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[gear] electret mics & noise (was Marantz PMD620 first impressions

Subject: [gear] electret mics & noise (was Marantz PMD620 first impressions
From: "Rob Danielson" danielson_rob
Date: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:20 pm ((PST))
Hi Jose--
Thanks for using the list archives. Martyn
Stewart has an excellent section on his web site
that covers the principles behind your gear
I'll briefly apply them to the conditions /gear
you ask about below. I will generalize some to
help the relations become clearer.

When the sound source is moderately loud, as with
a symphonic concert, mic placement is usually a
greater determinant than differences in
self-noise performance with most, popular
electret mics. With loud music and near-to-stage
mic placement, one should be able to make fairly
noise-free recordings.  If you have to turn-up
the recorder gain above ~1/2 way-- as with the
music that is performed at low volume or you are
recording from considerable distance-- all
electret mics are likely to contribute at least
some, audible noise.

The MM-BSM-8 mic is rated at 34 dB(A) self-noise.
Recordings made with mics that have somewhat
lower self-noise like the MKE-2 [28dB(A)] or the
Shure WL-183 [22.5dB(A)]  might be preferable--
but don't expect a huge improvement.

You do not need to invest a lot of money on a
recorder to use with electret mics. The noise
inherent in the microphone preamp of many older,
MD recorders, for example, is low enough to be
obscured by the self-noise produced by electret
mics.  For reference, you would need mics with
around 12dB(A) self-noise* to begin to take
advantage of a more expensive recorder with very
low-noise mic pres like a Fostex FR-2LE.  Rob D.

* Which is considerably lower than all electret
mics I know of besides the EMKS-23's which
might(?) be border-line with ~14dB(A) self noise.

=3D =3D =3D  =3D

At 11:00 PM +0000 12/12/07, argentino_sf wrote:
>Dear all,
>I have been reading many posts about preamp noise and microphones
>self-noise (including an interesting thread "new recorder - mic pre
>factors" =96
>but I still cannot figure out what gear to buy.
>I have narrowed to Marantz PMD-620 and Microphone Madness MM-BSM-8 in
>ear binaural mics, with stock capsules (not Sennheiser MKE-2
>capsules =96
>My newbie questions are:
>(a) If I were to record chamber music at a concert hall with a
>Marantz PMD-620 + MM-BSM-8, there would be any perceptible hiss from
>the mics or preamps?
>(b) There would be a lesser amount of hiss with MKE-2 Sennheiser
>capsules option?
>(c) If a choose MKE-2 Sennheiser capsules, would be better to buy,
>for instance, a Sony PCM-D50 (which I presume has a better preamp
>than PMD-620)? Would the MKE2 self-noise (~27dB) be capable of
>masking the flash recorder preamp?
>(d) Is there any in-ear binaural mic with lower self-noise?
>I would appreciate any comments, given the fact that I live in Brazil
>and is very hard to test those new devices here.
>Best regards,
>Jose Luis
>>  Hi JM--
>>  In terms of noise performance, the AT-822's "self-noise" [~24dB(A)]
>>  is likely to be appreciably louder and "mask" much or all of the
>>  preamps' noise associated with all of these recorders unless the
>>  PMD620 is much noisier than its predecessors (unlikely). The same
>>  would probably be true for many, older MD recorders. Based on some
>>  tests with Hi-MD mic pres, one could begin to hear some preamp
>>  performance differences when the mics' self noise is lowered into
>  > realm of 12dB(A). Rob D.


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