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Author Topic: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics  (Read 768 times)

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Offline OrionMan

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Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« on: September 16, 2021, 02:19:53 PM »
Yesterday I got my SP-CMC-4U mics (low sensitivity) and the SP-SPSB-10 battery box without the attached cable.  I tested it with my new Roland R-07 with "Plug in Power" set to "ON"

I have some questions:

1. Is the LOW sensitivity version supposed to record at a LOWER level than the no-low version, if both are not using a Battery Box (bb)?  Meaning that the recording level needs to be boosted up to get the LED meters to display at the same level?

2. In my sample recording, with the bb the recording the meters did not get as high.  I thought a bb would boost a low sensitive mic to be more sensitive?  Instead, adding the bb made the recording lower.

3. I did a sample recording (voice only for now) with and without the bb.  SQ is the same to me.  Should it be?

4. Or is a battery box used to make the microphone parts "tighter" so it does not vibrate as much so that when recording louder sound (concerts level) that the mic doesn't oscillate past it designed distance and break (if any of choice of words made sense)? 
4b. So should would it be ok not to use the bb when recording in quieter environment?

Edit:
I think I am supposed to set the Roland R-07 with "Plug in Power" to "OFF", not "ON", if I am using the BB.  I originally though the BB is the "Plug in Power" so if I am using the PiP than I want to say "yes, the BB is connected ON to the recorder".
« Last Edit: September 16, 2021, 03:07:34 PM by OrionMan »

Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2021, 03:16:52 PM »
Yesterday I got my SP-CMC-4U mics (low sensitivity) and the SP-SPSB-10 battery box without the attached cable.  I tested it with my new Roland R-07 with "Plug in Power" set to "ON"

I have some questions:

1. Is the LOW sensitivity version supposed to record at a LOWER level than the no-low version, if both are not using a Battery Box (bb)?  Meaning that the recording level needs to be boosted up to get the LED meters to display at the same level?

2. In my sample recording, with the bb the recording the meters did not get as high.  I thought a bb would boost a low sensitive mic to be more sensitive?  Instead, adding the bb made the recording lower.

3. I did a sample recording (voice only for now) with and without the bb.  SQ is the same to me.  Should it be?

4. Or is a battery box used to make the microphone parts "tighter" so it does not vibrate as much so that when recording louder sound (concerts level) that the mic doesn't oscillate past it designed distance and break (if any of choice of words made sense)? 
4b. So should would it be ok not to use the bb when recording in quieter environment?

Edit:
I think I am supposed to set the Roland R-07 with "Plug in Power" to "OFF", not "ON", if I am using the BB.  I originally though the BB is the "Plug in Power" so if I am using the PiP than I want to say "yes, the BB is connected ON to the recorder".

1. Yes, you will need more gain with the low sensitivity mics to reach the same levels as unmodified mics.

2. The battery box does not supply gain, so all of the gain is coming from your recorder's preamp. Try recording some music and see what happens.

3. At low volumes, yes. At higher volumes, your mics will be heavily distorted when using only plug-in power from the recorder. You may figure this out the hard way if you try recording a show without the BB.

4. The mics need a certain bias voltage to operate correctly. If they do not see that, they will not operate correctly. Read this: https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/support/what-is-bias-voltage/

Your mics were designed to be powered by a certain voltage. Always make sure to use the battery box - there are zero reasons not to. When using a battery box, turn off the recorder's plug-in power (which is pretty much never enough power for what we do here).

Please correct me if I am wrong!

Offline OrionMan

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2021, 03:48:16 PM »
Thanks!  That all makes sense.

Reason I was thinking to not use the BB (when the environment is not loud) is that is would just be an unnecessary drain on the battery.  The BB does not have a battery level indicator and I would not want to the battery to die out during a recording.

I thought of this yesterday when I was noticing weird things.  Like the recording level being extremely low when using the BB. I forgot why, but I flipped the cable between the BB and recorder (just remembered: one side has a lock screw, so I though the plug was not going all the way in).  And then the meter levels looked good but only 1 side was metering. Same behavior on my other recorder.   So I thought the battery may have been low already. Then I looked through my Order history on B&H and AMAZON to find out exactly which cable I owned....ended up being an attenuation cable!

So Guitar Center 5 minutes away only had 10ft cables.  The battery store across the street was closed (wanted to just be double sure it was not an issue either), Home Depot didn't have the battery either.  So got home and all was working well - relieved!    Now just need to order a shorter cable from Amazon.

3 more questions:

1.  How long does the battery usually last?  It's an A23.
2.  Is the battery being drained IF the mic is plugged in, even if the recorder is not recording and not even turned on?
3. If only the "output" is plugged in (from BB to recorder, or even if that cable is not plugged into the recorder), is it still draining the battery?

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2021, 05:39:01 PM »
1) I dunno. But mic bias power is very low current draw, so should last a pretty long time. See note below-
2) Yes.  Unplug the microphones from the BB when not in use.
3) No.

If you have a voltmeter, see if you can use it to measure the voltage across the A23 with the battery still inserted in the BB and powering the mics.  Record or remember the nominal voltage with the battery in circuit (mics plugged in) and watch for when the voltage eventually starts to drop at the end of a recording session.  Time to replace when that happens.

If you can't do that, test using a suitable battery tester that places a load on the battery or with a voltmeter and some test-load applied like a miniature lightbulb.  Testing voltage of the battery without it under load can miss end of life and you might lose a recording.
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<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline OrionMan

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2021, 07:37:49 PM »
1) I dunno. But mic bias power is very low current draw, so should last a pretty long time. See note below-
2) Yes.  Unplug the microphones from the BB when not in use.
3) No.

If you have a voltmeter, see if you can use it to measure the voltage across the A23 with the battery still inserted in the BB and powering the mics.  Record or remember the nominal voltage with the battery in circuit (mics plugged in) and watch for when the voltage eventually starts to drop at the end of a recording session.  Time to replace when that happens.

If you can't do that, test using a suitable battery tester that places a load on the battery or with a voltmeter and some test-load applied like a miniature lightbulb.  Testing voltage of the battery without it under load can miss end of life and you might lose a recording.

I'll try those suggestions.  I have a multi-meter in my Amazon cart already but will check to make sure it has a battery tester mode in it too before ordering.  Thanks!

Offline johnmuge

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2021, 06:55:09 PM »

    Quote from: tgakidis on May 31, 2018, 06:40:57 AM

        First outing with the R-07, gotta love the Bluetooth for the low profile pull!

        Primus
        Boston, MA
        2018-05-29

        at853 subcards > R-07

        https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/CY0aP5tx3PMJnbm425NABcDaQqdvedBffu79QWivSIY


    Nice, thanks. Was this on plug-in power?


Yes, Plug-In Power, 4.7K mod at853's


Looks like the plug-in-power will run the at853's and handle a loud show.
> AKG c480b(ck61,ck63) Naiant Couplings-PFA / Beyer MC930 / Milab VM-44 link / Nevaton MCE400
 > Littlebox w/output xformers / Tinybox w/ dual output                                                                                                                                                              > Tascam DR-680, DR70d / Sony M-10 / Oade ACM Marantz PMD660

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2021, 08:22:28 PM »
^ Worked there.  Likely depends on the actual PIP voltage provided by the recorder, which varies from model to model. Proceed at your own risk using PIP without BB. Best to confirm at a loud show you don't care about.

Also depends on having 4.7k mod in place for PIP or 2-wire BB powering. 

Note that 4.7k mod does not apply to the stock AT853 configuration which is a 3-wire arrangement used into an AT or equivalent phantom power adapter or a 3-wire BB - which are arrangements that are similarly capable of higher SPL.
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<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline johnmuge

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2021, 08:36:08 PM »
Great advice to test at a loud show that you don't really care about. I was impressed that the R-07 PIP worked with the at853's, I only thought the Marantz PMD-620 could handle it. One less box is nice when security is tight, as long as it performs well.
> AKG c480b(ck61,ck63) Naiant Couplings-PFA / Beyer MC930 / Milab VM-44 link / Nevaton MCE400
 > Littlebox w/output xformers / Tinybox w/ dual output                                                                                                                                                              > Tascam DR-680, DR70d / Sony M-10 / Oade ACM Marantz PMD660

Offline seethreepo

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2021, 09:33:54 PM »
 Batteries are cheap compared to the disappointment you will have trying to save a few dollars and not getting a show or a distorted show due to dead or dying batteries.  You can always use an older battery for opening acts or other non crucial moments.  My .02$
"Never heard anyone say that music was the thing that fucked up their day" 
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Offline OrionMan

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2021, 01:49:28 PM »
I'm not trying to be cheap.  I just wanted to get an idea how long the battery is expected to last since the battery box does not have an indicator on battery strength like my other products do.  I'm not going to replace a battery for every show if I'm told it will last, say 20 hours or whatever.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Low vs Regular Sensitivity Mics
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2021, 02:11:04 PM »
A battery will last far longer in a battery box where it is just powering the microphones than the same would in a preamp where it is powering an amplification stage in addition to the microphones. 

Unless swapping it out with a new one each time, you'll want good baseline knowledge of how long a fresh/fully-charged battery should last, along with a way to confirm that it remains capable.  If using rechargables this is especially the case so that one can determine when the battery is nearing end of life and becomes less capable holding sufficient charge to make it through the entire session.
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<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

 

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