I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong? at DVinfo.net

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Old December 4th, 2013, 09:06 PM   #1
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I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Today, I was getting together my standard gear set. Boom, Senn MKH 416s, Sound Devices recorder, and some other things.

I was with a high end production studio who'd done quite a few shoots with this set up and said they had flawless results. They kept telling me it was "the industry standard."

However, upon arriving at the client's studio (A beverage company I will not name), the producer and director asked us what mics we were using. We hadn't started recording yet.

We already told their office earlier we were bringing MKH 416's since it's an exterior shoot and confirmed this with their secretary. However, when we repeated this to them at the set, THEY FLIPPED OUT.

They said:
Quote:
"Why would you bring that ancient mic to a professional shoot? I had my secretary look up that mic and she told me it was over 40 YEARS OLD. She managed to find a better version of it called the MKH 60 within 5 minutes. WHY WOULDN'T YOU BRING THAT? YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO CALL YOURSELF A PROFESSIONAL STUDIO AND YOU CAN'T EVEN ADAPT TO THE NEW INDUSTRY STANDARD?"

He kept going on and ON about how bad it was and how we should have known better. He terminated our contract and now my boss is saying we might sue him.

I don't understand what I did wrong. Is the 416 really that bad and out of date now? We'd never lost a gig because of our equipment, but if the 416s are old news, should we just replace all of ours with MKH 60s?

Last edited by Jarred Jones; December 5th, 2013 at 12:12 AM.
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Old December 4th, 2013, 11:19 PM   #2
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

That is ridiculous. The 416 is still an industry standard.

Head over to JW Sound and post this in their forums. The users over there will love to hear it.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 12:07 AM   #3
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

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Originally Posted by Edward Carlson View Post
That is ridiculous. The 416 is still an industry standard.

Head over to JW Sound and post this in their forums. The users over there will love to hear it.
Okay, I just did.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 12:15 AM   #4
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I hope they weren't using any paper, ie; script...... paper was invented when? (so outdated these days)
How many award winning movies were produced wiht a 416? how many award winning movies were produced with a MKH 60? The ratio has to be 100's : 1 in favor of the 416.

Far better to get rid of a client like that than to deal with their onging crap..... and it will grow.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 12:17 AM   #5
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Update. Just got off the phone with my boss and they're saying we were trying to rip them off. Since the contract didn't stipulate specifics microphones, they're saying it was our obligation to bring the best and we're at fault. He said he's already got another company lined up and he called me "an idiot" numerous times.

Boss is talking to a lawyer now. How are they allowed to say that about us? I'm still green to the field but I didn't know this could happen.

I'm terrified I could lose my job over this because I'm the one who chose the 416s.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 12:22 AM   #6
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I wonder if the cammo is also getting a grilling for not shooting in 4k?
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Old December 5th, 2013, 12:48 AM   #7
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

nothing. the 416 is a crap 40 year old mic. get over it and toss it for a modern better performing mic. I long ago banned 416's from my productions because of how lame it sounds. get a schoeps or sanken or even 8000 series seen.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 01:47 AM   #8
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Sue their Asss off for being un-professional, the 416 is still a valid mic and point out that most of the music that they listen to was recorded with neumans that are even older.

They hired you as a sound guy and if they did not specify a particular mic then it is not of their feckin business what you use, do they ask for a rolls royce when they call a cab ??? the 416 is fit for purpose as are other technologies that were designed decades ago and as the sound OP it is up to you to use whatever you choose!

You could also point out that a mic such as the Rode NTG-3 is actually a modern mic totally based on the design of the 416.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 02:39 AM   #9
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

sorry but just because you think its an "industry standard" doesn't mean it is, or that its a good mic in this year. 416 is totally yesterday's news and even senn has replaced it twice.... why would they do that if they didn't have better ? as for older nuemens, thats a U47 ? ok for vocals, but there are other mics just as good if not better. of course all that today as I got raved over sound quality I delivered with...a... MXL4000. not a snob but I let the past go with the past.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:27 AM   #10
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Well Steve we use many 416 mic's in the UK so it is certainly not a past mic as far as we are concerned: http://www.themicstore.co.uk/sennhei...otgun-mic.html

Still in use on mainstream film and TV production as is the U87 from neuman and the ecm 77 from sony!

http://www.pinknoise-systems.co.uk/S...oduct--79.html

I also see from your web site that you use an EV RE50 an "industry standard" now what were you saying about 40 year old mic's and the RE50 and 635a pre date the 416 by many years!

http://www.steveoakley.net/template_...ink.asp?id=218

and a final note get the dickhead who questioned the use of the 416 to read the customer reviews on B&H :
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Last edited by Gary Nattrass; December 5th, 2013 at 04:00 AM.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 04:21 AM   #11
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

This thread has got me thinking! I am going to get rid of my 1957 Les Paul Junior and buy a more modern guitar. Soooo outdated!
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Old December 5th, 2013, 04:24 AM   #12
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

I'm trying to understand the time line of events.
You told their secretary (before the shoot) you were using 416's who ok'd it - she must have then told the Producer & Director about it because they had her do 5 mins of research to find a better mic- then the Producer & Director waited for you to turn up on set with the mics and spits the dummy?
Seems to me that your professionalism is not in question here - more the motive of the Producer & Director.
They should have specified an equipment list in your contract if they wanted certain gear.
As to the question of 416's being professional - they still get allot of paid work.
You might have been lucky in the end - sounds like it was probably a shoot I wouldn't want to be a part of.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 06:27 AM   #13
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian David Melnyk View Post
This thread has got me thinking! I am going to get rid of my 1957 Les Paul Junior and buy a more modern guitar. Soooo outdated!
In the 80's I used my 1959 Les Paul as firewood coz it was too heavy and it didn't have a modern pointy headstock! ;0)
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Old December 5th, 2013, 11:18 AM   #14
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Steve's very much in the minority. You choose microphones because of what they sound like, not age and NOT price. Sennheiser have NOT replaced the 416. The others in the range do different jobs, and are in addition to, not in replacement of. One day they will replace the 416, but it still sells, and is the SM58 of the shotgun world. You know how it will sound and how to use it to best effect. Some people may think it a crap mic, but it's just opinion, based on personal preference. I rather like the sound. To my ears many of the newer more expensive mics are too bright, and too kind of 'scientific' which no doubt is accuracy, but I don't like it.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #15
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Re: I just got kicked out for using the wrong mics. What did I do wrong?

Terrible. I think you have no alternative but to bundle up those awful old mikes and send the to me. :)

Seriously, however, the difference in mikes is fairly subtle, and I think you have a "client from hell" who proves the adage that nothing is more dangerous than a "little knowledge. " They obviously are acting on assumptions rather than experience, and if their attitude is any indication, you are probably well shut of them.

Last edited by Battle Vaughan; December 5th, 2013 at 12:15 PM.
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