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Old November 10th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #1
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Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

Hey guys,

I know there is an abundance of information and posts on these microphones, but I've been doing research and still have a few questions. Sorry if this has recently been covered.

So far my audio set up consists of a Zoom H4n and Rode NTG 2. This has worked fine on short films, even though I know you're not supposed to use a shotgun mic indoors. I've found that getting it close enough to the subject makes for a usable signal. However, I just got new job shooting for low budget tv show and after 3 shoots, I definitely need better audio gear for indoor shooting. A lot of what I'm shooting is interview/travel channel type segments. We shoot 2 camera, and it is more of a "get in and get out" atmosphere, as opposed to shooting narrative films where you can take time and get the mic in close. So the NTG2 indoor, especially in big rooms is no longer viable, as I've got to keep the mic high enough for wide shots.

I've researched and come to the conclusion that I need a hyper cardioid, and I am looking in the price range of the Oktava MK 012 and Rode NT3. Price difference isnít too big of a deal for me between the NT 3 and Oktava, and I know that the Oktava has a great reputation. But would a Rode Hyper cardioid match my NTG 2 better? If I got the Oktava, would the switch from that to the NTG 2 be a noticeable difference? (If we move from indoor to outdoor in a segment, for example)

Also something to take into consideration... Iíve used an NTG 2 and Rode Video Mic on the Rode 10í boom pole, for 3 years. Iím used to the weight of it, and both of those mics seem pretty light. But are the NT3 and MK 012 heavier when put on a boom pole? I can put it on a boom stand for the sake of interviews, but I definitely want to get something that I will have use for on a boom pole while working on films.

Another route would be looking at the Sennheisser G3 lavalier. This would also make thing more convenient, as I wouldnít have to worry about having a boom op. But if Iíve got 2 subjects on camera, with only one person wearing the omnidirectional lav, will I pick them both up? I donít have much experience on lavs, but could I just have my tv host wear the lav on her collar closest to the subject? It's just not possible for me to buy 2 sets of Sennheisser G3ís at this point.

Again, sorry for the long winded post. Any information and advice would be appreciated! I'm needing to my something relatively soon. Thanks again,

Scott
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Old November 10th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #2
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

From your description, i dont think a hypercardioid is really what you want. The issues with shotguns is that in reflective spaces (echoey) the side-noise cancellation aspect of the mic can get muddied by the reflections. A hypercardioid picks up more of those sounds but in a natural lowered sensitivity to the sides.

However, that means you need to get the mic even closer for a hyper to sound good. I have a mk-12 (and a schoeps 641) and you really need them to be around 18" from the mouth to sound nice. On shots where i need a couple feet of headroom? I have to switch to a shotgun. A hyper 4' from the mouth records almost as much "room" as voice.

Its a lot of money, but a mic to consider is the sanken cs3e. It is a shotgun, but with multiple capsules and it does magic things like low frequency directionality and... indoor reflections are much less of an issue. People often rave about how the one mic handles indoor and outdoor well. And as a shotgun you'll get a much more useable sound from a wide-angle distance.

I have a pair of sennheiser wireless... and for 2 people, you need 2 lavs. Unless they are hugging, one mic will not decently cover 2 people.

News guys often carry around a sennheiser 416 and nothing else. Sometimes the reflections are a problem, but if wide angles are the norm for you (and you cannot afford a pair of wireless lavs) then in my opinion, a shotgun with some reflection problems is still going to yield a more discernable voice than a hyper at wide-angle distances.

The final thing to consider is a wired lav. For $400 you can buy a sanken cos-11 and get a hollywood class lavalier. If you can set up a shotgun on a stand then the subject is stationary enough that you can run an xlr cable up the back of their chair.

Those are my 2c anyways. Oh, one more thing, with the Oktava you need an excellent mount to avoid massive handling noise. A KSSM works fine, but is another couple hundred bucks, which should be calculated into the cost of the mic.

At wide angle distances, I'd lean towards a pair of lavaliers (wired or wireless) first, a boomed shotgun second (or 2 of them if its a 2 person interview and you don't have anyone to man a boom.) My hypercardiod would be my last choice.

Thats my input anyways. Cheers!
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Old November 10th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

I have them both and think that if you have a proper boom, a very good shock mount (K-tek ksm or Rycote Lyre) and very good wind protection like a Baby Ball Gag (yes even for indoors). Then I would go with the Oktava.

With ALL the above extras it is a very useful nice sounding mic.

The Rode is not a great mic in my opinion. I know that there are a lot of positive reviews for this mic on the web, but I don't like it. It is clear but not as natural sounding as the Oktava. It is also a bit heavy(371 grams vs. 70 grams). I rarely use it.

I don't have a NTG-2, but I do have a NTG-3 it doesn't sound like either of them. Probably a little closer to the Oktava.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #4
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

I just re-read your post and I agree with Andrew. A hyper is probably not what you are looking for.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 08:32 PM   #5
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

I also agree that a hyper is NOT what you need.. it might be a case of altering the shooting slightly to get better sound.

On the subjects of hyper mics (and I'm probably going to get shot down in flames here) try the Samson CO2....
Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones SAC02 B&H Photo Video

Sampson mics were shown to me by a studio recording engineer, he was raving over one of the models. I bought a pair of Samson hypercardioid mics just on chance expecting them to at best marginal but I'm more than pleasantly surprised of the result. For the price what did I have to lose?
I normally run Senn 416 as my main mics and these seem to match quite well.... My only 2 complaints with the mics are you need a good windshield on them as they seem even more prone to wind noise than the 416 and on a shoot they just seem wrong due to the size of them... both these problems are corrected by using a Rycote fluffy over it.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

Interesting stuff guys, I appreciate your honesty. I thought for sure I'd be good to go with a good hyper cardioid, as I've always heard that you shouldn't use your outdoor shotgun for indoor shooting. But that all makes sense about it needing to be no more than 18 inches away for it to sound good. Before getting into specifics on gear and certain comments in your responses, I guess I better make sure I have the general stuff straight

Using a hyper to capture dialogue between 2 people, indoors, would still be the preferred mic on a close shot, correct? I'd wanted to buy a mic that I can use on films too, and I imagine that something like the Oktava would still be a great choice (with proper shock mount) for indoor shooting. Several of my interviews for the TV gig actually have been close up, in which case the Oktava probably would have worked (where I used an NTG 2). So, all that to say, would you still recommend a hyper for the above scenarios? I understand that if I'm shooting a sit down interview with a lot of headroom, that is will not be a good choice. And in that case I'd want to go with a set of lavaliers... The lingering problem is that I can afford a hyper right now, but not a pair of a Sennheisser G3's and receivers. Maybe I could just intentionally frame the interviews in a way that I can get the mic close to the subjects for now, and then invest in the lavs after the job has paid for a few weeks. Anyways, I'm just thinking out loud here.

Andrew, you mentioned that the Oktava is useless without a good shockmount. I've got Rode's shockmount that goes with the NTG 2. I think it was about $50. Is this a bad idea to try using it on the Oktava?

Kevin, thanks for the warning on the NT3, and Brian, thanks for the tip on the Samson. I'll definitely research it more, can't beat that price!

Scott
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Old November 11th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

Scott.

an Oktava MK will be a great addition to your kit, and preferred used indoors, but it will need shock mount as well as wind protection as the capsule is very sensitive to air movement across its diaphragm. but they are very good sounding mics. its too narrow a pattern to use for 2 subject sit down interview, unless you got a good boom operator.

however if its a controlled environment and its a sit down interview, there is no real reason to not use wired lavaliers which sound better than wireless. even the best multi-thousand $ wireless is almost as good as a $20 cable. (food for thought).
a good wired lav cost hundreds less than a wireless one.

hope this helps
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Old November 13th, 2011, 06:44 AM   #8
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

I have a rode shock mount and it is not sufficient for the oktava. I bought the ktek ksm and it still transmitted too much handling noise so i bought the ktek kssm, which is the same unit but with extra soft rubber. (trew audio had it.) This reduced handling noise down to a controllable level, but it still requires ginger touch on the pole. Additionally, i HAVE to use a rycote BBG baby ball gag on my oktava pretty much all the time. A gentle breeze, a ceiling fan and even somebody closing a door too quickly can cause the diaphragm to overload (and moving a boom between actors will ALWAYS overload it without wind protection.). By the time you add the kssm and bbg, your $200 mic is probably over $500, so its either something you calculate in advance or you ignore my warning and angrily admit i'm right after a few disasters and buy the extras then. If you are the type of person who would think to themself "i wish I'd known the $200 mic wouldn't be good enough without $300 more in accessories because i would have bought something else instead" then now you do and you can react accordingly. Win!

The audio needs for commando news gathering and for indy films aren't really the same. If you want one "go to mic" for indoor and out, i recommend the cs3e... but thats still going to need a boom operator. Honestly, any good "flim mic" is going to require a boom operator if shooting more than one very still person.

As Gerry and I have already said, lavalier mics do not need to be wireless. I have 3 sanken cs3e, but I had them customized with "breakaways" so i can run them on my sennheiser wireless packs, or directly into my mixer/recorder via XLR. For sit down interviews i run a cable across the floor to the back of the chair, then into the clothes the same way I'd set up a wireless lav. For sound quality, this cannot be beaten. To repeat Gerry's example, A $20 canare starquad cable sounds better than a $5000 zaxcom wireless unit. If you are doing moving interviews you need a dedicated sound guy. If you are doing sitdowns where you want to hang a stationary boom, then run wired lavaliers instead and you can do whatever the heck you want to headroom. If you go insanely wide, you'll need to hide the mic cables as they run across the floor, but thats totally doable. In my opinion the sanken cos-11xbp is the finest lavalier you can buy at any price and you can get two of them for around $900. When you finally upgrade to wireless, you can have Trew insert a breakaway for your brand of wireless and the lavs will continue to amaze. ... or you can buy a cheaper set of lavs now if you want to stick to a budget.

My personal preferences in order:

1. I'd prefer to have a soundie that knows whats he's doing and lets me ignore audio while i interview/direct.

2. If i must interview 2 people AND do my own audio, I'd rather have a pair of perfectly positioned hypers - one on each person (with isolated channel recording)

3. barring that, i'd want a pair of wired lavaliers.

4. barring that, a pair of wireless lavaliers.

5. barring that, a pair of shotguns (with isolated channel recording)

6. barring that, an omni hung between the two

7. barring that, a shotgun mounted on top of the camera

8. barring that, ADR.

Oktava sounds incredible when you meet it on its terms. but its a nightmare when shooting on-the-fly stuff. Its not a "just like a pro" mic, its kind of a cheap piece of junk that happens to sometimes produce magically awesome audio. Understanding that does make your decisions a tiny bit more obvious.

Thems my 2c anyways. Hope it helped or something.
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Old November 13th, 2011, 10:51 AM   #9
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Dean View Post
8. barring that, ADR.
LOL. That's pretty much the full gamut. You might add:

9. Title cards.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 09:21 AM   #10
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

10. Piano player to go with title cards...
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Old November 15th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #11
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Re: Oktava MK 012 vs Rode NT3

Thanks guys, for all of your input. Budget-wise, I do agree that I'm going to be best suited right now with a pair of wired lavs into my Zoom H4n. As you guys mentioned, it will be better sound any way.

Andrew. I greatly appreciate your preferred set ups under specific situations. It helps give me perspective. You're probably right about interview/news audio being radically different from film needs. Can't blame me for trying, right?

Scott
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