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Author Topic: 7 Mics for Kim Jong Un - Why? What are they?  (Read 24171 times)

Offline J. Mike Perkins

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7 Mics for Kim Jong Un - Why? What are they?
« on: March 14, 2016, 08:44:02 pm »
I keep seeing photos of North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, giving speeches in front of 7 identical mics, all lined up. I have attached some photos. 

Does anyone know what type or model these are? Does anyone have a clue why 7 is better than one (or two, as back-up)? Is there some special numerology significance for using 7 of something?  Is North Korea secretly developing a new multi-channel audio format beyond 5/1? 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 08:45:05 pm by klaus »

Offline klaus

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2016, 04:31:37 pm »
Leaving the mics shown in the third picture aside for the moment (they are different from those in the other two pictures, and their identifying details are obstructed by the foam socks), I can take a guess what they are probably not: MBHO, Schoeps, Microtech Gefell, Neumann. 

It would be reasonable to assume that the North Korean regime uses a Chinese brand, given that the Chinese keep the dictator powered up and in power-providing technical support and materials for the desolate economy of the isolated country.

I added a close-up. Maybe that will help? Visual characteristics of these likely (hyper) cardioid condensers: three upper, two lower vents.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 08:48:24 pm by klaus »
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Offline duskb

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2016, 02:00:16 am »
Aside from redundancy, which I don't think is solely the case here, I think this has more to do with a case of inflated ego and "monkey see monkey do".

The man lacks a complete sense of understanding his place on the world stage. Standing in front of a bunch of mics as he does there borders on the same level of ridiculousness that I'd expect from such a regime. "Look at how important I am..."

Fwiw, That looks like $700 worth of Chinese mics to me. I can only imagine what they sound like. My ear is cringing just looking at it.
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Online panman

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Esa Tervala

Offline klaus

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2016, 12:51:11 am »
You nailed it!
Just a bit hard to understand why a dynamic mic is used (pardon, SEVEN dynamic mics!) when the sensitivity of a condenser is so much higher.

The other thing that is a bit puzzling: what do you gain when speaking in a stationary position, roughly in the middle of the array, by using multiplying mics? The reach of dynamics is already limited, and if you are head-on, i.e. off the side mics, I don't think you gain all that much by adding more, especially as they are all hyper cardioids.

P.S.: Should we now boycott Beyer?

« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 08:49:53 pm by klaus »
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Online Kai

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 06:17:53 am »
Might be he wants a sound "larger then life" or just something different from the crop.
If all mics are used, there are certainly some sound colorations due to phase cancelations that change when he moves around.
Like a multistage Phaser FX.

Gefell builds a condenser mic line array to improve directivity, used, for example, in the German parliament, the "Bundestag".
This is not 100% comparable, but these 7 mics could point into the same direction.
It's likely that these 7 mics improve the feedback rejection in a PA situation.

And  - what about the "lucky no. 7"?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 01:00:18 pm by klaus »

Offline Mickeyrouse

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2016, 08:29:38 am »
I believe if I was handling his sound, I would use as many as I could squeeze in- ever think about what happens to the sound guy if the sound heads south?

Online David Satz

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2016, 08:34:21 am »
Dynamic microphones might reasonably be chosen for their ruggedness and (in an economy with very little hard currency) low cost. But another possibility is that the preamp or mixer has circuitry copied from decades-old Western equipment. If so, it could very well lack phantom powering, and its input stage could be overloaded by the ~20 dB higher signal voltages of condenser mikes.

Mainly, I think that this is a visual display. The President of the United States uses three microphones during a formal address; therefore, from the DPRK perspective, in which North Korea is "recognized by everyone" as the leading nation of the world, it makes sense for the Supreme Leader to have seven.

I highly recommend Without You There Is No Us by Suki Kim for insight into the way of thinking in the North, and just as an interesting read in general. But I very much doubt that the signals from all seven microphones are being mixed together and used all the time, because as people have pointed out, that would sound bad (generally thin, and varying whenever there is any head movement). Or who knows--some poor slob might be stationed at a mixing desk off to the side, watching the Supreme Leader and unfailingly selecting the signal from the microphone that's closest to his Supreme Mouth at every moment.

--Actually the original Beyer M 201 was a rather good-sounding mike for general music recording. As of the last time I checked with BeyerDynamic a few years ago, though, the "TG" version, which they said has reduced low-frequency response for close miking, is the only version that they import to the U.S. any more. (What I'm calling the "original" version, with low-impedance output and an XLR-3 connector, was the "M 201 (N) C".)

--best regards
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 08:44:46 am by David Satz »

Offline Vertigorecording

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2016, 09:21:57 am »
Obviously, they broadcast in 6.1. It's so obvious.

Offline boz6906

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2016, 10:36:54 am »
I'd say dynamics for reliability.

President Obama typically uses 2 SM57 with the Shure windscreen, they work very well, no phantom connection noise from humidity or intermittent connections, good presence peak for intelligibility.

Phase interference would be a real issue with more two mics...


Offline duskb

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2016, 10:11:48 pm »
http://www.beyerdynamic.de/shop/m-201-tg.html

you might be right and if so i stand corrected. The 201 is a solid mic but I'd be hard pressed to use it for that purpose.

Again, the use of that mic in that way reinforces backwards and crazy.
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Offline Peller

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2016, 06:51:30 pm »
Speakers in the British Houses of Parliament are still recorded using the AKG D222, a dynamic mic which must have been out of production for 20 years. It's quite a nice sounding mic, but quite fragile and prone to failure, so perhaps an odd choice.

Offline Eddie Eagle

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2016, 01:42:02 pm »
Aside from the type of mic the illusion of many news agencies or types of coverage are part of their perceived "importance" image. More mics...More important imaging... the people are lead to believe Un must be important if there are so many mics covering his words of ....ahem, wisdom.
Death is Certain. Fishing is Not!

Offline gkippola

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2016, 09:06:03 pm »
I have several Beyer M201 mics, it is a very good sounding, quiet, and bullet proof dynamic.

Offline Recording Engineer

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Re: 7 mics for Kim Jong Un - why? what are they?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2016, 07:48:56 pm »
Off-topic of Un: I've had an M201N(C) for probably 15-years that I bought well used. I've used it on most every electric guitar tracking session since. I've always wondered how the TG-version compares... I've also had an M88N(C) for just as long that I bought used too and I've always had on kick duties. I did try a TG-version of that one and it didn't sound anywhere close to the same as mine. I've always wonder if it's just mine is so old and that far out of spec or if they're really that different.