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

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

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:04 pm

There can be no denying that the best way of improving the ratio of wanted sound to room sound is to get closer to the mic.
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby dfira » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:44 pm

forumuser915213 wrote:
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!

Gavin

What specs make you think it's better? It's a regular cardioid. I'm only interested in super or hyper, and in the 60€ range I'd prefer a second hand AT2020 if regular cardioid is an option.
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby forumuser915213 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:20 pm

It's clearly a hypercardioid mic, if you look at the polar diagram. It seems to be a Thomann thing to describe cheapie hypercardioid LDCs as 'cardioid' - they describe the obviously hypercardioid sc1100 the same way.

I seem to remember they also used to describe the sc400 as a cardioid, but I may be mistaken.

I have no idea whether the sc400 would work for you or not - audio heaven seems to be made of magic combinations of mic, source, positioning and room, and I'm not smart enough to predict these things in every situation.

I've also been surprised by poor results from the better mics I own - the combo of source, mic, position and room can catch one out.

But I do say that the sc400 seems to get slammed in a way that it doesn't necessarily deserve at its price.

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

Postby forumuser915213 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:10 pm

Just for difra, I've made a little comparison of the sc400 and a couple of others that came to hand - the AT4040, the 3U CM1 Black and the sc400 again, high pass filter off and then on.

I've stashed the file online somewhere I use for something else.

https://www.singdanceandplay.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SC400-test.wav

As usual they all sound different, but the sc400 is not terrible, particularly given the price. But it is just slightly boxy. And I try it with the hpf on and off - it doesn't make much difference to my baritone.

The room btw, is a small book lined study of may 10ft by 10, with a window onto a road and computer whirring away. There's no treatment.

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

Postby dfira » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:57 pm

That's so nice of you Gavin, thank you! But :headbang: i just put 2 and 2 together, it's your very video on YouTube that convinced me to go for the 400/super-cardioid idea in the first place... You see how the sc1100 is clearly superior sounding but picked up much more ambience, but as I just want to sound the best in the types of devices that will be used by my listeners, i think it's a better call to go for the one that rejects more ambience, and fix the boxiness you mention with a wide-ish dip in what i am only guessing is around the 400hz.
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby forumuser915213 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:53 pm

I'd worked it out. It's a question that's rarely asked.
;-)

I don't know what eq tweaks will help, apart from the built-in high pass filter and probably a bit of demudding from around 250Hz on down, which I'd do with most mics on my voice but didn't do here for comparison purposes.

I'd say that my experience is that the manufacturers' engineers generally get their high pass filter right so I use them as a matter of course. (HPFs cut out unwanted sounds like street rumble etc.)

With the HPF in (the final sc400 segment) I think it sounds quite natural and plausible to me so I probably wouldn't change much. Maybe I'd dial in a little 4kHz and dial out a little 3kHz, and see where that got me. But it's probably just playing really, as those two are close.

I think you probably have to pay for a mic that needs no eq... The AT4040 sometimes needs a dip between 6 and 7kHz because of an odd spike, but my se4400a never needs any eq at all. (Unless you count the HPF!)

The sc1100 has a mean old hump around 4kHz that often needs to be tamed, so I wouldn't normally use it for speech - though it's great on my old acoustic guitar, and great also on a soft-voiced singer I work with.

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

Postby forumuser915213 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:41 am

.... and if your room/treatment allows you to move back a little, you may well get away without demudding at all. These were all recorded at 6.5in (with the mic set to one side of my mouth) and at this distance an extra inch can change a great deal.

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

Postby forumuser915213 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:55 pm

But, but, but... As if to add confusion, I'm a bit of a fan of the sE V7X, which, combined with a barrel preamp (there are cheaper ones available now) and a bit of foam, can produce an easy on the ear kind of result for a reasonable price. And it's hypercardioid, if that's what you'd prefer.

I'm asking for trouble here, but here goes with a real life untreated room demo:
https://youtu.be/Mca_hPVhaqA

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

Postby dfira » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:41 pm

Thanks Gavin once again. Well i just picked up a good deal on an interface and an at2020 second hand, so i snapped it up. But my friend will buy the at2020 off me, and at this point I'm still inclined to go for the sc400. There is just a level of detail that i enjoy in condensers that a dynamic never seems to capture.

Thanks again for your input.
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:16 am

Why not just keep the 2020 and use it closer?
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:54 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Why not just keep the 2020 and use it closer?

Quite, and correct for any proximity effect with EQ.
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby dfira » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:19 pm

Because I want it for video conferencing and need my ugly face to be clearly visible.
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby CS70 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:48 pm

My $.10 is this thread may have confused you more then you were. :-)

It is very simple: to achieve what say you want, you either need to treat your room well (and keep it very quiet) or work the mic close. All other concerns and properties, which do exist, are pretty insignificant with respect to the goal you describe.

It's like if you had a very heavy wardrobe to lift up and started being concerned about the difference in gravitational pull between the first and the second floor. It's there, it's measurable, it's fascinating but it's also insignificant for the problem at hand.

But by all means buy your hypercardiod and try - no better way to do science than experimenting. :D

That said, having a microphone visible in the video is far from unusual, and "close" doesn't mean it has to cover your face or you have to kiss the mic. It just means close, like in boom-arm close.

If on top you use a noise gate or even better an efficient noise canceling plugin (like Waves X-Noise for example) you can achieve a more than reasonable compromise between altering the timbre of your voice and removing what ambience is left.

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

Postby dfira » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:59 pm

You're right. But I think you're missing something. I think you're offering advice from the ideal perspective, but i have a budget and other constraints way below that... I'll never treat my room to the standard where ambience is eliminated, and i just don't want to keep the mic close. After corrective EQ, My listeners probably won't be able to tell difference in tonal characteristics between *any* two mics. But room ambience; yes they do notice; so why not prefer a mic that places a priority on dealing with ambience more than it does faithful sound capture?

I appreciate the pushback though, so say given my budget all in is around 100€ what would you suggest could i even do that would effectively eliminate ambience? Not much, and if i did do something *and* got a mic tuned to avoid ambience, that would be even better, no? Do you see my point?
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Re: the problem with a good mic is a bad room...

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:05 pm

You're missing the main point there though, as Hugh said in another thread, the difference between the ambience 'rejection'* of an Omni and a Hypercardioid mic is only 6dB**, the difference between a Cardioid and a Hypercardioid is significantly less.

Would your videoconferencing face tolerate a headset mic? As far as I can see that is the only way you will get a sufficient reduction in ambience if you can't have a conventional mic in shot and are unable to do some room treatment. As Scotty might say "Ye canna beat the laws o'physics Capn".

As CS70 says, buy the hypercardioid mic and you may find the sound improves sufficiently but I'd keep hold of the receipt...

* Strictly the 'directivity index' (you learn something new every day on here :D )

** Equivalent to halving the distance between the mic and the source.
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