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Old December 21st, 2011, 12:29 PM   #1
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I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

...based on various discussions on this sub-forum I decided to purchase an AT4053b Mic. It's more expensive than I'd originally planned on spending, but it gets good reviews. Smaller diameter, relative light weight, and removable capsule were also pluses in it's favor. I'm sure my second choice, the RODE NT-3, would have been fine (at half the price). Chad Johnson's 'Mic Shootout' also factored in my choice.

Best wishes to you and your's and Happy Holidays to all!

J.
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Old December 21st, 2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

I know it sounds petty but proper terminology really is important. The AT4053b is a hypercardioid, NOT a cardioid. They are two very different microphones with entirely different polar patterns..
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Old December 21st, 2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

I would like a test against the Samson C02 Hypercardoid mic. I have tried it a few times and was pleasantly surprised at the sound from it.
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Old December 21st, 2011, 05:30 PM   #4
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

Steve...it's not 'petty'. I need to be corrected when I use incorrect terminology. I need to be technically precise with my language, and I appreciate folks taking the time to educate me, Lord knows, I need it. One of the things I like about 'DVinfo Forum', is the depth of technical knowledge available from people, like yourself. The second best feature of DVinfo is the courtesy and respect most folks show when they point out an error.

Thanks.

J.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #5
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

I've had a chance to 'play' with the AT4053b 'Hypercardioid' Condenser Microphone in my living room, so this is not an exhaustive, critical review by any stretch.

The 'mic' comes well packaged, in a very tasteful black case, it reminds me of a jewelry box for a necklace. Inside the case is a custom fit, closed-foam insert with a mic stand adapter (5/8" - 27), foam windscreen, the AT4053b-EL head capsule and the AT4900b-48 body. There are at least two other 'interchangeable capsules' available from Audio-Technica, an Omnidirectional (AT4049b-EL) and a cartioid (AT4051b-EL).

Overall, the sound clarity, and particularly the sensitivity appears to be very good. While, I don't have the knowledge to perform any real critical or qualitative tests, to my ears, the sound is excellent. I have a rather noisy HVAC Air Handler and the mic seemed to be able to ignore that while still picking up the audio from my TV and my occasional "Test, test, test...1, 2, 3, test". from approximately 24" away. Granted, this is a pretty crude 'test'. When I first hooked the AT4053b up to my camera (Sony HXR-NX5U) and began listening through the headphones, I 'heard' a lot of white noise (hiss) in the headphones! Panic began setting in! I thought, "This mic is noisier than the cheapo Sony Shotgun mic (actually, surprisingly good) that came with the camera!" What I soon discovered was I had to dial-down the two channel volume Pots on my 'NX5' because the sensitivity of the AT4053b is so much better. Heh, heh! Panic averted, I was over-driving the signal.

There is a good deal of technical data included with the documentation, including a 'Polar Pattern' chart and 'Frequency Response' graph, etc.. I won't bore you with those details. I will tell you the AT4053b requires 48V DC Phantom Power and it has an 80Hz 'high-pass filter' and a 10db 'Pad', whatever that means. The mic is rather small, 155mm (6.10") long, 21.0mm (0.83") diameter, even so, it feels solid and well-made in the hand. So far, I'm very happy with my purchase.

Take care of yourselves,

J
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Old December 26th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Kuhn View Post
.. I'm sure my second choice, the RODE NT-3, would have been fine (at half the price)
Whatever the price, and in most cases dealing with interiors, you are better off with the AT4053b. When budget permits, you should get a 'shotgun' mic (like the NT-3) for exteriors. Different mics for different applications. The 'apples and oranges' analogy sort of ...
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Old December 26th, 2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

Rick...I have a RODE 'NTG-3' Shotgun for out door use. I'm trying to 'establish' my modest sound kit, and I hate buy twice, so making as knowledgeable a purchasing decision, within my budget constraints, as I possibly can, is my ultimate goal. DVinfo.net is an enormous resource in helping with my 'buy' decisions.

Take care of yourself,

J.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

A good mic that has been working well for me indoors and outdoors is this:
Audio-Technica AT875 Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone AT875R

Very good value for the money and seems to not have too much trouble with indoor bounce.

Alternatively there is this a very good mic but it is not as sensitive and much more expensive:
Audix SCX1/HC Microphone SCX1-HC B&H Photo Video

I paid only $377 for this one when I purchased it a few years ago. It sounds very good but as I said much less sensitive. If I were to buy again, the ATR-875 would be very high on my list. It seems to do many things very well and does not cost an arm and a leg.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #9
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

The pads really useful when you get faced with loud sources or noisy rooms. Just allows the mic to function properly without distorting in noisy places - or when you have to record close in and the instrument is a trumpet or drummer!
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Old December 26th, 2011, 07:41 PM   #10
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

Thanks Paul! I appreciate 'real world' experience, it's much better than the 'brochure' or 'theoretical' discussions on acoustic properties.

Take care of yourself,

J.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 08:25 PM   #11
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

Does anybody know how the 875 compares to the Sennheiser ME66/K6 or the ME64/K6 (shorter) in terms of sound quality?

I went to the ME64 for an on-cam mic and found it a lot more 'crisp' and had more 'punch' than the Mic supplied with the Sony Z5U. Would like to hear any comparisons..
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Old December 28th, 2011, 12:09 AM   #12
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

Here are some reviews:

Low Cost Shotgun Microphone Comparison
As I Hear It - Choosing the Right Microphone
DVFreelancer Article: Shotgun Shootout | Digital Video Freelancing on the Net
DVeStore's Shotgun microphone Shootout | DVcreators.net

The problem is that there is not direct comparison of the 875 vs the 66
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Old December 28th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #13
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Re: I was looking for a Cardioid Mic...

Les...thank you so much for the thoughtful and well researched response. I've 'book marked' the links you provided for future ingestion. While I've already made my immediate 'buy' decision, that being the AT4053b Hypercardioid and the RODE NTG-3 Shotgun, 'knowledge is power' and more 'knowledge is...', well, you get the idea. Heh, heh!

Take care of yourself,

J.
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