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CM3 - really THAT good? Condenser Microphones
Old 5th April 2018
  #1771
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rojaros View Post
I think the sound coloration from the side is quite significant... ORTF didn't work for me either (big angle). For 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.
Interesting. I had experimentally determined that I like the results from the CM3s in NOS better than in DIN or ORTF, but didn't know why. Personally, I find CM3s to be quiet enough and sensitive enough to record some pretty quiet nature stuff without issues. I'm using a MixPre-6, whose preamps I find to be quite clean.
Old 5th April 2018
  #1772
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rojaros's Avatar
I guess that it's due to the fact that in NOS the time difference becomes a bit more dominant as compared to intensity difference... The angling is the same as in DIN.

But to really know one would have to do some serious testing. I'm rather a friend of experimenting and choosing what pleases my ears. Mixpre-6 has a lot of clean gain, certainly more than enough for the CM3.
Old 16th April 2018
  #1773
Lives for gear
I have a 4 mic array recording, with CM3 (in NOS) in the centre, and Rode NT5 omnis (at 67 cms) at either end (of the same bar). The bar was around 1.2 metres behind the conductor, and about 10 feet high.

I'm having trouble deciding about the relative balance of each pair to give an optimal mix, so to illustrate I'll provide a few mixes here.

In addition I've applied some roll off at the low end (18db/oct at 75Hz) to attempt to clear away some of the LF haze a little. There are other distractions too, a little traffic noise at the outset, but it's easy enough to 'hear past' this...

Generally one pair predominates over the other by 9dB, and I'd be interested in your overall impressions...as to which are going in the right direction ?

First, the CM3's predominating, one mix with the LF filter applied to that pair, and one without .....
Old 16th April 2018
  #1774
Lives for gear
To follow, a mix with the Rode NT5-O (omni) pair predominating by 9dB ...with and without HPF on the CM3 pair.....
Old 16th April 2018
  #1775
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Finally, perhaps the blends aren't the way to go at all: so here is each mic pair in isolation, with no HPF applied to either.....
Old 16th April 2018
  #1776
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jpgerard's Avatar
I know I shouldn't prefer the unfiltered versions as the difference should be negligible at least audibly as the filter curve is steep and the freq. quite low but I do. However to chose between the mixes or individual tracks... it's all a matter of choice and one would need to have heard the source to comment on linearity of the tracks, otherwise the choice is vastly artistic I think.
Old 16th April 2018
  #1777
Gear Nut
I liked the NT5 best with no roll off.
Old 16th April 2018
  #1778
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rojaros's Avatar
I liked both unmixed takes better than both combined, and of the last two I slightly preferred the CM3 for more clarity in the strings. My feeling is that the positioning of the mics could be improved, I hear too much of diffuse field and too little of direct sound...
Old 16th April 2018
  #1779
Gear Nut
Yes, closer miking would have been better especially with the omni mic's. But then it was a HIP group and this causes the usual problems with a weak sound.
Old 16th April 2018
  #1780
Lives for gear
 

I prefer the CM-3 only version first, but the CM-3 dominant mix isn't bad. To my ears there's a noticeable loss of low end on the filtered versions, so I'm with JP there.
Old 17th April 2018
  #1781
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Isn't it fine to be wise with hindsight !

I should have swapped out the CM3's for straight Rode NT5 cardioids, and had 2 pairs of NT5's on the bar, 1 in ORTF, other as 67 cm AB omni...instead of the wider-cardioid CM3's ?

Or get myself a pair of fig 8's to run as a Faulkner (type 1) array....

Make notes for self, when in same church, same time next year .......
Old 17th April 2018
  #1782
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Well, hard to say without a direct comparison, but in my limited experience with NT-5's I'v found them to be typically over-bright SDC's. That has its place, but for orchestral music the CM-3's are pretty darn true to my ears.
Old 17th April 2018
  #1783
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rojaros's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Isn't it fine to be wise with hindsight !

...

Or get myself a pair of fig 8's to run as a Faulkner (type 1) array....

Make notes for self, when in same church, same time next year .......
I would be surprised if a Faulkner pair would help in this situation. It picks up even more of the room acoustics in my experience. Would it be possible to bring the microphones closer to the source?

Did you ever experiment with some kind of an ORTFisch arrangement with a third microphone panned to the center and mixed in to taste? I quite like the results of that. For me, if all three mics are recorded to the same level, the center ends up being around -10dB lower, so it's just a touch of an extra stability of the center image.
Old 17th April 2018
  #1784
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by rojaros View Post
I would be surprised if a Faulkner pair would help in this situation. It picks up even more of the room acoustics in my experience. Would it be possible to bring the microphones closer to the source?

Did you ever experiment with some kind of an ORTFisch arrangement with a third microphone panned to the center and mixed in to taste? I quite like the results of that. For me, if all three mics are recorded to the same level, the center ends up being around -10dB lower, so it's just a touch of an extra stability of the center image.
I've never tried the fig8 Faulkner pair, but TF himself has said that it significantly cuts down on side wall reflections, and he says it allows him to place the mic pair further back in the room than other typical coincident pairs, to give a more natural balance between reverberant and direct sounds.

I haven't tried the ORTF-ish approach you have mentioned above, but I imagine it could produce phasing problems between 3 closely spaced...no ?
Old 17th April 2018
  #1785
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jpgerard's Avatar
I still think you have plenty of material to get a very good end product. Pick what sounds best after sleeping on it. If you really can't decide - then it's all good to be used and that's a pretty good problem to have
Old 31st May 2018
  #1786
Gear Addict
 

Here's a sax quartet I recorded a few weeks ago in an (empty) 1500-seat concert hall.
Mix is primarily CM3's in NOS about 7' in the air, with the quartet in a tight ~12' dia semi-circle (or so) around the mics.
Also had a pair of DPA 2006A's (in the same position but a bit wider) mixed about 15db down, and some closer spots (a ShinyBox 46MXL and Sennheiser MKH50) mixed about 25db down.
Between the 2006A's and CM3's, I was surprised to hear more detail in this particular scenario out of the CM3's. So they dominate the mix. But I didn't have any time to tweak the 2006A's mic position. With more careful use they may have come out ahead.
No artificial reverb. Tiny bit of low-mid cut EQ.
My taste is generally drier and more direct than most of what I'm hearing others release here and this reflects that.
Attached Files

Torchlussspanik.mp3 (5.44 MB, 1697 views)

Old 31st May 2018
  #1787
Gear Head
 

@dasbin, I loved that. In your hands, the CM3s sound beautiful.

Joe
Old 1st June 2018
  #1788
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
I still think you have plenty of material to get a very good end product. Pick what sounds best after sleeping on it. If you really can't decide - then it's all good to be used and that's a pretty good problem to have
I have a CM3 construction question J-P....do you happen to know if the mic element used in the CM3 is an electret or a true condensor ? In the 'old days' there was a phenomenon with electret mics that their charged surface could eventually "leak away" over time, leading to increased noise (hiss) as at least one by-product. This was independent of phantom powering being required or not

As technology has improved over time I'm sure this is less of an issue, and indeed many of the highly regarded small diam. mics discussed in this forum are electrets...and I don't hear reports of performance degradation over time.

If there are any general 'how to care for electret mics' tips for users, that would be good to hear of them also ?
Old 1st June 2018
  #1789
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jpgerard's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I have a CM3 construction question J-P....do you happen to know if the mic element used in the CM3 is an electret or a true condensor ? In the 'old days' there was a phenomenon with electret mics that their charged surface could eventually "leak away" over time, leading to increased noise (hiss) as at least one by-product. This was independent of phantom powering being required or not

As technology has improved over time I'm sure this is less of an issue, and indeed many of the highly regarded small diam. mics discussed in this forum are electrets...and I don't hear reports of performance degradation over time.

If there are any general 'how to care for electret mics' tips for users, that would be good to hear of them also ?
Wow, I thought that with all the information I listed on my website on top of all the discussions on the CM3 and OM1 this question was long behind us

It's an electret, a modern one, not an early device losing its charge over time - you're right mentioning early Electrets having issues. No need for special care, in fact they're more resistant to humidity than most typical DC polarized capsules.

CM2's from the late 80's or so were measured to be down only by a tiny amount, Roger gave me a figure once, it was an irrelevant drop, better than normal tolerances from most manufacturers today, for instance.

It's a permanent charge and yes, a drop of a fraction of a dB per decade or so could be expected. If you have CM3's that are less than 10 years old and notice a serious drop in level, say 2 or 3 dBs, it won't hurt sending them back to Line Audio for an overhaul. Pretty sure it won't cost you much either.

Same applies to DPA's / B&K's. Any noticeable drop in level or pair mismatch should trigger a servicing request.

Those mics are worth it, whether they're DPA's or Line Audio's!
Old 3rd June 2018
  #1790
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rojaros's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin View Post
Here's a sax quartet I recorded a few weeks ago in an (empty) 1500-seat concert hall.
Mix is primarily CM3's in NOS about 7' in the air, with the quartet in a tight ~12' dia semi-circle (or so) around the mics.
Also had a pair of DPA 2006A's (in the same position but a bit wider) mixed about 15db down, and some closer spots (a ShinyBox 46MXL and Sennheiser MKH50) mixed about 25db down.
Between the 2006A's and CM3's, I was surprised to hear more detail in this particular scenario out of the CM3's. So they dominate the mix. But I didn't have any time to tweak the 2006A's mic position. With more careful use they may have come out ahead.
No artificial reverb. Tiny bit of low-mid cut EQ.
My taste is generally drier and more direct than most of what I'm hearing others release here and this reflects that.
I think that's a very good recording, also as far as spatiality is concerned. Of course there is no way to know how it compares to DPA but I think one can be happy with the result anyway...

Last edited by rojaros; 5th June 2018 at 12:36 PM..
Old 4th June 2018
  #1791
Gear Head
 

@dasbin great recording. Really enjoyed it. Thanks!

Avi
Old 25th June 2018
  #1792
Lives for gear
CM3 works well as a pair of flanker/outrigger mic too, with an AB omni centre mic pair (KM183) A rehearsal pic several hours before the concert.The bases of the outrigger stands are circled in green, and so is the AB bar overhead. Outrigger mics are only around 8.5 feet high
Attached Thumbnails
CM3 - really THAT good?-mics-circled-green.jpg  
Attached Files

Last edited by studer58; 25th June 2018 at 05:17 PM..
Old 25th June 2018
  #1793
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rojaros's Avatar
Of course it's difficult to know how big part the CM3s play here in the complete mix, but anyway the net result is very pleasing!
Old 8th July 2018
  #1794
Does any one use the Line Audio CM3 for dialogue recording, for film/tv, how do you find it for that?
Old 11th July 2018
  #1795
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jpgerard's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronFilm View Post
Does any one use the Line Audio CM3 for dialogue recording, for film/tv, how do you find it for that?
I think it's been covered in previous posts (not sure what forum though), yes it works very well, but you'll need to fine tune your pop filtering setup for best results.
Old 11th July 2018
  #1796
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
I think it's been covered in previous posts (not sure what forum though), yes it works very well, but you'll need to fine tune your pop filtering setup for best results.
I believe on most non-lavaliere on-set dialog recording for film and video is done by boom overhead (with the mic above and slightly in front of the speaker), so pop filtering shouldn't be a concern. I think the larger issues are the mic's noise floor and relatively low sensitivity; as long as you're using a very low-noise preamp (such as the Sound Devices MixPre recorders) it should be fine. I wouldn't use the CM-3 for recording dialog or ambient sounds outdoors, though, unless it's very well protected from the wind (Rycote WS 10 kit works perfectly for CM-3).

For ADR and voiceover, the CM-3 should be fine as well, although in this case you would indeed want a pop filter. I've used it for some scratch-track voiceovers.
Old 11th July 2018
  #1797
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jpgerard's Avatar
It only takes one pop to ruin a take though. SDC's pop easily even at some distance (it all depends on pressure and angle of incidence) and the CM3 is no exception. But obviously, a Dead cat or such will protect from wind AND pops, typically, pretty well so yes, a Rycote is a great suggestion here. As far as S/N ratio, 16dBA is workable in most scenarios and expansion in post is not a major problem (if you're outdoors, 16dBA is definitely plenty quiet). The output is typical of SDC's on average and any decent mic pre will have enough gain (assuming the usual 60dB range). That said the CM3 was NOT designed for Video dialogue recording - but it's definitely a low cost option if you're looking for a natural result.
Old 11th July 2018
  #1798
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
That said the CM3 was NOT designed for Video dialogue recording - but it's definitely a low cost option if you're looking for a natural result.
I think the reason it came up is the the Schoeps MK41 is widely used in Hollywood for indoor dialogue recording, and since the CM-3 has been compared favourably with the MK41 here and elsewhere it's natural to wonder whether the CM-3 could compete in this application as well. I plan to test it; for outdoor work I'm using a Sennheiser MKH-8060 but I have a couple of CM-3s and will see how they fare for indoor interviews with the Sennheiser as a backup.
Old 11th July 2018
  #1799
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jpgerard's Avatar
Ah, please keep us posted, I think this could be useful to many... thanks!
Old 11th July 2018
  #1800
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
Ah, please keep us posted, I think this could be useful to many... thanks!
Will do -- though I don't have a Schoeps to compare it with so this isn't going to be a shootout, just a "does it work well enough and sound good enough" kind of test. Probably the main drawback is the wider pattern of the CM-3, which is a consideration for dialogue but it may not be an issue, we'll see.

I think it's most interesting for low-budget filmmakers, especially those who need multiple mics as the Sennheisers and Schoeps add up quickly. On the other hand those Rycote blimps and dead cats add up too! In my outdoor tests so far with the CM-3, it's clear that just a dead cat isn't enough, you need the blimp plus dead cat. I can hear wind noise with the blimp alone; with blimp plus dead cat it's acceptable unless wind is really strong...most of my current project takes place at various seacoasts, so wind is a factor to contend with.
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