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recording dialog in a car - comparison test


Matthias Richter
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I did a non-scientific comparison test and recorded some dialog (me talking) in a car (Volvo 850). 

One file is while parking with no engine running, the other file is while driving (50kmh and 100kmh).

 

I have tested:

 

Schoeps CCM41

Schoeps CMC1SOMK41

DPA4097

DPA4098

Sanken CUB01

DPA4063

 

All mics were mounted on the drivers sun-visor but the CUB01 which was mounted between the sun visors on a hard surface.

All mics were transmitted with Zaxcom ZMTs. 

Both Schoeps with a ZMT4 (on 45V).

DPA4097, 4098 and Sanken CUB01 on a ZMT3 (3V)

DPA4063 on a ZMT3phantomV2 (3V)

 

The Schoeps microphones are my first choice on every dialog scene - why should it be any different when recording dialog in a car?

With no engine running the lower noise floor on the Schoeps mics is quite obvious and for me one of the reasons to go with these mics whenever I can.

In the past that sometimes was a bit of a problem, because the CCM needs a cable, which needs to be hidden from camera. 

Ever done a low-rider day depending on day light? Every minutes count. 

Here comes the new CMC1SO preamp on a gooseneck-arm. Again it needs 48V but with Zaxcom´s new ZMT4 (or ZMT3phantom) it’s a perfect match. 

No cables needed. Just tape the transmitter on top of the sun visor and sound is ready to roll. 

 

I noticed the CMC1SO produces a bit more low frequency rumbling while driving than the CCM. But with a bit of roll-off in post (or on your mixer) this won’t be a problem. In fact you can use the Schoeps low cut (CUT60) with the CMC1SO and get rid of the rumbling before it hits the preamp avoiding any overload or hitting the limiter.

 

Both the DPA4097 and 4098 are very handy microphones. The higher noisefloor is covered from the engine / street noise. 

Again: in situations without the engine running I would prefer the Schoeps microphones.

 

If you need a small mic that covers a wider area the CUB01 is an „OK“ tool. It needs a hard surface to be mounted on because its a PZM-mic.

With Schoeps you can also vary the polar pattern by using a different capsule on the CMC1SO and go with a cardioid (MK4) instead or even wider.

 

All the best, Matthias

IMG_3590.jpeg

IMG_3592.jpeg

491455380_comparisoncarmicsVolvoparking.mp3 1984949242_comparisoncarmicsVolvodriving.mp3

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  • Matthias Richter changed the title to recording dialog in a car - comparison test
28 minutes ago, Mattias Larsen said:

Interesting, thank you for sharing! Will have a listen. I have heard people complain about high noise floor on the 4097/98 with the older Zax transmitters, do you feel a difference between the ZMT3 and 4?

haven’t done a AB comparing between ZMT3 (3V) and ZMT4 (5V). Might help with the noise floor too but I think mostly with the dynamic range.

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2 hours ago, Christian Spaeth said:

Thanks for the tests! Would you personally consider the 4097's noisefloor too high for dialogue in a parked car?

I started out with Schoeps but wanted something more easy to deploy and bought the now tested arsenal of mics. 
In the end I always went for the Schoeps whenever possible because I KNEW I could achieve a better result. 

If the one option you have is the 4097 then you probably happy cause you can’t A-B them. And in post they will get rid of the hiss anyway. 

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3 hours ago, drpro said:

 Matthias, over the years I have tried and used the configurations you tested.  For me the Schoeps BLM-03c outperforms all of the others.

ymmv

This has been the “holy grail” for me when it comes to car rigs. It was the first setup that I wasn’t just okay with but actually really liked.

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For the ones using schoeps boundary. Do you use 1 for each actor or just 1 in-between them. I have used it in conjunction with others, but just 1 of them in the roof. But most of the time just 4060 in the visors as its quick to deploy. Not everyone is happy to use some strong tape on the car interior for the schoeps boundary to stay (also the cable can be a bit tricky to hide depending on what the camera is seeing).

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On 9/10/2021 at 10:02 PM, Mattias Larsen said:

For the ones using schoeps boundary. Do you use 1 for each actor or just 1 in-between them. I have used it in conjunction with others, but just 1 of them in the roof. But most of the time just 4060 in the visors as its quick to deploy. Not everyone is happy to use some strong tape on the car interior for the schoeps boundary to stay (also the cable can be a bit tricky to hide depending on what the camera is seeing).

I usually do one over each person. I rigged up a tiny Fiat recently and a single BLM right in the middle worked perfect for that though.

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