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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:36 pm 
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Whistler from Oz wrote:
How much of the sound quality would you attribute to the microphone itself and how much to elements such as mic placement, room acoustics, musician quality and subsequent editting??

Best wishes


Depends on how you want to think about it. If I set up microphones in my livingroom and you play in yours, then you could say that microphone placement is everything.

Mic placement within a room is very important. I can make my instrument sound like a totally different instrument by moving the microphone. This is true in any room, but it's more true in rooms with more character. It's true that some recording is done in isolation booths, but it's not all done that way. Plenty of recording studios feature rooms with hard surfaces, and there are no recording studios with anechoic chambers.

Regarding the editing -- if you don't start off with something that sounds good, you're not going to end up with anything good. But you can easily go the other way (take something good and mess it up).

And it goes without saying that nothing you do with microphone selection or placement will improve your playing :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:39 pm 
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ubizmo wrote:

But I discovered something else that surprised me: Some of these fairly inexpensive headset "Skype" microphones perform very well. They are dynamic mics,




Er, I hate to break it to you, but they're pretty much all electret condenser mics.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:33 pm 
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highland-piper wrote:
ubizmo wrote:

But I discovered something else that surprised me: Some of these fairly inexpensive headset "Skype" microphones perform very well. They are dynamic mics,




Er, I hate to break it to you, but they're pretty much all electret condenser mics.


Really? I'm talking inexpensive, as in $25-$50. When I do a search for "headset condenser microphone" I come up with listings over $100. On the other hand, the listings for things like Logitech headset mics and the like don't mention having condenser microphones. But I freely confess to having no knowledge of these things. I was simply repeating something I read somewhere. Dynamic mics are said to be cheaper and more durable than condenser mics. At any rate, the headsets I've used have the virtue of not picking up every stray sound in the room, but recording the sound source near the mic on its little boom with admirable fidelity, considering the cost and simplicity. And I've only used the analog ones. My Windows 7 machine has some sort of feud going with USB headsets.

Ubizmo


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:38 am 
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ubizmo wrote:
highland-piper wrote:
ubizmo wrote:

But I discovered something else that surprised me: Some of these fairly inexpensive headset "Skype" microphones perform very well. They are dynamic mics,




Er, I hate to break it to you, but they're pretty much all electret condenser mics.


Really? I'm talking inexpensive, as in $25-$50. When I do a search for "headset condenser microphone" I come up with listings over $100. On the other hand, the listings for things like Logitech headset mics and the like don't mention having condenser microphones. But I freely confess to having no knowledge of these things. I was simply repeating something I read somewhere. Dynamic mics are said to be cheaper and more durable than condenser mics. At any rate, the headsets I've used have the virtue of not picking up every stray sound in the room, but recording the sound source near the mic on its little boom with admirable fidelity, considering the cost and simplicity. And I've only used the analog ones. My Windows 7 machine has some sort of feud going with USB headsets.

Ubizmo



All microphones are analog... :poke:

But yes, all those really cheap mics are all definitely electret condensers. They use capsules like the Panasonic WM-55. Cell phones too. They're very cheap capsules -- you can buy them in retail quantities for $3 or so, which is why you can buy a computer microphone on a boom for $6. If you have broken things with microphones you can take the mics out and put them into various housings.

Panasonic also makes omni-directional capsules, like the WM 60. The way they make them directional is by drilling holes in the back of the printed circuit board. The tradeoffs are frequency response and SPL. The omni-directional capsules have dead flat response from 20 hz to 20k hz (and you can record a train upclose and personal), while the uni-directional ones drop off the bass. For voice (or tin whistle) lack of bass is probably a benefit, because you won't hear trucks and trains (in the distance) rumbling past, and the volume isn't a problem.

I don't think I've seen a small, cheap dynamic mic in over 20 years. They used to put them in cassette recorders and stuff, but they're all electret's now (basically

Here's a good photo showing the back of a wm 55:

http://www.airraidsirens.com/posts/wm55a.html

If you take a microphone like this:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog? ... 8wIwADgA#p

and pop the top open you'll find something like that wm55 inside. If you put a dab of glue into each hole, you'll eliminate the directionality. If you google "microphone battery box" you can find out how (if you can solder) to make that microphone work at much higher SPLs -- probably not much use for tin whistle, but not bad for rock shows.

If you're interested, listen to this sample. There is a studio condenser (MXL 990 -- us$50 retail) on the left, and a panasonic wm60 (the unidirectional version of what's in one of those skype microphones) on the right. The microphones were as close as possible to each other.

panasonic's data sheets for the wm55, wm64, and other currently produced microphone capsules (the wm60 referred to above is discontinued) are here:
http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/ele ... 00_AM.html


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:19 am 
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Well, I stand corrected. I still find it surprising that I've had better results with these cheap headsets than with more expensive standalone USB condenser mics such as the Snowball and Samson. Incidentally, by "analog" I meant the microphone used the 3.5 mm input jack on the computer, as opposed to the USB port.

Ubizmo


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:10 pm 
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ubizmo wrote:
Well, I stand corrected. I still find it surprising that I've had better results with these cheap headsets than with more expensive standalone USB condenser mics such as the Snowball and Samson. Incidentally, by "analog" I meant the microphone used the 3.5 mm input jack on the computer, as opposed to the USB port.



Yeah, I know -- I was just in a mood to :poke:

On a serious note, if you get better results from cheaper cardioid condenser microphones than more expensive ones, I'd think that suggests one (or more) of the following:

* There's something wrong with the space you are recording in,
* There's something wrong with the sound of what you're recording,
* There's something wrong with your microphone technique.
* There's something wrong with your gear, your software, or your setup.

For any given room there are probably an infinite number of microphone positions and an infinite number of instrument positions. That gives you infinity squared combinations! Earlier I posted a link to a clip of a string trio. In making that recording we found that the best location for the microphone was six inches down from the ceiling, a foot out from the back wall, on the opposite side of the room.

If you have an opportunity to try making recordings that demonstrate what you're experiencing someone might be able to give you some tips.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:29 am 
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highland-piper wrote:
Can you record something? It would be nice to have a few samples of different recording setups.


Sorry for lateness I have been ill.

OK set up has changed: I bought an SEelectronics SE1a condenser mic to record nearish the fipple end and used a shure sm58 to record finger popping (which I can't do - beginner here [I'm working on it]) I miced from above the whistle fairly closey. Unfortunately there is some 'wind' on the recording because my pop filter arrives in the post tomorrow/micing too close.

I put a pillow and blankets around the mics; draping over the mic stands.

I put a very small amount of 2:1 compression on the shure. The SE1a is dry.

It is a scale and a very messy ol' tom.

Edit: uploaded wrong thing... http://stashbox.org/992061/whist.mp3 here we are...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:17 pm 
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highland-piper wrote:
Jäger wrote:
I'd say a large diaphragm condenser mic, as for which one to go with, I can't say as I've not recorded anything on whistle on a mic even remotely within your budget


I don't think there are any large diaphragm condensers in his budget. They seem to start at around us$300. I'd love to have one myself, but I can't really justify it.


Check out the Behringer C1 or C3 - both are inexpensive large diaphragm condensers. I have a friend who swears by (not at) the C1, which is a single-diaphragm condenser.

I use a C3 for central ambient placement at our weekly song/tune session. It is a twin-diaphragm mic and has a choice of directional cardoid, omni or figure 8 pick-up pattern. Works and sounds absolutely great. It cost me about £50 and is a spectacular bargain. I've also recorded with it through an Alesis Multimix 8 mixer. Again, fantastic results for the price.

Another possible worth trying with whistle is the Shure PG81. It's a small diaphragm condenser at a surprisingly low price. To be honest, I've not used it on whistle, but it seems to like the high frequencies from my mandolin, so may be worth a go. Very solid and well made.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:22 pm 
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buddhu wrote:
Check out the Behringer C1 or C3 - both are inexpensive large diaphragm condensers. I have a friend who swears by (not at) the C1, which is a single-diaphragm condenser.



I guess "large" depends on one's perspective.

Behringer advertises the c1 as a "large diaphragm" condenser, but according to the specs, the diaphragm is actually only 16mm.

According to the reviews it's not too bad. The "most helpful" negative review on the amazon page says that it's not as good as the MXL 990 (which sells for about $10 more). The diaphragm on the 990 is about 20mm. The AKG c414 is 1 inch.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:59 am 
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I have used a pair of Shure SM57's for around 10 years now. I have the two mic's on a four-mic holder (one on each end of the holding bracket), I feed that through an old Sansui amp, which then goes through into the computer's sound card where I record using Cakewalk/Sonar. I get great results. I'm still using version 1 of Sonar, the original version works just fine. I bought version 8, but uninstalled it as I found that I really didn't need all the bells and whistles of the latest version. YMMV.

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