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Thread: Go-to Mic for Voice Over work

  1. #41
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    Is it just that some mics are noisier than others? The tests in some have obvious exterior noise so perhaps there is a base line of exterior noise which affects them all but some mics are just quieter? Perhaps the flaw is the 737 passing by.
    Last edited by Orson; 05-02-2019 at 05:33.

  2. #42
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    I have far fewer mics so no great effort.
    My MO. Native Instruments KA6 set for max gain. I used mic1 for all tests, mic 2 showed about 4-5dB more noise but could of course had slightly more final gain?
    An XLR cable was run into the lounge and the mic "buried" on the sofa amid cushions and towels.
    The baseline noise with a terminated screened XLR was -85dBfs pk (but note, in all the readings the value jazzed about and I took the best "eyeball" average. I used Samplitude SE8, old yes but it has meters down to -90dB and a numerical readout below that. I am also slicker with SE8 than anything else!
    As before, 24 bits 44.1kHz. The XLR load was in fact 218 Ohms since the demise of Maplin I no longer have an instant source of such components. But, 150R and 200R are still down at -129/130dBV (20C 19980Hz) so I doubt we need worry about that? I took the readings on the DAW meters then did a 15sec recording. Here you go, noisiest to quietest...
    Sontronics STC-2 42dBfs
    STC-2 +10dB pad -46
    crap dynamic* -50
    AKG P150 -51
    STC-2+HPF -52
    P150 +10dB pad -65
    Prodipe TT-1 -72
    The capacitors SEEM much noisier but of course have much higher sensitivity. The STC-2 LDC is 20mV/Pa and the P150 12mV/Pa. The TT-1 is just 2.2mV/Pa about 5dB hotter than a 57(donated mine to son!) Then, neither of the capacitor mics are "state of art" there are quieter ones around now. Mind you I have never had a problem with actual mic or preamp noise for "real" recording as the KA6 does have very quiet amps and acoustic guitar at a foot with a dynamic is easily possible.
    I have done some Right Mark analyser plots for some of the mics and am a bit miffed at some artifacts (aka spikes) and a hum at 100Hz. I need to redo some tests and get back to those.
    *A cheap, £20 dynamic from Maplins. Bought 4 some years ago to put in the garden. Two are still working after at least 18 months!
    Dave.

  3. #43
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    That's interesting Dave - do you think that when you use the 'noisy' mics, you ever notice? I'm just wondering that these noise figures really don't make any real practical sense in terms of saying X is worse than Y. I've been recording today with two of the 'noisy' mics and I cannot hear this noise I can measure? Again, your comment on the hums and spikey sounds also seem to cloud the results we get. Clearly one of my mics is faulty - the noise being a very strange sound, not jus hiss. I think I'll repeater the tests at some point but at the moment, I'm falling a bit behind. I'm also wondering if the sensitive mics, would benefit from the lower gain setting. Maybe the hiss generated in the preamp could be more problematic than the extra hiss from the mic? Do the two things work together, in reverse. I get more hiss from the 414 because it's relative output is greater, so if, say it is 4 times more sensitive, but the extra hiss twice as loud, then turning the gain down to a quarter removes twice as much hiss? Just scratching my head on how these things work.

    I suppose I could take a tone generator at a measure ddistance and then see how far down the noise floor is??

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    That's interesting Dave - do you think that when you use the 'noisy' mics, you ever notice? I'm just wondering that these noise figures really don't make any real practical sense in terms of saying X is worse than Y. I've been recording today with two of the 'noisy' mics and I cannot hear this noise I can measure? Again, your comment on the hums and spikey sounds also seem to cloud the results we get. Clearly one of my mics is faulty - the noise being a very strange sound, not jus hiss. I think I'll repeater the tests at some point but at the moment, I'm falling a bit behind. I'm also wondering if the sensitive mics, would benefit from the lower gain setting. Maybe the hiss generated in the preamp could be more problematic than the extra hiss from the mic? Do the two things work together, in reverse. I get more hiss from the 414 because it's relative output is greater, so if, say it is 4 times more sensitive, but the extra hiss twice as loud, then turning the gain down to a quarter removes twice as much hiss? Just scratching my head on how these things work.

    I suppose I could take a tone generator at a measure ddistance and then see how far down the noise floor is??
    I think I have cracked ot Rob! But I need to be more dilligent and careful in my setup. I think I need a noise source and place the mic a specific distance from it. One metre would seem right but past experience tell me you need fatiguingly high noise level to get a decent signal unless you have the NPLs anechoic chamber!

    I did something like this when I was investigating small, low cost speakers for Blackstar.

    So, I set the mic up "X" distance from the (pink you think?) noise source and set gain for a specific level in Sam, say -20dBu for jazz? Then turn off the noise source and see what the remnant mic+pre noise is. Trouble is, I cannot then have the mics under cushions. Could do with an iso box!

    Bit of family health issues atmo, up and down to the hosp like a blue arsed fly but will try to do something over the weekend.

    I am going to look at that hum and spikes first tho'but.

    Dave.

  5. #45
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    I thought I'd get in on the act seeing as our lad wanted a bit of time to play with synthesizers in the studio today. I decided to set up a speaker playing a synth tone of a known level (80dBSPL according to the meter) and then just record the ambient sound with the gain on the A&H Saber mixing desk preamps turned up to full (60dB). My studio is fairly well soundproofed and there is no obvious noise source in the recording booth. I switched off the speaker for the ambient noise recording. I recorded everything at 96kHz but resampled the resultant file to 44.1kHz in order to deliberately limit the bandwidth to something close to the standard 20khz normally used for noise measurements.

    Here are the results...


    Model 80dBSPL Tone Ambient Difference Equivalent Noise (dBSPL)
    U87 -9.9 -59.5 49.6 30.4
    U47fet -14.2 -61.5 47.3 32.7
    Line Audio CM3 -15.3 -58.7 43.4 36.6
    Shure SM48 -31.1 -82.9 51.8 28.2
    MD 504 -28.6 -79.1 50.5 29.5

    One thing I noticed was that much of the noise on the condenser mics was low frequency (I wasn't using them with isolation mounts) so I tried putting in a 100Hz HPF which greatly improved the results for the condenser mics...

    Model 80dBSPL Tone Ambient Difference Equivalent Noise (dBSPL)
    U87 -9.9 -67.6 57.7 22.3
    U47fet -14.2 -70.1 55.9 24.1
    Line Audio CM3 -15.3 -67.5 52.2 27.8
    Shure SM48 -31.1 -83.7 52.6 27.4
    MD 504 -28.6 -82 53.4 26.6

    It may be worth pointing out that the U87 is the old version with the battery compartment which is supposed to be noisier than newer versions. The noise on the dynamic mics could well be from the preamps - I tried terminating the input with a 150 ohm resistor poked into the XLR socket and the noise level was actually higher - I guess the connection may not have been that great though. (apologies for the formatting - the forum doesn't seem to handle tabs or multiple spaces).
    JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration
    http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk

  6. #46
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    James - interesting results. My test also had an excess of bottom end noise. The results we're getting do seem to not be quite what we all expected - we've got different test regimes - some working with tones some without and we've got a weird set of results. I know we've not got a calibrated measurement system and it;'s comparative - but we kind of assumed that some mics would score well and others would be 'less good' and it's not working?

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orson View Post
    I think the TLM 103 is down to 6 decibels. I do not know about the U87. How are you going to get that low with a duvet over your head?


    You put the microphone stand as a "T" - hang the duvet over it and put it behing the speaker (person not loudspeaker).

    This prevents room reflections reflecting into the microphone - it works very well.

  8. #48
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    Another microphone that delivers beautiful sound is the Audio Technica, AT4053b. Great for interviews and situations where you don't want to see the microphone. It's a hyper-cardioid condenser with a price around the $600 mark. Ray Ortega has a video on Youtube that lets you hear the sound quality, set up of levels, and techniques for reducing ground floor noise. Go to the 6-minute mark in the video to hear the beautiful sound quality. There's a lot of other learning in the video too. .
    Also, the podcaster's studio has a lot of videos. Included is a comparison between an AT4053b and the Rode NTG3. YouTube.

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