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Author Topic: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling  (Read 1839 times)

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Offline EricM

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Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« on: February 29, 2016, 02:37:31 AM »
Hi Members,

I have been given some tips on the Sony M10 and how to avoid clipping. By using the Line input and not the Mic input.

Recently I attended a loud concert (stealthing) with the following;

Sony M10
Audio Technica AT943 Slimline Cardioid Microphones
12volt battery box. Simple box with no settings.

Limiter On
Mic sensitivity Low
Mic In
Manual Gain Control
Rec Dial level 4

However I still received clipping during the loud audience screams. But I was concerned of so called brick walling at a Rec Dial level of 3. Am I doing something wrong here?

I'm really surprised I received any clipping.

So am I only left with the option of setting my Rec level of 3? If I set at 2 I'll definately brickwall?

If someone else has my exact setup in my opinion the only safe level may be a 3. I'd hate to try this set up at a Metallica concert or similar. There's no way even a 3 would handle it I think.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 02:44:59 AM by EricM »

Offline aaronji

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 07:15:39 AM »
You can go lower than 4 on the gain knob mic-in.  As long as you don't have to go below ~ 1.5 - 2 (per DSatz) to prevent clipping, you won't brickwall.  I am not sure how sensitive those mics are, but, assuming they are in the 10 mV/Pa range, you will need some very heavy SPLs to overload the mic input (and the mics themselves might be audibly distorting at that point).  If the shows are loud, line-in is a good option...

Offline nameloc01

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 10:08:03 AM »
.. perhaps you are clipping the mics due to not powering them correctly (and not the actual recorder)..?
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Offline beatkilla

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 11:15:10 AM »
I thought those mics need the 4.7k mod?

Offline fandelive

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 12:41:18 PM »
I thought those mics need the 4.7k mod?

I can find two threads here on taperssection.com that state the AT943 (actual SP-CMC-8) don't need the 4.7k mod.


I'm surprised SoundProfessionals don't offer a "low-sens" option. Still there's an XLR phantom power option for recording extremely loud sounds.
So I don't know what to think about it...
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 01:12:39 PM by fandelive »
Mics : Sony ECM-717, SP-BMC-12, MM-HLSC-1 (4.7k mod), 2x DPA4060, 2x DPA4061
Battery box : SP-SPSB-6524 w/bass roll-off filter, MM-CBM-1
Preamp : Church Audio CA-9100
Recorders : Sony MZR-700PC, Edirol R-09HR, Tascam DR-2d

Offline voltronic

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2016, 01:55:39 PM »
Unless your battery box is adding gain for some reason, I think using Mic In was the issue.  When I had a very similar setup (PIP mics > battery box > M10), I would only use Mic In for very quiet acoustic / chamber music since it results in a significantly higher level than Line In.  I wouldn't look at a problem with the mics or powering until you've changed to Line first.  One variable at a time.
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Offline adrianf74

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 02:33:38 PM »
Unless your battery box is adding gain for some reason, I think using Mic In was the issue.  When I had a very similar setup (PIP mics > battery box > M10), I would only use Mic In for very quiet acoustic / chamber music since it results in a significantly higher level than Line In.  I wouldn't look at a problem with the mics or powering until you've changed to Line first.  One variable at a time.

This is what I was going to chime in with.  Battery Box > Line In unless you're recording very quiet sources.  I've had to use Mic In outdoors at festivals where the artist was more in line with an older crowd and it was quieter but only on a few occasions. 

Everything else above sounds right.  I generally don't like to go lower than about 3.5 on the M10 but you can go lower if needed if it's _that_ loud.

The 943's _DON'T_ require the mod.  The 933's and 853's do.

Offline beatkilla

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2016, 05:08:16 PM »
We know for sure the AT 853 need the mod,but i just looked at SP site and they  do offer the low sens option for the SP CMC 8,so.....

Offline aaronji

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2016, 06:23:58 PM »
I'm no expert, but using the mic-in, as such, should not be a problem, if the gain is set appropriately.  Both guysonic and DSatz measured the mic-in overload point at ~ +2 dBu.  At 10 mV/Pa (according to the AT spec sheet, although SP shows 8 mV/Pa), you need 134 dBSPL to generate that voltage.  As a point of reference, a trumpet is ~ 130 dBSPL at a half meter.  We're talking threshold of pain levels.  Turn the gain to 2, and you will probably never overload unless you have very sensitive mics or are on top of a stack.  Of course, the line input gives you a wide margin of error, but you will generally have a hard time overloading the mic-in with the right gain setting...

Offline EricM

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2016, 06:46:33 PM »
^ Thanks for the tips everyone. You have answered all of my questions.

What still confuses me is that there appears to be 2 schools of thought over Mic in Vs Line in.

With Line in being more forgiving for high SPL.

Who knows next time I might even run 2 rigs to be on the safe side. It's not exactly hard to hide an M10 with battery box. I might run a line in rig and a Mic in rig. I still may continue with Mic in just for the next concert.But this time I will set the Rec dial to a 2.5 or 3 maximum. Probably a 2.5 to be ultra safe. The next concert I'm going to shouldn't be too loud I don't think.  Anything louder next time I will use Line in no matter what.

Thanks again for the excellent tips and insights everyone.

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2016, 07:48:40 PM »
^ Thanks for the tips everyone. You have answered all of my questions.

What still confuses me is that there appears to be 2 schools of thought over Mic in Vs Line in.

I think everyone's in agreement that Line In is more forgiving of loud inputs than Mic In. The only question is where the point is where you need to switch from one to the other, which is going to vary with the sensitivity of the mic.

My rule of thumb with an M10 and either CA-14s or modded 853s: If I need earplugs, I be sure to go Line In, otherwise Mic In is fine. But there is a broad swath in the middle where either will work, especially if you're recording at 24 bits and it's not a problem if you have to add volume later.

Offline nameloc01

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 08:28:54 PM »
..those mics came from AT with xlr connectors.. they were not designed to be ran with a "2-wire" battery box.. you are going to run into problems sooner or later because they are'nt being powered correctly. You should either put the mini-xlrs back on (what I'd do, and get an appropriate power supply)..or get them "modded".  Soundpros has been hacking the mini-xlrs off of their AT mics for years and terminating them into a single mini-plug to "operate" off of lesser priced "battery boxes" vs the appropriate (more pricey) boxes with xlr connectors.

Then always run "line-in" and boost the signal with a preamp or later in the post.. its preferable over brickwalling a recording that can never be re-made.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 08:30:41 PM by nameloc01 »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2016, 09:51:53 PM »
I can't speak for SoundPros, but a few of our resident builders here terminate these mics in exactly this way (Robb / Darktrain and Ted / GAKabkes most frequently seen here).  I'd say both of them know exactly what they're doing, and I don't quite understand your conclusion that the different termination constitutes incorrect powering.  The only reason this particular mic (sometimes) comes in a mini XLR is because that's the input connector on the AT wireless packs.  It's still just a 2-conductor cable, so a mini TRS should cover a pair of them just fine.  (Left signal, right signal, ground/power).  If you're concerned about voltage, the specs from AT specify 11-52V powering, and the OP's power supply provides 12V, so no problem there.
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Offline nameloc01

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2016, 10:02:07 PM »
I can't speak for SoundPros, but a few of our resident builders here terminate these mics in exactly this way (Robb / Darktrain and Ted / GAKabkes most frequently seen here).  I'd say both of them know exactly what they're doing, and I don't quite understand your conclusion that the different termination constitutes incorrect powering.  The only reason this particular mic (sometimes) comes in a mini XLR is because that's the input connector on the AT wireless packs.  It's still just a 2-conductor cable, so a mini TRS should cover a pair of them just fine.  (Left signal, right signal, ground/power).  If you're concerned about voltage, the specs from AT specify 11-52V powering, and the OP's power supply provides 12V, so no problem there.

They probably terminate them that way w/ the mod. Fact is..3-wire mics are not meant to run from a 2-wire battery box. This is an OLD topic.

The mics dont "sometimes" comes with xlrs.. they ALWAYS do..from the people that make them..Audio-Technica. Other people simply chop off the xlrs and terminate them together because they are easier to sell with a "mod" (OR WITHOUT) and an inexpensive "battery box" vs the mics with the FACTORY xlrs (AT power boxes with mini-xlrs in/ I used to run AT8532s), phantom power adaptors and a more expensive (proper) portable power supply... or mixing board..ect.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 10:12:42 PM by nameloc01 »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Sony M10 and avoiding clipping and brickwalling
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2016, 10:15:20 PM »
I can't speak for SoundPros, but a few of our resident builders here terminate these mics in exactly this way (Robb / Darktrain and Ted / GAKabkes most frequently seen here).  I'd say both of them know exactly what they're doing, and I don't quite understand your conclusion that the different termination constitutes incorrect powering.  The only reason this particular mic (sometimes) comes in a mini XLR is because that's the input connector on the AT wireless packs.  It's still just a 2-conductor cable, so a mini TRS should cover a pair of them just fine.  (Left signal, right signal, ground/power).  If you're concerned about voltage, the specs from AT specify 11-52V powering, and the OP's power supply provides 12V, so no problem there.

They probably terminate them that way w/ the mod. Fact is..3-wire mics are not meant to run from a 2-wire battery box. This is an OLD topic.

I'm pretty sure these are 2-wire mics despite the termination.  If I'm wrong about this, someone who knows for sure please set me straight.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 10:20:12 PM by voltronic »
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- Gustav Mahler

 

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