Before you consider me being a representative of soundman binaural microphones i am not. I just want to share my appreciation and gather other users appreciation to acknowledge these wonderful binaurals.
Throughout my uni career i have used these microphones with exquisite results. But upon purchasing binaurals i foolishly decided to save my pennies and purchase rolands current binaurals. They did not last an hour. Straight into the post to return.
I was greeted with soundman binaurals surprisingly fast. Considering i live in the uk and they are constructed in germany the postage was rapid, considering postage was free. I also got a reduction in price by £30 because i questioned a reduction and there was no questions asked.
The fact upon analyses they seem quite primitive, with no frills, is appealing. Such as a dated analogue like moog prodigy or roland mc-202. Nothing will test. These product will never feel the test of time.
I also appreciate (sounds precocious) the fact you can smell the producers pipe/tobacco smoke tainting the pleasant, robust presentation case they arrive in. Tell me different, but to me if gives me the feeling that an alone german genius put effort and time into this product. Im sure the same could be with binaurals from the audio professionals range. But soundman are great.
I had an issue where the adaptor provided but soundman wasnt compatable with my portable recorder. Worried as you must think. So i cantacted the producer and he sent me, free of charge, an XLR adaptor. Which wasnt constructed of budget connectors. Came with nuetrik, gold plated van damme connectors which made me buzz more.
Consider these binaurals at least when pondering.
Listen to my recording using these: http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=117307
Regarding these OKMs from Soundman... They look very cheap and poor, on the beginning smell really ugly (I hate smoke), but with one thing I agree with you. They perform exceptionally well in various sonic applications. And that why I like them. I recommend them too.
However I'm curious how long the cables will hold.
p.s.: thanks for comments on rolands.
I just got reply from Soundman regarding thin cables, that I was a little bit worried about:
"...no worry, we have user of our mics which are working with them every day since 1985 without any problems. The cable is the thinnest shielded cable worlwide and even if it brake, we can replace against a new once without spending much money..."
Now that is what I call a good support (-;
@inchadney - I assume you have these windshields. Are they affecting sound "colour" or stay transparent? Because whatever I bring close to my ears (hands, tea glasses) - sound changes. I'd like to have clean field in this area.
No, I don´t have those. What I use is this: http://www.thomann.de/gb/neumann_wsb_windschutz.htm and I bought them for a fraction of the price some years ago.
the OKM mics are nice por the price (less than 200 Euro the pair can be considered cheap), but have a number of cons too...
- not very sensitive, so you have to crank up the preamp. This makes mic self noise too apparent --> not suitable for low natural sources, perfect for music though. As an example: http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=117891
- the star-shaped capsule is damn odd, firmly mounting this mics can become a nightmare. I'll illustrate my personalized pair for the sake of users out there - or manufacturers, ha ha.. First, get rid of the star points using scisors. Second, use some teflon film to attach the capsule to a lapel-mic clip. Lastly, cover the ensemble with a tiny fake fur cover and sew
I'll also add that I got mine back in 2005 and the thin cables were never an issue.
For more demanding uses (soft natural sounds) I would rather recommend quieter (and obviously pricier) capsules like the Shure WL183
Well - OKMs are in-ear microphones, and this is how I use them; easy "in-ear" use was the determinant of my options. Sometime ago I worked with lavalier mics, connected anywhere else, but I was not happy with such solution; perhaps they were too cheap, perhaps not, I don't know
I was looking around freesound database (and generally in binaural internet of samples) for over 2 months - and OKMs appeared to be the best choice for portable solutions (so as well the sony's PCM-D50 recorder for other applications). I realized, that many of my favourite recordings from the past I found again - they were recorded with OKMs.
In my view, classic studio version (powered via A3 adapter; without it - they are noisier/flater) from Soundman sounds fine; I like their warmth, even ambiance noise recorded by them sounds pretty deep and cool (-;
I think, good recording is a recording, that does not have to be studio-sterile, but is attractive to listener; transparency is somewhat relative. If something attracts my attention, and I can spend hours, just listening intently to literally whatever (without noticing how much time is gone), then such recording is good. On the other hand, I heard many recordings which were very clean and bright, but... after a half of minute I was tired with them, and had to take off the headphones. Sometimes it is also a matter of recording techniques/approaches.
A good competition would be perhaps, to meet with other folks who use various/different kind of equipment (and recording approaches), and to simultaneously record the same examples of sonic environments. Then, to put such database of comparative samples together, and listeners would have opportunity to listen for themselves. Perhaps with some explanations - what to focus on, or how to name this "vague feeling of...", that determines the pleasure of listening to specific sample.
Regarding sensitivity. With the optional xlr adapter the binaurals this is completely different.
I use a tascam dr100 and this recorders input gain is renowned for being ungenerous, but are excitingly sensitive with the xlr adaptor. Rather than the line adaptor. Which is optional when purchasing.
Regarding the recording of the woods posted at the beginning of the thread. Is one of my favourites. The movement of the trees and distant wind noise in the canopy i adore. This is a perfect example of how sensitive these binaurals can really be. I cannot wait to finally graduate from university and document my summer.
Enjoy the weekend