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Old June 22nd, 2011, 04:03 PM   #1
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ME64 vs. ...

Hi everyone,
I'm hoping someone can help me out in selecting the best microphone for indoor dialogue recording.

I have a DSLR rig, shooting educational videos in an indoor set. Right now, I have an ME66 microphone, recording to a Zoom H4n pocket recorder. I have learned the hard way, as many forums point out, that the ME66 (or any other shotgun mic) is not ideal for indoor use (though it does work well outdoors).

So, I am looking for a mic suited to the reflectivity of indoors. Right now, I'm leaning toward the ME64, a cardioid microphone that fits that same K6 powering module that powers my ME66. It seems this would be cost effective, considering I already own a K6 powering module.

Unfortunately, I've never tried a ME64, and have read a lot of contradictory information online. Some say that a hypercardioid (such as the AT 4053b), not a cardioid, is best suited for indoor use. Others say a cardioid works just fine.

Would the ME64 be suited to my purposes, given that I am recording indoors and already own a K6? (I realize a lav could work, but I personally prefer to avoid them if I can.) Or should I go for a Audio Technica AT4053b?

Please note: I do not have my heart set on the ME64, but budget restrictions limit me to a mic under $750...


Thanks for your feedback!

Joel G

Last edited by Joel Gamble; June 22nd, 2011 at 04:38 PM.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:40 PM   #2
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

Cardioids need to be very close to the subject ... for dialog no more than about 12 inches from the speaker's mouth. This means your mic will often be in shot. Hypers give you more "reach" because their side rejection lets you increase the recording gain a bit. Their normal working distance would be 18 to 22 inches. In my opinion, trying to 'make do' with less than exactly the right tool for the job is never a good idea, no matter what you're rtrying to do.It may be more economical to go with a different capsule for your K6 power module instead of buying a whole new mic but if it leads to any compromises in the quality of your results it's a false economy.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:46 PM   #3
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

I've been pretty well stunned by how well the Rode NTG-3 performs on interior shots. If you get it within about 18 inches of the voice, the room sound is negligible, if its there at all. I ran the NTG-3 and an omni lav yesterday, and the NTG-3 sounded perfect, while the lav had way too much room in it to be usable.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 06:03 PM   #4
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

Thanks for the feedback. It doesn't look like the K6 series has a hypercardioid... (Sennheiser USA - K-6 Series – Professional Microphones – Broadcast / Engineering / Film)

Should I bite the bullet and go for a AT4053b or a NTG-3? From this post, the 4053b sounds good: Mic Shootout: Audio-Technica AT4053b Vs. Rode NT3

Does anyone have any experience with the AT4053b outdoors? I realize hypercardioids are not meant ideal for outdoors, but I'm wondering if I should sell my ME66 and put the money into the AT4053b. The majority of my shoots are indoors.



Thanks!

Joel
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

Some additional details about the main room we are using:

A board room with an incessant fan (can't be turned off), and some servers running in a closet down the hall. Hardwood floors; room dimensions, about 18' x 40'.

It's not an ideal set, but it may be all we have for the time being. The ME66 did not behave well, to say the least. Even with audio clean-up, there is a lot of noise, and it sounds "tinny."

I'm guessing it will be hard to eliminate all noise without turning off the vents, but I'm hoping there is another microphone that can perform better (e.g., the AT4053b).

We also do some shoots in smaller room, 20' x 20' -- small office to living room size.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 07:51 PM   #6
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

The AKG Blueline (another modular mic like the ME6x series) came recommended on here a while ago. It's the one I have and I think it sounds fine. I got the mic and hypercardioid module from B&H a while ago together for under $400. AKG SE300B is the mic, CK93 the hypercarioid module.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:19 AM   #7
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

The ME64 is a nice cardioid and very inexpensive if you already have the K6 body.

If you want a more directional head, you can use the ME65 which is super-cardioid.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:37 AM   #8
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
The AKG Blueline (another modular mic like the ME6x series) came recommended on here a while ago. It's the one I have and I think it sounds fine. I got the mic and hypercardioid module from B&H a while ago together for under $400. AKG SE300B is the mic, CK93 the hypercarioid module.
Thanks for the tip. I like the idea of modular designs. Do you have any experience with the other capsules in the series, such as the shotgun, CK98?

Have you ever tried booming the CK93 outside?
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:50 AM   #9
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

I've been using the AKG Blueline for years and IMO it is a superb piece of gear. I haven't used the C98 capsule but I have boomed it for an outside shoot and with the proper wind protection it worked out very very well. I also had an AT897 boomed for that shoot and while it did sound very good I felt the Blueline sounded a bit better. So did the client. Just make sure the mic (whichever you choose) has the right wind protection on it. Either a dead cat or a blimp whichever is needed for the job.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

Do not have any other capsules. I know a friend uses the cardioid capsule to mic acoustic guitars, and he's a longtime audio guy doing recording, and mixing of music, etc. So if he likes it, I trust that it works well for that.

Used the AKG outside a few weeks ago, as a matter of fact. I wanted to A/B between the ME66 (short shotgun capsule for the system you have) and the AKG, and surprisingly, the AKG, even though a hyper, had less "outdoor ambience" in it.

Also look into the Octava. . .MK012 is it? Someone here will know which I mean. It's another modular system, but REALLY cheap. Like $350 for the mic and three capsules, or I would swear it was. It's supposed to be pretty nice (never used it myself) although prone to quality consistency issues (you have to buy it from certain places to make sure you're getting a good one and not a foreign knockoff or one that's not been QC'd), and allegedly very susceptible to handling noise (as in, if you put it on a boom pole and have someone hand holding that pole, they better be damn still or you'll hear every movement translated into mic rumble), although I think I've heard there might be a mod to correct this from some of the places that sell these mics?
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 05:06 PM   #11
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

Yeah.. 'some' 012s sound very nice.. like a Schoeps... sort of anyway. Unfortunately it's just not a matter of picking one off the shelf. If one chooses this route, read up on the counterfeits, selection sources, modification options and other pitfalls.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 05:06 PM   #12
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Gamble View Post
Some additional details about the main room we are using:

A board room with an incessant fan (can't be turned off), and some servers running in a closet down the hall. Hardwood floors; room dimensions, about 18' x 40'.
If the fan is just for air handling/HVAC, try putting/taping some moving blankets over the vent to cut the noise. If the floor is not in your shot, either put more moving blankets down to help cut reflections, or a carpet remnant maybe.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:20 PM   #13
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

When I was one-man-banding news interviews, I used an ME64 on a short boom (3 ft) and held it near the interviewee on closeups or those cluster***k news situations where there are several camera people working in close proximity. Found it to be a very good solution, sensitive and satisfactory. I liked it indoors better than the ME66K6 which I carried in the on-camera holder. It worked a treat outdoors as well if held just out of the frame on a cu or mcu shot. I think you might find it a good solution.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 09:46 AM   #14
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Re: ME64 vs. ...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. You've been most helpful! I think I'll go with either the CK93 or the AT4053b.
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