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Author Topic: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?  (Read 2996 times)

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Offline noahbickart

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2019, 12:09:52 AM »
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Offline checht

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2019, 01:54:23 PM »
Any microphone can only pick up sound from the sound field where it is. That's all it can do; it can't respond to whatever may be going on elsewhere. There's this mistaken idea that you "aim" a microphone at some sound source/sources a distance away, and it will respond to whatever's there; that's fine for cameras and telescopes since light travels in straight lines. But it's not a good way to think about sound and microphones in most practical situations, since sound spreads out in all directions from its source, and bounces around way more than you might think.
[snip]
Instead, consider where the microphone is, and realize that at best, it can only record what's going on where it is.

--best regards

I've been grappling with shifting my cognitive model on this in relation to both capsule selection and configuration/alignment with primary sound source.

Please pardon my ignorance, but I've been wondering what role the pattern plays when recording in 'the usual' situation. Would it be the case that a more directional pattern's primarily impact would be on pick up of nearby sound sources (crowd noise)? DSatz, that was my takeaway from our previous conversation.

1. Following up on that conversation, I'm wondering if anyone here has thoughts on how that relates to aiming mics. I usually run a mstc64, a fixed ortf config. When located off-center in a venue, I end up wondering if I should point the centerline between the 2 caps straight ahead, or at the center of the stage.

2. For a related but separate question, given that we're recording the sound where the mic is (a shotgun won't improve ratio of direct to reflected sound), why not use omnis, which I believe are the most uncolored pattern. I guess this choice would result in more nearby sound; what would be other downsides?

Thanks for this thoughtful thread, which has already advanced my understanding quite a bit.

~Chris

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2019, 05:34:44 PM »
Reverberant sound arrives from all directions equally, including the same direction as the direct sound of interest.  If recording from well back in the reverberant field far from the source of the direct sound, even a theoretically ideal super-directional microphone with an extremely narrow pickup pattern pointed directly at the source is going to pick up considerably more reverberant than direct sound.

In that case the best one can do is to seek to preserve whatever direct/reverberant ratio is represented by that on-axis directional microphone by being less sensitive to sound from other directions. The value of highly directional patterns in this regard is that they are less sensitive to non-reverberant sound arriving from other directions-  audience noise, reflections off walls, that is to say-  alternate direct sound sources and secondary reflections which arive off-axis from the primary source direction.   Just keep in mind that the reverberance from all sources arrives from all directions equally and will be picked up regardless of what you do with microphones at the recording position.

Directional microphones essentially act more like side-shades or blinders rather than as telescopic zoom lenses.

I'm wondering if anyone here has thoughts on how that relates to aiming mics. I usually run a mstc64, a fixed ortf config. When located off-center in a venue, I end up wondering if I should point the centerline between the 2 caps straight ahead, or at the center of the stage.

The key is to orient your microphone array so it is pointing at the apparent acoustic center, rather than the visual center.  Use your ears instead of your eyes to do this. Close your eyes and turn your head until the sound is as well balanced as possible Left/Right.  Point the microphone array in the same direction.  If off-center you will typically end up facing toward the closer PA, rather than toward center stage.  That's the essence of it, but if you wish to read more you can search TS for dedicated threads on it as this topic comes up regularly.

Quote
For a related but separate question, given that we're recording the sound where the mic is (a shotgun won't improve ratio of direct to reflected sound), why not use omnis, which I believe are the most uncolored pattern. I guess this choice would result in more nearby sound; what would be other downsides?

This can be a very good choice outdoors, where there are not as many reflections off internal walls which directional mics can help deal with indoors.  Nearby audience pickup is about the same indoors or out- omnis will pickup more of it, directional microphones less if it is coming from a less sensitive direction.  If the audience noise is on-axis, then a directional microphone will pick up just as much of it as an omni.

If you want to reduce pickup of direct and reflected sound from directions other than the direction toward the source of interest as much as possible, point your super or hypercardioids directly at the source(s) of interest.  Since this typically translates to very little angle between microphones, space the microphones further apart to compensate so that the stereo image will not collapse.  Check out the Improved PAS table which suggests the most appropriate spacing between microphones with this in mind given whatever pattern and angle you are using.  This won't pull-in more direct sound at your recording position nor increase the direct/indirect-sound ratio available available from that location, but it will make the most of it by being less sensitive to other directions from which there is just as much reverberation but considerably less desired direct sound arriving.

Other things to consider are what type of stereo sound you like- if you want more level-difference stereo aspects, or time-of-arrival spaced-omni stereo aspects or whatever balance between them.

Hope that makes sense.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 08:41:04 AM by Gutbucket »
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Offline checht

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2019, 08:28:33 PM »
That omfp does make sense, and is much appreciated.

Thanks
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Offline beenjammin

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2019, 05:00:17 PM »
Phish 12/31/18 mk3 (2xs) AB 50cm:
http://bt.etree.org/details.php?torrentId=603603

These are really nice pulls and show off how lovely the Schoeps omni caps are.

I'm an avid user of the MK 2, which I use in AB ~40cm and in a Jecklin disk. I typically use a high frequency shelf, and adjust as needed. But I wonder: to emulate the MK2S and the other omni caps, should I use a peak filter?

 

Offline DSatz

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2019, 06:28:24 PM »
You can use a peaking filter or a shelving filter. For reasons I can't explain, in the past I've chosen a peaking filter when taming some old recordings that I'd made with Neumann KM 83 microphones (free-field-equalized response like Schoeps MK 2 XS/MK 3), but a shelving filter whenever I've wanted to lift the treble a little.

But use your ears. Main thing is, don't overdo it; 2 dB goes a long way.

--best regards
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2019, 06:50:22 PM »
(This type of sphere also works with the Schoeps MK 5 two-pattern capsule in its omnidirectional setting.)

--best regards

i wonder if a smaller sphere would work to make 4061s more directional. the diaphragms arent forward facing on them though. im using my 4061s more these days but boy they pick up the chatter
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2019, 07:14:50 PM »
(This type of sphere also works with the Schoeps MK 5 two-pattern capsule in its omnidirectional setting.)

--best regards

i wonder if a smaller sphere would work to make 4061s more directional. the diaphragms arent forward facing on them though. im using my 4061s more these days but boy they pick up the chatter

The DPA 4060/4061 is perhaps the most top-to-bottom perfect omni pattern mic out there.  You are fighting a losing battle.  This is definitely not the mic to use around a chatty audience.  They pick up everything.  I only use mine up close on stage, or if not that close, in a setting where the audience is silent or (even better) not there at all.

Gutbucket has quite a bit of experience making APE spheres for the 4060/4061, but not for this purpose.  The short answer is this modification it isn't going to do what you want.  He can explain to you much better than I can about how APE spheres work, as can DSatz.  In the meantime, here is a somewhat-simple explanation on APE spheres from DPA, who sell them for their full-size 4006A omni:
https://www.dpamicrophones.com/accessories/acoustic-pressure-equalizer-ball-for-4006a
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2019, 09:53:10 AM »
All ominis are.. well, omnidirectional for the most part. Those with larger diaphragms, larger housings, or sphere attachments are somewhat directional at treble frequencies, but in practical terms that limited directionality is really more like a difference of timbre on and off axis than a reduction of sensitivity off-axis.  In my experience you'll hear the same chatter off-axis, yet slightly less present sounding and clearly articulated compared to an on-axis source.  It retains the "natural soundingness" in all directions but shifts a bit more focus toward the on-axis direction.

This quality is imparted from the geometry of the sphere.  When installed in a sphere a miniature 4060 omni is no longer miniature.  If you were to make a dummy housing with the same geometry as a 4006 and mount a 4060 flush in the end of the cylinder so that just the grid extended out the end, it would produce a similar polar pattern to the 4006, or most any other omni with the same size capsule and body.

[edit- typical sphere attachments are larger in diameter than a 4006. Because of that, when using one the polar pattern in the frequency range effected will be more strongly affected because of that larger size.  A sphere is useful compared to other shapes because with the microphone mounted flush it presents a smooth continuous surface all the way around without any diffractive edges or other features until the back side where the microphone body or cable exits.  Because of that it provides the smoothest pattern transitions compared to alternate shapes]

BTW, the 406x is essentially end-address and should be thought of as such when doing odd things like this with it, regardless of the orientation of the miniature element inside its tiny housing.  However as voltronic mentions, when used in free space without anything altering it's size, it is essentially omnidirectional up to the limits of hearing, so in normal use its orientation really doesn't matter much.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 06:11:37 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline beenjammin

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2019, 04:57:37 PM »
You can use a peaking filter or a shelving filter. For reasons I can't explain, in the past I've chosen a peaking filter when taming some old recordings that I'd made with Neumann KM 83 microphones (free-field-equalized response like Schoeps MK 2 XS/MK 3), but a shelving filter whenever I've wanted to lift the treble a little.

But use your ears. Main thing is, don't overdo it; 2 dB goes a long way.

--best regards

Thanks!

I have another Schoeps omni question. I understand that each cap is an iteration of the MK2, with differences in high frequency sensitivity. But the MK H has that metal ring around it. I recall reading somewhere that this capsule was developed in collaboration with Onno Schultze. What, if any, effect does the ring have? I believe Schultze was very much impressed by the miniature DPA 4060, might the ring help to make the Schoeps capsule behave as if it were smaller than it is?

Offline DSatz

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2019, 12:13:49 AM »
To my knowledge the ring on the MK 2 H has no particular acoustical effect. You can regard it as a visual enhancement if you like.

--best regards
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 12:15:31 AM by DSatz »
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2019, 04:56:21 PM »
checht, I just now noticed your reply #16 above, in which you asked two questions. The first one, I don't have much experience with, since I am generally the person paid (or volunteering, but in any case officially designated) to record a concert, so I generally get to negotiate my miking positions, and can make sure that they are either centered or symmetrically spaced. If I had to record from a single, off-center position, I don't know of any way to correct for the various problems which that would cause, and I would only do it for documentary purposes at best. (I can think of only one time I ever did that; the recording was never used.)

Your other question was:

> given that we're recording the sound where the mic is (a shotgun won't improve ratio of direct to reflected sound), why not use omnis, which I believe are the most uncolored pattern. I guess this choice would result in more nearby sound; what would be other downsides?

A directional microphone's pattern causes its sensitivity to vary based on the angle of arrival of each sound component. If the microphone is located where the predominant energy arriving on-axis (or nearly so) is direct, then its directional pattern will help bring out the direct sound.

But if it's farther back, where "on-axis or nearly so" no longer works as a proxy for "direct", then you'd have to compare its on- vs. off-axis frequency response to see what the mike will do to the arriving sound. If that frequency response is uniform (setting aside the relative attenuation that the pattern creates for off-axis sound), then all the sound components should blend together more or less smoothly. If the off-axis response is peaky or uneven, then as it becomes the main source of signals from that microphone, the more you will hear that uneven response acting as a filter on the sound. (Unfortunately most manufacturers don't publish the diffuse-field response of their microphones; you have to infer it from the polar diagrams--and many manufacturers don't even publish those except at 1 kHz, where they mostly all look good.)

In that respect, a good figure-8 is in principle the closest to ideal--except that it is bi-directional, so it really tests the assumption that "you are so far back that there's no point in preferring the front of the microphone" and in practice, there is usually at least _some_ advantage to favoring front-arriving sound; therefore a good supercardioid usually gives better results in practice. An omni isn't omni at high frequencies (I'm talking about microphones with studio-quality signal-to-noise ratios) so it favors the front a little, and/or dulls the sides and back, which is useful in most situations--but if you are in the audience area and have audience noise to deal with, then that's not a good choice, nor are "wide cardioids" or the like, unfortunately.

Finally, the very worst choice is shotgun microphones since their off-axis high-frequency response is so wildly uneven; variations of 12 to 15 dB within a single octave, and at angles of incidence just a few degrees apart from one another, are not unheard of. In addition, the diffuse field response of shotgun microphones integrated across all angles of arrival tends to be very dull--whereas with a good figure-8 or supercardioid this is not the case. Using shotgun microphones to record anything from a distance in a reverberant space is a basic misunderstanding of what such microphones are designed to do.

Now, like a stopped clock being right twice a day, good recordings can occur with any equipment if it is generally working and in the optimal place at the right time. But if you can only bring one setup to a concert, and you're looking to maximize your chances of getting a good recording rather than relying on a hit-or-miss approach, I think that good supercardioids give you the best odds overall. I used MK 41 for many years and have recently become fond of the MK 41 V.

Your MSTC is certainly nothing to sneeze at, though. Its MK 4 capsules are the small, single-diaphragm type, and have very good polar response across the frequency range. Again for recording in stereo with cardioid microphones, that type of capsule, with some spacing and a decent angle of separation (not 90 degrees, please!) is the best approach--while the worst use of cardioids for stereo in a reverberant sound field would be the large, coincident dual-diaphragm type at angles less than, say, 120 degrees which unfortunately is the great majority of stereo microphones in practice.

--best regards
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 03:36:30 AM by DSatz »
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Offline seethreepo

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2019, 05:45:39 PM »
(This type of sphere also works with the Schoeps MK 5 two-pattern capsule in its omnidirectional setting.)

--best regards

i wonder if a smaller sphere would work to make 4061s more directional. the diaphragms arent forward facing on them though. im using my 4061s more these days but boy they pick up the chatter

 

Gutbucket has quite a bit of experience making APE spheres for the 4060/4061, but not for this purpose.  The short answer is this modification it isn't going to do what you want.  He can explain to you much better than I can about how APE spheres work, as can DSatz.  In the meantime, here is a somewhat-simple explanation on APE spheres from DPA, who sell them for their full-size 4006A omni:
https://www.dpamicrophones.com/accessories/acoustic-pressure-equalizer-ball-for-4006a

where are the mics mounted if you use an ape sphere?  and what differentiates the ape from a Jecklin disc is it a function of the material they are made of?
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2019, 02:21:43 PM »
where are the mics mounted if you use an ape sphere?

The sphere is mounted on the microphone (or in the case of miniature omnis, the microphone mounted in the sphere) so as to have the sound opening orifice of the microphone as flush as possible with the surface of the sphere.  The idea is that the sphere presents a hard, smooth continuous surface without significant breaks or discontinuities which would create diffraction points.

One reason I use makeshift spheres on the miniature DPA omnis is as a way of getting them to behave like larger-bodied omnis with respect to pattern.  With a spherical "perfect geometry" housing they then produce an arguably more idealized "typical omni pattern" than omnis with larger diaphragms or housings, which do not use a smooth spherical shape.


As to the suitability of a truly omnidirectional pattern microphone or a pattern which is brighter on-axis and less-bright off-axis, remember that concert taping of a PA from a distance is an unusual undertaking compared to most forms of recording.  The entire intent of the PA is to "present a more up close and proximal sound to the listener" even when the listener is not up close.  When designed correctly, the frequency balance of the direct sound from the PA is managed so that regardless of position within the venue the upper frequency content does not drop off as much over distance as it will compared to a on stage source which is not reinforced through a PA.  It still follows the laws of acoustics, but the goal-posts have been moved by the introduction of a PA which is designed to partly compensate for "sound as perceived at a distance" with clever design.

That all means that for an omni used for PA recording at a distance, the ideal difference in response on-axis versus off-axis will be partly determined by these kinds of PA attributes and their variations, in addition to the acoustic attributes of the hall and one's recording position in it which come into play in a non PA-amplified situation.  Although harder to actualize with omnis, what I feel is most applicable in this regard is the difference between close verses more distant portions of the audience itself.  That is to say differences in near verses more-distant off-axis sound sources. The audience sources are not reinforced through the PA and do not have its unique acoustic properties but act as normal acoustic sources where high frequencies become more attenuated with distance.  We can balance that to some degree by raising the microphones higher above the audience and/or pointing directional microphones upwards towards the PA.  Blumlein crossed fig-8's is interesting in this way as the two crossed 8's become increasingly less sensitive to sound arriving from around +/- 45 degrees or more below (and above) the horizontal plane.  The fig-8's are deaf to direct sound from directly above and below and become progressively more sensitive towards the horizontal plane.

Quote
and what differentiates the ape from a Jecklin disc is it a function of the material they are made of?

Yes, different materials in that pressure spheres are acoustically hard surfaced where as Jecklin disks are ideally sonically absorbent, but mostly the differentiation is intended use, size (and thus frequency range), and arrangement.  Jecklin disk is a stereo technique.   The omni spheres we are talking about are singe microphone modifications and relatively small.  The two begin to cross-paths in stereo microphones which use two omnis embedded in either side of a larger sphere, typically close to head-sized, such as the Schoeps KFM-6.
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Offline seethreepo

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Re: Schoeps Omni caps which one ?
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2019, 08:24:14 PM »
Thanks for the detailed explanation. I had wrongly assumed the 🎤 was mounted to the outside of the ball.
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