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Old July 30th, 2003, 02:41 AM   #1
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How do you use ME66 with Softie?

I have just bought an Sennheiser ME66 and a Rycote Softie for this mic. How do you use it? I mean do you use the Softie permanent, also when shooting indoors or do you you then use the ME66 without windjammer at all?

Bjorn
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Old July 30th, 2003, 02:59 AM   #2
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Hello Bjorn,
News crews often keep their Softies on their mics at all times, mainly because the run-and-gun nature of their work would make it impractical to mount / dismount it constantly.

Generally speaking, I'd advise only using the Softie when you need it (i.e. in outdoor scenes and breezy situations). If you're shooting indoors under controlled conditions leave it off. All such accessories attenuate and/or color the sound ever so slightly, even the Softie. Like filters on your lens, use only as needed.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 07:53 AM   #3
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Ken's advice is the safest, but I have an me66 and I leave the Softie on all the time.

Of course I'm wanting to get a 416 now... so I'm not totally satisfied with the me66 anyway.

I couldn't hear very much difference between the Softie off or on. But on the dvx the me66 doesn't sound as rich as I thought it did on my previous cam... this idea will continue in another post.
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Old August 5th, 2003, 05:45 AM   #4
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Matt, you said the ME66 doesnt sound as good as it did on a previous cam, are you sure it's the ME66 fault and not the camera audio?

John.
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Old August 5th, 2003, 10:38 AM   #5
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<<But on the dvx the me66 doesn't sound as rich as I thought it did on my previous cam... this idea will continue in another post.>>

What are you using for a preamp?
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Old August 5th, 2003, 10:57 PM   #6
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Previously I used a Beachtek dxa6 with a trv900. Since I had lower expectations for audio on that setup I was pretty happy. Since the dvx is noteworthy for having really good sound I expected more. The fact is that the me66 is a really "hot" mic that makes a strong signal. There is a setting on the dvx called ALC which limits the peaks but doesn't vary gain. Since the me66 is so hot it makes for more variable input for a given range. That is usually a desireable trait and perhaps somebody will set me straight on this, but I think that the dvx wants a mic that isn't so sensitive.

I'm still trying to get the best sound from this mic and this cam so perhaps that sort of commentary is premature. As it looks now I see myself with a true condenser in the future, but let me stress the point, the me66 sounds good, just not as good as I expected with this cam.

Levels vary more with the me66 then the internal mics and that is easily attributed to the hot signal the me66 sends. That's great with a Beachtek but questionable on direct xlr-in. I'm thinking a 416 set at a higher level will most likely yield overall better results, but I could be wrong.

It only costs 3 times the price to check it out. Ha.
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Old August 5th, 2003, 11:07 PM   #7
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Matt,
Another step up to the ME66 at a lower cost then the MKH416, would be the Audio Technica AT-4073a or the New Sanken CS-1.

Before you invest in another mic, I would advise you to rent them first.
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Old August 6th, 2003, 01:03 AM   #8
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<<< Since the me66 is so hot it makes for more variable input for a given range. That is usually a desireable trait and perhaps somebody will set me straight on this, but I think that the dvx wants a mic that isn't so sensitive.
-->>>

Matt, I've never used the Beachtek, but I don't think that it's an actual preamp. What I'm talking about is something like the Shure FP24, or better yet right from the designers themselves, the Sound Devices MixPre. This is a 2 input stereo out mixer with world class circuitry and mic preamps. It has phantom power for the ME66 as well as full control over the level your feeding the camera.

The Mix Pre also has full headphone monitoring, nice accurate metering of the signal, the ability to control signal clipping etc. Most importantly, the quality pre will maximize the sound of the ME66 and any mic you feed it.

A quality mixer/preamp is a must if your going to get any serious sound onto tape, no matter how good the onboard audio is on any camera. Look at it this way, the most expensive cameras still cheap out on the audio (compared to the video functions) because that's not their primary function.

For instance, as an audio producer as well as video, I have dedicated 24 track digital work stations. As nice as they are, I still use dedicated rack mount Focusrite preamps for my microphone and instrument inputs simply because a $5-10k recorder isn't going to have preamps anywhere near the quality of a dedicated $1000 single input.

The idea is to bypass the preamp that's built into your camera by feeding it a signal from a nice mixer/pre. You want the hot signal of the ME66. That's never a bad thing. If it's too hot you attenuate at the camera at the very least, but you really want to put it through something like the Mix Pre, and for the money, it's probably the best field/studio 2 channel piece of audio gear out there.

You can get one from Zotz for around $5-600, I can't remember exactly, but it's a piece of equipment that's built to last through all the cameras you'll buy over the years.
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