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Old 09-23-2018, 10:42 PM
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Default Mic compare: Gefell M300 vs Schoeps MK41 + others

I've been hearing about the Gefell mics for ages, I know rick-slo uses them, anton posted some good sounds with his, and we had a nice demo and discussion from Michael Watts here last week. I finally had a chance to check out a pair of M300s, and spent some time comparing to the Schoeps mics I often use. I added them to a multi-mic setup I had already been messing with, with the Schoeps, Brauner VM1s and AEA NS22 ribbon mics. With the Schoeps and Gefell's I was able to place the mics in as close to the same position as possible (spaced pairs, similar to the setup Michael posted earlier) and use the same preamps (channels of an Apogee Ensemble). Note that the Shoeps are hypercardiod, vs the Gefell cardiod.

The Brauner's and AEA's I recorded just to see how they differed, even tho I'm using different preamps, and didn't even try to get the same mic positions - these are just where these mics have been sounding good to me.

Here's a few bars of some simple chord changes with the Schoeps (first) then the Gefells. No EQ other than a high pass filter at 40Hz and no reverb. I tried to level match all of these as close as I could, tho it's interesting how different notes leap out differently with the different mics.



To be able to hear the differences more easily, I assembled just the first couple of seconds of each mic. Here's Schoeps, Gefell, Brauner, NS22 in sequence with the shorter samples. With the last two, there's a noticeable change in stereo image. I found it pretty interesting to hear both the similarities and the differences between these - haven't done this kind of compare in a while.

Oh, another difference here: the Brauners are thru a Great River preamp, and the NS22s thru an AEA RPQ ribbon preamp. I said "no EQ", and that's true in the DAW, but the RPQ has a treble shelf that was engaged, bringing up the high end of the ribbons a little bit.



Here's what the mic setup looked like:
IMG_2341.jpg

I think the Gefell's sound very nice, tho the difference with the Schoeps is pretty subtle to my ear. Curious what others hear.
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:04 PM
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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My Gefell M300s are a little warmer sounding, have a greater proximity effect (i.e. watch your mic'ing distance), and have a little less resolution of detail than the Gefell M295's that
I have been using the last number of years. The M295s are more like the Schoeps mikes in those regards. All of course are great microphones.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:22 PM
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First nice shootout and thanks for doing it.
I really like of the notion of a few seconds of each in the second track.
And over all it would seem to be hard to wrong with any of these mics

What I hear is, while it is close and subtle, the Schoeps had a just a slight more presence than the Gefell and just a hint more definition in the low end and only slightly more even balance over all IMO

I was a bit surprised at the difference in the sound of the Brauner's (not better or worse) just markedly different . But that may have been position

I was really surprised (and personally pleased ) at how well the AEA's held up. They are not quite as detailed as the others, but were really present and well balanced . I am now even more pleased that I decided to get a pair, given they are aprox. 1/2 the price of a pair of Schoeps . The bad news is I had to sell my single Schoeps to fund the purchase of the pair of AEA's

The positioning on the AEA's is one I have not tried but am now looking forward to trying it. Thanks again
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:03 PM
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There's something about the NS22s I really like, it may be partly that I always like MS - the Brauner's sound pretty nice that way too. But there's a smoothness to the ribbons that's just different.

I've spent a little time messing with these samples playing with EQ, too. It's interesting to either just EQ by ear, or to use iZotope's EQ match to try to make one of these mics sound more like the other. I haven't been using the Schoeps much, but both the Schoeps and Gefells sound good to me with this setup, so maybe I'll spend some more time with them.
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:00 PM
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In the first example i preferred the first mics: they were decidedly more open in the mids. The 2nd mic "tightened up" in the mids and felt less "3d" because of it. It was also noticeably brighter, which made it feel a little more aggressive & less natural.

In the 2nd example, it was a little harder because the samples were shorter but I still preferred #1 by a good margin. #2 was close, but again felt like the mids "tightened up" and the high end felt boosted. #3 fell in between those 2, the mids were less tight than #2, but not quite as natural as #1, and the highs were only very slightly bumped...but they didn't feel aggressive like #2 did...just articulate. #4 was odd for me - the stereo width seemed to shift a little and it was a little disorienting. Tonally, I felt like #4 lacked clarity - (I'm guessing this was a ribbon), it had a roll off up top and the mids seemed veiled.

#1 in both examples just felt so open & natural & was my favorite by a good margin. My 2nd favorite would be #3 in the 2nd example.
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:04 PM
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The order is Schoeps, Gefells, Brauner, NS22s (in MS)

Your observations make sense - the Schoeps are quite flat, the Gefells have a slight high frequency boost and low end rolloff, if I recall correctly. The Brauners are LD mics - in addition to be a bit wider spaced. Interestingly Brauner doesn't publish frequency specs, they apparently don't believe in them - they say "just listen".

The NS22s being ribbons, are quite different, and the MS arrangement introduces a different angle, too. I do find MS a little touchy with keeping the stereo image stable, when I use it for a real recording, I try really hard to not move while playing, and I've run into trouble trying to record others using MS, since they aren't usually tuned into that and tend to move around. Not sure why that is, they should be equivalent to XY, but then I rarely use XY, so maybe it has the same issue. I also hear the NS22's track here as wider than the others, which is a little unexpected.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
The order is Schoeps, Gefells, Brauner, NS22s (in MS)

Your observations make sense - the Schoeps are quite flat, the Gefells have a slight high frequency boost and low end rolloff, if I recall correctly. The Brauners are LD mics - in addition to be a bit wider spaced. Interestingly Brauner doesn't publish frequency specs, they apparently don't believe in them - they say "just listen".

The NS22s being ribbons, are quite different, and the MS arrangement introduces a different angle, too. I do find MS a little touchy with keeping the stereo image stable, when I use it for a real recording, I try really hard to not move while playing, and I've run into trouble trying to record others using MS, since they aren't usually tuned into that and tend to move around. Not sure why that is, they should be equivalent to XY, but then I rarely use XY, so maybe it has the same issue. I also hear the NS22's track here as wider than the others, which is a little unexpected.

The Schoeps are beautifully flat - yet without being sterile. In fact, they are extremely dimensional & "real" to my ears. Their only equal (iMHO) is the DPA 4011 or 4006.

The M/S thing makes sense. M/S stereo tends to feel very different than other stereo techniques. Depending on how much "S" is in the mix it can be a little more "washy", where the center seems to be less defined. I think that's what initially struck me. The big plus of M/S is that it completely collapses to mono without any phasing...when you need that. I wonder if the NS22s would feel a little more solid in a Blumlein setup?

I get the whole philosophy of not publishing freq. plots. Specs don't really tell you anything useful. You do have to just listen. Which makes this whole exercise very educational.

Very cool shootout. Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:28 PM
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Might be interesting to try the link below and see how high a frequency you can hear. The high frequency bump on many microphones is above what I can hear.

http://onlinetonegenerator.com/hearingtest.html
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:35 AM
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Doug, my not very technical substantiated reply is that I love both the Schoeps and the Gefells. The Schoeps the most mouthwatering, with maybe somewhat more colouring. Did you record your guitar in what looks like a (small) booth I detect in the picture?
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karel View Post
. Did you record your guitar in what looks like a (small) booth I detect in the picture?
No, that's a corner of my studio. I have the mics set up there semi-permanently, so I can easily record at any time. In theory corners aren't the best location, and I do sometimes move them out in the middle of the room for projects, but the corner is heavily treated and quite dead, and seems to sound fine to me. Nice to have them out of the way, so I can leave them up and ready to use most of the time.
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:57 PM
DupleMeter DupleMeter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Might be interesting to try the link below and see how high a frequency you can hear. The high frequency bump on many microphones is above what I can hear.

http://onlinetonegenerator.com/hearingtest.html
I was good up to about 17k, then it rolled off. Can't say I was getting much of anything above 18k.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:36 PM
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Thanks for posting this Doug.

In the first recording I preferred the Schoeps over the Gefells. They seemed to have more depth/3D, and had really nice definition/detail.

I'd be curious to know if you felt the Schoeps or the Gefells provided the most realism; which recording sounds more like sitting out in front of your guitar? Do you think the Schoeps 'added' anything to the sound of the guitar?

For my setup I've got a pair of Gefell M296S omnis, but I've never had the opportunity to do a comparison to other Gefells or to Schoeps.
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Last edited by ChuckS; 09-25-2018 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
I'd be curious to know if you felt the Schoeps or the Gefells provided the most realism; which recording sounds more like sitting out in front of your guitar? Do you think the Schoeps 'added' anything to the sound of the guitar?
That's a tough call, partly because I'm not hearing the guitar from out front, but I'd say the Schoeps sound most like the guitar. I've always felt the Schoeps were neutral to a fault, not adding anything extra, just giving back what's there. I've used the Brauner's for most recordings over the past handful of years - they seem to produce a slightly bigger sound, tho I've used the Schoeps for many of my You Tube videos.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:29 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Hi Doug,

This is really an excellent thread! Thanks for all this work and for this terrifically interesting information. Well done!

- Glenn
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:10 PM
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Could you tell me your line-up of the Schoeps and Gefells, Doug? Preamp-interface.
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