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OM1 - What's it about? Condenser Microphones
Old 5th December 2017
  #391
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Any SDC will be prone to wind related sensitivity issues.
Is this due to the fact that they tend to be the most sensitive? (Aren't ribbons more sensitive yet?) I'm curious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
Best solution remains proper wind shielding. Deadcats work great, or so I'm told by my customers.
The Baby Ball Grid does help a lot. Rycote says 30dB, and without measuring it, that seems plausible. The dead cat (Windjammer) incrementally helps considerably more. Rycote claims 50dB for the two combined. I guess it's actually pretty easy to measure this, so I guess I'll do the experiment this evening.

Hmm... guess I'll have to do it artificially with a fan, since now that I want it to be windy, today's predicted to be dead calm! Murphy's Law!
Old 5th December 2017
  #392
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jpgerard's Avatar
Nothing to do with sensitivity. Remember that condensers are usually not unity gain circuits, they usually have some voltage gain, sometimes a lot. It's hard to judge what's going on at the capsule. Ribbons being pressure gradient motors are more prone to serious problems like stretching and breakage, there's no damping. We're talking Fig-8 ribbons. Cardioids and such are different, most use damping at the back of the motor.

A fan is a good idea for testing!!!!
Old 5th December 2017
  #393
Gear Head
 

Why are SDC's more sensitive?
Old 5th December 2017
  #394
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jpgerard's Avatar
than ribbons? Ribbons have extremely low output. Even after a step up transfo with significant ratio we're still in the -60dBV range, a bit more for today's high end ribbons. Unity gain condensers (classic circuits, not today's high end high polarization V models) are naturally somewhere around -40dBV.
Old 5th December 2017
  #395
Gear Head
 

Sorry, I meant to ask why SDC's tend to be wind-prone.
Old 5th December 2017
  #396
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jpgerard's Avatar
Ah, well like any mic with very little protection in front of the transducer, a typical condenser, large or small diaph., will tend to bottom out easily as the diaphragm slams the backplate when wind is present or in fact any significant air movement (some condensers aren't happy in kick drums for instance, no matter what you do with pads and gain, if the capsule bottoms out the signal will be screwed up - it's not just the SPL, it's the air blast hitting the diaphragm). The extended LF response of condensers, made worse with high quality Omni capsules (capable of extending down to just a few Hz) means that a significant signal hits the front end of the head amp at LF/VLF resulting in various types of distortion and more importantly masking the signal you try to capture. The smaller size capsules bottom out more easily (typically no center electrode). Omnis (true Omnis, one diaphragm) on top of having extended LF response (and often/usually no HPF built in) will take sound from all directions responding to high SPL's from wind pretty much regardless of direction and you're also right in an above post, phase shift directional mics with open apertures to the back of the diaphragm may be more problematic than a dual diaphragm capsule.
Old 5th December 2017
  #397
Gear Head
 

Interesting - if I understood this correctly, the sound is the diaphragm physically hitting part of its surroundings? No wonder it is so loud and obnoxious. Thanks for helping to educate a newbie.
Old 7th December 2017
  #398
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jpgerard's Avatar
Not the surroundings, the backplate, which is usually a few microns behind it. Add the head amp saturating at high level VLF and you get the usual "blocking" signal typical of wind hitting a mic. It can be interesting to see a loudspeaker reproduce the resulting signal. Cone movements in that case are an eye opener. Sometimes you can save the day if the mic has a very steep HPF that can be switched in front of the head amp, but usually, they're further down. Modern high end condensers have very high headroom so they may be able to take the sudden spike in VLF and maybe pass the signal through but if the capsule bottoms out there's no solution. Windshields usually offer enough protection and are the only real fix, keeping the sudden high intensity VLF waves out of the mic... just like with ribbon mics, it's not really the SPL or the frequency, it's the air movement that causes problems.
Old 7th December 2017
  #399
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Attached Thumbnails
OM1 - What's it about?-om-1-sphere-1.jpg   OM1 - What's it about?-om-1-sphere-2.jpg  
Old 7th December 2017
  #400
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How about some curves - or did they not bother? I'm also worried that it's already version 6... looks like there's a lot of trial and error going on. Also a proper sphere for this application should be fully reflective so I have doubts about the material. Finally, the fact that the OM1 lip is still present and that there's a gap around the tip of the mic is not ideal. Could be interesting though but as Roger pointed out... the mic was never designed for it so let's see some freq. curves and polar plots.

Oh, is this correct or a typo?

"New and improved design holds microphones firmly but will get stuck!"
Old 7th December 2017
  #401
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
New Shapeways sphere for OM-1
I haven't received my OM-1's yet, so maybe this is a grossly misinformed question... How does this work? If that's the end of the OM-1, how does the sphere do anything for wind suppression? I did not think that there was any other opening in the OM-1, so any wind suppression seems like it would have to cover the end of the mic, and that apparently is not what's happening here? To me this seems like the necklace on the singer...
Old 7th December 2017
  #402
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jpgerard's Avatar
It's not a windshield. It's a reflector generating standing waves increasing HF response.
Old 7th December 2017
  #403
Gear Head
 

Well, that would explain why I can't fathom how it suppresses wind! Next n00b question: why does one want to increase HF response? These mics seem to be specifically designed to be ruler-flat throughout the range. I guess increased - boosted - HF response is desired for some applications, perhaps shimmery cymbals or something? (As a historian, this seems a bit alien to me.)
Old 7th December 2017
  #404
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jpgerard's Avatar
Yes, trying to boost the top end on an OM1 is odd to me too but I can see why some might be interested in trying an accessory that does it acoustically, rather than having to EQ the signal in Post. Using a HF boosting accessory on the mic you also have the advantage of a richer treble before the head amp so you won't be boosting the noise floor up the way you would EQ'ing later on. Truth is, if you need a Diffuse Field response, the OM1 isn't your mic. For long distance work you're better off with a DF mic, not a linear mic. You'll need a quieter mic, too. IMHO - let's just that it's a bit of a hack and the OM1 was never designed with such add-ons in mind. But if someone can get good results with the things, I'd love to hear some samples.
Old 5th March 2018
  #405
Gear Addict
 

OM1s have a beautiful mid-range

I had some fun this weekend, recording a pianist with a pair of OM1s. This was my first time with these mics.

I was struck by the mid-range of the OM1s - quite beautiful.

Here is a sensitive interpretation of the well-loved Brahms Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2 in A major (Andante teneramente). Of course, there is no processing except level adjustment. No edits either, FYI.



The mics were in A-B spaced at 66 cm. For the height and distance, they were approximately 7 feet up, and 8 feet from the piano.
Old 5th March 2018
  #406
Here for the gear
 

There's a beguiling seamlessness and warmth to the sound - many congratulations on this result! Could I ask where were the mics in relation to the piano - where they 8 feet from the mid point of the curve, or 8 feet from a point more towards the tale? And were the OM1s pointing downwards to 'middle of strings' (approximately) or was each at a slightly different angle, say?

Also, do you have a sample from a work that involved more 'sturm und drang' in the music? If the pianist played the complete set of Op.118 pieces, No.6 would be very suitable for this purpose (with its emphatic middle section)!

Many thanks.
Old 5th March 2018
  #407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shosty View Post
recording a pianist with a pair of OM1s
Excellent playing and use of the mics, sounds like the piano is "floating". Maybe bring the right channel up a tiny bit.
Old 5th March 2018
  #408
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
There's a beguiling seamlessness and warmth to the sound - many congratulations on this result! Could I ask where were the mics in relation to the piano - where they 8 feet from the mid point of the curve, or 8 feet from a point more towards the tale? And were the OM1s pointing downwards to 'middle of strings' (approximately) or was each at a slightly different angle, say?

Also, do you have a sample from a work that involved more 'sturm und drang' in the music? If the pianist played the complete set of Op.118 pieces, No.6 would be very suitable for this purpose (with its emphatic middle section)!

Many thanks.
Thank you, John! The mics are 360 cm from the back of the piano to the mic stand at the mid way point between the mics (at the height of the mics). So I figure that is about 8 feet from the mid point of the curve to the mid point between the mics, give or take. The left channel mic was lined up a little to the right of the hammers (facing the piano from the audience).

The mics were pointing to the middle of the strings.

And yes, I do have a more sturm und drang example. We only got through 1-3 but here is a fiery interpretation of No. 3 (no edits). The pianist is thin as a toothpick but she has a huge sound.

I fixed the right channel as recommended by aracu. I picked up an alert from an electronic devise towards the end (crap).

Old 5th March 2018
  #409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
Excellent playing and use of the mics, sounds like the piano is "floating". Maybe bring the right channel up a tiny bit.
Thank you! I agree about the right channel. The pianist will be happy with your compliment on her playing. She has a beautiful tone.
Old 5th March 2018
  #410
Lives for gear
Yes, I echo the previous sentiments...it captures a nicely 'floating yet anchored' sound, which gains a little more focus as the playing intensity increases....so the music "breathes", as it should.

Onno Scholze was a proponent of the 66/67 omni spacing (did he invent it ?) A great place to start with, in any event. The M-S crowd may not like its diminished 'you are thereness' in specific left/right image spread....but that is exactly this recording's charm ! Vive la difference.
Old 5th March 2018
  #411
Here for the gear
 

Thank you very much for your precise details on placement. I've also now enjoyed very much at the Sound Cloud page your recording of Op.109 using the two Mojave MA-110fet omnis. Comparing this recording to the Brahms on the OM-1, it sounds as if the MA-110 have some hf lift. This helps provide the cantabile register of the piano with some extra lustre, but both are lovely sounds. Having Googled, I see that Mojave have stopped making their MA-110fet SDC, sadly. It does seem to be very difficult for a new mic to break into the SDC territory (the most in-sexy region for mics, perhaps) - there are the bargain-price-bracket SDCs and then the 'usual suspects' at $3k+ for a matched pair. In another thread, I asked for any reactions from recordists who've used them in typical classical applications for the SE RN17 Rupert Neve SDCs. There have been no responses so far - nobody's fault, of course, but perhaps emblematic of the difficulties any manufacturer faces in trying to break into the SDC market for classical...the only price points that make sense are the bargain end, or the top end. But, for the latter, no engineer is likely experiment beyond the 'usual suspects' (Schoeps, DPA, Neumann, Sennheiser, Josephson, MG) because of the imperative for performance characteristics that have come to be understood over years of practice in the field.

It's different with a LDC to some extent, where a particular 'character' might be immediately prized by a performer or producer or engineer. By contrast, an SDC is all about the illusion of an absence of character whilst (and given the impossibility of achieving such a thing in an absolutist sense) ensuring that the very subtle character that does exist is useful/flattering in the right sort of way for the given application.
Old 5th March 2018
  #412
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
It does seem to be very difficult for a new mic to break into the SDC territory (the most in-sexy region for mics, perhaps) - there are the bargain-price-bracket SDCs and then the 'usual suspects' at $3k+ for a matched pair..
I have a matched pair of Earthworks small-diaphragm QTC 40 omni mics; I bought them a long time ago now so I don't remember the price but I think it was more like $2K for the two of them, maybe less. Earthworks re-engineered all their mics in recent years to reduce noise, and the QTC series was pretty good on that front to begin with.

I have never used them on piano but will be doing so later this year. Earthworks advises placing the pair 10 inches apart and 6 to 9 feet away from the open lid for best results with classical piano, although they cite success with much closer approaches such as a pair of omnis 15 inches apart, 8-10 inches above the hammers (apparently this is a technique used at Berklee College of Music in Boston, which is more jazz-focused).
Old 5th March 2018
  #413
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Yes, I echo the previous sentiments...it captures a nicely 'floating yet anchored' sound, which gains a little more focus as the playing intensity increases....so the music "breathes", as it should.

Onno Scholze was a proponent of the 66/67 omni spacing (did he invent it ?) A great place to start with, in any event. The M-S crowd may not like its diminished 'you are thereness' in specific left/right image spread....but that is exactly this recording's charm ! Vive la difference.
Thank you, studer. I'll pass all of the comments here to the pianist as well. She has such fine control and plays off the acoustics of the hall so well.

Thanks for the info on Onno Scholze. I saw an interview with Tony Faulkner where he recommended 66.5 - 67 as an ideal so I thought I would give it a try with this recording.

Yannick would be a great example of the MS approach right here at GS. Agreed, Viva la difference!
Old 5th March 2018
  #414
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
Thank you very much for your precise details on placement. I've also now enjoyed very much at the Sound Cloud page your recording of Op.109 using the two Mojave MA-110fet omnis. Comparing this recording to the Brahms on the OM-1, it sounds as if the MA-110 have some hf lift. This helps provide the cantabile register of the piano with some extra lustre, but both are lovely sounds. Having Googled, I see that Mojave have stopped making their MA-110fet SDC, sadly. It does seem to be very difficult for a new mic to break into the SDC territory (the most in-sexy region for mics, perhaps) - there are the bargain-price-bracket SDCs and then the 'usual suspects' at $3k+ for a matched pair. In another thread, I asked for any reactions from recordists who've used them in typical classical applications for the SE RN17 Rupert Neve SDCs. There have been no responses so far - nobody's fault, of course, but perhaps emblematic of the difficulties any manufacturer faces in trying to break into the SDC market for classical...the only price points that make sense are the bargain end, or the top end. But, for the latter, no engineer is likely experiment beyond the 'usual suspects' (Schoeps, DPA, Neumann, Sennheiser, Josephson, MG) because of the imperative for performance characteristics that have come to be understood over years of practice in the field.

It's different with a LDC to some extent, where a particular 'character' might be immediately prized by a performer or producer or engineer. By contrast, an SDC is all about the illusion of an absence of character whilst (and given the impossibility of achieving such a thing in an absolutist sense) ensuring that the very subtle character that does exist is useful/flattering in the right sort of way for the given application.
Thank you, John for doing some more listening and for your comments! Much appreciated! Yes, the Mojave 101 fets have some HF lift. I find I need to position them so the sound source hits them off axis or they can be a tad bright. They also have some lift in the LF, so it has a bit of a "smiley face" frequency response. But I have found the 101s work well on piano and as an upright bass, spot mic for jazz, if you are looking for some "punch". The cardioid capsule is a punchy son of a gun on bass, for sure. Yes, they have stopped making the 101 fets,. When I spoke to them they said they just aren't selling enough of them, which backs up what you are saying. Their market is focused on LDC mics.

Well said regarding the issues pertaining to sdc microphones. I've also wondered about the RN17s. I emailed them and asked if I could purchase the mics with omni capsules instead of the cardioids and they wrote back saying it was not possible. I am seriously looking at the Sennheiser MKH 8020s - one of the more standard classical mics. From what I have listened too, I think their subtle character, as you say, would work well for the applications I typically have.

Well, I'll have to keep thinking on it. But I do enjoy looking at other options out there for SDCs, if anything, just to be different! haha
Old 10th March 2018
  #415
Here for the gear
 

I recently purchased a pair of matched Line Audio OM1s directly from their website. My experience as an audio engineer is at this point modest, so any advice I can deliver should be considered in light of that experience. However, I am an experienced pianist and have travelled the world for 30 years and spent time with some of the world's best piano technicians. I am familiar with the fine points of piano voicing as well as the issues surrounding soundboard design, scaling, etc. It is safe to say that I am very familiar with the sound of fine concert pianos. My observations are as follows:

Line Audio's response was prompt, polite and professional. They followed up on the order by asking me whether I could wait 10 days while they assemble it by hand.
They sent the mics off ahead of schedule.
The packaging was simple but everything arrived in good shape.

The mics, to the level of my ability to discern, are excellent. They have helped me round out the sound of my acoustic piano recordings. The sound of an acoustic piano is the most difficult things I've yet tried to record since so much of the sound comes at you off axis. I've recorded Debussy, Messiaen, Scriabin, Bach, Mozart as well as some modern jazz using isolation booths for the other band members. The omnis on the piano in the larger room allow the instrument to sing and have allowed me to capture some of the subtleties of, for example, the way overtones decay on fine piano on the harmony of Bill Evans, where each note in a dense and complex tonal palette is weighed carefully and individually.

I have found these mics to be an excellent value, and they have become a staple of my acoustic piano recordings.
Old 10th March 2018
  #416
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jpgerard's Avatar
Keep in mind Line Audio is a one man operation... "they" is really "him", Roger Jönsson, doing absolutely everything. A real saint

Glad you like the OM1's on your piano!!
Old 24th March 2018
  #417
Here for the gear
Copeland with OM1 + CM3

I have been recording chamber music with a pair of OM1's and a pair of CM3's for about two years. Most of the time I have them both on a stand just behind the conductor and about 4 m up. The OM1's are in AB with the CM3's in NOS in between. I usually mix them in about equal parts.

Here's a recording of Copeland's Hoedown from Rodeo (ballet).
Old 19th May 2018
  #418
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Just because I recently had the occasion to record one of my prefered organ with my OM1's and I wanted to share my pleasure with you.
Attached Files

Extrait passacaille.mp3 (4.54 MB, 616 views)

Old 19th May 2018
  #419
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathieujm View Post
Just because I recently had the occasion to record one of my prefered organ with my OM1's and I wanted to share my pleasure with you.
Lovely sound...maybe the articulation 'runs away' a little bit in the big acoustic, was it a very large stone church or cathedral perhaps ?
Old 21st May 2018
  #420
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Lovely sound...maybe the articulation 'runs away' a little bit in the big acoustic, was it a very large stone church or cathedral perhaps ?
I'm actually fond of that sometimes.
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