Hebden Mics

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by John Stafford, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Hi all
    Has anyone used -or heard anything about- the current Hebden mics? Their performance is reputed to be very good indeed. From any descriptions I've come across, the omnis would appear to be detailed with great upper and lower end, but the only drawback is that they can be a little noisy. Their self-noise is 17 dB, but the AKG C34 is 22, and I can live with that, although I've come to the conclusion that the quality of the noise is more important than the level. That hideous hash that you hear on some cheap mics has a bad effect even at low levels, but an even hiss that coexists with, and is clearly separate from the signal doesn't bother me much. I suppose it's a bit like tape hiss.

  2. recordista

    recordista Active Member

    microphone noise specs

    Quoted noise specs are more than a little misleading.

    Here's an explanation from David Josephson:

  3. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that!

    I know they don't treat the entire frequency spectrum equally when they publish noise measurement results, but it never occurred to me that the rise in the frequency response would have such an effect, although it's blatantly obvious once it's pointed out.

  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Good callback their Kurt.

    I put virtually 0 stock in published noise figures. I've had fantastic mics with noise figures well into the 20s and then the noisiest mic I've EVER used was an ADK with a spec of "14 dB of self noise." (Same as the Schoeps)

    The fact is, even a "noisy" mic will not really be all that noisy when used in real world situations. Even when not, you're more likely to notice digital noise floor or physical noise floor before microphone self noise.

  5. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    I disagree with these statements. The ISO self noise spec is valid, and the A-Weighting still represents how annoying a noise spectrum is to us humans.

    If a mic manufacturer tweaks his mic self noise floor to cause the spectrum to be the inverse of the A weighting curve then its still going to sound quieter to us and the listener when recording. The ear is less sensitive to rumble and hiss. I wish people who report this stuff would name names, regarding this tweaking of mic noise. Who does it, Rode?, Neumann? If it was such a crime and damaged the sound of these mics, we would hear it.

    In the absence of a more detailed and thorough noise spec involving say true loudness measurement, something that most manufacturers and users will never understand let alone measure and report properly, the A-weighted ISO self noise figure is still one of the most useful mic specs to take particular note of.

    In my experience and for my gear, the mic self noise is still what dominates the noise floor, it is much more significant than preamp noise or digital encoding noise floors.
  6. recordista

    recordista Active Member

    OK. I find that my experience often differs from this.

    Within limits, yes. But noise is only one component of a very complex set of characteristics. Once it has been reduced below a fairly obvious level the other components take on more significance.

    Many of us do hear it, that's the point.

    Something that the quoted author has been championing for at least a decade.

  7. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Are you saying that you have found many examples where one spectrum that sounds louder and more annoying than another even though it has a lower A weighted magnitude?

    Could you elaborate on which characteristics and what components, you refer to?

    Are you saying there is one or more mics that clearly sound inferior for music recording to you, primarily because their noise floors have been artifically tweaked? Which mics? I am most interested.

    Granted, David has been most enthusiastic about getting the spec more detailed and properly defined. But I fear its a lost cause. I sure hope he succeeds. Certainly if anyone can do it, the AES in conjunction with ISO will do it.

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