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Offline pillowman

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microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« on: May 17, 2020, 09:16:12 AM »
hey everybody,

I am in the need for some advises, hints and recommendations.
I am a long time taper, mainly I am doing emplified, loud rock shows
but from time to time I am attending acoustic concerts,
not just a single guitar player - a full band with bass, drums, piano aso.
something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEzCmbfJ4fA

Unfortunately all my recordings I've made at acoustic shows in the past suffer
from the same problem :-/ when it comes to quite moments during the set
my recordings are full of hiss, which I find really annoying and disturbing.

Here is my gear as a basic start for discussion:

Sony PCM M10 (line in) > CA-CA-9100 > AT853c, hc, sc, o (w/4,7k mod)

My thoughts are to change the microphone, maybe to some soundman OKM Classic microphones

https://www.pinknoise-systems.co.uk/soundman-okm-ii-klassik-studio-inc-a3-binaural-mics.html

or some LOM microphones

https://store.lom.audio/collections/microphones-accessories/products/usi?variant=4542168825888

https://store.lom.audio/collections/microphones-accessories/products/mikrousi?variant=6174830002208

I am open for every other advice, if it's small and stealthable.

Thanks for time and space,

pillowman
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 09:17:48 AM by pillowman »
3x Sony PCM-M10 / TASCAM DR-2d / Edirol R-09
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
AT853c, o, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
SP-SPSB-9 / 2x SP-SPSB-10 / CA-9100

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

Offline heathen

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2020, 10:51:10 AM »
DPA 4060s are really tough to beat.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline if_then_else

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2020, 12:02:00 PM »
From my point of view the actual question is: what causes your hiss-related problems in the first place.
- Is it really the self-noise of your mics, your preamp or the recorder - or is it PA hiss?
- Are your gain settings set too conservatively?
- Do you have to stealth or are you free to pick a good spot (respectively mount the mics) where the risk of picking up some substantial PA hiss is lower?
- Do you have any decent software at hand to fix things in post-production (e.g. iZotope RX, Acon Acoustica Premium Edition or Restoration Suite, Steinberg SpectraLayers etc)?

Offline pillowman

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2020, 12:16:14 PM »
From my point of view the actual question is: what causes your hiss-related problems in the first place.
- Is it really the self-noise of your mics, your preamp or the recorder - or is it PA hiss?
- Are your gain settings set too conservatively?
- Do you have to stealth or are you free to pick a good spot (respectively mount the mics) where the risk of picking up some substantial PA hiss is lower?
- Do you have any decent software at hand to fix things in post-production (e.g. iZotope RX, Acon Acoustica Premium Edition or Restoration Suite, Steinberg SpectraLayers etc)?

My thoughts are that my modded mics are the reason for the hiss, I assume  because they are modded for loud rock stuff they are some kind of unusable for acoustic stuff,  :shrug:
Also to my understanding going 'line in' on the recorder and using an ext.preamp is the best what I can use for such 'quiet' situations ... so I believe with recorder + preamp I am on the right route, no ?

Setting the Rec Level is always a challenge ... like I wrote sometimes it's so quiet between the songs and as an opposite the crowd is so much louder with the clapping and yelling.
pushing the Rec Level will resulting into distrorted parts of my recording  :(
of course it's possible to eliminate the hiss via software but for my taste after that the recording dosn't sound naturell.

Thanks for the input - I am open for more  ;D

CU
pillowman
3x Sony PCM-M10 / TASCAM DR-2d / Edirol R-09
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
AT853c, o, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
SP-SPSB-9 / 2x SP-SPSB-10 / CA-9100

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

Offline perks

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2020, 12:35:57 PM »
Just trying to understand the full extent of the problem...... is your PCM-M10 recording in 24bit or are you using 16bit to create the master file?
Mics: Schoeps MK5, Schoeps MK41, AT853u (C,SC,H,O), DPA 4061
Preamps/converters: Schoeps VMS52UB (x2), Nbox (x2), E.A.A. PSP-2 (x2) Grace Lunatec V2 (for sale), Sound Devices MP-2 (for sale), DPA MMA6000, Naiant Tinybox v1.5, Naiant PiPsqueak, Church Ugly, Apogee Mini-Me, Benchmark AD2k+
Recorders: Tascam DR-680, Korg MR-1, Edirol R-05, Sony PCM-M10 (x2), Tascam DR-07, Marantz PMD-661, Sound Devices Mixpre-3

Offline pillowman

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2020, 12:45:21 PM »
Just trying to understand the full extent of the problem...... is your PCM-M10 recording in 24bit or are you using 16bit to create the master file?

never 16bit

most of the time 24/48 ... sometimes 24/96 but it's always the same hissy result
 :o
3x Sony PCM-M10 / TASCAM DR-2d / Edirol R-09
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
AT853c, o, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
SP-SPSB-9 / 2x SP-SPSB-10 / CA-9100

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

Offline beatkilla

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2020, 01:07:10 PM »
I have recorded an acoustic guitar player /singer in just a bedroom using various gear that i have and the results....

Soundmann okmii>Church9200 40db gain>Line in M10(tons of hiss)
AT933>Church9200 40db gain >Line in M10) (Decent but there is some HISS)
Sennheiser MKE2 Gold > Church9200 40db gain>Line in M10(Very Very good,no discernible hiss)
AKG ck62>naiant 60v pfa>Shure fp24 >Line in M10(excellent,no discernible hiss)

The AT mics just aren't good for very low level stuff.

Offline pillowman

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2020, 01:24:35 PM »
I have recorded an acoustic guitar player /singer in just a bedroom using various gear that i have and the results....

Soundmann okmii>Church9200 40db gain>Line in M10(tons of hiss)
AT933>Church9200 40db gain >Line in M10) (Decent but there is some HISS)
Sennheiser MKE2 Gold > Church9200 40db gain>Line in M10(Very Very good,no discernible hiss)
AKG ck62>naiant 60v pfa>Shure fp24 >Line in M10(excellent,no discernible hiss)

The AT mics just aren't good for very low level stuff.


ahhh, we're getting closer ... looks like it depends on the mics

Soundmann okmii>Church9200 40db gain>Line in M10(tons of hiss)

can you remember which OKM mic you used, ... was it the 'classic' or the 'rock' vrs ?

Sennheiser MKE2 Gold > Church9200 40db gain>Line in M10(Very Very good,no discernible hiss)

from the specs of these MKE2 they are also suitable for loud stuff  :wink2:
and from your Experience also for quite stuff, ... sounds like a good compromise

AKG ck62>naiant 60v pfa>Shure fp24 >Line in M10(excellent,no discernible hiss)

this is some kind of active set up, ... unfortunately this is beside my budget  :shrug:

thanks for your input, ... will see what more will pop up - I guess we are on the right route - THX !!!

pillowman
3x Sony PCM-M10 / TASCAM DR-2d / Edirol R-09
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
AT853c, o, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
SP-SPSB-9 / 2x SP-SPSB-10 / CA-9100

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

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2020, 01:26:42 PM »
I have recorded an acoustic guitar player /singer in just a bedroom using various gear that i have and the results....

Soundmann okmii>Church9200 40db gain>Line in M10(tons of hiss)
AT933>Church9200 40db gain >Line in M10) (Decent but there is some HISS)
Sennheiser MKE2 Gold > Church9200 40db gain>Line in M10(Very Very good,no discernible hiss)
AKG ck62>naiant 60v pfa>Shure fp24 >Line in M10(excellent,no discernible hiss)

The AT mics just aren't good for very low level stuff.

I think the most important piece of info from all of this is how you've set the gain on the M10. I've definitely his the noise floor on the M10 a handful of times. For quiet stuff, extra gain before the M10 (I just use an ugly BB when stealthing) absolutely make a big difference in the amount of noise present (unless it is in fact the 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 kuba e

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2020, 03:21:56 PM »
The 4.7 mod introduces a little extra noise and lowers a signal about 12 db. CA9100 hasn't a lot of gain. Is a maximum +20db? Opsopcopolis is right. Noise can occur in the M10 because it has to amplify a lot.

LOM mics are more sensitive than AT853. It could help reduce the noise in the M10 preamp. But AT853 are higher quality mics.

I would try to ask if someone here is using these unmodified AT853 for recording quite music or lectures. If these microphones are sufficient for quite sounds, I would try to make the mod 4.7 switchable. Look at the jack connector to see if the 4.7 mod is inside. You could reterminate the mics and use modded jack only for loud recordings.
(Signal/noise ratio of unmodified AT853 is 67 db. I don't know if that's enough for acoustic concerts. OKM is noisier - 61 db. LOM is very quiet - 74 db and 80 db.)




« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 03:45:18 AM by kuba e »

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2020, 09:32:57 PM »
DPA 4060s are really tough to beat.

for that application. I dont think theres anything in that price range that is as quiet
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2020, 10:43:33 AM »
^ That's how I roll for this stuff.

Before changing mics, I'd suggest trying this first -

I would try to make the mod 4.7 switchable. Look at the jack connector to see if the 4.7 mod is inside. You could reterminate the mics and use modded jack only for loud recordings.
(Signal/noise ratio of unmodified AT853 is 67 db. I don't know if that's enough for acoustic concerts. OKM is noisier - 61 db. LOM is very quiet - 74 db and 80 db.)
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2020, 10:54:35 AM »
I would try to make the mod 4.7 switchable. Look at the jack connector to see if the 4.7 mod is inside. You could reterminate the mics and use modded jack only for loud recordings.
(Signal/noise ratio of unmodified AT853 is 67 db. I don't know if that's enough for acoustic concerts. OKM is noisier - 61 db. LOM is very quiet - 74 db and 80 db.)

keep in mind that SN is usually given as a reference to 1 Pa (94 dB)

so a lo-sens mic with a self noise of 27 dB might be spec's as 67 dB of SN, while a high sens one with 18 dB of self noise might be 76 dB SN

*but* if the one with 27 dB self noise actually has a higher max SPL of say 127 dB, and the one with 18 dB of self noise has say a max of 118 dB, both have a dynamic range of 100 dB and would just be used for different applications

the hi-sens would be used for acoustic where you need a low self-noise, and arent worried about overloading.
the lo-sens would be used for a rock concert where you need high spl but the self noise is not noticable

thats how dpa 406X work, at least
im not super up on the 4.7K mod, but im guessing its not really affecting the overall dynamic range of the mic, just shifting its sensitivity range. so dont be scared into thinking mics with low S/N ratios are bad or cheap mics, thats not always the case (though technically a low SN would indicate a poor match for acoustic gigs in this case)
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2020, 11:36:53 AM »
Plenty of folks are happy using AT 853 without the 4.7K mod for recording live acoustic music, which is why the mod is often made switchable by being placed in a adapter, in the preamp, in an alternate wiring harness, or whatever.

There are quieter mics for sure, yet if happy with the mic's performance with the exception of it's self-noise it is easy and inexpensive to remove the 4.7k mod. Combine that with optimal gain staging by using the CA-9100 for most of the required gain rather than the M10 and record with sufficiently high levels (often determined by the audience applause level for acoustic performances based) and see if that gets the noise down sufficiently. Optimal gain staging improves noise performance by adding most of the needed gain at the earliest available adjustable gain stage (in this case the CA-9100) as each increase in gain raises the level of noise along with the signal.  Multiple gain stages can each add their own layer of noise and can only ever be as quiet as all of those which preceded it.

If that works you're good, and if you don't need to use the same mics for recording loud material you could eliminate the mod all together.  If not, then look to switching to more sensitive mics with a low enough self-noise.

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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2020, 11:57:33 AM »
Now that you all mention it, I should probably look into making the 4.7k mod switchable in one of my sets of stealth mics (or just remove it altogether)
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 jerryfreak

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2020, 12:01:40 PM »
i have a pair of 4060s here im not using

i guess nobodys using anything these days  ::)
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2020, 12:14:09 PM »
DPA 4060s are really tough to beat.

for that application. I don't think there's anything in that price range that is as quiet
I have to second this. When I bought the 4061's I thought of them as "lesser" than the AKG actives + omni caps we own (AKG ck22) but I can say I was wrong. They are equal SQ wise and in certain applications they are preferred. Great product IMO. Probably more than the OP wishes to spend (new $1100 ish; used about $8/850).[edit to add this is the price for 4061SK which is Stereo Kit, which includes a bunch of accessories, mainly the microdot to XLR adapters]
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 05:37:35 PM by rocksuitcase »
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

Offline perks

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2020, 12:36:52 PM »
I've bought and sold a few pairs of like new 4060's/61's in the YS and eBay for ~$500. You may even find an ebay seller with Broadway used pairs discarded for less than that but you may need to hack off the wireless transmitter termination connection and put something more suitable for your application. Just wanted to point out that a patient buyer can find really good deals on these mini omni mics and for my $$ the quality of these mics is hard to beat.
Mics: Schoeps MK5, Schoeps MK41, AT853u (C,SC,H,O), DPA 4061
Preamps/converters: Schoeps VMS52UB (x2), Nbox (x2), E.A.A. PSP-2 (x2) Grace Lunatec V2 (for sale), Sound Devices MP-2 (for sale), DPA MMA6000, Naiant Tinybox v1.5, Naiant PiPsqueak, Church Ugly, Apogee Mini-Me, Benchmark AD2k+
Recorders: Tascam DR-680, Korg MR-1, Edirol R-05, Sony PCM-M10 (x2), Tascam DR-07, Marantz PMD-661, Sound Devices Mixpre-3

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2020, 12:40:05 PM »
DPA 4060s are really tough to beat.

for that application. I don't think there's anything in that price range that is as quiet
I have to second this. When I bought the 4061's I thought of them as "lesser" than the AKG actives + omni caps we own (AKG ck22) but I can say I was wrong. They are equal SQ wise and in certain applications they are preferred. Great product IMO. Probably more than the OP wishes to spend (new $1100 ish; used about $8/850).

i usually run them as "backup" to 4011/4018 rig in  >:D, but in the right spot, with the right crowd, the omnis really have a preferable open sound. really amazing for what they do
team schoeps, dpa, benchmark, and zoom mostly... subject to change without warning

Offline pillowman

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2020, 12:50:01 PM »
first I like to thank everyone who contributed hints and stuff, ... great board - thumbs up !

I am not willing to eliminate the 4.7k mod from my beloved AT853mics.
with the mod they are perfect for what I record most of the time, ... amplified loud rock stuff @ the speaker stakes  :guitarist:
so my goal will be to find another preamp (CA-9200) or some 'quieter mics ... budgetwise I am not able to went on the active route
so I will stay with those lavaliers, ... also for stealthable reason.

again, thanks for all the input - stay optimistic and healthy !!!

pillowman
3x Sony PCM-M10 / TASCAM DR-2d / Edirol R-09
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
AT853c, o, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
SP-SPSB-9 / 2x SP-SPSB-10 / CA-9100

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

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2020, 02:59:21 PM »
Switching to a different preamp will not do anything to help you with this noise problem, unless the mod is built into the preamp.  The CA-9200 can be, and often is used with other mics including DPA 4060/4061 mentioned above (BTW, 4.7k mod does not apply to those mics).  I use both the original CA-UGLY V1 (based on CA-9100) and a custom 4 channel version of CA-UGLY2 (based on CA-9200) for recording classical music and have no problems with preamp noise.  This includes one music hall venue significantly quieter than most tapers are likely to encounter on a regular basis. I specifically chose 4060 over 4061 for this application due to its higher sensitivity and slightly lower self-noise, even though in most situations 4061 is unlikely to contribute objectionable noise.  When I switched from the DPA MMA6000 preamp (specifically designed for 4060/4061) to the CA-UGLY V1 around 2007 or 8, my informal tests convinced me that preamp noise did not increase in my most quiet recording situations.  I didn't actually measure, but vaguely recall coming across posts not long after that of someone who found CA-UGLY V1 quieter than the MMA6000 within the same gain range.  I don't recall specifics but do recall the feeling of confirmation that my informal noise-check listening test conclusion had been confirmed.  Using 4060, the ambient noise-floor in the room swamps the noise-floor of the recording chain in most cases.

^
That's the primary motivation for this post.



If you are still contemplating what you might do with the 853 prior to moving to alternate mics.. 
Have you determined where the 4.7k mod is located?  As mentioned, within the stereo-miniplug housing is the most common location.  Easy to check by unscrewing the shell and looking to see if there are any resistors inside.  If there are, you could temporarily remove / bypass the mod to determine if that sufficiently addresses the noise problem.  Or maybe borrow a pair of non-modded mics, or even just a non-mod Y harness and use your own capsules to test. If noise is acceptable without the mod, then any of these solutions should work:
1) build/find an alternate Y cable setup which lacks the 4.7k mod (includes the mic-bodies into which you screw your existing capsules).
2) move the 4.7k mod from the mini-plug housing to a short secondary adapter cable (female TRS to male mini TRS) for use when recording louder material.
3) move the mod into the preamp and make it switchable (Chris offers/offered that as an option for 9100/9200).

All of the above options allow you retain the mod for recording louder material.

This has been made a bit more difficult for TS users with Darktrain out of operation.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 03:04:14 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<<

Offline kuba e

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2020, 04:57:24 PM »
Gutbucket described the possibilities in great details how to solve the switchable 4.7 mod.  I would also go this route. If I understand correctly, you have cardiods and omni caps for AT853. This is also an advantage. I would not buy other microphones that are of worse quality than the AT853. If I decided to buy other microphones, I would save and buy dpa4060.

Just a theoretical question:
We have two mics. The first is low and the second hi sensitive. Both mics have the same S/N ratio and the same max SPL. When we have a good preamplifier with very low noise input (lower than the mic's noise), the recording will have the same amount of noise for both microphones. When the preamplifier is not so good and has noisy input (higher than the mic's noise), the recording will have less noise for the hi sensitive microphone. Is this correct?

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2020, 09:49:11 PM »
Just a theoretical question:
We have two mics. The first is low and the second hi sensitive. Both mics have the same S/N ratio and the same max SPL.

if they were the same mics (i.e not vastly different models/types), that would be unusual. lower sens mics in a given capsule series seem to always come with higher self-noise

When we have a good preamplifier with very low noise input (lower than the mic's noise), the recording will have the same amount of noise for both microphones.

well if they have the same self-noise and same max-spl, the only difference in 'low sens' and 'hi sens' would be output level, so given that they are capturing the same material on the front end, to the same specification, unless the output of the higher-sens mic overloads your input, it will be preferable in all cases. Otherwise you risk adding more noise when amplifying it (whether the noise is audible or significant depends on sound level relative to mic self noise, as well as how clean the gain on the input is. However, use of less gain is always preferred to produce less noise, if even on paper)


When the preamplifier is not so good and has noisy input (higher than the mic's noise), the recording will have less noise for the hi sensitive microphone. Is this correct?

yes thats a less wordy version of what i said ;)
whether the noise is actually audible again would be a caveat
and again it would be unusual for a low and hi-sens mics of same series to have same spec

4060 vs 4061 is about 3dB difference in self noise, but about 10dB in max spl on the top-end

mics with a lower sensitivity (lower mV per Pa), can cover a wider range of sound pressure levels inherently over a given range of voltage (at the cost of self-noise)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 05:57:44 AM by jerryfreak »
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Offline Scooter123

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2020, 02:24:46 AM »
Quiet music is tough to record from a distance. 

If you increase the gain, then you get clapping and other anomalies.  If you keep the gain and record for the clapping and crowd, then the music needs to be boosted. 

From my read of your two posts, that may be the problem. 

If you're recording in a small club, fairly close in, then almost any omni will do just fine.  I don't know if I could tell the difference between any of the mikes mentioned in these posts.  So, if you are budget conscious, then go with Church or AKG.  I've owned a pair of DPA and they sound fantastic, but they won't solve your underlying problem.

I would record the gain for the music and ignore the crowd and either (1) Fool with the limiters on the M-10; or (2) Deal with it in post.  Yeah it may clip, but you can do limiting in post. 
Regards,

Scooter123

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Offline kuba e

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2020, 05:23:20 AM »
Thank you Jerryfreak.


When we have a good preamplifier with very low noise input (lower than the mic's noise), the recording will have the same amount of noise for both microphones.

well if they have the same self-noise and same max-spl, the only difference in 'low sens' and 'hi sens' would be output level, so given that they are capturing the same material on the front end, to the same specification, unless the output of the higher-sens mic overloads your input, it will be preferable in all cases. Otherwise you risk adding more noise when amplifying it (whether the noise is audible or significant depends on sound level relative to mic self noise, as well as how clean the gain on the inout is. However, use of less gain is always preferred to produce less noise, if even on paper)

I thought of it this way. If the preamp is really good and it's noise is lower than the microphone noise, then the resulting audible noise on the recording is given only by the microphone. In that case, it should not matter if the microphone has low or hi sensitivity. We can amplify the signal as much as we want. The preamp noise is masked in the microphone noise.

Of course, the preamp demands are higher for low sensitivity microphones.

So, if you are budget conscious, then go with Church or AKG.

Scooter123, I think Chris Church microphones CA11 and CA14 are not suitable for quiet recordings. I recorded a lecture with them and I had a lot of noise in the recording (ca11-> ca9200 on max.-> recorder). Probably their parameters are very similar to AT853 with 4.7 mod.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 06:46:55 AM by kuba e »

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2020, 11:12:00 AM »
Probably their parameters are very similar to AT853 with 4.7 mod.

I believe that's about right.

One way of thinking about microphone sensitivity is that it essentially acts as the first gain stage of a recording system.  Higher mic sensitivity requires less gain later in the chain to achieve the appropriate signal output, each stage of which amplifies the noise of all previous stages, along with any EMI noise that may have sneaked in at any point or multiple point along the way, in addition to adding its own.  Higher mic sensitivity helps reduce the opportunities for noise to build up relative to signal level.. until an overly high signal level risks overloading a following stage, which has considerably worse audible momentary consequences than a relatively steady-state higher noise floor.  Cue Little Red Riding Hood seeking the not too big, not to small, not too hard, not to soft comfortable middle ground.

Its also be useful to consider the sensitivity/noise relationship of dynamic microphones.  Dynamics are considerably less sensitive than condensers, yet also have a vanishingly low self-noise due to being based upon a simple conductor moving in a magnetic field. Rather than the noise of the microphone itself, the noise-floor of the recording system is typically determined by the very high-gain amplifier needed to get that extremely low level signal up to a usable level which inevitably amplifies whatever EMI sneaks in along with the low-level source signal.
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Offline Scooter123

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2020, 11:36:06 AM »
Eh, I owned a pair of Church mikes and they were OK.  Their suitability depends, like all mikes, on a variety of factors such as volume and location. 

I didn't particularly care for them, but that's me.  I recorded quiet jazz shows in small clubs with them, fairly close in. 
Regards,

Scooter123

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Offline aaronji

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2020, 11:49:34 AM »
Cue Little Red Riding Hood seeking the not too big, not to small, not too hard, not to soft comfortable middle ground.

Wouldn't that be Goldilocks?  ;)

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2020, 12:09:38 PM »
^ Oops, heroine mix up!  :shrug:

Scooter nails it in a practical sense in that one can choose to optimize the recorded level of the music itself and allow the louder applause be limited or clipped, or optimize the recorded level to accommodate the applause at the risk of a higher level of audible noise during the quietest portions.

One needs to figure out which way works best given the recording situation, the capabilities of gear being used, and the priorities and work-flow of the taper. 

Its a common choice around TS to do the former, with a focus on noise-free music even if the applause sounds distorted or less than natural.  I've chosen to set things up so that I can accommodate applause without limiting or overload and still get the recording system's noise-floor lower than the acoustic noise-floor in the hall, which I can do using 4060 (barely). It often feels like threading the needle in terms of setting recording levels, and requires extra work afterwards because although the raw recording features neither overload, limiting, nor noise, it features a dynamic range too large for causal listening.  The natural sounding applause is way too loud relative to the quiet and often even the loudest portions of the music - just like it does in real life compared to a finished recording with optimal playback dynamics*.  This shifts the necessary manipulation of dynamics to post-recording work where one can achieve a more natural sounding result in order to avoid the listener having to leap to the volume knob whenever applause comes in.  But it takes a recording system which can fully accommodate such a wide range, setting it up optimally, and post-work to transparently reduce the dynamics.  That's a lot of work that many folks don't want to have to do.

No wrong answer on which way to go there, its one of personal choice.

*It frequently amazes me that in actual performance situations, people don't realize how loud their applause actually is in comparison to the music they have just been listening too and focusing on.  I think this reflects not only natural enthusiasm, but also a fundamental feature of human hearing.  We sort of mentally limit the apparent level perception of our own applause, and have been socially conditioned to do the same for the folks around us.  Now almost painfully consciously aware of this, I frequently feel like I'd like earplugs in just for the applause portions of classical concerts.  Similarly we all have stories of the ridiculously loud clapper that always seems to have the seat adjacent to ours.  Accurate documentation of that dynamic range is not the goal!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 12:30:08 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline aaronji

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2020, 12:15:20 PM »
^ Oops, heroine mix up!  :shrug:

Yes, LRRH would say, "Grandma, what big mics you have!"

*It frequently amazes me that in actual performance situations, people don't realize how loud their applause actually is in comparison to the music they have just been listening too and focusing on.  I think this reflects something about human hearing.  We sort of mentally limit the apparent level perception of our own applause, and have been socially conditioned to do the same for the folks around us.  Now almost painfully consciously aware of this, I frequently feel like I'd like earplugs in just for the applause portions of classical concerts.  Similarly we all have stories of the ridiculously loud clapper that always seems to have the seat adjacent to ours.  Accurate documentation of that dynamic range is not the goal!

This always astounds me, too. One of the big advantages of the modern crop of very high dynamic range recorders is that you can record the whole shebang and decide how to deal with the very loud applause at  your leisure...

Offline fandelive

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2020, 04:32:08 PM »

[...]

but from time to time I am attending acoustic concerts,
not just a single guitar player - a full band with bass, drums, piano aso.

[...]

I am open for every other advice, if it's small and stealthable.

I actually happened to st€@1t# tape two acoustic/full band shows exactly like you describe (amplified or mic'ed guitars, bass, drums, piano or synth) in two different clubs (300 capacity venues).
Those shows were taped using two different equipment, both from the exact same spot and mics mounted at head level:

  • Sources #01 : MM-HLSC-1 (2x Sennheiser MKE2) (4.7k mod done by Church Audio) > SP-SPSB-6524 (no bass roll-off) > Tascam DR-2d (mic-in)
  • Sources #02 : 2x DPA 4060 > CA-9100 > Tascam DR-2d (line-in)

As both mics and the CA-9100 preamp were discussed here, I thought I'd share a couple of comparison samples: https://uptobox.com/x223v27mxmyf.
Some parts are very quiet and I don't think I can hear any hiss...

My take on it is that if the stars are aligned (good acoustics venue, good balance between instruments/vocals, taping from the sweet spot, no chatters or clappers, ...), a pair of DPA4060's can't be beaten.

Also, I've got a spare pair of high sensivity SP-CMC-4/AT853's (cardioids) with removable caps terminated by a mini-jack plug that I'd be willing to let go for a fair price. No 4.7k mod on it.
Let me know if you're interested ;)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 04:48:06 PM by fandelive »
Mics : Sony ECM-717, MM-HLSC-1 (4.7k mod), SP-CMC-4 (at853), 2x DPA4060, 2x DPA4061
Battery box : SP-SPSB-6524 w/bass roll-off filter, MM-CBM-1
Preamp : Church Audio CA-9100
Recorders : Sony MZR-700PC, Edirol R-09HR, Tascam DR-2d

Offline Scooter123

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2020, 07:43:07 PM »
The only reason I let the actual govern the volume of the recording and not the room nor the applause is simply one of laziness and distrust.

I don't trust the limiters in most machines and if I screw up a setting then the recording is ruined forever.  Granted, I've never tried to seriously play with and understand those limiter settings, so I am guilty of laziness.  RX7 is a great program for clipping and limiting, and indeed it has two whole menus designed for these functions in post.  It's really an amazing plug in. 
Regards,

Scooter123

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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2020, 08:10:48 AM »
I don't trust the limiters in most machines and if I screw up a setting then the recording is ruined forever.  Granted, I've never tried to seriously play with and understand those limiter settings, so I am guilty of laziness.  RX7 is a great program for clipping and limiting, and indeed it has two whole menus designed for these functions in post.  It's really an amazing plug in.

ive used izotope to repair mild clipping, have you ever used it to repair really bad clipping? some recorders sound horrible when clipped and im wondering how these fare in software. Ive seen izotope do some amazing things, but i have no first hand experience using it in seriously bad obvious audible clipping
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Re: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts
« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2020, 08:26:03 AM »
I don't trust the limiters in most machines and if I screw up a setting then the recording is ruined forever.  Granted, I've never tried to seriously play with and understand those limiter settings, so I am guilty of laziness.  RX7 is a great program for clipping and limiting, and indeed it has two whole menus designed for these functions in post.  It's really an amazing plug in.

ive used izotope to repair mild clipping, have you ever used it to repair really bad clipping? some recorders sound horrible when clipped and im wondering how these fare in software. Ive seen izotope do some amazing things, but i have no first hand experience using it in seriously bad obvious audible clipping

^ +1 to all that.

The thing I most often use in RX is Spectral Denoise.  It's the only thing I have found that allows me to knock back HVAC drone in my recordings to an acceptable level while leaving the music free from artifacts.  It requires a careful hand to get there, though.
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