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Old July 14th, 2011, 02:39 AM   #1
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thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

Hey everyone!

I just recently purchased a Sony NX5U and i completely love it! Although i need to upgrade my audio just a tad, i am looking into numerous mic's but i would like to keep the price at about $850 at the most for a boom pole, shock mount, windscreen and of course the mic.. but i really don't know much about mic's. i am going to be using this mic in almost every environment from outside (most likely windy conditions) and inside as well.

The mic kit the i am currently leaning towards is the Sennheiser ME66:
Sennheiser ME66/K6 - Shotgun Microphone Basic Kit ME66BK B&H

Anyones thoughts on the mic are greatly appreciated! along with any other suggestions of mic's!

Thanks Everyone!
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Old July 14th, 2011, 03:27 AM   #2
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

Mike,

The ME66 is the mike I use on a daily basis. It acts as my on-board mike on my Z1/EX-3 and sometimes comes off and is used as a hand-held interview mike.
I also use it as the voiceover mike...basically I use two mikes which cover all eventualities: the ME66 and a Sony ECM 77B (a miniature electret condenser lavalier microphone) - or lapel mike...for set-piece interviews and pieces-to-camera.
I did compare the ME66 to a 416 - a more expensive mike and much-loved by audio experts.
To my ears, the 416 was great and the ME66 was great too.
In some respects a microphone is a like a tripod.
While you might change your car every few years, you still keep your tools - and the same, I guess, with cameras. A good mike and a good tripod are a worthwhile investment and should serve you well if you look after them.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 04:04 AM   #3
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

I use the audio technica AT875R mic as my stock small shotgun, I prefer the sound of the pressure gradient design to the traditional phase cancellation tubes used on most shotguns and it is a good general purpose shotgun for interior and exterior.

They are great value and I have five of them in use at pro level on cameras and as general mics with rode pistol grips and W/S6 softies.

My boom pole is a gitzo carbon fibre GB-0530.

Audio-Technica AT875 Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone AT875R
Rode PG2 - Pistol Grip Shock Mount with Interchangeable PG-2 B&H
Rode WS6 Deluxe Windshield for the NTG2 and NTG1 WS6 B&H Photo
Gitzo GB0530 - Three-Section Carbon Fiber Boompole GB0530 B&H
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #4
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

Hi Mike,

The ME66 is a decent mike but I would take a listen to the Rode NTG3 as an alternative. A comparable set up would be about $150 more but IMO there is a large improvement in sound quality. Also, the Rycote Softie that come in that kit will do ok in moderate wind but anything over that will require a blimp.

Like Sean mentioned, you're mic will last you through several cameras so putting a little more into it now will not be a waste when you change cameras. My primary shotgun is a Sanken CS-3e but I do still have an ME66 that I use in harsh situations where I don't want to risk damage to my Sanken. One nice thing about the ME66 is that it can be battery powered for those situations when you don't have phantom power. But, if you're going to be using it with your NX5u all the time you don't have to worry about power. One thing about the ME66 though, it does not do well in many indoor settings. Most shotgun mics won't work well indoors but the ME66 seems to be more susceptible to reflected sounds.

For wind protection I do have a softie for those rare times when I'm running my mic on my camera but I usually have it in a Rode Blimp system. Not as good as Rycote systems but it was less than half the price and when I got it Rode was giving away a boom with it. It works great and I only have problems in near hurricane conditions. a huge improvement over the Softie.

-Garrett
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Old July 14th, 2011, 12:37 PM   #5
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

I have an ME66. Honestly I haven't used it enough to have a strong opinion on it, but I will note that they are often available used on ebay for much less than retail (that's where I got mine). If I had to pay retail I'd strongly consider spending a bit more for a Rode NTG3.

The ME66 seems like a perfect "getting started" shotgun.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

One nice thing about the Sennheiser ME66 / K6 power module combination is that you can save money when you need a different microphone, purchasing an additional capsule you can use with the same power module. A nice companion to the ME66 short shotgun capsule would be the ME64 cardioid capsule, which provides better results when shooting indoors in a small, reflective room. The ME64 also provides a somewhat richer sound when recording in close proximity compared the ME66.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

Thanks for your replies everyone! Although reading what you guys are saying about the NTG-3 i might just spend the extra cash on something that seems to be pretty reputable. SInce i do not know much about the Rode, how does it handle in both outdoor conditions along with inside?

Here would be kit i would put together: (excluding the XLR cable) Let me know what you guys think

Mic:
Rode NTG-3 RF-Biased Condenser Shotgun Microphone Kit B&H Photo

Pole:
K-Tek KE-89CC Avalon Series Aluminum Boompole with KE-89CC B&H

Windscreen:
Rycote Standard Hole Softie Windscreen with 19 - 22mm 033052 B&H
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Old July 14th, 2011, 02:08 PM   #8
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

Mike,

Rode is a very reputable company that has been making mics for a long time. I believe the NTG-3 has a 10 year warranty but check that. Why not go for this kit from B&H:

Rode NTG-3 Basic Shotgun Microphone Kit B&H Photo Video

Gives you basically what you spec'd but includes some extras like cables and case and save you money.

Most shotgun's won't handle indoors great. A lot depends on how live the room is. From my experience I'd say the NTG-3 is a slightly better than the ME66 but the overall sound is closer to the MKH 416. There's a lot of info on various aspects of mics used for indoor and outdoor on the forum you could read up on (hours worth of reading). To my knowledge there are really only two shotgun mics out there that will handle interior and exteriors well, the Sanken CS-3e and the Schoeps SuperCMIT. The Sanken is able to do it because it really doesn't use an interference tube approach. It actually has three capsules in a line. The Schoeps is just an outright crazy mic that is really more of a digital wonder. I have not yet gotten to play with a SuperCMIT as it goes for $4500 so I don't know anyone who has one yet and no local store carries it.

-Garrett
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Old July 14th, 2011, 02:17 PM   #9
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

I am most likely going to purchase the rode. From listening to some sample clips it seems that the rode has a more of a bass tone to it, that will give my short films a more cinematic feel to the sound.

The only reason that i am not buying the whole kit is because i am also buying a new Manfrotto 504HD Tripod head. I am trying to keep my spending to a bare minimum, as we all are on budgets haha
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Old July 14th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #10
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

I totally understand about budgets. Yes about the sound. that is one of the complaints I have about the ME66 is that it tends toward the thin side and it is more susceptible to off axis bass roll off.

The only reason I mentioned the kit was because it ends up being cheaper than the combined cost of the three components you listed when purchased separately.

-Garrett
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Old July 14th, 2011, 03:36 PM   #11
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

I wouldn't worry about too much bass tone on shotgun mic's I have spent most of my time in post prod fro the past 30 years removing low frequencies on dialogue rolling off most of it below 100-150hz.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 04:18 PM   #12
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

I shot news with an ME66/K6 for about three years, and found it to be particularly useful in uncontrolled (run-n-gun) situations. It has a relatively high output vs. input which has saved my bacon numerous times.... I have picked up pretty clean audio at remarkable distances where physical access was not possible, and totally satisfactory audio at normal operating distances.

The Rode and Audio Technica mikes of my experience seem to be significantly less sensitive. (I haven't had the opportunity of using the NTG3, however, but hear good things about it)

The Rode NTG2, in my experience, has less overhead and tends to load up in high sound pressure levels, more so than the ME66. I think the ME66 is a great all-around shotgun, although I did tend to use the ME64/K6 cardioid indoors. Shotguns in general pick up reflected sound and the ME66 is no different.

BTW: if you get one, get the K6 power supply, which permits battery operation as well as phantom.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 08:11 PM   #13
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

so basically if i understand this correctly the sennheiser is going to be able to pick up audio from longer distances (more sensitive)? where this mic would be better if i had the mic on the camera during times i don't have a boom operator..if the subject was far away from the camera, if that makes sense? and the NTG-3 would be better while its on a boompole and can get it as close as possible to the subject. but wouldn't be as god mounted on the camera if the subject was far away from the camera?
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Old July 14th, 2011, 08:28 PM   #14
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

So now are you feeling totally confused Mike? LOL

Actually, you're talking about the reach of the mic which is not necessarily related to the sensitivity. What Battle is talking about is the ability of the mic to output a "louder" signal without having to turn your gain up as high. I haven't had a problem with when using either an ME66 or Rode.

They are both good mics but I tend to prefer the sound of the NTG-3 over the ME66. No matter what, if you have the mic on the camera and the subject is far away you will not get good sound.

-Garrett
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Old July 14th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #15
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Re: thoughts on Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone?

Garrett,

just out of curiosity so i get a better feel for the mics... what is it that you like the Rode more over the sennheiser? im new to all of this mic stuff so im not to educated on what everything means and yes i am just a tad confused haha
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