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Old October 23rd, 2008, 09:17 AM   #1
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Shotgun Mic Query

Hi

I'm a novice when it comes to audio. I have recently purchased a Sony HVR-Z1E camera and am looking to source a good microphone. The recording will be for TV broadcasting and will be situated in a sound-proofed studio environment.

The mics that have been recommended to me are as follows:
Sennheiser K6/ME66
Sennheiser MKH-416

Obviously there is a difference in price, but I was wondering if anyone could advise as to the best purchase. The majority of recording will be indoors, but there may be the possibility of outdoor recording at some point.

Are there any other makes I should consider?

Many thanks.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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You would be better off looking for a hyper-cardioid for indoor work. Interference tube shotguns do not perform well in reverberant spaces. Look at the Senn. MKH-50, AT-4053, Oktava 012 and other "hypers" that fit you budget.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:45 AM   #3
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Hi James, I have the Sennheiser K6/ME66 and am very happy with it but some suggested the K6/ME64. The 64 is shorter and if I was to do it again I would have went for the ME64 instead.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 12:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by James Curran View Post
Hi

I'm a novice when it comes to audio. I have recently purchased a Sony HVR-Z1E camera and am looking to source a good microphone. The recording will be for TV broadcasting and will be situated in a sound-proofed studio environment.

The mics that have been recommended to me are as follows:
Sennheiser K6/ME66
Sennheiser MKH-416

Obviously there is a difference in price, but I was wondering if anyone could advise as to the best purchase. The majority of recording will be indoors, but there may be the possibility of outdoor recording at some point.

Are there any other makes I should consider?

Many thanks.
Hi James:

A good place to begin would be here As I Hear It - Choosing the Right Microphone

You can audition 11 different models with lots of images and sound files so that you can compare the sound quality. I agree, if you mostly shoot interiors, a hypercardioid might be a better choice than a shotgun.

Dan
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Old October 25th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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Hi again. Thanks for all your advice to-date. Much appreciated. I have researched this further, but find that for some of the mics, for every good review, there seems to be a negative one. The budget that I'm working to for a mic is about £600 ($950) maximum. Would prefer to spend less than that, but you pay for quality (usually!)

Can anyone recommend a particular hyper-cardioid mic that would be good in a studio environment. I know everyone has their own preference, but is there a standard one that you could recommend? Some have recommended Sennheiser MKH50, others AKG. Unfortunately I am more confused than ever.

Thanks for taking the time to read this - looking forward to your advice.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #6
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Hello James,

You said you'd be recording in a sound-proofed studio environment. A shotgun will work in that environment. There is a qualitative difference between the two Sennheisers mentioned. The 416 sounds better than the ME.

But we're getting way ahead of ourselves. First, what will you be micing and how do you expect to mic it?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old October 25th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by James Curran View Post
Hi again. Thanks for all your advice to-date. Much appreciated. I have researched this further, but find that for some of the mics, for every good review, there seems to be a negative one. The budget that I'm working to for a mic is about £600 ($950) maximum. Would prefer to spend less than that, but you pay for quality (usually!)

Can anyone recommend a particular hyper-cardioid mic that would be good in a studio environment. I know everyone has their own preference, but is there a standard one that you could recommend? Some have recommended Sennheiser MKH50, others AKG. Unfortunately I am more confused than ever.

Thanks for taking the time to read this - looking forward to your advice.
You've said you're in a studio broadcast scenario. Can you be more specific as to the setup you need to cover? Are you looking for a mic to boom over the talent or something else? While hypers are often recommended for interiors, that's usually in the context of booming on location in normal everyday environments where the acoustics haven't been controlled. In a true soundstage studio environment different rules apply and both hypers and shotguns can work well on the boom. But in studio with relatively stationary talent, say in a talk-show/interview situation, wired lavs can also be used with good results. And a lot of shows like cooking and other 'lifestyles' shows where there's a fair amount of movement around the stage, difficult to follow with a single boom, might prefer to use wireless lavs on the talent. Just what kind of show are you gearing up for?
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Old October 25th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #8
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Yeah, as already pointed out, you need to explain the application better. Also, I don't think anyone would dispute that it would be better to have the 416 over the ME66 if you can afford it.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #9
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James:

Not sure about the U.K. but with the conversion rate over here, you don't have nearly enough budget to buy a mic like the MKH50 anyway. For your price range, you should probably take a listen to the Sankens (CS1 and CS3e). You can't afford a new CS3e but if you can find a used one...

Or, I am told that the AKG Blueline stuff is good and pretty inexpensive. They would not participate in my article but I have heard...

The MKH-416 is a great classic mic as well but does generally require more skill than most mics when using it on a boom pole.

Good luck,

Dan
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Old October 26th, 2008, 04:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post

The MKH-416 is a great classic mic as well but does generally require more skill than most mics when using it on a boom pole.

Good luck,

Dan
Hi Dan,

what do you mean by this?


Thanks,


Andres.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #11
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Hi.

Thanks for getting back to me. The setup is in a sound-proofed studio (was originally a recording studio). It will be one person and one camera (though hoping to move to a 2-camera option later). Its a interview-type scenario.

I had originally consider using wired lavs but from reading around it seemed like the shotgun mic MKH-416 was perhaps a better option to go for. A friend of mine had used Sony ECM lavs - what do you think of those?
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Old October 26th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #12
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James
There are of course many good shotgun and lavaliere mics that you could use.
The best way to choose is to listen to Dan Brocket's recordings and make your own mind up. It's a fantastic resource.
A lavaliere and shotgun is out of your budget so you can't use both.
You can just about afford the Sanken CS3-e. The place that I bought mine from are selling them for £575 plus VAT which is what I paid almost two years ago. However if you don't have a boom operator you will run into problems with a boomed shotgun if your interviewee moves around (and the best ones often do).
The Sony ECM 77 lavs are an industry standard. There are others eg DPA 4061. Check them out on Dan's site and trust your own judgement. You're going to have to start trusting it at some point.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 06:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Not sure about the U.K. but with the conversion rate over here, you don't have nearly enough budget to buy a mic like the MKH50 anyway.
The new MKH 8050 is about £400 cheaper than the MKH 50 in the UK. Same pattern, same diameter diaphragm, but much smaller.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #14
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If you wiill be doing a sit-down interview with someone then you don't need a shotgun. That is not it's purpose. Not saying it won't work, just saying there are better tools for the job.

My order of preference would be:

1. Lav
2. Hyper-card
3. Super-card
4. Shotgun

In category 1, I'd be looking for a Sanken Cos-11x or a countryman B3. There are other good options too, but these are the top of my list.

In category 2, someone has already mentioned the Ocktava and it's a good option, but listen to Ty when he makes his recommendations on this. The Senn 416 is a terrific mic too. So are the Sankens.

Category 3, the ME66/K6 is good. I can point you to video of an interview where this was used and you can hear for yourself. It's not idea, but it's relatively inexpensice and works fairly well.

Category 4, I'd probably avoid. Wrong tool for the job and the worst sound quality. Like taking an estate car to the race track.
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