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Old July 31st, 2013, 09:35 PM   #16
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

I have the 4053b, and don't find it to be bright, but rather darker than most other mics in online tests I've heard. Chad Johnson has a test from a couple of years back and its full, rich sound is what drew me to it.

The frequency chart at the AT web site seems to bear this out as well.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 10:25 PM   #17
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Interesting. I've heard a few people recommend the Rode but quite a few more recommend the AT.
I'm guessing because the RODE is more of a shotgun like the 416 like you said.

My only fear is the 4053 might be too bassy. I could only find 2 online tests of it and it seemed a bit bassy in both.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 02:43 AM   #18
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

The 4053's strong suit is working indoors. I think thats where it wins.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 09:47 AM   #19
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

"My only fear is the 4053 might be too bassy"
- Short answer: Not a problem
There's a switchable 80Hz. HP filter I normally leave engaged for dialog. If there's excessive LF content, for instance in a moving vehicle or encountering air turbulence, I'll engage an additional filter on the mixer and/or recorder.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 01:02 PM   #20
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Jarred...I think a couple of people mentioned handling noise. The AT4053b, is susceptible to 'handling noise'. a good 'Suspension Mic Holder' is recommended.

Best regards,

J.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 01:30 PM   #21
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Frankly, we shouldn't be too concerned about the general frequency balance. That can be easily EQ'd. What we want to avoid is holes or peaks in the response.

For instance, if a mic rolls off at 12 kHz and you want more "air", boosting the highs will just give you noise. If a mic has a strong peak at 2.5 kHz, it will sound nasally on some people and will take exceptional skill to accurately null this out.

Here's a quick and general frequency guide:

200-300 Hz - This is the voice fundamental. It can be important to balance this between different talent for consistent sound. If the mic is boomy or thin, this is the range to control. The EQ curve should be broad and smooth, rather than peaky, for this adjustment.

600 Hz - This area is relatively unimportant for voice. You can dip this to allow for music and sfx.

1.2 kHz - This is critical for consonants. You can add a narrow boost here. (And you can dip the music and sfx to allow the voice to be understandable.)

2.5 kHz - This is the nasal area. Boost smoothly if the voice is dull. Tamp if the voice is nasal. You can also add narrow dips if there are certain annoying frequencies. This area can help us distinguish voices that sound similar. It also helps us differentiate flute from oboe.

5-15 kHz - This is the "air". Boost smoothly, for air. Cut smoothly to eliminate noise.

When comparing mics, it makes sense to apply smooth EQ around 250 Hz and at 5-15 kHz to get a similar sound. Make sure to balance the overall levels. *Now* compare the mics..

Does either mic have a resonant sound or a brittle frequency? Does one have more clarity and definition? Is there any audible distortion? How about noise? Is there handling noise? Is there any flanginess?

The ideal mic, for me has a combination of creaminess and a sharp edge. The creaminess is the lack of distortion and a smooth frequency response with smooth phase. The sharp edge has to do with some bite on consonants and the nasal range. It helps each voice sound clear, strong, and unique, but not harsh. The creaminess aspect counterbalances any harshness.

Other aspects are the sensitivity, handling noise, the width of the pattern, and the smoothness of the pattern as it goes off axis. Also, is there a strong response directly behind the mic? For an indoor mic, you can sweep the boom pole quickly and listen for wind noise. You shouldn't need a big zeppelin indoors.

Unfortunately, it's all too easy to hear more or less bass in mic comparisons (as well as differences in volume) and to judge mics simply on those grounds. Given that it's easy to adjust gain and smooth EQ curves, it's good to neutralize those aspects and judge the mics at the next level.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 03:03 PM   #22
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Very useful post Jon. Thank you.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 04:15 AM   #23
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

I really wonder, why after 2 sites, nobody mentioned the elephant in the room - the Oktava MK012.

It's an excellent sounding indoor dialog hyper for an attractive price.

I got one (even came with 3 capsules) that I use since years and I take it any day over the AT.
It's a bit prone to handling noise, but If you have a good suspension on your boom, that's actually a no brainer.

Just make sure you get a genuine Russian one, there are some bad China fakes around.

Oktava MK-012 condenser microphone. Oktava-online - only genuine Russian made studio microphones

On top of it, it's pretty hackable ;-)

http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/Oktava/MK-012
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 10:12 AM   #24
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

The 012 can be a great sounding mic, but lots of possible issues in purchasing/using one.
One of which, it's relative low output (10 mV/Pa) which can create a noise issue with budget preamps, mixers, recorders an such. Unusually high susceptibility to handing and air turbulence is another. Also as was stated in the articles, all Oktavas are not created equal, though QC has allegedly gotten better and not even counting the 'counterfeits', many folks, myself included, purchased their Oktava mics from 'The Sound Room', www.oktava.com/ ...who hand picks, tests and tweaks the best ones. This is not a 'Dorcey' type modification however, but one still pays a little more for this service. The 'Dorcey' type modification will also not turn a turkey into a winner.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 05:08 PM   #25
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Good call in mentioning the Oktava MK012.

Some people love the mic. Personally, I've never liked the sound from the tests I've heard. The problems Rick lists have made me shy away from it. That said, I've never used it and many speak highly of it.

I've always wondered if the Oktava might be the "Studio Projects C1" of the video world. Many musicians claim that "the Studio Projects C1 sounds just like a Neumann U87". It took me some time to come across one I could demo. Well, it ain't no U87. But at a fraction of the price, it might be a good value for some. I personally prefer Rode's low cost large condensers for value mics. I didn't care for the C1 sound and noise level.

Of course, if the Oktava works well and sounds good to your ear, that would make it an excellent value. (Mic choice can be a personal thing.) So, yes, it belongs in the list. :)
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 07:30 PM   #26
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

The Oktava 012 has often been referred to as "a poor man's Schoeps" in which I agree to an extent. Does have the same off-axis response though. The MJ modded Oktava 012 sounds very close to a Neumann KM84 in MJ's tests.
Don't know how a "Studio Projects C1 could sound any wheres near a LD U87.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 08:02 PM   #27
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Correction: I meant to say: "Does NOT have the same off-axis response as the Schoeps".
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