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  #1  
Old 01-19-2011, 10:34 AM
dfvxc dfvxc is offline
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Default RODE NT3, Behringer B5, mic shootout on Taylor baritone!

Hi,

So I was gonna buy a SDC, probably Behringer B-5, and saw the RODE NT3 on sale... so I grabbed both.

My friend and I did a shootout with B-5, NT3, RODE M3, RODE NT4.
I decided to post this shootout to benefit the community and others online!
Lemme know if you want me to host others files, my hosting space is limited.

Recorded through a Presonus Firestudio.

http://individual.utoronto.ca/montin...neck/B5_04.wav

http://individual.utoronto.ca/montin...eck/NT3_01.wav

I really like the B-5... can anyone with experience owning it for long term comment on its long-term reliability?

Last edited by dfvxc; 01-19-2011 at 10:40 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2011, 10:56 AM
Scott Whigham Scott Whigham is offline
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Nice playing and nice recording! Thanks for sharing

I hear a difference - I prefer the NT3 in this - but I wonder if it's the placement that I prefer rather than the mic? Since you recorded them both at the same time, can you tell us where the mics are in relation to (a) the guitar (other than just "about a foot away"), and then (b) to each other? I'd guess the Behringer was closer to the soundhole/bridge and the NT3 was closer up the neck.

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  #3  
Old 01-19-2011, 11:09 AM
dfvxc dfvxc is offline
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The mics were right next to each other, and yes the B-5 was on the left of the NT3 , B-5 closer to the soundhole.
We do have other placements, with more pronounced differences. But I think this placement is fair to the characteristics of both.

The mics were about normal (90 degrees) to the length of the guitar neck.
It's basically just in front of the guitar neck, pointing at the joint.

The NT3 is more detailed, and brighter. I really like it, even though I prefer warmer sounds. Still experimenting with the placement. But I really like the B-5 too, maybe even more than NT3.

Oh it wasn't me, it's my friend playing Antoine Dufour's Reality, I do play the same style though
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:18 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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on my lap top the b5 is not as loud.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:34 AM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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The NT3 is definitely louder. Until you get the levels exactly equivalent (within 1dB or better) you can't really conclude anything about them other than one is recorded louder. It's a well established limitation of human hearing that in the presence of even tiny level (volume) differences, the louder one will automatically be perceived as better, more detailed, more accurate, more interesting, etc.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:50 PM
dfvxc dfvxc is offline
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Mm I know of the volume/quality perception effect.

What's the easiest way to normalize wav/mp3 files on a mac? Any software?
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:01 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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In theory, normalization might possibly not be good enough if the peak to average proportions are different between the two microphones. In practice for any remotely similar microphones recording the exact same performance I'd think normalization is just fine.

Any software I've seen will suffice to normalize a track. The plain vanilla normalization just computes the highest peak level in a track and then does a gain increase to make that peak be 0.00dB (or whatever other setting you choose).

How are you handling these tracks now? Surely it's running through some kind of software to record it or to download it off the recording hardware. There should be either a normalize process or at least a peak-level counter that will look through and compute the peak so you can manually increase the level.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:31 PM
moon moon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfvxc View Post
My friend and I did a shootout with B-5, NT3, RODE M3, RODE NT4.
Interesting - thanks. I liked the NT3 more than the B5. It seemed to be better balanced but there wasn't much in it.

Have you got sound clips for the other two mics?
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:13 PM
paulchevin paulchevin is offline
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I've never tried the Behringer B5, but I often use a pair of Rode NT3's and find them to produce a very detailed sound.

I took the liberty of doing a bit of messing around with your sounclips. I added a little compression and then added a touch of ambience using the "Acoustic Guitar Up Close" impulse response in Perfect Space (which simulates a stereo sound) and then added a TC Electronic Cathedral reverb preset, again using Perfect Space.

Once the clips have been treated like this, the difference between the B5 and the NT3 seems to become more apparent:

www.chevinsounds.com/Music/B5.wav

www.chevinsounds.com/Music/NT3.wav

The NT3 certainly has more top end detail. Some people complain that it's a bit too bright, but it's a fairly easy matter to cut the top end if you don't like it.

Paul
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:05 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Paul,

Well there's "too bright" and there's etched on the top. Both sound similar to the inexperienced user. I'm NOT saying that's you; just making a point. There are a ton of mics out there, mostly chinese imports, that are scratchy on the top. It's difficult to remove the scratch. It's much nicer and easier to work with a mic that doesn't have a defect like that.

In an AB test, many folks will choose the brighter mic instead of the better mic. You need to be really aware of that when you're shopping.

Even really good mics, if mated with the wrong preamp, can sound spitty on top.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:54 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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Paul C,

I can see what you mean about more stuff up top on the NT3 in the "messed around with" clips. Honestly, that particular WAV file (the NT3 one) is bordering on fatiguing for me to listen to. More detailed for sure but not a total no-brainer versus the B5 if you ask which I like better.

But you're right that even a slight touch-up of the high-end level on the NT3 clip probably cures that no problem.
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2011, 02:46 AM
paulchevin paulchevin is offline
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If you look at the frequency analysis for the Rode NT3, it is actually fairly flat, but there is noticeably less roll-off at the top end (above 12kHz) than for most mics. I think the idea behind this is that it is useful for recording instruments such as acoustic guitar to include in a full mix. In this situation the extended top end allows the guitar's detail to cut through the mix.

For recording solo acoustic, I invariably apply a few dB of cut above 12kHz. Once this is done, to my mind it comfortably outperforms most of the chinese-built SDC's. It has other benefits as well - like all Rode mics, it has fairly low self noise. Also, it seems to have a tighter cardioid pattern than most, making it very useful if you're working in a less than ideal recording environment (which I sadly do!).

Paul
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:52 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Paul,

With all due respect, I doubt that Rode designed the NT3 exclusively for recording acoustic guitar to include in a full mix.

Extended high frequency response is a characteristic of condenser mics, relative to ribbon or dynamic mics. Extended HF response is physics. Ribbons and dynamic mic diaphragm assemblies are incapable of moving quickly enough to capture the higher frequency responses because of their greater mass. Condenser mics aren't as restrained, so they can capture the highs.

Even among good condenser mics, there is a wide variance of frequency response. The newer Neumann TLM 102 and TLM 67 are more neutral than the Neumann U 87 or TLM 103.

Still, a good dynamic like a Sennheiser 431 or 441 or ribbon will sound better than a crappy condenser.

I've been reviewing mics for a living for a while now. If anyone wants more, I have an archive if reviews in the Gear_review_mics folder and audio files of mics in the Audio folder on my archive: https://public.me.com/tyreeford

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2011, 03:00 PM
paulchevin paulchevin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post

With all due respect, I doubt that Rode designed the NT3 exclusively for recording acoustic guitar to include in a full mix.

Extended high frequency response is a characteristic of condenser mics, relative to ribbon or dynamic mics. Extended HF response is physics.
Ty,

I agree that the NT3 wasn't designed exclusively for acoustic guitar. The Rode website shows it being used for vocals as well - ie as a general purpose mic. Personally, I use the NT3 mainly for the other reasons I mentioned.

However, I have compared the frequency response of the NT3 with that of my other condenser mics and it undoubtedly has significantly "better" high frequency response than all the rest. So it isn't simply the fact that it is a condenser mic - it is unusual even amongst condensers!

Paul
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2011, 07:31 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Paul,

Try a TLM 103.

Ty
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