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Thread: Maintaining a baseline Mic & Pre List?!?!

  1. #1
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    Maintaining a baseline Mic & Pre List?!?!

    All:

    Hello - FTP (first time post) so be gentle with me as I learn the forum culture. I have been reading this forum now for about a month and am really pleased and impressed with almost everything y'all are up to. Here is my background and question/request. I've been doing on-location orchestra an choral recordings for the local NPR/PRI affiliate for about thirty years. In addition to that work I teach Sound Design at Duquense Univerisity. One of the things I strive to do is have the experience of folks like y'all available to my very interested and passionate undergrad and grad students.

    Now to my question/request. For students who are new to sound and recording as an art, it is very difficult to understand the difference between a $199 Studio Project mic and a $2000 DPA mic. I only get two semesters to try to get everything covered and this is one of the most difficult as the landscape and products change constatly. I thought with all of the experience available in this forum it would be an interesting project (similar to the DAW sum list) to maintain our working experinece with a list of products in the mic and pre category. This list could contain several metrics that would be used consistently to rate a products performance in a specific application (e.g. position/distance/ array/ material / room characteristics / etc) I hope you get the idea. The point would be to have smart folks using a set of standard metrics with a lot of art and science mixed in to provide an interesting knowledge base of equipment in action. I would be willing to assist in developing the metrics if some of the long-time forum folk would be interested in putting wind in these sails. Let me know what y'all think.

    Thanks for a great forum

    -D

  2. #2
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    Here's a possible starting point for this kind of info for your students. See especially section VII.

    It doesn't have all the parameters you've cited, but most of the gear mentioned is still available and will still do the job well.

    RAP FAQ

    John

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    John:

    Thanks for the reply. I agree the rec.audio stuff is very informative. I already have that as part of my reccomended readings "great minds think alike?" Let's see what else brews here...

    Thanks again

    -D

  4. #4
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    ozraves is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Time has passed by certain info in that RAP FAQ.

    Don, I struggle with coming up with a unified theory all the time. The market does change. Price is no longer a reliable guide.

    I think there are certain pieces that are low end, certain mid level gear, and then the top end.

    Take converters. In the low end you've got M-Audio and they've got a lot of company here. In the big middle, there are units like the Kurzweil Rumour, Lucid DA9624/AD9624, or even the EMU 1820m. To my mind there are several very expensive units in this big middle as well. Then, there's that rarified top end where you'll find a few pieces such as the Cranesong HEDD.

    In the mic preamp game, you got pieces like the VTB1 and Audio Buddy on the low end. You got the Safe Sound P1, Sebatron and RNP in the middle. And, then there's this big top end where there are lots of nice pieces. My personal faves are the Great River and A Designs gear. Then you got a couple guys who think there's another level up on top of the top end just for the Gordon mic preamp.

    On mics, it gets very interesting. You got the SM57 and 635a. Great mics when you got a great mic preamp. You got the AT 40 series which is sort of like the Lexus of microphones. Then, you got a decent number of top end mics. You throw in a Soundfield mic and then maybe it's something a little more special than other top end mics. And, then you got the low end. Most of it's garbage.

    Anyhow, I wouldn't mind the intellectual exercise of trying to put together some sort of knowledge base.

  5. #5
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    Steven:

    Here is a refined description of my idea - Obviously one of the main purposes of a forum such as this is to share information and experience. (especially when you have sharp folks like y'all around) So why not add some 'science' to a repeating thread in the form of normalized metrics - I know we are all trying to maintain the delicate balance between science and art - that's the nexus of what we do - adding normalized metrics increases searchability and improves all of our ability to articulate what we are hearing and how we communicate about it.

    In short I'd love as a first pass to establish what would be the normalized metrics for Mics and what the metrics for preamps would be. Just hearing from a bunch of folks on what exactly they value and measure in these two devices would be a huge value to me and I suspect others - comments?

    Thanks in advance...

    -D

  6. #6
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    Subjective Quantification Theory.

    Part of any profession is being in it long enough to experience its universal truths one's self. Even if you could take that experience and quantify it in meaningful numbers related to a given set of products, the vast majority of your students would fail to understand the reasons or principles behind the numbers.

    In my case, I *clearly* remember hearing the difference the first time I used my Millennia STT-I. I *clearly* remember hearing the difference when I heard the BA1272s and the Manley Voxbox using the same mic.

    Best of luck to you bro, but you'd be better off using Chaos Theory.
    Kevin Genus
    KevinGenus.com

  7. #7
    Sal Vito is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Originally posted by DonM:
    <STRONG>All:

    Hello - FTP (first time post) so be gentle with me as I learn the forum culture. I have been reading this forum now for about a month and am really pleased and impressed with almost everything y'all are up to. Here is my background and question/request. I've been doing on-location orchestra an choral recordings for the local NPR/PRI affiliate for about thirty years. In addition to that work I teach Sound Design at Duquense Univerisity. One of the things I strive to do is have the experience of folks like y'all available to my very interested and passionate undergrad and grad students.

    Now to my question/request. For students who are new to sound and recording as an art, it is very difficult to understand the difference between a $199 Studio Project mic and a $2000 DPA mic. I only get two semesters to try to get everything covered and this is one of the most difficult as the landscape and products change constatly. I thought with all of the experience available in this forum it would be an interesting project (similar to the DAW sum list) to maintain our working experinece with a list of products in the mic and pre category. This list could contain several metrics that would be used consistently to rate a products performance in a specific application (e.g. position/distance/ array/ material / room characteristics / etc) I hope you get the idea. The point would be to have smart folks using a set of standard metrics with a lot of art and science mixed in to provide an interesting knowledge base of equipment in action. I would be willing to assist in developing the metrics if some of the long-time forum folk would be interested in putting wind in these sails. Let me know what y'all think.

    Thanks for a great forum

    -D</STRONG>
    You might wanna have them buy Lynn's mic cd as a course requirement.

    Then they can HEAR the differences between many different mics.

    It won't cover EVERYTHING, but it DOES cover a big chunk... and lets kids know the difference tonally between many different mics...
    http://www.3daudioinc.com/mics.html

    Here's the webstore
    http://www.3daudioinc.com/catalog/

    BTW: Check out the "best seller's package"... VERY COOL for a classroom type situation...
    Sal Vito
    The Man of Sound
    salvito@hotmail.com
    312-409-0176

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