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Old February 27th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #1
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Sennheiser ME2 or MKE2 Lapel mic

The ME2 that came with my EW100 kit sounds alright - a big 'bright' perhaps.

Curious how much better the MKE2 is? What sort of a difference is it?

They have dropped to half their price lately (end of line) so wondering if I should grab one?

Thanks all.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 08:00 PM   #2
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Here's a video about the MKE2:


And here's one comparing the ME-2 with the Sanken COS11D:

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Old February 28th, 2010, 02:17 AM   #3
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The MKE 2 is vastly better than the ME 2.

Ignore the first video posted to above as the guy does not really know what he is doing I'm afraid.

I don't know why he didn't get a manual, but it's downloadable HERE.

The MKE 2 comes in a plastic bag because the theatres complained about buying attachment clips and having to throw them away - so the MKE 2 comes on its own (with manual) and the case and clips that are not needed by theatres come separately (except for the MKE 2-ew which is he only version to come compete with accessories).

The cable is steel and extremely tough and pretty unbreakable (unlike copper cable).

If you look at the clip you will see there is a little clip on the back (on the croc clip itself). You connect the mic. to the front and then also clip the cable to the back after a couple of inches - this decouples the mic. from the rest of the cable and stops noises due to cable rubbing getting to the mic. The picture in the video was totally wrong in the way it was put on.

The sound quality of the MKE 2 is very much better and it also includes an umbrella diaphragm to protect it from sweat and moisture. The MKE 2 is built to a spec., the ME 2 is built to a price - good value for the money but nowhere as good as the MKE 2.

I hope this helps.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 03:33 PM   #4
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After putting the mic. in the clip you need to loop the cable and trap it in the croc-clip behind the shirt (or, in the case of the MKE 2, there is a clip on the croc-clip for the same purpose). This is essential to prevent cable rubbing being transmitted to the capsule and making noise.

Tying a loose knot in the cable can also help to reduce handling noise.

So, no, it's not as easy as you think and most people actually get it wrong until it's explained to them.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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Also the Sennheiser provided no instructions. One doesn't naturally expect to have to tie a knot or loop in their mic cable. So go easy on the "brain dead" comments.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 03:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Johnson View Post
Also the Sennheiser provided no instructions.
Yes they do, it's downloadable from the website and with every MKE 2 I have seen. As far as I know only service replacements would come without a manual.

But doing the loop is standard practice to anyone who uses tie mics and you see it all the time on the TV - it is also standard practice for any microphone to help decouple the mic from the cable - so yes, one *does* expect to put a loop in the cable and anyone trained in the use of microphones would know about this. It's elementary physics that tells you why you do it.

The knot is a different matter though - this came to me third hand via a BBC engineer who discovered that a loose knot in the cable helped reduce handling noise. Most people would not be expected to know this and I just passed on the information to help.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies.

I have looked at the manual and it does not say anything about looping the cable etc.
Is there a link or image that shows this method applied?

I'd just like to learn best practice for using this item.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:24 AM   #8
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A google on "broadcast loop" will turn up a number of links. There's also a tutorial on the B&H PHoto site.

Here's another, illustraed towards the bottom of the page. http://broadcastengineering.com/audi...st/index1.html
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Old March 1st, 2010, 07:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The MKE 2 is vastly better than the ME 2.

Ignore the first video posted to above as the guy does not really know what he is doing I'm afraid.

I don't know why he didn't get a manual, but it's downloadable HERE.

The MKE 2 comes in a plastic bag because the theatres complained about buying attachment clips and having to throw them away - so the MKE 2 comes on its own (with manual) and the case and clips that are not needed by theatres come separately (except for the MKE 2-ew which is he only version to come compete with accessories).

The cable is steel and extremely tough and pretty unbreakable (unlike copper cable).

If you look at the clip you will see there is a little clip on the back (on the croc clip itself). You connect the mic. to the front and then also clip the cable to the back after a couple of inches - this decouples the mic. from the rest of the cable and stops noises due to cable rubbing getting to the mic. The picture in the video was totally wrong in the way it was put on.

The sound quality of the MKE 2 is very much better and it also includes an umbrella diaphragm to protect it from sweat and moisture. The MKE 2 is built to a spec., the ME 2 is built to a price - good value for the money but nowhere as good as the MKE 2.

I hope this helps.


The MKE2-EW is £151 currently - is it worth it? My only interest is the sound quality and not the build/durability - can you please clarify in what aspects this is 'much better'. Is it a more open sound, more focussed etc... Thank you
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Old March 1st, 2010, 02:45 PM   #10
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Poor old John! I can come forward as having used most popular clip-on mics in theatrical productions, and the MKE-2 in flesh colour is always the one I return to. The fact that people do try all the little tricks of cable loops and the double loop on the clip itself is because they need to prevent cable noise. John mentioned this twice. It's not a Sennheiser phenomenon, it's the case with all small element mics that have to be hidden under clothing. The knot I don't think I've seen used in theatre, but TV people always repeat the little things that work for them. Most beginners use the lav mics with the opening towards the mouth, while professionals usually prefer the hole pointing away from the mouth. Just little touches. The one thing I really like on the MKE-2s is the cable is a decent length - sometimes too long!

I have a few of the cheaper ones that came with the radio systems, and they're ok - but the MKE series is crisper and easier to eq. They also sound quite good used on instruments - I rather like the sound of them on violins.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 02:50 PM   #11
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OK Paul, so now you've got me interested. I'm not over happy with the basic omni mic on the two Senny G2's kits I have (but like better the ME4 cardoid I bought as an addition, apart from it's size).

Sounds like I need to step up to one of these soon.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 02:53 PM   #12
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Why point the mic away from the mouth Paul? Is that to defeat plosives? I know an omni pattern is very wide, but I thought it was still better to point the ic at the mouth for the best pick-up.

Please share your tips, as I always want to do better. I record all day math seminars with lavs on the subject, and I want the pest placement with the least hassle.

Thanks

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Old March 1st, 2010, 03:55 PM   #13
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I'm very new to lav mics and have been trialling a borrowed lav mic for the last 2 weeks before deciding on a purchase. I've had one camera XLR input wired to my NTG-1 on a boom and the other XLR to a wireless lav mic.

Initially, I had the lav mic facing the mouth and the results were sort of okay, I guess.

However, a friend who does sound for various network TV shows told me to bring the lav mic up behind the tie, over the top of the knot and down under the top fold of the tie, with the mic head ever so slightly protruding from the bottom of the top fold - i.e. pointed away from the mouth. He also said to only use an omni-directional lav mic for this.

As far as I'm concerned, the difference is like night and day. The offices where I'm currently shooting a number of corporate videos have been quite an audio nightmare, but with this new lav technique (under the top fold of the tie and away from the mouth) and some judicious use of Soundtrack Pro, I'm much more confident of extracting some quality sound from this location.

I am currently leaning towards the purchase of a Sennheiser-EW-112-G3 wireless system with the ME2 lapel mic. But my audio friend told me he often uses a Sanken COS-11, which is why I really appreciated Chad's Vimeo (above) which directly compares the two. I really liked the sound of the Sanken.

But my budget currently dictates the Sennheiser system with the ME2 mic. (Unless somebody knows of a cheaper wireless receiver and transmitter system which will also work with a Sanken COS-11.)
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Old March 1st, 2010, 04:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deniz Ahmet View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I have looked at the manual and it does not say anything about looping the cable etc.
Is there a link or image that shows this method applied?

I'd just like to learn best practice for using this item.
I talked to Sennheiser today and mentioned that there seems to be an old version of the manual on the website.

I have certainly seen a version which describes the loop. But this has been standard practice in broadcasting for years.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 04:38 PM   #15
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David I think the G3 is your best bang for your buck. Anything cheaper is going to have lots of interference/drop outs. I say just get the Sennheiser G3 with the plug on (you never know when that will come in handy), then pick up the COS-11D later. The ME-2 isn't horrible.
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