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comparing mic specifications...

Subject: comparing mic specifications...
From: "Rob Danielson" danielson_rob
Date: Thu Jul 6, 2006 9:57 am (PDT)
At 9:42 AM -0400 7/6/06, Walter Knapp wrote:
>Posted by: "cfmspencer"
>>  yes, I know they are not related,
>>  I was simply seeking a sort of calculated
>>  formula that included what I thought to be
>>  the two most important specifications for
>>  nature recording into a single number for
>>  a relative ranking (of sorts).  certainly
>>  not scientific
>That's really the point, they are two more or less independent
>specifications. As far as single numbers they are probably the most
>important for nature recording. I also consider things like the
>character of the polar patterns to be very important too. In other words
>don't get hung up on just those two numbers, look at the mic as a whole.
>As you can tell from the numbers you are getting combining the two can
>be pretty misleading.

It looks like the chart is partially designed to show how Rane's mic 
pre with a noise floor -128dBU is low enough for almost any mic.  For 
example, the Rode NT1-A's noise output at -118dBu would be 10dBu 
louder-- right at the10dBu separation they suggest in needed for mic 
pre transparency.

The accuracy of the manufacturer's specs are a weak link in using 
numbers in general, but as a reference tool for learning about the 
drawbacks of lower quality mic pre, Chart 3 has been instructive for 

The compound numbers  I get from the chart for Clay's examples,
-98dBu for the Sanken  (20 dBA and 50mV/Pa)
-111 dBu for the Sennheiser (12 dBA and 25 mV/Pa)
seem about right to me.

>The preponderance of discussion in this group seems to have become
>discussing specs or doing simplistic tests.

I believe Clay is in the process of investing in expensive mics.

Have a productive trip to Florida. In the not so far future, I hope 
to have more control over my time. This afternoon I'm pulling off a 
rotten back porch and tonight I'll be meeting with students from 4pm 
to 11pm. I have generated about 500GB's of 24/48K 4 ch surround 
recordings over this last year though. Rob D.

>  It would be good to see a
>lot more discussion of actual field recording, some sound like they
>hardly get out and record, and thats really the point of nature
>recording. I do try and push folks to step out the door and get going on
>nature recording as that's where the majority of the learning and info
>about equipment comes from.
>Putting my money where my mouth is I'm off to Florida for a bit of field
>work today. If you have more questions of me they will have to wait.

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