Some drum multitrack shootouts from Eastwest Studio 2

This drummer isn’t quite as good as the last one in the Warren Huart shootout. Just drums this time, and no cheap mics in the mix. This is more of a strait shootout.

I love to hear those gorgeous million dollar walls!

(The links to the multitrack are in the youtube description).

Straight. FFS. I thought you were educated.

What I would like to see is two microphones shooting out that sound completely different, then EQ matched, then run through another shootout.

I’m pretty convinced that if the polar patterns are the same, 95% of the sound of a mic comes from its frequency response. I mean, there are other obvious differences, like being able to handle drums without distorting, but that’s not a quality issue.

Wouldn’t it then follow that if you merely EQ a frequency match, that you have 95% the same mic (or you have the two mics within 5% of a subjective perceivable difference?

I don’t know anything about electronics, but here’s my question: What about the amount of detail? Isn’t that purely a function of something else?

That’s my claim (which I have no real evidence to back up, so feel free to refute it).

I’m not sure what you mean by “detail.” To me, detail means “flat high frequency response.”

There isn’t a whole lot going on in an open face condenser mic that is messing with the phase in any major way. Maybe the shape of the gasket.

Dynamic mics are a little different because they have cavities to create the polar pattern, which can create complicated EQ curves.

This, of course, is all “within reason.” Some mics are almost completely missing some frequencies, which makes it hard to bring those freqs back without introducing tons of noise.

I guess I could take those shootout examples and see if they can be eq’d to sound the same. It would be more interesting to take mics that sound completely different from each other.

I tried this with a Blue Bluebird that supposedly had a capsule modeled off of a Blue Bottle B8 cap.

Just now went to my hard drive to look. I deleted the quick test session, I don’t have the Blue Spark anymore.



It sounded quite different, but it seems that could have had a lot to do with the tubes and the power supply. From what I read, there’s quite a bit happening in that thing.

At one point I think Blue actually claimed it was a B8 capsule. I remember being pretty alarmed when I found that out.

Here’s the B8 capsule next to the Bluebird.

I know the capsule can be the same and look different, but what got me is if a Bluebird has a B8 capsule, and is $200, then how are they selling the B8 Capsule by itself for $600?!

The two of these sound a little different from one another also. The only difference I’m aware of is that one has a Telefunken tube, the other has a Blue tube. But the difference is minimal. I wish I still had that shootout. lol…when I found out the Bluebird supposedly had that B8 capsule, I remember freaking the hell out, dropping whatever I was doing at the time, hooking it everything up to test it, and making sure I hadn’t wasted $8000 getting the same result as I could have for $400.

I was using the Bluebird for a talkback mic because it looks cool sitting on a desktop stand!

How did you go about trying it? If you are trying to match it by ear, it’s not going happen.

Will that work? Seems like there would be a problem since you don’t have any control over where the mic was placed. Even if you could make up for tonal differences with EQ, aren’t we fairly can’t make up for axis and distance from source?

If you had a couple mics you could. You know…the owner of my old studio is supposed to be coming by in a couple days to get some material from a hard drive that I backed up before her old building burned down. Turns out, the mic was not in the building when it caught fire. I can see if she’ll bring it over, I’ll hook up the Bottle, and do a quick shootout if you wanna play with it. I’d kinda like to hear it again. I wish I wouldn’t have deleted that session.

haha…I didn’t. As soon as walked back into the control room and heard what the two of them sounded next to each other I didn’t even try. There was a lot of information and harmonic stuff that Bluebird didn’t even appear to pick up. If there was a way to compensate for that, I sure didn’t know how at the time. If there’s a way to EQ it back in missing info or simulate missing info with plugin emulators, I’d be interested to hear how.

I’m not suggesting it can’t be done. I mean if Izotope can make a plugin that can re-create a completely missing audio waves that accidentally got muted when being tracked, based on what is before and after it, and then it guesses at what should have been there, then fills it in synthetically, I’m sure someone can emulate saturation harmonics ~cough cough~ Steven Slate.

I think this goes without saying, but this doesn’t remotely simulate “I tried this.”

What do you mean by “information”? If the air was vibrating by the capsule, it was moving the capsule. Different capsules are most sensitive to certain frequencies and different polar patterns.

Adding small amounts of EQ to different parts of the spectrum can make a significant change in apparent “detail.” Unless the microphone is distorting, it really shouldn’t be adding much that can’t be done with EQ.

The problem is that no person in their right mind is going to figure out how to eq one mic to sound like another. It’s just way to tedious. And on top of that, you can’t EQ polar pattern, so even if you do get the frequency response the same, one mic might be picking up more room sound than another. Maybe that’s what you mean by detail?

I know…I didn’t know what else to do. How do it without just using your ear?

Does this mean that as long as the capsule is exposed to the same energy wave vibrating the air, that that’s all the capsule cares about?

I thought capsules were like photo lenses where a shitty 10 year old flip phone camera is simply incapable of picking up the same level detail as a 10 megapixel Samsung. But if I understand what you’re saying, it sounds like you’re suggesting that the capsules are relatively equal in their ‘pixel resolution’, and its really more a matter of how they treat certain colors???

Not intending to debate…I honestly have no idea how this stuff works.

Most image -> audio analogies don’t work very well, especially this one.

Where capsules vary is where they resonate at different frequencies. It doesn’t mean the frequency response is easy to correct for with a standard EQ designed for mixing. It’s not anything like taking a picture because a mic can only measure one thing (pressure or displacement, depending on the mic) at any given moment.

A microphone simply measures how much the diaphragm moves when air moves it. Heavy diaphragms can’t move as fast (which means it can’t react to high frequencies as well) which means the high end rolls off. Diaphragms also have resonance frequencies, where they want to move more easily.

The resolution in a microphone is how quickly it can move, which is the high frequency response.

You are more knowledgable than me on this, but what are saying certainly confirms what I have always thought. This being the case, what exactly - in your opinion - do high end mics have, that low end mics don’t?

Never tried it, but I’d back myself to get close.

I made some phone calls and got a crash course on this mic basics last night (I think). Boz, tell me if this is consistent with what you understand about how these things are built:

The difference between higher and lower end mics can come down to the design and the quality of filament material that the plates in the diaphragm are made out of. Neither or both of which never justify a $10k price point like in the case of a U67 or C800G.

I posed this question to a few others late last night, wanting to specifically know what materials resonate in different ways, specifically which metals resonate better than others, and if the premium price hike is more a function of design or materials. If so, what are the differences in the designs, which ones produce an measurable sonic result, and in exactly what way?

The way this was explained to me is surface area and agility/mobility of the diaphragm and its specific relation to the plate is similar to comparing a tweeter in a high tech reference monitor vs a tweeter in a Yamaha NS10. Even if we grant that Genelec or ATC make super clean monitors, they aren’t necessarily right for individual ears and specific rooms. Though the material is rare and a design is proprietary (as is the case with Blue mics), that alone says almost nothing about measurable difference an highly expensive mic vs a high quality yet more affordable mic.

However, it was brought to my attention that with a limited amount of known materials you can potentially make a capsule out of. In the same way there are limited options for what you can use to build a guitar pickup out of. The true variable in the guitar pickup (if i understand correctly) is the voicing. There are almost an infinite number of exact specs here. Same with mics. But a different pickup voicing does not make a pickup inherently more valuable, as most quality pickups range from $150-$250 pr set.

[quote=“AJ113, post:14, topic:1655”]
what exactly - in your opinion - do high end mics have, that low end mics don’t? [/quote]

One thing they have a low end mic doesn’t is a sales margin handicap called diseconomy of sale, due to lack of buyer base. Mass manufacturing also plays a roll in this. As the manufacturing process for a high end Telefunken, Blue, and Bock mic are is significantly more intensive than for a C414.

Another thing the high end mics have working against them is technology obsolesce. Both on the design and manufacturing end. A U87 was cutting edge for its time, but with Neumann/Telefunken only being able to patent the shape of grill, everyone has gone in and cannibalized the design just as we have the Urei 1176. So what elite back in the 60’s is quite run of the mill today.

Some of these high end mics like the Brauner and Blue, have saturation sag controls which are used to ramp up harmonics. And its a very expensive feature to try and integrate because you have to change the way the mic is built in order to accommodate controlled fluctuations in the voltage. Think of this sort of like sagging a guitar pedal. Some can tolerate it, others don’t.

So Slate attempted it, and he talks about the process in the other video I just posted. He started with mic that speced super flat, tweaked it to make it flatter, A/B’d against a classic mic, then attempted to model the differences.