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Old September 17th, 2004, 10:18 PM   #1
 
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You get what you pay for.

Dang!
Today we did a shootout for a private organization of which mics they should be using for their voiceovers in their production environment. (religious institution)

We tested a huge array of ribbon and large diaphragms.
Samson sent over one of their new CL7 mics.
AEA sent over one of their new "old" R84s. We had an Audio Technica 3060 tube mic, as well as a grunt load of others.

Hands down, the R84 and the 3060 won the battle. Cost is greatly different, 1K vs 499.00 street prices. One is ribbon, the other tube.

On voice, the AT handily won. Recording audio with the mics placed 24" away from a Mackie 628 studio monitor pumping out Dire Straits, the R84 was a little more true to the sound, with the AT being a little thinner.

I was realy excited to hear the Samson. Don't waste your time. What could you expect from an inflated retail of 500.00 that most stores are selling for around 199.00? Yuk.

One thing I'd noticed about the AT; it doesn't heat up like most tube mics do, so it doesn't need to be turned upside down for heat dissipation.
I think our client is going to go with these, and since it's below budget, they can't lose. Interesting that of all the mics shot out (below 1.2K$) the AT was the clear vocal/voice over winner. Even makes a loud mouth like me sound like a DJ.

Just thought I'd share the day with you.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 02:48 AM   #2
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just found it on the other group :-)

http://www.uemforums.com/2pop/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=55895&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1#55895
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Old September 18th, 2004, 10:36 AM   #3
 
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That post isn't a relation to me, and I'd certainly dispute what's written there...only because the differences CAN be heard and catching great sound going in is very important so it stays sounding great when it comes out. But....his point of not needing a very high end mic is true. I used to be "mic-stupid." Then I grew out of it. With a good mic, a good pre...you can more or less do anything, anywhere. And neither has to cost 5K.
I will say that I've found no mic that can work with my Native American flute like the AT 4050 or the B&K2011, going through my Hardy M1 preamp. But this is a very quiet instrument with extremely subtle nuances.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 01:37 PM   #4
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It may go against our very soul but it may have happened.
Some people just don't give a damn and they get away with it.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 02:00 PM   #5
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i ones was working with nhk news corespondent which was doing top news stories here in israel during the guolf war ( one man camera crew , beta sp) , the guy was shouting the whole naration to the piece in parking dpace near the studio dyrectly to the camera mike 5 minuets befor the satelite , later it was edit in tokio to the prime evening news , when i sogested that he would doit with natration mike or i would hold the boom he just smile and say that they deserv exacly what they pay for , one man band .
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Old September 18th, 2004, 03:13 PM   #6
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Hmm... that was some crazy stuff on that other forum. I really wonder if that's true?

I almost wouldn't be surprised if it was only because some people around here... cough, er, ahem... starts with B... sound great on everything.

I can use the best mic $1K can buy and my voice is still sh*t.


Using a little logic I highly doubt that story though... Some guy making a great living on audio would be into it a little beyond AGC capture on a $300 camcorder. NO DOUBT. So running it through the B.S. filter catches a lot of B.S. In my opinion.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 03:58 PM   #7
 
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Amen. I find it hard to swallow that story as well. There are certainly exceptions, but any client dumb enough to accept the quality that surely comes from such a set up would eventually catch on. Maybe 1-2 gigs qualifies as "doing well?"
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Old September 18th, 2004, 05:43 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Gettemeier :
I almost wouldn't be surprised if it was only because some people around here... cough, er, ahem... starts with B... sound great on everything.

I can use the best mic $1K can buy and my voice is still sh*t.


. -->>>
matt who do you want to be ?;-)


http://www.sisbit.com/Category.asp?cid=41&x=28
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Old September 18th, 2004, 07:56 PM   #9
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Matt
Ray Romano is worth big bucks.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 10:25 PM   #10
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Oleg, thanks for getting me all hyped up! I'm watching and listening to that audio page open and I thought I finally had my cure for Ray Romanossis. As it turns out they want you to buy specialty software to change pitch or speed of your voice... isn't all that stuff already FREE in every sound program out there!?

I wish there was a good voice-changing, voice-sweetening program out there... an EASY one. I don't know if you knew this but Top 40 songs have usually been processed to beat the band, no pun intended. I forsee a day when anybody can sing with the precision of anybody else... with a little computer help of course.

Back to the topic... yeah the more I think about it there's NO way that guy would be doing that. For anybody who HASN'T heard what a difference a good tube mic makes, you should. If this guy can make ANY kind of a living with his $300 camcorder audio then he'd bump Don Lafontaine off the movie circuit with a decent tube mic.

BTW has anybody else noticed that Beas is REALLY Donald Sutherland? I just think it's cool that he wants to hang out with us.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 11:23 PM   #11
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Matt
You don't sound like Ray Romano, you just have a mid western twang.

Donald Sutherland is a Canadian. maybe that's what you're picking up.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 11:29 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan Beasleigh : Matt
You don't sound like Ray Romano, you just have a mid western twang.

Donald Sutherland is a Canadian. maybe that's what you're picking up. -->>>
klut - shit ,cute :-)
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Old September 19th, 2004, 12:47 AM   #13
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a couple of concerns...

I do not use Mackie's but one thing that bothers me is that I don't think they have an actual "default"/pre-set setting, am I correct on this point?

If I am, then how can the mixer be used to accurately evaluate different mics if it does not have a preset mode that won't color or change the audio?

My second question is, what input recording device was used to record the various microphones?
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Old September 19th, 2004, 09:41 AM   #14
 
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Of course the Mackie's (and the Hothouse's) have flat settings. Does that make the speaker flat? Of course not. There is no such thing to my knowledge anywhere. The point isn't whether the speaker is flat, the point is whether the microphone is reproducing what it hears.
The input device was an Echo Layla.

Even if the Mackie's didn't have a "flat" preset, I fail to see where that would matter. They have several settings, and so long as those settings are settings that sound correct in the listening environment, which is a tuned room, and so long as all persons involved in the test agree that the speakers are accurate to the ear, and comparisons from the microphone are being heard through these same speakers for purposes of comparing the recorded audio vs the original audio....what difference do the monitor settings make?

If you wanna get right down to silliness, the CD player will color the sound, cables, monitors, air temperature, and the wax in our ears do the same.

The shootout was a real-world shoot out, not a comparison of effectively meaningless numbers. If you were to abide by numbers, EVERY microphone in the shootout would have met the client's needs. Just like saying that all blondes that are 38-24-34 would be worthy of being a Playmate in Playboy.
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Old September 19th, 2004, 10:39 AM   #15
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The issue of preset gets overlooked much too often in my opinion.

No matter what box or device one uses for whatever purpose, it MUST have a setting that basically does not alter the signal as it goes through, or alters it so little as to be neglible.

The record device should be one that also does not color or alter the image. I think microphone evaluations should be done on analogue gear because first generation video analog audio is terrific, one need not worry about compression artifacts or built in limiters that cannot be turned off.

If the audio recordings need to be compared, then compare the actual recordings in a digital realm from the first generation analog original, although I think BetaCam SP audio is one of the best ways record and compare audio. I also like VHS/SHVS because it has BOTH HI-FI and linear stereo sound tracks, and the two audio formats allow one to instantly judge how a microphone works in both linear (dolby on or off) and quasi optical-digital (HI-FI) recording mode.

The VHS/VHS decks with both HI-FI and linear Stereo cost a few thousand dollars new, but can be had for considerably less on ebay.
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