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SDC mic query

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Re: SDC mic query

Postby rggillespie » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:07 pm

Very luckily for me that's one of my armoury of 3 mics, the OC818 is excellent for vocals and electric guitars, when recording an acoustic with a single mic and mixing it with drums bass etc that's my go to mic. I'm getting my best recordings for solo acoustic with it and the reslo in m/s about 12-14 inches away. It has an option of splitting the diaphragm so I'd get 2 outputs to add to the reslo's figure of 8 but irritatingly my fireface 400 only has 2 inputs, so that's not possible. Try as I might, I find there's a very very slight out of focus or smeared sound in the high e string area that no amount of mic moving back and forth seems to cure. It may well be the room not the mic but I was thinking a SDC moved closer i.e 6-8" would pull it into focus. I would use the sdc with my oc818 in figure of 8 to avoid the proximity of the reslo. That's my plan anyway, I haven't used the omni setting at all perhaps that's worth trying? It doesn't seem to get mentioned much at all when it comes to recording acoustic guitars.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:13 pm

There's not much wrong with the sound of a B-ULS... Nice though the OC818 is, I don't think I'd trade in my own C414 B-ULS mics for one... And although it's a clever feature I'm not sure how much practical use the remote polar pattern and dual outputs would really be... I have other remote pattern mics but it's extremely rare that I need to change the pattern from the one I first chose.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Ramirez » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:39 pm

A pair of OC818 will be heading my way soon. I don't personally own any LDC mics, although the studio has many, so these will tick that box nicely.

I've always looked past the C414s at the studio for some reason (we have 6x B-ULS and a pair of XLS*), but over the lockdown I took a couple home to get to know them better, and I found that I really like the B-ULS. It has a slight touch of magic while still remaining quite neutral. It did sound slightly 'tubbier' than the XLS on occasion (evident on acoustic guitar, for example) - or perhaps it was the XLS that was lean in comparison. The XLS sounded slightly more clinical, without the slight something extra that the B-ULS had ("sweetness" is the word that comes to mind...), though still a very good microphone I'd say.

So, seeing my new found love for older C414s, and looking to buy something current by a company that seems to exist for the right reasons**, the OC818 makes sense for my personal collection, I think. I look forward to comparing them with the two flavours of C414 we have.


During the same tests, I also found that my Beyer MC834 gives the Sennheiser MKH40 a damn good run for its money too... they sounded very similar on-axis. I doubt that the 834's polar pattern is as remarkably well-behaved as the MKH though...

*So why the heck am I buying more 414-a-likes?!

**See also Cranborne Audio (ex-Soundcraft people)... I've also just ordered two Camden 500 preamps. That's a fair chunk of money I've sent to ex-Samsung/Harman employees...
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby MOF » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:40 pm

Thanks Hugh and rrgillespie I might have to sell a few mic’s, other than the 414, to fund the 818.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby MOF » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:44 pm

Thanks Ramirez, it was the very smooth mid/top end plus the favourable comparisons to the C12 capsule that attracted me to the 818.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:07 pm

Ramirez wrote:See also Cranborne Audio (ex-Soundcraft people)... I've also just ordered two Camden 500 preamps.

Good plan... If you're already a 500-series user they are not just extremely cost effective, you'd be hard pressed to find any preamp technically or sonically better at any price. They seriously are that good.

In fact, I reckon they are the best preamp on the market right now, regardless of price. In terms of sound, they are ultra-clean and quiet when you want them to be, but with very useful and versatile colouration options thanks to the fully bypassable Mojo feature, too. The gain is on a rotary switch, so it's accurate and has no gain bunching, too.

And for non 500-series users, the 1U rackmount EC2 has the same preamp circuitry for twin preamps, plus two excellent headphone amps all for £1k... which is also remarkably good value for money.

I put the EC2 up against a new high-end preamp costing over twice as much and the EC2 blew it completely out of the water! Outperformed it on every technical test I ran, and sounded better, too! And I'm even finding it hard to choose between my GML 8304 preamps and the EC2, which is very impressive indeed considering the GML costs 3.5x as much! And while the GML provides 6dB more maximum gain,it doesn't have any of the other useful facilities provided on the Camden.

Bit of a rave, there... and it's fair to say I'm so massively impressed with the Cranborne team and the stunningly good design of the Camden preamp in particular. But I make no apologies. Unquestionably the best preamp I've had on my bench and on location in a decade if not more... The last time I got this heated about a preamp was for the Grace Design M201 in 2009! But it cost twice as much and they don't make it anymore!
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Ramirez » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I'm not sure how much practical use the remote polar pattern and dual outputs would really be... I have other remote pattern mics but it's extremely rare that I need to change the pattern from the one I first chose.

If you have the experience to get it right first time, then the point certainly stands, but I do think it could be an useful educational tool for those without Hugh Robjohns' expertise! It would allow the user, for example, to explore the effect of different polar patterns in their own time without using up other people's time on the session.

It's not a major selling point for me, I'll admit (not that I get my choices right every time... just that I live with them!) although I'm sure it could come in handy on occasion. But they do seem well made, well-priced, versatile and great sounding mics on their own merit without the additional gimmicks.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby rggillespie » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:29 am

Hi MOF I did first get a 414xls as that seemed to be recommended buy mic to cover a lot of bases. I didn't think it was terrible but also not stellar. I returned it and got a 818 and found that that much more my thing. Comparing them I found the 818 fuller in the low and mids and sweeter at the top. Everything seemed a little bigger, more colourful, clearer and more present with the 818. I suspect if I hadn't heard the 818 l would have been happy with the 414, in no way was it a bad mic. For me though, the 818 is a step up. It came with a popshield, mic holder etc and was very well presented, feels like a quality thing. My only criticism would be I cant see the settings on the mic in daylight or night for love nor money. I have to get a torch and shine it on the mic to see them and make changes. A minor inconvenience that just reminds me I'm no spring chicken. Hope the above helps MOF with your decisions
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Arpangel » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:14 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:And for non 500-series users, the 1U rackmount EC2 has the same preamp circuitry for twin preamps, plus two excellent headphone amps all for £1k... which is also remarkably good value for money.

Steady on Hugh :)
Thanks for that, I’ll bare it in mind when mine need replacing, they look good too, great workman-like construction.
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Ramirez » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:09 am

Arpangel wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:And for non 500-series users, the 1U rackmount EC" has the same preamp circuitry for twin preamps, plus two excellent headphone amps all for £1k... which is also remarkably good value for money.

Steady on Hugh :)
Thanks for that, I’ll bare it in mind when mine need replacing, they look good too, great workman-like construction.

They are solid.

This is actually my first venture into 500 territory, and I did consider the EC rackmount version. The two Camden 500 and a small 4-slot chassis still made more sense for me and came out a bit cheaper than the EC... and I'll have two spare slots for when Cranborne bring out a compressor :lol: ;)
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:29 am

Ramirez wrote:The two Camden 500 and a small 4-slot chassis still made more sense for me and came out a bit cheaper than the EC... and I'll have two spare slots for when Cranborne bring out a compressor :lol: ;)

I suspect it will be an EQ module first... but those guys are working on some very impressive stuff for the 500-series....
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby MOF » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:41 pm

I did first get a 414xls as that seemed to be recommended buy mic to cover a lot of bases. I didn't think it was terrible but also not stellar
Thank you rggillespie I’ve not used the recent 414 versions, I bought my one on E-Bay a few years ago and it’s in mint condition.
From what I’ve read the further back you go, all the way to the C12, the more magical the sound. :D
I’m principally looking to get the perfect (for me) vocal microphone. In truth I should just get on with singing and mixing and then get the songs out there, instead of obsessing about something no one else will notice.

I suspect if I hadn't heard the 818 l would have been happy with the 414
Then again maybe I’ll sell a few mic’s first to make way for the 818. Now is that as good as my 414 or better? :lol:
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:58 pm

MOF wrote:From what I’ve read the further back you go, all the way to the C12, the more magical the sound. :D

Funny that, isn't it... :lol:

I wonder how the designer of the very first always got it exactly right, and all those who designed 'improved' models just made them worse and worse... And it seems to apply to everything, too! :think: :wtf:
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby rggillespie » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:15 pm

The designer may well have got it right first time at Rode with their TF5 but I'll never know as they insist on only sell them as matched pairs! I think it could be improved in a jiffy, if they started selling them singly! Never mind, all this mic chat has stoked the fire, I'm ready for a bank holiday weekend of recording. Rode or not here I come
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Re: SDC mic query

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:25 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:It can be very addictive... I go to Mics Anonymous once a month but it's not really working... :lol:

I still miss the old Microphones subforum. :(

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