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Old July 9th, 2004, 07:50 AM   #1
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Okay, now I'm REALLY confused! :)

A couple months ago I asked about what type of mic to buy for my VX2000. I got a variety of answers. I went with the Beachtek DXA-8 (I already ordered it) and the Oktava. Since I already went over my budget with the Beachtek, I wanted to go lighter on the mic. A couple people suggested the Octava and it was mentioned the price would be around $100-$190. Now I see you can buy the Oktave in parts? I need to know just what parts to buy.

I really don't want to change my mind on the mic. I posted most of my questions in the VX2000 forum because of the mic issues with that camera, I felt the guys would give me good advice. I also posted another earlier than that in this forum. I know the Oktava is from Russia and will take about 8 million years to get to me (an exaggeration, of course!) Is there anyway I can swing this for $100 to $190? I hope so... I don't want to start from square one! Bryan Beasliegh was one of a few that suggested the Oktave and he said the cost would be $100-$190.

Help!
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Old July 9th, 2004, 11:44 AM   #2
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I think that the Sound Room(http://sound-room.com) is the official US distributor of Oktava Mics. You may find them at other places for cheaper, but I think that the Sound Room tests them and pics the best ones. Oktava's quality control is notoriously shakey.

You probably want the MC012 body and a supercardioid capsule. You may be able to get by with just the cardioid, but I found that the pattern on a cardioid wasn't quite tight enough. You can order the body with omni, cardioid, and super cardioid capsules or just get the basic body and order a separate super cardioid capsule if you find that you need it. I doubt that you'll ever need an omni capsule.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 11:58 AM   #3
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Thanks...

By the way, I just got off the phone with Jason from at AVR. He told me that the Oktava is not the best mic for an "on board" mic. I looked up the past postings on this and he's right. Bryan told me previously that the Oktava was good, but not for on camera.

So NOW my new questionis this... has ANYBODY here used the Oktava on their camera? I wanted to purchase the hypercartoid with the Oktava, but, now, I'm wondering.

Is there any other mic out there suitable for on camera? My budget dwindled down considerably. Orignally I wanted to purchase the Beachtek 4 and the Sennheiser, but since I purchased the Beachtek 8, it narrowed my budget to nothing over $200.

Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated! I am dying to get this ordered. My Beachtek is on it's way (just got an e-mail). Hopefully something will come up! I don't want to use a boom for my mic (i am picturing something the length of a broomstick, etc.).

Oh yeah... I'm looking to do documentary stuff... along those lines. Working on stuff pretty much in the general area in front of me.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #4
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Linda
I've tried to explain that the Oktava is a modular mic. You can buy it with an Cardoid capsule or you can buy a kit that includes an Omni, a cardoid and a hypercardoid capsule. these capsules just screw on the preamp body. One mic preamp (the body of the mic) can be changed to whatever pattern you need by screwing a different capsule onto it.

An omni capsule gives 360 degree coverage, a cardoid about 120-180 degree and a hypercardoid about 90 degree.

I've always advocated buying the mic at a responsible retailer and in the US that's the Sound Room and the prices arec as i posted 193 fot the Oktava preamp body and the cardoid capsule. the kit which includes an omni, a cardoid and a hypercardoid capsule is 299US.

Everytime some one mentions the sound room someone else always chimes in that they bought the same mic fot $50 to 100. These prices are found at various guitar centers. The quality consistency of these bargain mics has also been questioned

If you don't understand what the various components do, then don't buy them until you're clear on their function.This article should clear things up.
http://www.dv.com/features/features_.../2003/rose0203

Here's what I would do.
Go online at www.oktava.co and get the number for the sound room. Order the $193 Oktava cardoid kit. get it and try it out. later if you'd like a hypercardoid , then buy one for $64.

No muss , no fuss and you know that the sound room backs the mic as being a quality instrument.

or deal with a GC clerk that chances are wouldn't know a cardoid from a hole in the ground.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 01:14 PM   #5
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I use the MC012 on my camera with a beachtek DXA-6 and the hypercardioid capsule with decent results. I'm sure that the Oktava isn't the best mic for the job, but for under $200 I don't know how much better you can do.

I didn't buy the Oktava for this purpose. I bought to record my guitar. It just happens to be the mic that I have, so I use it on my camera and generally get much better results than with the on camera mic.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 02:29 PM   #6
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Thanks Cannon, and thanks Bryan!

Cannon... thanks for filling me in. So you're happy with the Oktava on camera. That's good to know.

Bryan... you've been very helpful and I do understand the basic concept of microphones. And I do agree with you about finding the right place to buy something! Quality is important to me! I guess I'm just spazzin out here in Cleveland... too excited about the Beachtek coming to me! I might have been thrown off a bit and assumed the Oktava was a on camera type mic when I first posted a couple months ago and it was suggested to me.

Anywho... I'm looking at my latest Digital Videomaker mag and it talks about mics. Hmmm... gotta keep the budget down. The mag doesn't talk about the Oktava though. Oh well, I'll still watch for any other suggestions out there in the meantime.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 05:34 PM   #7
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There are 3 posts going here that could have been one post... it's all the same topic.

I thought I offered some answers to all this in another thread... is that wasted time?

I realize that we all offer a combination of opinion and experience... and I don't want to step on any toes... so I won't restate my whole reply that's already in another post...

I'll still recommend the premium selection from the Sound Room... but if you're considering low-end Azden shotguns 'cause you're out of cash... then I don't mind pointing you to GC and taking a chance. If you end up wanting to complete the kit (to effectively have 3 different mics) then you'll end up spending the extra cash at the Sound Room anyway.

I use an Oktava hyper on-cam a lot and have no complaints... for some uses another TYPE of mic would be better... but this one gets the job done a lot of the time.

BTW we all use a lot of different mics... you'll find out the hard way that there is NO one mic that does everything well. Eventually you'll share the opinion that a MINIMUM mic kit will include at least 3 different choices.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 05:44 PM   #8
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Thanks Matt... I appreciated your advice and didn't mean for my questions to be carried out in 3 seperate posts. I was trying to keep on-topic so I posted seperately but I got a little carried away with the Oktava stuff.

This thread is no longer really necessary!
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Old July 9th, 2004, 10:45 PM   #9
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Linda wrote
**"By the way, I just got off the phone with Jason from at AVR. He told me that the Oktava is not the best mic for an "on board" mic. I looked up the past postings on this and he's right. Bryan told me previously that the Oktava was good, but not for on camera."**

Linda, Jason is a salesman and is into digital studio gear for music. he knows nothing about DV audio.

**"So NOW my new questionis this... has ANYBODY here used the Oktava on their camera? I wanted to purchase the hypercartoid with the Oktava, but, now, I'm wondering."**

Matt and Greg Winter use it on camera. I know of at least half a dozen people on these threads that use it on camera. So long as your not jumping all over the place, you'll be ok. Will this be indoors or out?

**"Is there any other mic out there suitable for on camera? My budget dwindled down considerably. Orignally I wanted to purchase the Beachtek 4 and the Sennheiser, but since I purchased the Beachtek 8, it narrowed my budget to nothing over $200.**

The Oktava is a good start, the only other mics that i'd look at are
the AT's (835 preferably the 897)
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Old July 9th, 2004, 10:49 PM   #10
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Linda, did you also budget for a shockmount and windscreen?

Those two accessories will also really improve your audio quality.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 11:47 PM   #11
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Thanks Bryan & Glenn:

Glenn - the shockmount and sock I can work on later. I can work improvise in the meantime - fabric and rubberbands :)

Bryan - the mic will be used both indoors and outdoors. Yes, I saw a picture of Winter with his modified Sony and it mentioned the Oktava as his mic. Oh yeah... I got your e-mails, haven't opened them yet!

Thanks again... sorry for seeming spastic and posting several e-mails for one topic! I'm more stressed at figuring out which mic to buy than I was when I bought my vx2000!
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Old July 10th, 2004, 07:53 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Gettemeier :
BTW we all use a lot of different mics... you'll find out the hard way that there is NO one mic that does everything well. Eventually you'll share the opinion that a MINIMUM mic kit will include at least 3 different choices. -->>>

I'm restating this 'cause you shouldn't sweat a $200 (or less) mic purchase too much. After you get whatever mic you get... you'll do a project... then after hearing what sounded right and what didn't... you'll ask why whatever mic you got didn't work in "X" situation... then I'll say that you needed a "____" mic for THAT job.

If you cared enough about the picture to get a vx2000 then you're eventually going to accept that you'll need a few different types of mics anyway.

4 years ago I thought a Sennheiser me66 @ $350 was INSANELY high dollar... then I bought an ATR55 for $60.

Between 2-3 years ago I got tired of the crappy sound I was getting and bought an me66 for $380...

Last year I got tired of the crappy sound I was getting and got an AT4073a...

This year I thought, "screw it", and I got an mkh416...

Next year, maybe a Schoeps or mkh50...

Frankly the 4073a is the first shotgun that I think is really good on this list... but I've also bought around a DOZEN other mics in the last year! Mics of ALL types... I read something on dvxuser.com that I felt was a good analogy... Think of golf... Golfers have a bag FULL of clubs... usually around 14 of 'em. Can you imagine a golfer asking, "what club should I get?" Well you can probably sink a put with a driver, and you can probably tee off with a putter... but I'll bet you get less then satisfactory results in both situations.

Don't sweat your mic choice... no matter what one you get you're going to quickly learn what you like about it and what you don't. Some complaints can be resolved with improved technique and some will simply require another mic.
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Old July 10th, 2004, 10:38 AM   #13
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Thanks Matt...

I am totally in the dark when it comes to audio (obviously). Like the forum description says - audio is 70% of everything you see. When it comes to photo (video is pretty much the same)... I know enough to be selective (I attended an art institute years ago and studied photography). There's alot to learn. I have some film/digital video books here that give some basic concepts on audio. This forum has helped... but it still is very overwhelming!

Thanks for the help... I've simmered down somewhat. I will probably go with the Oktava. Bryan gave me some sound clips and also steered me enough to want to lean towards the Oktava.

Does the actual mic come with the cartoid, or will I have to purchase that seperate?
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Old July 10th, 2004, 11:23 AM   #14
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YES! The mic comes with the cardioid cap, a mic mount that you'll never use, and a 10db attenuation cap that you can screw into the body between the cardioid cap and the body... I never use that either... but if you record a lot of drag races or shouting contests then maybe you'll use yours.

The omni cap and hyper cap can be purchased seperately... from the Sound Room ONLY... nobody else sells these caps seperately... NOBODY... in the USA anyway. If you decide you want those later they will cost you around $70 EACH.

The OTHER way (of only TWO ways) to get an Oktava mic is as a 3-cap KIT which will include all 3 caps.

So it's up to you... get it as the Cardioid ONLY Kit... or as the 3-Cap Kit... either way you'll get a complete, ready to use mic...

I saw others mention shockmounting and windscreen protection... be prepared to deal with both of those issues however you want to... since you're running out of money and you mentioned some work-arounds I won't get into a bunch of pricey recommendations... but I will say that I think part of the reason I have so much success with an Oktava on-cam is 'cause I bought the HYPER cap and I use a K-Tek shockmount and Rycote BBG/Jammer... those two items together cost more then the mic!

If you can rig something in the meantime then you should be okay.

I'm glad to hear that you're back to wanting the Oktava... I can't speak for Beas, but I'll bet he was feeling as frustrated as I was when you asked about the lowest end Azden mics. Both he and I have come a LONG way in the last year regarding audio for video... Beas is at the top of the chart on audio quality now. A full-budget hollywood movie doesn't get better sound! Really. And when people who put their time and money where their mouth is time and time again give you advice... it's disheartening to hear that their experience is competing with a Videomaker ad... There are a lot of factors that go into what makes a mic good, or even great. Specs don't mean everything. Go check out Ken's comparison of the me66 and mkh416... the specs appear better on the me66 but listen to his clips. Which one SOUNDS better? Mics are funny like that... sometimes what makes a mic good or bad doesn't show up on paper but you can easily listen and judge for yourself.
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Old July 10th, 2004, 01:11 PM   #15
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Matt... thanks so much! I'm glad you're passionate about your work. It helps us "newbies". As for Videomaker... the magazine is helpful to those of us needing tips and "how-to" stuff - especially if you're "green" when it comes to digital video. In this buyers-guide, they did not list the Oktava. Probably because they do not deal with them - as in advertisements, etc. Or, because Oktave is exclusively offered through only a few distributers. As for the Azden... maybe it was the burrito I was eating! :) (which was good, by the way)

Thanks again... I will probably go thru Sound Room instead of Jason. I did put in a call to them yesterday... left a message and haven't heard back.

Bryan has been very helpful. When I asked about mics a couple months back, he was more than helpful... he recommended an Oktava back then, and he's the one who told me to go with the Beachtek 8. The Sennheiser looked good to me - but that was back when The Beachtek 4 was on my mind. Alot of other suggestions seemed really good too. Back then, I posted originally in "Now Hear This" - when I bought a real crappy mic from Sony. I later posted in the "Sony VX" forum since many people deal the the crappy audio - hiss, etc. with the VX2000. Both times, I got good results.

Thanks again!
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