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Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

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Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:28 pm

This will be very short!

Just finished recording a piece with a renowned acoustic guitarist who I've worked with both live and 'in the studio' for about 8 years...

As usual he brought his Schoeps mic with him, but as we were under no time or other pressures I set up 4 other mics so that we had different options open to us further down the track... (see what I did there! :) )

When we got to A/B-ing the various mics/configs, after a bit of close listening - including on cans - he chose the CM3s in preference to the Schoeps. That wasn't just down to positioning either. When I told him the price of the CM3: £99 (UK) he nearly fell off his chair.

Remarkable, unhyped, neutral mics which I'm liking more and more....

http://www.lineaudio.se/CM3.html

UK Supplier: http://www.pinknoise-systems.co.uk/line-audio-cm3-cardioid-condenser-microphone.html

Worldwide Supplier: https://www.nohypeaudio.com/lineaudioproducts.htm

Incidentally, we very quickly rejected the Line Audio OM1 recording... mercilessly exposed the room's recording deficiencies!
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby Ramirez » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:01 pm

Thank you Mike,

I am intrigued by these. I have the OM1, and like them very much. It's a shame Line Audio don't do 'normal' cardioid versions - I think they'd do very well. I'm not sure where I'd use wide cardioids. But then again, if they sound that good...
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby Aural Reject » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:16 pm

Ramirez wrote:Thank you Mike,

I am intrigued by these. I have the OM1, and like them very much. It's a shame Line Audio don't do 'normal' cardioid versions - I think they'd do very well. I'm not sure where I'd use wide cardioids. But then again, if they sound that good...

The price they are, they're definitely worth a blind punt.

I've now got four in the box originally having bought a couple as a 'I have something if I need additional mics' contingency....they get used on all sorts of things, though generally they get put on tuned perx and the like.
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby Ramirez » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:43 pm

Aural Reject wrote:The price they are, they're definitely worth a blind punt.

Fair point, but whenever I reach for my credit card with that in mind, I keep thinking that three equivalent blind punts is equal to a Beyer MC930!
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby Aural Reject » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:12 pm

Ramirez wrote:
Aural Reject wrote:The price they are, they're definitely worth a blind punt.

Fair point, but whenever I reach for my credit card with that in mind, I keep thinking that three equivalent blind punts is equal to a Beyer MC930!

True enough....it depends what one's needs are....the point at which I bought them it was about the potential need for lots of spot mics...for which three (or in my case four ;) ) goes further than one...Obviously to countermand that is that one's desired outcome may be better served by one mic 'somewhere else'.

Having tested them as an NOS-like pair I was happy enough to use them on most things next to my usual Schoeps and Neumann suspects. I've not quite used them as a featured instrument solo mic, but I've used them in an array on a concertante quintet that needed a bit of focus over the main ensemble.

The thing that also stings a little more is that I mount all mine in Rycote In-Vision mounts which are actually about another 35% of the cost of the mic, rather than just using the bundled clips. YMMV, of course.
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:14 pm

Ramirez wrote:Thank you Mike,

I am intrigued by these. I have the OM1, and like them very much. It's a shame Line Audio don't do 'normal' cardioid versions - I think they'd do very well. I'm not sure where I'd use wide cardioids. But then again, if they sound that good...

It's a fair point and one I've pondered myself. But since encountering 'wide-cardioid' (hypocardioid to be precise) I've taken more care when looking at the published pick-up patterns of 'cardioid' mics. Advertised as 'cardioid', there are some about that have a definite 'leaning' to hypo...

But I do agree. If I could find some mics that are as neutral as the CM3s, roughly the same price, but yet true cardioids I'd be first in the queue.

I bought my CM3s as spot-mics, but quickly started trying them in other roles. In this case I guess the best you could call the arrangement was AB. One in the vicinity of fret 12; one below the bridge and facing the bottom quadrant of the guitar. Panned hard-right and hard-left respectively.
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby James Perrett » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:51 pm

Looks like they're getting popular - there were 13 in stock at Pink Noise when this thread started and they're now down to 1. Fortunately 2 of those 13 are currently winging their way to Alresford ;)
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:41 am

I've been doing some more cross-checking on other opinions on these (to me) remarkable mics and also chatting to the people who supplied them to me....

There's a small but significant body of opinion that rejects them as 'lifeless' or 'lacking top end'. 'My' supplier also had someone who sent a pair back after a few days for the same reason.

I can only conclude that some have got so used to the trend for brighter SDCs that it's become the norm for their evaluation mechanisms. As someone who:

* Cut his teeth on quality dynamics
* Was constantly exposed in my audio formative years to seeing and hearing the 'BBC sound'

my mic evaluation criteria are still quite old school.

So be advised... if you're used to the brighter sound of modern SDCs and like me inhabit the price shallower end then these may well sound quite different to what you've become accustomed to.

Oh! While I think of it... did you buy them James? Any views?
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby James Perrett » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:56 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:
Oh! While I think of it... did you buy them James? Any views?

Yes, I did buy a pair although the session that I was hoping to use them on has been postponed until December. A quick test with acoustic guitar showed them to work pretty well and they seem fairly quiet. I'm certainly not disappointed so far.
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby Ariosto » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:28 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:* Cut his teeth on quality dynamics
* Was constantly exposed in my audio formative years to seeing and hearing the 'BBC sound'

my mic evaluation criteria are still quite old school.

So be advised... if you're used to the brighter sound of modern SDCs and like me inhabit the price shallower end then these may well sound quite different to what you've become accustomed to.

In fact i've just bought a "vintage" mic. (It's a new version of vintage sound) I too find problems with modern capacitor mic's. The new mic has a bit of hiss so its gone back for service.

Will let you know how it comes back and maybe a review.
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Re: Line Audio CM3 Wide Cardioid Mic

Postby ManFromGlass » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:27 pm

I've used a pair to record glass instruments on 2 occasions and they really held their own. Glass can have some intense upper harmonics and the mics worked great. (early digital recorders sometimes had problems dealing with these harmonics)
On very bright metal percussion they came in second to a modified ribbon, with an Earthworks being third. We were looking to reduce the intensity of the upper harmonics from metal striking metal.
This all went out the window when the active Royer was borrowed and consequently ordered, but I would have no reservations about putting up the CM3s again on almost anything as one of the comparison mics in case it was the sound we were looking for. And at that price? Fantastic value.
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