You are here

why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

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

why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby dfira » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:28 pm

The M1 is a dynamic, and M2 is a condenser. I'm pretty sure the M2 sounds a bit nicer than the M1 also. So why would anyone buy the M1 if the M2 is only €5 more???

As a side, i can get the M1 second hand for €55, whereas I'd have to get the M2 new at €85. Which would you get?
dfira
Poster
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:56 pm

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:04 pm

Horses for courses, It's very likely your 'smooth' equals my 'dull' and my 'detailed' equals your 'harsh'. We all like different characteristics in a mic, FWIW I love capacitor mics for live vocals, they sound more natural and 'detailed' and are usually better for the styles I prefer (anything on the softer end of rock plus folk, jazz and acoustic music). I generally prefer more neutral, or even 'softer' sounding mics but for an upper-mid heavy, cut through a loud band sound I'd still choose a dynamic.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13885
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby CS70 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:06 pm

No more nicer than yellow's nicer than blue?

Costs are all about the components you use, the manufacturing process you use, the volumes you build and budget to sell, and the market segmentation approach you use to try to maximize sales.

A crappy, noisy microphone which is hand made will cost much more than a pristine one which produced industrially in volumes.

As of the Rødes, the two seem to share lots of components (casing, grill etc) and probably the remaining internal differences sum up to quite similar costs given the sales forecast. But it could also be a marketing strategy. Nobody can know but the company product managers.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6468
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby dfira » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:38 pm

I dare not argue with you, but detail is not another man's harsh. Some characteristics, such as clarity and detail, should be preferred by all. Besides, I'd rather have it and cut it in post, than not have it at all.

There are mics that have plenty detail in the higher freqs (think TLM103) but are not harsh sounding.

I.e that some frequencies are inherently harsh, i don't believe. It's how they are picked up by the mic that determines that.

What I mean to say by this is that i simply don't believe all differences (besides function) in mics are purely taste/cosmetic
dfira
Poster
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:56 pm

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:43 pm

Dynamics and condensers are different tools for different jobs, it's not about which one is best.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11998
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:24 am

dfira wrote:I dare not argue with you, but detail is not another man's harsh. Some characteristics, such as clarity and detail, should be preferred by all. Besides, I'd rather have it and cut it in post, than not have it at all.

Argue away :thumbup: my point was that we all have different ideas about the sounds we want to hear.

There are mics that have plenty detail in the higher freqs (think TLM103) but are not harsh sounding.

a couple of random quotes from the GS forum

gearsluts forum wrote:I feel the TLM103 is a bit harsh. I guess that is indeed the most common complaint about the 103.

gearsluts forum wrote:the 103 is harsh and dark, once you try the 87 you won't go back to the 103 for vocals anymore....compare vocal tracks the 103 will sound like a veil is between the spkrs and your ears muffling the high end.

It's all subjective...

I.e that some frequencies are inherently harsh, i don't believe. It's how they are picked up by the mic that determines that.

There may not be specific frequencies that are inherently harsh but there certainly are combinations of frequencies or particular sounds/instruments that are harsh

What I mean to say by this is that i simply don't believe all differences (besides function) in mics are purely taste/cosmetic

No but IMO many are, again we see things differently.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13885
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:48 am

dfira wrote: I'm pretty sure the M2 sounds a bit nicer than the M1 also. So why would anyone buy the M1 if the M2 is only €5

'Nicer' is obviously subjective and context-dependent. The M1 and M2 are very different beasts. One is cardioid, the other is hypercardioid. One has a pronounced presence boost, the other is more moderate. One has a much greater sensitivity than the other. One needs phantom power and the other doesn't...

So they sound different. They place different requirements on the preamp/mixer, and on the stage monitoring. ...and so on....
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 28997
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby CS70 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:01 am

dfira wrote:I dare not argue with you, but detail is not another man's harsh. Some characteristics, such as clarity and detail, should be preferred by all. Besides, I'd rather have it and cut it in post, than not have it at all.

There are mics that have plenty detail in the higher freqs (think TLM103) but are not harsh sounding.

I.e that some frequencies are inherently harsh, i don't believe. It's how they are picked up by the mic that determines that.

What I mean to say by this is that i simply don't believe all differences (besides function) in mics are purely taste/cosmetic

I find that there's often a bit fuzzyness around what a microphone frequency response is and what is not, and why mics are different.

Thing is, there's a sound source in a room. The sound itself can be harsh and ugly (say someone nailing a blackboard) or not (say Aretha doing her thing). The room changes the sound a little and that's the sound that reaches the capsule.

A microphone is essentially a filter - a sound wave can be understood as made of a gazillion sine waves each with their three parameters (amplitude, frequency and phase) - basically a long list of triplets.... a microphone changes some of these triplets, leaves others alone and introduces some completely new.

Incidentally, that's why you can't judge a microphone by its frequency response chart: its resolution is too low. It's too zoomed out - bit like looking at your garden from space. Our ears have much better resolution than what it's possible to put in a 5x10cm graph.

It's actually very fun (and quite easy) to look at audio transforms as literally operations on this huge list of three numbers - using matrix algebra, i.e. operation on lists of numbers as opposite to individual numbers.

"Detail" is about a microphone-slash-filter-slash-matrix operation that does or does not remove certain triplets from the original list.

"Harshness" is both about the mutual relationship between some of the triplets in the list (fundamental tones and certain harmonics, for example).. and whether these relationships are created by the microphone at hand (for that specific source/original list).

You're right that there are no frequencies which are "harsh" - because frequencies are just a third of every triplet. There are relationships between groups of triplets (frequency, amplitude and phase) which (when interpreted by our brain) we judge as "harsh".

I actually think possible to train software to recognize these relationship and therefore give good judgements about qualitative properties of sound (at least "good" in a statistical sense, i.e. that a majority of people would give the same). It would also provide a template for the properties of a microphone that does exactly certain things... if we had a technology sufficiently sophisticated to create the necessary mechanical properties. Fun project for retirement age.

Anyways, all these qualitative properties depend on what is in the original list. If you have a harsh sound - a triplets list containing many triplets in "harshness" relationship between each other - a less detailed microphone may end up sounding better, because it removes some of the triplets in that relationship.

Certain prized microphones "smooth" the signal - that is, apply a certain transform to the list that more or less consistently result in a list of triplets that - once again, when interpreted by our ears and brains - sound pleasant.

Ideally, the triplets list generated by an omni microphone, capable of capturing the entire audible spectrum with the least possible changes to the triplets, could be used to simulate any "regular" microphone.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6468
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby Tim Gillett » Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:31 am

dfira wrote:I dare not argue with you, but detail is not another man's harsh. Some characteristics, such as clarity and detail, should be preferred by all. Besides, I'd rather have it and cut it in post, than not have it at all.

I agree in general terms. The fundamental role of a mic is to translate air vibrations into electrical vibrations. Primarily the mic is a "transducer".

But it seems common to think of mics more as effects units. So we might have a cabinet of mics each with a different character or flavour. If we only have one or two wide range, high fidelity mics, how could we possibly create a wonderful palette of flavoursome sounds? As if the instrument or voice recorded has no "character" of its own. That seems to be the assumption.

dfira wrote:...What I mean to say by this is that I simply don't believe all differences (besides function) in mics are purely taste/cosmetic


Yes so as you say the ability of a mic to capture the higher frequencies where another cant, doesnt make the first mic "harsh". It just has greater fidelity in that region. Fidelity is... just fidelity. It's not even a sound of its own. It's more like honesty and truthfulness. No "filter" applied. As you say, frequencies captured by a higher fidelity mic can always be modified in post if needed. It's actually easier to do it there. The tools allow so much more power and precision, as well as the ability through the wonder of NLE to make multiple attempts, and still have the original performance to go back to.
Tim Gillett
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2256
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:00 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:50 am

I'll see your M1 and M2 and raise you an M3! :)

I've recently started using one for spoken word recordings and am most impressed. It's a good, general purpose mic that definitely punches above its price-point.

And I'm not the only one who thinks so.... ;) :

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rode-m3
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7646
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby dfira » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:33 am

Yes Mike! I call. I found a good deal on it too second hand, so tomorrow i will buy it for sure. Two things i don't like, 1) a little weak on the bottom end) 2) picks up a little more room than the m2.

The m2 is all bottom though, and i think might pair well with the 'air' feature of my scarlett. But it looks ugly as hell and i will be using it on video. The m3 is a stunner, so happy to keep that in shot, very much a punch above the price, and perhaps I'll figure out something in the low end - no idea why my head goes to multiband comp, over simply an eq shelf, but there you go... Exciting!
dfira
Poster
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:56 pm

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby adrian_k » Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:43 am

Mike Stranks wrote:I'll see your M1 and M2 and raise you an M3! :)

I've recently started using one for spoken word recordings and am most impressed. It's a good, general purpose mic that definitely punches above its price-point.

And I'm not the only one who thinks so.... ;) :

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rode-m3

Great all round mic. One of those things I sold and have regretted ever since..
User avatar
adrian_k
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1101
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Gloucestershire
getting better all the time..

Re: why is there only €5 difference between the Rode M1 and M2?

Postby forumuser915213 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:38 pm

I'd say the M2 has its uses also. More in music than in serious spoken word given its self noise is 23dBA, though it'd be fine for Zooms. It's not very hot, so expect to wind your input volume a bit.

It works on stage, and doesn't suffer too much from feedback. Unlike the M3 in my experience - I like them but only at home...

The usual rule applies: some mic-voice combos are made in heaven, some don't work at all and I can't predict these things.

I haven't encountered an M1, so can't comment.

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm