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Old September 15th, 2005, 06:37 AM   #1
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Battery-operated Cardioids

Looking to see what the model options are with the cardioids
that don't require phantom power, in the pencil style.
Off the top of my head I can think of the Senn ME64
and the ATM33 from the Audio Technica Artist Series.
Any others you can think of?
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:58 AM   #2
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The ATM31a and the AT813a use the same capsule as the ATM33a. They have a vocal-type wire mesh screen rather than an instrument type screen. There are slight differences in the frequency response and pick-up pattern between the 33 and the other two (which are identical except from different product lines) but probably not enough to notice in everyday conditions. The 31 is routinely the least expensive of the three models. I have used one on a camera bracket with a FatCat windscreen. Works fine for getting a wide pickup.
Shure has the SM94, but it has lower sensitivity for music recording.
Azden and Apex both have a few models.
Audix has the UEM81c.
Other than the ME64 that you already mentioned, and the relatively noisy and 9v-diameter AKG C1000, I can't think of any more.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:41 PM   #3
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Thanks, Jay.
I looked at the Audix. The specs say that the S/N is
82 (A-weighted). Does that mean the self noise is
a very low 12 (94 minus 82)???
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Old September 15th, 2005, 10:33 PM   #4
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I went over to the Azden site and one of their mics
had a S/N that they specified as "greater than 40"!!!
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Old September 16th, 2005, 01:57 AM   #5
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Checked out the Apex models. They didn't
seem to have the best specs in the world ... maybe
okay for a home recording studio for a band or
something.
But they were only around $75 so ...
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Old September 16th, 2005, 08:34 AM   #6
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I think the CCIR signal to noise spec of the UEM81c (62db) is probably a more realistic indicator. I think this mic is in the same ballpark as the Azden and Apex models.
Honestly, the AT battery-powered mics aren't really quiet if you're using them for something more critical and low in volume or with poor preamps.
The ME64 is very sensitive and has such a wide pickup pattern. It can be effectively quiet because it has so much output to work with, but it has such a limited zone of rejection it can be impractical at times.
Back to my wishes, I wish Rode would make either a skinny AA powered version of the NT3 or a high-grade shorter hyper version of the NTG-2.
At least the need for battery-powered mics is getting smaller and smaller, so it's not like it used to be in the "old" days.
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Old September 17th, 2005, 03:59 AM   #7
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Well, I have the NT4 right now and I'm looking for
something that will sound similar to it when used
in the same production. Does anyone
know if the NT3 has a similar basic tone as the NT4?
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Old September 17th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #8
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I have a pair of NT5's, which use the same capsules as the NT4, but I don't actually have an NT4. I also have three NT3's but I've never directly compared them to the 5's. They are equally quiet and equally sensitive, but the NT3's aren't as flat as the NT5's. The NT3 is much lighter in bass pickup when used at a distance, which is usually why I like the way they sound when covering 2 or 3 people seated side-by-side. There's very little pickup of reverb due to the lack of bass and the more directional pattern although it's still worse than lavs.
The 5's and I'm guessing the 4's are more open and flat across the whole spectrum. I think my AT3031's and NT5's sound alot alike, but the AT is alot more sensitive.
You could get an NT5 and an external phantom supply, or use another NT4 with just one channel pointed the way you need, or an NT3 and EQ to match in post, or an attenuated K6 module with ME64 and do some EQ.
Any of the AT800 or ATM series will be substantially higher in self-noise when cut directly with the Rode's in a single project.
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