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  #76  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:28 AM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Yes and no. No recording can exactly represent how the guitar sounds live, especially how it sounds to the player. Also what one may want (usually wants) is the most pleasing recorded sound regardless of exact accuracy - for example one may prefer a sound a little warmer than the guitar actually is (say perhaps by using a LD rather than a SD or perhaps a ribbon mike).
Rick, hopefully some really good comparison clips would help you get past the idea that tube circuits or large diaphragm mics are "warmer" than other configurations.

Fran
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  #77  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:32 AM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Originally Posted by Herb Hunter View Post
To me, recording samples of microphones are meaningless because I have no way of knowing which one most accurately represents the actual sound of the guitar unless the recordings are intended to only show how little or great the differences between the mics are rather than which is best (most accurate).
I certainly agree that without being present at the session we know nothing about fidelity.

But I do think that comparisons, real comparisons that are level matched and same performance, between big bucks chains and small bucks chains can be useful. Certainly more useful than received opinion. If the difference is vanishingly small to us as listeners, we might be able to save some bucks, or even break free of the gadget addiction.

Fran
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  #78  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:37 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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"Rick, hopefully some really good comparison clips would help you get past the idea that tube circuits or large diaphragm mics are "warmer" than other configurations."


Bingo!

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #79  
Old 09-21-2011, 12:10 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
Rick, hopefully some really good comparison clips would help you get past the idea that tube circuits or large diaphragm mics are "warmer" than other configurations.

Fran
Let's try and be polite Fran. Nothing to get past IMO although there is an overlap between tube and solid state. There are of course those
solid state amps that are designed to be warmer or a have a little color in their sound.

Steve's recent thread was a good example of a tube amp effect IMO.

Of course this stuff can be argued over until the cows come home - and often is by audio engineers with their own studios, which I often come across on various recording forums.
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  #80  
Old 09-21-2011, 12:47 PM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
I certainly agree that without being present at the session we know nothing about fidelity.

But I do think that comparisons, real comparisons that are level matched and same performance, between big bucks chains and small bucks chains can be useful. Certainly more useful than received opinion. If the difference is vanishingly small to us as listeners, we might be able to save some bucks, or even break free of the gadget addiction.

Fran
Because I agree that certain comparisons can be useful, I included the clause, "unless the recordings are intended to only show how little or great the differences between the mics are rather than which is best (most accurate)" in my post.

A few months ago, I tried to find a former post of yours containing recordings illustrating that the difference between mic prices is far greater than the difference in performance but couldn't come up with the right search criteria. So yesterday, I bookmarked your post on page one of this thread containing the four links to your level-matched recordings for future reference.

Incidentally, it would be very interesting to compare level-matched recordings made with a Zoom H4 and a high end microphone, preamplifier and A/D converter setup of the same performance.
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  #81  
Old 09-21-2011, 04:46 PM
wgmiller wgmiller is offline
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Let's try and be polite Fran...
Where in heck is this coming from?
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  #82  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:39 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Originally Posted by Herb Hunter View Post
Because I agree that certain comparisons can be useful, I included the clause, "unless the recordings are intended to only show how little or great the differences between the mics are rather than which is best (most accurate)" in my post.

A few months ago, I tried to find a former post of yours containing recordings illustrating that the difference between mic prices is far greater than the difference in performance but couldn't come up with the right search criteria. So yesterday, I bookmarked your post on page one of this thread containing the four links to your level-matched recordings for future reference.

Incidentally, it would be very interesting to compare level-matched recordings made with a Zoom H4 and a high end microphone, preamplifier and A/D converter setup of the same performance.
Sorry I missed that qualification.

You can find the comparison you're asking about here:

http://www.homebrewedmusic.com/2009/...-the-zoom-h4n/

Not the best showing for the H4n because I used a rather distant mic placement in order to "stress" all the recording chains, but perhaps it will give you some useful information.

At the same blog you can find the 4 mic comparison that includes 2 LDs and 2 SDs, with prices ranging from $150 to currently goodness knows what. There are also other comparisons of various mics, recorders, video cams, and so on.

Fran
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  #83  
Old 09-21-2011, 08:47 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herb Hunter View Post
A few months ago, I tried to find a former post of yours containing recordings illustrating that the difference between mic prices is far greater than the difference in performance but couldn't come up with the right search criteria.
I'm not sure how one would do that exact comparison. I did do one, which I've posted here before that I think demonstrates that the difference in mic prices is far greater than the difference in mics, tho. Here's a pair of AT2020's, nominally $100 each vs a pair of Brauner VM1s, nominally $5K each. There's a difference for sure, tho I've had people actually prefer the AT2020's, so I'm not sure it's better or worse, just different. But assuming the Brauner's sound better to you - and I like them... , the question is whether you think it sounds 50X or $9800 better?

These are played back to back, but were recorded simultaneously - same performance - thru identical chains, with the mics in as close to the same position as physically possible (Ty's concern about the delimna about mic placement in shootouts still applies):

Brauner VM1s vs AT2020's
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  #84  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:50 AM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Warren Dent, owner of Zen Pro Audio and producer the Clips referenced in the OP, mentioned in another forum that an addition 12 clips were uploaded yesterday. Of interest to acoustic guitar players might be the new clip of the Beyer Dynamic MC930 SD mics.
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  #85  
Old 09-24-2011, 09:36 AM
Warhead Warhead is offline
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Hello all, I am Warren Dent, the guy who owns ZenPro Audio as well as the guy who planned out the Clipalator as a means of delivering comparative and repeatable info, rather than relying on marketing and opinion. I found this forum thread by looking at my Google reports of incoming site traffic for my site, and found a lot of people linking to the Clipalator. Upon reading the pages of posts I was a bit taken back by some reactions to what we do so I wanted to inject my own reasoning into your discussion so you at least know a few of the reasons why it is what it is.

I think the intention of the Clipalator can be summed up best by paraphrasing a major industry brand sales rep who visited ZenPro Audio this week. I never quite thought about it in the exact terms that he saw it as. He summed up his thoughts on it by saying “what you're doing is what our industry magazines and other mediums should be doing, but won't do for fear of losing advertisers”. In other words not everything is going to sound great to everybody when hearing the unit side by side with dozens of other competing products, and some companies might take their ball and go home since they can no longer rely on slick ads or paid for “reviews”.

The Clipalator is a system, and we need that system to be repeatable for context. I see people all over the web posting shootouts of three or four microphones, and that is very helpful at that moment in time if you have an interest in exactly those mics. However for anybody wanting to know what they stand up to on a broader scale, and also as new products are released how those stand up, those shootouts cannot bring any further value. You'll notice for as many people trying to help others by doing such things, there are at least as many people posting “I wish you would have tested _____”.

Just speaking to our microphone sessions, they were created by me and planned out to be performed by ONE PERSON. Bands break up, bass players do drugs, drummers don't show up on time...the list goes on. This guy Drew that we use is a reasonably good drummer and guitarist, and while he's not a pro “singer” you have to admit he's about as good as the average modern rocker walking through the door of a pro recording studio. The tracks we are capturing are average, they are not lessons in the ultimate guitar, drum or vocal sounds. It's the kind of stuff that most of us are trying to hammer into a mix to make sound good. However, it would lose sight of the usefulness of the Clipalator to boil it down to “his voice breaks up” or “sometimes he misses a string”, since the value again is context.

That acoustic guitar is mic'd from 14” away, pointed at the 14th fret area. It is a Yamaha acoustic strung up with Elixirs the same way every time, and the same pick is used. He plays an open picked style first, then does heavy strumming. Once we set Drew up in his spot and mic him up, we then use laser pointers mounted on mic stands, to point to the capsule of the mic so that when we swap them out we are lining them up with precision. We test 12 mics at a time, the limit we found to keeping things repeatable with Drew. We use an AKG C414 B-ULS as a “control” mic, it's a familiar sound and helps us to not only dial in as close a sound as we can with each session, but also lets the listener know what differences could have been going on that day. We mark each clip name with a “-5” for example, letting you know that is the session # that mic was recorded in. You can then go and listen to the control mic and help tie the info together in as fair a way as possible.

By the way, the electric guitar tracks are a re-amped DI track and we even use one of the solid state Marshall heads (bought new just for these tests) which is analog but digitally controlled (ie repeatable) fed into the studios 4x12” Marshall cab. We figured out a way to deliver a “clean” style at the beginning, then a heavier “crunch” style during the last half of that track.

Yours is not a forum concerned with drums, but while I'm at it I'll mention that the drums are a maple “Arbiter” kit which uses a single lug tuning system to tune a drum head (as opposed to 8 or 10) so we can use that and a Tama Tension Watch to also be sure those drums deliver as close a tone between sessions as possible.

Human beings are not repeatable. For this very reason we have taken these steps to ensure the most repeatable things can be, from mic placement to the fact that it's one guy playing instruments we own (we don't even rely on him to show up with his own guitars and drums). It is done from the approach of most studios recording pop music, not people only concerned with recording acoustic guitars close mic'd or from a distance. It is a way to fairly compare products, one that we have thousands of hours and dollars invested in, so you can click a mouse to hear the result. There is so much work behind that mouse click it's silly.

There are those that want you to rely on them for their opinion, for them to remain the center of your purchase decisions. Everybody needs a gig I suppose, but as odd as it may seem I am a seller of gear who wants YOU making informed decisions and not falling prey to being pushed into what's in fashion at the moment or makes more money for the sales rep. We value your support, which for us comes in the form of gear purchases that we try to earn in a way nobody else is willing to earn.

Feel free to contact me directly via the site if you ever have questions or concerns.

Wishing you all the best,

Warren Dent
ZenPro Audio
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  #86  
Old 09-24-2011, 05:01 PM
moon moon is offline
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Very interesting Thanks for dropping by to explain how the tests were done.
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  #87  
Old 09-24-2011, 05:21 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Hi Warren,

Hope you're enjoying life since you left Front End Audio. Hope ZenPro works better for you. So do you rent mics?
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  #88  
Old 09-25-2011, 10:06 AM
Warhead Warhead is offline
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ZenPro Audio is the best thing to happen to me and my customers!

I do not rent, sorry.

War
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