Comparison: AKG230 vs Coles Lip Mic at DVinfo.net

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Old July 20th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #1
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Comparison: AKG230 vs Coles Lip Mic

Following positive feedback from my ECM-55 vs COS-11 lav comparison, I've forsaken mowing the lawn this afternoon in order to compare my AKG230 stick mic (Ford Taurus of reporter mics) with the Coles Lip Mic - a sort of audio dragonfly thing that's survived millenia unchanged because it does what it does well enough to not require change.

The Coles is on the left channel. AKG on the right.

http://www.mdma.tv/lipstick/AKG230_Coles.mp3 (3.6 Mb)

http://www.mdma.tv/lipstick/AKG230_Coles.mp4 (3.9 Mb but better?)

http://www.mdma.tv/lipstick/AKG230_Coles.wav (39 Mb)

Quick straw poll: are y'all happy with MP3 at 128 stereo? Can y'all hear the mp4? Does anyone really want the WAV version? Happy with stereo, or would you prefer two separate files? Would be interesting to find out a good all-round audio medium for sharing here. :)
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Old July 20th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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Is that the AKG D230 dynamic against the
Coles 4104B ribbon?
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Old July 21st, 2006, 05:24 AM   #3
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Yes. Not exactly the two most matched mics, but an interesting one for anyone who's had to do a VO away from the studio.

A colleage and I are going to assemble a wider range of mics in a couple of weeks time. It will be aimed more at videography rather than Audio pros, though!
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Old July 21st, 2006, 06:03 AM   #4
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well, I had a problem with the mp3 file - lasted just a second or two, but as it caught your first two words, it was pretty evident the noise level was higher. The mp4 was fine. My comments are exactly what I predicted before I listened. The AKG had a more natural sound, but the traffic noise was a minor issue (although loud enough to make editing obvious) - the plane was very obvious. In the coles channel, although the tone was a little 'uneven' - the spurious external sounds were much better controlled. traffic was not loud enough to be a problem, and even the jet noise was pretty low.
The wav file failed to download, transfer stopped very quickly as with the mp3 version.

Not really sure if this helps at all - Paul
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Old July 21st, 2006, 01:06 PM   #5
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I haven't listened yet but for something like
this I much prefer two separate files rather
than a stereo file where one mic is in one
ear and the other mid is in a different ear.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 01:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Largent
I much prefer two separate files rather
than a stereo file
Thanks for the feedback! MP4, separate files. Make it easy to sync up. Getting a picture here...
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Old July 21st, 2006, 09:34 PM   #7
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Thanks, Matt.

All the files downloaded fine for me. I listened to the
WAV. In order to make their volume levels
equal I gave 4dB to the Coles.

Were you holding those mic's pretty close to your
mouth? There are sometimes I noticed a little
P-popping of the Coles but not of the D230
which leads me to believe the pop/wind protection
of the D230 is quite good.

To what do you attribute the increased pickup of
background noise for the D230? That it is an
omni versus the figure-8 of the Coles? Sensitivity
of the mic's is about the same, I think.

So, that Coles is pretty popular in Britain for reporters?
Anyone know if the Coles is being used in the US
still?
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Largent
Were you holding those mic's pretty close to your
mouth? There are sometimes I noticed a little
P-popping of the Coles but not of the D230
which leads me to believe the pop/wind protection
of the D230 is quite good.
Coles is under nose to one side, nose guard resting on upper lip/cheek, as per instructions. It still does pop a bit, but I think my enthusiastic delivery and juggling 2 mics, USB audio interface and Mac laptop was to blame. :-)

The D230 was about 4-6 inches, and I have to say I wasn't concentrating so sometimes it would wander away from the voice, losing top end. It's down as being omni, but there's enough directionality to require 'pointing' as well as positioning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Largent
To what do you attribute the increased pickup of
background noise for the D230?
There's something about the Coles that's designed for cutting out background sounds - it's the mic's raison d'etre. The D230 is 'just another reporters mic', and it's balancing placement vs background noise. I hope to demonstrate the inverse square law of mic positioning in a future goof-off with a colleague.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Largent
So, that Coles is pretty popular in Britain for reporters?
No, due to its ugliness (think A10 tank buster). It's commonly found in news edit suites and some sports radio work. It's more of a 'secret weapon' if asked to record narration or VO work in somebody's airconditioned office or in a car, or helicopter or something. Or even at home, if your home hasn't got a VO booth, is close to a motorway and has planes flying overhead. ;)

Sharing a Coles mic is worse than sharing a tie clip/lav - don't go there. It's really just a VO/Narrator tool.

It's not going to be your ONLY VO mic, but it's nice to have. I find I get better quality recording clean with the Coles than to record with the D230 and use STP to remove background noise.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 05:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Daviss
Coles is under nose to one side, nose guard resting on upper lip/cheek, as per instructions.
If I'm not mistaken, I saw a Coles advertisement where
the mic is shown being used under the nose, centered,
rather than off to the side.
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