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Author Topic: Mic matching in mobile recorders  (Read 1705 times)

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Offline Habanero

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Mic matching in mobile recorders
« on: March 05, 2011, 06:34:22 AM »
Hello forum members,

I'm new here and I'm very pleased I could find a dedicated forum with so much activity, especially in the field of mobile recorders. Thanks for letting me join  ::)

Since I'm new at mobile recording I was wondering, how well the internal mics usually match in a mobile recorder. The only case I found dedicated data, was for the Sony PCM-D1, which says, the mics are matched within 1dB. What does that mean actually? Does it mean, that with the same gain setting for both channels, a level difference of 1dB would be tolerable? Sound quite a lot, otherwise I learned that 1dB mathching is a quite good value for a matched pair of microphones. Moreover you can set the gain for each channel separately for compensation anyway.

I recently bought a PCM-M10 which I really love. I did some test with internal mics. I found, that at lower frequencies , e.g. when talking towards to mics or making noises with your mouth, the left channel seems to be a bit more sensitive (approx 0.7-1.0dB). Otherwise when recording higher frequencies, e.g. water in the shower or playing around with metal keys, the right channel seems to be bit more sensitive (approx 0.5dB). Is this behavior normal for this device? From my basic theory about microphone matching it would mean, that the mics are matched within approx. 1dB. Does anybody have similar experiences with the M10 or other recorders in the same range?

BTW: Does anybody know if there's a hidden test mode in Sony PCM-recorders like in the Roland R-09HR?

Thanks for your help

Offline Kevin T

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Re: Mic matching in mobile recorders
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 11:21:55 AM »
Why the concern .? Fix it in post or ignore it since speech is mono. Point source!?

Offline kevinsinnott

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Re: Mic matching in mobile recorders
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2022, 08:19:33 PM »
Hello forum members,

I'm new here and I'm very pleased I could find a dedicated forum with so much activity, especially in the field of mobile recorders. Thanks for letting me join  ::)

Since I'm new at mobile recording I was wondering, how well the internal mics usually match in a mobile recorder. The only case I found dedicated data, was for the Sony PCM-D1, which says, the mics are matched within 1dB. What does that mean actually? Does it mean, that with the same gain setting for both channels, a level difference of 1dB would be tolerable? Sound quite a lot, otherwise I learned that 1dB mathching is a quite good value for a matched pair of microphones. Moreover you can set the gain for each channel separately for compensation anyway.

I recently bought a PCM-M10 which I really love. I did some test with internal mics. I found, that at lower frequencies , e.g. when talking towards to mics or making noises with your mouth, the left channel seems to be a bit more sensitive (approx 0.7-1.0dB). Otherwise when recording higher frequencies, e.g. water in the shower or playing around with metal keys, the right channel seems to be bit more sensitive (approx 0.5dB). Is this behavior normal for this device? From my basic theory about microphone matching it would mean, that the mics are matched within approx. 1dB. Does anybody have similar experiences with the M10 or other recorders in the same range?

BTW: Does anybody know if there's a hidden test mode in Sony PCM-recorders like in the Roland R-09HR?

Thanks for your help

The Sony D1 has a ganged split input level control that allows you to set each separately. I can well understand why you would wish them to match, if simply to offer you the assurance. Also, it might throw off the balance using a limiter if levels are unmatched, although as you can, that concern becomes academic. For what it's worth, my Marantz PMD661 also offers the ability to set each input separately.

Offline moondust.and.solitude

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Re: Mic matching in mobile recorders
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2022, 08:42:57 PM »
Hello forum members,

I'm new here and I'm very pleased I could find a dedicated forum with so much activity, especially in the field of mobile recorders. Thanks for letting me join  ::)

Since I'm new at mobile recording I was wondering, how well the internal mics usually match in a mobile recorder. The only case I found dedicated data, was for the Sony PCM-D1, which says, the mics are matched within 1dB. What does that mean actually? Does it mean, that with the same gain setting for both channels, a level difference of 1dB would be tolerable? Sound quite a lot, otherwise I learned that 1dB mathching is a quite good value for a matched pair of microphones. Moreover you can set the gain for each channel separately for compensation anyway.

I recently bought a PCM-M10 which I really love. I did some test with internal mics. I found, that at lower frequencies , e.g. when talking towards to mics or making noises with your mouth, the left channel seems to be a bit more sensitive (approx 0.7-1.0dB). Otherwise when recording higher frequencies, e.g. water in the shower or playing around with metal keys, the right channel seems to be bit more sensitive (approx 0.5dB). Is this behavior normal for this device? From my basic theory about microphone matching it would mean, that the mics are matched within approx. 1dB. Does anybody have similar experiences with the M10 or other recorders in the same range?

BTW: Does anybody know if there's a hidden test mode in Sony PCM-recorders like in the Roland R-09HR?

Thanks for your help

The Sony D1 has a ganged split input level control that allows you to set each separately. I can well understand why you would wish them to match, if simply to offer you the assurance. Also, it might throw off the balance using a limiter if levels are unmatched, although as you can, that concern becomes academic. For what it's worth, my Marantz PMD661 also offers the ability to set each input separately.

You do realize that you responded to an 11 year old topic/question, right? Lol

Offline kevinsinnott

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Re: Mic matching in mobile recorders
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2022, 09:44:02 PM »
Yes, I did. Why not. The original poster may no longer need to know. Others might. I hope it's okay.

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Mic matching in mobile recorders
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2022, 11:59:47 AM »
To that end, I was going to add some basic info:
Most microphones which are only 1dB different would be an acceptable stat for me.
As for internal mics on these portable decks, I would bet the manufacturer would allow tolerances of 1dB or less as differential between two onboard mics.
The human hearing mechanism has a tough time distinguishing level or arrival differences up to 3 dB, so 1 dB across two microphones is acceptable for that reason as well.
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E|DPA 4060 SK
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

 

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