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Author Topic: Schoeps Cut 60  (Read 1252 times)

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Offline beenjammin

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Schoeps Cut 60
« on: April 09, 2019, 08:44:24 PM »
I know a lot of sound location users like the Schoeps Cut 60, but I wonder if anyone here has any experience with it?

My usage will be rather odd/unique: I plan to run the MK 8 caps in 20cm AB, the so-called Faulkner array for nature recording. I had a chance to experiment with it and found the results very sonically convincing, but had horrible luck with wind. I was using the Schoeps fur over a foam ball and have since upgraded to the spherical basket windscreens. My guess is that I'll still run into wind issues. While the conventional thinking is that a full basket is the best approach, that would mean two full baskets, and I worry about the bulk of such a set up.

I have read that there might be some sonic benefits to applying a HPF before it hits any preamps, the CMC bodies included.

Offline yug du nord

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Re: Schoeps Cut 60
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2019, 09:53:07 PM »
Smarter people will chime in..  but a fig8 has a lack of low end in the first place and is I think is the the pattern that is most affected by wind.

So if you want any low end in your recording, you might want to go with a different approach. 

But yeah, the Cut 60 "should" help diminish the wind rumble.
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Schoeps Cut 60
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2019, 11:31:50 AM »
I have CUT 60s (as well as the older CUT 1s and CUT 2s) and have used them a couple of times--not because of wind, but because of diffuse "room rumble" in situations where deep bass in the recording would actually be undesirable.

The noise generated by wind can very well go higher in frequency than the cutoff point of those filters--like, up to 200 or even 300 Hz. This means that filtering will NEVER solve the problem except in very mild cases. The rest of the time you'd need to sacrifice not only the deep bass in your recording, but the entire low end and some of the low midrange frequencies.

Wind needs to be dealt with "at the source"--you need adequate windscreening to keep moving air from striking the diaphragms of your microphones.

--best regards
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 02:21:12 PM by DSatz »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Schoeps Cut 60
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2019, 12:12:36 PM »
My usage will be rather odd/unique: I plan to run the MK 8 caps in 20cm AB, the so-called Faulkner array for nature recording

This is a quite odd application for this technique and I am having a hard time imaging how it would be advantageous for outdoor nature recording.  What is your thinking behind using it rather than a configuration which would typically be more suitable for the application?  Happy to discuss why its not particularly advantageous for this, what the technique was intended to achieve and where it may be more useful, and what may work better if you like. Although I don't do much nature recording, I record outdoors frequently using odd/unusual setups, so I don't question the idea because it's non-conventional, but rather because it seems to me ill-suited to the application.

My motivation for using unusual techniques are to find techniques best-suited to the constraints of the application which can achieve the results I'm looking for.  Some of that is about getting a particular sound and some of that is about working within practical considerations.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 07:06:10 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Craig T

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Re: Schoeps Cut 60
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2019, 02:19:54 PM »
mk8's are very sensitive to wind, so you'll need a substantial solution.  I never found a foam was adequate.  I recommend foam or blimp with fur.  You could probably get away with a blimp without fur in light wind, but I wouldn't risk it.
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Offline beenjammin

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Re: Schoeps Cut 60
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2019, 01:15:14 PM »
DSatz, I must thank you yet again for such an informative post. Your response supported my suspicions, that the CUT 60 won't do what I need it to, that wind needs to be dealt with at the source. I have some nice Cinela Leo ball windscreens, but think that the MK 8 will need a basket. For my intended setup, that would mean two full baskets and that's too much bulk for me.

Gutbucket, yes it is an odd technique and was initially used by Tony Faulkner to control reflections in a narrow hall. One added benefit, and this is what interests me in the technique, is the so-called "reach" inherent in a Fig. 8. While I typically record omni AB outside, I am sometimes unable to place microphones where I'd like: say, in the middle of a stream or pond or halfway up a tree. Additionally, the excellent off axis response of the MK 8 and its null allows for some advantages, especially when dealing with traffic noise. That takes me to the low frequency response of the MK 8. Yes, it starts to dip around 200Hz, but that's ok for me when I'm outside, and the MK 8 covers the frequencies I'm after, from bullfrogs to oak toads. Lastly, and this is especially compelling for my purposes, the array provides stereo information that is both time and amplitude dependent.

I did have a chance to try this outside. When I was able to get ahead of the wind problem, that is, in the evening, when things began to relax, I found the results very nice.

Apparently the Sennheiser MKH 30 is less prone to wind noise, so I may look into that. 

I will try the track down both and compare the results. The problem is that it seems as though no one rents Fig. 8 mikes.

Offline DSatz

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Re: Schoeps Cut 60
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2019, 09:38:08 PM »
Oy. That old article by Tony Faulkner keeps getting "rediscovered", and so much wishful thinking has been based on it!

Yes, the front lobe of a figure-8 is the narrowest front lobe of any first-order directional pattern. But the equal-and-opposite rear lobe always comes along for the ride. As a result, the "reach" (a flawed concept at best) of a figure-8 is exactly the same as the "reach" of a cardioid. The "distance factor" of either pattern is just 1.7 times that of an omni.

The maximum "distance factor" available from a first-order directional pattern--a value of 2--is a pure hypercardioid by definition. There are very few such microphones, however; nearly all so-called hypercardioids, and nearly all so-called supercardioids, are actually somewhere between super- and hypercardioid (usually a bit closer to super- than hyper-; it just sounds better). This includes all the well-known makes and models.

Among those, I would suggest the Schoeps CMC 641 or CCM 41 above all. Or if the low frequencies in the program material are relatively less important, the Neumann KM 185 could be a good choice; it also has some added brightness that would counteract the high-frequency losses in your windscreening.

Alternatively, the recently discontinued CUT 1 filter is a very useful and flexible add-on for a CMC 641, with a sharp cutoff at 70 Hz and a variable rolloff above that frequency--and quite a few of them are available used on eBay and elsewhere. I've attached the original flyer for it from 1980. (It's the only active accessory I can think of that also allows other active accessories to be used with it; unfortunately the CUT 60 does not.)

--best regards
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 10:59:45 AM by DSatz »
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Offline beenjammin

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Re: Schoeps Cut 60
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 10:23:02 AM »
Yes, understood about "reach", this is why I've placed it entre guillemets, as it were. It may be perhaps more useful, for me at least, to think of where the microphone fails to capture, its null. This is certainly one of the interesting components of the fig. 8. And as it understand it, the transition to its null is especially smooth by dint of the physics of the capsule. In any case, I find the the sound of the mic very compelling.

Regarding Faulkner's array -- well, I guess it should be arrays, since it seems he's had very many -- here is a link to a site that has doubts about its effectiveness in stereo playback and includes Fualkner's original article. It's good reading, even if the approach is determined, in the end, to be misguided. I'm still not certain it is, but that's because I'm an enthusiastic amateur, interested in different techniques, willing to try anything once.

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/TonyFaulknerPhasedArray06.htm

And according to two people on the internet who say so, Faulkner used the technique on this recording:

https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA66039

This last sentence was made in jest, and perhaps the Fualkner never actually used the array!

Offline Gutbucket

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Parallel Fig-8's
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 05:59:54 PM »
Regardless of the pickup pattern used, a recording setup in which the microphones are oriented parallel to each other will produce time-of-arrival based stereo primarily and little level-based stereo, unless the A-B spacing is relatively wide and the sound sources are relatively close, or if some sort of acoustic baffle or barrier is placed between the microphones. 

With regards to the "Faulkner phased array" arrangement, regardless of original intent and suitability or lack of it for what people may think it is good for, I suspect one relatively minor change would make the setup more applicable for music tapers, and possibly other applications as well.  Retaining the relatively narrow 20cm near-spaced arrangement or thereabouts between the figure-8 pair, I'd want to introduce some angle between the microphones so that they are no longer parallel to each other. If Blumlein coincident fig-8's are optimally arranged with a 90 degree included angle (I find I actually prefer a bit less angle in typical taper situations when using Blumlein to solidify the center of the image), whereas a wide-spaced A-B arrangement uses no angle between microphones (both parallel to each other), the most appropriate arrangement for a pair of narrow-spaced pair of fig-8s would use some angle between microphones - an angle somewhat greater than 0 degrees but less than 90 degrees. Such an arrangement would provide level-difference as well as timing-based stereo qualities, and is more likely to be better suited to your 20cm microphone spacing in terms of achieving good imaging.

Here's a thread from a few years back specifically suggesting such a near-spaced / narrow-angled fig-8 pair arrangement- http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=177050.0 < It suggests the use of fig-8s when a recordist wants to use a relatively narrow angle between the microphones to keep distant sound-sources on-axis, yet is simultaneously constrained to using a relatively narrow spacing between microphones.  This describes the Point At Stacks (PAS) taper microphone technique where the microphones are pointed directly at the PA speakers located on either side of the stage.  A problem with "traditional PAS" as typically setup by concert tapers using cardioids or supercardioids is that the spacing between microphones is simply insufficient given the narrow angle between them.  Figure-8s are suggested because of their attribute of having the narrowest front lobe of any pattern, which means the least amount of spacing is required for any given angle between microphones.  Other than imaging-wise the setup is less attractive due to the wind/handling noise susceptibility and loss of low-frequency sensitivity inherent to the figure-8 pattern.

Since the thread above was started, we've re-assessed improvements to the PAS approach a few times, and in this thread: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=167549.msg2087409#msg2087409 you'll find a table suggeting the appropriate spacing between a pair of microphones of any pattern pointed directly at the outer edges of the desired reproduction sector (such that the pickup sector and reproduction sector are essentially equal - sound sources within the angle between microphones are reproduced so as to fill the space between the stereo speakers, and sound sources outside the angle between microphones are reproduced either directly from one speaker or the other or diffusely.  Although this technique is intended for tapers recording PA amplified concerts from a distance, the table may prove useful to you in recording nature sounds at a distance when good stereo imaging is valued.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Other thoughts on figure-8s
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2019, 06:03:56 PM »
Other thoughts on fig-8s:

In my experience with far-field music recording situations, the commonly expressed belief concerning to what degree a figure-8 provides minimal sensitivity to sound arriving from the sides is overstated, at least with regards to reducing pickup of unwanted sounds in that quadrant. A side-oriented figure-8 picks up more distant sound than the back side of either a cardioid or a supercardioid. A figure-8 has a deep cleanly defined sharp nulls, but it's sensitivity averaged across one entire side is greater than the sensitivity across the back side of a cardioid or supercard. I've not actually done the math to calculate this difference, but its very easy to hear when comparing how much direct sound from the PA and band on stage can be heard in a sideways-oriented figure-8 (used as Mid channel as a M/S pair) when solo'd, verses a rear-facing cardioid or supercardioid pointing away from the PA and stage when solo'd.  If you are trying to exclude a noise source, it will be more effective to use directional microphones pointed directly away from that source, rather than figure-8's oriented side-on to it.  If you like A-B, consider a pair of parallel arranged cardioids or supercardioids pointing at your source and directly away from the source of noise.  But even if you could arrange perfect rejection of all sound arriving from behind, you'd still get diffuse pickup of the unwanted noise reflecting and scattering off the landscape in front of the recording position.

I can understand how you might find the sound of the parallel figure-8 arrangement to be attractive.  Even though it's at the opposite end of the pattern spectrum, I've noticed that when used in the diffuse far-field, a figure-8 tends to have sound qualities that seem to me somehow similar to an omni in being more open and natural sounding than a cardioid or supercardioid.  Other than low frequency sensitivity of course.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 06:12:54 PM by Gutbucket »
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline Gutbucket

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Commonalities between nature recording and live music taping
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2019, 06:35:08 PM »
Although they are different in many ways, I do see a few key parallels between nature recording and audience concert taping - both tend to constrain the recording position far more than most other types of recording situations in forcing more distant recording positions than would otherwise be ideal, and in forcing the recordist to deal with unwanted noise sources over which they have little if any control.

A big challenge in either case is that we are trying to make a recording which conveys the sound of the overall ambient environment in a natural, convincing way, combined with good clarity and focus on specific details within that ambient soundscape (the most vocal frogs or whatever) to the exclusion of other unwanted noises (road traffic, etc).  It can be difficult to capture both of these aspects well without compromising the other.

Rather than trying to use a single stereo microphone setup to record both aspects, one way of addressing the compromise is breaking the problem into two separate pieces, using separate microphone setups tailored specifically for each particular aspect, such that the end result is a more fruitful combination of the two. In essence that means making one recording which conveys the overall ambience convincingly, combined with a simultaneous recording that focuses specifically on the good presence and details of the star of the show.  Best to use a multichannel recorder to do this so you can decide on how to best make the combination afterwards, meaning you'd want the capability to record 3 or more channels simultaneously if you want to pursue this approach.

I could see a parabolic reflector mic focusing on the sound of primary interest combined with pair of wide omnis gathering the ambient stereo sound "bed", or a pair of wide A-B cardioids facing away from a noise source to maximally exclude it as much as possible while still capturing a similar diffuse ambience.  The two don't need to be positioned together, you could place the ambient pair so as to minimize unwanted noise pickup as much as possible, and sneak a third mic as close to the source of interest as possible.  You'd effectively be "spot mic'ing" the most vocal frog zone, while ambient mic'ing the entire pond.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 06:45:16 PM by Gutbucket »
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline Gutbucket

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Modification of "Faulkner Phased Array" to "near-spaced 8's"
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2019, 09:48:38 AM »
Modification of "Faulkner Phased Array" to "near-spaced 8's"

 http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-Faulkner-E.htm

^ Leave the spacing between figure-8s at 20cm and adjust the angle between microphones from 0 degrees to 45 degrees.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 06:14:25 PM by Gutbucket »
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline beenjammin

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Re: "Faulkner Phased Array" modification to "near-spaced 8's
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2019, 06:06:54 PM »
"Faulkner Phased Array" modification to "near-spaced 8's"

 http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-Faulkner-E.htm

^ Leave the spacing between figure-8s at 20cm and adjust the angle between microphones from 0 degrees to 45 degrees.

Yes, angling seems promising. It may presents some problems for my purposes in nature, however, as the rear lobe might present an odd image for whatever it picks up. But I can imagine times where it might work.

I do wish I could rent some fig. 8s. It looks like if I do head in this direction that the Sennheiser MKH 30 might be a better bet for me. I've heard examples and think they are lovely.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Schoeps Cut 60
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2019, 06:25:07 PM »
Have you tried supercardioids in place of fig-8's in your parallel A-B experiments?  I suspect they might be the best fit for you.  They are more often used when attempting to isolate a sound of interest, as averaged sensitivity across the rear hemisphere is minimal compared to other patterns.  Somewhat less wind noise prone than 8's yet will still need good windscreen protection.

For really windy conditions, probably best to try and get a pair of omnis in close proximity to the source.
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline beenjammin

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Re: Schoeps Cut 60
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 07:03:34 PM »
Have you tried supercardioids in place of fig-8's in your parallel A-B experiments?  I suspect they might be the best fit for you.  They are more often used when attempting to isolate a sound of interest, as averaged sensitivity across the rear hemisphere is minimal compared to other patterns.  Somewhat less wind noise prone than 8's yet will still need good windscreen protection.

For really windy conditions, probably best to try and get a pair of omnis in close proximity to the source.

I haven't tried supercards. They do make the most sense for my purposes, that's why I'm looking anywhere but! But seriously, I'll give them a shot eventually. It's just that I've heard the fig. 8 (MK 8) and am really attracted to how it captures sound.

I run omni full time in AB and Jecklin and have had excellent results when I can get close. But that's not always possible, and so am trying to integrate another configuration.

 

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