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Old August 9th, 2009, 03:38 AM   #16
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Just a quick reply:
In a multimike recording situation there is absolutely no advantage of using matched pair microphones. Only in a stereo setup this may give you (a little) better result.

Have you thought how you are going to do the mixing in post? You are investing heavily in equipment (which always gives a good feeling) but don't fortget your workflow.
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Old August 9th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #17
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Thanks Don for the vocal mic mid range recommendation. I will certainly check into that. Those earthworks mics sure do look different compared to other one's. I've also learned something on what is referred to as "electret condenser element" that earthworks uses. It states on various sites that this element will eventually weaken over time and the microphone will need replaced.

Mario, the matched pair certainly will have no advantage in a multi mic arangement but could be useful to have in the event that I wanted to do a stereo arangement with only two mics for some sort of recording where only two mics are used. I have professional audio applications on my computer that will allow me to use mix certain perchanges of multi tracks together in post.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 01:59 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Daniel S. Melius View Post
Based on this and some other proffessional sources by email I decided to go with mid range microphones in quanity and buy a 24 bit sound devices recorder.

For the recorder I'm going to go with super expensive 24 bit sound devices 8 track 788T field recorder.
The 788T field recorder is probably the best possble choice for your situation, you won't be disappointed. (DO plan on a learning curve though, it's practically a studio in a box...)

The 184s will be lovely for many of your needs, one of my favorite mics. It is a very versatile mic, sounds good on just about anything. They actually sound good on vocals, too - in a studio, where some distance can be maintained. In a live, on stage situation, I would not use them with individual vocalists (as opposed to a choir, or other group, where more distance can be maintained) because they are fairly prone to popping when used extremely close. Live vocalists tend to 'eat the mic'.

I'd say what you are missing is some 'robust' mics. I'd suggest getting two to four Shure SM-57s to fulfill this role. These mics are dynamics - very tough, you can use them to hammer nails. More to the point, you can use them in places where the KM-184s are not suitable: snare drum mic (drummers hit snare mics, toughness counts), tom mic, even bass drum in a pinch, electric guitar mic, and close individual vocal mic. If needed, they can be used for just about anything and will sound good. I generally use these or SM-7s on electrified guitars in preference to condensors, which I do not believe sound good on amplified guitars (usually...).

They come with a pop screen that works well on stage, are much less prone to pops than 184s would be, and if a vocalist knocks over a stand, they will not break.

They are also very inexpensive.

Use the money you save to buy two transformer isolated direct boxes, the pile of adapters you will need for the 'other four' inputs on the recorder, some good live-suitable shock mounts for the mics, good cables, good stands, and some good audio production software.

-Mike
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Old August 12th, 2009, 06:01 AM   #19
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This topic really worries me. The over reliance on cost is worst. Microphones are tools. You use the best one for the job based on experience for the initial selection and then your ears to fine tune your 'gut' choice. Most sound people have a big mic box, and then select the right tool for the job. The other missing element is the operator. The most expensive mic in the world, used in the wrong manner by somebody working for you who has poor ears will sound awful.

Why do so many people protect elderly microphones and continue using them, when there are so many new ones on the market? Because the users know from experience how they will respond to different circumstances. I've been importing cheap foreign microphones to retail to budget users - home studios, kids at college - cash strapped schools, and keen amateurs, and have been really impressed. None are well known brands, but only two of my samples have been unsaleable - really awful, and I scrapped them. All the others, at all the prices have good points. The audiophile type people who have some kind of golden ears would dismiss them without even listening - but I offered everyone who bought them a 7 day no quibble refund in full - and not one person wanted it. Many, who bought one, then ordered another to make a stereo pair.


I am firmly convinced that the average video camera does not have sufficient sonic quality in the preamps to reveal subtle nuances that really, really good microphones can produce. A separate recorder is a different matter, and with decent pre-amps, then they are more capable. The downside is that mic positions and placement then become even more critical. A 6" movement of the mic position can easily wipe out the benefit of an extra $1000 spent on the mic. I often use visual tools like phase meters to 'see' what the mics hear in stereo critical recordings and often the weirdness being heard can be seen very clearly. Narrow or over wide stereo imaging being the common one.

Few people are considering that some microphones produce a coloured sound on purpose - the U87 is a good example. It gets cited as some kind of miracle microphone that if you can afford, you should buy. I've never thought they sound that good - for some sound sources. I quite like them for female vocals, I'd also use them on a big band, on the bones and lower saxes. They sound very strange on soprano sax. For a really good room, my old favourites were DPA 4001s, I really regret selling them.

All I'm saying is that you wouldn't expect a sound man to be able to select a zoom lens by simply looking at the spec - the same thing applies to audio. I'd NEVER recommend model X over model Y without knowing the venue or accurate set-up and sound source details. The financial investment in buying DPA, Shoeps etc is just too scary!
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Old August 12th, 2009, 11:29 PM   #20
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I'm thinking I'm going to eventually be one of those people that have a large microphone inventory for just about every purpose. I'm not all that concerned on how long it takes me to buy them up. I don't even have any concert dates in the foreseeable future, but do have a whole bunch of dates lined up to do all day seminars. I think my first microphone and only one (none stereo pair) will be the MK41. It seems perfect for a microphone you can place on a podium or at a table and record the speaker's dialogue. Next for microphone's I think I will get a pair of Neuman 184's for recording choirs at my church. Then I think I'll get two very inexpensive vocal stage mics. Perhaps the Audio-Technica Artist Elite series AE-5400's as I am reading some great things on them for vocal stage singing mics. This is one of the only handheld condenser vocal stage mics that I've seen that uses large Diaphragm condensors and has a switch to eliminate the proximity effect.

Yet before all that I'm going to buy the 788T. Anyone know how these mics will sound just going into the 788T? I do have two mix pre's I can use with the special cable for taking advantage of four TA3 inputs.

Anyone know how these mics wil work just going directly into the 788T. I know the MK 41 microphone lists this for output Impedance:

Minimum Load: 600 Ohms
(If a lower load impedance is used, the main effect will be to reduce the maximum output level of the microphone.)

While the 184's output Impedance is listed as only 50 Ohms.

I'm really not sure what the 788T can handle on the inputs for the microphones. I'm not an audio engineer expert, so is there something I will need to hook up between the MK 41 and the 788T in order to handle the 600 OHMS or is the 788T able to handle just about any microphone on it's own? I know Mike mentioned transformer isolated direct boxes but really do not know what he is talking about on those.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 06:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel S. Melius View Post
...
Anyone know how these mics wil work just going directly into the 788T. I know the MK 41 microphone lists this for output Impedance:

Minimum Load: 600 Ohms
(If a lower load impedance is used, the main effect will be to reduce the maximum output level of the microphone.)

While the 184's output Impedance is listed as only 50 Ohms.

I'm really not sure what the 788T can handle on the inputs for the microphones. I'm not an audio engineer expert, so is there something I will need to hook up between the MK 41 and the 788T in order to handle the 600 OHMS or is the 788T able to handle just about any microphone on it's own? I know Mike mentioned transformer isolated direct boxes but really do not know what he is talking about on those.
The 788t will easily handle any of those mics. The 788's analog inputs are rated at 3.3 kOhm impedance. So the load impedance it presents to the mic (the signal source) is well over the 600 Ohms MINIMUM load impedance referred to in the Schoeps specs. That means no adapters or transformers are required and you'll get full output levels on the mic just fine. Don't confuse the OUTPUT impedance of a mic or other source with the LOAD impedance it's designed to send its signal into. Modern solid-state devices are voltage driven rather than power driven. What that Schoeps spec is saying is if you plug into an input with an impedance of LESS than 600 ohms, it will pull power from the mic and lower the voltage the mic is providing. Plugging into an input with a HIGHER impedance than 600 ohms doesn't draw down the mic's output voltage.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 09:43 AM   #22
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Modern solid-state devices are voltage driven rather than power driven.
Purely in the interest of completeness (since the above is true for any practical puposes the original poster is likely to encounter):

There are only two remaining places in the normal audio chain where power transfer is likely to matter.

One is the interface between speaker and power amp. This is normally only a concern in large sound reinforcement situations where you need to squeeze every possible bit of power out of a system.

The other is the interface between dynamic mics (and some ribbons) and the mic preamp. Most of these mics have transformer outputs, so if you really want the absolute best signal to noise ratio possible from such a mic, impedance matching can make a difference. Nowadays, most preamps are optimised for condensor mics which have higher voltage output than dynamics. A transformer input preamp can be a better match for dynamics because of the 'free' voltage gain this provides.

In practical use, this is almost never of any concern, because the only place this would likely make a difference is if a dynamic mic were used for distant micing of quiet sources - a use to which they are almost never put, since condensors do so much better in that kind of application.

I have a reasonably good mic collection now, but I started with inexpensive mics so I understand exactly what I am getting for my money with the more expensive ones. Every mic I own was bought with a specific purpose in mind (usually several), and solved a particular problem or problems. The nature of those problems has to do with the source, the situation, and the particular mic technique you wish to use. There is no substitute for the practical experience of trying different mic distances, different micing styles, in different rooms, etc., and that can be done with just about any mics.

-Mic
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Old August 14th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #23
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Hi Mike, This is a good place for me who only so far has one mic the Rode NT4 to test the waters with all of you to see what you all like in various situations in your larger collection of microphones. I'm sure there are some mics that you and others have bought that you have regrets on getting and am trying to avoid that situation. Anyone here have success using the Rode NT4 stereo mic for recording anything or is this just to crappy of mic for any of you to have ever considered getting. Perhaps my ears are too good but this mic close, far away from the source or in a million other situations just does not produce good vocals or anything even close to what my ears hear or what I get out of line outs coming from stage sound boards. It may be that the mic I own is broken or it may be that this particular mic is not all that good. I'm hoping with whatever mic I get that it records a heck of lot better than this stereo microphone. I would give it a 1 on a scale of 10 for a rating. I've even tried recording the TV and stereo for test purposes with it and even the TV speakers sound a hundred times better than this mic sounds of recording the TV speakers. I've had this mic since 2004 and so I've had ever conceivable situation to use it for and it has failed to please me on every concievable situation. This is why I'm not all supportive on those that post to just get a 200 dollar microphone as the expensive one's are not that much better to justify the price. To my ears I think they would be justified. Midrange or High priced microphones will be all I consider after my experiences with the Rode NT4 stereo mic. The microphone was 550 dollars when I bought it but it is actually is like two microphones for 275 each and this would put them in the lower tier of microphones where it belongs.
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