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Old May 10th, 2005, 09:25 PM   #1
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About the K-Tek KSSM's soft bands...

Even though I see people on this forum recommending the KSSM with soft bands in lots of situations, I recently talked with someone at Trew Audio upon placing an order that told me the soft bands were only designed for the CS-1. Furthermore, I was told the KSSM could or at least should not be used with heavier/longer mics, especially one with soft bands.

So I'm now confused. What do I get exactly and most importantly, why? I've seen lots of "get the KSSM with soft bands" recommendations but very few (if any) explanations for it. And I really don't find it self-explanatory.

This shockmount is to be used with a MKH416 and an Oktava MC012. Note that the Oktava is a temporary solution until I can afford a MHK50.

I will also be using a 18mm Softie with the MKH416 (if you've got better suggestions for wind protection, feel free to share, the order is not finalized yet).

So which route? Can a KSSM accomodate all those mics? I've been told to go with the KSM instead. And what is the purpose of the softer bands? Can it cause problems with heavy mics? I should add that I don't want to know if the KSSM "can" do, I want to get the best and most effective solution.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 09:56 PM   #2
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KSM Mount

Check out the K-SM, the one for every other mic.. Note there's one 'S' in K-SM.
The K-SM was the original model and the K-SSM was made special for the CS-1 since the rear of the mic is so much shorter than other shotguns that the original K-SM simply would not work.

The K-TEK website explains the differences and has pictures of both.
They are the same price.

www.mklemme.com
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #3
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Brian, I know the KSSM was designed for the CS-1, what I don't quite understand is why people recommend it for mics other than the CS-1. Are there other mics that would benefit from its narrower design or maybe an operational advantage I'm not aware of?

And although I know there's a choice of soft and regular rubber bands, I really am puzzled as to what the difference is (other than one being softer obviously) and why/when I should choose one over the other.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:17 PM   #4
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I have absolutely no idea. I have a KSM and mine is the black rubbery bands. I have never seen anything else.. Maybe I'm "behind the times" in terms of what's available, but I've never heard of soft bands..
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:23 PM   #5
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Check out the accessories at the bottom of this page.

If I had to take a wild guess, I would say the softer bands isolate the mic better from handling vibrations but make the mic more jiggly, which could be a problem for heavier mics. I might be completely off base though. I honestly have no idea what they're for, I just know they've been highly recommended left and right.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #6
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I don't have any experience with the KSM... only the KSSM. I used that mount with Oktavas, a 416, and a 4073a. The 416 with Softie definitely weighed the KSSM down a bit... so I just compensated by increasing the angle until the mic was positioned where I wanted it. The other mics worked perfectly in it though... adding a Softie obviously increases the front weight and so a mic will tend to pull down a bit when you use the soft bands.

It depends a lot on the type of person you are with video production... or maybe I should say WHERE you are in the game. There are a thousand products out that are sold under very specific definitions... and some really are true to those uses and some have a bubble of effectiveness around that one use. No salesman is ever going to tell you that one product covers two uses if that salesman stocks two products to cover two uses.

I bought a Softie for my 4073a and it would just let the mic fall out if you pointed it at the floor... then I tried the Softie that I already had... which Rycote told me WOULDN'T work... there is no size in between. Know what? The Softie that they said wouldn't work works... and the one they say does work doesn't. Rycote also told me that a BBG won't work with the Oktava... and there's probably at least a half dozen people on here that got one (or two) after we realized that the BBG is virtually PERFECT on the mic that Rycote says won't work.

The KSM and KSSM are both just pieces of aluminum with flexible bands to support a mic. The point of softer bands is to provide better isolation from handling noise... but the double-edged sword is: softer bands = weaker physical support. So choose your poison. I'll always go with the best isolation FIRST and the best physical support second.

I keep a softie mount and a kssm with me all the time and I normally used the kssm anyway... even though the Rycote job holds the mic more firmly. The main reason I like the little kssm so much is 'cause it IS so small... but I won't tell you that the standard ksm isn't better. If size isn't an issue then I'd probably go with the ksm, but I'd still try to get the softest bands.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:29 PM   #7
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Interesting.. Like I said, never heard of 'em. I've used the KMR81, MKH416, and C300B/CK93 with my KSM mount and it handles better (less noisy, no rattle) than the Rycote 2point suspension inside my Windshield. In comparison, I like the K-Tek product much better.. The Rycote drives me nuts. It's more the connection between the basket and the pole than it is the mount, but still the KSM is silent, my particular Rycote is not. My 0.02.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gettemeier
The KSM and KSSM are both just pieces of aluminum with flexible bands to support a mic. The point of softer bands is to provide better isolation from handling noise... but the double-edged sword is: softer bands = weaker physical support. So choose your poison. I'll always go with the best isolation FIRST and the best physical support second.
So I was right. Who would have known... :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gettemeier
I keep a softie mount and a kssm with me all the time and I normally used the kssm anyway... even though the Rycote job holds the mic more firmly. The main reason I like the little kssm so much is 'cause it IS so small... but I won't tell you that the standard ksm isn't better. If size isn't an issue then I'd probably go with the ksm, but I'd still try to get the softest bands.
Thanks for your explanation. While reading your post prior to this paragraph, I naturally concluded I should probably get a KSM with soft bands. I too will choose better isolation over easier handling (especially since I'm not the one doing the handling). And since I believe all 3 mics I'll be using are long enough for the KSM, it looks like the better fit.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian A. Wells
Interesting.. Like I said, never heard of 'em. I've used the KMR81, MKH416, and C300B/CK93 with my KSM mount and it handles better (less noisy, no rattle) than the Rycote 2point suspension inside my Windshield. In comparison, I like the K-Tek product much better.. The Rycote drives me nuts. It's more the connection between the basket and the pole than it is the mount, but still the KSM is silent, my particular Rycote is not. My 0.02.
K-tek seem to have a wide range of supporters. I've never seen anybody trash their products. That's why I've opted for this shockmount and one of their boompoles. Their prices are also quite decent. I'm feeling really comfortable with this choice, I just wanted to make sure I got the right model for the job.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 12:38 AM   #10
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Hi... Hopefully I can shed a bit of light on the subject.

When I decided to design the "perfect" shock mount I had it in three models. The first model was the K-SM (K-Tek Shock Mount) .. This was sized to fit most microphones (4073A, 416 etc). I also had a short version K-SSM (K-Tek Short Shock Mount) and a long version K-LSM (K-Tek Long Shock Mount)

The K-SM was the first one introduced and fit the bill for most customers. It has been a very succesful product.

The K-SSM was shown in prototype form to the Sonodore people in the Netherlands. It was put into production as an OEM shock mount for their very high end microphones.

When Sanken introduced the CS1 I felt that the K-SSM would make the ideal shock mount for it as well. So we also manufacture the K-SSM with the Sanken logo for them.

These shock mounts all use the same rubber which was very carefully chosen to support microphones securely while providing superior shock isolation.

Glenn Trew suggested that a softer rubber (Shore 30 rathet than 40) would provide even better isolation for the Sanken CS1. As this microphone is very light it made sense. Tne soft rubber in the K-SSM does in fact provide better shock isolation for the CS1. BUT it is at the expense of support!!

A heavy wind screen such as the Lightwave or the Rycote will cause too much sag in the mount and it is possible that the windscreen will bang against the front of the shock mount.

SO.... For most microphones .. use the K-SM
For short microphones such as the CS1 use the K-SSM

We have not yet introduced the Long Shock Mount.... and we might not need to.

If you are willing to put up with the sagging microphone to achieve the best isolation specify "SOFT RUBBER" on your order. We supply normal rubber unless requested.

Now that we are manufacturing ZEPPELIN Fuzzy windscreens it is possible to have the best of both. The K-SM or K-SSM with soft rubber is much more useable with the very light weight K-Tek ZEPPELIN fuzzy slip on windscreen.

Our Fuzzy windscreen shock mount combination unit uses the soft rubber as standard.

Hopefully this will not be conscrued as commercial, but I thought that it was time to relieve some of the confusion.

Thanks,

Manfred
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Old May 11th, 2005, 01:21 AM   #11
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It doesn't get any better than this. The designer of the rig personally answering the question. Thanks a lot Manfred. I appreciate.

BTW, I just looked at your SM/Zepplin combo and I must say I'm intrigued. I know it's a one size fits all type as far as diameter is concerned, but if it is too for lenght, and it offers good wind protection while keeping the frequency response uncolored, it might be an alternative to the softie. I want something I could use with both the MKH416 and the MKH50. That would be less costly than getting separate wind protection for both mics.

Last edited by David Lach; May 11th, 2005 at 01:41 AM.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 07:55 AM   #12
 
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Thanks for the post, Manfred. Always good to hear the story straight from the horse's mouth.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 08:32 AM   #13
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Yeah, that was cool.

Manfred, you've got more then a few friends on this forum and others. I own several of your products and I can't say enough good about 'em. Although I went with the graphite model I've probably recommended the aluminum avalon (with CC) to about a hundred guys asking for an affordable boom pole. Your attention to detail... while still producing super lightweight and functional poles... is what keeps me a loyal fan of all your products.

Chris, you gotta' get goosebumps at how successful this forum has been... seeing this post by our newest member just blew me away this morning...
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Old May 11th, 2005, 10:08 AM   #14
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So what about the universal mount, the K-GPS?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=292933&is=REG

Anybody using? The price difference seems minimal, and I'd definitely pay a little extra for a more stable mount. But if the K-SM has better isolation and could handle a medium shotgun with with Rycote softie just fine, maybe that's the way to go.
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