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The Pro Audio Suite

A must listen Podcast if you're in audio or voice over. Our panel features industry professionals, George 'The Tech' Whittam, Robert 'Source Connect' Marshall, Andrew 'Realtime Casting' Peters and Darren 'Voodoo Sound' Robertson, plus special guests.

Each week we dive into topics that will resonate with Professionals and home studio owner alike...

Aug 28, 2023

Perhaps it's a quirk in your 416 that sits perfectly with your voice. Is it an anomaly in your room that adds that special something to your voice, or is it where you position the mic that just has you humming? 

A signature sound isn't essential, but most engineers have one (achieved through compression and eq admittedly). There's no reason your home studio can't have one too. "As long as it sounds good, it is good" as the saying goes...

A big shout out to our sponsors, Austrian Audio and Tri Booth. Both these companies are providers of QUALITY Audio Gear (we wouldn't partner with them unless they were), so please, if you're in the market for some new kit, do us a solid and check out their products, and be sure to tell em "Robbo, George, Robert, and AP sent you"... As a part of their generous support of our show, Tri Booth is offering $200 off a brand-new booth when you use the code TRIPAP200. So get onto their website now and secure your new booth...


And if you're in the market for a new Mic or killer pair of headphones, check out Austrian Audio. They've got a great range of top-shelf gear..

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“When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional.”

Hunter S Thompson

#rode #rodemicrophones

In this episode of Pro Audio Suite, industry professionals George Wittam, Robert Marshall, Andrew Peters, and Darren Robbo Robertson, discuss crucial aspects of audio engineering. The show offers valuable insights into microphone usage, including a unique story about an unusual microphone that became a signature sound for its user despite initial concerns over its broken state. The hosts stress the personal nature of microphone choice while exploring factors that affect sound quality, from room attributes to mic placement. They specifically mention the unique attributes of the U 87 cardioid and 818 microphones. They also promote a deal on Tribooth using the code PAP 200 and recommend their audio services. Geological technical support and ongoing discussions are available through a dedicated Facebook group. For more information about Pro Audio Suite's hosts and their services, listeners can visit

#ProAudioTips #UniqueMicrophoneSounds #TechTalkWithProAudioSuite
[00:00:00] Intro: Meet the Pro Audio Suite Team
[00:00:30] Special Offer: Discounted Tribooth & Personalized Demo 
[00:01:11] Segment: George Talks About Unique Mic Problems 
[00:02:50] Tips: Importance of Room & Mic Placement
[00:09:48] Mic Review: The Magic of U 87 Cardioid  
[00:14:50] Comparison: Eight One Eight vs Neumann TLM 170 R
[00:19:22] Closing: Thanks and Invitation to Join our Community
Speaker A: Y'all ready?,Speaker B: Be history.,Speaker C: Get started.,: Welcome.,Speaker C: Hi. Hi. Hello, everyone, to the Pro Audio Suite.,: These guys are professional and motivated with tech. To the Vo stars George Wittam, founder of Source Elements Robert Marshall, international audio engineer Darren Robbo Robertson and global voice Andrew Peters. Thanks to Triboo Austrian audio making passion heard. Source elements. George the tech. Wittam and robbo and AP's. International demo. To find out more about us, check thepro,Speaker C: Learn up. Learner. Here we go.,Speaker A: Here you go. Ready?,: Welcome to another Pro audio suite. We're your guests, Robo, Andrew and George. And I'm Robert. And you can get a good deal on a tribooth with PAP 200. And you should have Andrew and Robbo do your demo, by the way, and let's get on with it.,: Okay. It's actually trip 200, but yeah, nice work there, Robert. You missed your calling there.,Speaker B: I tell you what, jesus, you were.,: Looking so good there for a minute and you just fell at the bloody.,Speaker B: I think your job's safe, AP.,: Yeah, you call this a job? Really high binded. Now, George, you were telling us about an experience, once again at one voice with somebody who had a microphone that people were complaining about being broken, but it's kind of become his sound. What was the story?,Speaker A: Yeah, he told me that and again, I haven't heard this mic yet, so I would like to hear it at some point. I told him, hey, give me the audio and I should give him credit. I think maybe I shouldn't. Yeah, no, I should give him credit. It was Chad Fisher and he's worked with me in the past. I think he just finished building a studio, too, that looked pretty impressive. But he said that he's got a 416 or 41 six. That is sounding odd. According to folks that he has sent the audio to that know the mic. He has said that they were concerned that maybe something is up with that mic. And I said, did you buy it used? Was it damaged? Was it counterfeit? All those things could be true. He said, no, I bought it from one of the big companies. The big companies. And I said fascinating. Well, you could certainly reach out to them and ask them to give you another one and exchange it. Or you could look at this as a unique experience and realize that this is the mic that you're booking on and that people like the sound and you may not want to muck with it. So I said, literally, just engrave your initials in that thing. And this is your mic. It's your unique sound. And if you want to get another one because you want to have a proper one or whatever, a regular one, go for it. But this is a unique mic for you. Don't mess with it. Does anybody else have a mic with a quirk or character that they choose to keep using that you know?,: Yeah, well, I was going to say I won't mention the name because I don't want us to get sued or anything. But we've talked about this off air quite a lot. But a very famous American record producer has an AKG C Twelve an original C Twelve which was sent to AKG for testing when they were building the capsule which has now become the Austrian Audio Capsule, the CKR Twelve. Anyway, this famous record producer's C Twelve, which he absolutely loved, he loved used it on everything, was actually broken, but he had no idea that it was broken. He just loved the sound of this broken microphone.,Speaker B: That's the beauty of audio, though, isn't it, is that beauty is in the ear of the beholder. And if he loved the sound that that mic made, it doesn't make him any less or anything else. Just a sound he liked. And that was his sound. So good on him.,: I reckon if it sounds good, it is good, right?,: It is, exactly. Because nothing sounds the same and it's funny. People go, oh well, I've got a U 67 and blah, blah, blah. It's like does it sound like any other U 67? Probably not. I doubt it very much.,Speaker B: I don't know whether George has any experience with this, but I've had sessions with people who've said, pick your amazing multi thousand dollar mic, it could be any of them. They go, I've got a such and such, and you hear them in the room that they're in or where they've got it placed or whatever, and it sounds like shit. Well, I'd rather, to be quite honest have you got a four one six.,: That we can just thing is the room yeah, exactly. That's classic.,: Yeah, the room is key, but also it's like what complements your voice?,Speaker B: What defines your sound.,: And if you're.,: Working it's true, a mic is a very personal choice.,Speaker A: The room is key, but the mic placement is key. And it depends a lot on the kind of mic. I do find that the shotgun mic, 40 116 especially, is tricky to get the placement really awesome and the mic will change its sound quite a lot based on placement. Whereas a large diaphragm condenser cardioid mic will not change nearly as drastically based on the placement. It will certainly increase proximity effect if you get too close, but you can move quite a bit, side to side, up and down without a huge change.,: In the sound, without falling in different places of the pickup pattern. Absolutely. I mean, that's one of the things about a 41 six is you have to stay consistently in front of it because it drops I mean, that's the whole point is it drops off significantly as you get to the side. But the problem is that that's not linear, it's colored, it's different when you get it doesn't drop off evenly.,Speaker A: Yeah. And it has this weird pickup nodes on the sides of the mic. If you look at the pickup pattern.,: Or in the back, if you look.,Speaker A: At the pickup pattern, polar pattern, I should say diagram, you'll see it looks almost like a sword because it's long in the top, short has a tail on the bottom and these little things that stick out on the side. So it's definitely an OD pickup pattern.,: Out of interest. So if you're setting up a 41 six, if you imagine the talent standing in front of the microphone, where do you actually place the mic and what area of the person do you point the mic at?,: The nose, just above the plosive line.,Speaker A: I mean, the tip of the mic is right above the plosive line, but where is it aiming?,: Yeah, at the mouth, basically. But just keep the diaphragm away from the gush of air from the plosives.,: Because I've been to so many different studios where the 41 six is pretty well everywhere anyway in this business and there is no consistency with the way the engineers set up the mic.,Speaker B: Well, see, every engineer's got his own sound, too. Every engineer's got his own preference for where the MIC's aiming and all that sort of stuff.,: It kind of depends on where you are. If you're in a horrible sounding booth, then just get into it and try to nullify the booth compared to the ratio of your voice. And then you can just EQ out the proximity effect because the 40 116, being a shotgun, has quite a big proximity effect to it.,Speaker A: It's still a different it's still not quite the big proximity effect, though you're going to get from a large diaphragm cardioid because you can get so much closer to the capsule.,: Well, because the capsule is way up the microphone in the 416 yeah.,Speaker A: It's not near the tip. It's up halfway up the tube of the mic.,: Right. If you were able to virtually get your mouth there, then the proximity effect would probably be insane.,Speaker A: Oh, for sure. Well, if you use a Harvard cardioid or cardioid version of that mic, which would be the I guess they didn't make one, but the newer series, the MKH no, the is it called the MKH 80 series 80208 030-804-0805.,: It's probably like MKH 20. Maybe one of those might be similar to the yeah.,Speaker A: Or Neumann 184 or any one of those pencil mics. The proximity effect is massive, but you just have to be really careful not to pop the mic because the capsule is right there, really easy to pop.,: There is no filter. There's nothing there at all.,: Sounds a bit like you and I, Robert. No filter.,: Tourette's. Tourette's, Mike.,: Yeah, but it's funny, the 41 six, I've had them directly in front of me pointing, as you said, above the sort of forehead kind of thing, pointing to the mouth. I've had them pointing to the chest, I've had them coming in from the side, all sorts of different pointing to the chest.,: Chest, yeah.,Speaker B: Wow.,: I've seen people who do the side thing and the sort of nose thing. If you want to thin it out, you just kind of get it away from the mouth and a little bit more on the head and they'll get a little bit brighter for you. But I've not seen the chest.,: Yeah, that was years ago. I remember someone pointing and they had it set up in front of me and it was like basically probably about almost a foot away from my head and pointing down past my face.,: Excuse me, pointing at your chest?,: Yeah, my laundry is done. Yeah, pointing at my chest must have been so woofy. It was certainly bassy, that's for sure.,: I mean, that's the problem that you have when you have, like, a lavalier mic that's too far under the chin and you lose all the top, all the high end. You have to kind of clip a lavalier mic a little bit lower down, so you get some because if not, the chin creates an acoustic shadow of the s's. And the other detail.,Speaker A: I was in a booth today, one of my clients whose studio designed, and he has a 41 six and a U 87. And he says sometimes I'll go to the U 87 because I just kind of get mic fatigue working on a 41 six all the time because of its tiny sweet spot and all this stuff. And I said, hey, by the way, he's like, but sometimes I use that mic and I hear a little bit too much reflection off the console below and display next to the mic, et cetera, et cetera. And I said, well, do you know about the secret microphone that's inside of U 87? He's like and I said, Flick the little switch on the front to figure eight. And he tried it and he was.,: Like, Whoa, drop everything from the holy cow, that's crazy.,Speaker A: I said, now stand on the side and talk into it. And it was like he was blown away. I said, yeah, this is an entirely different mic and a different sound from the U 87 cardioid or the 41 six. Really, it's a third mic you already had, you just didn't know and try it out and experiment.,: It's a much softer sound with a bigger proximity.,Speaker A: It's more ribbon like, dare I say.,: I mean, the ribbon mics really cancel out the side because the problem with what do you call it, the figure eight on the U 87 is it's two capsules and they are a little bit apart, right? So they don't cancel out at all frequencies. But you get a ribbon mic, that thing is infinitely thin and it really does just vanish to the side.,Speaker A: But I'll tell you, you don't need it to fully vanish to be an advantage. If you have anything reflective below or to the side, it will pretty well kill that. It's great. It just focuses the sound. I was like, Check this out. And he was like, Whoa, that's really cool.,: You've seen those diagrams where they go through the polar patterns and you can see them continuous because people think of polar patterns as being discreet. But really polar patterns are a continuum from omni to cardioid. And then it goes to figure eight. And in there like your hypercardioid is kind of between a figure eight and a cardioid, for example, I think. And that's why the hypercardioid's got the node in the back. And so it's not like a good tube mic. If you've played with a good tube mic, the polar pattern is a continuous knob.,Speaker A: That's right, yeah.,: And some of the better pencil mics are offered in what they call the wide cardioid.,Speaker A: Oh, yeah.,: And those are very natural sounding. They kind of have the naturalness of more close to the naturalness of an omni with still some focus, some proximity effect. A little bit. Yeah. You can't avoid it, but yeah, it's like polar patterns are not one, two, three, there's an infinite number between the.,: Omni and but the thing I actually talk about polar patterns and stuff like that. If you have the OC eight, one eight and you get the dongle that patches into the back, even better. Yeah.,: You can play with the polar patterns on a frequency basis with that polar pattern.,: Well, you're talking about pretty cool. The other part when you've used the two XLRs but this is if you.,: Use the two capsules.,: Yeah, but if you use the dongle, the bluetooth dongle and use the app on your phone, it's not just like clicking from one pattern to another, you're just sliding from one pattern to another.,: Right.,: So you can do a mix of so I'm talking about yeah, which is.,: What I'm talking about. But even better, you can record both of them and then in your daw after the fact, you can play with the polar pattern after you record yeah.,: But that's if you're using the two USBs not USBs, yes, the two XLRs.,: And then you have to use the plugin afterwards.,: But the plugin different plugin. If you get the bluetooth dongle that goes in the back of the mic, then you get a plugin that goes on your phone and it just gives you the polar pattern.,: That's what it is.,: The idea is that if the MIC's up on a boom pole, instead of bringing the thing backwards and forwards, you can do it from your phone.,: So the advantage of that multi frequency polar pattern designer is you could have a booth with a problematic low end, and especially in a corner. Maybe it's the only corner that you can put the mic where you have enough space, but you can treat the low frequency with, say, a figure eight. Get the mic so it rejects the weird bounce back to the side. And then in the upper frequencies, you can open them up to a cardioid or a wide cardioid where it sounds more natural, gives you a little bit more space to move about without having such a critical sweet spot on the microphone. And you can kind of have the benefits of a figure eight where you need it, have the benefits of a cardioid and a wide cardioid where you need them, and really play around with the polar pattern to fit your exact need, instead of just having one polar pattern across the whole spectrum. And then you have to deal with the nonlinearities where you don't want them to be.,: It'd be good if you could actually use that thing post or pre print, so you could actually set and forget if you got a trouble. Oh, you can do it. I've never tried it.,: Well, you can just record both capsules and then you can put the plugin on there and design it away. So if you're always recording both, in fact, you could even do it where you could automate the plugin. So on certain words, if you go really low, you could even change the where were we parameters if you were really going crazy. But yeah, you can definitely put that plugin on a post process. But to do that and make use of it, you have to record both capsules separately.,: Correct.,: You have to use the two XLRs. But that's the whole point of that Mike, is that it is literally that flexible.,: Yeah. I still like the app, though, that I find really handy. Instead of clicking from one pattern to another, you can actually just slide across an infinite amount of mixtures of everything.,: Like the old classic tube mics.,: Exactly. Yeah, exactly.,: You say it's a great mic when you look at the price point.,Speaker B: Well, absolutely. And also we're talking about your distinctive sound. That polar pattern thing sort of gives you the chance to make as well, doesn't it?,Speaker A: Really?,: That's right, indeed.,Speaker A: If you use the Polar designer Bluetooth tool, then it's locked into that fifth setting. It has a magic fifth setting that becomes your pattern.,: You can set it yeah, it's in.,Speaker A: The firmware, which is great.,: Does it do it by the frequencies, too, or is it just by the so you have to use the plugin to get the frequency per frequency. That'd be amazing if you could bake it in there. And then you just have your own microphone, your sound, but still like what I was going to say, the price point of the eight one eight. And you look at it compared to like a U 87.,Speaker A: Actually, a better mic to compare it to is actually the Neumann TLM 170 R. And I mentioned that one because that one's come up a little bit more often. One of my clients bought one a while ago and she hasn't used it yet. And she said, I bought it because Disney uses it and she does a lot of Disney. So I said I was wondering why. So I looked at the frequency response of the 170 R and I saw it was definitely a lot more of a flat response. It's much flatter. And so they want that really just uncolored sound. But that's a multi pattern with more choices. The U 87 just has the classic figure eight omni and card. This one's got more inter, it's got hyper cardioid and a few other things. And it's not a bargain mic.,: 123456 no use. That thing is $2,000. It's more money used than the eight one eight.,Speaker A: It's still quite spendy on the Neumann in the Neumann lineup. And the only thing that competes from Neumann on price would be the 107, I think is what it's called TLM 107.,: But that's a single pattern.,Speaker A: I think that's the multi pattern one. They have a TLM series or is it a 104?,: The 107 is around at least used. It's around 1300 or $1,200.,Speaker A: That's a multi pattern, though, right? I don't see yeah, that's the multi pattern. It's got a funky little digital control joystick on it. It's really OD on the back of the mic.,: Is that how it does its it's.,Speaker A: Actually a multifunction joystick and that controls the pad high pass and polar pattern by flicking the stick around. And I'd say in terms of quality, it's somewhere in the 103 to 100 and it actually might be more like the 102 in terms of what capsule it uses and stuff. So, yeah, that's the only thing that's in any way similar to the 12345 pattern.,: It's about the same price point as an eight one eight, but a little more.,Speaker A: It's a bit more.,: Yeah, it's $200 more or so.,: Yeah.,Speaker A: So bang for the buck. That eight one eight is still it's outstanding. Outstanding.,: Yeah. It really is a killer mic.,Speaker B: I'm just looking at the Ma one. I don't know if you guys have ever seen that. It looks like a butt plug.,: Have you been using those again?,: Yeah, sorry. We can stop him talking out of his eyes.,: Sorry.,Speaker B: It was the first thing that came into my mind.,: There's the out.,: Yeah.,Speaker C: Well, that was fun. Is it over?,: The Pro audio suite with thanks to Tribut and Austrian audio recorded using Source Connect, edited by Andrew Peters and mixed by Robo Got your own audio issues? Just ask with tech support from.,Speaker C: George, the tech Wittam.,: Don't forget to subscribe to the show and join in the conversation on our Facebook group. To leave a comment, suggest a topic or just say G'day. Drop us a note at our website,