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Author Topic: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there  (Read 1444 times)

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Offline keepongoin

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anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« on: June 25, 2018, 04:58:17 PM »
There seems to have been a proliferation of massively cheap mics in the last few years.

they are all probably crap, but I am just curious if they are even useable for any application.

mics like this one: https://www.wish.com/product/5a9384b2da00377eca5eb82f
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” Sinclair Lewis: How Fascism Will Come To America (1935)

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Offline heathen

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Re: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 05:52:08 PM »
I couldn't even see the content of the page without signing up and logging in (which I'm not going to do).  Can you cut and paste the relevant details here?
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05 | Tascam DR-2d

Offline jefflester

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DPA4061 HEB/AT943 -> CA-UGLY -> R-09
Samson C02/Superlux S502/iSK Little Gem -> DR-680MKII
AKG CK63 -> AKG C460B -> DR-680MKII
AKG CK63 -> nBob actives -> Baby NBox -> R-09/DR2d

Offline keepongoin

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Re: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 06:25:53 PM »
I couldn't even see the content of the page without signing up and logging in (which I'm not going to do).  Can you cut and paste the relevant details here?


something like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Goetland-Condenser-Microphone-Recording-Streaming/dp/B074S1K41R
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” Sinclair Lewis: How Fascism Will Come To America (1935)

"Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science."- Henri Poincare

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/pierce

Offline fmaderjr

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Re: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2018, 12:23:52 PM »
These have tempted me for awhile: https://www.amazon.com/LyxPro-SDPC-2-Stereo-Condenser-Microphones/dp/B012OHZJ8O/ref=pd_sbs_267_6?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=YENXBN684YBRG7VMGFCG

Reviews are excellent and you don't lose much if they're not very good........
AT853's (all caps)/CM-300 Franken Naks (CP-1,2,3)/JBMod Nak 700's (CP-701,702) > Tascam DR-680
Or Sonic Studios DSM-6 > M10

Offline fandelive

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Re: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2018, 03:41:14 PM »
I couldn't even see the content of the page without signing up and logging in (which I'm not going to do).  Can you cut and paste the relevant details here?

BM-800 Condenser Microphone Kit Mic Set with Adjustable Mic Suspension Scissor Arm, Pop Filter for Studio Recording & Brocasting
255 €EUR 29 €EUR
Hors TVA

Description
PROFESSIONAL RECORDING KIT
Package Included:
1 x ZINGYOU BM-800 condenser microphone
1 x Adjustable Microphone stand
1 x Nylon pop filter
1 x Faux-metal shock mount
1 x Microphone windscreen
1 x XLR female to 3.5mm microphone cable
1 x USB sound adapter
1 x English manual instruction
Package not included:
Phantom power (Optional, for improving sound quality)

SPECIFICATION
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency range: 20 to 20,000 Hz
Sensitivity: -34 dB±2 dB (0 dB=1V/Pa at 1kHz)
Max. SPL: 132 dB (at 1kHz≤1% T.H.D)
Equivalent noise level: 16 dB-A
Signal/noise ratio: 78 dB
Impedance: <=200 ohms
Recommended load impedance: >= 1000 ohms
Connector: 3-pin XLR to IEC
Cable Length: 8.2 ft/2.5M
Dimensions: ø50 x 160 mm (Dia. 1.9 x 6.3 in.)
Net Weight: 400g
Mics : Sony ECM-717, MM-HLSC-1 (4.7k mod), SP-CMC-4 (at853), 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 Dirtbeard

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Re: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2018, 11:48:37 AM »
I have tried the M-Audio Pulsar II with great results. They are not manufactured anymore but can still find some used or Old New Stock. You may also consider the famous Nak CM-300. You can find them at the yard sale here sometimes. You can always go which Church Audio. You can get the mics and battery box for a fairly cheap price. All these options are mostly under $200 dollars. Good hunting.

Offline DSatz

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Re: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2018, 03:08:46 PM »
If you're going for bottom-dollar microphones, I think you are generally better off choosing omnidirectional rather than cardioid. Pressure transducers are considerably simpler to design and manufacture--they've become more or less cookbook items by this point--so for any given investment (either yours or the manufacturers) the quality tends to be somewhat better.

Most low-cost directional microphones are designed primarily for speech applications, and have frequency response that is deliberately made "non-flat" for the sake of clarity: reduced low-frequency response in general (to cut down on room noise and reverberation that's below the speech range) and some kind of "presence peak" in the high frequencies to improve consonant articulation. When used for full-range music, such microphones tend to sound thin or even screechy (I'm thinking back to my god-awful Sony ECM-22P electrets from ca. 1970) whereas again, omnidirectional microphones don't usually have that problem.

Finally, one thing that you pay a lot for with expensive microphones is consistency--the similarity of any two microphones' frequency and polar response to their design ideal, and thus to one another. This matters much more when you deploy a coincident or closely-spaced pair of microphones than if you space your mikes farther apart. (For critical applications some people prefer selected, matched pairs for stereo recording--even when their microphones are from the best, most consistent manufacturers.) But if you're going to record with spaced-apart microphones, omnidirectional and "wide cardioid" patterns usually give the best-sounding results. And most cheap condensers aren't available as "wide cardioids", so again that leaves omnidirectional as the choice that I'd suggest.

The extreme opposite case, I would say, is hyper- or supercardioids. Not just most, but nearly all of those--even in the higher price brackets--are designed for speech/communication applications. I frankly see a lot of denial in these forums about that. Only a precious few super- or hypercardioid microphones have frequency response that is (a) wide-range rather than being narrowly tailored for speech, and (b) similar enough at all angles of sound incidence to support the types of stereo setups that we talk about so much in these forums.

--best regards
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 04:11:46 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline heathen

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Re: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2018, 06:23:05 PM »
Only a precious few super- or hypercardioid microphones have frequency response that is (a) wide-range rather than being narrowly tailored for speech, and (b) similar enough at all angles of sound incidence to support the types of stereo setups that we talk about so much in these forums.
I'm not trying to instigate a flame war, but genuinely curious...which mics do you have in mind that fit those criteria?
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05 | Tascam DR-2d

Offline DSatz

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Re: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2018, 03:48:51 PM »
heathen, it's been years since I "played the field" and tried out many different types of microphones. The Schoeps MK 41 was first in this field by several decades, and I've recorded >1000 classical concerts with it, gravitating more recently to the "V" variant. Nowadays, however, there are small, single-diaphragm super- / hypercardioids from several other serious manufacturers.

I owned a pair of Neumann KM 150 for several years and found numerous uses for them--but never for music where full low-frequency response was called for. They were nearly speech microphones according to their frequency response--ca. 8 dB down at 50 Hz even with a 1-meter effective measuring distance (which boosts the measured low-frequency output by several dB due to proximity effect).

I hardly follow DPA at all. Their 4018A looks as if it might be a suitable "candidate" but DPA's frequency response curves are "corrected" to a _30 cm_ (!) equivalent measuring distance. For sound sources recorded from the audience position at a concert, the low-frequency response would be quite a bit less than what's shown. (If you think you hear a "tch, tch!" in there, you're not wrong ...)

(edited later to add:)
Proximity effect affects only the pressure-gradient sensitivity of a microphone. In any on-axis frequency response curve, the greater the capsule's proportion of pressure-gradient sensitivity (relative to its pressure sensitivity) AND the closer you measure, the more the apparent 0-degree frequency response will get a boost from proximity effect. So you have to keep that in mind when you compare frequency response graphs (a) for microphones with different directional patterns and (b) for directional microphones, when you compare curves obtained at different measurement distances.

I've never tried the small, single-diaphragm supercardioids from Sennheiser, Microtech Gefell or MBHO, but would certainly take them seriously. AKG used to have one as well, but again, I never tried it, and now they're gone.

AudioTechnica has a model AT4053b, but its response curves (at least the ones on line) are also corrected to 30 cm (or 12"), so the actual low-frequency response for semi-distant recording can't be nearly as good as what they show. Plus the polar diagrams for this model vary at different frequencies too widely for effective coincident or closely-spaced stereo "main miking" in my opinion. May I emphasize: To the extent that the polar response of any microphone varies at different frequencies, its frequency response varies at different angles of sound incidence; those two things directly imply one another.
  • For coincident or closely-spaced stereo pickup arrangements, that variation (some amount of which is inevitable) needs to be as small and as smooth as possible.
  • I am attaching (below) what may be the worst-looking set of polar diagrams I've ever seen. Try to imagine what the off-axis response of this microphone would be like! Plus (a) these are obviously smoothed-out, hand-drawn curves, and (b) knowing how this type of microphone works, I don't believe that the 4 and 8 kHz curves could really be similar enough to share one trace as they do in this illustration--so a more truthful set of diagrams would be even wilder.
And that's a lot of why better microphones cost more. Unfortunately the microphone market wasn't created with personal fairness or democracy in mind. Proportionate values aren't necessarily available in all categories and price ranges. This is true particularly for directional microphones, which are much harder to design and manufacture. Again, that's why I suggested omnis for low-cost microphones.

--best regards
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 07:20:38 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline heathen

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Re: anyone try any of the ultra-cheap mics out there
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2018, 03:56:35 PM »
Thanks for indulging my curiosity.  I currently don't have an interest in using hyper- or super-cards for recording.  That may change some day, and if so I'd certainly think about your perspective on the subject.  For now, though, I'm perfectly happy with nothing more directional than a cardioid.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05 | Tascam DR-2d

 

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