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Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

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Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:57 am
by Mike Stranks
As the CM3 is, rightly, frequently recommended here I thought an update might be useful for both potential purchasers and 'recommenders'.

One of the components of the CM3 is no longer available so the mic is now being built with the new component, but obviously has to have a new name. Hence the CM4.

The mics are very similar and you have to listen hard - or have golden ears - to tell the difference. They sit well together in multi-mic recordings.

But if you have a CM3 and were thinking of getting another for matching purposes then don't delay. There are a few about in the warehouse and with some retailers - Pinknoise are still listing them.

The CM4 is the same price as the CM3.

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:10 pm
by John Willett
But the new CM4 is much better in that it is now almost a true cardioid (5dB down at 90º instead of 6dB of a true cardioid).

The CM3 was really a wide-cardioid.

So the new CM4 is a much better option for those who need a high quality, but inexpensive, cardioid. :thumbup:

So - it may sound the same as the CM3 ( :thumbup: ) but you will notice the improvement in the polar-pattern. :thumbup:

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:33 pm
by Bob Bickerton
Looking at the polar responses both CM3 and CM4 appear to be 5dB down at the 90 degree points, so I’m not sure there’d be much of a difference. The CM4 has more attenuation on the rear.......

Either way they’re good microphones for the price.

Bob

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:22 pm
by Aural Reject
"Much better" is perhaps a bit of an overstatement John.

I've not really looked myself...but reading between the lines at the "other place" where you've also contributed they reckon in principle that the CM4 is closer to the Schoeps MK22 than the MK21, whereas the CM3 was closer to the latter.

Irrespective of that, as Bob says, the CM3s are great little mics and I've used them both as main pairs and as spots...I've got four of them in the box usually sitting next to the Neumanns and the Schoeps and they perform very well. I've no doubt that the CM4 will be similar in terms of performance.

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:23 pm
by Ramirez
Fascinating. This appeals more to me than the CM3.

I really like my OM1 pair.

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:41 pm
by Mike Stranks
Just for some context, I have two CM3s and two OM1s...

I'll often use the CM3s in NOS configuration; I like the sound I get with those. The OM1s are almost always used as a spaced pair.

I don't think I'd go for the CM4s as they aren't that different to the CM3s. Of course if I didn't have the CM3s....

Truth be told, recording work is all but non-existent now. The head says that I should sell some mics, but the heart... :)

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:45 pm
by blinddrew
Don't worry Mike, i'll happily look after some for you until you decide what you want to do... ;)

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:39 pm
by Sam Spoons
Mike Stranks wrote:Truth be told, recording work is all but non-existent now. The head says that I should sell some mics, but the heart... :)

My thoughts are to make a spreadsheet with approximate values for kit I want to keep for a while so the descendants have something to go on. I'll sell stuff I'm not using and don't expect to use reduce the burden on them when the time comes.

Problem is I haven't done it yet........

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:08 am
by Mike Stranks
Good point Sam.

My father-in-law was a very keen amateur recording enthusiast and spent freely on his hobby. He had some classy gear...

... then dementia struck...

When he died mum-in-law naturally didn't want all that kit any more - although we did keep one very nice cassette deck as a reminder of him. Because I knew what was what vis-a-vis audio gear I was able to price and sell appropriately, but it's always been in the back of mind not to hang-on to kit once there's no realistic prospect of it being used by me again. If I still have my wits about me it'll be a huge wrench, but none of my kids takes any more than a passing interest in my audio work so I don't want them or the memsahib to be faced with selling gear of which they have no clue about value.

Mr-70-next-year-but-not-planning-to-pop-off-for-a-while-yet :lol:

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:15 am
by fatbenelton
For new purchases would you recommend the CM3 or 4? Not noticed them before and they look great value but do I need to panic and get the CM3 now??? As a synth man I don't really have many mics (sm58 and Red5 LDC) but thinking I may need newer mics for recording my sons acoustic guitar and upright piano as a stereo pair...these look ok for that and seem a bargain price.

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:33 pm
by Mike Stranks
If you don't have any then I'd just go for the CM4... same price as the CM3 at Pinknoise.

The CM3 is a cracking mic, but it's hypocardioid pattern (almost omni with a slightly less sensitive rear) does mean you can't just chuck it up in ORTF and expect to get a 'normal' stereo sound.

The CM4 is still billed as 'wide cardiod', but it's slightly less wide than the CM3. Jean-Poll (the Line Audio front-man in Europe) says that you have to listen hard to hear the difference. So on that basis I'd not think twice about getting the CM4...

HTH

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:30 pm
by fatbenelton
Cheers Mike.

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:21 pm
by John Willett
Let's compare....

CM3
Image

CM4
Image

Although the front ±90º are the same for both - the CM4 has an obvious much better rear attenuation.

The CM3 is definitely a wide cardioid - the CM4, although not an absolutely true cardioid, is much closer. I think Schoeps term this as an "open cardioid".

They may sound the same, but the difference in the rear pick-up should be noticeable.

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:15 pm
by Mike Stranks
Your 'Sound Link' Hyperlink in your sig is broken, John...

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:03 pm
by ConcertinaChap
To be exact the link isn't broken but the site's security isn't completely set up for HTTPS. You get the following message from Firefox:

Your connection is not secure

The owner of sound-link.co.uk has configured their web site improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this web site.

It will let you through if you insist. John, if you change the link to HTTP then you won't get this problem. OTOH it will be an insecure link and searches in Google will show it as such which is not so helpful.

CC

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:05 am
by ManFromGlass
So not great at understanding the graphs but the flat graph suggests to me the CM4 will pick up more bottom end including low rumbles if one is not in a well insulated studio, than the CM3?

I’m trying to understand the circular graphs, the degrees and db’s. 180 would be the back of the mic? Zero the front? Why is one graph showing -20 and the other zero db? Shouldn’t both graphs show either zero or -20 for the same frequencies in order to compare them? Is one of the circular graphs upside down to the other? (Mic front on the bottom in one, mic front on the top in the other?)
Sorry, these things don’t seem to work with my brain.

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:05 am
by Wonks
One polar plot is inverted with respect to the other. No idea why, but it is.

And the CM4, being more cardioid-like, does have a higher degree of proximity boost at low frequencies compared to the CM3, though the actual difference is about 3dB at 20Hz at 30cm, and almost nothing at 30 Hz. And at 1m, the bass drop-off is about 2dB less by 20Hz.

Also don't forget that these responses are almost certainly slightly idealised by 1/3 octave smoothing, so individual mics will have more dips and peaks showing on a non-smoothed graph.

The low-end frequency response is very similar to other SDCs, e.g. a Röde NT5, so rumble pickup will be par for the course. Easy enough to HPF the recording afterwards - and this gives more creative freedom than having a fixed HPF switch on the mic itself. Even live, unless you are using a basic small desk with no HPF available, it shouldn't really be an issue - at least no more than any other SDC.

And the more cardioid-like pattern means that the CM4 can be positioned to reject more unwanted sound than the CM3 could.

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:47 am
by Mike Stranks
ConcertinaChap wrote:To be exact the link isn't broken but the site's security isn't completely set up for HTTPS. You get the following message from Firefox:

Your connection is not secure

The owner of sound-link.co.uk has configured their web site improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this web site.

It will let you through if you insist. John, if you change the link to HTTP then you won't get this problem. OTOH it will be an insecure link and searches in Google will show it as such which is not so helpful.

CC


Firefox; PC; Current Win10:


Image

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:12 am
by Hugh Robjohns
Edited to add: Oops -- just seen that Wonks has said exactly the same ahead of me!

ManFromGlass wrote:...the flat graph suggests to me the CM4 will pick up more bottom end including low rumbles if one is not in a well insulated studio, than the CM3?

What it's showing is that two mics have a very similar response for sources at 1m distance, but the new CM4 has more proximity effect -- hence the raised low-end response for sources at 0.3m. This is entirely to be expected and tallies with its more directional polar-pattern -- the greater proportion of pressure-gradient (velocity) operation, the more the pattern tends towards fig-8 and the stronger the proximity effect.

180 would be the back of the mic? Zero the front?

Correct.

Why is one graph showing -20 and the other zero db? Shouldn’t both graphs show either zero or -20 for the same frequencies in order to compare them? Is one of the circular graphs upside down to the other? (Mic front on the bottom in one, mic front on the top in the other?)

Yes, the CM3 polar plot is shown upside down with the business end of the mic (0 degrees) facing downwards. Here are the same charts, but with the CM3 polar plot the right way up for easier comparison:

CM3_4.png

Re: Line-Audio CM3 is no more...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:19 am
by ConcertinaChap
Mike Stranks wrote:Firefox; PC; Current Win10:

Image

Image

Mind you, this is using HTTP, using HTTPS still gives me the security warning. I'll leave this now for John to puzzle over.

CC