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Old May 16th, 2009, 11:15 AM   #1
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Need Help Choosing Microphone Heads for a Sennheiser K6

I am thinking of getting a Sennheiser K6 power module. This will be mounted on a boom and be used in film production. The question is which microphone heads to get to put on it. The choice is as follows:

ME 62 - omni, £160
ME 64 - cardioid, £176
ME 65 - supercardioid, £226
ME 66 - supercardioid/lobar, £125
ME 67 - lobar/long gun, £225

I can only really afford two or three heads at the moment - depending on which ones they are (The ME 65 and ME 67 are quite expensive). Can anyone advise me which two to get in order to cover most situations?

I was thinking of getting the ME 65 for capturing speech and ambient sound indoors from a boom pole, does that sound like a good idea?
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Old May 16th, 2009, 12:50 PM   #2
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The ME65 is unfortunately designed for handheld vocal use rather than as a typical hypercardioid boom mic. It has too low a sensitivity to be of much use on a boom.
I have the ME66 and ME64. I use them not so much for their sound quality but because they are convenient since my 66 has the great Lightwave Equalizer wind muff and the 64 is useful for picking up wider clusters of people all talking at once, which I do a lot of.
The are both very sensitive (too powerful for some mic inputs) and they can run on internal battery which is useful for connecting them to wireless transmitters or recorders that don't put out phantom power.
Otherwise, I'd be sure to check out different mics. There are many mics now available that have better sound and cost much less than they did back in the mid to late 1990's when I got the Sennheisers.
There's nothing really wrong with them, I just think there are other good choices available as complete mics that you can use simultaneously. In other words I don't think the modular concept really saves any money since you can only use one capsule at a time.
Just my opinion though and the devices you'll be connecting to will also have some influence on your mic choices.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #3
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Ah, thanks Jay, I didn't realise the ME65 wouldn't be suitable.

I guess I could get an ME 64 and an ME66 combo like yourself. Do you find they cover most situations?

Where did you get the Lightwave Equalizer wind muff?
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Old May 16th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #4
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Hi Stuart..........

Jay's comments notwhithstanding (and he raises some very valid points) I personally run a ME64, ME66 and a ME67, which pretty well covers the entire range of my standalone mic needs (wildlife mostly).

Just one thing to pick up on in Jay's comments is the power module itself. Don't go for the K6P, which will only run on phantom, it needs to be the K6 to run both self powered and phantom.

His point about saving money is valid, I have 3 X K6 modules so as not to have to bugger about swapping over if I want to use my third mike, hence, no cost savings there.

You will need to factor into the final cost of this purchase a full wind protection system for all the mics - I have Rycote Softies for all three plus a full 3 mic Windjammer system as well, tho' if all your shooting is indoors the Windjammer will be unecessary (the Windjammer for the ME67/ K6 is gigantic!)

It all adds up to a pretty eye watering amount.

Throw in the two mic stands (with booms) and Rode boom, Sennheiser wireless (2 complete systems) and Zoom H4 and I'm pretty well loaded for bear!

I think I can safely say I've never been "caught short" on the sound front.

Are there better mic's out there?

Undoubtedly.

However, as down here in the boonies a "test drive" is out of the question, plus the already $10 - 20k + sound investment I already have can't be ditched any time soon (not that I would, I like the sound) I don't suffer from "mic envy" in the slightest.

Good luck.

BTW: This is a ME67/ K6 fitted with a Rycote Softie, sitting atop my Canon XH A1. If you want to "reach out for the sound", that's the puppy to do it.

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Old May 16th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help Chris

I was leaning towards a Rode NTG-3 mic, boom, zeppelin, windshield kit for outdoors and a modded Oktava MK-012 for interior work at a total price of around £950 - £1000. The MK-012 would give lots of flexibility with its interchangeable capsules.

However, the Sennheiser ME 64 and ME 66 kit with two K6 power modules works out at about £551 without a boom or a zeppelin. So once I include them it might be a similar total price to the Rode/Oktava combo.

These prices don't include a boom stand or field mixer of course, or the 4 XLR cables I'll need. I can feel my eyes starting to water now.

Hmmm, which kit would you go for?
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Old May 16th, 2009, 05:27 PM   #6
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I OWN a K6/ME66 and I'm looking at buying an NTG-2 to "replace" it. Very similar pick up and more natural sound. I may add an NTG-3 to the mix as well.

The issue I have with the ME66 is that it's a very "growly and harsh" sounding mic. I've used it for tears in TV news but have to say the NTG-2 at one third the price is a great solution.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #7
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Thanks Shaun, do you think there's much advantage of the NTG-3 over the NTG-2?
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Old May 16th, 2009, 06:07 PM   #8
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Freudian Slip..............?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
I've used it for tears in TV news
I think we've worked out where you stand on the subject, Shaun!

Stuart, you're where I was about three years ago, and making the choice was very difficult, especially as a number of the "favourites" on these boards weren't around at the time.

I also had to get the best bang for my buck and cover all the bases, so had to trim my sails somewhat to fit it all into a decent but not infinite budget.

If I had to do it again now, yep there's better mic's out there. If I could do what I said in the previous paragraph and get better mic's within budget I would.

If I was you, I'd go back to basics, analyze exactly how many bases you need to cover and work out the total cost of ownership based on the varying quality of equipment.

If you can make the better mic's work, go for it.

If not, think again.


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Old May 16th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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Thanks Chris and well spotted!

I'll have to do some more sums and prioritisation I think. I've got lots more gear I need too - improved tripod, head, and so on... I need to prioritise very carefully so as to get the best performance for pound (that doesn't sound as good as bang for buck) or power to pound ratio (that sounds better).

At the end of the day, on a limited budget, there's always a difficult decision between a number of products - each of which has advantages and drawbacks. But, eventually you have to be brave and buy one of them! I haven't quite got to the brave stage with these mics yet though. I could just go on a big holiday instead - that's always tempting!

Hope wildlife filming is going well. Do you have any footage online I could watch Chris?
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Old May 16th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #10
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I sound like a broken record, but I would urge you to look into the AKG blueline 300b with different capsules. Better than the Sennheiser K6 and the Oktava IMO and very competitively priced. It doesn“t really seem to get the credit it deserves on this board for some reason though...
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Old May 17th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #11
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Thanks for the other option Matthius, unfortunately I've already bitten the bullet and ordered the Oktava and windscreen etc... It is a modded Oktava though.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #12
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I take it you decided against the K6 system then Stuart?
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:06 AM   #13
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Hi Marco

Yes. I've ordered a modded Oktava MK012 with the 3 capsules. Hope I've made the right decision. I got tired of spending so much time looking at all the different mics and reading about audio I just ordered it - I need to make another film at some point ... :) It is quite a bargain mic as they go and I'm really looking forward to trying it.

But I will have to choose on a shotgun mic for outdoor work later on, which could be the R0de NTG-3 or a Sennheiser K6/ME66 or even something else. I already have an Audiotechnika At815b shotgun but it's so big (18.11" or 46 cm long) I don't think you can easily get a zeppelin and dead cat big enough to go over it so I will probably upgrade eventually. The foam windshield the AT comes with doesn't do much to stop wind rumble.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #14
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Sure you can. B&H lists this as suitable for the AT815b, but check with Rycote first if you get it.

RYS32M | B&H Photo Video

If it were me, I'd probably stick with the AT815b, so long as you're committed to not using it indoors.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #15
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Thanks Marco! I checked on the Rycote website and they recommend that softie for the At815b. I'll order one now :)

That'll save me a pretty penny! It's 50% the price of the mic, but much cheaper than a new mic.
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