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Does mic modeling really matter? Seems to me the only parameter you could really change is EQ, so you might as well just add EQ. I can't see where, for example, a dynamic mic is going to react to transients the same way as a ribbon mic.

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9 hours ago, Anderton said:

Does mic modeling really matter? Seems to me the only parameter you could really change is EQ, so you might as well just add EQ. I can't see where, for example, a dynamic mic is going to react to transients the same way as a ribbon mic.

The way they market these types of solutions (Slate for example), is that the mic itself has a flat response, and its preamp is also neutral (well, as neutral as a preamp can be I suppose).  At that point they sell software models of mics and preamps. The models can’t change the mic you started with - but they do change the signal to sound as if it had passed through other hardware.  Is this largely or entirely EQ and compression?  That’s a great question.  It’s most definitely also added noise. But it’s a fast solution to get perhaps close enough results with lesser investment in hardware.  Same as they are doing with guitar amps and other vintage FX.  

Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700, Crumar Mojo, rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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3 hours ago, ElmerJFudd said:

The way they market these types of solutions (Slate for example), is that the mic itself has a flat response, and its preamp is also neutral (well, as neutral as a preamp can be I suppose)...Is this largely or entirely EQ and compression? 

Well, mics are voiced anyway. The SM58 has a built-in, high-end lift. The RE20 does some weird mojo so there's not as much proximity effect when you get closer to the mic, unlike other directional microphones. Audio coming into a directional microphone from the sides or rear will have more coloration than the audio coming in the front, but that depends on how many room reflections are getting into the mic. How can you model that? How can you model the difference in sensitivity between a large-diaphragm and small-diaphragm condenser mic?

 

Give than no mic has a totally flat response (although some come close), and EQ alone can't create super-complex response curves, engineers will often choose different mics to see which one they like best. Seems to me the main value of mic modeling is being able to call up a different preset in a couple seconds instead of having to physically set up a different mic to get a different sound.

 

I have a really good Cloud ribbon mic, small- and large-diaphragm Neat condenser mics, and an SM58. I can choose the mic with the right physics for a sound, then use EQ to get the desired tone. I really don't feel the need for anything more, but maybe I'm missing something. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The higher-end models apparently were designed (and built?) by David Bock, formerly of Soundelux and the man behind Bock Audio. I own a couple of his mics, and they're excellent, so I'd expect good things from those. 

 

I didn't see this one coming, but it might be a good fit for UA.  

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On 2/20/2022 at 10:56 AM, Anderton said:

I have a really good Cloud ribbon mic, small- and large-diaphragm Neat condenser mics, and an SM58. I can choose the mic with the right physics for a sound, then use EQ to get the desired tone. I really don't feel the need for anything more, but maybe I'm missing something. 

 

I read where Mickey Raphael uses a ribbon mic for his harmonica. I always thought he got a good sound. What do you use when recording harmonica? On your own excellent songs, I mean.

 

I know it's not the mic, so much. Toots Thieleman used a 58. I recorded some harmonica with an AT 2020 and thought it was very good- I even liked the results when mic'ing my high-end stereo keyboard amp. After that I quit recording for a long time, but recently sprung for a Warm Audio WA- 47Jr and look forward to renewing these experiments. If I had known of Universal getting into that market, I would have considered their offerings, another one of my recent acquisitions being the UA Volt 476 (I know that is not considered a serious product for advanced, serious pros but with my trashed ears I focus on products that are plug-and-pay, as much as possible. Mid 00's's I bought a Boss BR-8 hard disc recorder and it was great for me, to flesh out ideas).  

 

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52 minutes ago, pinkfloydcramer said:

I read where Mickey Raphael uses a ribbon mic for his harmonica. I always thought he got a good sound. What do you use when recording harmonica? On your own excellent songs, I mean.

 

Wow, using a ribbon mic for harmonica seems incredibly risky, given how easily a blast of air can kill the ribbon. I use an SM58 with a big foam wind screen ball around it - I press the harmonica right into the ball. Most of my harmonic sound comes from the amp sim, though. I imagine that would overpower pretty much any mic's inherent character.

 

54 minutes ago, pinkfloydcramer said:

another one of my recent acquisitions being the UA Volt 476 (I know that is not considered a serious product for advanced, serious pros but with my trashed ears I focus on products that are plug-and-pay, as much as possible.

 

Hey, it seriously amplifies sound, seriously converts it to digital, and passes it along to your computer with the utmost seriousness. AFAIC that's a serious product :) Just for perspective, I'm sure it outperforms audio interfaces of not that long ago. Also remember that the important part of plug and play is play! If it gets you playing faster, that's bonus points in addition to its seriousness.

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🙂That seems to be the take of some Youtube reviewers, Craig Anderton wannabees all, who say no, it can't sound good because specs or some such. Others seem to like it a good deal. The compressor part doesn't have a lot of adjustable parameters but for a long stretch, I had an RNC compressor and I was by no means a power user. Maybe I did fall for some UA clever marketing though, we'll see. Like you say, if it gets me to plugging and playing..

 

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2 hours ago, pinkfloydcramer said:

🙂That seems to be the take of some Youtube reviewers, Craig Anderton wannabees all, who say no, it can't sound good because specs or some such. Others seem to like it a good deal. The compressor part doesn't have a lot of adjustable parameters but for a long stretch, I had an RNC compressor and I was by no means a power user. Maybe I did fall for some UA clever marketing though, we'll see. Like you say, if it gets me to plugging and playing.

 

Apparently the compressor is analog, so I assume it would have to go before the A/D converter. That would be cool because then you wouldn't have to worry too much about the occasional over. Almost all the interfaces I've seen with built-in compression do it digitally, after the A/D, so by that time it's too late to prevent overloading the converters.

 

As to mic preamps and specs, in a double-blind shootout that Sound on Sound did years ago, IIRC the ART Tube MP preamp was preferred by the "golden ears" people hands-down over really expensive models. They were pretty shocked when they realized what they had chosen :) 

 

And as I've often said at my seminars, no radio station ever called me and said "We were going to put your record in rotation...but it sounds like you didn't use a tube mic preamp, so forget it." All that matters to listeners is the emotional impact of the music, they don't give a flying you-know-what about interface you used. That said, UA makes good stuff, and I'm sure it's great. Then again, a lot of companies make good stuff these days. 

 

 

 

 

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I remember all the comments RE how the ART was just a marketing gimmick, starved-plate design and therefore not true "tube". I thought it sounded good and was useful. Ditto for the Presonus Blue Tube, for live use it improved the sound of my digital organs and pianos. I still occasionally use mine to this day for that, and also when I need to boost a signal- per the directions, it works as a DI in many situations. But who cares about how something sounds when you can show off your spec knowledge, lol.

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On 2/20/2022 at 8:56 AM, Anderton said:

Well, mics are voiced anyway. The SM58 has a built-in, high-end lift. The RE20 does some weird mojo so there's not as much proximity effect when you get closer to the mic, unlike other directional microphones. Audio coming into a directional microphone from the sides or rear will have more coloration than the audio coming in the front, but that depends on how many room reflections are getting into the mic. How can you model that? How can you model the difference in sensitivity between a large-diaphragm and small-diaphragm condenser mic?

 

Give than no mic has a totally flat response (although some come close), and EQ alone can't create super-complex response curves, engineers will often choose different mics to see which one they like best. Seems to me the main value of mic modeling is being able to call up a different preset in a couple seconds instead of having to physically set up a different mic to get a different sound.

 

I have a really good Cloud ribbon mic, small- and large-diaphragm Neat condenser mics, and an SM58. I can choose the mic with the right physics for a sound, then use EQ to get the desired tone. I really don't feel the need for anything more, but maybe I'm missing something. 

 

The Shure KSM 8 is "another dynamic" mic but it is different enough that I had to try one. 

It has a second passive diaphragm and some new, nifty tech behind it - what matters is that proximity effect is more like an omni mic but the pattern is cardioid. It does not get boomy up close and it does not thin out too much 6 inches away. The frequency response is as close to uniform with the cardioid pattern as has ever been done so you can sing off to the side a little (reducing plosives trick) and the frequency response is nearly the same as it is going straight in. 

 

I had a friend come over and sing, she's a terrific singer and has a great ear. We did 2 different mic shoot-outs on 2 different occasions and I didn't let her know which mic was which on playback. Mics in play were Neat King Bee, Aston Element, Heil PR40, Sennheiser MD 421, Neat Worker Bee, Cad D82 ribbon and a couple others that I don't remember right now. I didn't have any of my Mic-Parts mics yet so I'll need to go another round someday.

 

Both times, Krista chose the KSM 8 as her favorite mic. I'd love to try a better ribbon mic like yours but the budget isn't there right now. In any case, it's a great mic more because it simply lacks flaws than any other reason. That sounds boring but it grew on me pretty quickly. 

 

The UA mics look nice, so do the new Earthworks mics. This barrage of new tech and better sound will never end. 

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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I've heard good things about the KSM 8, but what you're saying kind of supports my theory that it would be very difficult to model something whose physics are fundamentally different from the mic being used for the modeling.

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2 hours ago, Anderton said:

I've heard good things about the KSM 8, but what you're saying kind of supports my theory that it would be very difficult to model something whose physics are fundamentally different from the mic being used for the modeling.

Agreed, I don't think it would be easy to model a KSM8. Or an AKG D224e if you could find one. 

Both are dynamic mics and cardioid pattern but neither of them has much proximity effect. Condenser mics in cardioid tend to have pretty substantial proximity bass boost.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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