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Old June 14th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum
So many productions are now shooting indie-style in real locations like houses, businesses & classrooms, "shotguns are simply inappropriate for indoor use" has become accepted as truth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos E. Martinez
My choices, in quality order: 1) Use the shotguns with a mic operator.
Sorry, but now I'm slightly confused!

When you say, "use a shotgun with a boom operator" are you suggesting any shotgun, or those of the higher price range (ie. "professional" mics such as the MKH416)? From what I've read and experienced, it's almost impossible to get good useable sound from cheaper shotguns (such as the ME66) indoors (ie. your average home bedroom).

It is my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that in general hyper-cardioid microphones are better suited indoors than most shotguns.

Your comments make me think that maybe the answer to my original post is: when dealing with prosumer gear use a hyper indoors; when dealing with professional gear, like the MKH416, a shotgun will work fine.

Maybe I'm just missing the point?!?
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Old June 14th, 2006, 08:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hocking
..

Your comments make me think that maybe the answer to my original post is: when dealing with prosumer gear use a hyper indoors; when dealing with professional gear, like the MKH416, a shotgun will work fine.

Maybe I'm just missing the point?!?
Chris, the difference is not in quality or pro versus prosumer ... the problem with shotguns comes from the physics of the way all shotguns achieve their directivity. So-called "line-gradient" microphones use a tuned interference tube to cancel out sound arriving from directions other than where the mic is aimed. But that cancellation process is very frequency dependent as the tube has resonances just like an organ pipe or a clarinet. One of the results is that low frequency sound arriving from the sides and rear such as from room reflections are not attentuated anywhere near as much as mid frequencies are . Thus the bass components of the talent's speech in those reflections are recorded almost full strength but slightly delayed from the speech arriving directly, leading to a very unnatural sound. Hypers get their directivity from a different physical principle altogether and don't have anywhere near the same amount of problems with reflections.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 08:18 AM   #18
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Thanks for your reply Steve!

Sorry mate, I was paying attention in your first post, when you said, "at issue is not high end versus low end shotguns but rather the acoustic physics of the way a line gradient mic achieves its directivity" - I promise!

What I can't get my head around is why a MKH416 will apparently work indoors and yet a mic substantially cheaper will sound like crap. Unless, like you say, the MKH416 does sound bad inside and it's all up to a matter of personal opinion; hence the conflicting views.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chris Hocking
Thanks for your reply Steve!

Sorry mate, I was paying attention in your first post, when you said, "at issue is not high end versus low end shotguns but rather the acoustic physics of the way a line gradient mic achieves its directivity" - I promise!

What I can't get my head around is why a MKH416 will apparently work indoors and yet a mic substantially cheaper will sound like crap. Unless, like you say, the MKH416 does sound bad inside and it's all up to a matter of personal opinion; hence the conflicting views.
Forum contributor Ty Ford has an excellent little video on his web site showing a 416 and other mics indoors and you can hear the difference first-hand. The 416 is a very high quality mic and doesn't fall apart as completely as less well designed mics might, but when you compare it in a living room with a Schoeps hyper as Ty does you can hear the difference between the two is still dramatic. It's just not as bad as it would be with a less well designed mic.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
I'd have to disagree, except if by "indoors" you mean an acoustically treated studio or otherwise non-reflective environment like a soundstage or auditorium. In most interior environments such as, say, a typical office, classroom, or residence the 416 and other shotguns sound to my ears like the talent is down in the bottom of a well, indistinct and hollow.

Certainly not my experience with the 416. It will mostly depend on the mic positioning. All untreated indoor locations will sound reflective, no matter the mic you use.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 12:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hocking
Sorry, but now I'm slightly confused!

When you say, "use a shotgun with a boom operator" are you suggesting any shotgun, or those of the higher price range (ie. "professional" mics such as the MKH416)? From what I've read and experienced, it's almost impossible to get good useable sound from cheaper shotguns (such as the ME66) indoors (ie. your average home bedroom).

It is my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that in general hyper-cardioid microphones are better suited indoors than most shotguns.

Your comments make me think that maybe the answer to my original post is: when dealing with prosumer gear use a hyper indoors; when dealing with professional gear, like the MKH416, a shotgun will work fine.

Maybe I'm just missing the point?!?
Using a shotgun mic is quite tricky, because you need the mic to be pointed to the mouths of the people that are speaking. When dialogue is too fast you may even need to use two shotguns: one for every actor, particularly when you can't predict who will talk when.

Short shotguns, and I'd put hyper-cardioids in that family, are less peaky. IMHO the nasty responses on some situations are due to the increased sensitivity of some longer shotguns. But that doesn't mean they can't be used.

The question is not cheaper or expensive, as the ME66 is certainly not cheap. And some expensive mics do not sound tood good either, at least to my ears. I haven't tried the 66 that much, so I can't judge on its sound.

I also tend to prefer using more open mics for indoors location audio, but mostly because I started my career working with them and I like the sound of them. But their reach is not that great, and you need a dead sounding place for them to shine. What you do is get closer to your subject with the mic to compensate.

This changed when I started working with the 416, with its improved directionality. But you still have to stay close to your subjects, as close as the camera framing will allow. Improved directionality doesn't mean that you can stay far away.

Hyper-cardioids are a mix of above, with fuller lower frequencies.

But you certainly need a mic boom operator for any of these mics to shine.

I don't share the opinion that hyper-cardioid microphones are better suited to indoors situations than shotguns. I used them both in both situations and they worked quite well.

A prosumer mic may sound well and a professional mic may sound bad, no matter if it's outdoors or indoors. But there's a reason why the 416 is still being made by Sennheiser: audio quality.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 03:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hocking
I'm sorry, but I still don't think I completely understand...

From what I've read:

- The MKH 416 is not suitable for "indoors" (and I use the term loosely), due to the nature of short shotguns
- The MKH 60 is suitable indoors, due to its Schoeps CMC641-like hypercardiod pattern
- The MKH 70 is suitable for indoor shoots as it has a similar pattern to the MKH 60, but merely has a slightly longer throw
- The Schoeps CMC641 is a great all-round microphone (ie. can be used successfully indoors and out with appropriate wind protection), in "friendly" conditions; its limitation is that because its engineered so presisely, you have to treat it with the upmost care - it doesn't like damp/humid/high moisture environments

Am I understanding correctly?
So, Chris, I'd have to disagree with your summary. It's not the polar pattern per-se that's the issue, it's the design of the microphone. The 416, MKH 60, and MKH 70 are all interference tube (aka shotgun) design microphones. It's the physics of that design that causes them to sound "hollow" in interiors, and it gets worse the more reflective the room. The Schoeps MK41 capsule (along with many others) is a pressure-gradient design, so it's a different animal. In the MKH series, the MKH 50 is a pressure-gradient design.

There is not a hard and fast rule about indoors and outdoors. If I'm in a run-and-gun environment where there is not time to change mics and I don't know where I'll end up, I'll pick the hyper-cardiod pattern pressure-gradient microphone. The down side of this choice is that I'm giving up some ability to reject unwanted sound from the side of the microphone and it becomes even more important to be close to what I'm trying to record.

Also, I'm a little skeptical of the "Schoeps is susceptable to humidity" line. Maybe it was true at one time, but I have never had any trouble with mine even in high humidity environments. I still treat them very carefully (they're a pretty sizable investment) but they aren't paper dolls.

I'll also throw in a good word for the AKG "blue line" microphones. They must have phantom power, but for mid-range mics, they sound pretty good. There's an interference tube capsule in that line of microphones too, but I don't have any experience with it.

Hope this helps!
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Old June 15th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #23
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I've heard some accounts that the shotgun Sanken
CS3e is an exception and can be used
indoors. Other than that, I don't know any
more about it.
Does anyone know if the Cs3e is an exception
to the indoor hollowness of other shotguns?

I briefly owned a Sanken CS-1 but never did put it
through its paces to comment other than
to say on your average voice it sounded
kind of thin, which is the reason I got
rid of it.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 08:01 PM   #24
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Re: sennheiser mkh 416 vs mkh 60 and mkh 70?

I just spent 4 days as a sound mixer and boom operator. I put an MKH 418s about 12-16" above the mouth of dozens of subjects seated in adjacent chairs in a large motel room at the Disney Dolphin hotel in Florida.

Since we needed 2 mics, I also used an ME66. The client didn't care if the sound matched.

Both mics sounded fine, compared to each other, the 418s sounded richer. I was just using the mid shotgun part of the mic and not the side, by having both xlr's plugged in but the side mic pot turned all the way down.

Editors said the shoots sounded very good. At all times both mics were on fixed booms in Zeppelin suspension mounts but with no cage or furry attached. I adjusted each mic when the couples changed.

Then I taped the current Miss America in the same room, but she was standing so I put the mic very close to the ceiling. Clip was played on a 27" I-mac and sounded fine via the I-mac speakers. I picked up other sounds as well, like the elevator motors and cars moving. Final recordings didn't seem to have that, however.

She was in front of a muslin green screen, and I mentioned that I just wanted to make sure the mic was pointed into her mouth, she did a good job staying put so that happened.

So there are lots of factors. Keeping the mics close to the mouth just out of camera range is important. When I listened to the other channel (other mic which was about 2 feet away and pointed at the other person) via my Sound Devices 302 mixer's headphone output, it didn't sound as good. Thin and a bit tinny.

Eventually I likely will sell the nearly new ME66 and get a 416.

Then an MKH 50.

I'd rather have a 2 MKH 50's than one Schoeps CMC641, at the same cost. Some people might not agree with me however.

Last edited by Larry Vaughn; December 1st, 2011 at 08:41 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 06:11 AM   #25
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Re: sennheiser mkh 416 vs mkh 60 and mkh 70?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Vaughn View Post
Eventually I likely will sell the nearly new ME66 and get a 416.
Personally I would get the new MKH 8060 rather than the old 416 nowadays.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Vaughn View Post
Then an MKH 50.
I think I would consider an MKH 8050 instead nowadays.

This matches the 8060 in sound.

If you insist on the MKH 50s I would consider the MKH 60 instead of the 8060 or 416 as the sound of the 60 is the same as the 50, the only difference being in the directivity.
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Old November 13th, 2014, 05:15 AM   #26
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Re: sennheiser mkh 416 vs mkh 60 and mkh 70?

Just to add that the MKH series mics are all RF condensers, which has the technical consequence that they are pretty much immune to the audible effects of moisture you sometimes get outdoors with other mics. Not that they are waterproof (please don't plunk your MKH in a bucket of water) but they don't suffer from the noise problems caused by humidity in the air, that AF condensers do. Good explanation by forumite John Willett here: http://www.ips.org.uk/files/09_Techn...enser_Mics.pdf

I just recently took my MKH 60 out in a light drizzle, with only a Rycote Softie on it, stayed out for most of an hour - with no audible ill-effects what so ever. Nearly froze my fingers off, but that's a different story.
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