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Author Topic: ensemble mic  (Read 4444 times)

Weogo Reed

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ensemble mic
« on: July 30, 2017, 09:45:20 am »

Hi Folks,

Looking for a mic:

I'm doing a bunch of 10~20 voice choirs, and Bluegrass and string band ensembles.
For these showcases one mic can work quite well.
(And yes, I'm adding a solo instrument mic, and Bass mic, as needed.)

For audio quality, I like the Earthworks cardioid.
Good sound, picks up well out to the sides, and isn't a feedback magnet.
It is about 9" long, and visually I would prefer a side-address mic.
The Earthworks FlexMics are in consideration.

I've also been using the Rode M5 for this application.
It is fairly small, needs a shockmount, and
a right-angle XLR helps minimize the length.

This past week I worked with the Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina mic in two different venues.
It picked up some foot tapping, so I used an On-Stage-Stands MY325 shockmount clip with it.
Fairly wide pickup pattern, and very good sound, with just a few notch filters.
There are some ETL models that are a little wider than the Edwina.

If a Shure SM58 is considered to be a nominal 120 degree pattern:
from my experience, the M5 is about 140 degrees, Edwina 150 degrees and Earthworks 160 degrees.

/////////////////////////////////////
I also got to use the Ear Trumpet Nadine String Bass mic.
Easy to mount, very good sound.
In 27 years of mixing I don't think I've heard a better mic installed on a Bass.
(The Bass playing mic owner still has a pickup installed for really loud gigs.)

The Ear Trumpet mics have fairly quickly developed a following.
Many musicians find them very attractive.
I'm curious to see how they hold up over time.
/////////////////////////////////////

For side-address, wide-cardioid mics, are there any long-term durable,
very good sounding options with consistent off-axis frequency response,
that cost less than the ETL Edwina, or slightly wider Louise, or Earthworks FlexMic? 

It would be nice if more folks listened with their ears, not their eyes...

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 11:40:06 am »

For single mic bluegrass and choirs I have been using the older original CAD E100, they are not a wide cardioid though but more of what I would call a "tight cardioid" in actual use even though on paper it's called a super cardioid.

Not sure what the new reissue version is like.

For what it's worth they kind of have a retro look to them as well.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 03:09:04 pm by Mike Caldwell »
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David Hoover

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2017, 11:51:23 am »

I like the Shure KSM 137 for a lot of things like this.  We also have had good results with the SM81, but the 81's lack a little bit if detail and realism in comparison.  In a situation where feedback is a problem, I've used Heil PR35 mics on Choir with good results.  Now, I've only heard recordings and surround sound recordings (I don't have experience) with the Audix SCX series, but they sound excellent for the price and people love them.  They have a pencil condenser and a medium diaphragm "lollypop" mic.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 12:26:36 pm by David Hoover »
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2017, 05:00:09 pm »

Hi Folks,

Looking for a mic:

I'm doing a bunch of 10~20 voice choirs, and Bluegrass and string band ensembles.
For these showcases one mic can work quite well.
(And yes, I'm adding a solo instrument mic, and Bass mic, as needed.)

For audio quality, I like the Earthworks cardioid.
Good sound, picks up well out to the sides, and isn't a feedback magnet.
It is about 9" long, and visually I would prefer a side-address mic.
The Earthworks FlexMics are in consideration.

I've also been using the Rode M5 for this application.
It is fairly small, needs a shockmount, and
a right-angle XLR helps minimize the length.

This past week I worked with the Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina mic in two different venues.
It picked up some foot tapping, so I used an On-Stage-Stands MY325 shockmount clip with it.
Fairly wide pickup pattern, and very good sound, with just a few notch filters.
There are some ETL models that are a little wider than the Edwina.

If a Shure SM58 is considered to be a nominal 120 degree pattern:
from my experience, the M5 is about 140 degrees, Edwina 150 degrees and Earthworks 160 degrees.

/////////////////////////////////////
I also got to use the Ear Trumpet Nadine String Bass mic.
Easy to mount, very good sound.
In 27 years of mixing I don't think I've heard a better mic installed on a Bass.
(The Bass playing mic owner still has a pickup installed for really loud gigs.)

The Ear Trumpet mics have fairly quickly developed a following.
Many musicians find them very attractive.
I'm curious to see how they hold up over time.
/////////////////////////////////////

For side-address, wide-cardioid mics, are there any long-term durable,
very good sounding options with consistent off-axis frequency response,
that cost less than the ETL Edwina, or slightly wider Louise, or Earthworks FlexMic? 

It would be nice if more folks listened with their ears, not their eyes...

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

I was with you until, costs less than the Edwina.   :D

I'll still throw this out there as occasionally they show up in used gear sales. 
DPA 4015 TL. 
A superb sub-cardioid.

Lee
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Weogo Reed

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 11:27:54 am »

Hi Mike,

The E100 is a good sounding and looking mic, but too narrow for the choirs.


David, the KSM137 is another nice mic, but I'm really looking for side-address, same for the PR35.
If the Audix SCX25A was available in a wide-cardioid, it would definitely be on my list.

Lee, I'm sure the 4015TL is a great sounding mic, but again, am looking for side-address.


Do any of the modest-budget mics with continuously variable pattern have consistent off-axis response? 
I looked at the CAD M179 and the polars vary widely.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
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Rick Earl

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2017, 02:38:45 pm »

If it is a single mic situation -  or even a few, I am still partial to ribbons.   I've had them on the same stage as ETL, Rode, Shure, AKG, and LDC side address mics at the same festival. (We did a shootout).
Although the AEA R84 was my favorite, the Cascade Fat Head performed very well.    The figure 8 pattern is very even across the spectrum, they are warm and clear and have a wonderful "slope" to the proximity effect as people move into and around the mic.   The least amount of EQ needed and same gain before feedback of any mics used.  I would like to try the AEA R92 as it has a reduced proximity effect which would allow performers to get a bit closer.  I've used them succesfully on String Quartet, but they were not available at the time of our shootout.  The best performing LDC (IMHO) was the Shure KSM-32, again very little eq needed and the most natural sound of the lot.  One band's Edwina was DOA, although they said it worked fine the night before.
I use ribbons regularly in live situations, with up to 8 so far on stage, including a sax section in a big band.  With proper placement and I've had no GBF or bleed issues that were worse than other methods.
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Tim Barber

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 03:05:17 pm »

For a very inexpensive mic, I have had good results on small bluegrass ensembles with the AT2035.
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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 05:53:56 pm »

+1000 on the DPA 4015.

Also an amazing drum overhead due to the way the proximity effect is tuned on that microphone.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 06:10:30 pm »


Lee, I'm sure the 4015TL is a great sounding mic, but again, am looking for side-address.


Oops, missed that part.
There is a compact version that would allow for a very compact look with a 90 degree connector.
Schoeps has some very nice wide cardio options as well and accessories allowing for a 90 degree capsule mount but also probably higher cost than you are looking for.

Lee
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 08:50:51 pm »

Hi Mike,

The E100 is a good sounding and looking mic, but too narrow for the choirs.


Do any of the modest-budget mics with continuously variable pattern have consistent off-axis response? 
I looked at the CAD M179 and the polars vary widely.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

For choirs with any size to them I'll put up at least two or three of the E100's

The CAD M179 is shockingly good mic for little money that has a completely variable adjustable pattern.
I have one of them that works well on bluegrass, never tried on it a choir. Forgot to mention the M179 in my earlier post.

If there looking for that retro look the M179 has that as well.

Dan Richardson

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2017, 03:16:35 pm »

It's counter to all your criteria, but my go-to mic for those situations is the Rode NT4. Stereo is extremely useful.
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Weogo Reed

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2017, 01:05:24 pm »

Hi Rick,

I don't see how a single bi-polar(figure-8) pattern mic would pick up well from the sides??
The noted DOA mic is my major hesitation to go with a 'boutique' brand...
A few years ago a small Bluegrass band was carrying a KSM32 that worked well for them.

Tim, the AT2035 looks like a good mic. 
I have a 4033A which works ok, but I want a little wider pattern.
The 4033A certainly looks 'right'.

Lee, at 2.5", the DPA 4015C version is a pretty short little mic.

Mike, thanks for the Cad M179 comments.

Dan, a benefit I see possible for a stereo or two cardioid mics instead of a single wide-cardioid is picking up less sound from above, for instance a central speaker cluster.
 
Anybody using the Shure Beta181/C cardioid?
Is it a standard cardioid pattern?

I contacted Audix and the SCX25A is indeed a wide-cardioid so am hoping to have a chance to try one.

One more question:
For top-quality wide-cardioidd mics, will a small diaphragm have better off-axis response than a large diaphragm?
Better low end from a large diaphragm?
For wide-cardioid mics, any other notable differences between small and large diaphragms?

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2017, 03:18:39 pm »

Just for reference the AT 4033 is at the most a medium diaphragm condenser. Not that it makes it good or bad.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 02:22:55 am by Mike Caldwell »
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Dan Richardson

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2017, 03:35:09 pm »

Dan, a benefit I see possible for a stereo or two cardioid mics instead of a single wide-cardioid is picking up less sound from above, for instance a central speaker cluster.

Gives you a chance to do active mixing in the event that the group isn't balanced correctly, for whatever reason.
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Rick Earl

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2017, 10:34:15 pm »

Hi Rick,

I don't see how a single bi-polar(figure-8) pattern mic would pick up well from the sides??
The noted DOA mic is my major hesitation to go with a 'boutique' brand...
A few years ago a small Bluegrass band was carrying a KSM32 that worked well for them.

Even a cardioid mic drops off on the sides, and you'll find most good ribbons have a much more consistent polar pattern across all frequencies.  Plug a mic in and listen to it through headphones as you rotate it, polar patterns are not created equal. The KSM series overall has a nice smooth response out to the sides, as well as the AEA, the AEA starts to fall off 60 degrees off axis, but the response of the KSM also starts to shift at that point too. 

http://www.ribbonmics.com/sites/default/files/pdf/aea_R84_Technical_Onesheet_5-19.pdf
http://cdn.shure.com/specification_sheet/upload/35/ksm32-specification-sheet-english.pdf
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Dan Richardson

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2017, 11:58:17 am »

Have you considered the Aston Origin?
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David Hoover

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2017, 12:39:52 pm »

Hi Mike,

The E100 is a good sounding and looking mic, but too narrow for the choirs.


David, the KSM137 is another nice mic, but I'm really looking for side-address, same for the PR35.
If the Audix SCX25A was available in a wide-cardioid, it would definitely be on my list.

Lee, I'm sure the 4015TL is a great sounding mic, but again, am looking for side-address.


Do any of the modest-budget mics with continuously variable pattern have consistent off-axis response? 
I looked at the CAD M179 and the polars vary widely.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
Pencil condensers will be best for your situation unless you have good money, but of the mics I have used, an SM27 is a good workhorse mic for this.  Also, the CAD M179.  They are good budget mics.  They lack a little detail in comparison to a pencil condenser in the same price range.  For example, a BETA98 sounds almost the same as an SM27, but has much greater transient response.  It sounds more real. Of course an Audio Technica C414 is gonna be really good and I recommend that. The BEST mic I've heard and used extensively for this sinereo is the DPA 4011 mics.  Fantastic.  In my opinion if you want a side address for looks or something, be more open to other options that sound good unless you want to spend $600 plus on a good side address large diaphragm mic.  Just my opinion based on what I hear.  With dynamic mics or large diaphragm condensers, you need to Shell out more money to get as much detail in the sound as a pencil condenser.

My last recommendation for side address is the KSM32.  It's $550, but worth every penny.  It has a medium sized diaphragm and sounds pretty transparent for the price.  Also, this mic can be used on almost anything with great results.  It's used in stereo for some orchestral recordings because it sounds natural.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

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Weogo Reed

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2017, 03:15:05 pm »

Hi Mike,

Yep, I'm aware of the 4033A's  .49" diameter capsule.
Am guessing some of its useful performance is attributable to this.

Dan,
The two-channel mixing capability of the NT4 is indeed a plus.
If Rode removed the battery compartment and turned the elements 90 degrees I would buy this mic.
Heck, if they just turned the head 90 degrees I would buy it.

This is the first I've heard of the Aston Origin. 
Fairly effective internal shock-mount, modest price.
Am going to investigate further.

David,
Thanks for noting the SM27.
Did you mean AKG C414?
On a wide, shallow stage, would you prefer a 4011 over a 4015?
The KSM32 gets thumbs up for this use from several reviews.
I am considering more expensive mics, and would appreciate a budget option if there was one.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

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Lee Buckalew

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2017, 03:34:51 pm »

Hi Mike,

Yep, I'm aware of the 4033A's  .49" diameter capsule.
Am guessing some of its useful performance is attributable to this.

Dan,
The two-channel mixing capability of the NT4 is indeed a plus.
If Rode removed the battery compartment and turned the elements 90 degrees I would buy this mic.
Heck, if they just turned the head 90 degrees I would buy it.

This is the first I've heard of the Aston Origin. 
Fairly effective internal shock-mount, modest price.
Am going to investigate further.

David,
Thanks for noting the SM27.
Did you mean AKG C414?
On a wide, shallow stage, would you prefer a 4011 over a 4015?
The KSM32 gets thumbs up for this use from several reviews.
I am considering more expensive mics, and would appreciate a budget option if there was one.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

Weogo,
We have also used the Neumann TLM 102 or 103 quite successfully for choral groups.  Quite a bit lower in price than the Schoeps or DPA options we sometimes use.

Lee
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2017, 03:56:08 pm »

Weogo,
We have also used the Neumann TLM 102 or 103 quite successfully for choral groups.  Quite a bit lower in price than the Schoeps or DPA options we sometimes use.

Lee

The TLM103 seems a little wider than many LDC.  Had an artist supplied 103 last night on a *pair* of guitar amps.  Worked surprisingly well in that application.

I've used the 103 for choral recording and been very happy with the outcomes.
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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2017, 04:30:01 pm »

The TLM103 seems a little wider than many LDC.  Had an artist supplied 103 last night on a *pair* of guitar amps.  Worked surprisingly well in that application.

I've used the 103 for choral recording and been very happy with the outcomes.

Went looking for a polar plot.  Never saw one quite like this before:
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: ensemble mic
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2017, 06:39:57 pm »

Went looking for a polar plot.  Never saw one quite like this before:

Neumann typically shows only a half of each polar so there is less overlap. 
125 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, and 1 kHz are shown on the left side of the polar plot but would be symmetrically mirrored in actuality.
2 kHz, 4 kHz, 8 kHz, and 16 kHz are shown on the right side of the polar plot but would also be symmetrical in real life.

Lee
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