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Gear / Technical Help => Battery Boxes, Preamps, Mixers, ADCs, and Processors => Topic started by: bisforboogie on December 11, 2017, 04:56:26 PM

Title: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: bisforboogie on December 11, 2017, 04:56:26 PM


Greetings all.  Long time listener, first time caller, etc...

So a friend grabbed an Apogee MiniMe for...well, nothing (I was about to type 'next to nothing' until I recalled there was no 'next-to' about it) and we were chatting and I told him that I'd never run one but that my totally uninformed impression was that the A/D was highly reputable in its day and probably still is and that I'd only ever heard grumbling about the preamps - i.e. warm or too-warm or loose-bottomed or 'junk in the trunk'...and so on.

So...given that between our lockers he could run a variety of different mic styles in testing this thing at upcoming shows, what mics (and techniques if you have such thoughts) do y'all find go best or match up with the minime and what its preamps bring to the table?

Testing will be bars and small theaters of the usual variety and for now I imagine he'll use the minime for both pre & a/d duties going into a spare deck (both our spares are dr100mkii, as it happens).

(And all this time, I'm plowing through pages of older accounts of minime-ness but would love to hear your direct opinions...especially since the tech has changed so much since the box came out)

Thanks a million times and also for all the help you didn't even know you were giving me over the past 5 years of my membership here!

-chad
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: noahbickart on December 11, 2017, 11:50:33 PM
The problems people seem to have with the Mini-me are largely ergonomic. The only thing it does poorly is interface with a fixed gain preamp, as many people would prefer to bypass the preamps if possible.

Schoeps> sonosax> mini-me is a winning combination. AKG and MG have also sounded good into the mini-me. It has the "apogee" house sound, and basically sounds goo with everything. I never messed with the internal limiters, though I bet they would be far superior to any digi ones these days.

I got rid of mine for two reasons: I didn't like the size and shape compared with everything else I ran, and my bag is so much lighter without a separate AD stage and big 9v battery.
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: rigpimp on December 12, 2017, 12:07:43 AM
This is really too subjective in my opinion.  Let "your ears" be the guide.  Only you know what they like.

https://archive.org/details/etree?and[]=Mini-me

Happy listening!
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: DSatz on December 25, 2017, 01:32:59 PM
Your question seems to be based on several unstated assumptions. A common one (though I can only guess, since the assumptions are implied rather than stated) is that every preamp has a certain sonic "character" or "signature", and this character should be balanced by choosing microphones that have an opposing / contrasting "character" or "signature". At least, that's how I've seen this viewpoint expressed most often.

To me, though, that outlook seems to take a problem "for granted" and treat it as unavoidable, in the same way that certain diseases were taken for granted before we understood their causes and prevention. I don't mean to make light of the fact that many people today still die of preventable illnesses. I just want to say that our outlook, and our consequent actions, ought to change when we have a reasonable understanding of what causes a thing.

Microphones that have higher output impedance, and/or an output impedance that varies significantly across the audio range, interact with the preamps they're used with (and sound quality is affected by that interaction) much more than microphones do if their output impedance is lower and more constant across the frequency range. And preamps that have lower input impedance, and/or input impedance that varies significantly across the audio range, interact with (and sound quality is affected by that interaction) far more than other preamps do if their input impedance is higher and more constant. That can be understood very easily from Ohm's Law: Differing amounts of the signal voltage are "dropped" in the preamp's input impedance at different frequencies, as a kind of voltage divider effect. When these interactions occur, the signal effectively has frequency-selective filtering applied to it before it gets into the preamp circuitry per se.

The problems occur much more with dynamic microphones (including ribbons, which are a kind of dynamic microphone) than with condenser microphones, provided that the input impedance of the preamp is reasonably high and constant (not like the old, old days of 600 Ohm output AND input impedance for tube/transformer studio equipment). The idea of the recording engineer as as chef, for whom the knowledge of which-preamps-go-with-which-microphones was like the skill of using seasonings, got its start before the solid-state era when condenser microphones were extremely expensive and hard to obtain, and ribbon and other dynamic microphones were almost universally used, even in high-ticket professional applications, with preamps that often still had 600 Ohm input impedance (a standard left over from the 1920s, which still had some force 50 years later when I started recording professionally).

Some calculable / measurable "interface losses" always occur, so this is a question of degree. Modern condenser microphones have nearly constant, low (often well below 100 Ohms) output impedance across the audio spectrum, so they aren't nearly as vulnerable to sound-coloring interactions with preamps. And preamps don't need to have input transformers with high turns ratios any more, which create "iffy" loading situations especially at high frequencies.

Thus by choosing your equipment with minimal attention and care, you can sidestep this whole forest of issues. And this is looking only at one aspect of the problem; distortion is another; preamps designed to have a particular sound coloration for marketing purposes are yet another. Again, all these problems are truly optional at this point, and most modern engineers long ago took the Nancy Reagan option ("just say 'no'") because we have better things to do with our limited time and mindspace. To me and a lot of other engineers, if a preamp has an identifiable "sound" of its own (and especially if it might or might not, depending on which mikes I might use it with), I'd prefer some other preamp that doesn't involve me in such unnecessary complications.

--best regards
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: noahbickart on December 25, 2017, 01:54:04 PM
I'd also add that "flavor" is very easily added in post via AU/VST plugins.

You want a slightly different EQ profile? use an EQ plugin.

Want Tube/Transformer coloration? Use a saturation plugin.

I think its a total waste of time, these days, to lug lots of equipment into a venue for subtle colorations of sound.

Use an all in one recorder with good preamps and ad conversion and tailor to taste in post.
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: down2earthlandscaper on December 30, 2017, 04:45:43 AM
I'd also add that "flavor" is very easily added in post via AU/VST plugins.

You want a slightly different EQ profile? use an EQ plugin.

Want Tube/Transformer coloration? Use a saturation plugin.

I think its a total waste of time, these days, to lug lots of equipment into a venue for subtle colorations of sound.

Use an all in one recorder with good preamps and ad conversion and tailor to taste in post.

⬆️ Brilliant! ????
I’ve been carrying way too much gear around.
A part of me is very tempted
to quit messing around and just get a
Mix pre 6 or 10t.
Although there are reasons why I’ll probably still
continue to do it.

As far as the mini me, size is the main complaint I’ve heard as well. You may want to pm TS member Rodeen. I know he owned one and really liked it. He may have some useful input.
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: jb63 on December 30, 2017, 07:37:30 PM
I found the best mic combination with this to be the tiny DPA 4061s. I know, I know. But the coloration is really great with the tiny omni capsules. I use them as backups & when I can bring in a big bag, I run them taped as high up on my stand as I can and through the MiniME. Sometimes that is the winning tape of the night even over the schoeps>acmV3.

So just some food for thought!
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: jazzgtrl4 on December 31, 2017, 01:01:47 PM
Neumanns, really shine with the Minime IMOH.  there was someone who ran 150s>mini me couple years ago (phish) and they were great recordings.
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: down2earthlandscaper on December 31, 2017, 11:57:58 PM
I found the best mic combination with this to be the tiny DPA 4061s. I know, I know. But the coloration is really great with the tiny omni capsules. I use them as backups & when I can bring in a big bag, I run them taped as high up on my stand as I can and through the MiniME. Sometimes that is the winning tape of the night even over the schoeps>acmV3.

So just some food for thought!

Wow, that's a cool idea. I've never heard of the 4061's in front of a mini me. How are yours terminated (or how did you feed it to the mini me?)
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: jb63 on January 10, 2018, 01:24:23 AM

Wow, that's a cool idea. I've never heard of the 4061's in front of a mini me. How are yours terminated (or how did you feed it to the mini me?)

They are those annoying microdots, but I plug them into the DPA XLR adapters with the electronics in them.
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: 108Ω on January 10, 2018, 11:52:54 PM
The MBHO + MiniME is a difficult combi  to beat in our world.

SPLs count more in field taping than is discussed.
I'd love to see a shootout of identical rigs, one placed DFC row 10, and the other near the back of the ORCH       :hmmm:
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: Charlie Miller on January 11, 2018, 02:02:21 PM
I ran Schoeps CMC6/MK4 directly into my minime for hundreds of shows (on stage). I absolutely love the preamp and A>D converter. I have never done a side-by-side with the V2/V3.
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: MakersMarc on January 14, 2018, 05:10:18 PM
I like the 4022>mme combo, mme added some bottom end the dpas lack a bit in.
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: Charlie Miller on January 14, 2018, 05:25:01 PM
I like the 4022>mme combo, mme added some bottom end the dpas lack a bit in.

I always did like your tapes
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: MakersMarc on January 15, 2018, 11:19:33 AM
Thanks and backatcha Charlie. To say the least.  :headphones:
Title: Re: Which mics do the MiniMe really compliment?
Post by: Nick's Picks on January 18, 2018, 09:15:08 AM
I'll also chime in for the  Neumann AK50 / 185 > Mme.   There is a certain "punch and sizzle" to those recordings that my ear really likes.