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Old 01-23-2021, 06:56 AM   #41
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in order to complete picture of those stories where dynamic mics have been used on famous recordings it's important to consider the gear used behind those mics. They were followed by high quality pres, eqs and comps before hitting an expensive console and finally tape. It's fair to assume that this processing has to be taken into account while evaluating the outcome. I can confirm that running a fairly cheap mic into very high quality pres, eqs and comps can sound extremely good while running an expensive, very high quality mic into mediocre gear sounds like crap.

It is difficult to get those stellar results by just plugging a budget mic into a budget audio interface even though equivalent plugin processing may be added later. The same is true for any mic used but considering the general properties and advantages of condenser mics (not only LDC!!) it is fair to assume that they will yield better results most of the time.

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Old 01-23-2021, 12:19 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by morgon View Post
There's this option which does sound condenserish, sounds good to my not so good hearing at least

https://freevstplugins.net/besure-n87/
Thank you for that. I've seen mic emulators before but haven't done much experimenting.

One thing I did not mention is that my signal chain for vocals always includes convolution reverb of two types, one a close-up ambient type and another for larger room/studio reverb. The close-up convolution reverb adds a bit of presence, making results using the SM58 sound somewhat like a different mic.

I might give that emulator a test run.

It's also worth noting that the free Besure mic emulator is designed for input from a Shure SM57 or SM58.

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Old 01-23-2021, 02:30 PM   #43
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Along that line...

If "Emulation..." sort of options are something you are interested in exploring. There is this -

http://micirp.blogspot.com/

At least one "Budget..." condenser option, and a few ribbon options.
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Old 01-24-2021, 06:31 AM   #44
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Interesting video. Guy compares an actual Neumann U87 snd a Shure SM58.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cIIzMMyr78

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Old 01-24-2021, 08:14 AM   #45
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Along that line...

If "Emulation..." sort of options are something you are interested in exploring. There is this -

http://micirp.blogspot.com/

At least one "Budget..." condenser option, and a few ribbon options.
Hm, impulses captured in a little box from what? Loudspeakers in the enclosing room? If so, I suspect they might not be that useful. Or maybe the loudspeaker is in the box? The site isn't too clear on the specifics.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:46 AM   #46
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I believe that if you do vocals professionally, you need to buy the most professional equipment as if to be cheap, and then some functionality will suffer with it. And equipment for professionals we know can't be cheap. We can only choose from the suitable options the most profitable for us
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:43 AM   #47
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I believe that if you do vocals professionally, you need to buy the most professional equipment as if to be cheap, and then some functionality will suffer with it. And equipment for professionals we know can't be cheap. We can only choose from the suitable options the most profitable for us

Another one of your intermittent spam posts, Daria.

Somehow I doubt if this is going to further the cause of your website very much.

Try actually contributing something to the thread & people might take notice.
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Old 01-25-2021, 05:07 AM   #48
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Hm, impulses captured in a little box from what? Loudspeakers in the enclosing room? If so, I suspect they might not be that useful. Or maybe the loudspeaker is in the box? The site isn't too clear on the specifics.


from here http://micirp.blogspot.com/p/about-micirp.html

The main problem of course, is that unless you recorded with a flat microphone, putting your signal through another microphones IR isn't really going to sound like it's been recorded with the mic you're trying to model.

i.e. first of all you'd have to remove the "58" character - some kind of deconvolution required.

Oooh, here you go:
https://www.quarktet.com/pdfs/Quarktet-SeDDaRASound.pdf
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:05 AM   #49
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OK, so this has got a bit OT, but FWIW here's an IR that approximately flattens a SM58 of mine.
https://stash.reaper.fm/41189/SM58_flattener.wav

It's very basic, doesn't really do much more than take out the presence peak and some tweaks at the top & bottom - used fab filter eq match on the difference between a measurement mic and the SM58, referred to pink noise. Simplified the filter a bit and then made an IR from it.

Perhaps suitable for special fx.

But frankly, you're better off recording with a (cheap) measurement microphone, if you're going to push it through one of those IRs

P.S. If you want to pay (not very much) for mic IRs - including alleged SM58/U87 converter (!?) there's this:
https://gumroad.com/pasttofuturereve...lse%20response
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:07 PM   #50
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OK, so this has got a bit OT, but FWIW here's an IR that approximately flattens a SM58 of mine.
https://stash.reaper.fm/41189/SM58_flattener.wav

It's very basic, doesn't really do much more than take out the presence peak and some tweaks at the top & bottom - used fab filter eq match on the difference between a measurement mic and the SM58, referred to pink noise. Simplified the filter a bit and then made an IR from it.

Perhaps suitable for special fx.

But frankly, you're better off recording with a (cheap) measurement microphone, if you're going to push it through one of those IRs
I agree. In my experience, magic isn't so much in the frequency response - which can be quite reaonably approximated combining different EQs - as in the transient response. Condensers will sound as condensers, dynamics will sound as dynamics. Most of the times, at least.

BTW, thanks for the box picture with the loudspeaker. I must have been very tired when I wrote my previous post. No, not drunk! I've been 100% dry for the best part of a week already.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:17 PM   #51
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Aha! Turd polish!

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Old 01-25-2021, 01:25 PM   #52
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Condensers will sound as condensers, dynamics will sound as dynamics. Most of the times, at least.
Isn't it?
The 58 (or 57) can work really well. You can definitely make records with them.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:26 PM   #53
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Aha! Turd polish!
I prefer to roll it in glitter.
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:10 PM   #54
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Aha! Turd polish!

Reminds me of how some vocalists think their performances will be "polished" when recorded with an expensive large diaphragm condenser mic instead of a SM58.

But I am finding the Besure mic emulator plugin is quite interesting.

For example, I had one vocal that sounded too thin and had to use a de-esser plugin to control sibilance. I put Besure on the track and it got rid of that. I don't know if it works purely through impulse response or EQ, but it looks like it does have potential to improve what I've already done with the SM58 in some cases.

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Old 01-27-2021, 02:59 AM   #55
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My last recording session had a bit of that. It was an informal gathering of pro and amateur opera performers.

My main mics were totally wrong. Bad resonance on a very audible mid frequency. My error in placement. No soundcheck, no time. Fortunately, I also had an ambi mic running in a better place, although it recorded more public sound.

When I sent out one song with preliminary EQ, that sounded awful, I noticed the pro tenor was only hearing how bad he was out of tune, at a few spots. No word about the resonance. He didn't hear that.

That was pre Covid. Haven't recorded anything since.

Still, shouldn't compare a broken mic with a working one and draw any meaningful conclusion.
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:49 PM   #56
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Still, shouldn't compare a broken mic with a working one and draw any meaningful conclusion.
Except perhaps that you shouldn't try recording a final vocal track with what might be a broken mic.

Yeah. That's a meaningful conclusion to me.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:24 AM   #57
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From another post, I wanted to suggest for anyone using an SM58 to get the VOLA leveling plugin, which is currently free: https://vst4free.com/plugin/2594/


This is not just a leveler. One control on this of great value to me is the HF De-Emphasis. The SM58 has a rise in frequency response between about 2 kHz and 9 kHz, which gives the mic its characteristic presence and helps it cut through live performances. But with recordings, it's not always desirable to have so much presence in this frequency range. Depending on your unique voice, how you sing, distance from mic, etc., you'll get more sibilance and hissing. The HF De-Emphasis does such a good job of getting rid of this I'm finding I can remove the dynamic EQ I was using to control higher frequencies. The effect is much like what a dynamic EQ would do if you set up a high shelf and doesn't kick in until you reach a certain threshold.


Does anyone know who is Sonic Anomaly that makes this free plugin? I can't find any website for them.


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Old 02-12-2021, 12:55 AM   #58
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Does anyone know who is Sonic Anomaly that makes this free plugin? I can't find any website for them.
VST4free is apparently using an unrecognised protocol according to Chrome. Shame - I wanted to try the plugin...
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:05 AM   #59
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I'm planning to start trying out omni mics for close micing more. Omnis have several interesting features, such as very low "off axis" colouring, flat frequency response and no proximity effect at all, which allows for micing extremely close to the source. It just might be more efficient than using other polar patterns, especially if your room accoustics are a bit improvised.
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Old 02-12-2021, 05:05 AM   #60
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I'm planning to start trying out omni mics for close micing more. Omnis have several interesting features, such as very low "off axis" colouring, flat frequency response and no proximity effect at all, which allows for micing extremely close to the source. It just might be more efficient than using other polar patterns, especially if your room accoustics are a bit improvised.
A couple of things if you are interested in omni mics - they donít really have an Ďaxisí as such, so if the mic has little (or a lot) of colouration it isnít related to axis.

Also, you mentioned room acoustics being a bit improvised - because Omni mics are non-directional, they are usually a much worse choice in rooms with poor acoustics because they pick up considerably more room sound to begin with. Cardioid and/or hypercardioid are the better choice when you need to negate elements of recording, be that to isolate the source from other instruments or the room itself.
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Old 02-12-2021, 08:08 AM   #61
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Also, you mentioned room acoustics being a bit improvised - because Omni mics are non-directional, they are usually a much worse choice in rooms with poor acoustics because they pick up considerably more room sound to begin with. Cardioid and/or hypercardioid are the better choice when you need to negate elements of recording, be that to isolate the source from other instruments or the room itself.
Yeah, that's been my understanding as well. Until I started delving deeper into the subject. One thing to consider are the variations in frequency response around the 360 axis that non-omni mics exhibit. These variations will inevitably lead to frequency interference with the on-axis signal. So, it is absolutely true that cardioid and hyper cardioid mics reject more of the off-axis signal. But. The signal that is NOT rejected however, will be a lot worse sounding, with many more anomalies and strange artifacts, than with a good OMNI. If you combine this with the non-existent proximity effect and flatter/smoother response for the OMNI, allowing you to get much closer to the source, it is not clear to me that cardioid mics must be the better choice in the suboptimal recording environment, especially if you're mainly recording one instrument at a time. I wouldn't necessarily mic the snare with an OMNI, but vocals perhaps? Accoustic guitar? Stuff like that, sources that frequently display problems involving placement and source proximity.

I still haven't tested this out properly, but I'm pretty confident that there is SOME truth to this, at least theoretically. We will see.

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Old 02-12-2021, 08:34 AM   #62
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Yeah, that's been my understanding as well. Until I started delving deeper into the subject. One thing to consider are the variations in frequency response around the 360 axis that non-omni mics exhibit. These variations will inevitably lead to frequency interference with the on-axis signal. So, it is absolutely true that cardioid and hyper cardioid mics reject more of the off-axis signal. But. The signal that is NOT rejected however, will be a lot worse sounding, with many more anomalies and strange artifacts, than with a good OMNI. If you combine this with the non-existent proximity effect and flatter/smoother response for the OMNI, allowing you to get much closer to the source, it is not clear to me that cardioid mics must be the better choice in the suboptimal recording environment, especially if you're mainly recording one instrument at a time. I wouldn't necessarily mic the snare with an OMNI, but vocals perhaps? Accoustic guitar? Stuff like that, sources that frequently display problems involving placement and source proximity.

I still haven't tested this out properly, but I'm pretty confident that there is SOME truth to this, at least theoretically. We will see.
I understand your thought behind this, and you should probably test it yourself to see why Omni mics are rarely the best choice for close micing, especially in less than great acoustics. One thing I would point out before you do though - consider that if cardioid is so much Ďworse soundingí with many anomalies and artefacts as you say, why is it that some of the most praised microphones in history, universally agreed upon that they record a certain thing very well etc are cardioid? You can have cardioid mics that are very flat sounding when on axis, whilst still offering useful rejection - there is nothing inherently Ďworse soundingí when compared to omnidirectional mics because the undesired anomalies/colouration happens to the sounds that are off axis, and therefore usefully rejected by the microphone.

A less than perfect frequency response would always be better than undesirable/bad sounding room content which is impossible to remove from the signal, in my experience.
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Old 02-12-2021, 08:46 AM   #63
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My Alesis AM52 (which may or may not be broken) has a switch for cardioid, omni, and figure eight patterns. I never really noticed any significant difference in the recorded sound switching between them for vocals except for the cardioid pattern sounding flatter and being more prone to distortion and odd artifacts if you got too close. In a final mix after processing etc. it just didn't make much difference.

I don't see why anyone is concerned about proximity effect with cardioid mics because you can always move the mic further away from the source. But if you want to take advantage of proximity effect, it's there for you.

And for those of us living in noisy communities or who have loud computer fans, using an omni mic pattern is not practical.
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:27 PM   #64
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[...] if cardioid is so much ‘worse sounding’ with many anomalies and artefacts as you say, why is it that some of the most praised microphones in history, universally agreed upon that they record a certain thing very well etc are cardioid?
I'm not sure. Habit, perhaps? Tradition? Confirmation bias? Now, I KNOW u87s are great vocal mics, and sometimes a pronounced proximity effect is exactly what is needed, no doubt. Still, my claims about the possible superiority of omni microphones are not THAT unconventional. Many respectable engineers choose omnis before cardioid, often for close micing.

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniq...ns-effectively

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[...]there is nothing inherently ‘worse sounding’ when compared to omnidirectional mics because the undesired anomalies/colouration happens to the sounds that are off axis, and therefore usefully rejected by the microphone.
Debatable. Because sound is not rejected the same way across the frequency spectrum with cardioids. Omnis are omnis, but they don't display the kind of weird artifacts (distortion) as cardioid mics do. That's not an opinion, it's just how microphones work.

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A less than perfect frequency response would always be better than undesirable/bad sounding room content which is impossible to remove from the signal, in my experience.
I believe it's a matter of degrees. The thing is, because sound attenuates and reinforces the way it does in air, with distance, you only need to place the omni 10cm away from the source, as opposed to 17cm with a cardioid, to achieve the same amount of room sound rejection. Anyway, I will try it out and see how it works for me in my space.

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Old 02-12-2021, 01:36 PM   #65
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My Alesis AM52 (which may or may not be broken) has a switch for cardioid, omni, and figure eight patterns. I never really noticed any significant difference in the recorded sound switching between them for vocals except for the cardioid pattern sounding flatter and being more prone to distortion and odd artifacts if you got too close. In a final mix after processing etc. it just didn't make much difference.
There's a difference between true omnis (pressure-operated) and switchable polar pattern mics (pressure gradient). It's not the same thing.

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I don't see why anyone is concerned about proximity effect with cardioid mics because you can always move the mic further away from the source. But if you want to take advantage of proximity effect, it's there for you.
If your room is not that nice sounding, you can't always move the mic as far away as you would like. That's the thing.

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And for those of us living in noisy communities or who have loud computer fans, using an omni mic pattern is not practical.
That's debatable. You can presumably place the omni closer to the source, eliminating more of the room sound. Also, the sound of the room just might sound more pleasing using the omni, since it will be less distorted. Perhaps it can work to your advantage, even though at first it seems counterintuitive.

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Old 02-12-2021, 03:00 PM   #66
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One thing I would point out before you do though - consider that if cardioid is so much Ďworse soundingí with many anomalies and artefacts as you say, why is it that some of the most praised microphones in history, universally agreed upon that they record a certain thing very well etc are cardioid?
The market for cardioids is much bigger and it is much harder to make a good omni. Also, an omni has less output, which was a problem because it worsened signal to noise ratio.
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Old 02-12-2021, 03:10 PM   #67
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I'm not sure. Habit, perhaps? Tradition? Confirmation bias? Now, I KNOW u87s are great vocal mics, and sometimes a pronounced proximity effect is exactly what is needed, no doubt. Still, my claims about the possible superiority of omni microphones are not THAT unconventional. Many respectable engineers choose omnis before cardioid, often for close micing.

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniq...ns-effectively
Iím well aware that Omni mics are useful and have benefits, they also have negatives. Iím not sure why acknowledging that they have negatives and may be inferior to other polar patterns in some situations would lead you to believe that is possible evidence of habit, tradition or confirmation bias.

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Debatable. Because sound is not rejected the same way across the frequency spectrum with cardioids. Omnis are omnis, but they don't display the kind of weird artifacts (distortion) as cardioid mics do. That's not an opinion, it's just how microphones work.
Who is debating it? I literally said that they exhibit colouration off axis, the point is that the sounds that exhibit colouration - those off-axis sounds - are being attenuated in volume by the polar pattern. Thatís not an opinion, itís just how microphones work. Omni mics have no rejection, which is often undesirable especially when recording in a less than ideal space. All the sound of the room is being picked up, in an undistorted way, warts and all - if the room sounds bad, or is simply too reverberant, you are recording it and itís baked into that recording.

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I believe it's a matter of degrees. The thing is, because sound attenuates and reinforces the way it does in air, with distance, you only need to place the omni 10cm away from the source, as opposed to 17cm with a cardioid, to achieve the same amount of room sound rejection. Anyway, I will try it out and see how it works for me in my space.
That would only make sense if you havenít tried it to be honest. Set up a guitar amp in a nice big reverberant room, and compare a cardioid at 10cm to an Omni at 5cm. I know which will have more room sound, and it shouldnít be difficult to see why, because the effect you are speaking about only occurs if you have a steady state continuous signal exerting itself from one location. Once the signal stops, the sound is bouncing around the room and being picked up more by the Omni than the cardioid.

Maybe Iím reading too much into your posts but youíre kind of coming across like you want to argue about this so I wonít comment further. Please do the tests yourself, ideally before recommending the technique to someone before you know if it will work.
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Old 02-12-2021, 03:14 PM   #68
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The market for cardioids is much bigger and it is much harder to make a good omni. Also, an omni has less output, which was a problem because it worsened signal to noise ratio.
Why is the market for cardioid mics bigger though? I would think because they are often more useful. I have had a lovely set of Omni mics, and used many of them to great effect over the years - they are truly great when the situation suits them. Iím only trying to point out that one big issue with them is that if the recording environment isnít great, an Omni mic will show you that. Omni mics can have very low signal to noise ratio, maybe itís harder to achieve but it isnít a problem in practice - take a look at earthworks mics as good examples. Iíve owned several earthworks Omni and cardioid mics, both were superb but suited to very different things.
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Old 02-12-2021, 03:27 PM   #69
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[...]the sounds that exhibit colouration - those off-axis sounds - are being attenuated in volume by the polar pattern.
Certain frequencies are attenuated, others are not. That's the thing. You might be under the impression that ALL off-axis information is being attenuated equally by the cardioid polar pattern, but that's incorrect. You can easily test this yourself, by putting up a cardioid mic, recording let's say some white noise, and then flipping the mic over 180 degrees and recording the same thing. You will find that all frequencies are NOT attenated equally, and some not at all. And this response will shift all over the place with the angle of the source to the mic, and thus with the angle of incoming room sound to the mic as well.

That is how cardioid mics work.

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Old 02-12-2021, 03:36 PM   #70
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I know which will have more room sound, and it shouldnít be difficult to see why, because the effect you are speaking about only occurs if you have a steady state continuous signal exerting itself from one location. Once the signal stops, the sound is bouncing around the room and being picked up more by the Omni than the cardioid.
We're not talking absolutes here, but relations. The point is that the level of room sound in relation to the direct sound coming from the source depends largely on the proximity of the mic to the source. Put the mic closer, and you will have less room sound in the signal in relation to direct sound. Naturally. Put the omni ~10 cm from the source and you will achieve the same room/direct sound ratio as a cardioid ~17 cm from the source. Normally. Of course, different mics will display slightly varying behaviours, but as a general rule, this is correct.
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Old 02-12-2021, 05:20 PM   #71
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We're not talking absolutes here, but relations. The point is that the level of room sound in relation to the direct sound coming from the source depends largely on the proximity of the mic to the source. Put the mic closer, and you will have less room sound in the signal in relation to direct sound. Naturally. Put the omni ~10 cm from the source and you will achieve the same room/direct sound ratio as a cardioid ~17 cm from the source. Normally. Of course, different mics will display slightly varying behaviours, but as a general rule, this is correct.
I’m not sure why you think this is the case, but when you half the distance to a source the spl increases by 6db. Let’s forget your 10cm vs 17cm for a moment and for simplicity say that we have a cardioid pointed directly at a guitar cab at a distance of 20cm, and an Omni at 10cm. Let’s also for a moment assume that both have similar sensitivity. The cardioid is going to do a pretty good job of rejecting sound from the rear of the capsule, potentially into double db figures, and will reject less as we get around the sides to around -5db at 90į. Meanwhile the Omni mic is picking up 6db more from the guitar cab but offers zero rejection to the room. The Omni still picks up more room sound compared to the cardioid, in relation to the direct signal.

This of course, not to mention the fact that you could just put the cardioid at the same distance as the Omni, and simply engage the LPF on the mic, or perhaps roll off some low end in the mix if you felt it was too much. It’s worth remembering that although Omni mics have no proximity response they do usually have a more extended low frequency response with less roll-off, so you may well end up having to adjust it with EQ in the mix anyway.

If the room sounds great then the Omni could definitely present a good option, but when acoustics are bad the better choice in 99% of situations is going to be a mic that can reject part of the unwanted sound - the closing statement in that SOS article you posted pretty much states that, if you prefer to get your info from a trusted source. Omnis can be great, but they are not the answer to everything and there are very valid reasons that the other polar patterns exist and are often preferable to Omni.
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Old 02-13-2021, 04:55 AM   #72
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You beeat me to that response Stu!

I was just going to ask ramses to provide hard evidence to justify that claim!
And wondered why the distances of 10 and 17cm were chosen.

It often makes me smile a little that mic reviews and shootouts only take part of a mic's characteristics into consideration.
Here I think ramses does have a slight point when it has been written about distortion. I presume by that it is meant frequency distortion in both the on axis signal and off axis signal.
In some condensor mics, especially those that are not "best" the on axis response is far from flat and peaky as well as gentle variation. That can cause issues with some material especially complex sounds like from an acoustic guitar (and male voice is used to compare!) The smooth frquency variations are often done for or can be used for effect.
However the second characteristic is the similarity (or lack of it) in the polar response and hence rejection of unwanted sources. That is a frequency rejection response.
It is well worth considering this often overlooked characteristic. Do investigate!

That does not negate the advantages of rejection of off axus sounds though!
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Old 02-13-2021, 04:56 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Stu View Post
Why is the market for cardioid mics bigger though? I would think because they are often more useful.
Because of live sound. You'll almost never see an omni there, for obvious reasons.

In the sixties and early seventies, some of the best dynamic omnis were called "reporter mics". That's because omnis avoided the interviewed voice being fainter or louder than the interviewer's voice.

These days, interviewers might just use cardios too. The only situation I can think of where omnis are used more frequently than cardios, is with lavaliers. And a sector where cardios are never used, is for measurement.

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I have had a lovely set of Omni mics, and used many of them to great effect over the years - they are truly great when the situation suits them. I’m only trying to point out that one big issue with them is that if the recording environment isn’t great, an Omni mic will show you that.
Maybe. It depends. If you put a Senn MD21 next to a Rode NT1, or even a Senn MD421, I'll bet the cardios will pick up more room sound.

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Omni mics can have very low signal to noise ratio, maybe it’s harder to achieve but it isn’t a problem in practice - take a look at earthworks mics as good examples. I’ve owned several earthworks Omni and cardioid mics, both were superb but suited to very different things.
It's not S/N ratio, it's lower output since a cardio has an open back, while the omni has a closed back. That would mean acoustical energy is halved, in theory.

If you want to compare between omni and cardio, use a condenser like the Behri B5 where you can exchange the capsule. At least, you're using the same electronics. Otherwise, you'll never know why the sound differs. Of course, if you're allergic to the B-word, use a Senn MKH. Or an AKG C451...

The two main advantages of omnis are: no proximity effect and a much flatter frequency curve for sound that's not coming from the front. That's why you'll see much more omnis in the classical music scene. No PA = no feedback.
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Old 02-13-2021, 05:29 AM   #74
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Because of live sound. You'll almost never see an omni there, for obvious reasons.

In the sixties and early seventies, some of the best dynamic omnis were called "reporter mics". That's because omnis avoided the interviewed voice being fainter or louder than the interviewer's voice.

These days, interviewers might just use cardios too. The only situation I can think of where omnis are used more frequently than cardios, is with lavaliers. And a sector where cardios are never used, is for measurement.



Maybe. It depends. If you put a Senn MD21 next to a Rode NT1, or even a Senn MD421, I'll bet the cardios will pick up more room sound.



It's not S/N ratio, it's lower output since a cardio has an open back, while the omni has a closed back. That would mean acoustical energy is halved, in theory.

If you want to compare between omni and cardio, use a condenser like the Behri B5 where you can exchange the capsule. At least, you're using the same electronics. Otherwise, you'll never know why the sound differs. Of course, if you're allergic to the B-word, use a Senn MKH. Or an AKG C451...

The two main advantages of omnis are: no proximity effect and a much flatter frequency curve for sound that's not coming from the front. That's why you'll see much more omnis in the classical music scene. No PA = no feedback.
Back in college we spent a couple of solid months just testing microphones, measuring responses, comparing polar patterns, what happens to off and on axis sounds, which situations work well for specific types, how to leverage rejection and so on. I even still have the 4 inch thick ring binder full of spec sheets, detailed measurements etc 20 years later, it has been useful to look back on from time to time.

I don’t deny the advantages omni mics have, and understand them quite well. This thread is going round in circles now, because again I’m going to have to say - there are valid reasons that cardioid (or other) patterns are often the better choice over omni, especially when rejection (such as required - by the OP of this thread, who mentions issues with acoustics, fan noise and other people in his living situation) will be more important than any of the advantages offered by an omni pattern mic.

At no point have I said that Omni pattern mics are inferior to cardioid. Likewise, cardioid is not inferior to omni - it all depends on what is required and useful in a given situation.

Your example of the MD21: hypothetically, if we could position this mic at a specific distance to a source and at the same time position a cardioid pattern mic of the same sensitivity in the same place, and adjust the preamp gain so that both are recording the source at the same level. The Omni will pick up more indirect sound than the cardioid. Any time that you find an Omni is picking up less indirect sound than an equivalent cardioid can only be due to lower sensitivity or different positioning. If you are saying that an Omni mic with no rejection can somehow reject indirect sound more effectively than a polar pattern that does have rejection, please can you explain how this is possible and provide some kind of literature to back it up? I would honestly be very interested to read it and further my understanding.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:27 AM   #75
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Cyrano posts some really great comment on threads with much truth but in this last post I think it is in error - if I have read the post correctly!

Much like Stu has responded.

Onmi mics work on pressure on a diaphram face with respect to the other static side. There is no relationship between the pressure and the direction it comes from thus giving the onmidirectional characteristics.

Cardiod (and other) mics with non equal polar patterns rely on pressure differences acting on the diaphram (otherwise known as pressure gradient) and the pressure differences, owing to the mic design, produce cancellation effects depending upon the angle of incidence to the mics axis which results in a non equal polar pattern and allows rejection from certain angles often up to 20dB.

It would be interesting to hear how an off axis sound such as room acoustics' reflected waves of the prime sound waves would be greater in a mic with rejection than one without -obviously given the same sensitivity/gain and positioning.

That rejection does not result in addition surely?
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Old 02-13-2021, 07:10 AM   #76
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I don’t deny the advantages omni mics have, and understand them quite well. This thread is going round in circles now, because again I’m going to have to say - there are valid reasons that cardioid (or other) patterns are often the better choice over omni, especially when rejection (such as required - by the OP of this thread, who mentions issues with acoustics, fan noise and other people in his living situation) will be more important than any of the advantages offered by an omni pattern mic.
Not necessarily. Not if you're unable to position the cardioid close enough to the source because of the uneven/distorted freq response, including proximity effect.

Science: https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/ge...754/FULLTEXT02

"Since the three most preferred distances/directivities include two omnis, (Omni 5cm and Omni 25cm) one conclusion to make is that it is easier to find a satisfying position for an omnidirectional microphone compared to a cardioid when placing a microphone in front of a speaker in a speaker booth. The omnidirectional microphones tend to perform more even at various distances (near field to free field), while a cardioid microphone seems to have a sweet spot somewhere in the free field and does not perform well in the near field."
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Old 02-13-2021, 07:20 AM   #77
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It would be interesting to hear how an off axis sound such as room acoustics' reflected waves of the prime sound waves would be greater in a mic with rejection than one without -obviously given the same sensitivity/gain and positioning.

That rejection does not result in addition surely?
One reason it could be greater is that omnis can be placed closer to the source. But. If you're able to place the cardioid mic as close as the omni without having lots of annoying artifacts, the cardioid mic will have less reflected sound. That does not mean that the sound of the captured reflections must be less annoying however, that depends on the actual characteristics of the respone of the cardioid rejection (distortion, frequency interference, etc).

Last edited by ramses; 02-13-2021 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 02-13-2021, 08:12 AM   #78
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Cardioids will have vastly different off axis responses. It's mostly a result of the methods deployed for the comb filtering. Just have a look at these two examples:


Look at that 10k peak at 90 degrees there with the Schoeps. That peak will definitely be audible. Or the exaggerated 90 degree low freq response of the Sennheiser, a mic that is already low end heavy and definitely not flat on-axis.

Or listen to this example, the snare one with the 57 and the m80:

https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/pro...our-recordings

More expensive cardioids are commonly said to exhibit more forgiving off-axis responses, but that's not a fast rule either. Some do, some don't, and the characteristics will depend just as much on the sound you're trying to reject in the first place. Let's say you work in an environment with lots of really hard surfaces. That Schoeps 10k peak would likely be pretty annoying then, especially since there are no low lows there to balance it out a bit.
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Old 02-13-2021, 08:22 AM   #79
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Not necessarily. Not if you're unable to position the cardioid close enough to the source because of the uneven/distorted freq response, including proximity effect.

Science: https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/ge...754/FULLTEXT02

"Since the three most preferred distances/directivities include two omnis, (Omni 5cm and Omni 25cm) one conclusion to make is that it is easier to find a satisfying position for an omnidirectional microphone compared to a cardioid when placing a microphone in front of a speaker in a speaker booth. The omnidirectional microphones tend to perform more even at various distances (near field to free field), while a cardioid microphone seems to have a sweet spot somewhere in the free field and does not perform well in the near field."
Well now youíre being a little disingenuous because that test (interesting study by the way) was conducted in a purpose built control room, while we are discussing Peter and his less than ideal acoustic space, coupled with noise from his computer fan and other people at his dwelling. The study did not test to see if the level of room sound was different as far as I can see, only that any additional room sound found in the Omni recording was not considered detrimental - in that situation, in that controlled space. At no point in the test, results or conclusion do they state that cardioid microphones do not reject sound, neither does it state that Omni mics *do* reject indirect sound. The study shows that people preferred the sound of a particular voice, played back over a speaker in a particular control room recorded with an omni pattern mic vs a cardioid. It shows a preference.
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Old 02-13-2021, 08:29 AM   #80
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Because of live sound. You'll almost never see an omni there, for obvious reasons.
I would say this sounds really likely. If you're working with live bands you don't really have the time or the possibility to carefully position mics, gobo up, etc. Especially in the infancy of the recording industry this was the case. And then you really need the fast and brutal rejection of cardioid. And then it just becomes TRUTH.
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