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Old August 22nd, 2006, 10:57 PM   #1
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Holes in my research

Greetings to all, longtime lurker (work prohibits msg board posting), first time poster (from home, yay). I read a lot of NHT postings before posting this so hopefully I am not asking already answered questions. I went to Ty Ford's website and loved it. His video was helpful and so I ordered his book last week. I figure anyone who makes such an incredibly helpful tutorial and gives it away deserves to have their book bought.

Anyhow, I am gearing up to shoot a series of short narrative fictional projects all set in an office environment. These will be shot on a Sony Z1u HDv.

I have a series of questions I would dearly appreciate answers to.

1-I own a Tascam DA-P1 DAT recorder and a Marantz PMD660 CF. Which one should I record with? I know that with the PMD660 the post time would be less but I dont care about that. I have ProTools so I can go straight into the Mac with my DA-P1. Or would I really notice the MP3 compression by just going straight into my Z1u XLR inputs?

2-I currently own a Sennheiser ME67/K6 with full Rycote zeppelin and windjammer setup. I dislike how it sounds indoors for conversation (okay, so I didn't know when I bought it that shotguns are bad indoors). I've been reading this board a lot and also talked with an audio friend and it seems that with my budget I will either get an AKG CK93 or AT4053a. I cannot seem to figure out which of those two are better. B&H has more acc for the CK93 (Rycote).

3-Related to question 2. I could really stretch and get the Schoeps cmc641 but that would devour my budget big time (I'd have to scrap getting matte boxes, tiffen filters, HD LCD, etc). Going from say an AT4053 to the Schoeps, for dialogue in an office how much will I be able to tell the difference? But thinking beyond just this project, my dad and I are RED Reserve#27 so I want to start getting gear that will last. I can see that the Schoeps cmc641 is better, but is it only a lot to audiophile pros who do audio for a living? Will my audience hear it? Anyone happen to know a mic "shootout" between a cmc641 and a CK93 or AT4053?

4-Lastly, given one of those mics and one of those recording devices, do I need a field mixer? Any of my three recording options allow independent channel audio adjustments and 48v phantom power. So what would I really gain by picking up something like a DV ProMix3 mixer? I can't figure it out.

Thanks a bunch guys, this forum rocks
-Shawn Nelson
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 08:23 AM   #2
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A lot of things to cover here, which I'm not going to get to. Personally, while I think the Schoeps is a fantastic mic, at over $1500 new, if it's going to kill the budget, try something cheaper. Look used for a Schoeps or a Senn MKH50 at the very least if you want a really nice mic. If you are willing to go down a couple of steps, the Oktava MC012 makes a nice cheap hyper -- something that you might use in the future even if you had the Schoeps. I'm sure others will provide more opinions/info.

Why the matte box? I don't know how expensive of one you are looking at, but it's probably something you really could do without and save a good amount of money for other more important things.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 11:32 AM   #3
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Another inexpensive but high-quality hypercardioid is the Rode NT3. It sounds great and there's going to be less handling noise than with the Oktava.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 12:35 PM   #4
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the me67, does sound funky. try a shorter capsule, me66 or me64 and i think you'll be happier. personally, i never liked the me-series. i use a mhk416 indoors and out, and think its one of the best mics for dialog you can buy. if your subject isn't moving, pin a lav on and be done with it.

as for telling the "difference", ask 10 sounds guys and you'll get at least 11 answers. trust your ears and go with that. happy recording...
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Old August 25th, 2006, 11:30 PM   #5
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hmm

Thanks guys, but uh, the ME 66/64, the Rode NT3 and the Oktava are all way cheaper than the two mics I want to choose between. Not that I am trying to spend money, but in audio you generall get what you pay for. I've read a lot of nice things about Oktava but its pretty universally agreed that they are inferior to the AKG CK93 or the AT4053. Although I read Ty Ford say Oktavas were better suited for door stops.

Can anyone at all tell me why I need a mixer if I already have individual track volume adjustment and preamps into my uncompressed recorder?
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Old August 25th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #6
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Shawn--

It doesn't sound like you're trying to spend money; it sounds like you're not even giving yourself a chance to save money. Don't assume that because a mic is more expensive, it's a better mic. Usually that's true, sure. But not always. Money and value aren't always directly correlated. Keep an open mind. If "you get what you pay for" is a 100% infallible philosophy, well... I've got a mic I made out of a paper towel roll and some chewing gum that I'll sell you for $35,000. :)

I'm not trying to be glib or anything, I'm just saying maybe it's worth it to hear what all these mics sound like--those you asked about as well as all of the ones suggested here. You might find, as many people have, that Oktavas and Rodes can sound pretty darn good. If you still like the CK93 or the AT4053 better than the others, then go ahead and spend the money and you'll have lost nothing. But if you buy a more expensive mic without trying a less expensive one that might have been perfectly suitable for your needs, then you may have needlessly spent an extra couple hundred dollars.

I have a Rode NTG-1 that I'd put up against an ME66 any day, and I'm not the only one around here who doesn't like the Sennheiser. The Rode sounds better in my opinion, and it costs less than half of what the Sennheiser costs. It happens. Not always, but it does happen. I'm not saying it will necessarily be true of the mics discussed here, but then how will you know if you write off the less expensive options from the get-go?
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Old August 26th, 2006, 12:12 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Nelson

Can anyone at all tell me why I need a mixer if I already have individual track volume adjustment and preamps into my uncompressed recorder?
You really don't. Not if you've got individual control, and you're pleased with the noise level (or lack thereof) of your preamps.

I too, prefer the 4053 as a lower cost mic, it's one of those "daily use" mics, along with the 4051 head. Or a pair of 4049's for those sweet matched-omni situations.

There are those that suggest that cheaper mics are "just as good" and sometimes they are. Very hard to tell the differences sometimes unless you're in a sweet audio suite with great monitors, but the differences are indeed there.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #8
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Shawn, I'll through in my 2 cents.

I've heard a couple audio folks say
that the AKG Blue Line isn't really
all that great, so I'd go with the
4053 over the CK93. I have heard
a recording made outdoors with the
4053 and was impressed.

Will your audience notice much difference
between the AT and the Schoeps?
Probably not. If money was no object
I'd get the Schoeps but not wanting to
blow a budget, I'd get the AT.
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