Recording

Schoeps CMXY 4V, December 2001

For more than 50 years, Schoeps has delivered high-quality, versatile tools for recording and broadcast professionals. A compact (4-inch long) and versatile 5/18/2004 8:00 AM Eastern

For more than 50 years, Schoeps has delivered high-quality, versatile tools for recording and broadcast professionals. A compact (4-inch long) and versatile X-Y stereo microphone, the CMXY 4V is an excellent continuation of that tradition.

The CMXY 4V—it's available in versions with either 5-pin XLR or miniature connectors—is based on two CCM (Compact Condenser Microphone) Series cardioid capsules.

The mic has a retail price of $3,900, which does include a wood storage box and a stereo 5-pin to left/right standard 3-pin XLR adapter. Small colored dots on either side of the mic mount correspond to the left- and right-side outputs. A recommended option is the A20S shockmount, a compact elastic suspension clip with two small clamps that grip onto either side of the split-output cable, offering some help in decoupling the cable from the suspension.

The two capsules use a clever, geared swivel offering more than 180° of outward rotation, for very tight to ultra-wide stereo separation. Unlike typical adjustable-splay stereo mics, which combine one rotatable and one set capsule, the angle between the CMXY 4V's two capsules can be adjusted without altering the central stereo axis. The capsules always rotate equally and in opposite directions via a slick gear arrangement in the base of the mic. The capsules are about as close to each other as physically possible—the centers are spaced less than an inch apart.

In the studio, the CMXY 4V offered just what I expected of a Schoeps CCM: smooth, natural response with a slightly rising—but never overpowering—HF emphasis. The proximity effect is fairly mild until you get in closer than 3 inches or so; combined with the ease of adjusting the angle of capsule splay, it was great for close-miking mandola, mandolin and bazouki. On acoustic guitar, about 16 inches back from the sound hole with the capsules set about 80° apart, the effect was rich and full—yet present—with a nice stereo effect.

The mic handles SPLs in excess of 132 dB, and was right at home on drum overheads, timbales and even left/right rack toms, although you really want to be sure about the drummer's accuracy before putting a $3,900 mic in the line of fire.

The CMXY 4V's coincident-swivel design also opens up some new possibilities, such as setting the two capsules back to back, and throwing one side out-of-phase at the mixer to create a makeshift figure-8 pattern. In more mundane studio duties, such as piano miking, the CMXY 4V excelled and offered fast, single-stand placement. Its small profile and inconspicuous gray finish should also appeal to users in live theater, broadcast or film/ENG applications, or anybody needing a solid, high-performance stereo mic.

Schoeps Microphones, www.schoeps.de