Audiofanzine FR 12/11/2008

Samson Technologies CL8 : Audiofanzine FR's user review

4

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Value For Money : Excellent
(Originally written by windgong/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Large diaphragm condenser microphone.

Cardioid, Omni and figure-8.

Dual 1.1" capsules with 3-micron gold sputtered diaphragms.

Hi-pass filter, 12 dB / octave at 100 Hz.

Pad -10.

36-52-volt phantom power.

Internal shock-mount.

Plastic case included.

The mic is well designed. It's quite heavy.

OVERALL OPINION

I'm a drummer/ percussionist and I use a couple of Samson CL8 as stereo overheads (MS or XY) for contemporary percussion research with drums and gongs using a Tascam HD-P2.

For a cymbal-only recording (about 15 cymbals from splash to china of different brands, plus Paiste's percussive Flanger Bell and Mega Cup Chime) the sound is very clear and accurate with a cold and analytic character, but it delivers pleasant and authentic results. It doesn't emphasize the excessive response of China and percussive cymbal models. They are easy to use, produce a detailed sound and are able to highlight the sound of each cymbal type and brand out of a homogeneous ensemble (2 x Samson CL8 as overheads with a Tascam HD-P2 without filter or pad).

As overheads for a drum kit (mix of Sonor Force 3005, S-Class, Delite and Tamburo Formula), the sound is also clear and accurate (especially with the toms), and the low-end response is tight so you don't need a filter (just a -10 pad). The overall sound is a bit cold (but not metallic) with controlled dynamics so that the CL8 doesn't overload when low toms or china cymbals are played harder. I record at 24 bits / 48 kHz because at 96 kHz, the Samson CL8 produce a way too detailed sound emphasizing details that you don't hear in real life, and I find this sound doesn't match the acoustic reality anymore. For example, I noticed a noise on the toms sound when drum rolls are played. You can hear it when the stick hits and bounces off from the drumhead. At 96 kHz the sound doesn't match real life anymore and exceeds our hearing capability, IMO. At 48 kHz, the recording sounds more authentic, natural and it doesn't add noise. This mic provides detailed results. (2 x Samson CL8 as overheads with a Tascam HD-P2 without filter but with -10 pad).

Regrading the gongs, which aren't easy to record, especially in a large ensemble (15-20 gongs), the CL8s provide good results and nearly never overload, unlike other mics (especially with sounds that have a short attack and loud resonance and overtones). With a gong ensemble, the CL8 produces a controlled, linear and realistic sound. It's a quite transparent and faithful mic that colors the sound slightly (2 x Samson CL8 as overheads with a Tascam HD-P2 without filter, sometimes with -10 pad).

As a summary, the Samson CL8 is a good and versatile mic offering a good value for money. It gives quiet good results for percussions recordings.