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Author Topic: microphone recommendation for acoustic concerts  (Read 2717 times)

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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
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
LINE AUDIO CM3, AT853c, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
Denecke PS-2 / 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.
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
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
LINE AUDIO CM3, AT853c, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
Denecke PS-2 / 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's (matched), Schoeps MK41's (matched), AT853u's (C,SC,H,O), DPA 4061's
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
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
LINE AUDIO CM3, AT853c, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
Denecke PS-2 / 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
Sony NH 600 / Sharp MD-MT180(H) / Sony MZ-R35
LINE AUDIO CM3, AT853c, ATU853c, hc / Sony ECM-717 / Sony ECM-TS 125
2x Nakamichi CP-3 + primo's (4.7k mod)
Denecke PS-2 / 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)
People whose posts I wont see:
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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.

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 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

 

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