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Old January 21st, 2014, 02:10 PM   #1
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Studio Mic

Hello All -

Looking for some recommendations and/or schooling on some new microphones. I've got a spectrum of shotgun and lav mics, but I'm interested in adding a stereo / studio microphone to my collection. In the past, I've worked primarily with shotgun mics while on set (primarily outdoor) shoots and contract work, and some stereo mics for indoor shoots (I'll be honest, just one, and it was borrowed and damaged, blah). I'm curious what the pros here would recommend. I'm working with a SD744t recorder, and a SD442 mixer.

I'm a fanboy, especially Star Trek. So, I've attached an image from one of the BTS shots. I'm wondering what mic that is, or perhaps something similar. Thank you for your kinds words of wisdom.
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Studio Mic-fanboy.png  
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 08:54 AM   #2
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Re: Studio Mic

The first recommendation is to NOT use a stereo mic for dialog. Dialog is recorded mono and if it located anywhere other than centred between the channels in a final stereo mix that positioning is done in post.

Can't see it well enough to say what the mic in your pic might be. Any one of several small-diaphram hyper-cardioid mics like the Schoeps CMC641 is a safe guess.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 09:35 AM   #3
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Re: Studio Mic

I agree with everything Steve said.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 01:02 PM   #4
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Re: Studio Mic

Very interesting. I appreciate your answers. So, you would recommend that all audio (dialogue, rather) be captured with a short shotgun then? I have the NTG-3, as more of a backup I have the NTG-2, and I have the Sennheiser MKH416P48. Those have worked for me well in the past, but I'm always looking to make sure that I have the best tools (that I can afford) at my disposal for the right job. Is there another short shotgun that you'd recommend? I've looked into the longer shotguns, but the SN Ration doesn't appear to be all that much better, so I'm very eager to understand what might be the next level up. Or at least, what a pro would recommend. Thanks again for answering my initial questions, by the way, always appreciated.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 02:46 PM   #5
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Re: Studio Mic

"So you would recommend that all audio (dialogue, rather) be captured with a short shotgun then"
- I don't know who said that, nor does it go along with conventional thinking
Long Shotgun? Where?
I had an 816 and hardly ever used it, so it was sold. A year or so later , I needed one for a scene so I picked up a 4071. I hardly ever use that either. Draw your own conclusion.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 03:17 PM   #6
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Re: Studio Mic

The Schoeps CMC641 that Steve recommended above is not a shotgun microphone.

Schoeps lists it as a "supercardoid", and yes, sometimes you see that term applied to shotgun mics, but more commonly the CMC641 and similar mics are said to be "hypercardoid".

The interference tube in such a mic (the part with the slots on the side) might by 1/2 to 3/4" in length, where even the shortest short shotgun will be 3-1/2" or more. This does relate both to the amount of side rejection, and the suitability for interior use. The longer the tube, the less useful for interiors in reflective and reverberant rooms.

Between the NTG3 and 416 you have a couple of workhorse shotguns for exterior use, have you ever noticed a hollow sound or unexpected reverbs when using them inside? This is when you want a hypercardoid on the stick.

The CMC641 is at the top of most soundie's heaps as an indoor dialog microphone, with some preferring Sanken. More affordably, Audio Technica 4053, AKG Blueline with CK93 capsule, Oktava MK012 with hyper capsule, others.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 11:32 PM   #7
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Re: Studio Mic

and, there's absolutely no reason you can't use a CMC641 outside.

I do it all the time if it's the right choice.

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Old January 23rd, 2014, 12:44 PM   #8
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Re: Studio Mic

Thank you Ty, Seth, Steve, Rick. Just to point out where my mistake was earlier, when Steve said "The first recommendation is to NOT use a stereo mic for dialog," I equated that comment to my list of cited mics, which were all mono. It didn't seem like a leap to me, but my mistake.

I greatly appreciate the advice. I certainly have noticed that the hollow sound when doing indoor work. The NTG-3 seems to react better than the 416. But then again, my 416 is 15 years old. Reverb hasn't been too much of an issue, but as I work in different environments, I'm sure I will. I've been using the 416 for interviews, but even that has been causing some hollow audio. The CMC641 is quite attractive, and it appears that you all highly endorse its capabilities and results. Thank you for taking the time to work with me to understand.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 12:49 PM   #9
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Re: Studio Mic

Studio mics are a bit difficult to recommend because so many things impact on them. The Rodes are popular in the mid price range, but if you want to have variable patterns, omni, fig-8 and cardioid, then the choices vary. I guess you need to decide what you want to do with it?
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 01:23 PM   #10
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Re: Studio Mic

Most of the work that I currently do, that would require a microphone of this nature, is on smaller independent productions. Rarely do they shoot in a sounds stage. More often than not, it's in homes, restaurants, city hall, rented properties, things like that. I do, on occasion, work for a company in town that does own a sound stage, that I do freelance work with. That's where I've been using the Sennheiser and have noticed the issues. And to a lesser extent, sound issues in the other locations as well. I'd like to remain as versatile as I can in the region, so having a range of microphones is important to me as well.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 10:52 AM   #11
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Re: Studio Mic

You might think about something along the lines of an MKH-50, which will do better around moisture, like shooting a chef cooking in a restaurant with steam rising from a pan.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 12:34 PM   #12
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Re: Studio Mic

That's something that the reviews on B&H have all cited: the issue with moisture. How "moist" are we talking here? I currently am living in Missouri, where the summers can see significantly high humidity levels. Course, that's nothing like holding a mic over a boiling pot of water, but thought that I would ask what kind of humidity / moisture we're talking here?
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Old January 25th, 2014, 11:19 AM   #13
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Re: Studio Mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
You might think about something along the lines of an MKH-50, which will do better around moisture, like shooting a chef cooking in a restaurant with steam rising from a pan.
Agreed - and the mic. in the OP picture could well be an MKH 50.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 11:51 PM   #14
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Re: Studio Mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Maurer View Post
That's something that the reviews on B&H have all cited: the issue with moisture. How "moist" are we talking here? I currently am living in Missouri, where the summers can see significantly high humidity levels. Course, that's nothing like holding a mic over a boiling pot of water, but thought that I would ask what kind of humidity / moisture we're talking here?
My belief is that high humidity is not typically a problem at all.

The issues occur when there is actual condensation or infiltration of moisture in the area of the diaphram inside the mic.

High humidity *can* be an issue when you take a mic from your cold and dry airconditioned office or studio out into a warm and humid atmosphere. Under the right conditions this can cause moisture to condense on cold metal surfaces. I myself have never experienced this with a mic... but have had problems with other equipment in the past. Condensation also relates to how quickly the metal heats to the ambient temp, which depends on how massive and how thermally conductive the metal is... in short it's a bit unpredictable.

If it turns into a problem there are fixes... like keeping susceptible equipment warmer, or keeping your mic in a plastic back with a dessicant packet until it warms to ambient.
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Old February 16th, 2014, 09:42 AM   #15
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Re: Studio Mic

I also use and love the Schoeps MK41 (hyper cardioid) and MK4 (cardioid).
Great mics, yes at a cost, but once purchased, you know you've got the best.
Humidity? I have rarely had this issue and only outside when the air was very hot and damp (steamy)
I was shooting next to a swamp. The sound quality is superb and works on almost anything, from voice to an orchestra which alone is amazing.
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