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Old August 4th, 2013, 08:53 AM   #31
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
Thanks Rick. I will continue investigating until I get to the bottom of this.
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Not familiar with that brand but it looks like it would work.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 09:10 AM   #32
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Re: How does this sound?

OK, so I ran some tests on Friday, trying different mics, different recorders and different connections. I think I know what my problem is now but I will let you guys listen to the samples and let me know which one sounds the best to you.
Just so you know I shoot in field and not in a studio but all of these samples were done in the same location, the same person and the same mic position.
Attached Files
File Type: wav test1.wav (3.25 MB, 50 views)
File Type: wav test2.wav (2.46 MB, 42 views)
File Type: wav test3.wav (2.87 MB, 45 views)
File Type: wav test4.wav (2.50 MB, 40 views)
File Type: wav test5.wav (2.49 MB, 43 views)
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Old August 4th, 2013, 10:07 AM   #33
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Re: How does this sound?

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You might pick up one of these - EMP4S: Ambient Recording GmbH - so you can try the mic hardwired.
OK this is TA4 I need TA3 :(
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Old August 4th, 2013, 01:51 PM   #34
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
OK this is TA4 I need TA3 :(
The Sanken website shows TA4 as the connector for Shure transmitters. Yours has only 3 pins?

Just listening on a pair of crappy laptop speakers, my serious system is down for the moment, but of the five files posted I'd say it's a toss-up between 3 and 5 for best sound.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 02:08 PM   #35
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
The Sanken website shows TA4 as the connector for Shure transmitters. Yours has only 3 pins?

Just listening on a pair of crappy laptop speakers, my serious system is down for the moment, but of the five files posted I'd say it's a toss-up between 3 and 5 for best sound.
I don't have the mic with me right now but reading the description for the wireless receiver it says it uses TA3 connection. I will confirm tomorrow.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #36
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
OK, so I ran some tests on Friday, trying different mics, different recorders and different connections. I think I know what my problem is now but I will let you guys listen to the samples and let me know which one sounds the best to you.
Just so you know I shoot in field and not in a studio but all of these samples were done in the same location, the same person and the same mic position.
I like number 1 myself. Seems nice and flat through the main vocal range, doesn't roll off the highs too much so it's got some "air". Not noisy. No low freq. rumble that I can hear. No objectionable (or for that matter, audible) reflections.

So... what's changing between these?
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Old August 4th, 2013, 09:42 PM   #37
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Re: How does this sound?

Kathy,

Sorry, I'm a bit behind the curve in terms of getting around to listening.

"Gary2" seems to have more high frequency content than the original "Jon" clip; the intelligibility seems better to me. At around 25 seconds, the peak noise level reads about -50 dBFS, compared to the loudest voice peak which is about -2.5 dBFS. The predominant noise I hear there (~25 seconds) sounds like some sort of motor or machine running in the background.

"Michael" also has more high frequency content than "Jon," perhaps even a bit more than "Gary2." The biggest difference is that "Michael" has much more room reflections than either of the other two clips. It's intelligible, but the room bounce is quite obvious, and it would especially stick out if you're inter-cutting that track with other, cleaner tracks. (As far as noise level: there is very little useful real silence in the clip; the gaps between words are filled either with breath intake, or with room reflections... it's hard to get a meaningful background noise measurement in the segment that you provided.)

I'm still wondering about exact mic placement when you recorded "Jon." I don't recall seeing an answer to my previous question, i.e. was the mic covered by any clothing, etc., or was it entirely exposed? If it was under even one layer, that might account for the HF rolloff.

"Gary2," especially, sounds reasonably usable IMHO (depending, of course, on the nature of the final project).

(P.S.: I'm listening for detail and clarity with Sennheiser HD280s, although I wouldn't want to mix on phones.)
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Old August 5th, 2013, 08:47 AM   #38
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
The Sanken website shows TA4 as the connector for Shure transmitters. Yours has only 3 pins?

Just listening on a pair of crappy laptop speakers, my serious system is down for the moment, but of the five files posted I'd say it's a toss-up between 3 and 5 for best sound.
OK, I think you are correct. I can't double check but looking at the transmitter picture it does look it's TA4.
Are there better and worse adapters? Also, are there better and worse XLR cables? I think I will have to get XLR cable because the mic cable alone won't be long enough.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 08:52 AM   #39
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
I like number 1 myself. Seems nice and flat through the main vocal range, doesn't roll off the highs too much so it's got some "air". Not noisy. No low freq. rumble that I can hear. No objectionable (or for that matter, audible) reflections.

So... what's changing between these?
Before I say what is changing in these recordings I want to see if anyone else can comment on them.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 09:09 AM   #40
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
Kathy,

Sorry, I'm a bit behind the curve in terms of getting around to listening.

"Gary2" seems to have more high frequency content than the original "Jon" clip; the intelligibility seems better to me. At around 25 seconds, the peak noise level reads about -50 dBFS, compared to the loudest voice peak which is about -2.5 dBFS. The predominant noise I hear there (~25 seconds) sounds like some sort of motor or machine running in the background.

"Michael" also has more high frequency content than "Jon," perhaps even a bit more than "Gary2." The biggest difference is that "Michael" has much more room reflections than either of the other two clips. It's intelligible, but the room bounce is quite obvious, and it would especially stick out if you're inter-cutting that track with other, cleaner tracks. (As far as noise level: there is very little useful real silence in the clip; the gaps between words are filled either with breath intake, or with room reflections... it's hard to get a meaningful background noise measurement in the segment that you provided.)

I'm still wondering about exact mic placement when you recorded "Jon." I don't recall seeing an answer to my previous question, i.e. was the mic covered by any clothing, etc., or was it entirely exposed? If it was under even one layer, that might account for the HF rolloff.

"Gary2," especially, sounds reasonably usable IMHO (depending, of course, on the nature of the final project).

(P.S.: I'm listening for detail and clarity with Sennheiser HD280s, although I wouldn't want to mix on phones.)
Thanks Greg. I wonder if the motor sound you are hearing is the sound my 5D makes as it records and the mic is picking it up. I am shooting with 2 cameras and the 5D is usually pretty close to the talent. Other than that I am not recalling any machine running but I am shooting in an office located in a big building.
Unfortunately, this is all in field recording. Not in a studio and I have to be realistic about room sounds etc. They will always be there, I can't start sound proofing people's offices.

The mic on Jon was placed at the hight of the second button of his shirt. Same as on Gary and Michael. It was not covered by any clothing. I have not done anything different on Jon. All of these recordings were pretty much done the same way, but in different rooms.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #41
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
OK, I think you are correct. I can't double check but looking at the transmitter picture it does look it's TA4.
Are there better and worse adapters? Also, are there better and worse XLR cables? I think I will have to get XLR cable because the mic cable alone won't be long enough.
Better or worse XLR cables? Not really, although cheap cables can get unreliable sooner because of wear and tear with use. I look for Belden, Canare, or Mogami cable and Neutrik connectors from a reliable vendor like Trew Audio or Location Sound. Mainstream cables from vendors like the Guitar Center are usually just fine. The really expensive "professional" cables like Monster Cable work just fine as well but are a waste of money IMHO as once you get out of the bargain basement, wire is wire. Then there are super-expensive "premium" cables that cost hundreds of dollars that are totally a farce, hyped up nonsense aimed at the 'audiophool' market, making claims of being made from magical copper mined by an ancient order of warlocks in the dark of the night, spun into strands on looms made from starlight and woven into cable by enchanted fairies.... Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $50 for a 25 foot cable and you'll be good to go for years to come. Or learn to solder and make your own for half that amount.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 11:01 AM   #42
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Better or worse XLR cables? Not really, although cheap cables can get unreliable sooner because of wear and tear with use. I look for Belden, Canare, or Mogami cable and Neutrik connectors from a reliable vendor like Trew Audio or Location Sound. Mainstream cables from vendors like the Guitar Center are usually just fine. The really expensive "professional" cables like Monster Cable work just fine as well but are a waste of money IMHO as once you get out of the bargain basement, wire is wire. Then there are super-expensive "premium" cables that cost hundreds of dollars that are totally a farce, hyped up nonsense aimed at the 'audiophool' market, making claims of being made from magical copper mined by an ancient order of warlocks in the dark of the night, spun into strands on looms made from starlight and woven into cable by enchanted fairies.... Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $50 for a 25 foot cable and you'll be good to go for years to come. Or learn to solder and make your own for half that amount.
Thanks again Steve. What about adapters. Can an adapter be better or worse?
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Old August 5th, 2013, 01:27 PM   #43
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Re: How does this sound?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Better or worse XLR cables? Not really, although cheap cables can get unreliable sooner because of wear and tear with use. I look for Belden, Canare, or Mogami cable and Neutrik connectors from a reliable vendor like Trew Audio or Location Sound. Mainstream cables from vendors like the Guitar Center are usually just fine. The really expensive "professional" cables like Monster Cable work just fine as well but are a waste of money IMHO as once you get out of the bargain basement, wire is wire. Then there are super-expensive "premium" cables that cost hundreds of dollars that are totally a farce, hyped up nonsense aimed at the 'audiophool' market, making claims of being made from magical copper mined by an ancient order of warlocks in the dark of the night, spun into strands on looms made from starlight and woven into cable by enchanted fairies.... Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $50 for a 25 foot cable and you'll be good to go for years to come. Or learn to solder and make your own for half that amount.
One of the funniest pieces of advice I've seen on this forum. Thanks for the laugh. I've rolled my own for years and only regret not doing it sooner: always Canare cable and Neutrik connectors for me.

Kathy, not sure if you meant "connector" rather than "adapter." Neutrik is highly regarded for a number of reasons, not the least of which their connectors are field-serviceable with no tools, whilst others require more effort: just unscrew two pieces and you're off to the races. Also, no fantasy character pedigree is required to make your cables, learn to solder, and field repair your stuff.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 01:44 PM   #44
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Re: How does this sound?

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One of the funniest pieces of advice I've seen on this forum. Thanks for the laugh. I've rolled my own for years and only regret not doing it sooner: always Canare cable and Neutrik connectors for me.

Kathy, not sure if you meant "connector" rather than "adapter." Neutrik is highly regarded for a number of reasons, not the least of which their connectors are field-serviceable with no tools, whilst others require more effort: just unscrew two pieces and you're off to the races. Also, no fantasy character pedigree is required to make your cables, learn to solder, and field repair your stuff.
I did mean adapter rather than connector. Steve recommended one if you read earlier posts and I found another one and I was curious if it was worth getting the more expensive one (the German one, which by that fact I am assuming might be better quality). But I don't know if it matters. I don't know if an adapter is just an adapter or there are some adapters that are better than others.

Thanks
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Old August 5th, 2013, 07:02 PM   #45
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Re: How does this sound?

Wow, what a variety of quality!

At first glance, tracks #3 and #5 sound best to me. Good HF content, and least amount of background noise and room reflections.

But then I notice that #3 has many tiny flaws. First of all, there is some "thumping" sound at the beginning and end of "two," the end of "four," the end of "five." Also some plosive breath sounds at the end of "eight" and the beginning of "ten." The "thumping" I described might also be caused by plosive problems, but I'm not entirely sure about that. (If the mic is down on the second shirt button, how is any plosive energy getting to it, unless the talent has his chin on his chest?) I wonder whether the "thumping" is a compander or AGC somewhere in the chain being driven very hard. Also, there is some sort of raspy distortion during the vowel sound in "five"... I would say harmonic distortion somewhere (I don't see a clipped waveform, although it might have clipped somewhere in the middle of the audio chain).

Track #1 seems to have a boosted midrange... the voice sounds "honky." I really dislike this sound. I wish I were familiar with this talent's voice. If he has a really unpleasant nasal voice, then perhaps this is an accurate reproduction. Either that, or the mic has a really unpleasant nasal quality.

Track #2 sounds muffled... rolled off high frequencies. In addition, the reflections are much louder. Also, there is some sort of abrupt change in audio quality in the middle of "four," and seemingly some distortion in "five."

Track #4 is the hottest... both the voice level and background noise. Maybe just the result of a hotter mic, or maybe the gain was turned up higher. This sounds similar to the mic in test 1.

I probably like #5 the best. The voice sounds most pleasing, and the HF content sounds well balanced with the rest of the voice. (But as I said above, if the talent has a very nasal voice, then perhaps this track is not the most accurate reproduction of it.)

Test #5 does not have the obvious distortion that I heard in test #3. But I still hear a bit of "thumping," similar to test #3, at the end of the words, "two," "four," and "five"... and I don't like that. I suspect it's a sign of a compander or something similar that isn't tracking right. Maybe some sort of problem with DC offset somewhere in the chain. Maybe DC offset at some point, being acted upon by a compander at a later stage, causing the beginning of the "thump." It seems to have a characteristic frequency around 100 Hz, and I'm wondering what in the chain could be ringing at that frequency??? Very strange.

In conclusion: assuming that the talent does not have a harsh, nasal voice, and assuming test #3 and test #5 are the same mic, than that is my favorite mic. But there's some problem with the electronics causing that thumping noise, and that is a detriment to the the #3 and #5 tests.
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