The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
What's the flattest response mic?
Old 19th October 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 

Talking What's the flattest response mic?

just wondering......
which mic(s) have the flattest frequency response?
Of course, whether that's a good or bad thing is another (long) debate!

Giles
Old 19th October 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Beyersound's Avatar
B&K 4006 or DPA 4006, I think they are now under the DPA label. They have been the holy grail of analysis mics for years. The Earthworks M30 and M50 are right up there with them. These are all omnis, as omnis bring the smoothest frequency response that is not axis dependent.
Old 19th October 2008
  #3
Gear Head
 

thanks. Just had a look at the M30 spec. Totally flat! What are the pros and cons of recording with a mic like that? I could imagine if you were recording a number of overdubbed tracks and had limited number of mics to use this would be really useful, to avoid building up frequency bumps. Must be a downside though?
Old 19th October 2008
  #4
Gear Addict
 
UnDeFiNeD's Avatar
 

depends weither u want to capture your source realisticly or with some sugar.

For accurate recordings of folley, classical music, jazz, room mic etc. these kinds of mics serve really well.
But in most modern music people tend to want to colour the source with a carefull selection of mic/preamp/EQ in order to leave the pleasing stuff up front, and the less desirable away or in the back to create a perfect match that sits well in the mix.

Could be an asset, depends on what u need.

Pzz,
Alex
Old 19th October 2008
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by melonmachine View Post
which mic(s) have the flattest frequency response?
As Beyersound said the DPA and Earthworks microphones are excellent. I'm sure you'll find this test report very interesting:

Comparison of Ten Measuring Microphones

--Ethan
Old 19th October 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyersound View Post
B&K 4006 or DPA 4006, I think they are now under the DPA label. They have been the holy grail of analysis mics for years. The Earthworks M30 and M50 are right up there with them. These are all omnis, as omnis bring the smoothest frequency response that is not axis dependent.

The Earthworks QTC50 is speced +/-2dB 3HZ-50kHz.

DPA 4006 +/-2dB 15Hz-20kHz.

Maybe DPA or B&K has other mics (smaller capsules) that are flatter?

Also I would think a small figure of eight mic has the flattest possible power response.


/Peter
Old 19th October 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 
peeder's Avatar
 

As you get smaller in capsule, self-noise rises...
Old 21st October 2008
  #8
Gear Head
 

very interesting. As someone recording mostly acoustic instruments perhpas a mic like this could be very useful for me.

I can see how people could like the "auto-EQing" of less flat mics, but as I'll be recording a number of different instruments with a small number of mics I'm thinking I could save myself some trouble with a really flat mic.
But maybe I'm wrong!

Ethan, as a cellist what do you think are the pros and cons of these compared to something with more "character"? i.e. less flat curves

Giles
Old 21st October 2008
  #9
The AKG 414 is one LDC that's flat. They give you a response plot with each mic to check. I had some B+K 4006's years ago and they had a bump at 16k hz. AKG 460's are flat as well.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 21st October 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Rokus666's Avatar
Schoeps MK series ?
Old 21st October 2008
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by melonmachine View Post
I can see how people could like the "auto-EQing" of less flat mics
It's the plug 'n' play mentality. People who don't know what an EQ is can buy a microphone that has a nice "presence boost" right out of the box. heh

Quote:
I'm thinking I could save myself some trouble with a really flat mic.
I recorded all the tracks for my Tele-Vision video with a single DPA 4090. My earlier Cello Rondo video was done with a single audiotechnica 4033, which is also pretty flat.

Quote:
Ethan, as a cellist what do you think are the pros and cons of these compared to something with more "character"?
I always record everything flat because it's difficult to know what EQ will be best later after all the tracks are mixed. Yes, you can undo EQ later if you know exactly what was done when recording. But why bother? In the old days of analog tape, if you knew a track would need highs boosted you'd EQ while recording to avoid boosting the tape hiss later. Likewise for compressing while recording, because compression brings out tape hiss too. But these days even 16 bits is quiet enough to be able to record flat with no compression.

--Ethan
Old 21st October 2008
  #12
Lives for gear
 
philip's Avatar
 

line audio?
LINE AUDIO DESIGN
Old 21st October 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
 
redrue's Avatar
 

I just received an Earthworks QTC-40 which has a frequency
response of 4 - 40kHz +/- 1db (!) It's an awesome mic. I bought
it specifically for recording acoustic guitar and percussion and
some field stuff as well. It's my first 'ruler-flat' mic and it's a tool
that was really missing from my mic collection.

The other mic you might take a look at is the josephson C617 set.
Comes with a Gefell mk221 measurement capsule. That's the
one I REALLY want.
Old 22nd October 2008
  #14
Gear Head
 

Interesting, especially as some of these mics are pretty cheap. Maybe that's why some people don't like them! Could well be the way to go for me as I'm recording some straight acoustic sounds.

Presumably the EQ curve of a mic is more subtle than one added by an EQ box. Is that an important difference?

Those recording sound great. If only you'd added something expensive into your chain......
Old 23rd October 2008
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 

Earthwork's line of omnis are specifically designed for this, and they sure do it well . For recording of classical music in a good room with good players, they are the best I believe. A decent preamp makes it even better. Earthworks also makes amazing preamps that are completely flat and have "Zero Distortion."
Old 24th October 2008
  #16
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

You can add the MKH 20 to the list - but I have been looking at the responses of all the top omnis by Schoeps, DPA, etc. and they are all pretty ruler flat.
Old 24th October 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 

I just wanted to add that the plot for the Line Audio (and all the other) mics are not individual microphone plots; they're averages of many microphones. I'm of the opinion that this 'flattest response' thing should be judged on microphones (i.e. the individual plot for a single microphone) rather than for the average for the product line.

Anyone have any individual plots?

MohThoM
Old 24th October 2008
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 

Every Earthworks mic is shipped with it's own plot. And they're all +/- 1db from their range (for example, 4hz to 40hz on the QTC-1).
Old 25th October 2008
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Well . . . get 'em up! It's the only way to know!
Old 25th October 2008
  #20
Gear Head
 

with all these mics having similar freq response, what are the differences in characteristics between them?
Old 25th October 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 

They may have bigger deviations from a flat line than you'd realise at first thought. If a mic has +/-1dB from 20Hz-20kHz it still could have most of the "low measuring part" for example in the midrange. Then another brand mic may have also a true +/-1dB response but the lowest measuring parts are the lows and the highs iow. a relative broad 2dB hump in the midrange.

Looking at it that way you realise that a 2dB difference in the mids is not so little. Add on top of that different sized capsules and the resulting differences in the polar pattern.. how the mic pick up sounds from all other directions than off axis.

Add noise on top of that.. noise that can be different not only in level but also in spectrum.

In order for two mics to sound more or less identical you'd need to have like +/-0.25dB or so from 20Hz-20kHz and inaudible (or matching) noise plus similar sized capsules for equal polar pattern.

Taking all of the above into consideration it's suddenly easy to understand why mics sound different.

Then we have distortion also, but I reckon that for decent and good quality mics it is not very audible. I'm open on that one though and I have planned some tests to find out more about it.


/Peter
Old 25th October 2008
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Oh, one thing more. Add ontop of all off the above a speaker that have +/-2dB respopnse from 20Hz-20kHz. All of a sudden (not counting the dispersion of the speaker and the effect the room has) the mic + speaker response could have up to 6dB deviations.. THAT is audible for sure.

Now it's even more easy to understand how different mics, speaker and set ups sound so different. Of course it's more than frequency response but FR is what we hear most of all. Non-linear distortion second IMO if at "normal" levels.


/Peter
Old 26th October 2008
  #23
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

414 seems to be flat enough to me, when i want flat that is what i reach for.
Old 26th October 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 

The Earthworks M50









Earthworks - Precision Audio
Old 26th October 2008
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Bulls**t

Post REAL plots, not manufacturer-smoothed straight-line frauds. If there isn't an individual plot in the box when you buy the mic, how do you KNOW??? Simple answer - you don't.



Pretty smooth eh? That would be a Behringer C2 - at a cost of £45 per pair (!). Averaging does wonders for the graph, no?

Do you think they include individual plots in the box?

MohThoM
Attached Thumbnails
What's the flattest response mic?-picture-3.png  
Old 26th October 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
 

The se2200a is pretty flat with a bump in the 10k area
Welcome to sE Electronics
Old 26th October 2008
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 

I'll post my QTC-1's graph when I get a chance.
Old 26th October 2008
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
The Earthworks M50


Earthworks - Precision Audio
22dba self noise = too noisy for low level recordings like acoustic guitar. They may be more suited for loud sources like drums. 22dba is also A weighted, another way to pad a couple more db's out of the measurement.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 26th October 2008
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
22dba self noise = too noisy for low level recordings like acoustic guitar. They may be more suited for loud sources like drums. 22dba is also A weighted, another way to pad a couple more db's out of the measurement.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

We just had this debate in the Remote forum. No, they aren't that noisy, especially not when using a good phantom power source (I noticed a very significant difference when using a stand-alone PP source that was giving a full 48v).

Furthermore, just a touch of noise reduction makes them practically silent.The only time the noise has been an issue for me was when distance miking an orchestra playing very, very soft.

Also, this isn't really the point of the thread, is it?
Old 26th October 2008
  #30
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 

If you are worried about noise with the M50 you could use it in conjunction with the Earthworks pre amps which are super quite.

Earthworks - 1022 Two Channel Preamp - Like Wire with Gain

I'm planning on getting a matched pair of QTC 50's and the Earthworks 1022 for my binaural head that I made. The outs of the 1022 will be fed to a Korg MR2000S recording at 1 bit 5.6 MHz for ultra realistic recordings.

korg.com
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump