Author Topic: Condenser Microphone  (Read 5600 times)

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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2011, 09:38:33 pm »
It worked great on fireworks. It did clip but that was because my gain was set too high. I use my small-diaphragm condenser (Oktava MK-012) on my guitar amp all the time, too.
It's not because I don't like dynamic mics on louder sources, it's just that I got none. ;D
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2011, 01:32:48 am »
Quote
(a lot of condenser mics like to clip when they get around really loud sources.)

?? Most have max SPL figures above 120dB. Many in the 130dB range. In perspective....


Hearing damage = 85dB SPL
Jack Hammer at 1m = 100dB SPL
Vuvuzuela at 1m = 120dB SPL
Threshold of pain = 130dB SPL

========================================================================
60 dB dynamic range

All that means is that you have 60dB of range to work with between the self noise of the mic and peak signal. Depending on what you are recording you will probably never hear it even if you did use that entire range.

I'd almost bet that your DAW meters are set to a 60dB scale if not less and doubt very seriously you are recording signals below that. Well you may be recording them but you don't care about them until they are up in the -40dB range.

and Cue that mic of yours has 70dB dynamic range rating but the reality is it has a 102dB dynamic range total. 12db greater than a CD.

Max SPL = 126dB
Self Noise = 24dB
That leaves 102dB of range between max SPL at 1% THD ( Total Harmonic Distortion )

Now let's drop our signal down to 94dBSPL which is a standard of rating used for microphones.

94dB Max ( so we can compare it fairly to any mic capable of producing 94. Some can hit 110, 120, 124, 126, 130 but all can hit 94 )
24dB self noise
70 dB difference

So your mic gets rated at 70dB SNR @1Khz referenced to 1 pascal. 1 pascal = 94dBSPL

Some of the best mics in the world have high self noise and lower SNR specs.










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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2011, 01:50:05 am »
Yeah.. I read all that crap too... Then I actually used the mics. Trust me; When Norman Schwarzkopf is standing at the lecturn, a condenser mic isn't the correct mic to use. No I wasn't clipping at the console. I was clipping the microphone. And it's a pretty helpless feeling when you don't have a 58 or something handy to throw up there..  
Your numbers are rated at 1 meter. every time you double the distance from the source you loose what? 6db? I can pretty much assure you that if someone is yelling in your ear from 1 centimeter away it will aproach the "threshould of pain" (around 130 db)
I've (unfortunately) had to learn this lesson more than once. I think I was using Countryman mics the first time and AKG 451s another.
Now I prefer large diaphragm dynamic mics for things like podium mics, kick drums, or any loud source that will be close-miced.
Move them away from the source and you don't need to worry about the clipping - just the feedback (in a live environment) and S/N ratio.

Edt: I'm not saying that there aren't condenser mics that are suitable for loud sources.. what I'm saying is; be certain that the one you select will work - and many condenser mics will not.
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2011, 02:36:04 am »
Ah yeah, I suck at math - even though I have a test in a few hours.

Then my 012 must be at 80dB and it's one of the best cheap condensers out there.
I'd better get myself a 58 and 57 too then... or an i5 maybe.

It's probably due to the amp being not turned up enough that the condensers still work OK on it.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2011, 02:59:54 am »
Quote
Trust me; When Norman Schwarzkopf is standing at the lecturn, a condenser mic isn't the correct mic to use. No I wasn't clipping at the console. I was clipping the microphone. And it's a pretty helpless feeling when you don't have a 58 or something handy to throw up there.. 

Agreed you need to pick the right mic for the job and use it properly.
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2011, 03:24:10 am »
Quote
Trust me; When Norman Schwarzkopf is standing at the lecturn, a condenser mic isn't the correct mic to use. No I wasn't clipping at the console. I was clipping the microphone. And it's a pretty helpless feeling when you don't have a 58 or something handy to throw up there..  

Agreed you need to pick the right mic for the job and use it properly.

Yeah, if you look at the specs for a Countryman Isomax mic (or an AKG 451 with the lecturn CK capsule) you would assume it would be suitable. And after using them a hundred or so times for their designed purpose you would assume it would always be suitable. Then you run into the exception. Sometimes you can learn more from experiences than from specs.

This is an EAW KF850 / Apogee AE-5 rig that I designed and flew in a 22,000 seat dome stadium for John Williams last tour with the Boston Pops.
Thirty of the microphones in the 40 hole desk were (very expensive) condenser mics.



This is the same console being used at Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival to do the Blues stage. (I think it was John Mayall, or Tower of Power on stage at the time.) Wanna guess how many of the mics were condenser mics? Three. (Two overheads and a hi-hat.)
Why? Because (primarily) I was close-micing louder instruments.



Since this thread is about condenser mics, another thing that should be noted is that you can't phantom power them from the console if you need to use a transformer..
 
My original intent here was to share my experience with a recently-purchased affordable condenser mic. I was simply curious about weather CZ had found the 825 a suitable mic at high SPL.
IMO the Audio-Technica Pro 37 is a decent affordable condenser mic for use on an acoustic guitar.

*Your milage may vary
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 04:38:54 am by Scooter Trash »
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2011, 04:30:26 am »
Well I'm not knocking any mic anyone wants to use but I was assuming that whatever is being used there is control over how it's being used in a typical recording guitar setting.

Your situation took control away from you. If you had been recording a guitar you could have adjusted the mic. If the sound suited you, great, if not swap it out. But they don't simply distort inherently when used on loud sources. Ribbons are fragile but even those are used on guitar amps and people love them. That's all I was speaking to.

I mean even SRV used large condensers. They would put a 57 in the grill and condenser back about three feet. People use condensers on loud sources every day without issue. I'm not being argumentative, that's just a fact.
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2011, 04:42:13 am »
I think we're somewhat in agreement. Move the condenser mic far enough away and it will work fine - (if you can isolate it)
I apologize if I misunderstood your intent.. It's been a long day.
Cheers.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 05:08:12 am by Scooter Trash »
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Offline Ragz

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2011, 05:43:30 am »
i always put my LDC right up on my amp speaker. Literally not even an inch or two away from it. And it never had any problems. It really captures the tone nicely. Just i don't like it since it also captures everything else around it as soon as the amp goes quiet. Like if i mute off the strings, if my kids come romping through the room (as they do often lol), then it captures their noise aswell as my amp.

Can't wait to have a proper room set up as my own studio. Then i'll be adding to my mic list with a few of each type of mic. (gonna need to run a voltage across the door to the room, or even if the door's locked, they'll knock on it, lol. So a little shock will stop them touching it again. haha (disclaimer: for those who may be thinking this is very wrong. It's a joke.)).


Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2011, 12:34:56 pm »
Not just that, even noise downstairs, or outside the room are problematic.
I don't put it right up on the amp, maybe 3 inches away or so, and sometimes angled in some way, but never farther away than that. My amp has it's own tone, even if it isn't great I often prefer it over an amp similator (and that tells you something about me as well I guess).
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2011, 01:25:09 pm »
Quote
I think we're somewhat in agreement.

I think so, and to be honest I was not thinking from a live sound aspect but rather a controlled situation like a studio or home studio.

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Offline Ragz

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2011, 09:16:44 pm »
Not just that, even noise downstairs, or outside the room are problematic.
I don't put it right up on the amp, maybe 3 inches away or so, and sometimes angled in some way, but never farther away than that. My amp has it's own tone, even if it isn't great I often prefer it over an amp similator (and that tells you something about me as well I guess).
So you have that issue too with noise being picked up from other places in the house? That's the main reason i switched to my SM57. As i can keep all the other noise out, even at very close proximity to the mic.
My usb condensor used to pick up anything, from anywhere. What i'd like is a condensor mic that wasn't recording from every direction at once. Do they make ones like that?


Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2011, 10:09:36 pm »
Well it's not a big problem as I often mic close enough and the household isn't all that noisy. But I always start to worry when the doorbell rings, the front door slams shut (it's a heavy door), etc.
I also have problems with the central heating making that ticking sound and the floorboards creaking when the person on the mic is walking, dancing, shuffling or jumping around. The low-end noise is not a problem but the ticking and creaking proves a challenge to get rid of. Perhaps I should get myself a PR-40 or an SM7b...

The most selective pattern for a condenser is the figure-of-eight, just like the ribbons out there. They pick up sound directly in frond and directly behind it. The nulls on either side (not the nulls directly in frond or behind) are very strong at rejecting sound. I prefer this when recording guitar and vocals simultaneously. The MK-012 has a stronger rejection than the M179 anyway (and it's more uniform-sounding as well).
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2011, 10:14:56 pm »
So you have that issue too with noise being picked up from other places in the house? That's the main reason i switched to my SM57. As i can keep all the other noise out, even at very close proximity to the mic.
My usb condensor used to pick up anything, from anywhere. What i'd like is a condensor mic that wasn't recording from every direction at once. Do they make ones like that?

Yeah, they make cardoid, supercardoid, and hypercardoid condenser mics. I'd still stick with a 57 to close-mic the cabinet - then maybe add a distant-mic'd condenser for ambience... but when you move the mic farther away it will pick up more environmental noise.
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Condenser Microphone
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2011, 10:17:30 pm »
I think the cardioids are only really good at rejecting sound directly behind it. Hypercardioids are mostly good for rejecting sound diagonally behind it. I still don't really understand why this is the polar pattern of choice for video recording etc. though.
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