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"dullness" with a TLM103. Questions abt. new 414

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Anonymous
August 9, 2005 2:55:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I've had a TLM103 in active-duty for voice work since early-1998.
(Think we mighta
bought one of the first ones made). Recently I did some A/B'ing with my
416 and
it seems there's been a performance change in the 103 - like, a veiled
quality.

I'm considering sending it in for a check-up... Meantime, anyone have
comparison-
opinions on the 103 vs the new incarnation AKG 414 TL? Primary app. is
voiceover;

The new 414 has impressed me alot in other studios- especially the
radical improvement in self-noise which rivals the 103 to my ear.

Just wondered if anyone had specific thoughts on these two in
particular; A/B'ing experience, et.al.....and specifically with regard
to preference of one over the other for any particular reason, as it
applies to the V.O./narration application.

I've favored the 416 for broadcast'for a few years now, yet in
narration applications have tended to switch to the 103. However in
that same pricerange,
the 'new'akg414 caught my ear! (it's nearly healed now).

Glad to hear any thoughts,

Thanks!

Mike E
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 1:48:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 9 Aug 2005 13:55:55 -0400, mike44455@aol.com wrote
(in article <1123610155.494288.199290@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>):

> I've had a TLM103 in active-duty for voice work since early-1998.
> (Think we mighta
> bought one of the first ones made). Recently I did some A/B'ing with my
> 416 and
> it seems there's been a performance change in the 103 - like, a veiled
> quality.
>
> I'm considering sending it in for a check-up... Meantime, anyone have
> comparison-
> opinions on the 103 vs the new incarnation AKG 414 TL? Primary app. is
> voiceover;
>
> The new 414 has impressed me alot in other studios- especially the
> radical improvement in self-noise which rivals the 103 to my ear.
>
> Just wondered if anyone had specific thoughts on these two in
> particular; A/B'ing experience, et.al.....and specifically with regard
> to preference of one over the other for any particular reason, as it
> applies to the V.O./narration application.
>
> I've favored the 416 for broadcast'for a few years now, yet in
> narration applications have tended to switch to the 103. However in
> that same pricerange,
> the 'new'akg414 caught my ear! (it's nearly healed now).
>
> Glad to hear any thoughts,
>
> Thanks!
>
> Mike E
>

Veiling of the type you're talking about can also be the result of over
aggressive use of compression. Check your settings.

The TLM 103 and 416 develop peaks at different places.

I own two TLM 103 and had the new 414 here a few months back for a review.
The new 414 are pretty much as quiet as the TLM 103. Not so much an issue if
you never compress or limit, but everyone does these days. When you DO
compress and limit, and the material is sparse (like voice) you do hear more
selfnoise.

Regards,

Ty Ford


-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 9:37:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I agree with Ty that it could be a difference in compression, but it could
also be that you've just discovered the better transient response of the
416's small diaphragm. And the increased reach of the interference tube
exaggerates the mouth noises, saliva, polyps, etc. that really show the
transient response off. I LIKE IT.

I also like that very low bass is not such a problem with the 416 as with
the TLM-103. Every time I use the 103 I run a 50 Hz rolloff in software to
take out the rumble of the A/C thru the concrete floor 20 feet away -- and
that's with the Neumann suspension mount on an Atlas boom.

I used to switch to the 103 for narrations also, but now I angle the 416 at
45 degrees, rather than the 10-15 degrees I normally use for spots, and that
takes enough of the edge off to satisfy me.

One thing you may consider is the delivery format. MP3 erases a bit of the
resolution, as does eventual transfer to VHS. But if you're sending out
..wav or .aiff, the 416's hype could be more of a factor in your choices. No
client has ever complained that files I've sent in either format were "too
crisp" with the 416, but the compliments have been many.

For what it's worth, I sold my old TL-II and now regret it. Right after I
made the deal I did a shootout of all my mics, and the results were
surprising. The TL-II was more transparent than the 103 if you ignore the
difference in tone. My particular TL-II did not match the published curves
too well. The rise on the high end transitioned from the mids more smoothly
than the published curves, and the test plot also showed a very broad hump
in the bass from about 300Hz down that gave it a sound that was a little too
cozy if you were less than 8" out. It was as warm on the bottom as the 103,
but in a slightly different way; more emphasis on the upper bass. Low bass
was not quite as problematic with the 414. If I buy one of the new models,
it'll be the "flat" one, and I'll EQ it to my taste, not AKG's. A friend's
ULS had test plots with flat bass. In fact, the plots for the ULS were flat
as a fritter other than the usual slight dip at 2k , and it took only a
little EQ to get a great sound. Live and learn.

Incidentally, self noise was always swamped by room noise for all three
mics. If only self noise were a "problem." Frankly, I've only been in one
studio in 30 years quiet enough for that to really be a factor. In my
studio I always use low-level expansion and even then often mute pauses in
software, and my *product* is dead-quiet.

Jeff Jasper
http://www.jeffjasper.com

Ty Ford wrote:
> Veiling of the type you're talking about can also be the result of over
> aggressive use of compression. Check your settings.
>
> The TLM 103 and 416 develop peaks at different places.
>
> I own two TLM 103 and had the new 414 here a few months back for a review.
> The new 414 are pretty much as quiet as the TLM 103. Not so much an issue
if
> you never compress or limit, but everyone does these days. When you DO
> compress and limit, and the material is sparse (like voice) you do hear
more
> selfnoise.
>
> Regards,
>
> Ty Ford
>
>
> -- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other
audiocentric
> stuff are at www.tyford.com
>
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 6:47:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for the thoughts guys... dunno for certain if i've just suddenly
heard the "real" difference with fresh ears or there actually could be
some physical problem with it. I've swapped out mics on the same cable
and best i can describe it upon checking it again today - is more like
a 'tubbiness' --

Now, we've not done any major adjustment to compression... this is
running through a finalizer that I had the esteemed Jay Rose's
consultation on to tweak it specifically for mp3 file prep - primarily
aimed at broadcast end-usage.
I usually find myself posting .wav/.aif for any long-form/narration
stuff though.

Anyhow, we're going out of the TC into a Lynx L22.

I did this changeout and A/B'd the 416 and 103 again and also even
compared fresh tracks cut on the 103 with some done maybe...a month or
so ago -- and there is a distinct change in character apparent.

Nothing environmentally or processing-wise has been altered.

Changing mics and running the 416 on the same cable and into the same
processing, it's clean and "right" sounding - yet i'm still hearing
this 'in-a-barrel' quality with the 103 using the identical
configuration..which kind of suggests it isn't a condition of altered
processing.

Strange.

I know several folks who've used a 103 for about the same length of
time and none have ever encountered performance changes or noticeable
deterioration from 'age' or "maintenance" issues.

I just wish i could rule out an internal problem before parting with it
for a lengthy Service period. (Kinda nice to have as a back-up and i
don't have a spare so if any "matching" issues come up-- pick-ups,
revisions to
older stuff etc. it could be a little inconvenient).

I appreciate the notes on the 416 Jeff.. I ve found similar success
repositioning and it's been fine for narration.

i'm also fortunate to have a well-treated, acoustically 'sound' booth
(living in the country--sort of-- , helps too) and i find it pretty
easy to
work both mics at a further distance when needed without ambient
problems.


Regards,

MikeE
Anonymous
August 13, 2005 9:11:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

MikeE wrote:

> I did this changeout and A/B'd the 416 and 103 again and also even
> compared fresh tracks cut on the 103 with some done maybe...a month or
> so ago -- and there is a distinct change in character apparent.
>
> Nothing environmentally or processing-wise has been altered.
>
> Changing mics and running the 416 on the same cable and into the same
> processing, it's clean and "right" sounding - yet i'm still hearing
> this 'in-a-barrel' quality with the 103 using the identical
> configuration..which kind of suggests it isn't a condition of altered
> processing.

I was going to ask if you reset the preamp level for the difference in mic
output between the 416 and the 103. But a quick check of the specs revealed
the 416's 25mV/Pa versus the 103's 23mV/Pa shouldn't be so drastic as to
cause the 103 to sound weird. I'd really expected the 103 to be
significantly hotter, and thus hit the Finalizer harder and bring up the
room drastically, but apparently that's not the case at all. And what I've
heard of your demos does not sound like the Finalizer is being abused.

I think you've got a busted mic.

Aren't you using a Red1? I assume you're not using 2 different channels on
it to A/B the mics, perhaps with a pad accidentally engaged on the 416.....?
That's the only variable left that I can come up with. Oh, and hopefully
nobody's played a joke on ol' Mike and turned the back side of the 103 in
your direction, right?

Can you post a link to a test for us?

Jeff Jasper
www.jeffjasper.com
Anonymous
August 13, 2005 1:39:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jeff, yeah the preamp levels winds up being pretty close to the same
for both mics. BTW the demos you
may have heard were not done with this FInalizer involved but a
producer who I outsourced that task to..

I'd be glad to email you some test reads if you'd have time to give a
listen to some dry tracks..
What would you suggest for parameters? Perhaps for starters just :30
or so of something through
the current Finalizer set-up to Peak and converted to a mono 320k mp3?
I usually also do Normalize
within Peak to around -1.0db. In addition maybe another read
unprocessed i.e Finalizer in "bypass" -
with or without Normalization in Peak >to mp3... Of course with the
subjective variables like acoustics
and my particular voice characteristics i don't know how easy it'd be
to judge the 103's functionality based on a test this way but i'd be
happy to get your overall impression of the sound in any event.

Regards,

Mike

PS - Nope nobody turned the mic around on me -- (though this place does
seem haunted sometimes)!
Anonymous
August 13, 2005 10:50:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

MikeE wrote:
> I'd be glad to email you some test reads if you'd have time to give a
> listen to some dry tracks..
> What would you suggest for parameters? Perhaps for starters just :30
> or so of something through
> the current Finalizer set-up to Peak and converted to a mono 320k mp3?
> I usually also do Normalize
> within Peak to around -1.0db. In addition maybe another read
> unprocessed i.e Finalizer in "bypass" -
> with or without Normalization in Peak >to mp3....

Sure, that would be great!

Jeff Jasper
www.jeffjasper.com
!