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Offline felmmando

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Seeking sensitive microphones
« on: January 09, 2023, 02:12:53 AM »
I recently upgraded from a Sony M10 to a D10, and I find the latter has a little less gain. I mainly make stealth recordings of chamber music performances, sometimes of orchestral ones. The M10 had just enough gain to record at a decent level when I turned the dial all the way up; on the D10, my recordings are too quiet. I wanted to take advantage of the XLR inputs on the D10 anyway, so I wonder if anyone could suggest a pair of mics that would be sensitive enough for the aforementioned purposes and sound excellent. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2023, 08:58:22 AM »
What is the sensitivity of the microphones you are currently using?
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Offline felmmando

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2023, 12:11:02 PM »
What is the sensitivity of the microphones you are currently using?

I am too ignorant to specify that, but surely others on here will know: I'm using a pair of CMC-8 omnis with a SPSB-10-80020 battery box.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2023, 01:38:53 PM »
So.. the higher the sensitivity figure of a microphone (measured in either dB or mV), the hotter its output. The current Sound Professionals page for CMC-8 states it is a cardioid and reports the sensitivity as being:
Quote
-40 dB (10.0 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa OR (-47 dB with low sensitivity modification option)
^note that it is available from SP in either normal or low sensitivity versions, "low" being about half as sensitive as "normal" (presumably low implements the "4.7k mod")

I could not find an omni version of CMC-8 at the SP site, which could have a somewhat different sensitivity.  However the SP CMC-8 page states the microphone uses ESE-C, ESE-H, ESE-O and ESE-ML Audio Technica microphone elements, and the AT page for ES943/O (omni) states identical sensitivity specs to those found at the SP site.


I use DPA 4060 miniature omnis for classical and other music and they work extremely well for me.  DPA states a sensitivity of: 
Quote
Sensitivity, nominal, ±3 dB at 1 kHz = 20 mV/Pa; -34 dB re. 1 V/Pa
^which is twice the sensitivity of the CMC-8.

If it fits your budget, DPA 4060 is to my ear an audible upgrade.  To power them correctly into a mini-jack input recorder you will need either a battery box or low-voltage preamp.  To power them into an XLR input recorder with phantom power, you will need to use the DPA DAD6001 XLR adapters (or equivalent XLR phantom to 5-9V low voltage powering adapters).  An alternate option would be to record into an I-phone via the DPA MMA-A Digital Audio Interface (preamp/ADC).

If buying 4060s new, I'd look for the newer CORE amplifier version of the microphone, which features somewhat increased headroom and reduced distortion over the legacy version at high levels. But the legacy versions will also do nicely and are what I and most TS members are using.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2023, 03:44:26 PM by Gutbucket »
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 felmmando

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2023, 02:40:16 PM »
These look great! Thank you so much for taking the time to suggest them.

Offline aaronji

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2023, 04:56:50 PM »
Depending on your budget, you might also consider DPA4006s (if you have deep pockets) or DPA2006s (if your pockets are deep, but not 4006 deep). They both come in at 40 mV/Pa, so 6 dB more sensitive than 4060s and 12 dB more sensitive than CMC-8s. Either can be powered through short amplifiers (MMP-C) or active cables (MMP-ER/S). Those active cables are also available in a microdot terminated version (MMP-GR/S) which can be used with the MMA-A digital audio interface, and, presumably, other low-voltage battery boxes.

In my opinion, the 4006 is world-class and the 2006 also sounds excellent...

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2023, 06:35:56 PM »
Note that both 4006 and 2006 are "regular size" DPA capsules. Not overly large but not miniature, somewhere around twice the size of your CMC-8 (AT943) microphones.  The  4060 is miniature and about half the size of your current microphone.  Given your stated usage that may or may not be important to you.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2023, 06:37:29 PM by Gutbucket »
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 voltronic

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2023, 07:37:17 PM »
Also it might be worth noting that the 2006 capsule is made of two 4060 elements. There may be other stuff going on in the voicing of the 2006 capsule, but in my opinion, the 4060 gives you most of the benefits of the 2006 at a much lower price and compact form factor. The 4006 is a totally different design, and as Aaronj noted very expensive.

Since it's somewhat in the same sphere as what you're recording, here's a folder of some older samples of mostly choral music I've recorded with my 4061s (higher SPL rated version of 4060). None of these are stealth recordings; they all are recorded with a tall stand above and behind the conductor at spacings from 38-50 cm.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/auvka6syq8jgopr/AAArGSLuwKHxTmim80n6vFIDa?dl=0
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Offline felmmando

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2023, 08:50:07 PM »
Many thanks to all of you for weighing in. The 4060's low profile is certainly an asset, and the opportunity to hear them is valuable. Voltronic, I understand these aren't stealth recordings, but they were made with a single pair, right?

Also it might be worth noting that the 2006 capsule is made of two 4060 elements. There may be other stuff going on in the voicing of the 2006 capsule, but in my opinion, the 4060 gives you most of the benefits of the 2006 at a much lower price and compact form factor. The 4006 is a totally different design, and as Aaronj noted very expensive.

Since it's somewhat in the same sphere as what you're recording, here's a folder of some older samples of mostly choral music I've recorded with my 4061s (higher SPL rated version of 4060). None of these are stealth recordings; they all are recorded with a tall stand above and behind the conductor at spacings from 38-50 cm.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/auvka6syq8jgopr/AAArGSLuwKHxTmim80n6vFIDa?dl=0

Offline voltronic

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2023, 09:20:52 PM »
Yes, in these recordings it was just the pair of 4061.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2023, 10:08:23 AM »
Also it might be worth noting that the 2006 capsule is made of two 4060 elements. There may be other stuff going on in the voicing of the 2006 capsule, but in my opinion, the 4060 gives you most of the benefits of the 2006 at a much lower price and compact form factor.

Having used both extensively, I think there are considerable differences between the 2006 and 4060. The 2006 is much more directional at higher frequencies, which can be useful to add some stereo cues. It also rolls off a bit more at the bottom end and the high-frequency bump is different. On top of that, the 2006 is twice as sensitive, much quieter (less than half the noise of the 4060), has a considerably higher dynamic range, and can handle much louder sound pressure levels. Plus, it is easy to use them with standard XLR cables; you don't have to deal with microdots (or clunky adapters) unless you so choose.

The biggest advantages to the 4060, in my opinion, are that it is almost a "pure" omni compared to the 2006 (or 4006, for that matter) and that it is tiny. For situations in which the size doesn't matter, I would opt for the 2006s 99% of the time. The difference in price isn't that huge, either (about 50% more for the ST2006C stereo set compared to the 4060 stereo set).

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2023, 12:12:00 PM »
That's a great synopsis.

To which I'll add a bit of specific usage context, which is that most stealth configurations are variations on baffled stereo configs, rather than A-B in free space, in which the attribute of the miniatures having fully omnidirectional high-frequency in free space tends to be useful, particularly for music such as classical which benefits greatly from good translation of the reverberant and ambient room sound, recognizing perhaps ironically that the resulting stealth stereo microphone configurations end up producing polar sensitivity patterns that are far more directional than any of these omnis will be when used in free space. 

The art of using the native "full-omniness" to advantage is very much tied to the particulars of how the recording arrangement is configured.  I find the super-omniness of the miniatures advantageous in non-traditional configurations, partly because I can modify it to make it considerably more directional as desired, which is essentially unavoidable in most stealth arrangements anyway.

Voltronic's very nice 4061 examples were recorded with the pair of microphones in free space, A-B on a stand above the stage, and therefore do represent a situation where the directional differences between omnis of differing size and thus polar-sensitivities will be most apparent.  Yet by that measure those recordings are less representative of typical stealth configurations using the same microphones. However, listening to them again last night I was struck by how similar they sound to my own stealth usage of 4060 for classical music.  Granted I use an unusual configuration of four of them, with each microphone baffled and thus "made quite strongly directional" in it's cardinal direction, yet which in aggregate provide a collective sensitivity pattern that can be fully omnidirectional, and are in that way similar to Voltronic's examples.

Point being, a primary factor on which microphone is right for you will be how you plan to use them.
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 aaronji

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2023, 03:32:08 PM »
Point being, a primary factor on which microphone is right for you will be how you plan to use them.

No doubt! No intention to cast shade on the 4060s at all. They are my go to stealth mics, for many years now, due to a variety of factors including sound quality and small size. That being said, though, there are many who could stealth full-size DPA caps (using either the small bodies or actives) with no problems at all. They are in the same size range as the Schoeps low-pro options.

In any event, I only posted in this thread to point out the high sensitivity of the 4006 and 2006 caps, as per the original post. The only reason I posted a second time was because 4060 ≠ 2006; there are many audible differences despite using the same diaphragms.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2023, 06:57:24 PM »
Didn't interpret your post as shade casting at all. Thanks for your first-person report on the sound and HF directivity of 2006.  I've never seen one and am unaware of others using them. 

Congrats to Voltronic now sporting a pair of 4006!
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 voltronic

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2023, 07:55:19 PM »
Didn't interpret your post as shade casting at all. Thanks for your first-person report on the sound and HF directivity of 2006.  I've never seen one and am unaware of others using them. 

Congrats to Voltronic now sporting a pair of 4006!

Aaron - thanks for setting me straight on the 2006. I've never laid hands on them; I was just going on samples I've heard. I need to find the comp DPA used to have on their old (better) website that used multiple mics and configs, including direct comparisons of all three omnis.

Gut - it just occurred to me that your 4-mic baffled omni array sounds similar to the DPA 5100, which uses baffles and interference tubes to create directionality in a compact package.

https://www.dpamicrophones.com/immersive/5100-mobile-surround-microphone
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2023, 05:51:10 PM »
I got excited back in 2008-ish when the 5100 was announced because it was somewhat similar to my arrangement.

A couple threads from back then:
dpa 5.1
Re: DPA 5100 into a hat?

In the first thread I was trying to figure out what's going on inside and even drew a speculative drawing based on the published polar-patterns for each of the 5 primary channels of the 5100.  I've never actually seen one in person, much less looked inside. As I recall, this was prior to DPA offering miniature cardioids and supercards.  The 5100 was likely the first DPA product to use them, in the coincident center position if not in all five positions.  If so it probably uses a miniature omni for the .1 output channel. Output is 5.1.

My arrangement is different in not using any directional mics, instead boundary mounting the omnis on separate faces of the baffle, and that makes the omnis quite directional from the mid-range up.  The mics face forward, back, and left/right.  The baffle is considerably wider in the L/R dimension so the front and backward facing omnis end up being more directional than the L/R pair that are mounted on much narrower curved baffle faces, but are spaced farther apart to compensate.  Output is L/C/R/S.

Edit- if DPA (or anyone) made a miniature figure-8, I'd really love to turn each of those omnis into a on-baffle-boundary-mounted M/S pair, which would require 8 channels total, but would be great fun to play around with, would provide a lot of additional flexibility and potentially make it even better.  But I love this arrangement as is for any seated performance from the right location, especially classical.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2023, 06:05:26 PM by Gutbucket »
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 voltronic

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2023, 09:22:27 PM »
Gut, you said the 5100 may have been the first DPA product to use mini directional mics, but I believe it uses all omni capsules according to what you said earlier in your linked posts. I really would love to see inside one too, to get a look at the interference tubes and baffles. From what I've heard it's sewn shut. The only thing removable is the optional outdoor furry cover.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Seeking sensitive microphones
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2023, 10:17:45 PM »
Heh, thanks. I had to go back and read my own posts again and look at the polars.

Right, does seem all omnis in there, along with what seemed their first use of the tiny interference tubes which later became standard on all of their then-still-to-come miniature directionals, using at least two different very short tube lengths depending on model.  In the 5100, the omnis with the interference tubes installed remain omni until pretty far up, then go increasingly directional with frequency. A 5100 upgraded with their later super/hyper miniatures in the coincident L/R and C positions would probably work better! ..but even that is not really directional enough for 3 coincident forward facing channels.

My apologies to the OP for the OT tangent.
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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