Sennheiser 416 or the Neumann KRM 81? at DVinfo.net

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Old February 7th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #1
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Sennheiser 416 or the Neumann KRM 81?

I am in the home stretch of my audio trek and since this forum has been so helpful and educational I thought I'd start one last thread. I am having a hard time deciding between two microphones - Sennheiser 416 and the Neumann KRM 81.

I am doing documentary work and will have a soundman and this mic will be on a boom with stabilizers and proper wind protection (either a Softie or Blimp system). I am investing in one really good mic for now and will later add more mic's as I can afford them since I know that I need a variety of mic's for every situation and environment. I will be doing interviews, gathering nat sound and "moments" both inside and out. I know shotguns are not ideal for inside but I think between a shotgun and a hyper I will get more use out of a shotgun. This little paragraph is for anyone who hasn't read my older threads where I was thinking about getting an ME-66 (I was convinced to spend more money).

SO, I have tried out both mic's, the Sennheiser 416 and the Neumann KRM 81 and I like them both. Nice sound, a little different but both great. The 416 seems to have more reach while I like the neutral sound coming out of the 81. Now it's decision time. Playing with them for a few minutes is no substitute for years of experience and use so I was wondering if I could get some opinions on which to go with.

Thanks!
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Old February 7th, 2008, 08:45 PM   #2
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If you're going to insist on trying to use a shotgun indoors, take a listen to the Sanken CS-3 before deciding. As I've said before, shotguns are rarely good in a reflective environment such as a typical interior while hypers can be good both indoors and out. But if you really feel the 'gun is for you, the Sanken uses a somewhat different principle than a classic interference tube mic and probably will be better behaved than either the Senn or the Neumann when you're indoors and yet be fully their equal when outdoors, as good a mic as both of them are.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 09:45 PM   #3
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Regardless of what other people have said, I've never had reliable success with the 416 indoors. I think it's a horrible move to use it in a reverb-rich environment. I use a hyper now for all situations--I don't even own a shotgun. Check out "Allergy Season" on my website: plenty of outdoorsy conditions and we still used a Rode NT3.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 10:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
... such as a typical interior while hypers can be good both indoors and out.
Sorry for the ignorant interjection, but when everyone refers to "hyper," is that the same as a Hyper-Cardioid? When people refer to just "cardioid," does that mean hyper cardioid too?

And are they always dynamic?
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Old February 7th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lloyd Claycomb View Post
Sorry for the ignorant interjection, but when everyone refers to "hyper," is that the same as a Hyper-Cardioid? When people refer to just "cardioid," does that mean hyper cardioid too?

And are they always dynamic?

Hyper refers to hyper cardioid, in pickup pattern, but cardioid does not necessarily refer to hyper-cardioid. Also, the pickup pattern does not necesarily determine the power requirements and diaphragm size of the microphone; a hyper cardioid is typically phantom powered, as it is more directionally sensitive, while a cardioid microphone is commonly dynamic, such as the SM57/SM58.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 02:04 AM   #6
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"Hyper" is shorthand for "hypercardioid" but that is distinctly different from "cardioid." Cardioids are sensitive in a broad semicircle with little sensitivity toward the rear while hypers and supers squish that semicircle down narrower at the expense of adding a lobe of sensitivity pointing straight backwards. I'll have to disagree with Ben's statement that a cardioid is typically a dynamic mic however. Many dynamic vocalists mics like those he mentioned are cardioids, true, but there are a lot of dynamic omnis as well. And many cardioids (and omnis) are condensors. I have a Rode NT1a and a pair of AT3031's, all of which are cardioid pattern and all of which are condensor mics. While a lot of hand-held vocal mics are dynamic, many are condensor. Almost all the large diaphram side address studio mics are condensors. AFAIK, all the small diaphram that litter concert stages by the hundreds are condensors and most of them are cardioids. In short, dynamics are either omin or cardioid, condensors may be any of the different typse.

Take a look at this wiki reference to see an illustration of the various patterns http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microph...polar_patterns
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