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Author Topic: What on earth happened here?  (Read 1803 times)

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Offline melontracks

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What on earth happened here?
« on: June 14, 2019, 10:36:43 PM »
I taped a show last night with the exact same setup that I've had success with many, many times over the last decade or so. It was a hip hop show, and after the first act, I did something i'd never done before, and set my recorder to roll off below 40hz. When i got home and listened to both the opener (no low-cut) and the headliner, the recordings were awful. Any time the bass came on strong, the sound suffers a horrible distortion, which at first i thought was phasing, but it's on each track. And the distortion is not limited to the low end. I put in a shelf at 140hz (which is unacceptably high, but i just wanted to hear it) and the distortion was still very clear.

I was taping at a venue that i tape at frequently, with the same gear and arrangement I am accustomed to. A pair of Church audio CA-11 omnis straight into a Tascam DR-05. 24 bit wav, 48k sample. I'll not elaborate on the mic placement except to say they were on me where they have functioned flawlessly countless times, standing at the apex of an equilateral triangle formed by the stacks. As always, on the opening track i set the input high enough to barely clip, then gave myself enough headroom that they never clipped again, checking at least a few times for each track.

The bass was really forward, but not what i'd call exceptional. I've definitely gotten fine tapes in similar circumstances. I've uploaded a small sample to dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/s/x4n3zzg8e1w23lq/Cut%2040hz1.mp3?dl=0, hoping someone can listen and give me some idea what went wrong. It sounds like horrific clipping, but i can say with total certainty that this track didn't clip while i was recording; i watched it pretty closely, and taken straight from the recorder, i was able to add 2db of amplification to it in Audacity with the "allow clipping" box un-ticked.

Is it possible that my 10+ year old DR-05, which has seen a lot of service, could be finally dying? About six months ago the headphone-out jack quit functioning properly (to where recordings I play from it to headphones sound like crap, but play just fine from elsewhere after the file is transferred to a laptop).

Any advice here is greatly appreciated.

Chris

Offline beatkilla

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 11:16:59 PM »
No battery box?

Church specifically says all his mics need 9 volts from what i recall.


Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 11:42:26 PM »
No battery box?

Church specifically says all his mics need 9 volts from what i recall.


I've made dozens of recording with and without the CA-9100. My general rule is that if the show is quiet, i take the pre-amp...if it's gonna be loud, i use the mic power from the recorder. It's always worked fine. Mic power was on for this taping.

Offline heathen

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 11:44:15 PM »
Are you sure the mics are still functioning properly? 
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2019, 12:10:30 AM »
Are you sure the mics are still functioning properly?

That was my first thought, and I split the tracks and listened to each individually, which confirmed that the problem wasn't phasing (i think that was a long-shot in this case anyway) and that the problem was identical in each mic. Could both mics have failed the same way at the same time? Seems almost impossible.

I'd used these mics as my spaced-omni stage mics directly into my DR-WL22 two weeks ago to make a tape of Slaid Cleaves and Chojo Jacque with great results. This is a matrix recording of that and a pair of cards in a DIN pattern (recorded on my DR-710D): https://www.dropbox.com/s/dusbf81jvule6q6/SlaidCleaves2019-05-26t03.mp3?dl=0 No battery box/no pre-amp. And it's about 50% of the matrix.

Lest people think this show overloaded the mics, here's a recording i made with the exact same setup in the exact same circumstances in the same location at the same venue of one of the loudest bands on the planet: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ifkg6aoxr4ex6ph/TheBody2018-07-21t03.mp3?dl=0 Any distortion you hear on that is because these guys like to overload everything. Even then, i had no problems. There is no way the decibels at this hip hop show came close that performance by The Body...I barely needed earplugs last night.

I'm so confused.

Offline obaaron

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2019, 01:08:29 AM »
Was the 1/8” plug in all the way? Maybe the internals were on if the plug wasn’t fully inserted and overloaded
Mics:  Gefell M20,M21/sms2000/nbob | Schoeps MK4V/cmc6/nbob | AKG c460b/c480b/a60/Naiant actives - ck61,62,63,69 ;ck1,3,8;ck1x,2x,3x/MK46 | Neumann KM140's/Nick Mod LC3/Naiant PFA| AT853, AT933 | CA-11c,o
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Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2019, 02:32:01 AM »
Was the 1/8” plug in all the way? Maybe the internals were on if the plug wasn’t fully inserted and overloaded

The plug was definitely in all the way. I had the recorder in my hand through most of the show with the hold switch on. i have a little scrap of gaffer tape over the "rec" light so i can pretty much hold it in my hand to catch the clipping light come on without even looking down most of the time and still go unnoticed. I guess i'm going to have to try to reproduce it at home with different recorders and the same mics to see which it was?

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 06:55:32 AM »
No battery box?

Church specifically says all his mics need 9 volts from what i recall.


I've made dozens of recording with and without the CA-9100. My general rule is that if the show is quiet, i take the pre-amp...if it's gonna be loud, i use the mic power from the recorder. It's always worked fine. Mic power was on for this taping.

That’s backwards in terms of mic power. My understanding (from discussions with Chris) is that those mics need 9v in order to fully perform max spl wise. I haven’t listened but my guess is that the actual microphones were overloading. I’ve been in a similar situation, where the low end content at a show like that pushed my mics farther than something I perceived to be louder. Omnis are particularly susceptible to low end, and the 40hz roll off will have no effect on the actual microphone response.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 06:58:29 AM by opsopcopolis »
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2019, 09:22:23 AM »

That’s backwards in terms of mic power. My understanding (from discussions with Chris) is that those mics need 9v in order to fully perform max spl wise. I haven’t listened but my guess is that the actual microphones were overloading. I’ve been in a similar situation, where the low end content at a show like that pushed my mics farther than something I perceived to be louder. Omnis are particularly susceptible to low end, and the 40hz roll off will have no effect on the actual microphone response.

What Opsopcopolis said. When I first switched from cards to omnis many moons ago, I had some horrible mic distortion experiences at loud shows before I realized I need to add a battery box to the chain.

Offline ilduclo

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2019, 09:37:22 AM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2019, 09:47:07 AM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

I replace mine basically every show because I’m super paranoid. 100% unnecessary
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2019, 10:07:36 AM »
That’s backwards in terms of mic power. My understanding (from discussions with Chris) is that those mics need 9v in order to fully perform max spl wise. I haven’t listened but my guess is that the actual microphones were overloading. I’ve been in a similar situation, where the low end content at a show like that pushed my mics farther than something I perceived to be louder. Omnis are particularly susceptible to low end, and the 40hz roll off will have no effect on the actual microphone response.

Well, this certainly wouldn't be the first time my intuition proved incorrect. Ha! So the consensus is that the recorder provided inadequate power to the microphones, and that I should have used the CA-9100 or some sort of battery box?

I'm on board with this, though I have a hard time getting my head around how this is the first time this has happened in the dozens of times I've done exactly this same thing. My empirical observations over the years don't support this conclusion, despite what common wisdom appears to be on the subject. I think just for fun, I'll see if i can reproduce this at home, recording similar sound with the same setup, with a battery box, and with the CA-9100. I'll share my results here.

Thanks for all the feedback!
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 10:13:30 AM by melontracks »

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2019, 11:53:02 AM »
I hope your neighbors don’t mind you blasting 110db at home  :lol:

From the horse’s mouth:
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline Lostbrook

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2019, 02:34:06 PM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

I replace mine basically every show because I’m super paranoid. 100% unnecessary

Same here! I have a drawer full of gently used 9Vs
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 02:36:09 PM by Lostbrook »

Offline ilduclo

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2019, 02:53:28 PM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

I replace mine basically every show because I’m super paranoid. 100% unnecessary

probably someplace in between the 2 of us is the the right time. I did, fairly recently tape a show with a used up 9v, UNLISTENABLE,  and it wasn't even a super loud show.

Offline daspyknows

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2019, 03:08:32 PM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

I replace mine basically every show because I’m super paranoid. 100% unnecessary

probably someplace in between the 2 of us is the the right time. I did, fairly recently tape a show with a used up 9v, UNLISTENABLE,  and it wasn't even a super loud show.

I check my 9V's before use and once they get into the low 8V range I add them to my pile.  I figure I can put them in a pillowcase and go to a MAGA rally and put them to use at some point on the heads of the "good people" on the other side.   ;D

Offline ilduclo

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2019, 03:19:32 PM »
^ good plan :lol:

Hey, have you ever tried rechargeable 9v’s? I’ve seen them around before and have thought about using them...also, what tester do you use? I like to get the most out of a battery before tossing it (recycle, that is)

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2019, 04:20:56 PM »
Yes, but I trust minty new Duracell Pro-Cells purchased in bulk.  I have an Equus Battery Load Tester That I have used for years.

Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2019, 07:41:21 PM »
I hope your neighbors don’t mind you blasting 110db at home  :lol:

From the horse’s mouth:

Wow. Well there's the official word. This forum is just a fantastic resource. I don't think I could produce quite those decibels anyway, so it's good that it looks little there probably is no reason to.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 11:46:30 PM by melontracks »

Offline heathen

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2019, 09:46:36 AM »
And, you need to unplug the mics from the bb when not in use to save the battery. I replace my 9v about every 20 shows, just in case.

I replace mine basically every show because I’m super paranoid. 100% unnecessary

Same here! I have a drawer full of gently used 9Vs

Me three, but I switched to rechargeables.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline ilduclo

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2019, 12:49:54 PM »
9v rechargeable brand recco’s, plz. I hate recycling batteries when I can charge them instead.

Offline dyneq

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2019, 02:19:27 PM »
My Imedeon has been going strong for about 5 years.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2019, 05:53:44 PM »
Maha Immedion NiMH last about 5 years for me (preamp use, recharged each time prior) and I'm currently on my 3rd set.  You want the LSD (low self discharge) version which has about the same self-discharge-over-time curve as alkalines, especially if you are not charging immediately before use.  I suspect LSD type may be the only ones available from Maha now (the Maha LSD has a black case, the old non-LSD had a white case). 

Be aware that no rechargeable NIMH 9V's are 9V nominal.  Most are less than 9V, and something like 7-8V nominal.  Maha makes a 9.6V and a 8.something volt.  The 9.6V can measure up to 11V without a load after a fresh charge.  Although the resistors in the battery box probably reduce the voltage of the 9.6V to safe levels, the lower-voltage version should be fine for battery box powering your DPA 4061s.
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Offline ilduclo

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2019, 06:50:56 PM »
thanks, good info all around, +T

Offline melontracks

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2019, 10:31:16 AM »
I have the opportunity here in a couple of months to tape a band billed as "the loudest band on the planet." https://www.laweekly.com/are-drone-metal-icons-sunn-o-the-loudest-band-on-the-planet/. Seems a good opportunity to dust off my battery box and see if the CA-11s can handle it. I may also try to get permission to record...the venue is small (150 cap.) so it could be a pretty cool opportunity. Does anyone know what the max SPL rating is on the CA-11s? Is there a max? I couldn't find anything on Chris's website, though he does say "Distortion: less than 0.6% THD @ 114db @ 1khz" Also, if i get permission to tape, I'd probably use my AT4041s, which are rated max "145 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D."

Even the "loudest band on the planet" seems unlikely to exceed 145 SPL...? But what happens if they do? Will the capsules be physically damaged? I'm more interested in recording string quartets and folk/americana acts with these mics that drone metal...is there a possibility the dB levels at a super-loud show can damage mics even if they don't exceed the max SPL?

Thanks for you patience with my noob questions.

Offline ilduclo

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2019, 10:51:00 AM »
there's been a lot of good Sunnooo(()) recordings done, so definitely possible. I myself would use this set up, that is, if they ever came to Tiny Town

dpa 4061's >9v battery box WITH NEW BATTERY > m10 or d50 LINE IN

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2019, 11:11:05 AM »
High SPL won't damage the mics or other recording gear. 

Consider the measured distortion figures as a guideline, and little more than that.  All reference a 1kHz testing frequency.  Generally, distortion will increase to higher levels at lower frequencies, and SPL of most amplified concerts such as this will be highest at low frequencies.  Also, SPL decreases dramatically with distance from the source, so SPL will be orders of magnitude higher 1' in front of the PA speaker than out in the room.  Also, even if the microphones are not significantly overloaded, following portions of the signal chain can be overload.  For all these reasons, its difficult to make a recommendation other than to use the ATs if you can, especially if the CA-14 are omnis (making them more sensitive to low frequencies which are likely to represent the highest SPL).


I hope they make disposable earplugs available to anyone who wants them.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2019, 04:54:12 PM »
They're not going to exceed 145db. I think 150 is considered enough to rupture your eardrum
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 04:56:03 PM by opsopcopolis »
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline heathen

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2019, 07:35:37 PM »
Even the "loudest band on the planet" seems unlikely to exceed 145 SPL...? But what happens if they do?

OSHA would probably give the owner of the venue a stern talking-to.  Meanwhile the employees are getting their lawyers lined up.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2019, 07:51:20 PM »
Remember, it depends greatly on where the measurement is made.  145dB in the throat of the compression drivers of the PA isn't out of the question at all.. but at the soundboard? No way.
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2019, 10:26:43 PM »
Remember, it depends greatly on where the measurement is made.  145dB in the throat of the compression drivers of the PA isn't out of the question at all.. but at the soundboard? No way.

Safe assumption that we mean in the house
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2019, 05:09:47 PM »
"In the house" doesn't tell us enough.  We need to know where in the house.

tl;dr-  If you want to boast how loud your band is, measure right up against the PA, rather than "out in the room somewhere", because sound level decreases rapidly with distance.

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-SoundAndDistance.htm
"The sound pressure decreases in inverse proportion to the distance, that is, with 1/r from the measuring point to the sound source, so that doubling of the distance decreases the sound pressure to a half (!) of its initial value"

Which means in this case.. (values derived using the appropriate calculator on that webpage) :

If its 145dB one foot in front of the stack (stack humper doing the measuring)..
it will be 125dB ten feet away (tweakers by the speakers)..
119dB twenty feet away in the (up impact zone)..
113dB forty feet away (call that the SBD)..
etc..

^Granted that describes the freespace condition (such as an open air outdoor concert).  In an enclosed room things behave essentially the same way up to the critical distance, which is a measure of the distance from a source where the level of the level of direct-arriving sound equals that that of the reverberant sound, beyond which the reverberant sound dominates over direct sound and sound pressure levels off.


« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 06:00:58 PM by Gutbucket »
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2019, 10:49:36 AM »
The excerpt below from the Shure recording guide explains this better than I have-

Direct vs. Ambient Sound – A very important property
of direct sound is that it becomes weaker as it travels
away from the sound source, at a rate controlled by the
inverse-square law. When the distance from a sound
source doubles, the sound level decreases by 6dB. This
is a noticeable audible decrease. For example, if the
sound from a guitar amplifier is 100 dB SPL at 1 ft. from
the cabinet it will be 94 dB at 2 ft., 88 dB at 4 ft., 82 dB
at 8 ft., etc. When the distance is cut in half the sound
level increases by 6dB: It will be 106 dB at 6 inches and
112 dB at 3 inches.

On the other hand, the ambient sound in a room is at
nearly the same level throughout the room. This is because
the ambient sound has been reflected many times
within the room until it is essentially non-directional.
Reverberation is an example of non-directional sound.
This is why the ambient sound of the room will become
increasingly apparent as a microphone is placed further
away from the direct sound source. The amount of direct
sound relative to ambient sound can be controlled by the
distance of the microphone to the sound source and to a
lesser degree by the polar pattern of the mic.
However, if the microphone is placed beyond a certain
distance from the sound source, the ambient sound will
begin to dominate the recording and the desired balance
may not be possible to achieve, no matter what type of
mic is used. This is called the “critical distance” and
becomes shorter as the ambient noise and reverberation
increase, forcing closer placement of the microphone
to the source.


https://www.shure.com/damfiles/default/global/documents/publications/en/performance-production/microphone_techniques_for_recording_english.pdf-bb0469316afdb6118691d2f3f5e3ff01.pdf
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 jerryfreak

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Re: What on earth happened here?
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2019, 04:14:40 PM »
I hope your neighbors don’t mind you blasting 110db at home  :lol:

From the horse’s mouth:

a good answer by him as every recorder has different voltage and current specs for its PIP
in:
small: MK4/4V > CMR > V3 or J.Williams Mod MicMan Jr or no pre at all >AD2K/R07/PCM-A10/Oade Warm 661/DR100-MKIII

smaller: 4061/4099 CORE or 4011/4018V> d:vice MMA



out:
home:Benchmark DAC1 HGC > Dynaudio BM15A active monitors
shop: Musical Fidelity VLink 192 Asynchronyous> coax> DAC1 > Rokit RP8 active monitors

 

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