Help on Microphone s/n ratios? - Gearspace.com
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Help on Microphone s/n ratios?
Old 18th January 2019
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
Help on Microphone s/n ratios?

Hi all,

I am about to buy a pair of small condenser mics with changeable caps. I plan to use them in field recording but also would like to have a matched pair for the stereo.

Quick question: can someone point me to a guide that will explain how to accurately assess mic self noise? I haven't been able to find a decent explanation.

This should seem to be a simple relationship between self-noise ratio and sensitivity...but some have said that this depends on other factors too, perhaps the weighting of the curves and 'equivalent' noise.

I can't test before trying and the only mics I know that are quiet (a good thing for recording ambiences) are the sennheiser MKH range. I'd like to look at other options and assess relative sound and self noise for myself just need some help!

Thanks so much for any tips!
Old 18th January 2019
To do a proper noise analysis one needs the test gear. Audio Precision is the industry standard for that. You prep the mic bodies by loading the front end with a film capacitor that matches the capsule capacitance. It must be tested in a screened enclosure to avoid external noise contamination.

Then you do the noise vs frequency plots and the baseline s/n ratio measurements. -70 to -80 dbu is good.
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