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Next step up from CM3s?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Next step up from CM3s?

I've had a pair of CM3s for a couple of years and I'm really pleased with them as a main stereo pair (into a Zoom H6 for now..).

How much would I need to spend to get another pair of small condensers that could be considered an upgrade?

There's a big jump in cost between a CM3 and (say) a DPA 2011.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
What do you believe are the shortcomings of the CM3 (now CM4) ? Self noise, low-ish output, precision of stereo image, micro-detail capture....other qualities ?
Once you specify what's missing for you in the mic, it will be easier to suggest alternative improvements

Perhaps just the small change in the CM4 polar pattern alone might give you what you seek ?

CM4 Is Here. Let's start a thread for it and let the CM3 go on
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 
lukedamrosch's Avatar
 

Unless you are recording extremely quiet nuanced music at a distance, or other scenarios that will especially challenge the CM3s, I venture to say that the most logical way to improve the sound you are getting from them may be to upgrade your recorder.

If this feels too much like a non-answer, you might notice an improvement from something like the Beyerdynamic MC930. A pair of Shure KSM141 could be useful because of their switchable patterns and will possibly give you somewhat better results as main mics in some situations.

Provided that you are able to use the Line Audio mics in settings where their lower sensitivity and higher noise (relative to Schoeps, DPA, etc.) is broadly speaking a non-issue, you will need to spend quite a bit to notice a big difference. This is one reason why many of us, myself included, use and appreciate them.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Head
 

Once you move up into the 2000+/pair DPA (40xx series, not the mini capsule 20xxs)/Schoeps/Neumann/Sennheiser bracket, all are legitimate 'pro' choices that appeal to different tastes or in different situations.

But the CM3s are not holding you back. They are fine microphones, and not just 'for the price'.

If you are looking to throw money around, I would strongly recommend upgrading from your Zoom H6 to Sound Devices or beyond. Or expand your microphone collection with different polar patterns.

Cheapest adventure? Buy a pair of OM1s and discover what omnis will and won't do for you.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Many thanks for the replies - food for thought.

I don't have a good answer as to what more expensive mics might bring other than a vague notion of 'better' ...not a good engineering approach I realise!

I'm very aware of the shortcomings of the H6 and would love to upgrade when finances allow. That said, I'm also aware that the weakest link in the recording chain is probably me so I'm content to work on improving that in the meantime.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
If the combination of the CM3 and H6 mic preamps genuinely isn't giving you any noise issues ( I assume you're listening on high quality headphones to verify/reveal anything fishy in this area...?), then that pair of suggested OM-1 omnis will probably give you the best & most cost-effective entre into a whole new sonic vista of possibilities

Then maybe do a search on this forum for the 'Faulkner/Boojum/Norman 4 mic array' ....for even more adventuresome fun !
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Even a Zoom F4 would result in a substantial quality increase over your current model. The noise level on the mic inputs is much closer to what you’d expect from something like an RME interface or SD Mixpre than to the handheld recorders Zoom makes.

As others have said, improving over the sound of the cm3 can take you in a few directions. If you want a fuller sound, buying a pair of OM1’s and learning to use them would be an improvement in many respects.

If it’s important that your mics still be directional, I’d suggest looking at a pair of MKH40 or 8040, or maybe 8090. The general tone will be similar to what the cm3 presents, but the sound will be fuller, clearer, more robust in almost all ways. The KM184 can be had for cheaper, but if you like general sound of the cm3, you may not like the forward/brightish sound which is characteristic of the Neumann cardioid.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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elektrovolt's Avatar
A pair of Oktava mk-012 with cardioid and omni capsules and a better preamp could be a fine upgrade.
The Oktava's are great little mics and not noisy at all. The H6 preamps are not great, I sold it mainly because of that.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

I own CM3s... I also own AT4041s and Sony C55FETs. And MKH8040s. All have their place... CM3s largely because of pattern (wide-cardioid) and their diminutive size. MKH8040s get the most use... there is very little at which they do not excel. That said, I'd posit that a pair of omnis would be your next best step. If you are happy with your CM3s, and on a budget, then OM1s would make sense.

My preference in omnis is Gefell... I have owned a late-'90s pair of M200 ("small" mylar diaphragm) and currently own a pair of M296 ("large" nickel diaphragm) but each pair cost more than my first automobile. For flexibility, I'd also look at Shure KSM141 (possibly a clean, used pair)... they are mechanically "switched" cardioid/omni mics, and are well regarded, at about 40% the cost of the Gefells. At some point you'll likely want to upgrade your capture device as well. SoundDevices MixPre6 is a lovely bit of kit (I'm just finishing a piano album project captured on one)... and the Zoom F4 and F8 devices are, while not SD, certainly usable.

Good luck!

HB
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Thumbs up Shapeways NOS mount and omni shopping

I didn't see you mention how you were positioning your mics. If that is a concern here, you might consider purchasing a 3D-printed NOS array from Shapeways which compliments the wide cardioid pattern of the CM3:

https://www.shapeways.com/product/BF...nos-cm3-cm4-v3

This NOS array, combined with a Rycote InVision INV-HG mkIII Lyre, is a great starting point for stereo capture. I've found it to be a very fast rig to setup and position.

The other recommendations for picking up a stereo pair of omnis to search for a different sound are valid, of course. I've been investigating inexpensive stereo pairs of omnis and the OM1s are probably the best deal going. Competition in this price range for a pair includes MicW m201 ($1443), MBHO MBNM 410 ($982), Rode NT55 ($829), and the Oktava MK-012-02 MSP4 ($550). With a pair of OM1 coming in at just over $300 with shockmounts, their value is hard to beat.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukedamrosch View Post
Next step up from CM3s... you might notice an improvement from something like the Beyerdynamic MC930.
I'd also be interested to hear from anyone who has both or has tested both.

The Beyers have a gentle HF lift up to 12k and those two dip switches and are more than double the price of CM4s. Self-noise of the two mics seems about the same, the CM4's have a slightly wider pick up pattern, I think.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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jnorman's Avatar
I have owned pairs of both cm3s and mc930s, and while the line audios always gave a useable result, I felt the beyers were too etched in the top end for my taste. The beyers might be nice for acoustic guitar or drum OHs, but not quite right for most classical instruments IMO.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
After using a soundfield and stereo dsd recorder for years, I bought a rme ufx, dav bg8 and pairs of cm3, om1 and 4 no hype audio ribbons to try out and see how spaced techniques work and sound. These mikes are ok and I still use them as spot mikes. After that I bought 5 pairs of vintage Neumann/RFT/Gefell omnis, and I am happpy with these: you can use the capsules with transistor and tube bodies. Next on the list is a pair of modern gefells.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monitor View Post
After using a soundfield and stereo dsd recorder for years, I bought a rme ufx, dav bg8 and pairs of cm3, om1 and 4 no hype audio ribbons to try out and see how spaced techniques work and sound. These mikes are ok and I still use them as spot mikes. After that I bought 5 pairs of vintage Neumann/RFT/Gefell omnis, and I am happpy with these: you can use the capsules with transistor and tube bodies. Next on the list is a pair of modern gefells.
Sorry for the cheap plug, but I do have a M300’s matched pair for sale at a great price.. just saying..

here: Microtech Gefell M 300 - Matched Pair

If you’re interested I can send you some pics as well, just pm me.
Thanks!



Cheu
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