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Author Topic: Schoeps Demystified  (Read 2958 times)

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Offline krowllaw

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Schoeps Demystified
« on: October 09, 2017, 02:09:02 PM »
It is time to upgrade some equipment and I am a little confused about the different Schoeps offerings.  I have quotes for the Schoeps CMC6 + MK4 pair and a pair of the Neumann KM 184s. I will be doing stereo recording primarily in small clubs, theatres and warehouse style venues with bad acoustics.  Sometimes I get to mix in two channels from a soundboard feed, all into a Sound Devices MixPre-6. 

I didn’t realize all the different capsules available for the Schoeps CMC6.  Cardiod, Wide Cardiod, Super Cardiod, etc.  I’ve primarily used AKG cardiod and hyper cardiod in the past, but is there a better choice for my situation than the standard MK4 cardiod? 

For my purposes, is the Schoeps worth the extra money over the Neumann KM184s?  I have a great quote on the Neumanns so that is very tempting.

Will either of these microphone options be suitable and sufficient to go directly into the MixPre-6?

Thanks in advance, I’d really like to spend the money well! I’ve really enjoyed reading all the forum posts and learning.  There is a lot of new information since I was active in the recording community 20 years ago!

Offline admkrk

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 03:31:26 PM »
The KM184 is basically a KM140, with a fixed capsule. If you want to be able to swap caps, you should be comparing a Neumann set with a KM100 body. If you do not care about being able to swap caps, then having various different capsules available does not matter.
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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 03:42:46 PM »
I own (and love!) the 184s. Either the MK4s or 184s will make you great recordings, they are just different flavors of great. I'd dig through archive.org recordings  and see which is your favorite. You will hear a lot about Schoeps being muddy, but IMO judicious use of EQ is essential for any good mic.
Neumann KM-184> Tascam DR-680

Offline nak700s

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 05:40:21 PM »
Different mics for different ears.  As was suggested already, go onto archive.org and sample different mics and see what sounds best to your ears.  Just be sure to use comparable venues and recording locations.

My only suggestion, based on what you are using them for, is to get a directional pair of mics.  They don't necessarily have to be hyper cardioids, but somewhere in between that and a cardioid would probably be best for your needs.

As for the mixpre-6, I would ask someone who uses one they way you want to use it.  I use a 744T, often recording in the same manner you are, and I can run directly into it using the pre-amp and phantom power when needed, and love it.  I would think the mixpre-6 would also have an excellent pre.
Normal: Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD 744T (or) Sony PCM-M10
Stealth: CA-14c >> CA 9200 >> Edirol R-09HR
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Offline Charlie Miller

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 06:02:49 PM »
It is time to upgrade some equipment and I am a little confused about the different Schoeps offerings.  I have quotes for the Schoeps CMC6 + MK4 pair and a pair of the Neumann KM 184s. I will be doing stereo recording primarily in small clubs, theatres and warehouse style venues with bad acoustics.  Sometimes I get to mix in two channels from a soundboard feed, all into a Sound Devices MixPre-6. 

I didn’t realize all the different capsules available for the Schoeps CMC6.  Cardiod, Wide Cardiod, Super Cardiod, etc.  I’ve primarily used AKG cardiod and hyper cardiod in the past, but is there a better choice for my situation than the standard MK4 cardiod? 

For my purposes, is the Schoeps worth the extra money over the Neumann KM184s?  I have a great quote on the Neumanns so that is very tempting.

Will either of these microphone options be suitable and sufficient to go directly into the MixPre-6?

Thanks in advance, I’d really like to spend the money well! I’ve really enjoyed reading all the forum posts and learning.  There is a lot of new information since I was active in the recording community 20 years ago!

I have MK4's and run them from clubs to stadiums. Great caps.
Audio Engineer - Steve Kimock Productions


Schoeps CMC6/MK4 -> Lunatec V2 ->  Sound Devices 744T

Offline noahbickart

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 07:14:49 PM »
I’ve run a half dozen Schoeps capsules in my time.

If I could only have one pair, it would be the mk22
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v, mk4v, mk22, mk3 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Naiant PFA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10
Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> Adcom SLC 505> Marantz Ma500 (x2)> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-400
Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701

Offline nolamule

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2017, 07:16:30 PM »
I have been through several sets of Schoeps caps over the past couple years and I finally settled on Mk41s for smaller venues and MK22s for bigger shows. That is not to say I wouldn't mind having a pair of MK5s! It really does come down to your ears and stash of cash.

Offline nak700s

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 07:20:17 PM »
Noah...I was hoping you'd chime in on this, but mainly for the mixpre-6 questions.
Normal: Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD 744T (or) Sony PCM-M10
Stealth: CA-14c >> CA 9200 >> Edirol R-09HR
Ultra stealth: AudioReality >> AudioReality battery box >> Edirol R-09HR
Simple & Sweet!

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2017, 07:55:41 PM »

I just got a pair of Schoeps MK41 hypercard capsules since I record in lots of crappy rooms and they sound great in that scenario.

I used to run a pair of KM140s (the interchangeable cardioid version of the 184) and I thought they did great in better sounding rooms and were a little more forgiving.

If I had to give an opinion on price versus performance the 184s have the edge.

For me the Neumann cardioid caps are in first place, followed by the AKG CK1 capsule. Never been a fan of the Schoeps cardioid MK4 - not sure why, other than they have the "muddy" sound some people refer to. I love the sound of the Schoeps hyper and subcardioid capsules though...
MK41 > nBob > PFA > Aerco MP2/RAD MS2 > DR60d/DR2d
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Offline rippleish20

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2017, 08:08:05 PM »
I also have been trying various Schoeps capsules. My favorites are the MK22s and Mk4s in smaller venues and the MK41's in larger venues. Not sure where the "muddy" concept comes from.
MK22's / MK41's / MK41v's (for sale) / MK4v's / MK4's / AKG C480Bs+ck61, ck63 / Telefunken FET M60 Cards and Hypers (for sale) / AT853s (for sale)
KCY 250/5 and Nbob KCY (x2) > naiant PFA or IPA or Nbox  / SP-SPSB-11 Battery Box
Zoom F8 (for sale) / Sony M-10 / Mixpre-6 / Tascam DR-100mkIII

Offline rodeen

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 08:25:43 PM »
Here is a comp I did earlier this year between MK4's and KM-184.  Same stand into the same recorder.

Schoeps MK4 > KC5 > CMC6 > DR-680:
https://archive.org/details/dso2017-02-10.mk4.flac24/dso2017-02-10mk4-set2-24bit02_Uncle_Johns_Band.flac

Neumann SKM-184 > DR-680:
https://archive.org/details/dso2017-02-10.km184.flac24/dso2017-02-10km184-set2-24bit02_Uncle_Johns_Band.flac
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Offline krowllaw

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2017, 10:30:26 PM »
This is all very helpful, thank you very much!

Offline edtyre

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2017, 10:48:39 PM »
Love the Schoeps card sound. MK4, MK4V or MK6
music>mics>pre>recorder

Offline jnorman34

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2017, 11:15:36 PM »
I have owned several pairs of both 184s and cmc64s, and both are wonderful.  I do mainly classical recording and in that genre, the Schoeps rule due to their flat accurate response.  For anything pop/rock/Jazz, the km184s would be my choice.  Both sets, being cardioids, will work best with optimal placement, ie in a more near-field situation (up to maybe 20 feet from source).  In places where you are a fair distance from the source, hypercards, like the cmc641, or km185 will serve you better because they will do a better job of rejecting extraneous audience noise.  Also, before buying new, look for mint used mics - you take a big hit on resale value when you buy new mics.  There are always lots of good deals here in the yardsale forum, and from my experience, the TS folks are great people to buy from (they are all pretty much maniacs about their gear, and treat their mics like newborn babies). :lol:
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Capture: Schoeps CMC64s/SKM183>Sound Devices Mixpre6
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Offline noahbickart

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2017, 11:45:14 PM »
I've had fantastic success running a variety of schoeps capsules> Nbob KCY> Naiant PFA> Mixpre6 (sometimes with littlebox> line in on channels 5 & 6).

I'd advise the OP not the buy bodies at all of any manufacturer. The Nbob> Naiant solution (for schoeps, neumann, MG, etc) not only provide significantly more placement/mounting options and low pro possibilities, etc, they are also significantly less expensive. A Nbob KCY is around $550 (pm schoepsnbox) and the PFA (http://naiant.com/studio-electronics-products/inline-devices/pfa-phantom-power-adaptor/) around $150. There is no way you're getting a pair of bodies for that. Let alone bodies & active cables.

As for capsule type, some may prefer Neumann, others MG, DPA, or AKG. It's all preference at that level. I'm a Schoeps head. But not only for sound, but for non sonic reasons.  Schoeps makes so many capsules (multiple omnis, subcards, vertical and side address & shotgun), buying into their system likely allows for the best fit to any given room. You save up and add more capsules to your rig, the best way to make a great tape is get to the best location and run the optimal capsules there. I find the mk4v and mk41v vertical capsules to make setup so easy for "what we do" that they win out much of the time for me for me.

Also the mk22 is just the perfect capsule, I never don't run it.

My ideal 2 channel rig would be:

schoeps mk22> nbob kcy> naiant pfa> Mixpre3. You could get the whole thing new for ~$2500. Thats amazing.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 09:39:01 PM by noahbickart »
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v, mk4v, mk22, mk3 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Naiant PFA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10
Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> Adcom SLC 505> Marantz Ma500 (x2)> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-400
Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701

 

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