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Schoeps CMD-2U

It's the digital version of the Schoeps Colette CMC amplifiers.

Anybody use it? There's no specific section about it on the Schoeps website. However, in Coffey magazine they seem to indicate that it is more resistant to humidity. With all the talk of the SuperCMIT being resistant to humidity, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about this one.

I've searched on the web but info's pretty slim.

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I'm curious myself,

a search for CMD 2 Ug provides very little in the way of info, also notably missing from "the usual suspects" offerings online to purchase,

I'd love to hear some real-world anecdotal information, but I'd be just as comforted knowing it were even available, I'd rent from anywhere to try it for a day in an on-set environment,

i might even <HAT> tomorrow...

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It looks like it's just you and me. Even Schoeps' own website lacks info about it.... 

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I am interested in it, too, but can't find out much about it, either. And it's not in Schoeps website anymore (it used to be), which makes think they have discontinued it

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I am interested in it, too, but can't find out much about it, either. And it's not in Schoeps website anymore (it used to be), which makes think they have discontinued it

 

DISCONTINUED??? NOOOO!  :(

 

 

Hopefully not though. 

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My guess is that they are transitioning their products from mode 1 to mode 2.  I think they have found as well as others, that mode 1 is too limiting, especially in the production environment that Schoeps products are a popular tool for.

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What do you mean by mode 2? AES42 mode?

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I have no idea where I read this, but I think that the Schoeps CMD did not offer the full capabilities of a digital microphone in some way. Might be what this mode thing is. 

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That's basically the difference between mode 1 and mode 2.  With Mode 1, you can only get a fixed gain output from the AES42 converter, in this case the CMD or the output of a CMIT / SuperCMIT.  Any gain adjustments have to be done prior to the digital capsule.  With mode 2, it supports the "preamp" or more correctly the digital receiver to interpret the digital data into a 24 bit signal so that the word can be truncated in a way as to allow a gain range to be variably selected, more or less equivalent to applying analog gain trim or boost to the signal.  There are also additional control features incorporated such as filters and phase.  Neumann and Sennheiser digital offering support mode 2.  Schoeps supports mode 1.  I don't know for a fact that Schoeps is pursuing this, it is just conjecture on my part.

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I just got off the phone with Schoeps. Nice guys! Tom, you are pretty much correct. They did pull the CMD2, because they weren't entirely happy with it anymore. They felt it didn't perform well enough on quiet sources in particular. Also it wasn't perceived well by the buyers, and they didn't sell a lot of units. They still have some units left, which they are selling off, but they don't want to advertise for it anymore. So if anyone is interested you can buy one from them directly. They come pre-configured with a 30dB boost, but you can ask them to set it to a different level.

 

They are working on a successor, but haven't yet set a release date, but it will be sometime this year. It will be a mode 2 model, with various options, that they haven't yet decided on. I suppose if anyone's got a great idea, now would be the time to tell them about it. The guy on the phone said to me (once I 'd told him that I do mostly film stuff) that he would strongly recommend holding out for the new model, it will be far more versatile.

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Wow, Thanks so much Constantine!

The value of the <HAT> :))

Thanks for sharing with us,

Any word of a digital CCM model?

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Another note is that AFAIK the only box suitable for field use which supports AES42 mode 2 is the Neumann DMI-2 portable.  None of the SD or Zaxcom recorders do at the moment.  Some of the Digital modules (Neumann and Sennheiser included) also include digital low cut filter which can be controlled over mode 2 as well

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Any word of a digital CCM model?

Oh no, I knew I forgot something. I was already on the phone with them for almost 30 minutes. So I don't know. But you could instead use an active cable on a colette capsule and then put a digital preamp on that, but that's of course not the same, especially when trying to put it in a zeppelin. I did talk to him about using an analogue fig.8 mic on the SuperCMIT for M/S, though. He said that the preset 1 has a pretty steady delay so if you delay the S channel accordingly it should be fine. With preset 2 he was less sure, as its processing delay varies depending on the actual DNR it's doing. Sometimes this may even vary between frequencies. He also said that this is only strictly speaking, when following the M/S rules by the letter. You will still get "some room" even if you don't know the precise delay values.

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I just got off the phone with Schoeps. Nice guys! Tom, you are pretty much correct. They did pull the CMD2, because they weren't entirely happy with it anymore. They felt it didn't perform well enough on quiet sources in particular. Also it wasn't perceived well by the buyers, and they didn't sell a lot of units. They still have some units left, which they are selling off, but they don't want to advertise for it anymore. So if anyone is interested you can buy one from them directly. They come pre-configured with a 30dB boost, but you can ask them to set it to a different level.

 

They are working on a successor, but haven't yet set a release date, but it will be sometime this year. It will be a mode 2 model, with various options, that they haven't yet decided on. I suppose if anyone's got a great idea, now would be the time to tell them about it. The guy on the phone said to me (once I 'd told him that I do mostly film stuff) that he would strongly recommend holding out for the new model, it will be far more versatile.

 

Wow you went above and beyond. Very impressive. 

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still no news about the successor of the CMD... 

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still no news about the successor of the CMD...

No. In fact, I spoke to someone from Schoeps at a Conference last year and he sounded like this had really low priority at Schoeps at the moment. He was very young and maybe not as savvy about Schoeps policy as he pretended, but still. He asked me why I thought I needed the digital preamp and to be honest I had some trouble answering that. Cleaner signal path - maybe. Impervious to EMI - ok, but how relevant is that in real life? Higher dynamic range? No, in fact, Sennheiser's digital pre for the 8000 series has less than the analog version.

So if this guy's to be believed, it's not coming soon...

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Higher dynamic range? No, in fact, Sennheiser's digital pre for the 8000 series has less than the analog version.

So if this guy's to be believed, it's not coming soon...

I heard something quite similar recently from a former Schoeps engineer. Main problem seems to be that the digital preamp has less dynamic range than the analog one. He also said that one of the main reasons in favor of the digital one is that RFI will never happen with it. But if I interpret it right, they don't really believe (anymore?) that the digital microphone is going to make analog mics obsolete.

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During the final phase of the development of the CMD 2U I have been testing it in the field. I found the 10 dB gain mode unusable, and too noisy. In the field I had no way to add more digital gain to the low output of the microphone, and I simply could not hear well enough what I was recording from my headphone. In the beginning designer Christian Langen did not agree with me, his opinion was the noise wasn't a problem, and the + 10 version allowed for sound levels up to 135 dBA SPL. A typical designer, non-listener judgement. Schoeps made a + 30 dB version for me, and I found that much more usable. The +10 version, although more noisy was sounding cleaner.  The +30dB version sounded warmer, which either is due the lower noise, or because of higher amount of harmonic distortion. The chip which was used ran on very low voltage and took not much current. I have looked up my old e-mail converstions with Langen, but I cannot find the chip model anymore. What I Iiked about the digital CMD was it sounded more pleasant to my ears than a CMC5 with Lake People V26 preamps. But the difference is minimal, probably the most striking was the tighter bass. Since every AD chip is stereo, I did not understand why the designer has not inplemented two settings of gain, e.g. +10 and +30, and use the 2 channels available. Since AES digital format is a stereo output, the recorder can record the low gain signal and the high gain signal simultaneously, and the sound engineer can decide in post which channel to use. If the signal is loud and distorted in channel 2, channel 1 can be used. If the signal is low, and channel 1 is too noisy, channel 2 can be used. Neumann avoids this problem by using two channels, and switch automatically between the two settings and compensate for the differences in the output, this is called gain staging, invented or first used in the early 90s by Prism Sound. The Beyer Dynamic MCD 100 also works with gain staging by combinng two 18 bit converers into a 22 bit dynamic range. I never bought the CMD 2U, because I heard a new version following the new standard for digital microphones was on its way, but three years later nothing has happened. 

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