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What's the flattest response mic?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #91
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Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post
Also, if only omnis can be this accurate / linear, what if you created a directional mic by combining 2 omni capsules? Couldn't you get the best of both?
Er - you get a directional mic. by combining an omni with a fig-8 - NOT two omnis.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #92
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Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post
I was thinking of getting the DPA 4099, but guessing it won't have that same detail.
You would be correct. I have the 4099's in the piano kit. They are great - I use them for "lid down" sessions where I need isolation from other sound sources. But if the lid is up and it is solo piano time, I use other microphones.

It isn't that the 4099s are "weak" - it is that I also have access to some extra wonderful transducers.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #93
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Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post
You're saying the DPAs are very detailed, or the Schoeps? Which model specifically?
All of these microphones are in the top tier for quality, resolution/detail, etc. I would happily use any of them. They are all used for top shelf classical, jazz and other purposes every day. You have no doubt listened to recordings that use them.

Are there differences? Yes. Are they huge? No. This is a game of inches at this level of refinement. There's no perfection. But there are preferences and preferred uses that crop up after repeated use.

I have the Schoeps MK2 omni and mk21 wide cardiod capsules. I've rented the DPA 4006's. I would happily be stuck with any of them, and wouldn't hesitate to use any of them.

I do remember agonizing over my first choice. Now many years later, I would tell you that it doesn't really matter if you are buying in the top tier of choices. They are all good enough and you are going to have to learn how to use them before you get the results they are capable of.

You can rent them, you can buy other makes/models. Over time you learn what you like and what you like it on. But if you haven't used any of these microphones before, you will be thrilled with what they reveal. High end omni's in a good space with good instruments and musicians are one of the great pleasures of recording acoustic instruments.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #94
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Er - you get a directional mic. by combining an omni with a fig-8 - NOT two omnis.
I thought you got directional by allowing a small amount behind the diaphragm, which I guess it like an in-between of pressure and pressure-gradient... but I was thinking of how the multi-pattern mics use 2 separate cardioid capsules.

What if you had a mic that used an omni capsule, and maybe behind it a figure 8, and just summed the output? Or 2 omnis and minused the input of one from the other? Or an omni and cardioid? The purpose being that the omni is doing the actual micing, while whatever is behind it is just used the way we use the second cardioid on multi-pattern mics.

Couldn't you get the omni detail with directionality that way?


Quote:
Originally Posted by niversen View Post
All of these microphones are in the top tier for quality, resolution/detail, etc. I would happily use any of them. They are all used for top shelf classical, jazz and other purposes every day. You have no doubt listened to recordings that use them.

Are there differences? Yes. Are they huge? No. This is a game of inches at this level of refinement. There's no perfection. But there are preferences and preferred uses that crop up after repeated use.

I have the Schoeps MK2 omni and mk21 wide cardiod capsules. I've rented the DPA 4006's. I would happily be stuck with any of them, and wouldn't hesitate to use any of them.

I do remember agonizing over my first choice. Now many years later, I would tell you that it doesn't really matter if you are buying in the top tier of choices. They are all good enough and you are going to have to learn how to use them before you get the results they are capable of.

You can rent them, you can buy other makes/models. Over time you learn what you like and what you like it on. But if you haven't used any of these microphones before, you will be thrilled with what they reveal. High end omni's in a good space with good instruments and musicians are one of the great pleasures of recording acoustic instruments.
Ya, 2 grand is a lot for me... I've been thinking, I could just hire a lot of musicians on Fiver for that who already have mics....

Also, is there a big difference between the directional mics in this tier? Maybe I'll get a better sound from a 4099 because I suck at using a mic, and the 4099 is idiot proof? I've only used sub $800 mics before; used Earthworks a few times though and they had awesome detail.

So you're saying the difference between a SCHOEPS CCM 41 and a SENNHEISER MKH 50-P48 would be negligible? But that these will both be far more detailed than anything under $1000? The CCM41 has an option for a permanently attached cable... that seems convenient, and maybe better sound having 1 less connector? Any downsides here? Since I'm going off-topic, should I start a new thread?


Also, thanks everyone for being patient with me; I really go nuts about this stuff and suck at making decisions.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #95
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Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post
I thought you got directional by allowing a small amount behind the diaphragm, which I guess it like an in-between of pressure and pressure-gradient... but I was thinking of how the multi-pattern mics use 2 separate cardioid capsules.
omni + fig.8 = cardioid
omni + two fig.8 = hyper-cardioid
two omni + fig.8 = wide-cardioid

If you have an omni (pressure mic.) and (in theory) cut off the rear you would have a fig.8 (pressure-gradient) mic. If you closed the rear of the open back with EG: silk you would get a directional mic. somewhere between wide-cardioid and hyper-cardioid - the amount of damping will define the final polar-pattern.

The first cardioid mics were an omni and a fig.8 in the same housing and, in fact, Josephson still make a microphone like this.

I think you will find THIS useful - this is the PDF "handout" that goes with a PowerPoint presentation of mine - I gave it at the AES in Paris and Berlin and was due to do it again at the AES in Vienna in May (but that is now likely to be postponed). This goes through microphone types, directivity, etc. When I gave this in Paris, the chairman of the session said I taught as much about microphones in a short session, that he takes half a semester to teach his students and asked me to do it again at the next AES in Berlin, which I did.

I hope you find it useful.

Yes, multi-pattern microphones do use back-to-back cardioids - most use two separate capsules matched and stuck together - the M7 capsule (in several Gefell mics) uses a single backplate with two diaphragms. This brings the two diaphragms closer together and results in better resultant patterns, but is more difficult to make.

If you assume a 60V polarising voltage (like Neumann use)

The front capsule is always active with 60V
Front = +60V + Rear = 0V (IE: off) results in a cardioid response
Front = +60V + Rear = +60V results in an omni response
Front = +60V + Rear = -60V results in a fig.8 response
Front = +60V + Rear = +30V results in a wide-cardioid response
Front = +60V + Rear = -30V results in a hyper-cardioid response


Quote:
Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post
What if you had a mic that used an omni capsule, and maybe behind it a figure 8, and just summed the output? Or 2 omnis and minused the input of one from the other? Or an omni and cardioid? The purpose being that the omni is doing the actual micing, while whatever is behind it is just used the way we use the second cardioid on multi-pattern mics.

Couldn't you get the omni detail with directionality that way?
An omni with a fig.8 would give you a cardioid microphone if the fig.8 was pointing forwards. If the fig.8 was pointing sideways you could use this as an MS microphone to give you back-to-back cardioids.

MS is very well explained in this paper by Dooley and Streicher. I have found this paper very valuable in explaining MS and the resultant polar-patterns.

An omni and a cardioid added together would give you a wide-cardioid.

Two omnis with one subtracted from the other would give you (in theory) silence as they would cancel each other out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post
Also, thanks everyone for being patient with me; I really go nuts about this stuff and suck at making decisions.
No problem - I really hope the above helps.

I originally wrote my PowerPoint (actually very many weeks/months work overall) to help explain all the things that I found helpful to me as I learned them over the years - and the Dooley and Streicher MS paper I found very valuable when I first came across it.

So I really hope all this helps.
Old 1 week ago
  #96
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saurumanx View Post

Also, is there a big difference between the directional mics in this tier? Maybe I'll get a better sound from a 4099 because I suck at using a mic, and the 4099 is idiot proof? I've only used sub $800 mics before; used Earthworks a few times though and they had awesome detail.

So you're saying the difference between a SCHOEPS CCM 41 and a SENNHEISER MKH 50-P48 would be negligible? But that these will both be far more detailed than anything under $1000? The CCM41 has an option for a permanently attached cable... that seems convenient, and maybe better sound having 1 less connector? Any downsides here? Since I'm going off-topic, should I start a new thread?
Ok. I think you are answering your own questions. There are no idiot-proof microphones at any price. The 4099's are not easier to use because they are less expensive. They are different tools used for a different purpose than my other tools. For what I use them for, they are the "best". For other uses, I think other things are "best", including a Shure SM57. No one-size-fits-all, super world-class "best" is to be had. This is why we talk of "mic lockers" or "mic cabinets".

Sadly, there's no magic, "I buy this mic, I get magical detailed, pristine, glorious recordings that sound like aural perfection." If that's what you are looking for, it doesn't exist.

I haven't said anything about CCM41 vs. MKH 50's because we've been talking about omni's. I don't own either, so don't have an opinion. The cable is not important. The Schoeps CCM series is often used where visuals are important and the on-camera appearance needs to be as discreet as possible. This has nothing to do with audio performance, though they are even more expensive if that is a concern.

Honestly, you might just hire one of the outstanding recordists here, who will bring a whole range of tools, select the right one for you and deliver as good a file as your musicianship and room can deliver.

If you must own more microphones, and like the Earthworks, just get them and learn how to use them. From what you have said, gaining practical experience using microphones will give far more improvement than obsessing over tools. If you can get to the point where the Earthworks limit your captures, you won't need a lot of internet advice - you'll be searching out dealers and rental situations to try things and form your own opinions.

Many here work at the highest levels of acoustic audio capture. At that level, inches matter, and the subtle differences between microphones, preamps and other tools generate strongly held professional opinions. These opinions come from 20+ years of experience, not just personal preference. But if you are starting out, you really don't need to worry about these discussions. Just because the internet gives you knowledge of these tools, doesn't mean that you'll be able to extract everything they offer, or that you wouldn't be equally happy with something less expensive or even more limited in some way.

It's like sports cars. Just because one can afford one, doesn't mean one is an expert driver. That's why they are all loaded up with safety controls now. The cars keep normal humans from killing themselves when they can afford too much car.

Microphones are orders of magnitude less expensive than sports cars. Unlike sports cars, many people with average to good jobs can afford even the best microphones. Also unlike sports cars, they don't come with electronic guardrails, so you actually have to learn how to use them and what to use them for. Microphones and sports cars will deliver the same technical performance to anyone. But getting high-quality compelling captures requires more than technical performance. It requires engineering skill and experience, just like turning hot laps on a racetrack requires substantial expertise.

Flatness is objectively available, and the thread has definitely surfaced the primary contenders in several polar patterns, any of which can likely meet your desire for detail. Given the "absolute best" criteria, all are going to be more expensive than the Earthworks, but maybe that is just not important for you. It is ok to have used the Earthworks, like them, be able to afford them, and be happy with them. I've used them, and they give excellent captures.

I use Earthworks DM20's for tom and snare mics on my studio drum kit - they are lovely. Sure, I'd love (5) Josephson e22s's also, but these Earthworks are excellent and are not in any way keeping me from making great drum recordings. I don't think about them at all - they are not limiting my capture quality. Who is playing the kit makes 1000x the difference between the DM20's and any other microphones you'd select for me.

Choose tools. Then spend hundreds of hours using them. Not owning them in a box on your shelf or reading forums about other tools you don't own. Use them in as many different ways as you can think. Take notes. Mic things from many perspectives. Try to imagine what the microphone will hear, and then check if you are right. If you don't like the sound, think about what you are hearing and then try to think how you would move the mic to get that change to occur. Buy "The New Stereo Soundbook" and learn how to use every technique in it.

We live in an amazing time to make music, record music and even distribute music. Everything is orders of magnitude more available and less expensive than it was even 20 years ago. Exotic brands and boutique high-end mics are readily available. If you can afford the last smidge of goodness, go ahead. But do spend the time to master whatever you buy. Somewhere along the line, you will find out that what is happening in front of the mic is so much more important than the mic that you'll stop worrying about it and just do the best you can with whatever you have. It will take a while to develop real mastery with the tools, but the journey is certainly rewarding if you like the work.

Sorry for the long answer, but I'm trying to address what will serve you best, which may or may not be just microphones. Good luck on your journey. Keep learning.
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