Good all-around combo? Indoors and outdoors - ME66 and ME64 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 30th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #1
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Good all-around combo? Indoors and outdoors - ME66 and ME64

I am looking into purchasing a set of microphones for doing documentary work. I'd be doing an even mix of shooting inside and outside, primarily dialogue.

My budget is mid-range, About $1200 for everything. I was thinking about getting these from B&H.

(ME66 Boom combo and ME64 capsule)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...icrophone.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...dioid_Mic.html

I have read a number of the forums here and a number of other sites. I am suffering from information overload and I thought a specific post would help.

What do you think about this combo? The 66 for outside and 64 for indoor, controlled environments.

I'd really appreciate any advice or other recommendations in this price range for good outside/inside audio combos.
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Old January 31st, 2008, 01:10 AM   #2
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The ME66 has a pretty bad rap in pro audio circles. Personally I think it's okay when used outside, but if I had it to do over, I wouldn't buy it.

The ME64 doesn't have a great rep either. Honestly, the K6 system is kind of a bust.

You may come to question whether or not you really need a shotgun outside. Plenty of productions will boom a hypercardioid outdoors...

Personally, I would take that $1200 and put it towards a Schoeps CMC641, which is set to go up in price on Feb 1st. You'll be spending a bit more, but you get a mic that is unrivaled indoors, and great outside as well.

Or you can go down a notch or two and still get good audio. I've been using the AT4053, and I really love it. It has a really "full" sound, and is extremely directional. I've had no trouble using it in untreated reverberant rooms... I did a "make me an offer" on eBay and snapped it up for $300. With $900 left over in your budget, you could afford a lav or two and still have money left over for a recorder like the Marantz 671 or Fostex FR2LE...
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Old February 1st, 2008, 11:58 AM   #3
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Man, the K6 series debate just seems to go on an on. Personally I like the system, but no longer use it much because we have better mics. It's real niche is for situations where you don't have phantom power, and to my knowledge there is no better modular system for that. If you do have phantom power, then there are a lot more options that would probably be better. I don't think that saying the "ME66 has a pretty bad rap in pro audio circles" is really accurate, although you will find a fair of number of people who hate it. The truth is, if you use the system correctly you can get great results. It's a tool, like anything. That said, I'd use that $1200 bucks to get the SoundDevices MM1 (about $350), AKG CK93 or AT4053 (about $400), and the AT4073 ($549). Let's see, $1,299, a little over your budget and I'm guessing you don't have a pole, shockmount or wind protection, cables and headphones yet. You could always get the AT897 instead of the AT4073. It's a decent mic. Great deal for the money.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 02:12 PM   #4
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After reading more threads in "all things audio", reading online articles that have been linked in some threads, posting in other forums and talking to sales people I have decided to spend a bit more money.

At this point I am probably going to go with a Sennheiser MKH-60 (on a boom, rycote, stabiliser, etc) OR the the Schoeps cmc641.

Ideally I'd get both but that's not in the budget right now. I am trying to figure out which one will be a better first investment. I am leaning towards the Sennheiser at this point.

I may actually start another thread on which to go with.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 02:22 PM   #5
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I would stress that you need a shotgun AND a hypercardiod. Ideally you want spend at least $1200 on the shotgun and at least $400 on the hypercardiod. Better to spend Schoeps prices on the hypercardiod as well if you can afford it. Used MKH416s can be had in the $700 range, less if you get an old T-power one.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 02:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Morgan View Post
After reading more threads in "all things audio", reading online articles that have been linked in some threads, posting in other forums and talking to sales people I have decided to spend a bit more money.

At this point I am probably going to go with a Sennheiser MKH-60 (on a boom, rycote, stabiliser, etc) OR the the Schoeps cmc641.

Ideally I'd get both but that's not in the budget right now. I am trying to figure out which one will be a better first investment. I am leaning towards the Sennheiser at this point.

I may actually start another thread on which to go with.
FWIW I was making the same decision very recently and I decided that the hyper was first one to go with. It's been my experience over the years that the most expensive route of all to take is to make quality compromises initially and then upgrade - buying the right tools from the start is actually the cheapest in the long run even if it means you have to acquire your kit a bit more gradually. I could only afford one top-quality mic at a time. The decision of which to go with first ultimately boiled down to realizing that the number of times a hyper will be as good or better than a shotgun outdoors will far exceeed the number of times the shotgun would be as good or better than the hyper indoors. So unless you are specializing in one type of shoot and purchasing to cover just that situation, it seemed to me that if you can initially only afford one directional mic for your kit, you can cover a wider range of situations with a hyper than you'll get with a shotgun.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 03:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
I don't think that saying the "ME66 has a pretty bad rap in pro audio circles" is really accurate, although you will find a fair of number of people who hate it.
That is indeed inaccurate -- I should have either said "has a bad rep" or "gets a bad rap," but not some combination of the two. :)

But really, find me a post from an audio professional raving about the ME66... I'm sure they're out there, but they're far outweighed by negative posts.

I have an ME66, and I think it's fine for outdoor use. But unless you need a modular self-powered mic, there are better options than the K6 system.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 04:35 PM   #8
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Thanks Steve, seeing as how you are in the Greater, Greater Toronto Area - can you suggest somewhere to buy one? At this point the two places I've looked at have been online (B&H) or Cinequip (William White on Islington).
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Old February 1st, 2008, 06:11 PM   #9
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Well, Glen Trew has been a pretty vocal proponent over at RAMPS, and you'll find others on the net. It is primarily an ENG microphone I'll grant you. As for Jesse's dilemma, I'd take a decent hypercardiod and a budget shotgun over having just one mic. I'd take the k6 system, ME64, ME66, and ME67 over having just the MKH60 too. Better yet, the AKG ULS series with hypercardiod and shotgun capsules. That's in Jesse's price range if you buy from a retailer in Canada.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 07:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
I'd take the k6 system, ME64, ME66, and ME67 over having just the MKH60 too. Better yet, the AKG ULS series with hypercardiod and shotgun capsules.
I've got a 60 and I would say that even indoors it is always usable. Sometimes it will sound a bit odd, but I would rather have just the 60 and suffer the odd odd sounding situation than to invest in the K6 stuff.

A cheap AKG hyper can make do if you must have a second mic', but don't feel the need to compromise the short gun mic for it.
You will survive with out the hyper. A lav is more important.

Yes there are times when the 60 will sound a bit (or a lot) weird but moving to another part of the room will help. But people often use shotguns indoors as they can't always get an opportunity to swap mic's. Speed is sometimes more important than perfection. Depends what the gig is. For drama then you have time, but for doco stuff you may have to run and gun with frankly any mic that's at hand. An mkh60 would be a good choice for that.

Then a lav for wide shots and back up, ideally two wireless.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 08:30 PM   #11
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Thanks Steve, seeing as how you are in the Greater, Greater Toronto Area - can you suggest somewhere to buy one? At this point the two places I've looked at have been online (B&H) or Cinequip (William White on Islington).
Trew Audio has a shop in Toronto down in the Distillery District on Villiers St. Very good people, give 'em a visit.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 08:33 PM   #12
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Well, Glen Trew has been a pretty vocal proponent over at RAMPS, and you'll find others on the net. It is primarily an ENG microphone I'll grant you. As for Jesse's dilemma, I'd take a decent hypercardiod and a budget shotgun over having just one mic. I'd take the k6 system, ME64, ME66, and ME67 over having just the MKH60 too. Better yet, the AKG ULS series with hypercardiod and shotgun capsules. That's in Jesse's price range if you buy from a retailer in Canada.
I'd agree, with the proviso that I wouldn't compromise on the hyper to be able to buy the 'gun right away.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jesse Morgan View Post
I am looking into purchasing a set of microphones for doing documentary work. I'd be doing an even mix of shooting inside and outside, primarily dialogue.

My budget is mid-range, About $1200 for everything.
Hi Jesse,

What are you feeding the mic into? A mixer, recorder or directly into the camera?
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Old February 4th, 2008, 06:30 PM   #14
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I'd recommend 2 mics instead of one.
A nice lavalier on one channel like an ECM77B (or Countryman B6)
And on the other channel, a good hypercardioid (like the AT4053a someone suggested above).

That way you don't have all your eggs in one basket and you have a 2nd audio track to mix in.

If you can afford more, get an even better hyper.
Shotguns are overrated in my opinion.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #15
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Get out there and learn on the job, you'll soon know what is missing from your kit.
That way you will know your own opinion as here there is clearly a difference of opinions.


Personally I'd get a good shot gun and a cheaper hyper rather than the other way around. Best to get the best of both though. Best to buy one thing at a time; buy cheap - buy twice, as they say.

You need a lav though.
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