mic comparison blog

In this blog we will change things up a little, here we are going to try to understand the difference between different overhead microphones and the specific sound they impart.

In this video, we will be comparing

  • Neumann KM 184
neuman 184 frequency curve
  • Sennheiser E 614
Frequency curve
  • Shure SM 57
  • Sennheiser MD 421
Overhead Microphones

I would like you to take a look at each of these overhead microphones and imagine what the sound would be like before you actually listen. The idea of this experiment is to get newcomers to understand what a microphone frequency response means and what that actually entails in terms of how the microphone captures the different frequencies.
Play each section that corresponds to the microphone and then look at the frequency response graph given above and note your observations.

There is a clear audible difference between the condenser microphones as opposed to the dynamic mics. It’s also very apparent from looking at the frequency response that the dynamic microphones, owing to their design, cannot accurately recreate the higher frequency range of the instruments.
Unfortunately our C414 was out of action, when our students did this experiment, which would give us a nice understanding of how large diaphragm microphones work as well.

We can clearly see that the dynamic microphones can’t capture the hi-hats and the crash efficiently, the crash sounds rather dull and lacks that bright sound that you would otherwise hear if you were listening to a drummer play in the room. This doesn’t mean that it’s always a bad thing, if you’re looking for a very dry, dull sounding, lofi drum recording, you would be better off using a dynamic (or better yet, a ribbon microphone) to record the overheads.

The condenser microphones on the other hand sound nice, clean and bright recreating the crash, hats and the brightness of the snare. This gives the drums that edgy aggressive sound.

We are also attaching a drive link of the pro tools session so that people can open the session and listen to the files closely and analyze the sonic characteristics that each microphone imparts.

Drive link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1rb7UFtDRPqV_UMy8T-PUU39wPeer8piV?usp=sharing


Get in touch!

If you guys have another other questions you would like to shoot at me, just shoot me a mail at ronak@gray-spark.com.

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