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Old July 29th, 2013, 10:16 PM   #1
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Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

I'm going to get some serious gear soon and I have to upgrade my current shotgun.

I'll be shooting a lot of interior dialogue shots in small to medium sized rooms. From what I've been told, a shotgun mic like the MKH 416 is terrible for indoors, correct?

What's the best indoor mic for $1,000 and under?
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Old July 30th, 2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

From what I've been told, a shotgun mic like the MKH 416 is terrible for indoors, correct?
-- It depends... on the individual room. 'Generally' a non-interference tube cardioid mic is preferred for interiors, if one doesn't know what will or will not work. Much has already been discussed on this topic. Search this audio forum for more info and opinions.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Save yourself a few hundred $ and look at this thread...

Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?
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Old July 30th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarred Jones View Post
I'm going to get some serious gear soon and I have to upgrade my current shotgun.

I'll be shooting a lot of interior dialogue shots in small to medium sized rooms. From what I've been told, a shotgun mic like the MKH 416 is terrible for indoors, correct?

What's the best indoor mic for $1,000 and under?
Interference tube mics (most "shotgun" mics) don't do well with rapid first reflections. That is, with reflections off of surfaces that are close -- like interior walls and ceilings often are. Since many (most?) indy productions tend to use existing structures and not build their own sound stages, they tend to shy away from interference tube mics for interior dialog. As they should.

One of the favs of indy soundies for booming interior diaglog is the
Audio-Technica AT4053b.
Right pattern, decent price, excellent sound, relatively forgiving.

Do some searching on the 'net -- there are some decent comparisons of popular mics in this price range -- just bear in mind that if you are listening over the 'net, you're hearing fairly compressed sound streams and therefore won't likely hear the nuances, just the broader differences.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

What about the NTG-3 vs the Audio-Technica AT4053b?
Are either one of those better than the other or are they evenly matched?
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Old July 30th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #6
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

The NTG-3, like the 416, is an interference-tube shotgun, the AT4053 is not.
Again, typically the NTG-3 would be preferred for exteriors.. the 4053 for interiors.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 12:13 PM   #7
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Hi, Jarred! You might want to check out this thread. You dollar threshold is $300 >, but a lot of the same discussion is going on. My recommendation is the Audio-Technica AT4053b - Hypercardioid Polar Pattern. But there are other recommendations. If, you go with the AT4053b, you'll have money left over.

Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

J.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 01:47 PM   #8
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

In addition to the AT4053b, the AKG Blue Line is another contender.

AKG Blue Line Series Hypercardioid Microphone Kit B&H Photo

Unfortunately, I've never heard the two compared in the same test. Both get high marks from their owners.

For indoors, I think the scale goes like this:

1) A big, heavy, studio hyper, which can be used on a stand but will make a boom operator look for a different occupation. But if you have access to one and the talent will be stationary, it's an option.

2) The AT4053b or AKG Blue Line for the $500-ish range.

3) The Sanken CS-3E, which doesn't behave like a typical shotgun. Not cheap but it works indoors or out and can even perform well in high-echo situations like tradeshow floors. Has a tighter pattern than most hypers, so it requires skilled operation. The key is that the off-axis sound is attenuated at all frequencies.

4) Schoeps 641 - The gold standard for indoor use, but you will also need a shotgun for outdoors.
Schoeps Colette Series Supercardioid Microphone Set CMC641G SET


For me, the two most attractive mid-range options are the AT4053b/AKG-Blue-Line for indoors plus a Rode NTG-3 for outdoors, or the Sanken CS-3E as the all-in-one solution.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of other lightweight hyper- or super-cardioid mics out there with high sensitivity. You can find small hyper mics for drum overheads, but they aren't sensitive enough for dialog.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

John,
My preference for indoors 4woud be the 4053b but thanks for posting about the Blue line. I need to find some user reviews on it though.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #10
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

In 2010, I asked for a comparison of the AT and AKG. Got many positive responses for both but no direct comparisons:

AT4053b vs AKG Blue Line CK93


To summarize, people liked them both. Some claim the AT4053b is a bit bright (though one person disagreed), and somebody claimed that the AKG Blue Line was not good with humidity.

A couple of notes: sometimes mics are tuned bright to compensate for wind protection (which is sometimes used indoors when the mic might be moved quickly.) And humidity resilience isn't as crucial for an indoor mic as an outdoor mic.

Still waiting on a head to head comparison. :)
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Old July 30th, 2013, 10:21 PM   #11
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

I've been using the AKG Blueline for a number of years and frankly it is my #1 goto mic for indoor use when I can't use a lav. The mic is ALWAYS on my A camera and has been since I got it. It works quite well as far as I'm concerned both on camera and on a stationary boom. It is bright enough for my purposes and honestly, while I don't use it outdoors for anything big, I haven't notice any real degradation when I do use it outdoors. While I know it's not the right mic to use outdoors sometimes I have to move quickly from indoors to out and there is no time to change over.
Anyway, I've been very happy with the AKG for a good long time and it will continue to be used by me in the way I've been using it.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 06:42 AM   #12
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Hey Don which capsule are you using on your AKG 91 or 93?
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Old July 31st, 2013, 07:18 AM   #13
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

FYI, there is another contender from AKG to consider as well, their ULS (Ultra Linear Series) C480B power module with the CK63 hypercardioid capsule. The combo comes in right about $1100.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 07:43 AM   #14
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

I have the C480b with the CK61 cardioid and CK63 hypercardioid capsules. It is an outstanding mic, but was much lower in cost about 8 years ago. I seem to remember in the $800 range with one capsule(?). Other mics I have looked at over the years are fairly steady in price but this one jumped up a few years ago.
My only complaint with this mic is that any handling noise picked up is much higher in frequency than typical handling noise, so you can't simply roll off the bass to get rid of it. Budget for a really good shockmount, with very soft and flexible XLR cabling so noise isn't transmitted into the mic body if you choose this AKG.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 08:44 AM   #15
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Re: Best indoor mic for under $1,000?

Jerry,
I use the CK93 capsule. I've thought about getting another but frankly, I can't make myself spend the money when I'm happy with the CK93. ;-)
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