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versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

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versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby plodsmeade » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:12 pm

Hi all

I'm looking to choose a couple of models allowing me to authentically reproduce a close-ish miked radio/TV broadcast and voiceover sound, but also do duty on other sources, mostly other types of voice work (singing) but also instrumentation and foley.

I've been eyeing (earing) the Coles 4038 for its BBC provenance, and also its performance on other sources in the SOS shootout. Budget will not allow for two, but 2 x 4030 is an option, although I'm not sure whether this model will fit the bill (perhaps too bright). I'm also concerned about the fragility of either model as the facility is used by many people with various levels of experience.

Moving coil wise the usual suspects seem to be SM7, RE20, MD421 and M201. I'm sure any of these will do a good job, but my knowledge is patchy in terms of their historic use.

Any thoughts and advice appreciated - ideally I would be able to get 2 x ribbon and 2 x moving coil, with the latter not necessarily being the same model unless there's a good reason (e.g. stereo applications or consistency of sound between two performers).

cheers

p
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby blinddrew » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:18 pm

Probably worth looking at the Aston Stealth as well as your other dynamics.
Ribbons and the inexperienced is always a risky proposition, but I do love those big Coles. :)
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby MOF » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:06 pm

From what I’ve seen of radio studios, when they’re shown on TV, there are quite a few AKG C414 mic’s, they might even be the 214 versions, hard to tell as they all have coloured windshields on them.
The ‘radio sound’ is more to do with close proximity to the DJ/contributors.
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby Kwackman » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:43 pm

For speech perhaps a AKG202 or the 222.
I'm not sure if they're still being made though.
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby Ariosto » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:17 pm

I have a Beyer M201 and it's pretty good for voice, but as for most dynamic mics you need a good clean pre-amp either as a separate unit or on your interface/stand alone recorder.

The M201 is priced very reasonably and I got mine from Canford.
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:31 pm

Not entirely sure what you mean by authentically reproduce a close-ish miked radio/TV broadcast and voiceover sound...

UK radio/TV broadcast is rarely 'close miked' -- unless you're looking at sports commentaries on a lip-ribbon.

Standard radio talks studio mics have included Beyer m201s and AKG D202s the latter -- and its siblings, the D222 and D224 -- are no longer made. And World Service used to employ the delicious 4038 almost exclusively. However, most BBC talks studios these days seem to be using AKG C414 XLSs... but whatever mic is being used, no one is ever closer than about 8 inches and often more like 12 inches. The only exception I'm aware of is in the Radio 1 and 2 studios where they tend to use U87s or similar and can get quite close.

But with the moderate distances typically used (added to the fig-8 pickup pattern of the ribbon 4038) a very well treated studio acoustics is absolutely essential!

If you don't have a really, really well controlled (ie, pretty darned dead sounding) room, you would be better off with something like the SM7 or RE20 which are both very popular with the US radio jocks.

And the 4038 is not as prone to instant destruction as some would have you believe... you just need to treat it with care and respect.
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby plodsmeade » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:05 pm

Thanks everyone

I suppose I meant close-ish as sort of close but not too close

Hugh Robjohns wrote:moderate distances

Ah that's it! Although perhaps I'm also talking metaphorically and mean a close sound. Which I guess as Hugh says is mostly down to the dead recording room. But maybe also something like the SM7/RE20 have a signature sonic flavour and proximity effect when used less than close-ish. Huge low end and, I don't know, 'mouth detail'. And compression I suppose?

Any experience with the 4030?

I think the room sound is ok, so how about:
either 1 x 4038 or 2 x 4030
1 x SM7
2 x M201

The SM7 would be really useful for other styles of vocal, and the 201s a kind of workhorse dynamic pair for instrumentation as well as a typical radio broadcast mic as others have said, and perhaps could go out on the road as well.
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby MOF » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:48 pm

But maybe also something like the SM7/RE20 have a signature sonic flavour and proximity effect when used less than close-ish

The RE20 is designed not to have a proximity effect when used close to the mouth, the SM7 will sound less bassy the further away from the mouth it's positioned.

Have a look at the AKG C214 mic' for the radio type recording but also for the "other" uses you mentioned, they're cheaper than the RE20, SM7b and especially the 4038.
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:02 pm

I suppose we should ask the question - do you already have any microphones or is this your first foray into recording? If so what are they?

This will help with a response. Having said that SM7 and M201s are favourite mics of mine but , in a way, only because I’m already well covered with condensers in the mic locker.

As has been said a good preamp and excellent (dry) acoustics will be essential to achieve the results you are after.

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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby plodsmeade » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:24 pm

Personally I've been recording (and doing live) for some time and have a number of mics but this is for somewhere else, an educational context with a variety of uses and users. Broadcast and foley is somewhat beyond my experience (although I am good with the theory and common sense) so I'm just reaching out for opinions really.

Anyway we have:
AT4033a
NT2-A
sometimes a couple of TLM107s available
SM57s/58s
a couple of old Sennheiser shotguns

I need to get a couple of SDCs for field recording as well as studio use, might try modular AKG.

So, hence the dynamics idea for broadcast type stuff, and alternative mics for voice, with versatility for other things.

What do you find yourself using the M201s on Bob?
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby James Perrett » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:31 pm

I'd start with the AT 4033 that you already have and give it a try before going out and buying anything else. If the 4033 doesn't work at first I'd be looking to improve the room acoustics and the user's mic technique before changing the mic.
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby plodsmeade » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:12 pm

I have tried the 4033, it's good and I'm glad it's there, but it's not always available and wouldn't suit everyone.
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:07 pm

plodsmeade wrote:What do you find yourself using the M201s on Bob?

Well I have a raft of Neumann and Sennheiser mics so the M201s face fierce competition in the studio. For live work I tend to use them on any source where I want a fairly neutral dynamic - brass, sax, percussion. I also like them on vocals and use M201 myself these days.

Bob
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:24 am

MOF wrote:
But maybe also something like the SM7/RE20 have a signature sonic flavour and proximity effect when used less than close-ish

The RE20 is designed not * to have a proximity effect when used close to the mouth, the SM7 will sound less bassy the further away from the mouth it's positioned...


Yes, the RE20 (and some other mics over the years) actually addresses the proximity effect problem. Hence the complex design. The SM7 (and the vast majority of similar mics on the market) doesnt. Yet the RE20 and SM7 are often spoken of in the same breath. The SM58 is also great for close micing but like the SM7 and most other cardioid mics, it cant do both well. That is they cant sound the same at close and distant.

The basic "sonic flavour" of the RE20 is its relative freedom from proximity effect. Plus its smoother polar pattern. It's a directional mic that sounds basically the same whether close or far. It has been designed that way and we pay extra for it.

The SM7 isn't one of those mics.

* My emphasis
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby Bob Bickerton » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:47 am

Interesting but when I owned both the RE20 and SM7 concurrently, it was the SM7 that nearly always got used - it simply sounded better to my ear for the purposes I was using it for - mainly vocals, both sung and voiceover. I sold the RE20.

If proximity effect is an issue with the SM7, it has an onboard low cut filter, however the capsule is mounted someway back from the grill, so I rarely found this to be an issue,

Bob
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Re: versatile dynamics for broadcast sound emulation

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:59 am

This SOS mic review may be relevant here.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/sh ... 8-dualdyne
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