The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-01-2011, 11:41 AM
flagstaffcharli flagstaffcharli is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,530
Default Getting a second KM184

I've found a couple places in forums where folks have said that Neumann mic specs are tight enough that if I want to get a second KM184 I'd have a matched set for recording stereo - that I don't need to go out and buy a dedicated matched pair.

Has anyone had any experience with this or can anyone confirm this? I have one KM184 and have been thinking how I might now find a matched pair of SDC mics useful.

Any suggestions otherwise? I'm thinking about recording my usual acoustic instruments with an XY set-up to learn to do that correctly.

Thanks!
__________________
Chuck Cheesman
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:09 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,860
Default

I'd suspect any random pair of KM-184 to match about as closely as a pair of NT-5 that Rode "matches" by simply selling two consecutive serial numbered mics. And lots of folks are happy with NT-5 matched pairs for X-Y recording.

To my understanding, truly matching the characteristics of a pair of microphones to the best possible extent entails an amount and quality of testing that couldn't possibly be justified even at KM-184 prices...
__________________
Here today and gone tomorrow
Life's too short to borrow sorrow
Life's too short for me to worry
Over you
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:12 PM
rick-slo's Avatar
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 12,723
Default

You will be fine getting a second KM-184. You do not need to order a matched pair set.
__________________
Derek Coombs
Website -> Music -> Tabs -> CDs and Youtube
Guitars by Mark Blanchard, Albert&Mueller, Paul Woolson, Collings, Composite Acoustics, and Derek Coombs
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:32 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6,276
Default

Neumann does not sell matched sets of KM184 mics, although they sell stereo pairs. Neumann claims their manufacturing tolerances are very tight and that any two KM184 mics should be very close to each other.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-01-2011, 03:32 PM
flagstaffcharli flagstaffcharli is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,530
Default

Cool. Thanks guys. Now I just have to decide if that's really what I want to do.
__________________
Chuck Cheesman
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-02-2011, 02:23 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,333
Default

The KM 184 is a pretty bright sounding mic. The older KM 84 is more natural sounding (if you can find one in good condition). If you really like the KM 184 sound, then OK, but if you want a more natural sound, I wouldn't go there.

The KM 184 made more sense back in the analog days when some of that brightness was lost in analog tape. With digital, we don't need to compensate for analog tape loss.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-02-2011, 07:22 AM
RRuskin's Avatar
RRuskin RRuskin is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 1,971
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
The KM 184 is a pretty bright sounding mic. The older KM 84 is more natural sounding (if you can find one in good condition). If you really like the KM 184 sound, then OK, but if you want a more natural sound, I wouldn't go there.

The KM 184 made more sense back in the analog days when some of that brightness was lost in analog tape. With digital, we don't need to compensate for analog tape loss.

Regards,

Ty Ford
I agree that the km 184 is not the same as the original km 84 but it is still an excellent mic for use with either analog or digital recording. Yes, it's brighter but it it also has lower self-noise, and a tighter low-end end response.

With respect to matching, I've taken km-184's made years apart, compared them on the same sources and could neither hear nor see on an o'scope, any differences. I've had the same results with Sennheiser mkh 40's as well. I cannot say the same for AKG products but must admit, I haven't tested or used any of their current product line.
__________________
Rick Ruskin
Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:34 PM
flagstaffcharli flagstaffcharli is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,530
Default

Hi Ty and Rick,

Thanks for the tips. Rick, I'm familiar with your music primarily from the old Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine CDs, and in fact I just fired up my iTunes player to listen. (Good stuff! "Lullaby", "Kudda Duxx", and "Put it to Bed" are the tracks I have from those CDs. I may need to visit your site to see what else is there. )

My recording room is small - I've talked about it here before. I've done some treatment now to deaden/quiet it, and I think I'll do a bit more. The KM184 works for my ears for guitar/voice tracks which is what I do most often. It might be that the brightness folks hear is actually desirable in that room? Honesty, my experience with nice SDC mics is limited. I used to have a set of AKG C1000 SDCs. As you can imagine, the Neumann is a HUGE improvement. Night and day.

I have two fully developed original guitar pieces and a fairly new ukulele piece. I've been writing more instrumental stuff as an alternative creative pursuit to songwriting, so I see that very shortly I am going to want to do some recording. I have the AKG 414B-ULS and the KM184, then I have the standard Shure 57 & 58 and a used AT2020 I picked-up recently. I have good pres - 2 channels of John Hardy M-1 and 2 channels of Really Nice Pres. So no excuses for making bad recordings other than my own skills.

I suppose a suggestion on mic techniques using what I've got would be helpful. It seems like the classic XY might be the easiest place to start in terms of experimenting from tracking through mixing and mastering. But I'll bet there's something I can do with the KM184 and the 414 to get a nice stereo sounding track? I just don't have much experience with recording an acoustic instrument with more than one mic. Like most things, I kind of cross the bridge when I come to it.

Thanks!
__________________
Chuck Cheesman
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-03-2011, 03:31 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,333
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRuskin View Post
Yes, it's brighter but it it also has lower self-noise, and a tighter low-end end response.
Rick, with all due respect, lower self noise and tighter low end are always good attributes, but I'm not sure what you're saying the KM 184 is better than. The KM 84? Try to find one in good working condition first. I'm not trashing the KM 184. I'm just saying there are better choices.

FSC, you have a lot of very good gear. If you're at that level, I'd at least rent a schoeps cmc641 supercardioid or cmc64 cardioid from one of the audio rental facilities and give it a try. You may already know this, but when comparing, remind yourself not to be affected by the "brighter is better" or the "louder is better" syndromes. Even a few dB of level or difference in HF response may pull your ear.

Here are some good rental places.

http://www.coffeysound.com/Rentals.html

http://www.trewaudio.com/rentals/

Regards,

Ty Ford
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-03-2011, 11:00 AM
flagstaffcharli flagstaffcharli is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,530
Default

Hi Ty,

Are you recommending recording a mono track with just the Schoeps mic & skipping the stereo recording for solo pieces? Or should I pair it with one of my other mics?

I'm aware that I have to do some research & experimentation in terms of mic placement. Usually I'm recording voice on my AKG while pointing the Neumann at the 12-14th fret and doing my demos that way since I sing and prefer to do live takes. So nothing too sophisticated is happening here yet.

Thanks
__________________
Chuck Cheesman
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-03-2011, 11:25 AM
RRuskin's Avatar
RRuskin RRuskin is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 1,971
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Rick, with all due respect, lower self noise and tighter low end are always good attributes, but I'm not sure what you're saying the KM 184 is better than. The KM 84? Try to find one in good working condition first. I'm not trashing the KM 184. I'm just saying there are better choices...........
Ty Ford
I'm not even suggesting the 184 is better than the 84, just that there are pros and cons for either one. Your comments about the 184 were anything but complimentary and seemed to dismiss it as unworthy of serious consideration. To wit:

"The KM 184 is a pretty bright sounding mic. The older KM 84 is more natural sounding (if you can find one in good condition). If you really like the KM 184 sound, then OK, but if you want a more natural sound, I wouldn't go there."
The KM 184 made more sense back in the analog days when some of that brightness was lost in analog tape. With digital, we don't need to compensate for analog tape loss."


Another thing we both failed to mention is that that finding a KM-84 that actually meets original spec is going to be difficult. Finding 2 that match, harder still. Not to mention that once the capsule on one of those oldie goldies collapses, that wonderful mic is now a paperweight from Germany.
__________________
Rick Ruskin
Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-03-2011, 12:56 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,333
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRuskin View Post
Another thing we both failed to mention is that that finding a KM-84 that actually meets original spec is going to be difficult. Finding 2 that match, harder still. Not to mention that once the capsule on one of those oldie goldies collapses, that wonderful mic is now a paperweight from Germany.
Rick,

That what I was going for with, "(if you can find one in good condition)."

Regards,

Ty
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-03-2011, 01:12 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,333
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flagstaffcharli View Post
Hi Ty,

Are you recommending recording a mono track with just the Schoeps mic & skipping the stereo recording for solo pieces? Or should I pair it with one of my other mics?

I'm aware that I have to do some research & experimentation in terms of mic placement. Usually I'm recording voice on my AKG while pointing the Neumann at the 12-14th fret and doing my demos that way since I sing and prefer to do live takes. So nothing too sophisticated is happening here yet.

Thanks
FSC,

Yes I am. I have recorded with matching pairs. That's nice, but the more mics the better your space has to sound.

When I record voice and guitar, I like to track both at the same time. I use a U 89 in figure of eight with the mic hung horizontally. I rotate the mic in the suspension mount so the guitar is in the null. Then put the Schoeps pointed mostly straight down at about the neck joint. Schoeps is one of a very few mics that'll take the 90 degree off axis and sound good.

You can't be looking at the neck a lot whole you're singing or you be off mic for vocals and getting into the guitar mic, but if that's not a problem, this setup works very well. Go here and listen to the Chris Bailey cut, "Someone Help Me." That was recorded just this way. J. P. Reali's track, on that same page, was also recorded that way.

For solo guitar, one schoeps works nicely for me because I fill the sound space with two stereo reverbs during the mix.

I have a list growing longer everyday of pickers who have never heard of a Schoeps cmc641. After I brow beat them (as nicely as possible) to try one, they never go back. I had a similar experience 10 or so years ago when I first tried this mic. I plugged it in, put on the cans and said, "Hello. Test, test, test", and immediately thought, (thought bubble)....F**k! Everything I know about mics up until now is just plain wrong...(end thought bubble).

Regards,

Ty Ford
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-03-2011, 04:04 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6,276
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flagstaffcharli View Post
...
But I'll bet there's something I can do with the KM184 and the 414 to get a nice stereo sounding track?
...
Try M/S (Mid-Side mic configuration).

Also, you could try various spaced pair placements such as:

a) 12th fret and lower bout; and
b) 12th fret and over the shoulder.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-03-2011, 05:33 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,333
Default

Originally Posted by flagstaffcharli
...
But I'll bet there's something I can do with the KM184 and the 414 to get a nice stereo sounding track?

FSC: Sure, why not. I don't think you need a matched stereo pair to get a great guitar recording. A guitar is not a stereo balanced instrument. Why go there?

Get someone to play your guitar in the same style you play, e.g. finger style, flat pick. Stand in front of them. Stick a finger in one ear. With the other ear, move your head around the face and neck of your guitar from about 12"-24" out and listen for the lobes of sound that you guitar project. They are probably the places where you want the mics.

Then put on a set of headphones while they continue to play. Open two tracks and pan them hard left and hard right. First try putting the C414 in Omni and push it up to about 6'' away from the lower bout of the guitar if you got a lobe from down there. If you hear too much room, switch to one of the cardioid patterns and pull the mic back a bit so the proximity effect doesn't overwhelm you with low end, or use the high-pass filter on the C414 to lose some of the low frequencies.

Continuing to listen, try to find a nice place for the KM 184 near the upper bout or at the neck joint. If you need to, grab them both and move them closer or farther apart until you like what you her. Try not to get too wide a sound (with a hole in the middle).

But, I'm telling you....the cmc641 will make you wet your pants.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=