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Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
#3049657 06/19/20 02:37 AM
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I generally don't see a lot of interest in omni mics...maybe I'm just missing it, or maybe everyone is into force of habit from working in studios, and trying to avoid pickup from other musicians.

But it seems for solo artists, and omni would make sense. No proximity effect (although that might be a drawback for some), and no added coloration to sound coming in from the side.

Any collective SSS wisdom about this?

Sound, Studio, and Stage Island
Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049662 06/19/20 03:00 AM
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From this thread - http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3049651/demonic-possessed-guitar#Post3049651

I tested all my mics and posted my opinions. I have one omni, an Audio Technica conference table mic. I used to know the model number, not any more.

"Audio Technica conference table mic. I tried this at 14” and 8”. SDC Omnidirectional.
Some noise, picks up everything. Closer reduces noise somewhat but increases “honk”. This mic sounds “smooth” back at 14”. Omni mics don't respond the same as other patterns, proximity effect is reduced considerably and all angles sound more or less the same. Good if you are feeling it and like to move around. I work with somebody who will like this one for that reason. Worth experimenting."

I used it to to record a nylon string acoustic guitar a few years back and then put it away. It was a Yamaha with their version of the K&K pickups, mounted on the underside of the top instead of under the saddle. I recorded that too and blended them. As you mention, no proximity effect. Would be horrible for live performance but actually really nice for studio stuff. Now I want a pair of SDC omni "pencil" mics. I used my Shure KSM44 that way a couple of times too but it picked up sound from EVERYWHERE, too sensitive in this environment. Might work well in my makeshift booth and iso box. Here is the recording, I wrote this piece after my brother called me and told me Mom (Grace) had passed on. I had a plane ticket to go see her, missed it by a week and half.

https://www.reverbnation.com/opossumapocalypse/songs


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Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049681 06/19/20 12:09 PM
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Omni mics are the greatest when you want to hear the same thing coming from the mic preamp as what you hear in the room. They're the worst to use when you don't. It all depends on what you're recording or amplifying in a live situation. But anyone with a mic collection should have at least a couple and use them when you don't want the coloration of a directional mic.

Like everything else in audio, it depends. Be prepared.

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049794 06/19/20 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Omni mics are the greatest when you want to hear the same thing coming from the mic preamp as what you hear in the room. They're the worst to use when you don't.

That's a pretty concise summary! So true. Have you ever used an omni with one of those vocal shields? Seems to me it might be better than a directional mic that's picking up any sound reflected from the shield, and coloring it. I know the shields aren't supposed to reflect all that much, but still, they do.

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049819 06/19/20 08:39 PM
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I've used PZM Boundary mics for non-music applications in some meetings I've had when you want to pick up conversation from the room - mainly when you want to record the speaker but also Q&A with attendees. I've also used it as sort of a room mic in live recordings where I couldn't get a board mix or anything like that, ,purely as a back of the room mic for ambience and crowd reaction.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049829 06/19/20 09:05 PM
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I am fond of omnis for a lot of things. Most mics start life as omnis and then are made directional by porting the enclosure and adding some tone shaping to compensate for it. Typically omnis have very flat response and making them directional exaggerates their frequency response. I used to successfully use a pair of Peavey measuring mics In sort of the Recorder Man style along with a kick mic for recording drums (untilI got my Coles ribbons).

I think people worry too much that because omnis don’t discriminate about the direction of the sound source there will be too much bleed. But they forget (or don’t know) they are not as sensitive distance wise (-6dB) so they don’t “reach” nearly as much as a cardioid mic.

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049890 06/20/20 03:03 AM
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For vocals they can be a very open sounding mic.

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
The Real MC #3049892 06/20/20 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
For vocals they can be a very open sounding mic.

That's what intrigues the most. Guess it's time to get an omni. Any recommendations for affordable ones?

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049893 06/20/20 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by The Real MC
For vocals they can be a very open sounding mic.

That's what intrigues the most. Guess it's time to get an omni. Any recommendations for affordable ones?

Dr. Mike made some mic reccomendations in my mic thread in his forum. One recommendation was for a pair of SDC pencil mics that came with cardioid and omni capsules. I forget what they were but I am interested in that set - you could use them for all sorts of things. I do remember they were pretty reasonable - under $300 and maybe even less than that. PM him, I'm sure he'll tell you.

Too bad Neat didn't make any omni mics!!!!!


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Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049907 06/20/20 04:30 AM
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I have a couple measurement mics...might be worth playing with to see what they sound like.

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049909 06/20/20 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I have a couple measurement mics...might be worth playing with to see what they sound like.

Absolutely! One thing I like about an omni is you can aim it straight up and sing just above and across the top instead of into it. Should reduce plosives and sibilance to nearly nothing if you stay back a few inches.
Shouldn't really sound different, maybe not as loud.

Please let us know how they work out!!!!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049928 06/20/20 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Omni mics are the greatest when you want to hear the same thing coming from the mic preamp as what you hear in the room. They're the worst to use when you don't.

That's a pretty concise summary! So true. Have you ever used an omni with one of those vocal shields? Seems to me it might be better than a directional mic that's picking up any sound reflected from the shield, and coloring it. I know the shields aren't supposed to reflect all that much, but still, they do.

That's how I record my acoustic guitars and vocals most of the time. The shield helps "make the room sound better", as I am in a crappy sounding living room, but it really opens up the sound of the acoustic guitars and vocals when I do this.

I sometimes record guitar amps in this manner as well, particularly if I want them to be sort of spacious sounding anyway. Depends.

I typically do this with a Lawson L251 large diaphragm tube microphone, which has an infinitely variable polar pattern. And sometimes, it is really beneficial to mess around with that polar pattern and have a really wide directional or something of that sort for some things.

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3049974 06/20/20 03:19 PM
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The darling of the 90s for small diaphragm mics was the Oktava MK-012 from Russia. They used to be a lot less expensive, but you know how it goes. There were some Chinese forgeries going around so watch out if you're shopping the used market. I think Guitar Center sold most of them, but that's been cleaned up and there's a solid supporter in the US now. They go for around $200 now with either a cardioid or omni capsule, or you can buy them by the pair or an assortment of sets. I keep thinking there's a $100 one (not a measurement mic) that got pretty good reviews but I can't remember what it is or if it still is.

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3050410 06/22/20 08:38 PM
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I use omni's all the time! Especially my Josephson C617SET's. They are the most revealing transducer I've used. I also use Schoeps omni's and wide cardiod mics. They excel as drum overheads, on the piano, acoustic guitars. But once you have more than one or two mics, you just pick what's right for the job...

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3051439 06/28/20 01:51 AM
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I like my AKG C414B-ULS in omni mode, and also have an omni capsule for my Blue Bottle. Need to try the vocal shield experiment, as I'm building out a new studio room meant to be video-friendly for posting videos here. It's a rectangle with a symmetrically sloped ceiling and currently has a lot of fluttery reflections, so I usually do not want to hear the same thing on the recording as I do in the room. Something that surprised me for musical use is my Lectrosonics HM-172 headworn mic, which is wired for their wireless transmitters. It's an omni, but requires proximity (intentionally) to pick up signal. It's what I run around NAMM with making videos, speaking through it and giving the interviewee a wireless handheld (Lectrosonics HHa). In a pinch for a pre-corona Christmas gig, I grabbed it to sing through as I was playing keyboards and running sound and did not want to have to think about where the mic was. On the resulting recordings, it sounded open, smooth, and detailed.

OK, time for a bad joke I literally just made up. Why did the promiscuous cardioid mic identify as an omni? Because it would pick up anything.


"I'm just a confused musician who got sidetracked into this damned word business..." -Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Stephen Fortner #3051457 06/28/20 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
Why did the promiscuous cardioid mic identify as an omni? Because it would pick up anything.

rimshot


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3051560 06/29/20 01:28 AM
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Building on what Mike Rivers said, if I had an incredible room and I was recording an acoustic guitar, then I might reach for an Omni. But the rooms I work in are anything but incredible.

I do have one Omni, which is a Behringer rip-off of an Earthworks measurement mic. But I don't own any mid/large diaphragm omnis.

Todd


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Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Sundown #3051613 06/29/20 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Sundown
Building on what Mike Rivers said...

When I first read that statement I though it meant “it picks up the room” But later I though it meant “it honestly hears an instrument on the other side of the glass”. So maybe Mike can chime in.

How much “room” a mic picks up depends on whether you are close micing or not. But when you compare a directional mic to an omni, yes the omni picks up the room in all directions. But a directional mic pick up half the room at double the intensity that the omni would in that same direction. That can work two ways.

So yes, if you wanted to pick up the entire room with one mic an omni would do it. But if you are close micing, inverse square law applies so by comparison you may not actually get much “room” at all.

Last edited by dboomer; 06/29/20 02:08 PM.
Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
dboomer #3051631 06/29/20 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dboomer
Originally Posted by Sundown
Building on what Mike Rivers said...

When I first read that statement I though it meant “it picks up the room” But later I though it meant “it honestly hears an instrument on the other side of the glass”. So maybe Mike can chime in.

Huh? What'd I say?

Maybe "picks up the room" is an oversimplification, but an omni mic better represents what your ear will hear if you put it (your ear) where the mic is than a cardioid would. The reason is that it picks up what sound is coming from behind the mic as well as in front of it (and on al sides, too), whereas a cardioid would mostly pick up what's in front and little to the sides and back.

But this begs the question - how much is coming from which direction relative to the position of the mic. The difference between an omni and a cardioid mic placed 3 inches from, say, a singer, in the middle of a 20 x 30 foot room would be attributable only to the difference in the mic's basic on-axis frequency response and proximity effect, because the SPL reflected back into the mic from the walls would be completely insignificant.

If you had a small orchestra playing in that room, whatever mic you choose would need to be several feet away from any single instrument, and there would be contribution from reflections off all the walls and ceiling. You could make a decent recording with either mic, but you would never get them to sound alike. That's why you get to have a choice, if you have the budget.

Re: Any Omnidirectional Mic Fans Here?
Anderton #3053000 07/07/20 10:42 AM
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Few things make me happier than recording a bunch of vocalists around one omni mic. I want to sound like CSN! My band mates often respond “yeah, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to mix it later?” I pick my battles...

I’m a big fan of the Roswell Delphos, and I use both its cardioid and omni patterns. I usually default to cardioid, though, so maybe I should try it in omni on some “directional” sources too...


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