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MS Vienna

Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« on: December 23, 2016, 11:14:19 PM »
Hi,

I thought that may be worth a try.
I started with a Sennheiser MKE10 lavalier mic, a scrap piece of Wenge-wood (think Warwick bass necks) and 1,5mm brass sheet.




I then routed the cavity for the microphone and a cover to hold it firmly in place. I don´t have a milling machine so I used a Dremel mounted on a small "router base" as sold through Stew Mac guitar shop supply. A handy little gadget.






And the finished PZM




Since I had sufficient wood I made two of them. Those mics are nice for stereo recordings.


Professional PZMs have irregular shapes and the capsules placed out of center to avoid audible artfacts caused by diffraction of sound waves from the plates´ edges for example. The Neumann and Schoeps PZMs were constructed using computer simuation. Mine were made using just improvisation by hand  :) I simply made one and used it as template for the second one.

Wenge is a very hard (reflective) wood. I made the surface directly surrounding the caspule from brass to give it even better reflective properties for the highest frequencies. Again those brass disks are not round but have a slightly irregular shape.
I´ve done test recordings at jam sessions and I´m positively surprised about the sound qualitiy these mics are capable of.

Merry Christmas everybody!


emrr

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2016, 11:35:07 PM »
I like it, and they look amazing. 
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounded g

micaddict

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2016, 04:39:23 AM »
Cool project!

I'm a true sucker for wood to begin with.   :D

And I think boundary mics are under-represented here (or in general).

micaddict

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2016, 07:44:58 AM »
A little extra on wenge. It is indeed a  very dense and hard wood. A possible con is that is has really large pores.  Those can be filled (to some extent at least). And the brass insert here seems like a good idea to me.

Also, wenge is among the most resonant of woods, on par with some of the rosewoods. This can be a good or a bad thing. If the wood is loosely placed (not fixated) on a flat surface, it will start singing when the main resonance/frequency of the piece happens to hit it. This might be something to watch for. That said, metal can be pretty resonant, too.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 07:50:54 AM by micaddict »

ln76d

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2016, 09:50:44 AM »
As always!

GREAT WORK :D

MS Vienna

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2017, 07:01:45 PM »
Hi,

happy new year!

Yes, wenge has quite large pores, they can be seen well in the first pictures above.
I filled them with epoxy on the reflective upside of the plates, sanded and polished it for a smooth surface.

I thought about glueing brass sheet on the bottom to make it more sturdy and decrease possible resonance effects. But before thinking too much about possible theoretical stuff I simply did a real world test run.

I recorded a Trad Session using a Zoom H6 recorder. I took a picture during a break.


That´s how it sounds:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xftezicoa8wp5rp/Trad%20Session%20MKE10%20PZM%20Wenge.WAV?dl=0
It´s the straight recording, no EQ.

There was a harp player too:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xso6i4me9kp6j44/Harp%20MKE10%20PZM%20Wenge.WAV?dl=0



No U47s or 1073s but still usable IMHO   :P 
I don´t notice any disturbing resonance artifacts.
The mics lay on the floor on their bare wood surface, not even felt padding in between...

Works for me.


micaddict

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 09:37:12 AM »
Thanks for the update. This is what they are made for. Looks like you guys (and gals) had some fun, too.  :)

Good to hear the results were satisfactory. Unfortunately, the music won't play on my system (yet?).

Quote
I don´t notice any disturbing resonance artifacts
That's good news, as well. No 100% guarantee it won't ever happen, but you'll know if it does.
Did you have any problems with the stone walls and floor? Well, in any case they'll add liveliness.

Anyway, good to see some boundary mics at work. I really like the principle to begin with and your tasteful build only adds to it.

MS Vienna

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 07:41:30 PM »
Sorry to hear it doesn´t play on your computer. There might be an unrequested popup window in the way. Just click on "Nein danke,..." at the very bottom. Optionally you can download the files (48kHz/24bit) via the button "Herunterladen".

I like that particular room very much. It´s lively in a nice way. There´s a structured wood ceiling and one wall is actually a rough rock face! A nice natural diffusor  :D

I attached a pic of that wall taken on a different session (only visible logged in for some privacy protection of the shown people and of course the dog)

I did the recording just for me to memorize the event. There were great musicians from Ireland, Germany and Italy present and it was rare pleasure to play with them.

BTW, I used a different pair of MKE10 mics here. I soldered them to a 3,5mm stereo plug. They need just 3V and can be run with "Plug-in-power"-inputs. Not professional but really handy!
The ones shown above have DIN connectors and are used with phantom power converters (e.g. Sennheiser MS14P).
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 09:22:18 PM by MS Vienna »

micaddict

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2017, 05:03:47 AM »
Wow, some cool rock!
No, not as in music style.  ;D

The stone floor is dead flat obviously, but there your boundary mics will prevent comb filtering.  :)

The girl with the pipes is looking kinda sad and dreamy or introspective.
Makes me wonder what the guys with the fiddles were playing there ...
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 05:09:44 AM by micaddict »

gyraf

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2017, 06:13:35 AM »
Beautiful!
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..


Murdock

Re: Turning a Sennheiser MKE10 into a PZM
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2017, 08:22:29 AM »
Wow, really beautiful recording!
What a nice room and great project!