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LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 11:47 pm

That's artificial reverb. It's partly to obscure unwanted room effects.

The mic distance is about 10in.

Revivalists - of which I'm one - do all sorts of things... And as you suggest I don't agree with everything. And of course I've got these technical issues to work with.

Here's a bit of reference that might make some sense... http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/5

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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 11:57 pm

I'd add that the Spotify category you linked to confuses things a bit. My link shows traditional singers - folk singers as they used to be called - while the Spotify link is largely modern revivalists who sing mainly old or trad songs or are influenced by them.

I've nothing at all against that, as I think that the thing that would do most harm to the old material would be to ignore it.

But they don't all do things I'd want to do at the moment, although I've done some whacky and experimental things and still play with an electric guitars and horns band playing country dance music.

By this point I doubt I'm making any sense at all!

But I would say that the commercial world often likes to confuse us. An example is the way those good old Suffolk boys and girls singing in their pub in the 1950s were 'folk' and then not long after so was Donovan.

Part of the problem here is that I'm talking about art, and quickly getting into 'dancing about architecture' territory. I do appreciate that...

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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby John Willett » Sat May 18, 2019 1:34 pm

forumuser915213 wrote:Thanks. That's good to know. I hadn't realised about the fractions and it's really helpful.

Is there any reason why in use some cardioids /might seem/ less wide than others?

Gavin

You can tell by the polar-pattern what the microphone is doing - it's good to learn to interpret these.

You will see that some microphones do funny things at some frequencies.

The standard measureing frequencies are:-
125 Hz
2560 Hz
500 Hz
1 kHz
2 kHz
4 kHz
8 kHz
16 kHz

If you see a microphone measu=red at other frequencies, beware - some manufacturers do this to hide nasties that happen at the normal measureing frequemcies.

I have seen some polar-patterns that are perfectly cardioid at 1 kHz but are wider at low frequencies and tighter at higher frequencies - I have seen others that are all over the palce at different frequencies.

The better the mic. the better and more unoform the polar-pattern - it's the cheaper ones that are more likely to be less uniform.
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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Sat May 18, 2019 1:41 pm

Thanks! I'll take another look at the polar diaphragms of what I've got.

I remember reading once that a particular mic was described as being like the hairdo of some character in the Simpsons - so now I know what was meant.

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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:27 pm

My experiments in recording in an ordinary home have continued.

At the risk of getting into trouble again:

- Attracted by its flexible pickup patterns, I have bought a CAD M179. This mic goes from omni through to cardiod and supercardioid through to figure of eight, controlled by a potentiometer. To my ears and in my partially deadened environment (small room, sloping ceiling, large bed, lots of books, duvet in the corner), the M179's supercardioid pattern does the job of cutting down the remaining room sound pretty well. However, it is quite a bright mic as this measured frequency response suggests (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-end-theory/525309-nekked-cad-m179-pics-2.html) and as a quick and dirty measure, I've found it becomes quite natural when I apply a 2dB/octave cut from 2kHz. That's probably a bit over-crude, so I will give it more attention soon.

- I've been trying one of those cheap foam 'eyeball' vocal isolators that people are often very rude about on the forums and elsewhere. My conclusion is that while it produces considerable coloration with my sE2200a cardiod (which I consider is in effect a wider cardioid) with my baritone voice, I couldn't really detect much coloration with the M179's supercardiod pattern. I got a similar very acceptable result with an Octava MK219. So I think it's likely to be that coloration with these things depends on the mic you're using and that they may generally work better with mics with narrower pickup patterns - though I haven't got the budget or energy required to try out very many.

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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:34 pm

Has anyone else had similar experiences? Or found something interestingly different?

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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:02 pm

The M179 is a pretty decent mic for the money, but it is a little on the bright side when used up close. Rather than applying EQ, though, you can often tame that brightness at source by tilting the mic away from the source a little bit -- just lean it back so the wanted sound approaches the diaphragm at a shallower angle instead of 90 degrees.
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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:29 pm

Thanks - I'll try that. Are there good reasons for avoiding using eq to control the brightness? Does it screw up phase?

I'm dickering over getting a second one, on the grounds that pairs are always more than twice as useful as a single mic. That 'progressive' pickup pattern control thing is very appealing.

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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser840717 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:31 pm

John Willett wrote:You can tell by the polar-pattern what the microphone is doing - it's good to learn to interpret these.

You will see that some microphones do funny things at some frequencies.

Most microphones do funny things at some frequencies. Particularly as you get further off-axis. Which is one reason why, for example, using an omni at 90 degrees off axis to reduce brightness is only really a get out of a hole option, not something to be recommended as a standard practice. If one wants a flat mic then it's better to buy a flat mic than it is to use a mic designed not to be flat in a way that it isn't intended to be used. On the other hand, it's a useful trick for those days when there isn't any other option.

I have seen some polar-patterns that are perfectly cardioid at 1 kHz but are wider at low frequencies and tighter at higher frequencies

Isn't that true of most, if not all cardioids? Or pretty much any polar pattern really. Frequency affects the polar patterns of more or less all mics to a greater or lesser extent.

- I have seen others that are all over the palce at different frequencies.

Again, isn't that common, especially if looking at undamped polar pattern plots?

The better the mic. the better and more unoform the polar-pattern - it's the cheaper ones that are more likely to be less uniform.

Yes but even the expensive ones show some variation in polar pattern with frequency.
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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:19 pm

forumuser840717 wrote:Isn't that true of most, if not all cardioids? Or pretty much any polar pattern really. Frequency affects the polar patterns of more or less all mics to a greater or lesser extent.

True, but the extent is really quite variable!

Most good ribbon mics have a figure-8 polar pattern that is surprisingly consistent across the frequency range. And in the world of capacitor mics, small-diaphragm mics tend to have much better polar pattern consistency / off-axis response than large-diaphragm mics.
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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:34 pm

forumuser840717 wrote: Which is one reason why, for example, using an omni at 90 degrees off axis to reduce brightness is only really a get out of a hole option, not something to be recommended as a standard practice.

Actually this is fairly standard practice for true omni SDCs of reasonable quality such as the Neumann KM183 and perfectly workable. The off-axis response is smooth with just HF attenuation.

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Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:03 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The M179 is a pretty decent mic for the money, but it is a little on the bright side when used up close. Rather than applying EQ, though, you can often tame that brightness at source by tilting the mic away from the source a little bit -- just lean it back so the wanted sound approaches the diaphragm at a shallower angle instead of 90 degrees.

Having spent a little more time with the CAD 179s (I did buy a second one), I'm inclined to agree Hugh. Thanks for the angling tip, which I generally do anyway to cut out nasal sounds.

I still felt I needed to do some eqing, but it's easy, mild eqing.

More, with mics set to supercardioid and with a drop of digital plate reverb, I've got a result where I couldn't tell it was recorded in a sketchily treated upstairs bedroom.

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