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the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:02 pm

By DAC I assume you mean what we usually call an "Audio Interface" (usually appended with "USB" these days).

Supercardioid mics do have some useful characteristics but, like any polar pattern, they do come with their issues. A narrow polar pattern (say, supercardioid) will, inevitably, pick up less room sound when worked at a given distance than a wider one (say cardioid) but the trade off is that if the performer/speaker moves off axis the level will drop more than a wider polar pattern. An additional compromise is that the off axis sound that is reproduced is often not as natural sounding (shotgun mics used indoors being very bad). There are various ways of reducing the ratio of wanted sound to background/room sound. Work closer to the mic, use a narrower pattern or treat the room.
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:07 pm

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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby dfira » Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:42 pm

Sorry yes, meant interface. Since I never record, I'm too used to caring only about the DAC.

Thanks for the goosenec suggestion, yeah it sounds pretty lame though and my room is not so terrible that i need to hide it all costs (there already are two mattresses and a wardrobe in it)

What about this??? https://m.thomann.de/gb/the_tbone_em_800.htm

Supercardioid, small, cheap, doesn't sound like hell...
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:03 pm

dfira wrote:Sorry yes, meant interface. Since I never record, I'm too used to caring only about the DAC.

Thanks for the goosenec suggestion, yeah it sounds pretty lame though

Have you tried the GC300 mic Mike linked too?

and my room is not so terrible that i need to hide it all costs (there already are two mattresses and a wardrobe in it)

Mattresses are pretty effective acoustic treatment i the right place, if they are on the bed though they won't be much help with early reflections.

What about this??? https://m.thomann.de/gb/the_tbone_em_800.htm" target="phpbbpopup

Supercardioid, small, cheap, doesn't sound like hell...

Again, have you hear it?
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby adrian_k » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:23 pm

dfira wrote:
adrian_k wrote:an inexpensive cardioid LDC

What is this?

Sorry - Large Diaphragm Condenser. I bought it second hand for about £90 but that was maybe 10 years ago. Actually looking at it now I realise I grabbed the GrooveTubes GT65, which is actually not a bad mic. As you were!

Second hand might be an option though if budget is the driver?
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby forumuser915213 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:41 pm

How was the sc400 you heard set?

There's an internal high pass filter operated by using a switch inside the casing; switch the hpf off and you might like the sense of depth you get a little better.

I think it's fair to say that for such a tiny price, it's not a terrible mic; if I had a complaint it wouldn't be lack of bass but a slight boxiness. You might want a screen or something to soak up/blot out unwanted sound from behind, where hypercardioids also have some sensitivity.

https://youtu.be/uFAxQVG7Ia0

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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby dfira » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:16 am

Sam Spoons wrote:
dfira wrote:Sorry yes, meant interface. Since I never record, I'm too used to caring only about the DAC.

Thanks for the goosenec suggestion, yeah it sounds pretty lame though

Have you tried the GC300 mic Mike linked too?

Well no, just going off the samples on the site and my memory of hearing that kind of mic being used in live conferences
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby dfira » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:42 am

forumuser915213 wrote:How was the sc400 you heard set?

There's an internal high pass filter operated by using a switch inside the casing; switch the hpf off and you might like the sense of depth you get a little better.

I think it's fair to say that for such a tiny price, it's not a terrible mic; if I had a complaint it wouldn't be lack of bass but a slight boxiness. You might want a screen or something to soak up/blot out unwanted sound from behind, where hypercardioids also have some sensitivity.

https://youtu.be/uFAxQVG7Ia0

Gavin

Okay yeah, today i was convinced i would get the em 800, but you got me digging, and i found this post which seems to describe me exactly! - although maybe he was a little high at the time of listening, a little bit generous with the praise there!
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby forumuser915213 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:18 am

adrian_k wrote:I have been told that my Zoom sound is good. When I do a mic test in Zoom I think it sounds a bit muffled on my monitors, but ok on laptop speakers.

What I do is put an inexpensive cardioid LDC on a short stand between my knees so it comes up to just above desk height. I’ve also put a foam windshield on it. I have the mic leaning back so pointing upwards towards my chin. My mouth is about a foot away from it I guess.

The mic is out of shot because the laptop camera doesn’t pick it up. The room does have some treatment but I think actually my body is acting as an absorber too. Maybe this approach plus a couple of duvets in the room?

We've been running a weekly musical Zoom singaround/turnaround every Sunday evening since March.

You'd think we'd have learned something in that time, and of course we have, but only slowly.

As so often, we've learned that good sound is made from a good performance, a good room and good placement, and the next most important thing to get right is the Zoom audio settings. The audio gear we use is about fifth on the list.

For quite some time we've been determined to keep our ldc mic/mics just out of shot above our keyboard, basically because we didn't want people to think they need to have lots of gear to join us, but from this week I'm trying an experiment with two hypercardioid dynamics set low to the table, and closer.

My thinking is that despite being in quite a good household room we're still getting too much room sound, even with added duvets in clothes horses, so we need to get closer. Beyond that, rather than have two whacking ldcs in shot, I think two stage dynamics low in the shot as pointing upwards will be less conspicuous.

I've been thinking also about nasal sounds, which I can have; my guess is that dynamics are designed to sound ok pointing close to people's nasal passages, while ldcs are not generally used that way but from eye level or to one side.

I'll use small foam windshields to tame the presence a little.

Won't we lose out on the detail a well matched ldc delivers? I've heard what people in Zooms are listening on and I've heard the compression Zoom delivers. I think the stage dynamics will be fine... But we'll see tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, I'd better focus on the performances!

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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby CS70 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:55 pm

forumuser915213 wrote:My thinking is that despite being in quite a good household room we're still getting too much room sound, even with added duvets in clothes horses, so we need to get closer.

Something that sometimes gets forgotten is the air bouncing between ceiling and floor. My own space changed its nature completely when I manage to hang traps from the ceiling - the plus is that they are completely invisible unless I angle the camera so that they can be seen.
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby forumuser915213 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:58 pm

Dear reader... If anyone is interested, my experiment wasn't a success. The dynamics did not turn out to be greatly tighter and some edge terminated ldcs moved closer seemed to work better.

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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:10 pm

Makes sense (thanks for reporting back), stage dynamics are designed to be use up close*, <2" so I'm not surprised that the LDCs sounded better.

CS70's suggestion of some treatment on the ceiling is a good one if it is possible, any two untreated parallel surfaces will cause flutter echoes and 'ringing' which degrades the sound getting into the mic.

* Even super cardioid stage mics.
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:09 pm

forumuser915213 wrote:We've been running a weekly musical Zoom singaround/turnaround every Sunday evening since March.

You'd think we'd have learned something in that time, and of course we have, but only slowly.

I feel that. We've been doing the same for the same amount of time and it is slow. The reason is simple, of course. You can't hear what you sound like. Everyone else can, and you can hear what they sound like but your own sound is screened out unless you record yourself and analyse it afterwards. With Jamulus, however, you can hear yourself and I've found that working out mic placements and such in Jamulus is transferable to Zoom. Personally I've got my mics on a boom arm just above me, which is not the greatest spot for sound but is very convenient so I've decided to accept that trade off.

CC
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby forumuser915213 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:43 pm

dfira wrote:
Okay yeah, today i was convinced i would get the em 800, but you got me digging, and i found this post which seems to describe me exactly! - although maybe he was a little high at the time of listening, a little bit generous with the praise there!

My heavens!

He may be right about it suiting certain sources.

Looking at the specs, I think the sc600 might be better value still, but I don't need any more ldcs!

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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby forumuser915213 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:49 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:
forumuser915213 wrote:We've been running a weekly musical Zoom singaround/turnaround every Sunday evening since March.

You'd think we'd have learned something in that time, and of course we have, but only slowly.

I feel that. We've been doing the same for the same amount of time and it is slow. The reason is simple, of course. You can't hear what you sound like. Everyone else can, and you can hear what they sound like but your own sound is screened out unless you record yourself and analyse it afterwards. With Jamulus, however, you can hear yourself and I've found that working out mic placements and such in Jamulus is transferable to Zoom. Personally I've got my mics on a boom arm just above me, which is not the greatest spot for sound but is very convenient so I've decided to accept that trade off.

CC

We tried that, and found the distance made things a bit roomy.

We can get a little closer with mics at the side, but that takes a bit of management.

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