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Author Topic: Schoeps Demystified  (Read 2728 times)

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Offline CorFit Chris

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2017, 02:12:12 PM »
From the OP, my two cents is to make sure (regardless of brand you choose) you get a modular system so that you can change out caps for the given situation.  As we all know on here, you may think you only need one polar pattern, but give it a few months and you’ll be itching for others. 
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Offline Charlie Miller

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2017, 07:11:11 PM »
From the OP, my two cents is to make sure (regardless of brand you choose) you get a modular system so that you can change out caps for the given situation.  As we all know on here, you may think you only need one polar pattern, but give it a few months and you’ll be itching for others. 

+1
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2017, 07:31:04 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.

It likely stems from the general frequency response relative to other OEM's . What I hear from Schoeps is a pronounced low/mid-low/mid frquency spectrum. This can have a tendency to make the mid-highs and highs to sound "buried" in the recording. Of course, this can be corrected with Eq, if that is one's preference.

If I were to spend several $K on a set of mics, I'd go with the MG's hands down. But as I say, it's a matter of personal preference.

Offline MakersMarc

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2017, 09:22:11 PM »
From the OP, my two cents is to make sure (regardless of brand you choose) you get a modular system so that you can change out caps for the given situation.  As we all know on here, you may think you only need one polar pattern, but give it a few months and you’ll be itching for others. 

+1

This. Whether you go with Schoeps, AKG, Neumann, Gefell or other caps that can be run with "actives", don't mess with bodies, pick up your caps of choice and build a modular solution around them. Flexible and small and great sounding.
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Offline chk

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2017, 09:50:58 PM »
Lots of good advice in this thread, especially to go active cables route.
I had never heard the "schoeps are muddy" phrase until reading the occasional comment on TS from time to time, which was counter to what my ears have been telling me for the past couple decades. Never got that one since what i love about the schoeps "sound" is that touch of sweetness in the highs on most of the collette line.

Offline obaaron

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2017, 10:52:21 PM »
Never was a big schoeps fan.....until I finally bought an mk4v > nbob/naiant Pfa setup out of the yardsale on a whim and gotta say prob the best purchase ive made! ALWAYS a great pull the HF bump with the 4v's is ideal for the venues I roll in. Lots of options as others have mentioned.
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2017, 08:00:09 AM »
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.

It comes from a clueless internal mic taper.  I run  >:D and generally use MK4's when I am in small venues, theaters and outdoors.  I run MK41s in stadiums, arenas from about 25 rows back or further and stadiums.

Acyually that was me and I'm not clueless or an internal mic taper  :o

I'm really happy with my mk41s but I find that the MK4 when used from any sort of distance or used to record amplified rock music (which is most of what I do) sounds way too bassy. If I was going with a cardioid mic it would not be the MK4. Up close, onstage in ORTF, jazz combos with no subwoofers...all of those situations the MK4 would shine but in a concert hall with a PA from the crowd I just think they sound "tubby". IMHO, YMMV, etc....
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Online rippleish20

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2017, 09:07:04 AM »
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.

It comes from a clueless internal mic taper.  I run  >:D and generally use MK4's when I am in small venues, theaters and outdoors.  I run MK41s in stadiums, arenas from about 25 rows back or further and stadiums.

Acyually that was me and I'm not clueless or an internal mic taper  :o

I'm really happy with my mk41s but I find that the MK4 when used from any sort of distance or used to record amplified rock music (which is most of what I do) sounds way too bassy. If I was going with a cardioid mic it would not be the MK4. Up close, onstage in ORTF, jazz combos with no subwoofers...all of those situations the MK4 would shine but in a concert hall with a PA from the crowd I just think they sound "tubby". IMHO, YMMV, etc....


I'm not sure "muddy" is a good analogy but I understand the statement - they do have a very strong bass/mid presentation.
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Offline acidjack

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2017, 02:14:20 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.

It comes from a clueless internal mic taper.  I run  >:D and generally use MK4's when I am in small venues, theaters and outdoors.  I run MK41s in stadiums, arenas from about 25 rows back or further and stadiums.

Acyually that was me and I'm not clueless or an internal mic taper  :o

I'm really happy with my mk41s but I find that the MK4 when used from any sort of distance or used to record amplified rock music (which is most of what I do) sounds way too bassy. If I was going with a cardioid mic it would not be the MK4. Up close, onstage in ORTF, jazz combos with no subwoofers...all of those situations the MK4 would shine but in a concert hall with a PA from the crowd I just think they sound "tubby". IMHO, YMMV, etc....


I'm not sure "muddy" is a good analogy but I understand the statement - they do have a very strong bass/mid presentation.
It is a common statement, often made by people whose preference is for the sound of less-expensive mics. It's not limited to Schoeps; they just happen to be among the most accurate/best bass response mics. Cheaper mics tend to roll the bass off (at least, cheaper cardiod mics). The DPA 402x series are probably the "cleanest" or "most accurate" sounding of all mics, neither emphasizing nor deemphasizing any frequency, and I think some DPA fans criticize the Schoeps sound on that basis (though I'd argue that the DPAs sound considerably more awful in a not-ideal situation than Schoeps do, YMMV and all).

Really if someone records amplified rock music that isn't flawlessly mixed almost all the time (IME, this applies to roughly Phish and maybe MMJ), an accurate recording from one of the typical locations will probably sound somewhat "bad," especially if lots of LF pickup is considered bad.

BTW that doesn't mean preferring the sound of inexpensive mics is "wrong." On a cheap system, or computer speakers, it's probably true that the sound of un-EQ'd inexpensive mics does sound better than Schoeps some of the time.

Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2017, 02:56:59 PM »

Cheaper mics tend to roll the bass off (at least, cheaper cardiod mics).


I'd suggest it is more a continuum from (potentially) rolling off to just not capable of recording it fully.  Cheaper stealth mics are typically smaller.  Smaller mics cannot physically capture the same low end response as larger diameter mics. 

I do find the discussion of muddiness odd since I have found that most listeners taste leans way more to room reverberation than mine do.  A lot of listeners are used to the big PA mid-room wash and feel cheated if they don't hear that, though it is far muddier than I like to listen to. 


The DPA 402x series are probably the "cleanest" or "most accurate" sounding of all mics, neither emphasizing nor deemphasizing any frequency, and I think some DPA fans criticize the Schoeps sound on that basis (though I'd argue that the DPAs sound considerably more awful in a not-ideal situation than Schoeps do, YMMV and all).



I'm not a DPA fan.  The 406x in the typical use sound (for real) muddy (to me) {those do seem to have the most low end presence for small mics} but the DPA bass instrument mic when mounted on a double bass sounds a little thin (to me).  So I've not really heard what I like...
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Online gewwang

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2017, 03:10:18 PM »
Really if someone records amplified rock music that isn't flawlessly mixed almost all the time (IME, this applies to roughly Phish and maybe MMJ), an accurate recording from one of the typical locations will probably sound somewhat "bad," especially if lots of LF pickup is considered bad.


As a DPA taper, I have to agree. But this just gives me extra incentive to jump on the presales for larger venues like arenas so I end up taping from 20 rows or closer more often than not.

And for shows like Phish or Dead and Company, I don't think I'll ever do a back of arena floor tape again for this reason.


I'm not a DPA fan.  The 406x in the typical use sound (for real) muddy (to me) {those do seem to have the most low end presence for small mics} but the DPA bass instrument mic when mounted on a double bass sounds a little thin (to me).  So I've not really heard what I like...

There's a big difference in sound between 406x and 402x series. I wouldn't write off all DPA mics just based on listening to the 406x.

Offline nak700s

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2017, 04:21:23 PM »

Cheaper mics tend to roll the bass off (at least, cheaper cardiod mics).


I'd suggest it is more a continuum from (potentially) rolling off to just not capable of recording it fully.  Cheaper stealth mics are typically smaller.  Smaller mics cannot physically capture the same low end response as larger diameter mics. 


Are you suggesting that you need a larger diameter mic (eg. DPA) to handle heavy bass and record it clean?  I'm curious what you consider to small of a diaphragm to handle serious bass. 
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Offline acidjack

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2017, 04:50:17 PM »

Cheaper mics tend to roll the bass off (at least, cheaper cardiod mics).


I'd suggest it is more a continuum from (potentially) rolling off to just not capable of recording it fully.  Cheaper stealth mics are typically smaller.  Smaller mics cannot physically capture the same low end response as larger diameter mics. 


Are you suggesting that you need a larger diameter mic (eg. DPA) to handle heavy bass and record it clean?  I'm curious what you consider to small of a diaphragm to handle serious bass.

Well note that I said *cardiod* mic in the original statement. Tiny omnis like 4061s and B3s, and even the inexpensive Primo and Panasonic capsules in the Sonic Studios, Church Audio and Coresound mics, capture extended bass just fine. With most cardiod mics, there's a noticeable falloff if the capsule is less than the standard 20-22cm diameter of standard commercial mics. Even if you look at DPA's own small hyper, for example, it's pretty rolled off in the LF. Even look at the frequency response for the AT853, which is at least a little larger than a truly small mic. http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/b95ae65cb5585585/index.html 

Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2017, 05:02:34 PM »
{We did cross post this and the next one I think.  I defer to GB in terms of the theory, which he knows a lot more about than I.  I go by my ears and perceptions, though do try to state my opinions up front and offer the experiences or observations that formed those opinions.}


Cheaper mics tend to roll the bass off (at least, cheaper cardiod mics).


I'd suggest it is more a continuum from (potentially) rolling off to just not capable of recording it fully.  Cheaper stealth mics are typically smaller.  Smaller mics cannot physically capture the same low end response as larger diameter mics. 


Are you suggesting that you need a larger diameter mic (eg. DPA) to handle heavy bass and record it clean?  I'm curious what you consider to small of a diaphragm to handle serious bass.

Well the evidence seems to be that in correlation with pattern and consideration of our usage that once the diaphragm gets too small a mic {GB knows a lot more about this than I do so:} the mics available to us cannot record the low end nearly as fully or as well as larger diameter mics. 

"Handling heavy bass" is an approximate term since one way to handle it is not to record all of it.  Max SPL (which is the first consideration in "handling" loud bassy shows as I think of it) seems a different question than accuracy. 

Obviously the standard diameter of "pencil" mic capsules like Schoeps is still pretty small and plenty of people use them or components in lo-pro settings. 

The small DPAs (406x), which are much smaller diameter (5.4 mm their site says), to my ear record a lot of bass (probably to some extent more fully than anything else of their diameter) but I'm just not convinced they do that accurately or in an entirely balanced way.  When you get to the less expensive tiny clip on mics they definitely don't have the same capabilities and the low end is lacking (though as noted below that may be a design feature or manufacturer's intent rather entirely a physical limitation).  At a certain size the recorded evidence suggests what's available just doesn't represent the low end properly.  Sometimes that feature works pretty well for many shows though, especially in an audience taping PA driven scenario.   

The DPA 402x recommended above in more than one post are 19 mm diameter. 

There seems to be a reason high end cardioid mics with flat responses (and high end mics in general) are at least a certain size (the 20-ish mm diameter is about as small as the best ones, including Schoeps, go and many are considerably larger diameter than that). 

I'm convinced that level of quality has not been designed or achieved at 5mm or 3mm.  Maybe perhaps it could be but I'd suggest the aural evidence is at minimum that no manufacturer is designing high end tiny mics like that for our small market.  Could they?  Could they do it at a price point they'd sell any?  Not so sure. 

I am as I said not really a DPA fan likely because I've heard a lot of recordings with them misapplied (omnis used in the mid or back of a large crowd in a toilet bowl sounding environment).  I will also say I have heard a few recordings with them that I've liked.  That may get back to the sentiment that they aren't well matched to bad locations in crappy sounding rooms. 
 
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 05:25:54 PM by bombdiggity »
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Schoeps Demystified
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2017, 05:10:46 PM »
[I moved this post here as it addresses the one above, which was posted almost simultaneously]

I will correct a few errors-

Quote
Cheaper mics tend to roll the bass off (at least, cheaper cardiod mics).

Although the two factors may often be correlated in the mics we have available, there is no direct causation. The real deal with regards to low-frequency extension has little to do with cost.  It's really a secondary association based on other things.  The value of higher quality mics is mostly evident in other specifications such as self-noise, overload-level, and especially smoothness of response and pattern behavior.

There are not really many mics (any outside of our boutique taper mic builders?) made with the intention of recording a PA from somewhere in the center of a room.  Mics are designed for other purposes and we choose the ones best suited for what we do.

Most small inexpensive mics are built for use very close to the source- either mounted directly on the talent or an instrument, or very close to them.  Even hanging choir mics are designed for use relatively close to the source. If they didn't have a sufficiently tapered off low end response, proximity effect would make them all sound like mud for their intended purposes. 

Even most really high quality directional mics are not designed to have especially extended low frequency response because that does not benefit their typical use.  Classical guys generally use omnis or subcards when they are especially interested in the lowest octave.  Because of their unique operating principle Sennheiser rf mics require equalization in their amplifier, so they do use that to extend the bass respose of their cardioids somewhat more than most other quality mics.. yet not that many tapers use them (they also sound subjectivity a bit darker up top to my ear than Schoeps/DPA/Neumann/Gefell, which probably has more to do with any general preference of tapers).

Sure, to some degree good frequency extension is related to the quality of the microphone, but it is far more commonly related to design intent of the microphone and it's target market (which is almost never tapers).

Quote
Smaller mics cannot physically capture the same low end response as larger diameter mics.

Not true, yet a common misconception.  Microphones are signal transducers, not power transducers.  There is no correlation what so ever between a mic's size and it's frequency sensitivity (there is a direct correlation between size and self-noise, and  more complexly a connection to directivity).  This misunderstanding probably comes from the reproduction side of things where the impedance mismatch between a driver and the air it is trying to move becomes significant - sufficient coupling for decent power transfer at low frequencies requires an increasingly larger surfaced driver (or increasingly larger excursions, and that only works if the driver is "large enough").

Quote
The 406x in the typical use sound (for real) muddy (to me) {those do seem to have the most low end presence for small mics} but the DPA bass instrument mic when mounted on a double bass sounds a little thin (to me).  So I've not really heard what I like...

The DPA bass instrument mic is a miniature super/hypercard.  It's lowest frequency sensitivity rolls off partly due to pattern as any super/hyper card will.  But it is intended for close-mic'ing were proximity effect comes strongly into play so DPA doesn't extend the low frequency response as much as they could, with the intent of balancing the proximity effect boost.  A 406x omni used in the same position will be far more sensitive to  low frequency information.  BTW, the DPA bass instrument mic is the same mic as their miniature guitar mic, trumpet mic, piano mic, choir mic, and podium mic.  I use it as a miniature super/hypercard in combination with 406x to extended the bass response.

I find most omnis sound similarly muddy in many situations due to their response flatness, and find I often need to use EQ to get the midrange and presence-range sounding correct.  Most tapers I've heard express dislike for the 406x sound complain of an overly peaked or strident top end.. which is an intentionally non-flat response designed to address the intended application and market of the microphone- use on-talent.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 05:28:29 PM by Gutbucket »
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