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ultra-thin diaphram, fast, small diaphrgam condensers?
Old 4th January 2010
  #1
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sunflute's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Talking ultra-thin diaphram, fast, small diaphrgam condensers?

It is starting to become clear to me that these types of microphones maybe great at capturing the fast, complex transients of say a flute or high pitched percussion instruments in a natural manner.

Besides the Shure KSM-141 (ksm137), are there other ultra-thin diaphragm condensers that would be fast enough to capture high frequency material in a natural manner?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree in this regard?

Peace,
Marco
Old 4th January 2010
  #2
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🎧 15 years
Marco, the freq response of the mic is what tells you how "fast" it is. The response at the HF end is probably limited more by the electronics than the capsule. Witness the Schoeps CMC-XT bodies that give extended (which means faster) response with the same normal Collette capsules.

I don't think this is what you mean. I also don't think that a nickel capsule sounds significantly different to a mylar or titanium capsule. I have three omnis made from three different materials, 4006TL (nickel), M150 (titanium), MK2 (mylar) and I cannot say that the capsule material defines their sound. I can make the 4006 sound very like the M150 by adding the 40mm APE to the front of them. Geometry and off axis response probably has more to do with it.

I would be concentrating on something else about your setup and not get too hung up on capsule materials.
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #3
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🎧 15 years
Thanks

Thank you so much David,

I posted this because I recently tried the KSM141 which has a (I believe) 2.5 micron capsule and I seem to like better how it handles high frequency material than some of the other small diaphragm condensers I have tried.

I have tried some mics that have really fast electronics (as well as extended frequency range) and still, I have not been completely pleased with the sounds I get for my flute. So, this led me to believe (maybe wrongly) that the capsule thickness might have something to do with it, since I like the response of the KSM141.

In general, I like the response of ribbons but still I am lacking something in terms of capturing more of the high range.

Thanks again for your response.

Peace
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #4
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hiya marco - looking forward to seeing you at the flute fair in Portland this spring. i know you have tried many many mics now, and i share your concern over getting an appropriate flute sound - it is not easy, in fact about the hardest instrument to get a good sound from.

have you tried blending your favorite ribbon(s) with your favorite SDCs? i did this on one of RoseWynde's CDs with pretty good results. i used a blumlein pair of royer r-121s and blended in a touch of a km184 to give a bit more definition to the top end, while retaining that full ribbon character.

the other thing i might suggest you try is a close-spaced pair of nearfield omnis, such as the km131's, or schoeps cmc6/mk2's. spacing about 16-18" apart, and perhaps 4-5 feet out from the flute. i think i agree with the fellow above regarding diaprhagm material - obviously a smaller, thinner, lighter diaphragm has the potential to react faster to transients, but in practice, given any particular diaphragm size (diameter), the material does not seem to make much difference.

you might also consider some of the better small capsule omnis, like the little DPA 4061s or 4091s - excellent transient response, quite flat, extremely omni, affordable, and have an excellent sound. while some folks complain about the self-noise of such small capsules, any good noise reduction plugin these days can easily take care of that problem. i got some excellent recordings of flute and bosendorfer using a close-spaced pair of 4061s.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #5
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sunflute's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hello jnorman,

Have you tried the Shure KSM141/137?

I know you have tried a lot of microphones on flute, so your input is highly valuable for me.

Thanks and Happy New Year.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 10 years
I wonder how you would find the DPA 4060 on flute. I thought it would sound harsh on harmonica up close, but was amazed at how good it sounded. The realism and clarity of the mic is stunning.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #7
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marco - i have not tried the shures. but i have tried all of the usual suspects, like DPA 4011, 4012, 4006, 4061s, schoeps cmc64s, gefell m300s, a variety of ribbons from coles, royer, shinybox, and cascade (ribbons never quite seem to do it by them selves, though i think i liked the shinybox the best), a variety of neumanns from U87s, 140s, 184s, tlm103 (ouch!) and m149 (not mine, but pretty good, and very nice on piano), AT4022 omnis (way better than i expected) AT4051s (still some of my favorite mics for all kinds of things), and many others.

obviously, the venue has a LOT to do with how a flute sounds - i got some VERY nice recordings of flute at St Marys church in Mt Angel, OR, during octoberfest, though the audience noises ruined most of it - but the flute sounded amazing in there - i used ORTF km184s about 25 feet away - the natural reverb in that very large cruciform space was simply amazing, though way too much for any kind of "studio" type sound.

you have used some of the best mics around, including the senn mkh20s and 40s, i think, which are well known as excellent flute mics and used by some top engineers of chamber music like john eargle. eargle used a km140 and a mkh20 on one of the nicest flute/harp recordings i have (sounds of the seine by glorian duo). take a look at the recording of bozza's image on youtube by alexandra grot - it sounds absolutely fantastic, and was recorded using a rode NT4 at about 20 feet out in a very nice auditorium - i would never pick an NT4 for anything, but it does show how much the hall factors into getting just the right sound.

my friend brian dunning, from ireland, plays traditional celtic material and uses a U87 (a vintage one from maybe 1974), which he works quite closely like a vocalist, and he regualrly gets an amazing sound (you can hear him on CDs by jeff johnson) - i have no idea how he mics so closely and still sounds so natural, but he is surely one of the finest players i know, and of course, sheer skill in performance is still the number one factor in the recording. jim galway sounds pretty stellar on everything, and he very often uses a single AKG C414 in fig 8 or omni about 4 feet out in the studio.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #8
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Josephson C617set is a fast, deep, quiet and natural sounding omni. 1/2 inch 200volt capsule -- the Josephson body converts 48v to 200v.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #9
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sunflute's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Michael.

I was suspecting the Josephson C617set as a microphone to look at in the future.
Old 5th January 2010
  #10
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ultra-thin diaphram, fast, small diaphrgam condensers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflute View Post
It is starting to become clear to me that these types of microphones maybe great at capturing the fast, complex transients of say a flute or high pitched percussion instruments in a natural manner.

Besides the Shure KSM-141 (ksm137), are there other ultra-thin diaphragm condensers that would be fast enough to capture high frequency material in a natural manner?......................
The KSM 137/141 mic is not exactly a SD microphone, as you allude to in your title. It is larger, more of a medium diameter capsule, and the 141 presents a not insignificant obstacle for sound approaching from rear angles. Not to say that it isn't a good mic.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Marco, the freq response of the mic is what tells you how "fast" it is. The response at the HF end is probably limited more by the electronics than the capsule. Witness the Schoeps CMC-XT bodies that give extended (which means faster) response with the same normal Collette capsules.
Wow. When inaccurate, incomplete, and over generalized information is put together in a seemingly rational way, statements like these are often the result.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #12
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Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
I wonder how you would find the DPA 4060 on flute. I thought it would sound harsh on harmonica up close, but was amazed at how good it sounded. The realism and clarity of the mic is stunning.
If you want realism vs a classic recorded sound via a ribbon or such, then I agree with aracu, the DPA 4060 is an amazing mic for this. I admit I have not tried it on Flute, but it was amazing on sax and clarinet.

XJ
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #13
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I am using the DPA 4061's and they are fast and very omni. A choir director I record has preferred them over 4006TL's in the latest recording. I presented her the 4006TL's, the 4061's and the 4061's altered to sound like the 4006TL's with the trapezoid grids. The latter is what she chose. They are very fast, like a ribbon, and robust and sound good throughout the range.

And they are about the size of the head of a wooden match. Nice!
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #14
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sunflute's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I am using the DPA 4061's and they are fast and very omni. A choir director I record has preferred them over 4006TL's in the latest recording. I presented her the 4006TL's, the 4061's and the 4061's altered to sound like the 4006TL's with the trapezoid grids. The latter is what she chose. They are very fast, like a ribbon, and robust and sound good throughout the range.

And they are about the size of the head of a wooden match. Nice!
Thanks,

Regarding the DPA 4061s, is there an easy way of mounting them in a stereo setup.
Or rather is there a stereo mount for them?

Peace.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflute View Post
Thanks,

Regarding the DPA 4061s, is there an easy way of mounting them in a stereo setup.
Or rather is there a stereo mount for them?

Peace.
There is no bar to mount them from DPA. I just gaffers tape them to a carbon fiber rod ~40cm across and tape that to a Sabra mic mount. You can attach them easily to anything. The SMK406n kits come with all sorts of mounting gear. Two-sided tape will work.

They are cheap enough to buy and they must be pretty cheap to rent for a tryout or you could get them on approval from DPA. The 4060's have a wider dynamic range but cannot handle the same high SPL. I do not suppose that is a problem for flute. The self-noise is more an apparent than real problem. Ambient sound masks the mics sound, at least in all cases I know of.

There are threads on the board about the 406n mics. I think they are quite wonderful.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #16
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videoteque's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
Wow. When inaccurate, incomplete, and over generalized information is put together in a seemingly rational way, statements like these are often the result.
Why don't you give us your version of the facts, instead of just flaming??

When I read David's post I also wasn't convinced. What has fast to do with extended frequency??? But after thinking about it, fast means a lot of change in little time, so in the end, high frequency (sorry for my english!). So probably David is right!
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #17
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
Wow. When inaccurate, incomplete, and over generalized information is put together in a seemingly rational way, statements like these are often the result.
Hello JEGG. Please explain yourself. What is inaccurate? What is incomplete and where is the over-generalization?

All this talk a "fast" mics and "fast" preamps is nonsense. Its all in the frequency response.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 10 years
I've developed a liking for a mic you've never heard of: CAD e70. For $100 you can't go far wrong. Also the AKG Perception 170 is a pretty creditable mic.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #19
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3 Reviews written
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marco - the DPA 4061s are also available in a stand-mount design - the model 4091.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #20
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didier.brest's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
All this talk a "fast" mics and "fast" preamps is nonsense. Its all in the frequency response.
At least true for an ideally linear microphone or preamp. May be not as simple in the real world? Note also that the frequency response does not take into account the phase, which has an obvious impact on the transient response.

Anyway this one should be rather fast.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #21
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d_fu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
All this talk a "fast" mics and "fast" preamps is nonsense. Its all in the frequency response.
Thanks - I was about to make a similar comment...

Didier, what does phase have to do with "fast"?
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #22
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rumleymusic's Avatar
 
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Quote:
All this talk a "fast" mics and "fast" preamps is nonsense. Its all in the frequency response.
That is not exactly true. There is a lot in the response of a microphone that has nothing to due with frequency. How quickly it reacts to the incoming source is very important to the sound. Though yes, a mic with a sharp HF response tends to sound "quicker" because it exaggerates attacks.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
I wonder how you would find the DPA 4060 on flute. I thought it would sound harsh on harmonica up close, but was amazed at how good it sounded. The realism and clarity of the mic is stunning.
Pardon the recording. Flute and Guitar in a gallery with a noisy audience, AC, and amplified guitar. So ignore all that and listen to the flute

Camarada / Exotic Sounds - InstantEncore
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 15 years
One of the fastest clearest mics I've ever used is the Sanken CU-31. It has a 1 micron Titanium diaphragm which is completely unaffected by climate.

The clarity is a good and a bad thing- you hear everything with these mics and there is an ultra-clear, almost crystaline top end (I don't know how else to describe it). The bad- you hear *everything* and that includes stuff that you may not want to hear.

The only other point to know about these mics is that they have a rather low output level. You'll need a preamp with a lot of clean gain.

--Ben
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #25
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d_fu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
How quickly it reacts to the incoming source is very important to the sound.
Then please explain what exactly you are referring to with a "quick reaction"... What is it, if not frequency response? You mean the microphone just sits there doing nothing, and then suddenly this sharp transient comes along, and the microphone is, like, wow, look at that, I really have to do something about this and convert this air pressure change into electricity before it's gone... And will an SDC's "reaction" be "faster", while the LDC's heavy membrane has to ponder a bit longer before actually getting to work..?
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu View Post
Didier, what does phase have to do with "fast"?
The phase vs frequency characteristic tells how a frequency is delayed in the acoustic to electric signal tranform performed by the microphone. If this delay is varying too much as a function of the frequency, a sharp transient, e.g. note attack from an instrument, is smoothed. If the delay is the same for all the frequencies, the phase is a linear function of the frequency. So a microphone can have have an extended frequency response and be perceived as slow because of poor phase linearity. DPA provides some phase vs frequency curves on their web site.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
So a microphone can have have an extended frequency response and be perceived as slow because of poor phase linearity. DPA provides some phase vs frequency curves on their web site.
The graph looks pretty neat for the 4011, but what would other mics look like? Also where would this phase issue occur? And would a small phase change at 15k or whatever really be audible?
Just wondering, never really heard much about phase issues with mics.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 15 years
The "Freq response" I am referring to, is the strict definition, namely it has two components, magnitude and phase. These two components tell you all there is to know about the "speed" of a microphone. If a mic response at 20kHz is unity magnitude and in phase then its as fast as it needs to be to represent the sound accurately.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Then please explain what exactly you are referring to with a "quick reaction"... What is it, if not frequency response?
Slew rate.

Slew rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
You mean the microphone just sits there doing nothing, and then suddenly this sharp transient comes along, and the microphone is, like, wow, look at that, I really have to do something about this and convert this air pressure change into electricity before it's gone... And will an SDC's "reaction" be "faster", while the LDC's heavy membrane has to ponder a bit longer before actually getting to work..?
Ever wonder why a condenser mic has better transient response than a dynamic? I would think this would be common knowledge.
Old 5th January 2010 | Show parent
  #30
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sunflute's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
At least true for an ideally linear microphone or preamp. May be not as simple in the real world? Note also that the frequency response does not take into account the phase, which has an obvious impact on the transient response.

Anyway this one should be rather fast.
Interesting, this mic (Sanken CO-100K) has similar noise specs as the DPA 4090.
So, it's a wider frequency response but it is noisier (than most) at the same time.

Anyone here tried the Sanken CO-100K? How does it handle fast transients?

Thanks

Last edited by sunflute; 5th January 2010 at 07:46 PM.. Reason: Sorry, meant 4090 instead of 4091
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