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Old July 14th, 2004, 02:41 PM   #1
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shotgun mics

I plan on purchasing a Sennheiser MKH-416 for independent filmmaking. It will be used both indoors and outdoors. Before I buy it, I want to make sure there isn't a mic that might suit my needs better. Can anyone suggest some other shotgun mics in the $1000 price range?

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Old July 14th, 2004, 03:23 PM   #2
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I don't know how good that mic's reputation is for indoor use... I'm hoping it sounds good indoors too as I've got one on the way, but I expect it won't beat a hyper-cardioid for most rooms.

For my budget it came down to 2 mics... The 416 and the Sanken CS1...

The CS1 is a short-shot that performs more like a hyper-cardioid... it has virtually NO rear lobe and it's side and rear rejection is absolutely amazing.

The reason I went with the 416 is 'cause I couldn't find a decent enough price on the CS1... I felt like I had to choose between the mic I like the sound of better (416) and the mic that I think would work better at being selective and doing interiors (CS1)...

I usually go with what I think is the best sounding mic first... but it's very likely that I'll get a CS1 later... and use it mainly for interiors. As I understand it... that mic should work like an ultra-selective hyper-cardioid.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 07:00 PM   #3
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The $1000 price range, limits the mic choice to the 416 and the CS1 at the top of the heap. For indoor as well as out you may want to look at the CS1. The 416 isn't really a mic to be using in close quarters.


Beyond the $1000 you have the hypercardoids of choice , the Sennheiser MKH50 and the Schoeps CMC6/ MK41 . The short shotguns are the MKH60 (similar to the 416 only it has a low roll off, presence boost and a 10 db pad), the sanken CS3e and the neumann KMR81.

For the money, many rave about the CS-1.

Do some more research on RAMPs


I have mp3 and wav files of mic comparisons and an example of how the various mics behave throughout the polar response pattern. This info will be available online in the near future but i could email some mp3's if you wish.

The comparison includes. ME66, CS1, CS3, MKH50, MKH60 (with and without presence boost), MKH416, MK41
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Old July 14th, 2004, 10:41 PM   #4
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Beas, I'd love to hear the CS1 compared with some of the hyper-cardioids... At this point I imagine that the CS1 could work just like a hyper-cardioid and hopefully sound close to one.

I'm not trusting my earlier judgement that the CS1 sounded thin.

EDIT: Okay it's 2 hours later and I read EVERYTHING about all these mics on RAMPS... I'm still planning to keep the 416, but I think I may pass on the CS1 and get a good hyper-cardioid or super-cardioid later. The 416 should be the better mic for all outdoor use (between the 416 and CS1)... The CS1 should be the better mic for all INDOOR use... (between the 416 and CS1), and a really good hyper or super should be the BEST choice for ALL indoor use... but you'll still need that outdoor shotgun.

If you can only get ONE mic and you want a good one with a priority for indoor shooting and talking heads... the CS1 is probably the one to get.
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Old July 15th, 2004, 12:45 AM   #5
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That's about the way I see it as well.
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Old July 15th, 2004, 05:02 PM   #6
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Well the 416 came this morning and I played with it for a while then... this afternoon I've played with it for at least another hour. This is obviously too pre-mature to make a total assessment, but so far I'm pleasantly surprised. I had high expectations for this mic anyway... but I expected to still be using my Oktava hypers for indoor booming. Hmm.

I'll have to see just how live and reverberant of a room I can find, but just for sh*ts I tried a bunch of samples in the smallest room of my house where it was echoey as can be. In that room the Oktava cardioid, hyper, and 416 all had way too much room noise, but so far, in every test I've tried... the 416 is the clear winner... not just in the absolute sound quality that you'd expect, but it also has the least room interaction.

When I boomed all 3 mics in a normal interview setting the Oktava cardioid sounded too open, the hyper was MUCH better but still sounded somewhat distant, and finally the 416 sounded like it was pressed against my tonsils. I could get pretty far from it and it still sounds like a rich studio mic with the least room interaction of all of 'em.
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Old July 16th, 2004, 12:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. For the time being I'm just going to use the 416 for outdoor and indoor use -- until my buget increases and I can afford a second mic.
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