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Old January 19th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #1
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Neumann Mic?

I am doing some ambient nature sounds soon,
would this mic be a good choice:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Or should I look for a stereo mic? such as this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...s=&ci=8543&ac=

Thanks,
Phil
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Old January 19th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #2
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You are comparing one $720 mono microphone to two $220 mono microphones.

I don't know the Neumann, but I have the Rode NT4. I used it for recording acoustic instruments. While it is OK, the instruments just don't sound real. Once I hired some Schoeps microphones, I could not go back to the Rode, and I bought the Schoeps. The Schoeps is superb, but very expensive, and, I understand susceptible to damp, so unsuitable for your application. Sennheiser MKH microphones would be an alternative at that price.

I would guess the Neumann is somewhere in between the Rode and Schoeps or Sennheiser for sound quality, as reflected in its price. There is a discussion about the Neumann and the Sennheiser here http://www.tiny.cc/zebGV


Do you really need/want stereo?

Patrick
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Old January 19th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #3
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Stereo vs Mono

Well I guess part of the question is if I truely need stereo for scenic shots?

as for the sennheiser would you suggest the MKH416? I know it is a classic "pro mic," but I have been under the impression that cardioid(sp?) mic is what I would want for nature/ambient sound.

what other mics would you suggest?

Thanks,
Phil
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Old January 19th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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Maybe look at the Rode Stereo Videomic, a very sweet sound. It's a supercardioid with a minijack out. If you get a HI-MD mindisc recorder, 44.1 stereo, it'll be the perfect combination for nature sounds.

The discs are very cheap, you can set it up on a boom and run it for an hour nonstop. Great economical combination for location sounds.

Another option is a parabolic mic set-up for distance work, very expensive though.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Palacios
Well I guess part of the question is if I truely need stereo for scenic shots?

as for the sennheiser would you suggest the MKH416? I know it is a classic "pro mic," but I have been under the impression that cardioid(sp?) mic is what I would want for nature/ambient sound.

what other mics would you suggest?

Thanks,
Phil
It is important to remember that all these mics are designed primarily for either music or dialog applications. A great mic for one purpose, like instruments or spoken word, may be a mediocre mic for another. For ambient recording you will want to combine the quietest mics with a quality preamp/mixer.

The Sennheiser MKH series of mics are the quietest small diaphragm mics that I know of. They are also fairly rugged for field work. Take a look at the MKH 20 omni or MKH 40 cardioid.

Second, a quality preamp, or mixer, like the Sound Devices series, will make any microphone sound much better than the camera's built-in preamp.

How are you going to use your recordings? Are they going to be in the background, mixed with voices or music, or will they have to stand alone? If they are in the background, no one may notice the difference between mono and stereo.

Best wishes,
Peter
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Old January 20th, 2007, 03:18 AM   #6
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Shotgun mikes reduce off axis sounds that are high frequency. This means that you selectively emphasise a sound that is straight ahead. The downside is that the ambient sound will be unnatural, as it will be selectively missing the high frequencies. That's why, on the whole, shotgun mikes are not used for music. Cardioid would be better.

Even a cheap recorder, like the zoom h4 will give you far better sound than a camera, and supply 48v phantom for the external microphone. It will also allow you to record in 24bit, which gives you a much better dynamic range. It's easy to mix the additional sound track with the video on any NLE. I use Vegas.

It's worth remembering that, although a good microphone may cost a lot, you will go on using it forever. Unlike a video camera where, to keep up with the latest technology, you need to upgrade at least every 5 years.

Patrick
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Old February 28th, 2007, 03:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Palacios View Post
I am doing some ambient nature sounds soon,
would this mic be a good choice:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
Phil
If you haven't chosen yet: I worked with the Neumann KM 184 and KM 185 quite a lot. In my view, they are top microphones and play in the same league as Schoeps and the Sennheiser MKHs. The KM 185 (which I ended up using much more then the 184) delivers a very natural sound, in my ears a little warmer compared to the Schoeps MK41. But oppinions vary on this. Some say that Schoeps sounds more neutral in the end and some do not like the "Neumann sound". I like it a lot.

Martin
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #8
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Lots of mics to choose from. I'd be looking for an omni or cardiod of some sort. Maybe other people disagree, but I don't think you need a $700 mic for recording ambient sounds. You will need wind protection though, so factor that in.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 06:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Palacios View Post
I am doing some ambient nature sounds soon,
would this mic be a good choice:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Or should I look for a stereo mic? such as this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...s=&ci=8543&ac=

Thanks,
Phil
Hi Phil,

Nah, try an Audio technica 835 ST. It a stereo OR a shotgun mic.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old March 1st, 2007, 08:27 PM   #10
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I ended up trying a neumann, an at 4041(?), and a shure sm81. I ended up buying the shure, the nueman was great, but for the money, the sure sounded pretty close, not as sensitive to small sounds, but it has a "natural" sound to it (to my untrained ears). the AT sounded almost too bright.

thanks for all the input! I do hope tto get a pair of nuemann's *someday* but for this project, the shure is the beast of burden.

Phil
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