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Old October 18th, 2003, 04:25 PM   #1
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Sennheiser ME 66

Hi, has anyone worked with a Sennheiser ME 66 ? Any complaints ? It's strengths/weaknesses. Any feedback would be appreciated.

J.J.
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Old October 18th, 2003, 05:04 PM   #2
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At the risk of flames, it is not a general purpose instrument. It is relatively low noise and works reasonably well.

Not great sonic reproduction and can overload fairly easily in loud environments. The ME66 metal shell is a bit soft and does dent to the detriment of the directional performance.

It shouldn't be the only hammer in your tool box.

For most of us, the 66 is quite adequate used in the proper environment. I'd quite gladly add one to my microphone kit if I didn't already have an AT835B.

There are much better microphones at much higher prices.

So that's sort of a general response. We can be much more specific about the microphone's suitability if you can state what you need to record and the environment in which it must operate.
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Old October 18th, 2003, 05:41 PM   #3
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Hi Mike, thanks for your response. It's for use in a feature, nothing crazy, a lot of the shots will be static, two characters sitting down, almost all interiors, controlled, very simple, and I'll probably be shooting with a XL1s. I realize how important sound is, I'm brand new to sound technique and equipment so any input is greatly appreciated.

thanks,

J.J.
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Old October 18th, 2003, 06:08 PM   #4
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You'd have to pay a lot more to get something better sounding. Mike is right about it having limitations. If it didn't then we wouldn't need different types and levels of mic, would we. it's a great start. If your going to be in very lound enviroments then i'd back up into the AT.

Buy a kit and it'll be cheaper. put the foam wind shield on and leave it on, then the barrel won't get dented. i tried the 835 and didn't like it, it wasn't hot enough for my VX2K. Now i have a mixer with preamps, i may revisit the AT line. The sennheiser isn't nec better than the AT just different.

The AT4073a shotgun will blow the ME66 away but then it's $150 more. the Senn 416 will blow the 4073 away but it's another $450 to $500 and the climb to the top goes on.
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Old October 18th, 2003, 09:37 PM   #5
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I'll also add that since most of this will be interiors, it's important to know the acoustic properties of the space as well as the delivery of the actors.
If it's a reverberent space and the actors are loud, then most any short shotgun will have trouble with off-axis coloration.
On the other hand, if this is a quiet and intimate level of dialog and the space has a lot of soft furniture and you can attenuate any reverb from the ceiling, an ME-66 can do very well.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 12:19 AM   #6
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If the actors are sitting down, I'd strongly consider a pair of Countryman miniature lavs that can really be hidden in the clothing. Tram is another brand that is good.

I regularly use an AT835B directly into my PD150 for dialog purposes inside and outside the studio. Not small rooms for the most part or not hard-surfaced rooms in any case.

I have the microphone boomed right above the actors and just barely out of the frame (I've had to rotoscope a few black blobs out of the top of frames.)

The AT835B is quite good for the movie scenes I'm taping for student acting finals. I also use it for cable television commercials where there will be a music bed throughout the commercial.

But it is not good enough for voice over work. For that I use an AT4043SE studio microphone. Mainly because I'm paying a lot for a good voice and I want every bit of character I can record. When I do that, I usually record into my DSR-300 because I like to see the voice talent working.

Once in a while I'll double-mic a voice talent. Normally I use the studio microphone and my AT81C which sounds different. Then I get a choice.

Bottom line, if I had to do a feature, I'd be using a much better shotgun if I could afford it. Or I'd hire a sound professional. Otherwise, the AT835B is just fine.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 11:16 AM   #7
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J.J.

You didn't mention how you would use the ME66. Just a word of caution...it does overload quite easily with the K6 power unit. I've used it for ambient sound at wedding ceremonies and whenever there was music or singers, we had distortion even with adjusted audio levels. However, you can get the ME66 altered by Sennheiser under warranty and it will behave much better.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 12:47 PM   #8
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I think B&H even carry the module with the lower output mod.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 02:46 PM   #9
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thanks everyone

thank you everyone, for all the advice/expertise. Incredibly helpful. I think I'll try a few different mics, and see how they each react in a couple of the settings that I'll be using. I'll let you know how it goes, and what works well.

thanks again,

J.J.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 03:00 PM   #10
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Joe
I just realized you were in Calgary. What other suppliers do you have there besides Vistek?

If you want to buy Canadian try AVR.com. I deal with Jason or Vlad. they're out of Scarborough Ontario. They had dynamite pricing on Sennheiser ME66/K6. they carry Shure, Sennheiser, Audio Technica, Rode, Oktava, Beyer Dynamic, AKG, Sony, Tram.

I'm usually able to buy cheaper than having the stuff shipped in from the US.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 03:34 PM   #11
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hi bryan, thanks for the info. I'm not looking to buy though, just a little due diligence. I'm thinking of going with the mini35 package offered by scorched ice pictures, here in calgary, to shoot my movie, and it includes a ME66.

J.J.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 08:53 PM   #12
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Joe,
The AT4073a and Sennheiser MKH-416 that Bryan recommended are definitly worth a shot especialy if you are only renting them. However they do require Phantom power. If you end up renting one of them also see if they have a Beachtek DXA-6 which will provide Phantom power.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 01:41 AM   #13
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I have the ME64. It is pretty sensitive, but the sound quality is only so-so. Kinda dry. For something where dialog is important,
I'd move upscale. Don't you believe that this mic is all that. Not much warmth. Spend a couple hundred more and get a good mic.
I thought I was being smart by hooking up with a modular system that is easily expandable, but ... I wish I had a sweet- sounding mic. Joe, this one is not. Go with something else.
This class you are inquiring about is best relegated to ENG. Can anyone suggest a mic for me that would be a noticable step up?
Something that can give some presence?
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Old October 20th, 2003, 09:52 AM   #14
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The ME64 is an omni, the ME66 a hypercardoid in a short shotgun capsule. So for a recomendations for something better, did you read what I wrote in the 4th post on this thread?

"The AT4073a shotgun will blow the ME66 away but then it's $150 more. the Senn 416 will blow the 4073 away but it's another $450 to $500 and the climb to the top goes on."
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Old October 20th, 2003, 10:10 AM   #15
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Ya, I probably shoud've spent a little more. At the time, I figured that for $450 I could get a good mic.
FYI the 64 is not an omni mic -- it is cardioid. I believe the 62 is the omni.
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