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Author Topic: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics  (Read 692 times)

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Offline ThePiedPiper

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Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« on: November 08, 2018, 10:39:44 PM »
A friend of mine, Mark (who tapes everything under the sun in NJ/NY) and I was talking about mics and taping techniques when he asked a very interesting question ... why does omni mics usually (not all the time, but more often than not) have higher SPL ratings than cardioid and hyper-cardioid mics? I would love to hear from some of the gurus on here about this.
Mics: AKG LC81-MD Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Audio-Technica U853AW Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Microphone Madness MM-BSM-7M Omni | Soundman OKMii Pop Omni .
Pres: Soundman A3 Battery Box .
Recorders: Zoom F1 | Tascam DR-100mkIII .

Offline ThePiedPiper

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 10:49:08 PM »
To continue the discussion, I noticed when I ran the Naiant Hypers that the dB was a little lower ... 9.2dB lower to be exact ... than the Naiant Cardioids. See pictures. This was a perfect example because it is in the same venue, same location (one seat over) using the same recorder, battery box and recorder settings. Identical. So, I may want to set the levels a "tad" higher on the Hypers? I run my recording levels low via paranoia (LOL) to avoid clipping/overload anyways. To me this is VERY INTERESTING. I wish I had an omni source to compare the three. I would love to see the difference. So what makes the Hypers have a lower (for lack of better term) volume?

A better understanding = better recordings and that is why I ask so many goofy questions ;D
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 11:05:33 PM by ThePiedPiper »
Mics: AKG LC81-MD Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Audio-Technica U853AW Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Microphone Madness MM-BSM-7M Omni | Soundman OKMii Pop Omni .
Pres: Soundman A3 Battery Box .
Recorders: Zoom F1 | Tascam DR-100mkIII .

Offline capnhook

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 08:21:12 AM »
Shouldn't have to squint to see your waveforms, why so low?
Proud member of the reality-based community

BSCS-L->JB-mod [NAK CM-300 (CP-3) and/or (CP-1)]->LSD2->CA CAFS-Omni->Sony ECM-907**Apogee MiniMe Rev. C->CA Ugly II->**Edirol OCM R-44->Tascam DR-22WL->Sony TCD-D8


"Don't ever take an all or nothing attitude when it comes to making a difference
and being beautiful and making the world a beautiful place through your actions.
Every little bit is registered.  Every little bit.  So be as beautiful as you can as often as you can"

"It'll never be over, 'till we learn."
 
"My dream is to get a bus and get the band and just go coast to coast. Just about everything else except music, is anti-musical.  That's it.  Music's the thing." - Jeb Puryear

Offline ThePiedPiper

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 09:52:03 AM »
Shouldn't have to squint to see your waveforms, why so low?

The first 20 minutes or so was before the band come on ... you can see when the music comes in.  I already addressed why it was recorded at a lower volume.
Mics: AKG LC81-MD Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Audio-Technica U853AW Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Microphone Madness MM-BSM-7M Omni | Soundman OKMii Pop Omni .
Pres: Soundman A3 Battery Box .
Recorders: Zoom F1 | Tascam DR-100mkIII .

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 10:11:41 AM »
Maximum SPL capability and Sensitivity are two different specifications of any microphone.

SPL is a measure of sound intensity, outside the microphone, in the environment in which the microphone is placed.
Sensitivity is a measure of output level from the microphone at a specific SPL.  It tells you how hot the output will be for a given input level.

 
I noticed when I ran the Naiant Hypers that the dB was a little lower ... 9.2dB lower to be exact ... than the Naiant Cardioids. See pictures. This was a perfect example because it is in the same venue, same location (one seat over) using the same recorder, battery box and recorder settings. Identical.
^
This is most likely due to the difference in sensitivity between the microphones. The cardioids would appear to be more sensitive than the hypers.  However it could also be due to differences in frequency response between the microphones.  Frequency response is effectively a variation of sensitivity by frequency. 

So for example- say you are recording material that has a lot of low bass content with both an pressure-omni pair and a hypercardioid pair, both of which have identical sensitivity.  The omni channels will show a higher overall level, due to the sensitivity of the omnis remaining flat at low frequencies, while the sensitivity of the hypercardioids drops off at low frequencies in line with the frequency response of the hypercardioid pair.

The same could be the case with your cardioid versus hypercardioid comparison, yet would not typically be as significant as it would be with the omni/hyper example because the card/hyper patterns are more similar and both have more similar low frequency roll-off slopes and corner frequencies.  I suspect the 9.2dB difference is at least partly (mostly) due to the  sensitivity difference.

Make sense?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 10:17:52 AM by Gutbucket »
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Offline ThePiedPiper

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 10:44:18 AM »
Maximum SPL capability and Sensitivity are two different specifications of any microphone.

SPL is a measure of sound intensity, outside the microphone, in the environment in which the microphone is placed.
Sensitivity is a measure of output level from the microphone at a specific SPL.  It tells you how hot the output will be for a given input level.

 
I noticed when I ran the Naiant Hypers that the dB was a little lower ... 9.2dB lower to be exact ... than the Naiant Cardioids. See pictures. This was a perfect example because it is in the same venue, same location (one seat over) using the same recorder, battery box and recorder settings. Identical.
^
This is most likely due to the difference in sensitivity between the microphones. The cardioids would appear to be more sensitive than the hypers.  However it could also be due to differences in frequency response between the microphones.  Frequency response is effectively a variation of sensitivity by frequency. 

So for example- say you are recording material that has a lot of low bass content with both an pressure-omni pair and a hypercardioid pair, both of which have identical sensitivity.  The omni channels will show a higher overall level, due to the sensitivity of the omnis remaining flat at low frequencies, while the sensitivity of the hypercardioids drops off at low frequencies in line with the frequency response of the hypercardioid pair.

The same could be the case with your cardioid versus hypercardioid comparison, yet would not typically be as significant as it would be with the omni/hyper example because the card/hyper patterns are more similar and both have more similar low frequency roll-off slopes and corner frequencies.  I suspect the 9.2dB difference is at least partly (mostly) due to the  sensitivity difference.

Make sense?

I was hoping you would reply!!  I've learned so much from you. Makes complete sense now that I think more about it.  Very cool to have people like you on here helping people like me (I'm a self proclaimed idiot) learn more about this fun hobby. Thanks again for the knowledge!
Mics: AKG LC81-MD Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Audio-Technica U853AW Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Microphone Madness MM-BSM-7M Omni | Soundman OKMii Pop Omni .
Pres: Soundman A3 Battery Box .
Recorders: Zoom F1 | Tascam DR-100mkIII .

Offline capnhook

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 10:47:34 AM »
You might do well to get over your paranoia, and run your levels a bit higher than this example here.  You'll avoid amplifying the noise in your setup.

Make great tapes, man.
Proud member of the reality-based community

BSCS-L->JB-mod [NAK CM-300 (CP-3) and/or (CP-1)]->LSD2->CA CAFS-Omni->Sony ECM-907**Apogee MiniMe Rev. C->CA Ugly II->**Edirol OCM R-44->Tascam DR-22WL->Sony TCD-D8


"Don't ever take an all or nothing attitude when it comes to making a difference
and being beautiful and making the world a beautiful place through your actions.
Every little bit is registered.  Every little bit.  So be as beautiful as you can as often as you can"

"It'll never be over, 'till we learn."
 
"My dream is to get a bus and get the band and just go coast to coast. Just about everything else except music, is anti-musical.  That's it.  Music's the thing." - Jeb Puryear

Offline DSatz

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 01:25:03 PM »
Your impression may be due to differences among microphones that were designed by different manufacturers for different applications--which is like comparing apples to robots or baby oil, rather than to other apples.

The maximum SPL of a condenser microphone is nearly always set by the overload point of its electronics. Membrane excursion due to sound pressure (as opposed to wind or a vocalist's air stream at close range) is absolutely minuscule. Capsules for studio microphones can usually handle 140 - 150 dB SPL or even more with only gradually increasing distortion--whereas the electronics clip hard at a certain point. (That's the reason for "pad" switches on microphones that have them--to reduce the input from the polarized capsule to the microphone's own electronics.)

But the maximum input and output voltages of the amplifier are basically constant when properly powered, so for any given microphone amplifier, the sensitivity of the capsule becomes the main independent variable. A microphone with a certain amplifier and a less sensitive capsule will have a higher maximum SPL than the same amplifier with a more sensitive capsule, simply because the lower voltages from the first capsule won't "push" the electronics as hard. But if one capsule is 2 dB more sensitive than another one, it will force the amplifier into overload 2 dB sooner in terms of SPL.

All other things being equal, though, pressure gradient transducers (= all directional capsules, at least in part) are slightly less efficient than pressure transducers (which are omnidirectional). Their directional patterns are achieved by physically subtracting the rear-arriving sound energy from the front-arriving sound. But when a capsule puts out lower voltages, it doesn't drive the microphone's electronics as hard. Thus directional microphones actually tend to have slightly higher maximum SPLs. You can read the specifications for any modular microphone system (Schoeps, Neumann, AKG, Microtech Gefell, ...) for specific examples.

--best regards
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 01:43:38 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline ThePiedPiper

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 02:02:02 PM »
Your impression may be due to differences among microphones that were designed by different manufacturers for different applications--which is like comparing apples to robots or baby oil, rather than to other apples.


I was comparing Naiant Cards and Naiant Hypers ->
This was a perfect example because it is in the same venue, same location (one seat over) using the same recorder, battery box and recorder settings. Identical.
So those apples were as close from being off the same tree as I could find
 :cheers:

I enjoy reading and learning from experienced pro's like you and Gutbucket. Thanks for the knowledge and great information!

Mics: AKG LC81-MD Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Audio-Technica U853AW Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Microphone Madness MM-BSM-7M Omni | Soundman OKMii Pop Omni .
Pres: Soundman A3 Battery Box .
Recorders: Zoom F1 | Tascam DR-100mkIII .

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 03:21:59 PM »
A bottle of baby oil and a stick of margarine from the same bodega!

Thanks for the kind words, but DSatz is the truly knowledgeable and experienced one here, with a decades long professional career.  I'm just an amateur taper fueled by a deep curiosity and enough garage-engineering experience to be semi-dangerous.  What I'm pretty good at is assimilating whatever I can learn from folks like the good Mr Satz, identifying root causes and relationships underpinning things, and applying that to what we do here in sometimes unusual ways. 
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline capnhook

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2018, 03:57:03 PM »
A bottle of baby oil and a stick of margarine from the same bodega!


Throw in a can of motor oil, and you have salsa Lee.  Great info fellas, make great tapes.
Proud member of the reality-based community

BSCS-L->JB-mod [NAK CM-300 (CP-3) and/or (CP-1)]->LSD2->CA CAFS-Omni->Sony ECM-907**Apogee MiniMe Rev. C->CA Ugly II->**Edirol OCM R-44->Tascam DR-22WL->Sony TCD-D8


"Don't ever take an all or nothing attitude when it comes to making a difference
and being beautiful and making the world a beautiful place through your actions.
Every little bit is registered.  Every little bit.  So be as beautiful as you can as often as you can"

"It'll never be over, 'till we learn."
 
"My dream is to get a bus and get the band and just go coast to coast. Just about everything else except music, is anti-musical.  That's it.  Music's the thing." - Jeb Puryear

Offline ThePiedPiper

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2018, 04:08:44 PM »
A bottle of baby oil and a stick of margarine from the same bodega!

Thanks for the kind words, but DSatz is the truly knowledgeable and experienced one here, with a decades long professional career.  I'm just an amateur taper fueled by a deep curiosity and enough garage-engineering experience to be semi-dangerous.  What I'm pretty good at is assimilating whatever I can learn from folks like the good Mr Satz, identifying root causes and relationships underpinning things, and applying that to what we do here in sometimes unusual ways.

A lot of you guys are legends in my book. I've learned a lot by asking stupid questions. Sometimes I get an off-topic reply but the majority of the time I wind up learning a LOT.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 04:11:04 PM by ThePiedPiper »
Mics: AKG LC81-MD Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Audio-Technica U853AW Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Microphone Madness MM-BSM-7M Omni | Soundman OKMii Pop Omni .
Pres: Soundman A3 Battery Box .
Recorders: Zoom F1 | Tascam DR-100mkIII .

Offline ThePiedPiper

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2018, 04:20:42 PM »
I knew I would fall in love with this hobby when I first tried to "seriously" tape an Allman Brothers show. I had a small clue as to what to do, but seeing a dozen or so "real tapers" (using mics that cost more than the car I was driving at the time) really opened my eyes and ears. I've tried my best to get better and better. There is a lot of trial and error involved, since I primarily stealth record, so I ask as many questions as I can to learn. I wish I could open tape more, but not too many of the bands I love allow it, which is a different topic altogether. Lol.

Mics: AKG LC81-MD Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Audio-Technica U853AW Cardioid (4.7k MOD) | Microphone Madness MM-BSM-7M Omni | Soundman OKMii Pop Omni .
Pres: Soundman A3 Battery Box .
Recorders: Zoom F1 | Tascam DR-100mkIII .

Offline capnhook

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2018, 07:17:43 PM »
Get out more to your local clubs, I'm sure smaller bands there would be happy to have you set up and record them.
Proud member of the reality-based community

BSCS-L->JB-mod [NAK CM-300 (CP-3) and/or (CP-1)]->LSD2->CA CAFS-Omni->Sony ECM-907**Apogee MiniMe Rev. C->CA Ugly II->**Edirol OCM R-44->Tascam DR-22WL->Sony TCD-D8


"Don't ever take an all or nothing attitude when it comes to making a difference
and being beautiful and making the world a beautiful place through your actions.
Every little bit is registered.  Every little bit.  So be as beautiful as you can as often as you can"

"It'll never be over, 'till we learn."
 
"My dream is to get a bus and get the band and just go coast to coast. Just about everything else except music, is anti-musical.  That's it.  Music's the thing." - Jeb Puryear

Offline DSatz

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Re: Question about Hypers vs Cardioid vs Omni mics
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2018, 02:29:29 PM »
Hi, Pied Piper. I'm sorry, in my haste I responded to your first posting without reading your second one carefully. I don't know the Naiant microphones first-hand, but 9 dB is a much greater difference than I would expect if the two microphone types really have similar innards. If you're talking about the "X-R" series, which uses interchangeable capsules on one, standard amplifier--the specifications posted on line say that both the standard cardioid and the hypercardioid of this series have the same sensitivity (-34 dBV/Pa, which works out to ~20 mV/Pa--nice and juicy). So they should have about the same SPL limit.

I think Mr. Naiant hangs out on this board. Maybe he would like to comment.

It also matters how you determine the level differences. Peak acoustic levels can vary by several dB due to differences in the exact placement of the microphones. Averaging over time (say, a minute or longer) is more reliable.

--best regards
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

 

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