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Author Topic: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U  (Read 1935 times)

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Offline vantheman

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Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« on: August 19, 2021, 08:16:34 AM »
I’m petty new to open taping, but I used my AT U853s earlier this summer, and I was pleased with the results. The rig down in my signature is the one you all helped me put together when I got into this. For stealth it’s unbeatable with my disguise. But I’m wondering what I should be thinking about as far as an upgrade in open scenarios when mic size isn’t a concern.

This photo shows how I was set up. I have another 1/4” ball mount on the super clamp to which I mount the A10. I have the mic battery velcroed to the A10. I love how compact the setup is, and I’d like to retain that compactness, and I’d like to keep using the A10. And if I have to, I can clamp that whole thing to a lighting tripod.

I’ll be set up in DIN/ORTF when I can get DFC, otherwise I’ll go XY at 110 degrees PAS. Oh, I’m not looking to break the bank but I could see going up to the $750 range for a mic and power combo that’ll serve me well in open scenarios for while.

Thanks all!
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

Offline beatkilla

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2021, 09:58:45 AM »
What do you hope to gain by using different mics?

If it aint broke don't fix it.

Honestly upgrading from AT853's probably would be to Schoeps or AKG(can you even buy them new anymore,i don't think so.)

Schoeps MK4(41) Nbob actives,Nbox

Thats alot more than your budget though.


Offline pillowman

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2021, 02:56:17 PM »
maybe some Line Audios CM3's or CM4's plus a Denecke PS2  :shrug:
thats what I am running currently and I am coming from the same route ...
3x Sony PCM-M10 / TASCAM DR-2d
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
LINE AUDIO CM3, AT853c, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
Denecke PS-2 / SP-SPSB-9 / 2x SP-SPSB-10 / CA-9100

trading page: www.openingtime.lima-city.de

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2021, 03:22:57 PM »
If you're thinking of moving up to mics with XLRs it might be cheaper/easier in the long run to just get a deck with built in phantom as opposed to buying a power supply/preamp. You can definitely find some good mics in that range (I still love my CM33s, although they're hard to find these days.) If you're patient you could probably find a pair of Telefunken M60s in the $750 range
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 daspyknows

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2021, 11:16:44 PM »
What you upgrade to is more about what you tape (no security to high security venues) would likely result in different rigs and budget.  If the money is there I would recommend my rig (Schoeps MK4/41, actives, NBox/BabyNBox).

Offline vantheman

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2021, 07:53:11 PM »
What do you hope to gain by using different mics?

If it aint broke don't fix it.

Honestly upgrading from AT853's probably would be to Schoeps or AKG(can you even buy them new anymore,i don't think so.)

Schoeps MK4(41) Nbob actives,Nbox

Thats alot more than your budget though.

So I’m not trying to be sarcastic here but I’m hoping for the sound to be … better? But I would consider it to be great news if what I’m using is second best to Schoeps MK4/41s. I haven’t personally used many mics but my thought was part of what I’m paying for with the lavalier form factor is the size itself and I was free from that constraint I may be able to do a lot better in terms of sound quality if I was to, say, double or triple my mic budget.
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

Offline vantheman

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2021, 07:55:31 PM »
If you're thinking of moving up to mics with XLRs it might be cheaper/easier in the long run to just get a deck with built in phantom as opposed to buying a power supply/preamp.

This is an interesting thought and something I hadn’t considered. Do you have one in mind?
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

Offline vantheman

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2021, 07:57:30 PM »
What you upgrade to is more about what you tape (no security to high security venues) would likely result in different rigs and budget.  If the money is there I would recommend my rig (Schoeps MK4/41, actives, NBox/BabyNBox).

Agreed. My idea is to build a rig specifically for open taping, clubs to small theaters, that’s still compact.
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

Offline Humbug

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2021, 05:03:20 AM »
Another vote for a move from AT853 to Schoeps, which I did last year.

Recordings are 10-20% 'better' in my incredibly unsubjective comparison between running AT853s at the same location as the MK4 mics. If you like the way AT853s sound, you'll like Schoeps also.

Was it worth it? Yes, even though it cost around $3000 to buy new to my exact specifications, I had the cash.
UK based taper: MK4>Nbox Platinum>PCM-M10
AT853C>CA9200 / PIPsqueak>Tascam DR-2D

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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2021, 10:28:49 AM »
If you're thinking of moving up to mics with XLRs it might be cheaper/easier in the long run to just get a deck with built in phantom as opposed to buying a power supply/preamp.

This is an interesting thought and something I hadn’t considered. Do you have one in mind?

The whole tascam line (dr40/60) is pretty affordable and more flexible than two pres into a A10 would be. They’re not stealth gear though, so really only if you’re looking for an open rig.

Also, just remember than “better” is subjective. I’m personally not really a fan of schoeps for live recording and the law of diminishing returns applies even more so to live music taping than the intended use of high end mics
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 daspyknows

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2021, 03:09:04 PM »
Another vote for a move from AT853 to Schoeps, which I did last year.

Recordings are 10-20% 'better' in my incredibly unsubjective comparison between running AT853s at the same location as the MK4 mics. If you like the way AT853s sound, you'll like Schoeps also.

Was it worth it? Yes, even though it cost around $3000 to buy new to my exact specifications, I had the cash.

Happy to say I helped with the decision.   :cheers:

Offline aaronji

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2021, 07:27:15 PM »
Agreed. My idea is to build a rig specifically for open taping, clubs to small theaters, that’s still compact.

For most shows I attend, I take trains plus walking/buses/trams as needed, so I really emphasized compactness as I built my open taping set-up. I recognize that this is way above your price range, but "buy once, cry once" as the old saying goes.

I have the DPA compact bodies (MMP-C) with a couple of pairs of caps into a Sound Devices MixPre-6 (although I actually have the first version). I put the mics and clips in a small Pelican box and fit that plus the recorder, cables, and batteries (and a bunch of other small things) in a Petrol PS607 (now Sachtler SN607). A second bag for the stand or clamp and bar. You can get it a little smaller, I suppose, but not a whole lot and this has the advantage of being all gear from major companies. Not that there is anything wrong with a one-man operation, but if I need service on my Aerco, it will take much longer than if I need a repair on something from SD or DPA. If you prefer the Schoeps sound, they have recently introduced similar compact bodies (and they have a great range of caps). Line Audios, as mentioned above, are also in that size range. Lots of other options, too...

Offline voltronic

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2021, 01:46:55 PM »
First (and I can't believe no one else mentioned this) PLEASE buy yourself a couple of steel safety cables, and use them whenever you are clamping onto something. Not only will it save your gear if something lets go, it will save people below from potentially serious injury. Looking at your picture, there is a very small surface area of those SuperClamp jaws gripping the bar clamp. One decent knock, and the whole thing is coming down.

While I'm on safety, I would get extension cables for your mics so that your other gear can stay in a bag. Speaking of which, I have used this bag for several years, and it has been great.

I say keep your 853s. I agree with opsopscopolis that going to state-of-the-art pro mics such as Schoeps are DPA is a case of diminishing returns for recording any sort of amplified show. I have used those mics before for what I do (choir, orchestra, other acoustic ensembles) and they absolutely make a difference when used in those situations, provided that the rest of your chain has sufficiently high resolution and low noise that those benefits can be realized. I am not criticizing anyone here who owns these mics or runs them with amplified concerts; if you can afford the very best, why not? I am just saying that for what you are recording, I doubt you could reliably pick the more expensive mics in a blind ABX test.

Side note: I am a huge proponent of the Line Audio mics pillowman recommends, but I would caution against using them if your mics will ever be within a few feet of a wall or a ceiling such as shown in your picture. They are subcardioid (halfway between cardioid and omni) and pick up quite strongly from the sides. I found this out the hard way recording vocal tracks in my basement with a CM3 boomed overhead. There were all kinds of early reflections from my untreated ceiling in the recording. These mics also need to be spaced wider than cardioids for proper imaging, so your rig will take up a wider space.

The upgrade I would recommend is a new deck with XLR inputs and high-quality preamps (again, +1 to opsopscopilis). This will eliminate a box from your rig now, and allow you to use full-size mics down the road. The Tascam DR-100 mkIII is IMO the best 2-input deck out there. It is discontinued, but new units are still in stock at Amazon and a few other places.
DPA 4061 ~ Line Audio CM3 ~ Naiant X-Q ~ AT 853  |  Naiant PFAs ~ Shure FP24  |  Zoom F6 ~ Sony PCM-M10
MOTU M2 ~ KRK Rokit RP5 ~ Sennheiser HD 650 ~ Etymotic ER4XR

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Offline vantheman

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2021, 02:42:07 PM »
First (and I can't believe no one else mentioned this) PLEASE buy yourself a couple of steel safety cables, and use them whenever you are clamping onto something. Not only will it save your gear if something lets go, it will save people below from potentially serious injury. Looking at your picture, there is a very small surface area of those SuperClamp jaws gripping the bar clamp. One decent knock, and the whole thing is coming down.

While I'm on safety, I would get extension cables for your mics so that your other gear can stay in a bag. Speaking of which, I have used this bag for several years, and it has been great.

I say keep your 853s. I agree with opsopscopolis that going to state-of-the-art pro mics such as Schoeps are DPA is a case of diminishing returns for recording any sort of amplified show. I have used those mics before for what I do (choir, orchestra, other acoustic ensembles) and they absolutely make a difference when used in those situations, provided that the rest of your chain has sufficiently high resolution and low noise that those benefits can be realized. I am not criticizing anyone here who owns these mics or runs them with amplified concerts; if you can afford the very best, why not? I am just saying that for what you are recording, I doubt you could reliably pick the more expensive mics in a blind ABX test.

Side note: I am a huge proponent of the Line Audio mics pillowman recommends, but I would caution against using them if your mics will ever be within a few feet of a wall or a ceiling such as shown in your picture. They are subcardioid (halfway between cardioid and omni) and pick up quite strongly from the sides. I found this out the hard way recording vocal tracks in my basement with a CM3 boomed overhead. There were all kinds of early reflections from my untreated ceiling in the recording. These mics also need to be spaced wider than cardioids for proper imaging, so your rig will take up a wider space.

The upgrade I would recommend is a new deck with XLR inputs and high-quality preamps (again, +1 to opsopscopilis). This will eliminate a box from your rig now, and allow you to use full-size mics down the road. The Tascam DR-100 mkIII is IMO the best 2-input deck out there. It is discontinued, but new units are still in stock at Amazon and a few other places.

Thanks for this. I just ordered some of those safety cables. Good call on that. I have gone on to order a couple CM4s and I like the idea of the DR-100. The main thing I love about the A10 besides the size is the remote control app, but then again if I'm taping open and have enough cabling it shouldn't be an issue. I think this is the way to go. Thanks!
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

Offline vantheman

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Re: Logical Upgrade from SP-CMC-4U
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2021, 03:32:15 PM »
Folks, I think we are sorted. My compact open rig consists of: 2 Line Audio CM4s and 1 Tascam DR-100MKiii. Thanks so much for all your help, I think this rig will serve me quite well. Hope to take it for a spin later in September, pending arrival of the CM4s.
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

 

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