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Neumann Digital Mics for Film Production


sinnlicht
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Yes, I think the manufacturers were kind if unimpressed by these digital microphones. Sennheiser support theirs poorly, and it’s not a great product to begin with, Schoeps have even discontinued theirs, DPA have never tried (afaik). Only Neumann have really been keeping at it. The Sennheiser digital module had appalling specs (no better or worse than the analog counterpart), so that really didn’t help. 

 

 

9 hours ago, igomarsound said:

"so what you could try, is to buy an neumann DMI interface and change the samplerate yourself via the DSP and enjoy the full experience with this wonderful items"

 

This is strange. When I bought my Neumann mics, the dealer asked me which sample rate I wanted them set at. As I also bought a DMI-2 it didn’t matter much to me. 

So you don’t have to buy the DMI-2, just find someone who owns one. The thing is though, it won’t help with your noise issue, even if the samplerate converter is the cause (which I doubt). Even a 48k signal will be re-sampled at 48k in an unclocked system. Since you can’t clock the mics without the DMI-2, there’s not much you can do. Except, you can try with one mic, set your recorder to 44.1 and let it clock itself to the AES input, which some recorders will do. That way, your system will be locked to the mic‘s clock and there won’t be an SRC in play and you can find out if the sound improves. 

If it does, find a DMI-2 to change the samplerate of the mic and then always lock to your digital mic. However, if you use more than one digital mic, the second one will be going through the SRC again. You can ask any dealer who sells these mics to do this for You

On short cable runs, a 110 Ohm cable is not required. 

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Hi. I have used KM-D with 184 and 185 a few times on the SD 633. I was stunned about its appearant "noiselessness" and it's still my favourite for sitdown interviews.

For boom, I found it too sensitive and experienced some digital artifacts and dropouts from time to time when swinging around fast. It needs careful treatment all the time and is - to me - therefore not really suitable for boom work.

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14 minutes ago, Mungo said:

Hi. I have used KM-D with 184 and 185 a few times on the SD 633. I was stunned about its appearant "noiselessness" and it's still my favourite for sitdown interviews.

For boom, I found it too sensitive and experienced some digital artifacts and dropouts from time to time when swinging around fast. It needs careful treatment all the time and is - to me - therefore not really suitable for boom work.

 

Dear Mungo, any experience with booming KM D + 184/5 while using the DMI-2?

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On 8/11/2019 at 1:34 AM, sinnlicht said:

 

I am curious about any specific experience re handling noise impact using the high pass filter in the RCS/KM D 185/120 M/S configuration vs an analog high pass filter in your recorder?

 

I don’t think a makes a difference whatsoever. In the digital mic the low cut happens in the DSP once the signal has been digitized. In the recorder this would probably be the same. It might be different if it happened in the analog part of a mic, mostly to protect the limiter, which might engage upon infrasound, so a low cut on the mic is probably most effective, but other than that, I don’t see a significant difference. 

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I have a pair of KM184D mics, the DMI-2 portable unit and a KK120 Fig.8 capsule. Simon also has a pair of the KM184Ds as we bought them from the same company, who'd bought a load from Sennheiser under the mistaken impression that they could connect them directly to a digital mixing desk, and consequently sold them off cheap. I bought two sets to do IRT cross surround recordings and found a couple of DMI-2s in stores where no-one knew what they were, so sold them to me for very little money. Following the IRT cross experiment, which was impressive, but impractical for outdoor work, I sold on one pair and the DMI and bought the KK120 so I could do fully digital M/S recording. For me, the most useful part of the system is the programming software which allows you to configure the microphone for different sample rates, (happy to reconfigure our Swiss friend's Sennheiser if he wants to send it over), LF roll-off, limiter, etc. 

 

The M/S set-up works very nicely and is pretty much noise free, so very happy with that. If I could afford it, I'd buy a couple of the KK133 capsules for purist music recording, but at their current price, I think I'll stick with my Schoeps.

 

I did initially have a problem with the direct connection to my 788T with the breakout cable that came with it and, thanks to information here, was able to determine that the breakout cable I had was an early version and didn't provide the necessary power to the mics. Sound Devices sent over a new cable to me in the UK on a Friday, which arrived from the USA the following Monday  - no charge. Superb service.

 

All the best,

 

John

 

P.S. Neumann updated software and firmware for all ther digital microphone systems earlier this year.

 

 

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Apologies - late arrival to the party and my name has already been mentioned. I should explain my motives and experiences with digital microphones......

 

I was a Zaxcom recorder and mixer user since the Deva 1. I upgraded the Deva 1 to a Deva 2, then had a Deva 5, then a 5.8. I had one of the standalone Zaxcom mixers (sorry - it’s been a long day and I am suffering from brain fade), not the fader panel...... Anyway - the early Deva recorders, and the stand alone mixer, in my experience, picked up a lot of hums and buzzes from other electrical cables around the set. If the wire to my analogue boom mics went anywhere near an HMI lighting head lead, or a dimmed tungsten light power lead, I would be in a world of yummy buzzy awfulness. I had to find a solution. At the time I was using Schoeps CMITs as my main boom mics. Schoeps announced the Super CMIT and I had an idea...... if I could use a digital mic, then the hums and buzzes would presumably be gone forever. I tried a Super CMIT with the Schoeps AES 42 powering box (which outputted AES 3 iirc) and it was an instant solution...... I have never had a single buzz or hum on set since then.....

 

After some time I got bothered by the Super CMITs - I could often hear the algorithm, and also in quiet situations, when I thought the noise cancelling would be useful, the self noise of the mic (or the processor) was, for me, unacceptable. I thin tried the Neumann KM81D mics, through a DMI2 box.  This was my revelation - a really warm and lovely sounding mic, through a box that gave me IP gain control, which is brilliant for the whisper and shout scenes. I have stuck with the Neumann for probably 5 years or more now - I love them.

 

Currently I use the KM81Ds most often through Zaxcom 743 plug on transmitters. No need for the DMI2 anymore, though it is still on the trolley.

 

Another major plus for digital mics.... I do a few shoot every year on big live shows - arenas etc... We have to do good sounding audience rigs. Previously we have had to rig more mics than we will need, knowing that some will be really buzzy once they get winched up into the lighting rig, or once the lighting cables go in over our rig. Often you only ever find out once the show lighting gets turned on. NOT ANY MORE - no lighting induced hums or buzzes ever. Digital mics wipe this out, and for this they are brilliant.

 

John tipped me off for the cheap KM184Ds - they sound gorgeous, and make a brilliant crossed cardioid pair. I love them - such a lovely warm sound!!!!

 

Must dash - it is late and I need sleep.

 

Kindest regards,

 

Simon B

 

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  • 7 months later...
Quote

The digital Neumann microphone technology (Solution-D) will no longer be part of the Neumann product portfolio from 2021. Last order date for dealers will be 31 July 2020. After that, the products will be available as long as stock lasts. Service for all Solution-D hardware products is guaranteed until 31 Dec 2030.

https://en-de.neumann.com/kmr-81-d

 

I was very curious to read that digital microphones could be used to achieve an even better M/S setup, but when I read on the Neumann website that everything might be discontinued, it made me wonder. Does anyone know the reason for that?

 

And if you would to use a Sonosax R4+, for example, would you still have all the benefits that were mentioned?

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Hi,

Having spoken extensively with Medzid Veseli and after several meetings with the engineers personally responsible for the development of these digital mics at Neumann Berlin, the issue was that Neuman did not invest enough money and effort in promoting this solution. Sennheiser, who reps Neumann in the US has done an abysmal job of supporting the digital solutions, particularly for sound mixers. The irony is the system I listed in the opening posts was designed for doc and run and gun film production. As I wrote in my previous posts, I could find no where on the East Coast to even demo or test a complete system. No distributor/retailer in the US I have spoken to knows anything about this system.

The system is not discontinued per se but rather on a production on demand basis, as well the existing new and demo stock. They have all the parts and have no intention of abandoning support. The whole point of starting this thread was to make people aware of the fact that they could speak to Medzid at Neumann Berlin directly and he would organize both sales and support, technical or otherwise.

Our m/s experience has proven its advantages and we would not go back to analog for our purposes.

Someone else will have to chime in about the R4+, as I have no familiarity with that.

Richard

 

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2 hours ago, sinnlicht said:

the issue was that Neuman did not invest enough money and effort in promoting this solution.

 

It could be a marketing issue. Perhaps Neumann decided to spend the money instead promoting their studio monitors, which seem fairly well received. Would be interesting to compare the marketing budgets for the studio monitors to that of their digital mics. Or perhaps their digital mics didn't address a real need for enough people. As people say, perhaps they were a solution in search of a problem.

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