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Author Topic: High frequency response of classic microphones  (Read 12425 times)


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  • Real Full Name: Timothy Hamper
Re: High frequency response of classic microphones
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2016, 11:13:09 AM »

Ive have great results sticking a pair of B&K 4007 in front of a '67 ac30 running flat out - of course I stuck them through a narly old tube preamp just to confuse my intern. I guess  it's really down to who's doing the driving. If I had a quid for the amount of engineers I've seen fiddling about with SMAART in search of the elusive flat response I'd have, well... a lot of quids by now.

My good friend has a name for this type of engineer - which I'm sure you've all heard before - Engin-eye!


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  • Real Full Name: Tim Britton
Re: High frequency response of classic microphones
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2016, 02:06:33 AM »

B+K mics can produce emotionally pleasing recordings, if applied well. For doubting Thoms I suggest a spin of some of Todd Garfinkle's excellent CD's found on the MA label. Those used a matched pair of mics, a single set.

I love Todd's work...
row row row your boat...

Pied Piper Productions

J.J. Blair

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Re: High frequency response of classic microphones
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2016, 04:23:33 PM »

I once bought a CD of Perlman doing Tchaikovsky's violin concerto, which is one of my favorite pieces of all time.  The premise seemed so promising.  It was a modern recording.  The sound of his violin was so shrill it hurt my ears to listen to with headphones.  I always wanted to know what mic was used. 


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Re: High frequency response of classic microphones
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2016, 05:07:56 PM »

Could be as trivial as placement*, or could be the mic, or could be sampling rate/compression/digital processing...
Nothing beats being there, in the control room during recording and listening to the direct, pre-tape (pre-conversion) sound.

*How man jazz recordings are out there, where the tone of a bowed or brass instrument is not allow to mellow-out, to letting the air molecules dampen the highs and overtones through distance, but where the mic-any mic- is placed a few inches from the source? Criminal.
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®


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Re: High frequency response of classic microphones
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2016, 03:59:08 PM »

Aside from the more or less spectrally "normalized" modern pop productions, the sound of classical, jazz and others is all over the place.
This is especially true and more or less astonishing for classical, where the goal over the now about 10 decades of music recording always has been achieving a natural sound, and processing of any type was always sparse.

The reason for this cannot be simply connected to the use of a certain microphone type. There is a multitude of factors, in which the microphone plays a lesser role (although as a front end, it defines and sometimes even limits the quality of the outcome).

On the playback side one has to admit that there is no real universal reference loudspeaker (in a reference acoustic environment) or even less, reference headphones.
This is one of the biggest problems for every audio engineer: where and how will the recording be auditioned by the audience.

E.g., have a look at a typical modern (and expensive) television set: the tiny speakers are on the backside, radiating to the wall. Need I say more?


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Re: High frequency response of classic microphones
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2016, 08:00:02 AM »

A couple comments from a microphone designer after reading this thread...

Pressure gradient microphones need to be resistance controlled, but huge amounts of acoustic resistance lower
output. So there is a basic gain bandwidth tradeoff. At some point mass takes over and there is a decline in HF response.
LDC typically have a HF diffraction peak,SDC may have a peak from inertance in the rear delay chamber.
It's true (as was said here) that if you correct the amplitude peak with EQ the phase will tend to be corrected as well. Another way to say this is the microphone is largely minimum phase. (not completely)

Classic microphones were made considering the recording capabilities of the day. There was no point in sacrificing signal to noise to get HF response that the recording system couldn't pass.

BTW the same is true with other classical microphones like ribbons. Many classical models were made when audio
was a 5-10kHz world. But a ribbon can be made to go to 20 or 50 or 100kHz if one is willing to sacrifice output.

There is more about this from a historical perspective in a PSW article I wrote a while back:


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