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Old February 28th, 2004, 11:25 PM   #31
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This thread has gotten a bit wacky, pero I would like to add one bit. Niel's very interesting tests showed that oktava with the hyper capsule "at 90 degrees to the side it dropped about 8 or 9DB" This is what most manufacturers state about their short shotguns. A 10db drop at 90 degrees is considered ideal for a hyper or short shot. This may not seem dramatic, but take two dialogue tracks into your multitrack software and listen to them compete at the same level. Ahora, drop one of them 10db and listen to the difference. I think you'll find, you can suddenly understand the unaffected track.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 12:28 AM   #32
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thanks bryan, really appreciate the help.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 01:09 AM   #33
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DB?

Um--
Well, they make a lot of Ford Explorers also, and I wouldn't buy one of those either if my life depended on it :-)

Anyway, my point being for all of this trouble, is the APPLICATION of the Octava for video/film rather than for music application.

In the context of a camera or boom mike, where you are primarily recording a talking head/heads on camera-- the hypercardoid versus cardoid Octava mike is pretty much a non-issue for me, and my guess, anyone else using these mikes in this application.
That's because there will almost certainly not be a sound source anywhere near the sound levels off axis of your subject, almost certainly within that 24" or closer area where the real difference between the hyper and regular cardoid can be seen.

Off axis at distances greater than this, hardly any difference between the two capsules of note.

In MUSIC APPLICATIONS, this difference can be important- for example, miking a snare drum that is sitting within inches of a tom tom or cymbal, and you really need to isolate these sounds that are in close proximity. And keep in mind, the Octava MK012 was manufactured with musical applications in mind-- not video cameras.

So, the justification of the design difference of these mikes, and the way they work- makes the difference important for one field, but rather inconsequential for the other.

IN the same vein, news broadcast cameras almost exclusively use shotguns, because these people are on the street, and noisy enviornments where news is happening. Unless you are a news cameraman, most of us shooting video and film work on either a closed set, or an isolated set, where background noise is already fairly quiet, and certainly nothing at all like miking an instrument in a loud band, or isolating a drum in a set- applications where the -4 DB reduction at 90 degrees makes a difference. At 36" or more, the difference between the cardoid and the hypercardoid is miniscule and is academic.

Only when you've got a -3DB signal at 24" or under do you see the difference between the mikes-- and only if you have a SECOND OFF AXIS sound source at this same level coming at the mike.

Less signal- sound sources at greater distances (which will not have the same level, unless you are in a very busy bowling alley!) not even a VU meter is going to see any audible differences between these mikes.

In practical terms, this means if you are miking an on camera conversation, and a car rolls by, or a truck, or there's a TV on in the next room-- things that you are not going to do "take two" because the environmental sounds are not already drowning out your subjects-- you won't be able to tell the difference in off axis noise rejection between the Octava cardoid and the hypercardoid capsules. And my educated guess- having also tested this with $400 AT C3000 large diaphram studio mikes-- is that it wouldn't make a difference with more expensive cardoid/hypercardoid configurations either. Mike design differences between these two just isnt' that great to begin with.

Now, comparing an omni directional with a cardoid/or hypercardoid that's an entirely different story. Same with comparing a true lobar or shotgun design against the cardoid/hyper cardoid-- a noticable difference.

But with all three types cardoid/shotgun/omni-- each of these designs will have inherent sound signatures-- this is apparent just camparing the Octava cardoids against the omni- noticable difference.

There is NOT a difference in the sub-catagories, i.e. cardoid versus hypercardoid-- they sound essentially the same.

People are making the assumption that the 4 DB difference between the cardoid configurations is an across the board number regardless of where the mike is and how its used, it's not.

I wish it was! Then I would be pleased as punch to pay the extra $100 US to upgrade the normal cardoid mike.

Hope this clears up a couple of the details of the WHY these mikes exist and what the actual practical application of the differences boils down to.

Be aware, I'm not putting anyone's opinions down and I enjoy delving into these things. Mostly because I want to justify spending the extra $100 for a capsule- and if it actually will make a difference in my application, or if I'm just throwing money away. If it were just a $50 difference here in the US-- hell, I'd buy the 3 capsule set too, just to get the omni! But its, not, its another $100.

(Bear in mind that I already have a Neuman TLM103, and two AT C3000 mikes for my little studio, and each of those has a cardoid and hypercardoid switch.)

Neil
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Old February 29th, 2004, 09:19 AM   #34
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I just typed a super long post and then erased it before popping this up. Sometimes I think these "debates" are interesting to readers and sometimes I think it promotes ill feelings between members... and I don't want this to become one of those threads.

In my opinion. You don't have to be a "millionaire with money to burn" to justify a lousy hundred bucks for two caps... I find it ironic that you felt the need to point out that you bought a thousand dollar studio mic and then you want to convince everybody else that $50 bucks a cap is millionaire money.

As per your findings for $50 per cap you will get a difference that you can hear as well as measure.

I do put my Oktava's to use in very crowded situations and in noisy environments and every bit of desired signal coming in over unwanted noise is valuable. Weddings, events, sports, ENG...

If you don't hear any difference then keep the cardioid and forget the other caps... for anybody reading this I suggest you completely DUMP the idea of getting any Oktava and get the At4073a... it is audibly and measurably superior to the Oktava.

For $530 you can have a mic that's about 15% better then the Oktava hyper (at the things you want a shotgun/hyper for)...

What's that? You say "but it's only $200 for a kit which includes a cap that sounds just a little worse then the At4073a" and you say "you even get an omni and cardioid for other uses"?...

What are you? A millionaire? Just get the 4073a and be done with it.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 09:52 AM   #35
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I should add that, for anybody trying to decide what Oktava choice to make, that I actually DID previously decide to get the cardioid only kits... but when I compared an Oktava cardioid with the 4073a I was dissappointed at how much off-axis sound was competing with my dialog.

My original intent with the Oktavas was to have a nice sounding, small mic for on-cam use... when I needed it. (Super short shot)

So if you buy the cardioid only kit and later decide you want one of the other caps... it'll cost you $73 shipped. For ONE cap.

Then at that point you're only looking at a $30 savings over the 3 cap kit. Or worse, let's say you end up wanting all 3 caps... Those extra two caps will then cost you around $135... putting your total cost UP $35 from what it would have been.

I ordered the hyper cap to compliment one of the two cardioid only kits... I still haven't decided if I need two hypers, but I have had times when I'd have liked to have two omni's and I've had times when I wanted two cardioids.

So when it's all said and done I'll have spent $70 or so MORE by not just getting the 3 cap kits from the start.

I'm speaking from experience on all this and I can tell you, that the differences and the VALUE of those differences in mics greatly increase when it becomes the only limiting factor on a shoot. How many times have you read posts asking how to fix "soft" audio or how to clean up extraneous noise? With your video you can cut to black or do a fade or jump-cut to something unrelated and if your audio is preserved nobody even notices... but if your sound has problems it's all the viewers can think about...

When I received the hyper cap and tested it... I realized I probably wouldn't need the At4073a at all. That's a pretty big compliment for $73... (which is only $27 away from the extra $100 for TWO caps)...
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Old February 29th, 2004, 01:41 PM   #36
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Opinion

Hey, isn't this why we have DISCUSSION? Nothing personal at work here.

Matt, however, the first rule of debate is don't contradict yourself :-) (friendly jab jab)

>If you don't hear any difference then keep the cardioid and forget the other caps... for anybody reading this I suggest you completely DUMP the idea of getting any Oktava and get the At4073a... it is audibly and measurably superior to the Oktava.

then
>When I received the hyper cap and tested it... I realized I probably wouldn't need the At4073a at all. That's a pretty big compliment for $73...


Matt found a difference between the hyper and the regular Octava capsules-- I found minimal.

I guess that sums it up pretty good.

I spent several hours A/Bing the mike capsules under various conditions that I might expect to find, specifically comparing the differences.. And that's what my opinion is in the end. Like I said, I WISH I had found a significant difference, but I just didn't. So I decided to spend my money on something else..

I would like to hear from someone else who has both the hyper and the reg. cardoid who will do a few systematic tests with a VU meter and see what they find. Maybe I just had a piece of crap hyper capsule for all I know!

Happy sound recording y'all.
Cheers.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 04:41 PM   #37
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Neil... sorry if I sounded like a smartass. I was being sarcastic about the Oktava hyper vs. the At4073a when I said to get the AT... what I meant is that the same approximate jump from the Oktava hyper to the AT is over $400 and the same little jump from the cardioid to the hyper is only a hundred or less... plus you still get the cardioid (and omni)...

Seriously I'm just glad you got turned on to the Oktava 'cause I think they're such a bargain at the price.

That's the only reason that I think the extra caps are so cheap... even though they only mod the mic a bit... it is a difference that can be seen and heard... all for $50 a cap...

I was only debating on a matter of principle based on what our little hobby can cost us.

At this point I've probably got around $15K in it so a hundred bucks seems cheap.

If Oktava really wanted to they could release the MK012 as a "deluxe" with all the hot-rod components installed... then they could ask for $200-$250 for it... and we'd gladly pay. At least I would have (before we knew we could get these at such a bargain).

So I guess really I was just debating the value of the 3 cap kit vs. the value of the 1 cap kit overall. I think they are at the minimum an equal value, and in my opinion the 3-capper is the better deal if you end up wanting all 3...

Sorry if I don't always make my points clearly... and thanks for not being offended when I toss out that sarcasm. I don't want to cause ill feelings... I just wanted to make my "value" point a little sharper.
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Old March 1st, 2004, 11:43 AM   #38
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Ah ha

Ah yes, sometimes humour doesn't translate in emails and text....

These day's I'm really watching my pennies, so I have to really justify spending even $50, and then $100--

I've more than once heard claims about equipment, whether it be a printer, or a piece of audio gear- only to find at home and in application that it doesn't live up to claims.

I'm not complaining about the overall sound quality and relative cost of the MK012-- it's tremendous. I'm just being realistic about the actual differences I found with my capsules, and whether or not for me it was worth spending double for something (additional caps) that didn't make a big difference as I observed it and tested it.

Thanks
and thanks for your input. Glad I learned about the Ocatava option in the first place!
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Old March 1st, 2004, 11:51 AM   #39
 
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Guys....I think it's time for this thread to end, I've been watching it, and nothing good is coming out of it any longer, except a couple of private emails to me asking about it. Let's move on, OK?
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Old March 4th, 2004, 11:29 AM   #40
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Thanks

Personally, I always thought "thanks for your input" was a good way to end a discussion.
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