Microphone comparison in an untreated room

In the next couple of months I will be in a sound-wise unfriendly environment where recordings are very likely to suffer. As we will have to produce “live” there will be no time for post processing. But as I still want to achieve some kind of intelligible sound, I conducted some tests for find a more forgiving microphone for that environment.

I used a 1 minute sample text from Voices (according to the website free to use) to compare the different microphones and their sound (with windows and doors were open).

All microphones have been recorded with the Sound Device MixPre-3 II with HighPass filter (at 80Hz) and NoiseAssist enabled (at -6dB). For the ribbon microphones Rode NTR and Beyerdynamic M160 the HighPass filter was set to 120Hz. All samples have been levelled to -23LUFS.

Microphones tested:

  1. Beyerdynamic M160 (ribbon)
  2. Neumann TLM103 (large condenser)
  3. Rode NT-1 (large condenser)
  4. Rode NTR (ribbon)
  5. StamAudio SA-47 (large condenser, tube)
  6. StamAudio SA-47FET (large condenser)
  7. WarmAudio WA-87 (large condenser)

In the video you see the visual representation of the audio samples, for which I used WaveLab Pro 10.

If I had to pick my favourite mic, I would go for the Beyerdynamic M160 (when listening on the headphones). However, when listening to the samples on a TV, I would go for the Rode NT-1 or the TLM103.

What is your favourite mic and why?

Published by Ronald Rink

I am a senior auditor and consultant at d-fens for business processes and information systems.

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