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Microphone Tests!!

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Tore Nylund, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Tore Nylund

    Tore Nylund Guest

    I don't know if this link has ever been posted here... but if your like to listen to a huge serie of microfone tests this is the place to go:
    It's mainly done with budget mics but some are more expensive... Tests on many models from Oktava, ADK,TSM, MXL, Röde, Neumann, Studio Projects, Generis ....and on BehringerECM8000, B.L.U.E. Baby Bottle, Earthworks QTC1, Milab LC-25, Shure Beta58, Line Audio Design CM2, Nevaton MC-48, Earthworks M30, Beyer Dynamic MCE90...*sigh*
    If you download all the files (Zipped)... it's about 1.46 Gb!!!!!!!!
    But you can always download single files or even MP3 -versions.

    Anyway I thought the site would be helpful if you'd like to compare some mics...
    The guitar is played by the man behind Virtual Guitarist.
    I really admire people that are crazy enough to do things like this.
    I hope that you'll enjoy it. :)
  2. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    nice..thanks a lot. Talk about finding the mother load.
  3. hbj

    hbj Guest

    Thanks for the tip!
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Dude! That Rocks!

  5. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    good find but its very hard too evaluate with the vocalists that didi the test.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Just came across this old thread and wonder if anyone actually takes these evaluations serious?
  7. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I thought the one Cucco did on ribbons was extremely helpful.

    I tried something similar as it was a part of my process for selecting a mic for vocalists.
    Unfortunately, not quite controlled and scientific enough to be reliable...
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Mic comparisons, do you trust them really?

    (not pointing , its just generally speaking)

    I used to think this was a good benchmark to base a mic purchase on but not so much ... I hold such little value in reviews these days as well. I'd much rather read forums like ours and get an overall view from a bunch of street discussion any day. Unless I was using the exact of everything in any test, examples: same guitar, pick, strings, vocalist, room, treatment, preamp, DAW, humidity, temp, power and power conditioner, AD and definitely CABLE! as I just learned... , hmmm, maybe I'm wrong but.
    I'm the first to admit I thought one thing and suddenly changed my mind because of another POV then realized a review was based on nothing I would consider. In fact, how many time in your life did you believe someone because they are so convincing and confident.

    I've been open minded since I was a child and I'm Canadian to boot so we tend to like to be open minded and caring lol... It keeps me personally from being too sure of myself and more open minded on alternative ways with everything but, I also waste a lot of time being lead astray.

    With mic shootouts, especially because they are very subjective to so many variables ... I'm increasingly scoffing at mic comparisons more and more. Its fun to listen but ... do you trust these?
    I'm not directing this as Cucco, he has my total respect. I'm just wondering what the overall opinion others have with mic shootouts and comparisons? I listened to 20 secs on the first clip of that link and heard things I didn't trust. I'm wondering what the majority think about mic comparisons after all you know to date?

    This was 7 years ago and its still online. A lot has been learned and a lot has changed in that time. Reflecting back, I remember this post. I have changed/ matured as an engineer a lot since then.
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I take reviews with a grain of salt. Ever read some of the reviews in Sound on Sound? Garbage. These people are obviously getting paid to give a good review. What's worse is that so many people are buying into it. I just loathe that mag now. I just can't take it seriously anymore.

    Edit: Sorry. Off topic.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    No, you are on topic and exactly where I am going with this.
  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Okay. Having listened now. It's pretty tough to judge when it seems every mic was a different take. Anything can change. Distance from the mic. Mic position. That being said, the Behr and SP B1 were both pretty unbearable. Too shrill. Maybe useable but not on their own.
  12. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Ok I just want to say: CABLES? audiokid not you too.


    all kidding aside here is my two cents:

    The human brain is a amazing thing, it can selectively tune itself into a tiny thread of valid information in a sea of floating debris. These tests do offer something of the mic's performance in vastly changing array of events. Is it possible to isolate these events and see the true mic for what it is?

    That is the same as asking can you be objective?

    I really don't think you can, so I listen subjectively. Hell in the end thats all I can do anyway.

    Of course your brain is so completely baffling that it can also completely lie to you. Especially when you want to hear something. For example if your hate a certain brand your brain may find that frequency its cringes over and make more of it then there really is.

    Anyway early morning ramblings aside, I think fundamentally these test have subjective value, but not objective truth.
  13. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I think that well performed microphone tests can contain a good deal of information. As long as you keep in mind the limitations of the information and the very real potential for bias on the part of those performing the tests and those interpreting the information they can be a big help in deciding to which mic to buy.

    Since they were mentioned, I'll give some details of the Ribbon Mic Shootout that Cucco did in May of 2009. He made a great effort to see that
    (1) the position of the mic relative to the performer was identical for each mic,
    (2) the overall gain for each mic was identical.
    But of course, in order to get the position identical, this meant that we needed a separate take for each mic - an obvious source of differences and a very possible source of bias. (We did not hide the mic from the performer.) Jeremy took very careful distance measurements for each take and used test tones to equalize the gain of the mic/preamp. But even if we did this perfectly it would not tell the whole story. What if the position we chose was the sweet spot for one mic but not for the other? The information may be objective, but it is still incomplete.

    As listeners we need to be aware of our ears' ability to detect minute differences in volume and our brain's inclination to interpret these differences as "louder=better." A tester can try all he wants to keep volume equal, but it's not clear exactly how our ears and brains measure volume (peak, rms, another norm?) It's always a good idea to play with the volumes of items you are evaluating to see if that changes your judgment.

    So in the end we take these imperfect tests and combine them with even more subjective things like manufacturer reputation and the aesthetics of the equipment and we make a gamble and buy what we think is best.

    Added: I'd just like to add that if I were doing tests like this more often that it would be cool to get an old player piano that would give completely reproducible analog performances on a full range instrument.
  14. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    or mic a speaker....
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Very well said Bob, I agree.

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