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Old January 24th, 2008, 08:14 PM   #1
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More mic tests....

Having just purchased a Schoeps CMC641 I decides to try it out vs my other mics on hand -> AKG SE300B/CK93 hyper; Beyer MC740 (studio condenser); Countryman B6 omni; AKG C535EB (cardioid vocalist condenser with top end boost).
I recorded each mic with my voice, my wife's voice, and our daughter's voice reading a simple script.
Not exactly a scientific/lab test - more of a living room test with lowish ambient noise. I tried to be consistent in that all the connectors were Neutriks, all the cabling was Klotz. Mics were mounted on rigid studio mic stands and where possible the mics were in shock mounts.
Recorded onto a SD702 at 24/48 via a SD302 with no low cut engaged. The MC740 is a versatile multi pattern studio large diaphragm mic, so I tried both hyper and cardioid settings..
I'm happy to post the .wav files if anyone's interested.
Rgds, Ross.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 08:36 PM   #2
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I'd like to hear them :)
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Old January 24th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #3
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Yes, I'd like to hear them. What did you think of the Schoeps?
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Old January 25th, 2008, 07:54 AM   #4
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More mic tests - file available

OK, .wav files (24/48) can be found here: http://idisk.mac.com/rossdjones-Public
Go to the Mic Test folder, and the 7 tests for M (Male), F (Female), FY (young female) can be found there. I did a little bit of amplitude adjustment and trimming file lengths in Soundtrack Pro but other than that, no processing has been applied.
Couple of notes:
1. I have had my Beyer MC740 for many years, and to my ears it still sounds good. I use it occasionally for M/S stereo recording; sounds very nice for that... It also has wide cardioid, omni, and figure of 8 patterns.
2. I was pleased with the (new) CMC641's performance and low noise. I was 'stunned' by this, rather relieved that the sound is both accurate & neutral.
3. The B6 sounds much more 'muffled' than the sound I have hitherto got from it. This maybe because we were all sitting on a comfy sofa, speaking relatively quietly, and I had the B6 clipped onto clothing below our mouths. Normally I attach the B6 to a shirt collar and get a brighter sound. At these low levels, it's quite noisy. Again for 'real' video work everyone has spoken much louder than this, thus S/N has been substantially better when I have used it in the past..
4. The AKG Blue Line SE300B/CK93 gave a surprisingly good performance. On this test I left it flat and with no low cut on the SD302, normally when I use it, I roll off some bottom end.
5. Tests 1-6 were recorded onto both channels; Test 7 has Schoeps on Left and AKG on R.
6. I included the AKG C535 as, again, I have had it in my kit for years and like the way it sounds on sung vocals and acoustic guitar. It's noticeably noisier than the the Schoeps, other AKG, and the Beyer, and because of it's top end boost, sounds a little too sibilant for dialogue use.
I'm interested to hear any feedback.
Rgds, Ross.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 01:00 AM   #5
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The AKG535 test 3 FY has a funky artifact in it like an echo-ish noise following the voice... weird.

the SE300 really held its ground against the cmc641, but the CMC641 is a more detailed, less colored and open sound in the end with the sampled male voice. on the female voice I thought it much closer, but still darker. in the end, the SE300 is a very nice mic for money, but its not a 641. just wish I could hear a SCX-1 matched against a 641 because the price goes up in a few days, and I have a bad feeling what I am giving myself for my birthday monday.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #6
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C535eb

Steve, I can't hear what you're referring to in the 3_FY file; perhaps my hearing is out of whack..!? Anyone else hear the artifact Steve is referring to..?
Thx, Ross.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #7
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File updates..

Just realised a few files were incorrectly labeled: the 1_FY_Schoeps CMC641 is now correct - it really is my daughter's voice..
Also 'Test 8' - 8_M file added - CMC641 on L; SE300B on R - but this time 160Hz low-cut applied on the SD302 - lightening up the bottom end somewhat..
1+2_FY is now daughter with CMC641 on L & SE300B on R.
(corrected files being uploaded now..)
Rgds, Ross.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 03:17 PM   #8
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Schoeps CMC6341 vs. AKG SE300B/CK93

Just uploaded two more files. set up was as before: SD302 -> SD702 - at 24/48. This time, I'm standing - head ~18" from a low ceiling; last tests were sitting.
Mics side by side, 2ft away from my mouth 45 degrees above me. Both mics close to the ceiling.
The purpose was to see how close the SE300B/CK93 was to the CMC641. OK, again, not exactly a scientific test, and in this case just male voice, but I believe that it gives an interesting result...
Half way through I remove each mic's foam windshield to check the effect.
I recorded the CMC641 on the L channel and SE300B on the R channel on a single take.
I saved L channel as a separate file "Schoeps CMC641_90 w_o foam" and again for the R channel - "AKG SE300B 75_80w_o foam".
As the filename suggests, I had the low cut on the SD302 set at 80Hz for both channels, and on the AKG mic, I engaged the low cut at 75Hz.
Conclusion: I was impressed with how well the AKG held up against the Schoeps.
I may not have the best pair of ears, so I'd appreciate feedback: do they sound pretty similar to you?
Thx, Rgds, Ross.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 07:37 PM   #9
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pretty amazing job by the AKG. BTW the comment about the previous sample #3 having something wierd going on may of been my G4 powerbook's audio outs / sample rate conversion from 48K->hardware's 44.1 but using AKG headphones :)

after I just bought a CMC64, now I'm wondering if I could of saved $1k because they are so close. could of had a pair of AKG's... but if you work freelance, you know how people are if they don't see a few of the buzzword name gear on your list to be considered an A-list pro :( I thought the AKG has little more bottom, even with the low cuts on, the CMC slightly more in the highend, but really splitting hairs in difference. once mixed and sent thru normal distribution channels - TV, DVD, Web, I don't think anyone would ever be able to pick the two apart.

what might of been a more revealing test was to continue, but setup back 2, then four steps to hear the off axis response.

thanks for putting them up and doing the test
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 08:35 PM   #10
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For those of you wanting to hear the Sennheiser 418S (in stereo mode), here is a short sample done during a recent interview.

http://homepage.mac.com/wayneb/KittyKitty_boom.mp3

I can post wav files if people want those.

Wayne
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 09:13 PM   #11
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Cmc641 / Se300b-ck93

Steve, yes, good idea about off-axis tests.. I'll set them both up again and try a spoken test at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions..
Listening to them both again, the Schoeps has a transparency - sort of a 'lightness of touch' - that isn't present with the AKG. I'd say the AKG is a slightly darker sound overall.. but still surprisingly good. The other tests with the AKG flat - rather than the 75Hz low cut engaged - make the difference between it and the Schoeps more obvious... But my purpose with these last two files was to see how close the mics could sound. Nice to know that I could get away with using both mics, and cutting between the two (at least with a male voice like mine...) shouldn't be a problem.
Final note: I'd say that for around $400, the AKG is very good value..
Rgds, Ross.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 08:31 AM   #12
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It's well known that the AKG SE300 CK 91/93 are very good mic's. For the money they are pretty much the best there is.

Great on voice, strings, drum overheads, hi hat. They are smallish too.

I'm always surprised to hear of the Octava's as I have not seen them here in the U.K. Maybe that is just me. The se300's are everywhere though.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 03:17 PM   #13
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AKG mics

Jimmy,
..interesting - I'm from the UK, so I'm quite familiar with AKG as a brand. I've used them a lot over the years and have always been very pleased with the results. Over here (US), it seems that AKG is not as high a profile as Schoeps, Sennheiser, Neuman, Sanken and Audio Technica.. - at least where location sound is concerned..
Rgds, Ross.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 06:11 PM   #14
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Ross
I would not say that AKG turn up that much in the world of location sound, just that they turn up a lot on stages in live sound environments.

They do the C568 which is a popular short gun mic with rental houses though.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 08:57 PM   #15
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AKG? I wish...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Tuffrey View Post
Ross
I would not say that AKG turn up that much in the world of location sound, just that they turn up a lot on stages in live sound environments.

They do the C568 which is a popular short gun mic with rental houses though.
I begged and negotiated with AKG for two months to try to obtain review samples for my microphone article article. They just ended negotiations, saying, "we just can't provide any samples now". Which was really weird because they went as far as having me discuss which of their lineup were appropriate with two of their engineers.

Really wanted to test them and include them but they just wouldn't play ball, even after I told them that everyone else in the club was in the game.

Best,

Dan
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