Oktava M012 Cardioid Mic Evaluation at DVinfo.net

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Old December 28th, 2003, 05:11 PM   #1
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Oktava M012 Cardioid Mic Evaluation

We discussed this mic some in another thread. In summary, I'm testing this mic with the cardioid head, run through a BeachTek DXA-6 (provides 48v) and into the mic input of a Pana PV-DV852 cam.

Today, I did some experimentation using the Oktava as an overhead boom mics out of doors. It was faily cool, damp and there was only a slight breeze here in Fort Worth. I had a cheap RadioShack foam cover over the mic. I tested in my residential neighborhood, on a quiet Sunday afternoon. There was a a bit of ambience, airplanes in the distance, dogs barking, distant highway, etc.

I tested the mic at 1 foot, 2 feet, and 3 feet above my head, about a foot in front of me. At 1 foot, the mics sounds rich and full bodied, and normal voice dominated the ambience. It sounded extemely good to me. At 2 feet, perfornace was still excellent, normal voice sounded very good, still rich, with only a hint of distance in the sound. Ambience was still easily dominated by a normal speaking volume. Even using a hushed voice, performance seems easily acceptable to my ear. At 3 feet, there was a more noticeable characteristic of 'distance' to the sound, but the perfomance was still readily acceptible to me, and the ambience did not seem too loud. Speaking with a slightly louder tone of voice seemed to overcome the characteristic of distance.

I was assuming I had to buy a shotgun mic to do outdoors shooting for my film. But now I feel like can use the Oktava on an overhead boom, provided there isn't a great deal of background noise to overcome. I will have some control over this by selecting shooting times and locations that will be relative quiet. Indoors, I am sure the Oktava will perform excellent.

I am looking for a better windscreen/shield for the little Oktavas (20mm dia. by 100m long), if anyone knows of such a thing, please let me know. Also, any recommendations for a shock mount would be welcomed.

Cheers...
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Old December 28th, 2003, 11:50 PM   #2
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I've been testing my Oktava this evening also. With the cardioid capsules, I compared it side by side to the akg blueline(akg c391b).

Dang near identical.

I put them side by side about 15 inches over my head. Set the gain identically on both channels of my Duo. Both had good levels, but the Oktava is about 5db hotter. The oktava may be a little richer in the low end, but like I said, almost identical.

I then normalized both tracks and ran a spectrum analyses on them, and they aren't identical but they are close.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 04:22 AM   #3
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Hey guys. Where can one get a quality controlled version of this mic? I have heard there are places in the states that will import them and check and make sure they're ok as I've heard it's a hit and miss if you buy directly.

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Old December 30th, 2003, 11:31 AM   #4
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Thank you SO much for posting those dimensions Dan! I tried to find that info all over the net with no luck.

I'm now trying to decide between the Oktava MC012 and a Rode NT1000... in street prices, they are equal... around $299.

I expect that the NT1000 would win that comparison based on everything I've read and on how good I thought the NT1A sounded. By every test the NT1000 is supposed to be a much superior mic to the NT1A and I was very impressed with the sound of the NT1A at a street price of $199...

But the MC012 does sound good and with the Oktava you get 3 caps to modify the character and use of the mic. Plus the design of the Oktava would be fairly practical outside of a studio, but the NT1000 may be clumsy on location.

What do you think?
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Old December 30th, 2003, 12:41 PM   #5
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The mic I compared with my akg, was a $99 guitar center purchase. FYI
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Old December 30th, 2003, 12:41 PM   #6
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I have no experience with the Rode. Look at the weight, I've read that light weight is really good for use on a boompole.

I bought a WindTech 20mm stand clip with built-in shock mount ($10) and I've been using that. Holds the Oktave just fine for fixed positions, but on a boom pole, more isolation is needed. I have an AT 8415 rubber band shock mount on the way (ironically, it costs as much as the mic). I hope the little Oktava doesn't get lost in it.

For wind protection, there are Rycote and LightWave products, but they are WWaaayyy to expensive. I'm going to pick up a scrap of synthetic fur and sew a little bootie for the RadioShack foam screne. It it's too windy for that, I'll wait for a calmer day.

For my film, I'm going to use a tall K&M mic stand (90") with boom (80") to hold the mic in a fixed position as much as possible. For situtations where the talent is moving, I'll probably either edit the scenes to prevent talking/moving simultaneously, or I may go with a wireless lav. I dunno? I'm going to shoot my film without a sound guy.

Other than that, I feel like the Oktavas are the best, most professionally, performing part of my modest system.
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Old December 30th, 2003, 03:55 PM   #7
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Matt if you'd empty your mailbox you'd be able to listen to a clip. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :)))

The NT2000 is the absolute nuts as a voice over mic (for my voice). I ran it against the ev re20 and the Rode broadcaster. The Oktava would be close though. Actually the AKG D230 has a really rich sound as well. It all depends on your "pipes' I s'pose.

I'd just like to point out that Martin was very lucky. There have been reports of the specials from Guitar Center being very spotty so far as quality is concerned. There is also a varying story on returns. Some GC's are refusing to accept returns as mics are like underwear apparently ;)) Some guys buy a bunch and weed out the bad, it's still a deal. Apparently there is active traffic both out the front and back door of the Oktava factory.

The prices vary throughout the world and range from $50 to $300 US for a single capsule. GC's reg price was listed at over $200. No one really seems to know the real storey.
The Canadian Distributor was saying that there's a ton of B stock floating around. he say's he's never had a problem and all his stuff is guaranteed.

Before, i accepted mine the dealer and i went through and compared every mic and capsule to the original demo that oktava supplied. I paid 265 can per kit ($195 US). I bought the 012 with a cardoid, hypercardoid, omni and 10db pad, it also came in matte black.
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Old December 30th, 2003, 05:02 PM   #8
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I'd mention that the everyday price at GC is $99 for one M012 with the cardioid capsule and -10dB pad. I got a 2-for-1 deal on a one-day-only radio ads special. Pure luck, BTW. The people paying $150-195 are getting all three capsules. That's a big difference. Thus, I don't think the prices vary as widely as it seems.

Now, if there is some shody 'B'-stock units out there, caveat emptor! I think Guitar Center is by and large a reputable dealer. I am sure they would let you plug the mics into a sound board an run an informal test on the units you were looking to buy.
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Old December 30th, 2003, 10:51 PM   #9
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As I just bought an NTK there today I thought I'd let you guys know... for those who want to take a little gamble... that until close tomorrow, 31st of December, you can get an Oktava mco12 cardiod for $49, limit two.

I definitely would have taken my chances at that throw away price, but I had my mind set on a Rode when I went in the door, and although the Oktavas (sound-room.com ones) seem to have a pure, clean, detailed, full-bodied sound... they just don't quite do it for me...

I've read SO many comparisons between Oktava's and Schoeps and tons of support for the GOOD mc012's that I couldn't stop staring at them, but I heard the voice of reason, Ok it was the voice of Beaser... telling me to get the super-rich sounding Rode.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 01:21 AM   #10
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I thought this link was interesting.

http://www.productionrecording.com/T...va.graphs.html
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Old December 31st, 2003, 02:47 AM   #11
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I actually liked the oktavas better. One mic I am absolutely smitten with is the Microtech Gefell M300. i'm dragging my feet cuz it's a cardoid and not a hyper.

Poor Matt I sent him herds of sound files.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 08:44 AM   #12
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Dang!, I might just go pick up a couple more so I can leave the mics in each mount set-up permanently. At $49 they are cheaper than the shock mount and wind screen, serioulsy. I just wish GC sold the hyper-cardioid capsule.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 11:10 AM   #13
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Everyday I jump on here to see what's happening... I'm laughing 'cause it feels like a miking frenzy... It's like a feeding frenzy, but we're all in different cities... Can a shark be in a feeding frenzy all by himself?

I guess he can if his friends tell him about the meals they're having.

Sorry, I got weird there. Dan I'm almost tempted to get one or two of the Oktava's myself at those prices! There are two points regarding that though: 1) When you stumble across what SEEMS to be a very good deal it's easy to rationalize other factors. 2) That said, even though Guitar Center does NOT take mic returns, you could dump them on Ebay and probably actually make a profit.

So if the guys at my local GC would let me plug into something, then I may try one out. If it has a low noise floor and good sound then what's to argue about? But I'm already mistrustful of my own judgement because I WANT to believe that I found a real bargain... It's possible that the sound-room versions really are LOTS better... but it's ALSO possible that you may get lucky...

I know ONE thing for sure... If those response graphs posted for this mic were accurate for ALL the mc012's then you wouldn't be able to get one for $49... There is just NO way... Also I'd love to hear what some of you think about that mic's self noise? From what I heard it wasn't bad... but significantly more then some other mics, such as the NT1a... I think in this range you really have to decide what's most important to you... for me it's warmth, even if it errs on the side of muddy, and internal silence.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 02:15 PM   #14
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The Rode mics strongest sellling point is how quiet they are.

I haven't noticed the oktava to be unusually noisy, but I'm not sure my preamps are nice enough to really be able to compare the mic noise with my akg.
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