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Neumann Solution D

Member for

16 years 10 months
I must say, these look very attractive. Imagine no preamps. Then we wouldn't have anything to talk about on these forums. :)

Here

The missing KM120 fig 8 capsule is a bit of a worry though.

Comments

Member for

17 years 6 months

ghellquist Sat, 06/03/2006 - 08:28
Sure looks nice. Probably comes at a price though. Does this make my investment in preamps and AD converters obsolute?

If I could wish though, what I would really like to have is a "full quality" wireless microphone system for on-location recording. Just imagine not having all those cables snaking all over the place....

Gunnar

Member for

16 years 10 months

DavidSpearritt Sat, 06/03/2006 - 15:36
Exactly, this is what I am excited about. No running up the fly tower in the concert hall 5 times in an evening, adjusting and patching cables etc. Imagine just rolling up to the gig with the Nagra, and the mics. I hope they have got the sound right.

I posted this over at Kaus Heynes forum as well and some are regretting not being able to add the "flavour" of their own preamps and A/D, but I want the flavour of the instruments not of electronics. I would think that I could add electronic flavour later.

If Neumann have done it right it sounds a very exciting development.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 06/04/2006 - 12:00
Solution D

Here is a sample from Micheal Bishop
http://www.telarc.com/gscripts/title.asp?gsku=3592&mscssid=5Q4VAJA5LDB98PSX0TWJENW3M8RS9JJ1
(scroll down to last dance/dancing in the dark)
Neumann Solution D @ 96K>>dCS 955 DAC @ 96K>>GML 8900>>Millennia Media Twin-Com in VT mode - no compression, just passing through...>>>EMM Labs ADC>>Sonoma DSD workstation>>EMM dacs to analog mix path

Im not really interested in it, and certainly not for the price..I love using my own preamps and A/D way too much.

As Mr. Plush says , "Solution D.O.A" :P

Member for

16 years 10 months

DavidSpearritt Sun, 06/04/2006 - 14:23
I prefer not to carry gear to site and I also prefer not to colour any mic with any electronic box. Someone asked .... why to A/D's have flavour?, something must be wrong somewhere.

Anyway, in two years when we can clip a little digital wireless transmitter into the back of these Neumann's, hoist them up into the concert hall on almost invisible spindly stands (since no heavy cables to support), then go back to control room and just route AES signals from the wireless receiver, to our DAW's or recorders, I will be in 7th heaven.

DOA, not a hope.

Member for

20 years 9 months

FifthCircle Sun, 06/04/2006 - 15:32
I know some folks that used the original Solution-D microphone and they generally had good things to say about the sound. There were, however, a few complaints about the software used to drive them in a situation where multiple mics were being used. This was a couple years ago and I would hope that they have gotten the kinks ironed out.

My issue is solely with the preamp. I personally like to match a specific pre for a microphone and a hall. There are some preamp/mic combinations that I really like and others that I don't like so much. Other combinations that work in a certain room and not in others... To be limited to a certain "flavor" is in my opinion a weakness.

I like the idea, but I just don't see it working as well as it should.

--Ben

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 06/04/2006 - 15:34
DavidSpearritt wrote:
DOA, not a hope.
His words, not mine. I did think it was funny though.

Do you think Digital Microphones will become more and more popular? Or will it be like DSD, become popular amongst a devoted few, but not by the majority? Reaction here(amongst my Location Recording colleagues) to the concept has been lukewarm. It has been out for a while here in Germany, but I have yet to hear of anyone in this line of work using one.Take away the thrills of matching the mics to the preamps to the halls to the instrumentation, and there goes 75% of my fun!

Member for

17 years 8 months

Cucco Sun, 06/04/2006 - 19:46
My problem/concern with these mics are:

1 - Price. I mean, the original Solution D is outrageously expensive.
2 - Designed obsolescence - what if a solution is presented in the near future which makes PCM obsolete? These mics would be obsolete too.

By sticking with technologies that are specific (analog mic, analog preamp, a to d conversion), if any one piece becomes obsolete, the rest are still usable.

I for one will never adopt this technology. :cry:

J.

Member for

16 years 10 months

DavidSpearritt Mon, 06/05/2006 - 02:26
Never is a strong word. I find 96-24 pretty future proof as far as sound quality goes. There's not much in the pipeline after the failure of DSD and SACD. 96-24 PCM is looking good for quite a few years, maybe 15 or 20 years. By then my hearing will have packed up and I will be fishing on a beach somewhere, minding my own business. :)

Member for

16 years 10 months

Simmosonic Mon, 06/05/2006 - 05:58
DavidSpearritt wrote: Imagine just rolling up to the gig with the Nagra, and the mics. I hope they have got the sound right.

I am also very excited by this concept, but:

1) Unless I am totally stupid, it appears that each individual mic uses an AES cable, and is therefore mono. In other words, you can't be rolling up to a gig with just the Nagra and the mics. You're going to need the box that allows you to combine two digital mic outputs into one AES cable. That's one more box than you currently need with analog mics! You're going backwards...

2) I rarely, if ever, use Neumann mics as it is. I know that you're a fan of some of their KM series (the bidirectional KM120 in particular, which is the only one NOT in the range!), but I've pitched my tent firmly in the Schoeps/DPA camp these days (I am *such* an elitist wanker!). I can't see myself switching to Neumann just because the mics are digital. That'd be putting the cart before the horse, which is only a good idea if you're trying to stop the horse.

Or confuse it.

3) I can see some great advantages in building the preamp and AD into the microphone in terms of gain staging and so on. And I am sure Neumann would've taken great pains to get it right.

4) They might be very cool for users of Nagra Vs, 744Ts and similar that have two analog mic pres and a digital input. You could feasibly have four microphones going in at once, two analog and two via the digital input. But, because the Neumanns need the combining box to get a stereo AES signal from the two separate mics, you're no better off than using four analog mics and an external preamp into a line input. Doh!

5) The wireless idea is very, very cool. No more worries about long cable runs.

I have some misgivings, but I'm keen to give them a try...

Member for

16 years 10 months

Simmosonic Mon, 06/05/2006 - 06:24
DavidSpearritt wrote: There's not much in the pipeline after the failure of DSD and SACD. 96-24 PCM is looking good for quite a few years, maybe 15 or 20 years.

Them's fightin' words, Mr Spearritt!

But I'm with you all the way. DSD as a recording format may have legs, but I reckon SACD as a release format is past its use-by date. The only reason we still talk about it is because the industry as a whole is too lazy to clean out the vegetable crisper. So it'll probably stay there until it's an unrecognisable green/brown liquid in a plastic bag with a smell we can longer ignore.

The good old CD, however, appears to be the 12cm spinning disc equivalent to honey - no use-by date, it just keeps being nutritious.

I'm going to clear a space for SACD in my Museum of Failed Ideas. I'll put it on the same shelf as Beta, DCC, Elcassette, and the square egg (a great idea from a marketing and packaging point of view, but the chickens hate laying them).

Member for

17 years 8 months

Cucco Mon, 06/05/2006 - 08:06
You guys have me laughing out loud!

I'm curious - what do you think are the *subjective* reasons for SACD's failure?

Meaning - I'm not interested in the debate between DSD and PCM (we've hashed all that out before).

My thoughts are -

1 - Sony got greedy. There should be NO reason that recording in DSD should cost $20K as an entry point. I mean, I can buy a SACD player for $1K per channel??? :-?

2 - Sony got greedy. Consumers should not have to buy 6 cables, a new player and all that.... (well, okay, they might have to buy the new player but why not send the data over a standard digital cable???)

Personally, I dig the sound of SACD. I have a well calibrated listening system in which I've compared DSD vs. PCM mixes and in blind tests each time preferred the DSD - decidedly too.

Why oh why does Sony have to screw up EVERYTHING they touch?!?!?

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Mon, 06/05/2006 - 09:06
I'm with David all the way on this. I can't afford the Solution D (or DOA, whatever the case may be) YET. But someday.... And I never say never. Someday, it's going to be ready for mass acceptance and use. Someday there will be more options than whats' offered with the Solution D that will make it worth considering. It may seem impossible now, but look at how easy it is to record 24 tracks into a stand-alone box with a removable HD. (vs. Otari's and MCI's and Studers not much more than 10 years ago.)

Who could have predicted a time in human development when more people now have cell phones than wired? Does anyone under 25 even HAVE a permanent home phone? My son does not, nor do any of his friend, nor most of the folks I hire. Their contact #s are all wireless phones, and service continues to get better with every day that passes. (You can now drive the Holland or Lincoln tunnels in and out of Manhattan and never lose service, or you can call your friends from most national parks and send them a picture taken from your latest LG or Motorola phone.)

I see more and more wireless devices that a mere ten years ago would have been unthinkable. People are even going wireless with their wireless (witness the new bluetooth "Star TreK" earpieces that interface to the phone on their hip.)

I"ve been reading a lot of predictions from the "what's the next big thing?" crowd that predicts even more wireless connectivity. They're saying the very appearance of "Wires" to hook things up is going to appear very quaint in the not too distant future. One of my many remotes over the weekend involved four wireless handhelds for a musical kids musical pageant. Years ago, this might have been special, now, it's no big thing at all, and the client would have asked for six more if the show warranted it.

TV remotes are all wireless (who gets up to change the channel anymore?) so are most household phones. It's so prevalent now, I keep one (and only one) "wired" phone in my house only as a safeguard in case the power goes out.

Why so far-fetched to imagine a well done (and affordable) digital mic system someday? ESPECIALLY those of us who are stuck running ridiculous cables in extremely difficult situations, day in and day out. (It gets old really fast, let me tell you.) I can think of at least a dozen regular venues that I record in that would make me snap this technology right up, should it become afforable someday. (And make no mistake, it will. It will.)

Then we come to the subject of preamps (which are near and dear to sooo many folks on here, but not quite at the same level as I find myself.) Like David, I would love another option of getting a very expensive (and arguably tedious) monkey off my back. All I ever really want is a straight wire with gain. The mic selection, position, room sound and talent level is, IMHO, far more important than mic pre specs.

As soon as there's an affordable wireless solution out there, I'll be in line to at least check it out, maybe more.

Member for

16 years 10 months

DavidSpearritt Mon, 06/05/2006 - 11:14
1) Unless I am totally stupid, it appears that each individual mic uses an AES cable, and is therefore mono. In other words, you can't be rolling up to a gig with just the Nagra and the mics. You're going to need the box that allows you to combine two digital mic outputs into one AES cable. That's one more box than you currently need with analog mics! You're going backwards...

A little z-sys or equivalent digital mixer/router is all that's required.

2) I rarely, if ever, use Neumann mics as it is. I know that you're a fan of some of their KM series (the bidirectional KM120 in particular, which is the only one NOT in the range!), but I've pitched my tent firmly in the Schoeps/DPA camp these days (I am *such* an elitist wanker!). I can't see myself switching to Neumann just because the mics are digital. That'd be putting the cart before the horse, which is only a good idea if you're trying to stop the horse.

Well, all one has to do is to listen to one and find out. If the concept works, DPA and Schoeps will be onto it like rats up drains.

I am talking more generically about this concept rather than being specific about the KM180 series in particular. I like them anyway. :)

Member for

16 years 10 months

DavidSpearritt Mon, 06/05/2006 - 11:15
1) Unless I am totally stupid, it appears that each individual mic uses an AES cable, and is therefore mono. In other words, you can't be rolling up to a gig with just the Nagra and the mics. You're going to need the box that allows you to combine two digital mic outputs into one AES cable. That's one more box than you currently need with analog mics! You're going backwards...

A little z-sys or equivalent digital mixer/router is all that's required.

2) I rarely, if ever, use Neumann mics as it is. I know that you're a fan of some of their KM series (the bidirectional KM120 in particular, which is the only one NOT in the range!), but I've pitched my tent firmly in the Schoeps/DPA camp these days (I am *such* an elitist wanker!). I can't see myself switching to Neumann just because the mics are digital. That'd be putting the cart before the horse, which is only a good idea if you're trying to stop the horse.

Well, all one has to do is to listen to one and find out. If the concept works, DPA and Schoeps will be onto it like rats up drains.

I am talking more generically about this concept rather than being specific about the KM180 series in particular. I like them anyway. :)

Member for

16 years 3 months

larsfarm Mon, 06/05/2006 - 12:32
JoeH wrote: ... Why so far-fetched to imagine a well done (and affordable) digital mic system someday? ESPECIALLY those of us who are stuck running ridiculous cables in extremely difficult situations, day in and day out. (It gets old really fast, let me tell you.) ...

Not far fetched at all. Perhaps it needn't be integrated in the mic to be useful. Consumer level routers are doing 300Mbps wireless today (see for instance netgear/rangemax). 24/44.1 uncompressed is about 1 Mbps. Room for several hundred mics. So, wireless is definitely well within reach today. We need a tiny preamp + A/D + transmitter. All battery driven at the stand. Perhaps some of the units integrated. Perhaps not.

There are no hard technological problems to solve. "Merely" market-related, product related packaging problems.

best regards
Lars

Member for

16 years 10 months

DavidSpearritt Mon, 06/05/2006 - 15:02
Yes, it takes some thinking about, that in a couple of years we will be using Cat5 or Cat6 cables to plug our "mics" into a router. After all, its all data flowing down the line not analog mic signals anymore. They existed for a few mm after the capsule and thats it.

Welcome to the future. I like it.

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Tue, 06/06/2006 - 08:13
By sheer coincidence this morning, I came across this article courtesy of today's "ArtsJournal.com". It's not exactly what we're talking about, but it definitely shows the otherside of what's possible, even from a couple of experimenters and developers.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70933-0.html?tw=wn_index_1

I'm guessing that by comparison, HD analog audio bandwidth conversion to something digital/transmitable would be a breeze, given the right hardware development.

Member for

16 years 10 months

Simmosonic Sun, 06/11/2006 - 02:27
JoeH wrote: Who could have predicted a time in human development when more people now have cell phones than wired?

Nicholas Negroponte of MIT's Media Lab predicted it many years ago. He observed that our televisions were wireless but weren't the kind of thing we'd carry around with us, and yet our telephones were wired but were the kind of thing we ought to be taking around with us. He predicted a time when things that were fixed in position would be wired, and things that needed to be mobile would be wireless. Someone called it the Negroponte Switch, and I reckon we flicked it about a decade ago. Television is now on cable, and telephones are on the airways. Less and less people have landlines now, preferring the autonomy of mobile, and more and more people have cable television.

Of course, wireless technology has since boomed beyond mobile phones, and we find it in everything. Once upon a time BlueTooth needed a dentist, now it needs a battery.

But the problem with making everything wireless is the allocation of bandwidth in the airways. We can remove much clutter by using cable for television and similar 'fixed installation' devices.

Personal mobile technologies ought to be wireless.

Televisions ought to use cable. As should internet connections between buildings (homes, offices) and the ISP. Wireless internetworking within the home or office, however.

Member for

16 years 10 months

Simmosonic Sun, 06/11/2006 - 03:19
Cucco wrote: You guys have me laughing out loud!

Sorry...

Cucco wrote: I'm curious - what do you think are the *subjective* reasons for SACD's failure?

Meaning - I'm not interested in the debate between DSD and PCM (we've hashed all that out before).

...and it's as boring as bird shit. More boring, actually. Bird shit is cheap and useful. Once upon a time in Peru...

Cucco wrote: My thoughts are -

1 - Sony got greedy.

Yeah. I think Sony's greed destroyed DSD's chances of being adopted by the professional market. Maybe there were market forces at work that caused it to be so expensive, but it makes no difference because it was simply too expensive. Investing in DSD equipment was like buying a house before you had the land to put it on.

I think it was format fatigue that killed SACD for the public.

It was also the last of the great lies, and we were all tired of hearing them. The lies started 20 years earlier when the CD format was launched with the phrase "perfect sound forever", and we all rejoiced and replaced our fussy and delicate vinyl and cassette collections with CDs. Then along came DVD-V. It was no threat to our existing CD collections because we could use just one player to play both music and movies. It also offered two channels of 24/96 audio, an improvement on CD that was sadly ignored in favour of a new format: DVD-A. Why? Because the industry needs to keep selling players, and DVD-V's promise of 'one disc, one player' meant that once everyone had bought a DVD player, there'd be fewer player sales. That would never do, would it? They've got to keep inventing new things so they can sell new things.

...and then along came SACD. Like DVD-A, it needed a new player (at least in the initial stages).

The affluent early adopters who are essential to make or break a product sat there remembering VHS vs Beta, MiniDisc vs DCC, and so on, and saw it happening all over again with DVD-A and SACD, both of which supposedly sounded better than CD. Better than CD? But, but, but... We'd already replaced our entire collections with CDs because a couple of decades earlier we were told by the same marketeers that CD was "perfect sound forever". *Perfect* sound. *Forever*. Hmmm... How can DVD-A or SACD be superior to "perfect sound forever"?

The early adopters felt both confused and betrayed, and so...

Goodbye SACD! Goodbye DVD-A! Out the door with all the other CRAP we don't need!! We're sick of spending on things we don't need, and we definitely don't need music mixed in surround, nor do we need another high-res format and player when good old reliable DVD-V can deliver two channels of 24/96 audio from your existing player.

The market has made its complete and utter disinterest in DVD-A and SACD abundantly clear. Unfortunately, those who have invested heavily in the technology for producing this unwanted crap seem unable to see the writing on the wall. (I think that's due to the special rose-coloured glasses that come supplied with every DVD-A/SACD/surround music production system - the same ones that make the purchasers see an extra zero at the end of every invoice they send out, even though it's not really there.)

Cucco wrote: Personally, I dig the sound of SACD. I have a well calibrated listening system in which I've compared DSD vs. PCM mixes and in blind tests each time preferred the DSD - decidedly too.

I haven't done any blind listening tests (er, unless blind drunk listening counts), but I have enjoyed what I've heard of DSD. I'm also very happy with 24/96 linear PCM. As for the market, it appears to be happy with mp3s. Sadly.

As Charlie Brown would say, "Good grief".

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