described as a "wide" cardioid. Yet comparing the polar plot of the CM3 to other wide cardioids, such as thh Schoeps MK21 or the DPA 4015A, the CM3 is much less directional at some frequencies. I'd call the CM3 somewhere in between "regular" cardioid and "wide" cardioid. Indeed, the Line Audio web site describes the CM3 as "Cardioid (slightly wide/semi wide cardioid)". And that is the impression I get when I listen to them (I own a pair, used as spots).
Old 7th February 2018
  #1748
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jpgerard's Avatar
In fact I often suggest customers try the CM3 first for "room" duties unless they have access to really pristine sounding rooms. Being able to focus a bit, even outriggers, with a CM3 rather than an OM1 can make an appreciable difference. It's best to quickly try both and the CM3/OM1 prices totally allow having a set of each on hand so experimenting is not a case of "I wish I had another pair"...
Old 7th February 2018
  #1749
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Gaston69's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum View Post
The CM3 is often described as a "wide" cardioid. Yet comparing the polar plot of the CM3 to other wide cardioids, such as thh Schoeps MK21 or the DPA 4015A, the CM3 is much less directional at some frequencies. I'd call the CM3 somewhere in between "regular" cardioid and "wide" cardioid. Indeed, the Line Audio web site describes the CM3 as "Cardioid (slightly wide/semi wide cardioid)". And that is the impression I get when I listen to them (I own a pair, used as spots).
CM3 polar pattern closer to for example Schoeps MK22 (which is also a very nice microphone btw)?
Old 7th February 2018
  #1750
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
In fact I often suggest customers try the CM3 first for "room" duties unless they have access to really pristine sounding rooms. Being able to focus a bit, even outriggers, with a CM3 rather than an OM1 can make an appreciable difference. It's best to quickly try both and the CM3/OM1 prices totally allow having a set of each on hand so experimenting is not a case of "I wish I had another pair"...
Agree with this very much...the CM3 gives just enough of the wide-cardioid/truncated omni sound which meets the job description of outriggers much more often than you'd expect.

Easier to add a pinch more amb via plug-in (or outboard thick as a Bricasti hardware) later than try to remove a billowing muddy river delta of omni mush !

They can also give back some of that missing low end foundation that straight ORTF cardioid pairs always remove unilaterally with no apology !
Old 7th February 2018
  #1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston69 View Post
CM3 polar pattern closer to for example Schoeps MK22 (which is also a very nice microphone btw)?
I have not used the MK22. However, looking at the polar plot on the Schoeps web site, it appears the MK22 is "more" cardioid, the CM3 "more" omni. The rear rejection is a little over 15db for the MK22, a little over 10db for the CM3.

Comparing polar patterns only, the CM3 is (I think) closest to (in the Schoeps catalog) the MK21; the latter being more direction at 16k.

Given that there is no "standard" for what constitutes a wide cardioid pattern, I guess its fair to call the CM3 a wide cardioid (or slightly wide/semi wide). whatever it is, its it's own thing. As many have observed, the CM3's polar response is just right and the little mic really delivers.
Old 7th February 2018
  #1752
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Sean - yes, over the years I have found myself preferring less and less reverb. Depending on the space and the situation, sometimes nothing but some basic ambience can be just right.
I agree. Also, over the last 40 years I think there has been a shift in the listening public's preferences, toward a dryer sound than has historically been the case in classical music recordings. One conductor I frequently work for has definitely gone in that direction also.

Perhaps it is because much of what we listen to (all things, not just music) is relatively dry; from a home stereo, a car, the internet, or (especially) TV. Whereas in the past if you wanted to hear good sound, you had to go to the concert hall, what we now primarily listen to is "mediated" (recorded or broadcast, etc.). We have kind of become accustomed to the dry sound of modern life.
I am just speculating here, lying in bed, bored, with a cold.
Old 6th March 2018
  #1753
Gear Head
 

XY, ORTF, NOS or Other Configuration?

I bought a pair of CM3s from JP a couple of years ago and I'm staring to push myself to use them in a variety of situations. I should say that I'm a musician and amateur recordist and that this is mainly about gaining experience. Likely applications include acoustic guitar, upright and grand piano, high school jazz band and choir, etc.

My interface is a Focusrite Clarett 2Pre, so I can't record more than 2 channels. For convenience, I'd like to buy one of the SRS stereo mic clips meant for the CM3, however, I'm not sure which one would be the most useful all around and I'd rather not spend the money for two or three, at least not yet. Which stereo configuration do you think would be best? XY, ORTF, NOS or something else?

Thanks,
Joe
Old 6th March 2018
  #1754
Lives for gear
Short answer (and general concensus, at least from this forum, for those mics) is NOS.

SRS plastic mounts have light weight, low cost and repeatability as advantages....but since you're still gaining experience why not get a lightweight 45 - 60 cm aluminium bar, drill numerous 3/8 holes in it and mount mics at various distances and angles...conforming to the various configurations you list, plus AB omni (if you get a pair of OM1's also)...and try out for yourself ?

Or you could buy the 20cm Rode Stereo Bar: RODE Microphones - Stereo Bar which allows virtually the same range of adjustments at comparable cost to a single fixed SRS item....
Old 6th March 2018
  #1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
....but since you're still gaining experience why not get a lightweight 45 - 60 cm aluminium bar, drill numerous 3/8 holes in it and mount mics at various distances and angles...conforming to the various configurations you list, plus AB omni (if you get a pair of OM1's also)...and try out for yourself ?
Great idea. Set up mics and listen when you have the opportunity. It should be very informative. And a very low cost experiment to arm yourself with knowledge for making good choices in the future as well as then giving yourself a flexible tool for mic placement.

Look for mic stand mounting hardware to add to an aluminum bar. To whet your appetite, here is a bunch of hardware and adapters. If you are even a little DIY-minded, have a drill with some metal bits and a wrench set, you can do this. : )

Manfrotto Adapters & Brackets | B&H Photo Video
Old 6th March 2018
  #1756
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puffer Fish View Post
Great idea. Set up mics and listen when you have the opportunity. It should be very informative. And a very low cost experiment to arm yourself with knowledge for making good choices in the future as well as then giving yourself a flexible tool for mic placement.

Look for mic stand mounting hardware to add to an aluminum bar. To whet your appetite, here is a bunch of hardware and adapters. If you are even a little DIY-minded, have a drill with some metal bits and a wrench set, you can do this. : )

Manfrotto Adapters & Brackets | B&H Photo Video
And just to add....don't forget the venerable but very useful (if a bit heavy) Shure A27M : http://www.shure.eu/dms/shure/produc...user_guide.pdf

Shure A27M Stereo Stand Adapter A27M B&H Photo Video
Old 6th March 2018
  #1757
Gear Head
 

Studer and Puffer, thanks for your excellent advice. It makes a lot more sense to have the flexibility to try different configurations rather than being locked into just one. I have a simple stereo bar and I should probably work with that some more, although the Shure adapter looks like a really good solution.
Old 7th March 2018
  #1758
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozay View Post
I have a simple stereo bar and I should probably work with that some more, although the Shure adapter looks like a really good solution.
I am also grateful for the link to the Shure A27M, which I wasn't aware of before (as an aside, it's selling for about $70 on B&H, but if you look on Amazon.ca you'll find it for sale for over $1,000 -- I see this kind of highway robbery all the time on Amazon).

One basic question about units like this that has always stumped me: on a stereo bar your mics are usually at the same height (although for some configurations you may need to mount one mic on top of the bar and the other mic on the bottom). With the Shure, the mics are at least an inch apart in height from each other and I've always wondered if there's an advantage or disadvantage to height differences like that, or whether they don't matter. I know they matter to owls, because their ears are slightly offset to help them better triangulate their prey in the dark. ;-)
Old 7th March 2018
  #1759
Lives for gear
 
rojaros's Avatar
@ bradh: IMHO with coincident arrays like XY or Blumlein the diaphragms should be as close as possible and the respective axis should lie in parallel planes, so that the diaphragms face the source with the same directional frequency response (hope I'm clear enough here).
Roughly the same holds for near coincident arrays like ORTF or NOS. DPA sells as accessories distance pieces that allow to achieve this on their stereo bar with their mics (expensive stuff, though).

Now, because with the Shure A27M the mounting is quite far apart, it can be quite a bit of tweaking with the mic clips to realize this idea. I once had the Shure mount and sold again, it didn't work (for me) as neatly as the idea looks. Abd some configurations couldn't be realized at all because suddenly the cable connectors were in the way... It's works easiest for coincident arrays, I guess, but for me the surprisingly well working and not too expensive mic support turned out to be this one:

Manfrotto Microphone Support 154(B) – Musikhaus Thomann

It allows to mount three microphones (something I quite like to do with a wider near coincident array and a mid mic), and everything can be tightened gently but so that it really stays in place. If you don't need the full length (65cm) you could shorten the tube. It's the best mic support I have (and I have some different, including DPA bar). One really nice feature is that you can loosen the brass screws, hold the microphone clip an just turn the brass screws with your fingers, instead of turning the clip, which is awkward especially with a mic in the clip, especially when the cable is already in.

Because you can also turn the microphone holders axially you can easily achieve that one microphone is deeper than the other and so mak sure that the axis are in parallel planes. Very cool.
Old 10th March 2018
  #1760
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

I'll add my $.02US.

I have several sets of bars and other positioning devices. Most often, I go for the Sabra-Som solution. I have the both the 6"/15cm SM1 and the 12"/30cm ST4 bars (see them here: SABRA-SOM) and bought them from a local dealer. The system is great for everything from lightweight 2-mic to blast filter suspension in combination with another stand mount. My first deployment of the 30cm bar was for Blumlein positioning (vertical arrangement) of a pair of (far from lightweight) Cascade Fat Head ribbons. Up for four days of rehearsal and performances... no problems at all. Extremely useful. When I've needed parts (rarely) Sabra-Som have been very quick to respond and generous in their solutions. Great supplier.

I also have one K&M bar that gets the lion's share of my "simple" (2-4 mics) location setups (see it here: K&M 236 - Four Microphone Mounting Bar 23600-500-55 B&H Photo! ). My "usual" deployments include CM3 in NOS; MKH8040 in ORTF, using the "short" K&M bar with the articulated arms (see it here: K&M 23510 Microphone Bar 23510-500-55 B&H Photo Video ); and MicroTech Gefell M296 in AB (usually at 60cm, using Atlas goosenecks on the long K&M). It's sturdy and reliable support. "Arrays" of MKH8040 inside M296s are easy and sturdy with the long K&M and goosenecks.

Most everything is set upon a black 11' Manfrotto 368B light stand ( Manfrotto 368B Basic Black Light Stand - 11' (3.3m) 368B B&H ), with a 3/8-to-5/8-27 adapter in place. B&H Photo/Video/Audio have likewise been an extremely good source of gear and adapters. Don't expect chit-chat when you call... but when you know what you want, they're great to deal with.

Let us know where you end up. Show pictures!

HB
Old 11th March 2018
  #1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
I'll add my $.02US.

I have several sets of bars and other positioning devices. Most often, I go for the Sabra-Som solution. I have the both the 6"/15cm SM1 and the 12"/30cm ST4 bars (see them here: SABRA-SOM) and bought them from a local dealer. The system is great for everything from lightweight 2-mic to blast filter suspension in combination with another stand mount. My first deployment of the 30cm bar was for Blumlein positioning (vertical arrangement) of a pair of (far from lightweight) Cascade Fat Head ribbons. Up for four days of rehearsal and performances... no problems at all. Extremely useful. When I've needed parts (rarely) Sabra-Som have been very quick to respond and generous in their solutions. Great supplier.

HB
I love the SabraSom - and it was easy to buy aluminum stock to create a longer bar when I want to place some outriggers at 67 cm.
Old 12th March 2018
  #1762
Gear Head
 

Many thanks @rojaros, @hbphotoav, and @TMetzinger. Tons of good advice. I found a couple of simple bars that I must have bought years ago, one from K&M. Before I spend any more money, I'll try a NOS recording of our piano and let you guys know how it goes.

Joe
Old 1st April 2018
  #1763
Gear Head
 

Since it's a wide cardioid... Can I use a pair of CM3 to record chamber music with a XY setup?
I read that it has more noise than other mics, or that it require more gain, is this a problem for chamber music?
Old 2nd April 2018
  #1764
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorba1977 View Post
Since it's a wide cardioid... Can I use a pair of CM3 to record chamber music with a XY setup?
I read that it has more noise than other mics, or that it require more gain, is this a problem for chamber music?
You can. It does require more gain than competitors, but only you can decide if your chamber music requires a different mic.
Old 2nd April 2018
  #1765
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
You can. It does require more gain than competitors, but only you can decide if your chamber music requires a different mic.
I asked to know if a mic that require more gain itself is ok to record chamber music since it's a quiet source.
Old 2nd April 2018
  #1766
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Requested gain from preamp is determined by mic sensitivity. Sensitivity does not say anything about signal-to-noise ratio provided that it is high enough so that preamp gain is low enough for preamp noise being lower than mic noise: this is true for any condenser mic and any normal preamp. The mic figure relevant for SNR is self-noise level. CM3 self-noise level is only 2 dB higher than Schoeps MK 21.
Old 2nd April 2018
  #1767
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorba1977 View Post
I asked to know if a mic that require more gain itself is ok to record chamber music since it's a quiet source.
The CM3 is not terribly noisy, by itself - it's within a few dB of the "classic" mics like Schoeps. But lower sensitivity can require more gain in the preamp, which might add noise.

My solution for these (and other mics like ribbons) is to record with as much "quiet" preamp gain as I can, and then add noise-free gain digitally later in the chain.
Old 2nd April 2018
  #1768
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
to record with as much "quiet" preamp gain as I can, and then add noise-free gain digitally later in the chain.
What matters is the signal-to-noise ratio, or the equivalent input noise (EIN), not the noise at preamp output. When gain is increased above some theshold, both noise and signal output levels are increased and SNR does not change. When gain is decreased below this threshold, output noise is decreasing less than output signal so that SNR is decreasing, which is equivalent to say that EIN is increasing. This is the reason why any preamp achieves best SNR at largest gain. See here attached the curve of EIN vs. gain for PGA2500 from Texas Instruments (RME Micstasy, UFX, ..., Prism Orpheus and others). It exhibits EIN increase at low gain smaller than most other preamps, which is the reason why TI communicates this curve.

Hence applying small gain in analog and add digital gain is not convenient for maximising SNR.
Attached Thumbnails
CM3 - really THAT good?-capture-1.jpg  
Old 2nd April 2018
  #1769
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
What matters is the signal-to-noise ratio, or the equivalent input noise (EIN), not the noise at preamp output. When gain is increased above some theshold, both noise and signal output levels are increased and SNR does not change. When gain is decreased below this threshold, output noise is decreasing less than output signal so that SNR is decreasing, which is equivalent to say that EIN is increasing. This is the reason why any preamp achieves best SNR at largest gain. See here attached the curve of EIN vs. gain for PGA2500 from Texas Instruments (RME Micstasy, UFX, ..., Prism Orpheus and others). It exhibits EIN increase at low gain smaller than most other preamps, which is the reason why TI communicates this curve.

Hence applying small gain in analog and add digital gain is not convenient for maximising SNR.
I agree with you that SNR matters. I disagree that all analog preamps get less noisy as you add gain.
Old 5th April 2018
  #1770
Lives for gear
 
rojaros's Avatar
In my experience cheaper preamps have considerably more noise in the last few dBs of amplification.
The CM3 are quiet enough even for classical guitar when used wit halfways decent preamps, so I'm sure they will do for chamber music, too. Whether you will like the sonic results is hard to foretell. I think the sound coloration from the side is quite significant, so I'm not sure about XY. ORTF didn't work for me either (big angle). Form me they work best in some kind of between AB and NOS (Less angle than NOS and wider apart), but that's really a matter of experimentation.
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