Neumann KM84, other instr. mics for interview? at

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Old October 31st, 2009, 12:18 AM   #1
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Neumann KM84, other instr. mics for interview?

I'm weighing the proposition of biting the bullet and purchasing a Schoeps CMC641 against the fact that I have access to a huge cache of free microphones. A friend of mine runs a couple of recording studios, chock full of modern and vintage mics.

Unfortunately, not many of the microphones seem the regular film/dv variety. I have been able to locate a few, however, that may fit the bill.

1. AKG C-568EB - short shotgun mic. Have used successfully on location, but would appreciate others' input on strengths and weaknesses.
2. Neumann KM84 - the original pencil mic, I believe. Most interested in this for indoor applications, though concerned that it may exhibit handling noise, not being primarily designed for location work. On a C-Stand, would that especially matter, though? I have used these for XY-stereo music recording, as most of my projects are music doc, but have not experimented with it yet for interviews.
3. AKG 414 - Selectable polar pattern. Not a pencil/shotgun/capsule though.
4. Others: Sennheiser 441 supercardiod, Beyer M-88 Hypercardiod, M-201 dynamic hypercardiod.

The studio has about every studio vocal and instrument mic you can imagine, so if any traditionally music mics come to mind that also would make good sit-down interview talent mics, please let me know.

Thanks very much for any advice.
Joe Bailey Jr. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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With wind protection, the AKG C-568EB would work outdoors, but may or may not be acceptable for interior interviews.
Neumann KM84 (or better yet the KM83 or 183) would work for indoor interviews.
The 414 in the narrow cardioid mode may work... though I've never tried it or heard of anyone using it for interviews. Great all-around music recording mic though.

Forget about the 441, M-88, M-201 for interview type work.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 10:08 AM   #3
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If you are looking for a hand mic for the typical controlled hand held interview, then you need an omni, however, in that list there is the 201 - a hyper-cardioid really tough, and pleasant sounding dynamic. These as table top mics for interviews are really good. They're also good for handheld interviews where the environment is noisy - perhaps where you have to do the interview with a short shotgun normally. Slip on a foam windshield and they're quite handy.

If you want to experiment with weird/non-typical stuff. How about the AKG 414 on fig-8, with the nice foam/velvet windshield. I've never tried it, but the xlr tube might fit a Rycote softie mount, and you'd effectively have two cardioids back to back. I might have a go sometime to see how good/bad this idea is, but as fig-8s work brilliantly for face to face radio interview situations, it would be interesting to try this one out.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 10:27 AM   #4
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I really like mic Sennheiser md46 for handheld interview type work... very forgiving and great sound. I was developed for the Sydney Olympics....
RED 6022
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Old November 4th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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The mics I am most often lent, for XY stereo setups, are actually a KM100s. Does anyone have experience or intuition about how they would work for overhead boom mic'ing interviews?

Gracias, JB
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Old November 4th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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In my past life I was an audio engineer. (20 years in NY!) KM84's are great but probably won't be the best solution unless you have a quiet enviroment and no wind. If you have to mount it to the camera, the handling noise will be an issue as they are very sensitive. However!

I have a couple of 414TLII's and have used them on large boom stands with great success. BUT I was in a professional audio studio which was dead quiet and had no reflections. Works great in all the modes depending on how many people you need to catch with it. I used one in a noisy classroom on another shoot and the hyper pattern helped but still would have preferred a true shotgun.

Another idea for you would be a boundary mic. Like a Crown PZM30. I had to record 10 college kids talking about their favorite music once and a pair covered the whole group cleanly without stands or a ton of mics.

Obviously studio mics will sound great but the situation dictates how well they work. And when you're playing with stereo miking there are rules to follow to avoid phasing. A good stereo mic solves that issue!

If you have access to a bunch of mics, my advice is to try a few out to see how they behave! And if your friend has a U47 or M149/M150 he'd like to give me...I'll be his new best buddy!
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