Colette Modular Series

In 1973 Schoeps introduced the first professional Modular Condenser Microphone System with active elements to the world. The Colette Modular System, now commonly referred to as the “CMC Series” is still to this day the most extensive and versatile microphone system ever conceived. The Schoeps Colette System has been widely imitated throughout the years, but never matched. Colette Series microphones can be used universally for applications where a recordist demands the highest quality available in a small diaphragm condenser microphone.

Modular “Colette” microphones consist of the combination of two basic units - a MK- microphone capsule and CMC- amplifier. Active accessories can be connected between the capsule and amplifier of a Colette series microphone. Cut filters, pads, extension tubes, remote cables and capsule swivels are some common examples. The RC extension tubes in particular are often part of the picture at prominent cultural events and were made famous by Pavarotti and The Three Tenors and Andrea Bocelli. When acquiring a Schoeps Colette Series microphone, you are not just buying a high-end microphone, but investing in a “System” of nearly endless expansion and adaptation possibilities.

The number of possible CMC/MK combinations is quite large - there are 20 types of microphone capsule and 6 basic types of amplifier. With very few exceptions, any type of capsule can be used with any type of amplifier.

 

Left: CMC641g and CMC641ni

 

BODIES AND CAPSULES

The most common CMC amplifier is the CMC 6 U and what we at Redding Audio recommend for most situations. The CMC 6 U is a Class A amplifier body designed for absolute audio transparency. The “6” in Schoeps nomenclature refers to its ability to be powered by both 12V (Not T power!) and 48V phantom power without a compromise in specification. The “U” simply means XLR output connector. It is very common to see the suffix lower-case “g” which identifies the surface finish as matte gray, aka Nextel or “Schoeps Gray”. Colette Series microphones are still available in a nickel finish (ni), but matte gray represents the overwhelming majority of what is now sold. The most notable feature of the current generation CMC 6 is its state-of-art RFI rejection specification. In today's harsh RF environment of mobile phones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and DTV to name a few, a microphone must be able to function without interference. The CMC 6 U is the default body of choice in all our Colette Microphone Sets.

We often get asked “What MK capsule do you recommend for ….(insert application)”? By far, the most common capsules used are the MK 4 Cardioid, MK 41 Supercardioid and the MK 21 Wide Cardioid. The new MK 22 Open Cardioid has already gained notoriety as a great Cardioid-variant choice. There is no exact capsule “must” for any given application every time, but a particular polar pattern does yield an expected result. For example, it is perfectly safe to use a Cardioid on a lead vocal or acoustic guitar, a Supercardioid for overhead dialogue on set or a Wide Cardioid on a cello. The modular design allows a user with various MK capsules to seamlessly enhance their creativity by experimenting with different capsules in common situations.

We offer a large assortment of complete microphone sets incorporating various MK capsules with CMC 6 bodies and accessories to handle the wide range of recording applications. We recommend discussing your individual needs with your dealer and additionally viewing the technical specifications on the Schoeps factory website. We know it can be overwhelming even for the seasoned professional, so please feel free to contact us for guidance when trying to nail down your selection. The beauty of a modular system is when you want to expand, maybe having budget restraints for example, you need only to add a new capsule and not buy an entire microphone.

A Schoeps capsule will without exception be of small, single diaphragm design. The quality of design, technique and manufacture process of the capsule part of a condenser microphone is the crucial element in what separates great microphones above the rest. Schoeps benefits from having over 60 years of small diaphragm capsule production experience to perfect that elusive ability to manufacture with such consistent precision and superb audio specifications. All Schoeps MK capsules are available as factory-selected “matched pairs” for a small additional cost.

 

BEYOND THE NORM

When it comes to the CMC Series - the sky is the limit as far as capsule and amplifier choices. Beyond the basics, you can choose the CMC 6 xt body version for 20 Hz to 40 kHz response. The newest addition, the CMD 2 Digital AES-42 body allows for direct digital recording at rates up to 24/192. Instead of 48 Volt phantom powering, it operates with the standard digital phantom powering of an AES 42-type digital input. Sonically it is fully the equal of Schoeps' CMC-series analog microphones, but the internal A/D conversion eliminates analog interference and signal losses either in the cable or at the inputs of analog preamps. The CMR is for direct connection to many popular wireless pocket transmitters while the M222 tube body marries the classic tube sound with modern circuitry. There are several Omni, Wide Cardioid, Cardioid, Supercardioid, Figure-8 and boundary layer MK capsules to choose from. Additionally Schoeps offers a switchable Cardioid-Omni capsule and a selection of attenuated or acoustically altered capsules.

AMPLIFIER BODIES OF THE COLETTE SYSTEM

Shown L-R:

  • M222, Tube
  • CMD 2U, AES-42 Digital
  • CMC 6U, 48V or 12V phantom
  • CMC 5U, 48V phantom
  • CMBI, Battery Powered
  • CMR, 4V
  • bodypack wireless transmitters

To enhance your microphone(s) please see our Accessories section for an introduction on the seemingly endless array of support accessories for your Schoeps Colette Series microphone. When navigating through the Schoeps website or catalog download, look for this icon which identifies the accessories applicable to the Colette System and will help simplify the process for you.

Choosing the perfect capsule and body is just the beginning. To enhance your microphone(s) please see our Accessories section for a portal to the seemingly endless array of support accessories for your Schoeps Colette Series microphone. When navigating through the Schoeps website or catalog download, look for this icon which identifies the accessories applicable to the Colette System and will help simplify the process for you.