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Old September 27th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #16
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Akg Se300 / Cmc641

I, too, am an advocate for AKG Blueline... A while back I posted some comparison recordings between the AKG CK93 / Schoeps / AKG C535EB / Beyer MC740 (studio condenser), and some lavs. If anyone's interested, they're still in my Public folder for review.
The thread was here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/all-thing...mic-tests.html
Regards, Ross.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #17
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Based on the price, I think AT shotguns and hypers perform well. I've listened to a lot of them. I think they fit in the spot between a mkh 416 and me66 or me67.

Thin? Well thinner than a 416, but in almost every occasion I know, the high pass filter is used when using the 416. We humans make a lot of noise. A lot of it is LF noise with our machinery. That stuff gets in the way of dialog. It's better to get rid of it before it gets into the mixer. The Sanken CS3e, for example, was designed with a slimmer low end because of this. If you are on an acoustically designed sound stage, then you may be able to use the 416 without rolling off the bottom.

The evaluation and comparison of mics is not a simple thing. I struggle with it with every mic I review to make sure I get it right. I've talked about the process a lot over the years, here and elsewhere. Frequency response, irregularities in frequency response, pattern shape, off-axis response, selfnoise, sensitivity, low level distortion are all a part of what I'm listening for.

I've reviewed a lot of mics. My main conclusions are made using Sony MDR7506 headphones. They accentuate the low end and high end, but I know this and account for it. Lately I have been using the AudioTechnica ATH-M50 phones. They are flatter in response, fit well and can be worn a long time. The Sony MDR7509 are also quite good.

While I do eventually listen on monitors, there way are too many variables with monitors that mask the truth. Then too the chain between the mic and the headphones can also be problematic. Not all preamps are alike. If you're plugging in to a Mackie or Behringer mixer, you're done before you start. Low cost preamps and mixers compromise the sound of great gear. As a result the differences between a great mic and a not so great mic are diminished or obliterated.

Just checking....What a shock! :) the AT and Audix mics below sell for the same price. 1/4 the cost of a Schoeps cmc641.

Audio Technica AT4053a Condenser ... $499.99
Audix SCX1/HC - Hypercardioid Condenser ... $499.00

Price is seldom proportional with audio (and other) gear. What I mean is that you pay X to get 80% performance. To get to 90%, you may have to pay 2X, not just X + 10%. That, and an out of whack dollar, explains the difference in price between a cmc641 and a 4053a or SCX-1 HC.

Steve said, "perhaps the CMC641 with its lower sensitivity then the other mics means you need a bit more gain, and therefore bring up the mic self noise, mixer noise, and room tone more."

Steve, I've just never had a problem with a cmc641 and sensitivity.
Also, I compared the MK4 with mk41 capsule before I bought. I went with the mk41 because it's tighter and therefore hears less room or ambience. My advice, FWIW, buy the MK41 capsule. Use the MK4 for uncontrollable two shots.

I do have different mic sample in my online archive, including the Schoeps CMIT. They are in the Audio folder here.
.Mac - iDisk

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old September 28th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
.
If you're plugging in to a Mackie or Behringer mixer, you're done before you start. Low cost preamps and mixers compromise the sound of great gear. As a result the differences between a great mic and a not so great mic are diminished or obliterated.
we can very much agree on this :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
.
Audio Technica AT4053a Condenser ... $499.99
Audix SCX1/HC - Hypercardioid Condenser ... $499.00
dollar to euro has gotten more even as of late, maybe schoeps will have a price adjustment. I got my CMC64 right before the price increase and had to wait 2 months for it to come in because they saw such a surge in orders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
.
Steve said, "perhaps the CMC641 with its lower sensitivity then the other mics means you need a bit more gain, and therefore bring up the mic self noise, mixer noise, and room tone more."
Steve, I've just never had a problem with a cmc641 and sensitivity.
Also, I compared the MK4 with mk41 capsule before I bought. I went with the mk41 because it's tighter and therefore hears less room or ambience. My advice, FWIW, buy the MK41 capsule. Use the MK4 for uncontrollable two shots.
Ty Ford
I'm using the MK4 for exactly what you are talking about, SFX recording, B roll ambience, especially if several people are involved with unscripted dialog. it works great for this. last shooter I worked with commented how good it sounded on his in ear monitor from the camera. it also works well with two people going back and forth as you say.

as much I may get the MK41 cap, I was also looking at the MKH8040 and MKH8050. they have a higher level of sensitivity 30ma/pa vs 17ma/pa for the 4/41. if thats about 6db or so hotter, thats a useful amount of gain. its of course helps push down self noise & mixer noise. they are very small light mics as well. this is all figuring into some near purchases, a new rycote S series ( do I get the short 330 or longer 375 or the 330 + a longer module ). my immediate need to to get rid of my sony shotgun. its not that it doesn't work or sound ok, its just a big heavy mic, especially on a boom. its actually a little less sensitive then the MK4.

I'd love to try out the 8040 and 8050 next to the 641 for a day or two and then decide, but again there are no dealers anywhere near here to do this :( so I figured maybe some test might give me a little bit better idea how these mics compare. in particular the differences between the 8040 and 8050's pickup pattern. the 8050's tighter pickup pattern then the 641 might be preferable for more live environments. without any hands on tests though.... I guess I could shell out for a rental and fedex :(
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #19
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Steve,

Tried the 8050 and reviewed it. Way more bottom end than anyone needs. I don't think they had booming in mind when they designed it.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old September 29th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #20
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Ross - Somehow I missed your tests back when you posted it. Nice job. I like that you used the different voices as well. There's no doubt the quality of the Schoeps comes through, but for the money difference, right now I'm loving the AKG SE300B/CK93. Would love to hear the Audix SCX-1. I use Audix mics all around on my drums (D1, D2, D4 and the awesome D6 on kick) and have been extremely happy with them. I also own a pair of OM-5 vocal mics that are great, too.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 04:18 AM   #21
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I listened to all these in the edit suite, then I listened again in the studio - and came to the conclusion that they are all different (and ignoring the C1000, and B6) I'd not be concerned about using any of them - on the right voice. We have a deep 'character' voice with a nice resonance to it, plus a typical female voice to listen to, and while some are tonaly different, small eq tweaks can make them quite similar. I've always worked with a fairly full, and quite random mic box - and just pick a mic I know will complement a voice. No mics in the box will produce unusable sound on the wrong person. For what I do, I have piles of SM57 & SM58s - because they do an average, but rarely poor job, close in.

Large diaphragm mics sound fuller and more intimate close in. Rifle types aren't really hyper-cardioids at all, pick-up wise compared to a non-interference tube hyper-cardioid. Great at a distance, but used too close in don't really sound quite right, to my ears. I really like Beyer M201s - small, heavy and pretty good at off-axis rejection.

I'm never snobby about mic brands, being willing to try anything and let my ears decide.

Unusual 'catches' over the years are Oktava MK-319, just a nice warm sounding mic, great on girls.

I guess the point is that they're all different - and there's probably a voice for each mic in existence.

These tests are valuable because they show the good matches - but the Countryman B6 sounds rubbish doesn't it? Yet it's a really popular mic for what it's designed for. Most of my work revolves around theatres, and I'm constantly trying to find a solution to my cast wrecking Countrymans - which gets expensive - BUT - the sound people love them, because they do the job properly.

Perhaps we should just be widening the search - I bought a single Chinese origin, distributor branded rifle mic - for a jib where I knew it was going to be stamped on. I lost a 416 on the same job a few months before. It did get trashed, but cost was really low. I have bought quite a few more. When I get a free moment, I will set one up side-by side with a 416 and record both to separate left and right tracks - then we will see who can correctly identify one as costing 8 times as much. They will sound different, but what is the test for?
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Old September 29th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #22
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A static test of mics seldom really tells a lot about what they all do.

If you want to add a shotgun mic to the mix, though, add the Rode NTG-3. Not the NT3, but the NTG-3. Wider than a 416, very well shielded, $699.

BTW, although I might use an AKG C1000 on a guitar for PA work, I'd never use it on voice unless it was the last mic in the box.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old September 29th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #23
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I knew this would happen... An arguement about the merits of different mics.

My post was based on a boring week last autumn.
I did a "blind test" at work with a bunch of soundies. These are guys who each day, every day spend half their time annoying me and the other half recording sound. I try to spend half my day annoying them because I'm still interesed in sound (which is very rare for a Lighting Cameraman but then I did start in the sound dept.).
Some of them also had the "Audio Technica don't make good shotguns" mentality but since they all put the AT897 above the Sennheiser K6 combo, and most of them even put it above the 416, a lot of opinions were changed that afternoon.
In a side test the Stereo Audio Technica (a mid-side mic, the 4029) was preferred to the Sennheiser MKH418S every time. That result caused a lot of raised eyebrows as well.

The clear winners were the Sennheiser MKH60 and wierd blue Schoeps CMIT5 in the shotgun category and the Schoeps 41 in the hypercardiod test. The At897 also scorea high in the blind test and was constantly above the 416 however.... when the younger soundies could see what the mics were, a lot of them then said that the 416 was better and the AT was "thin".... hmmmm, says more about the younger soundies than the microphones in my opinion. It wasn't until the end of the day (and the start of rehearsals) that I told them the results of the blind test.

When playing with all sorts of mics from the cupboard it became obvious that for mid budget mics the Audio Technica and AKG were the most preferred. The Sennheiser K6 (and an old K3) sytem came next and the Rodes at the bottom. We didn't have an NTG-3 (and still don't) so I don't know if that would be any better.

The mics were run through an SQN4 as the sound director wouldn't let us play with his desk!

Secondly, the AKG "active cable" is an extention cable which goes between the capsule and the pre-amp unit. It's called something like the "H28" and means that you can use the capsule, on its own with a ten foot (or thereabouts) thin cable. So it's a lot easier to hide on sets.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #24
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I'd just thought I'd chime in on my thoughts of the Audix SX-1 HC. In short, I love it, but it seems to be extremely sensitive, especially boom mounted, and boom movements. I know I need to look for a better shock mount, and was curious if anyone had a recommendation; it's an extremely small HC mic, compared to the only other HC I own, which is the Rode Nt-3.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #25
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Chris,

The Sennheiser 8000 series are a lot more sensitive to motion and handling noise.

Rycote's invision mount is very good and affordable. I think you want the 7.
http://www.rycote.com/products/invision/

Regards,

Ty Ford
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