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Thread: Been given a Neumann TLM 170 - is it really necessary?

  1. #11
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    I would not call 8mV/Pa a "low" sensitivity? Yes many LDC mics are more than 6dB hotter but 8mv is some 16dB over an SM57 and getting on for 18dB hotter than a 7b. There cannot be an AI on the market that will have bother with that?

    There is a "KISS" principle to keep the signal path as clean as possible unless you want to introduce "attitude"? Once done however it cannot be undone.

    The TL is in fact comparable to many SDCs for sensitivity but has a rather better noise performance than most. I'd 'ave in a heatbeat!

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    I would not call 8mV/Pa a "low" sensitivity? Yes many LDC mics are more than 6dB hotter but 8mv is some 16dB over an SM57 and getting on for 18dB hotter than a 7b. There cannot be an AI on the market that will have bother with that?

    There is a "KISS" principle to keep the signal path as clean as possible unless you want to introduce "attitude"? Once done however it cannot be undone.

    The TL is in fact comparable to many SDCs for sensitivity but has a rather better noise performance than most. I'd 'ave in a heatbeat!

    Dave.
    Probably should have said slightly lower output. It works great on loud sources. It’s not the quietest mic, although it’s has low self noise but, it’s less than a U87, or M49, or TLM 103 etc. It’s a very good mic, I’d use one if I had one.
    Why is that plugin on that track?

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    Hi Bubba,

    So you don't get stressed out about the Neumann I think that maybe you should send it to me, I don't mind paying the postage. I can then use it in my studio and do all the worrying for you.

    I know I know, it's very kind of me to offer, but it's what I do to help people out.

    Cheers
    Alan.

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    Won't waste space quoting all the above replies. Thanks for all the tips and insights. I'm going to start playing with it now. Give me a week and I'll post my feelings. This will be what an 'ordinary' individual hears. Not an acoustic expert or sound engineer. Just the average British bloke off the street.

    I think that the audio interface thingy is called a Black Origin (from memory, but could be wrong), and just looks terrifying It's over 100 miles away, so could be some time before anyone passes by with it.

    One final question - hope you don't mind - the TLM170 has what looks like a slot with a knurled tightening wheel, for a pop filter. Couldn't find mention of the filter piece anywhere. Any substitutes that fits in there? Looks nicer/simpler than a great big clamp on piece.

    If the Neumann doesn't work out, I'll use it for Skype.

    Thanks again

    Bubba

  5. #15
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    "If the Neumann doesn't work out, I'll use it for Skype."

    Garghhh! What a waste! I bet you could sell the mic and easily get enough for a cracking headset for Skype or one of the better USB mics.

    Dave.

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    Well, what a surprise. I really didn't want to believe that this microphone could improve upon anything. But it does! Firstly, with the RE20, there is a continuous faint hiss in the background, even with Cloudlifter. As you increase the volume, so the hiss increases. Others may have another name for the noise, hiss, buzz etc. I really notice it when I stop recording and realize what true silence is. I must have gotten so used to it that it ceased to register. The TLM 170 is by comparison silent.

    Secondly - and I'm going to have a job describing this - my voice sounds as if nothing has been taken away - see, I told you it was difficult to describe. At least I know what I mean It sounds as if there is more of me in the sound. More detail, more subtlety.

    Thirdly - and this goes against what I'd expected - it's more forgiving on my voice. Yes, the RE20 is supposed to be more tolerant of poor acoustics/surroundings, yet I've found this mic to be even better in that respect. I tend not to pop too much, and my 'S' sounds are just sharper. I didn't expect that. Remember: I have two professional grade sound baffles - one very close in front and one very close behind - each as tall as a person. Messing around with the polar patterns is interesting. My favourite is not the pattern suggested by everyone.

    The TLM 170 has had everything from sonnets to plain dialogue thrown at it. I knew on the very first playback that it was better for my voice. I'm just surprised, that's all. No music or singing will ever go into the mic. Spoken word only.

    Now for the ridiculousness: I find the TLM 170 less intimidating than the massive RE20, held in that enormous suspension mount. I'm less aware of it being there. The RE20 on the other hand causes a total eclipse, and no life can exist in its shadow. Still prefer green to black though.

    So, ecc83, not such a waste after all. Seems like it'll be the RE20 that gets used for Skype

    Edit: Just to say: I don't like equipment, didn't want the hassle of upgrading and couldn't give a fig about the historical reputation of certain manufacturers. I don't feel as if I've been influenced by adverts (haven't seen any), or reviews (haven't read any). But it does indeed sound better. On the plus side, I get to use one less cable as the Cloudlifter is taken out of the equation... but Skype just became a whole lot more complicated

    The bit I never mentioned: many years ago, I recorded my first ever spoken word into this actual microphone. Someone wanted a bit of preamble to a singer's life story, and asked if I'd oblige. One minute I was making a cup of tea, the next I was in a room full of equipment. They had to tell me how to sit, how close to get to it etc. Took ages and many, many false starts. Had never spoken into a mic before, ever! So, nice to be reunited with it all these years later.
    Last edited by Bubba Spear; 4 Days Ago at 16:24.

  7. #17
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    "So, ecc83, not such a waste after all." Er? Either you did not understand me or I don't understand that?
    I meant using the TL for Skype would be a waste (not SILLY mind, busking in the rain with a Strad is ok but won't earn you a penny more than a Boosey&Hawkes budget fiddle).

    Your findings of the good performance of the microphone come as little surprise to me. Capacitor mics are more "hi fi" than dynamics. Wherever there is a need for accuracy or precision you will find them. Ribbons perhaps come second. Dynamics are great alrounders of course and are generally more rugged than caps and WAY tougher than a Coles 4038!

    Mind you, if you did not have your baffles I am sure the Achilles heel of the cap mic, especially the LDC, would I thnk obtrude? That being the room.

    I am a bit surprised that RE 20 and the cloudlifter still give noticeable noise. I have read a couple of reviews of the cloudlifter and it seemed to be the solution to low output mics. Maybe yours is a bit out of spec?

    Still think even the EV is far too good for Skyping!

    Just looked up the spec for the RE 20 sensitivity is 1.5mV/Pa. That's about 3dB hotter than a 57/58 and maybe 4-5dB hotter than an SM7b and I am sure I have heard of people using those mics with a cloudlifter and getting really low noise results.

    Of course, mics are subject to tolerances and if it is an old one it might be down a bit on output? Add a c'lifter not quite up to snuff and you could get a bit of noise.

    Dave.

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    Hi Dave, just kidding about Skype :-)

    But yes, the first thing I noticed was the lack of that continuous noise. It's very faint, but always present. During the pauses in dialogue I can hear it. Never goes away, and just thought it was quite normal. Any kind of spoken word hides it completely.

    Thanks again for all your thoughts, tips

    Bubba

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Spear View Post
    Hi Dave, just kidding about Skype :-)

    But yes, the first thing I noticed was the lack of that continuous noise. It's very faint, but always present. During the pauses in dialogue I can hear it. Never goes away, and just thought it was quite normal. Any kind of spoken word hides it completely.

    Thanks again for all your thoughts, tips

    Bubba
    Yes Bubba I THOUGHT you were but forums are funny places and I have been misunderstood before* so I just wanted to clear that up.

    *the fact that I do tend to drone on with a load of old bllx sometimes nothwithstanding.

    Dave.

  10. #20
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    I can assure you, every word here has been so helpful.

    So, I'll be over for a cup of tea tomorrow evening, about 5:00pm. I've got a list of 5000 audio questions to ask.

    And... Earl Grey or I'm not coming!

    Bubba

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