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Author Topic: Binaural mics - lowcost solution  (Read 2972 times)

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Offline kleiner Rainer

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Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« on: May 10, 2018, 05:08:18 AM »
Hi all on the old world side of the pond

Thomann has a special offer for Roland binaural mics:

https://www.thomann.de/de/roland_wear_pro.htm#

The mic was designed for an older GoPro camera model, but modifying it for recorder use is straightforward.
If you remove the special Mini USB plug, and connect a 3.5mm stereo plug, you lose the warranty, but you get a very sensitive low-noise binaural mic that operates with plug-in power.
My quick-and-dirty test setup with a PCM-D50 worked very well when set up with my trusty old Sennheiser head (the mics it came with degraded too much after 30 years of outdoor use). There is a bit of wind sensitivity, so I have to find a way to improve the wind screens. I had to switch on the mic attenuator and set the gain to 5, but the sound is great. The sensitivity and low noise floor should be of interest for the nature sound crowd. Operation with a battery box seems possible.

FIY: the red wire is the right channel, yellow the left. Both wires have a separate shield.

Executive summary: recommended hack!

Greetings,

Rainer

recording steam trains since 1985

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 10:12:09 AM »
Hey man, can you translate the approximate cost in USD?
Also, is that a USB C or mini USB connector?
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

Offline TheMetalist

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 10:55:49 AM »
Hey man, can you translate the approximate cost in USD?
Also, is that a USB C or mini USB connector?

Here you go. US settings (I hope).

https://www.thomannmusic.com/roland_wear_pro.htm

It's mini USB.
It's not about fancy equipment. It's about the thrill, passion and hard work. Liberate the music!

"The music is your passport - Your magic key - To all the madness that awaits you." B.L. '86

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 11:02:33 AM »
^^^^^^^^^
Thanks, I guess I could have done google translate- so thanks for sure for doing that for me.
So, less than $20 for these + $36 for shipping? Seems like a deal but not sure how one would connect/power them without a gopro: plugin-powered via GoPro Camera (no Batterys required)
I'm interested but no interface for using them with our current bitbuckets.
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

Offline TheMetalist

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 11:09:21 AM »
Seems like a deal but not sure how one would connect/power them without a gopro: plugin-powered via GoPro Camera (no Batterys required)
I'm interested but no interface for using them with our current bitbuckets.

Please, check first post by kleiner Rainer or read here:

If you remove the special Mini USB plug, and connect a 3.5mm stereo plug, you lose the warranty, but you get a very sensitive low-noise binaural mic that operates with plug-in power.
My quick-and-dirty test setup with a PCM-D50 worked very well when set up with my trusty old Sennheiser head (the mics it came with degraded too much after 30 years of outdoor use). There is a bit of wind sensitivity, so I have to find a way to improve the wind screens. I had to switch on the mic attenuator and set the gain to 5, but the sound is great. The sensitivity and low noise floor should be of interest for the nature sound crowd. Operation with a battery box seems possible.

FIY: the red wire is the right channel, yellow the left. Both wires have a separate shield.

Executive summary: recommended hack!
It's not about fancy equipment. It's about the thrill, passion and hard work. Liberate the music!

"The music is your passport - Your magic key - To all the madness that awaits you." B.L. '86

Offline webvan

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2018, 04:22:56 AM »
Thanks for the tip, too bad they don't come with a microUSB plug as they could probably be used direct with an Android smartphone. I wonder how they would hande loud noise, the Roland CS-10 EM aren't great for that.

EDIT - Ok, ordered ! Will be looking to use them with my Zoom H1 as a use GoPro 3 goes for a lot more than I thought it would ! Will go looking for a jack on eBay or Amazon...TRRS so overkill and pretty ugly but no soldering, would this work : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cerrxian-bornes-femelle-adaptateur-convertisseur/dp/B06XSD95TC/ or this might even be better https://www.amazon.co.uk/CERRXIAN-Terminal-Headphone-Converter-Adapter/dp/B072N8GYSX/ ?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 09:45:56 AM by webvan »

Offline webvan

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2018, 11:39:41 AM »
So it just came in. Nice comprehensive package with many tips. So as expected that MiniUSB adapter is not standard. So now I have the choice between getting a used GoPro 3 or a 3.5mm adapter and use it with my H1...unfortunately it doesn't have a limiter so I'm not sure how well it would work, hum...

Offline rigpimp

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 01:50:32 PM »
Thanks for the tip, too bad they don't come with a microUSB plug as they could probably be used direct with an Android smartphone. I wonder how they would hande loud noise, the Roland CS-10 EM aren't great for that.

EDIT - Ok, ordered ! Will be looking to use them with my Zoom H1 as a use GoPro 3 goes for a lot more than I thought it would ! Will go looking for a jack on eBay or Amazon...TRRS so overkill and pretty ugly but no soldering, would this work : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cerrxian-bornes-femelle-adaptateur-convertisseur/dp/B06XSD95TC/ or this might even be better https://www.amazon.co.uk/CERRXIAN-Terminal-Headphone-Converter-Adapter/dp/B072N8GYSX/ ?

Try this on your android phone.  You might also get it to work with and adapter and an OTG cable

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/804588-REG/CablesToGo_27367_USB_2_0_Mini_b_Female.html?ap=y&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIytirvsy_2wIVhTqBCh2aSAIjEAQYBCABEgJ1MvD_BwE
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
Pre/A>D/P48: Sonosax SX/M2, Sonosax SX/M2-LS, E.A.A. PSP-2, Naiant Tinybox, Neumann BS48i-2 (for sale)
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-6, Sony PCM-M10
Playback: McIntosh MC 2105 > McIntosh MX 130 > Von Schweikert VR-4 JR
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Offline webvan

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2018, 05:54:23 PM »
Interesting thanks, might give that a try before I butcher the cable then.

EDIT - probably won't work (like my current miniUSB to microUSB adapter) because the GoPro uses a 10 miniUSB port : https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/goprouser/hero3-mini-usb-10-pin-t9625-s10.html - doubt there are adapters for that and can't see how the Android would be able to figure out what do with the input...
« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 05:59:57 PM by webvan »

Offline webvan

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2018, 08:33:39 AM »
Ok I'm up and running !
Got this TRRS plug adapter on eBay https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cerrxian-bornes-femelle-adaptateur-convertisseur/dp/B06XSD95TC/ as I couldn't find the TRS version but I thought it might work...and it does ! It was a bit fiddly and required a few attempts  (could only get one channel for some reason) as the cables of the microphone are very thin.
Plugged into my H1 and will now be experimenting, thanks for the tip ! A lot cheaper than the Roland CS-10EM (that also act as headphones of course but have no use for that) to experiment with binaural.

« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 08:38:17 AM by webvan »

Offline webvan

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2018, 04:00:39 AM »
So I've been experimenting with various eartips and over-the-ear mounting and it's been good fun. The microphones are indeed very sensitive ! Here's an example of a quick walk in the rain last night : https://archive.org/details/ZOOM0036_201806

Offline webvan

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2019, 10:50:13 AM »
Down to 9.99€ might pick up a second pair for backup ;-)

Offline Lutzow

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 04:43:18 PM »
For that price, I couldn't resist! Thank you for sharing that bargain.

I cutted the usb off and soldered an Neutrik L-shaped 3.5mm adaptor.
Neutrik NTP 3 RC-B


After the first hours of testing, I really like that there are also clamps in the package and I prefer them clamped instead of in-ear. They are low noise and sensitive. What a great deal.
I agree with kleiner Rainer, they are good for Ambient Sounds and you can hide them easily in your ears, on your clothes or on a bag.


Offline webvan

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2019, 01:48:56 PM »
Oops, hadn't been notified of your reply.
Glad you like them and were able to solder them. The deal is still available so I might pick up another pair myself. Too bad I'm no good at soldering, so I have to use larger adapters with a little screw -;)

Offline beegar

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2019, 12:36:20 AM »
Any links to shows recorded with these? I'm not interested in purchasing as I have a hacked set of the Sennheiser GoPro mics that were on sale a few weeks ago, but I would like to hear these.
Mics: MBHO ka300/500; AKG 461/462; Sennheiser MKE2; Audio-Technica 897 & 853 (omni, cardioid, mini shotgun)
Pre: CA9100
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Offline adrianb

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2019, 10:14:28 AM »
Thanks for this kleiner Rainer. Somebody stole my Roland CS-10 EM mics from my car, and I'd been looking to replace them for a while so I've snapped up two pairs of these. I'm in the UK too, so the delivery is not too expensive.

As much as I liked the recordings made by the EMs I always found wind noise to be problematic, and fabricated (sewed on) a windshield. I assume the windscreens provided with these are the square root of useless.

Also if somebody could explain which wire goes where in the  Neutrik L-shaped 3.5mm adaptor I would be very grateful.
Mics: Sennheiser MKH 8040, Sennheiser MKH 8020, AT BP4025, AT 853 cards, CA CAFS, CA 14 Omnis, CA 11 (Cards + Omnis), Soundman OKM II Classic
Battery Boxes: Sony XLR-1, CA 9200 Preamp, CA Ugly 2 Preamp, CA Ugly BB
Recorders: Sound Devices MP3, Sony PCM-D100, Sony PCM-D50, Sony PCM-M10, Roland R-07, Tascam iXJ2

Offline beegar

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2019, 10:40:12 AM »
Thanks for this kleiner Rainer. Somebody stole my Roland CS-10 EM mics from my car, and I'd been looking to replace them for a while so I've snapped up two pairs of these. I'm in the UK too, so the delivery is not too expensive.

As much as I liked the recordings made by the EMs I always found wind noise to be problematic, and fabricated (sewed on) a windshield. I assume the windscreens provided with these are the square root of useless.

Also if somebody could explain which wire goes where in the  Neutrik L-shaped 3.5mm adaptor I would be very grateful.

Tip: Left - Yellow
Ring: Right - Red
Sleeve: Ground - 2 other wires, probably blue or black
Mics: MBHO ka300/500; AKG 461/462; Sennheiser MKE2; Audio-Technica 897 & 853 (omni, cardioid, mini shotgun)
Pre: CA9100
Decks: MixPre 6; M10

Offline adrianb

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2019, 10:47:34 AM »
Tip: Left - Yellow
Ring: Right - Red
Sleeve: Ground - 2 other wires, probably blue or black

Thank you very much  :cheers:
Mics: Sennheiser MKH 8040, Sennheiser MKH 8020, AT BP4025, AT 853 cards, CA CAFS, CA 14 Omnis, CA 11 (Cards + Omnis), Soundman OKM II Classic
Battery Boxes: Sony XLR-1, CA 9200 Preamp, CA Ugly 2 Preamp, CA Ugly BB
Recorders: Sound Devices MP3, Sony PCM-D100, Sony PCM-D50, Sony PCM-M10, Roland R-07, Tascam iXJ2

Offline adrianb

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2019, 09:53:41 AM »
Looking at the inside of the earpiece on these it looks like there is actually a speaker there. I wonder if these are basically the same as the Roland CS-10 EM mics, and if they could be modded to provide sound as well as record.
Mics: Sennheiser MKH 8040, Sennheiser MKH 8020, AT BP4025, AT 853 cards, CA CAFS, CA 14 Omnis, CA 11 (Cards + Omnis), Soundman OKM II Classic
Battery Boxes: Sony XLR-1, CA 9200 Preamp, CA Ugly 2 Preamp, CA Ugly BB
Recorders: Sound Devices MP3, Sony PCM-D100, Sony PCM-D50, Sony PCM-M10, Roland R-07, Tascam iXJ2

Offline adrianb

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2019, 05:23:10 PM »
Ignore what I said above, it looks like there's a speaker there but from the product specifications on their website:

Open-air structure allows outside sounds to reach your ears, providing safety while recording in crowded environments
Mics: Sennheiser MKH 8040, Sennheiser MKH 8020, AT BP4025, AT 853 cards, CA CAFS, CA 14 Omnis, CA 11 (Cards + Omnis), Soundman OKM II Classic
Battery Boxes: Sony XLR-1, CA 9200 Preamp, CA Ugly 2 Preamp, CA Ugly BB
Recorders: Sound Devices MP3, Sony PCM-D100, Sony PCM-D50, Sony PCM-M10, Roland R-07, Tascam iXJ2

Online one8ung

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2019, 02:34:05 PM »
Any info about the SPL from these microphones?

 :cheers:
Mics: CA-11 - OKM II

Power: CA-UBB - A3 Adapter

Recorders: Roland R-07 - Tascam DR-2d

Website: http://one8ung.jimdo.com/

Offline adrianb

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2019, 02:57:44 PM »
Any info about the SPL from these microphones?

 :cheers:

I suspect they are similar, if not the same, as the Roland CS-10 EM mics. In which case not capable of handling high SPL.

But I'll go and test mine now.
Mics: Sennheiser MKH 8040, Sennheiser MKH 8020, AT BP4025, AT 853 cards, CA CAFS, CA 14 Omnis, CA 11 (Cards + Omnis), Soundman OKM II Classic
Battery Boxes: Sony XLR-1, CA 9200 Preamp, CA Ugly 2 Preamp, CA Ugly BB
Recorders: Sound Devices MP3, Sony PCM-D100, Sony PCM-D50, Sony PCM-M10, Roland R-07, Tascam iXJ2

Offline adrianb

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2019, 03:46:28 PM »
As I thought, they are not capable of recording high SPLs.

I've just tested using a 9V battery box, in front of my hi-fi speakers and they distort when I crank the volume up to loud concert levels.

Mics: Sennheiser MKH 8040, Sennheiser MKH 8020, AT BP4025, AT 853 cards, CA CAFS, CA 14 Omnis, CA 11 (Cards + Omnis), Soundman OKM II Classic
Battery Boxes: Sony XLR-1, CA 9200 Preamp, CA Ugly 2 Preamp, CA Ugly BB
Recorders: Sound Devices MP3, Sony PCM-D100, Sony PCM-D50, Sony PCM-M10, Roland R-07, Tascam iXJ2

Online one8ung

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Re: Binaural mics - lowcost solution
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2019, 03:58:58 PM »
As I thought, they are not capable of recording high SPLs.

I've just tested using a 9V battery box, in front of my hi-fi speakers and they distort when I crank the volume up to loud concert levels.

poor neighbors... but thanks for letting us know!
Mics: CA-11 - OKM II

Power: CA-UBB - A3 Adapter

Recorders: Roland R-07 - Tascam DR-2d

Website: http://one8ung.jimdo.com/

 

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