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Old February 24th, 2004, 11:38 AM   #16
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan Beasleigh :
What is Skotch?

I guess I recorded a little too much Johnny Walker last night.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 06:54 PM   #17
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You should record some Bagpiper or McDowels #1. It's enuff to gag a maggot. Made in India. They can't even legally call it scotch.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 09:11 PM   #18
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I don't think that I have the proper mic for that.
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Old February 27th, 2004, 11:00 PM   #19
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Octava Hyper versus Cardoid

Tested all three capsules available for the Mk012 set on the same mike to see the difference in off axis rejection and tone.

Please know that I am an audio engineer with very good ears and about 30 years experience.

The difference between the hyper cardoid and the regular cardoid is nearly non existant. Very very little, and insignificant in practice. Yes, It'll show up on a graph or VU meter, but BARELY.

The hyper-cardoid will cut a little tiny bit more of off axis noise than the regular cardoid, but practically speaking, it is so little I could only see this on a VU meter. The sound of both capsules is identical. In fact, if you look at both capsules, you could not tell them apart in construction save the little yellow dot inside, aparently the only way the factory can tell them apart either.

The Omni capsule DOES sound significantly different than the other two. It also does have a much wider pick-up pattern, hense, prone to pick up camera noise and off screen noise. It might be good if you are trying to record ambient sound, since the pattern is very wide. Generally it has a sound that I would never want to use-- it is a more hollow sound, and not natural sounding, and would need a fair amount of EQ to sound right for a human voice. If I were recording ambient sound, I might be more tempted to use a large diaphram condenser, like my (admittedly expensive) Neuman TLM103, though this is a much bigger and heavier mike.

I have a hard time justifying paying $199 for the 3 capsule kit, when you can get the 1 capsule you'll use for the majority, if not all of your work, for half that amount. If you are set on spending $199, get a stereo pair or 2 $99 1 capsule mikes.

In terms of general quality, this microphone is an astonishing bargain.
No, it doesn't have the output of my $1000 TLM103, but the TLM will not fit on my camera.

I have owned an ME66, which is the broadcast industry standard-- but remember that to a NEWS CREW, a shotgun and off-axis rejection is as important to their application in noisy public environments as is actual sound quality. Now, I've been comparing the MK012 to my Neuman, which is in another class than the ME66 altogether in terms of sound and response-- and the Octava sounds damn good, and from many accounts many prefer it to the Seinheiser standard. I am VERY happy with the Octava at a fraction of the price of anything else.

Electronic Musician Magazine did a VERY in depth comparison between various condensers, and the Octava held it's own against mikes costing 6 times as much, and some liked it best in many situations.
See: http://industryclick.com/magazinearticle.asp?releaseid=5572&magazinearticleid=65282&siteid=15&magazineid=33
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Old February 27th, 2004, 11:25 PM   #20
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Neil... I'd give that one more day of careful testing. It's just my experience, but in my use I found the hyper to be way more like a short shotgun then the cardioid is.

I packed the cardioid cap away 'cause the hyper did what I wanted the Oktava for in the first place... make a good sounding little mic that works almost as good as a short shotgun.

If you didn't buy two mics then you'll have a hard time identifying the difference in cardioid/hyper as you switch out the caps and then repeat whatever test you're doing.

I took two mics gaffer taped together running stereo into a pair of 7506 headphones... then as I experimented in several ways it was easy to hear that the hyper attenuated off axis sounds substantially more then the cardioid.

I found the cardioid to be pretty much an omni with a reduced rear hemisphere... whereas the hyper really needs to be pointed at the source.
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Old February 28th, 2004, 12:06 AM   #21
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Man... I dunno

I spent a couple hours testing these suckers tonight, and checked with a very accurate bar VU to make sure my mind wasn't playing tricks on me.

Yes, there was a very slight difference in off axis rejection between the two cardoids- the best test was having a TV set at low volume in another room behind the mike.

I also tested with normal speaking at 90 and 45 degrees to the mike.

The difference was slight regardless of the off axis sound.

I mean, it's there, but if you've got a decent level to begin with, which you should, the difference is going to be impossible to guage with the human ear.
MY opinion.

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Old February 28th, 2004, 12:47 AM   #22
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I've also found that in less than ideal spaces the hyper cap picks up far less of the room. I don't think you would notice the difference if you were miking an acoustic guitar from 4", but if you have them about 18" over an interview subject, weth the rear facing the furthest surface, you can hear a substantial reduction in ambient noise and room reflections.
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Old February 28th, 2004, 02:52 AM   #23
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Well, actually, that's how I tested the mikes- actually about 30" from my mouth, with TV from the rear 3 rooms away--

a difference, but not a great deal.

Also tested off axis fan-- same.

Here's the actual numbers, the difference according to these specs is 4 DB. Frankly, I think this is optimistic, and my tests don't show this much. I might actually use a test tone and verify what I'm seeing...

Technical specifications:

Mic type: Small diaphragm condenser
Phantom voltage required: ............................ 48 +\- 2V
Full impedance, module: .............. less than 300 ohms
Weighted SPL (ref. DIN 45412): ..................... 18 dBA
Maximum SPL in 250-8000Hz range,
(less than 0.5% THD): ...................................... 130 db
Weight: ................................................................... 70 gr.

Free field sensitivity at 1KHz: ...................... 10 mV/Pa
Free field sensitivity roll off from
40Hz to 20KHz should not exceed: ................. +\- 3 db

The difference in free field sensitivity between O and 90 should be as follows:

For omnidirectional capsule:
in 40-1000 Hz range: .......................no more than 2 db
in 1-5 KHz range: .............................no more than 4 db
in 5-8 KHz range: .............................no more than 8 db

For cardioid capsule:
in 250-8000 Hz range: ......................no less than 4 db

For hypercardioid capsule:
in 250-5000 Hz range: .................. ...no less than 8 db

Average sensitivity difference between
O and 180 for cardioid capsule
in 63-12500 Hz range: ........................................ 16 db
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Old February 28th, 2004, 10:49 AM   #24
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I'd say just go with the cardioid set if it'll suit your use. Ultimately all mic purchases come down to what you want and nobody should make decisions based on the opinions of others.

The only reason I'm even posting this right now is because I think quite a few people stumble across these threads and I want them to read a rebuttle to your statement that the difference is almost non-existant.

For me the difference in rejection outweighs the extra cost of the hyper cap. I paid $73 (shipped) for a SINGLE hyper cap 'cause I only had the cardioid kits...

I repeated my earlier tests before adding this post and I can see where you may feel the cost of the additional hyper isn't worth it.

When I plug the two mics into the dvx and then pop on the 7506s it just sounds like somebody is panning a balance knob off-center as I point the two mics at, and then away from, the source... The sound "moves" about half-way to whatever ear is getting sound from the cardioid.

I'll agree that the value of this degree of directivity is subjective... it isn't like the cancellation you get from a medium shotgun, but also I can tell that it would be REALLY hard to even tell the difference without a direct A/B comparison.

Believe it or not, the Oktavas sound A LOT like the 4073a... In a double blind test it would take a while to tell which is which... Sonically they're 90% the same mic... So then it comes down to directionality/off-axis cancellation. The 4073a is maybe 15% more directional then the the Oktava hyper which is about 15% more directional then the Oktava cardioid.

Is 15% woth $455? I decided "no"... Is it worth $73? I say "yes".

[I should add that the 4073 is also significantly more sensitive then the Oktavas and that the levels had to be set to equal output. If you're cam needs a hot signal then the value of the 4073a (over the Oktava) goes up considerably... In a dvx it's easy to balance levels with plenty of mic pre to spare... and then it's hard to tell much difference.]
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Old February 28th, 2004, 04:48 PM   #25
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Further Tests

Okay-- I like to be accurate when I give feedback, so I ran more detailed tests on the difference between the Octava capsules. I will REVISE MY OPINION- but not a lot. Essentially, my more extensive testing gave me the same results as before concerning off axis filtering. The Hyper remains more sensitive at greater distances than the regular cardoid- using a test tone.

Here's what I found- the operation and difference of the Cardoid and Hypercardoid differs depending on the distance from the sound source, providing this is an A440 test tone from a single speaker as my source. Using human speaking voice from a speaker, its a less audible difference- I couldn't tell the two mikes apart significantly at any distance. It may be that the test tone reflected considerably more off the walls of the room and this affected the apparent DB level on the meters, setting up interference patterns that showed up as differing levels from each mike. It would seem that voice sampling would be more important than recording a steady 440hz test tone, and ultimately, this is what convinced me that the difference between the hyper cardoid and the regular cardoid was very small indeed.

I placed the mikes three distances from the source, a steady test tone, common distances when using a mike in conjuction with a camera- 24", 36", and 64". AT 36", I changed the angle of the mike 90 degrees, first pointing at the hardwood floor, then up towards a 10 foot ceiling. I left the mike in stand in place, and only unscrewed one capsule and screwed in the other without moving anything.

Ref. CARDOID: At 24" the regular cardoid measured -3 DB, at 90 degrees towards the side this dropped about 4 DB to -6 or -7 DB. Same as the official test.

HYPER CARDOID: AT 24" the hyper cardoid was equally sensitive at -3, at 90 degrees to the side it dropped about 8 or 9DB to -11, -12 DB. Again, this confirmed the official numbers. This isn't a great amount of difference, but some.

CONCLUSION at 24"-- about a 4 DB greater cut at 90 degrees for the hyper-cardoid over the regular cardoid.
A difference, but not really significant, although somewhat apparent on the VU. The ear may or may not pick up this difference. If someone is talking in the room off camera, both mikes are still going to pick this up, and the difference won't be that great- you are still going to have to tell these noisy people to shut up (!)


HYPER: At 36" it gets interesting, the hyper cardoid was measured at -3DB as before, pointed 90 degrees towards the floor, it dropped -3 to measure at -6DB. Pointed 90 degrees towards the higher ceiling, it dropped an additional -3 and gave me -9 DB. This is less cut for the Hyper at 36" than at 24". I would have guessed just the opposite. This changed, however, depending where in the room the mikes were placed, tipping me off that interference patterns were having an effect. In some locations, the difference in the sensitivity of the mike made much less difference.

Reg. CARDOID: At 36" the regular cardoid is 6 DB less sensitive than the hyper, giving me only -9DB of sound. 90 degrees towards the floor, it dropped -2 and gave me a -11DB reading, towards the ceiling another dropp of -2, and a reading of -13 DB.

CONCLUSION at 36"- The hyper is can be more sensitive at 36" than the regular cardoid, although the off axis filtering is actually not as great than at 24"-- both have about the same off axis filtering at this distance from the source.


Reg CARDOID: At 64" the reg. cardoid still registers about -9DB, drops -3 and gives -12DB pointed at ceiling or floor.

HYPER CARDOID: At 64" the hyper drops about-3 same as at 36" when pointed at the floor, and drops another 1 DB pointed at the ceiling.

CONCLUSION at 64" The hyper cardoid remains about 6 DB more sensitive at 64" than the regular cardoid. It filters just an inkling more off axis than at 36" when pointed at the ceiling rather than the floor.

OVERALL CONCLUSION of CARDOID VERSUS HYPER CARDOID: The difference between the cardoid and hypercardoid at distances greater than 24"- with a test tone and using a VU meter, is that the hyper cardoid gives you about 6 DB more sound, allowing a lower mike input level at the camera. But I notice, this wasn't always and consistantly true. There were places in the test room where I got different results. When I tested a speaking voice out of a speaker, or off a TV, the mikes were much more closely matched in sensitivity. AT 24", both mikes were equally sensitive.

From my own impression- by ear- as well as by meter- the off axis drop off and rejection is not that different between the two mike capsules at 90 degrees-- a little, but not significant at 36" and greater. Pretty much the same findings as before.

Let's think this through-- AT 64", you have a signal coming in at -3DB on the hyper straight on towards the mike. To get the same signal strength on the regular cardoid at this distance- worse case scenario- you have to boost the input +6 DB. Now, off axis sounds drop -3DB on the Hyper, fine. Off axis sounds drop the same -3DB on the regular cardoid, but to get the same straight on level from your source, you've boosted the input +6 DB, which would have the same effect on the level of ALL sound sources, including the off axis. So, the off axis sound levels, that previously measured -12 DB, now measure -6 DB, exactly the same as the Hyper cardoid. By using the Hyper cardoid instead of simply boosting the regular cardoid signal, you've actually gained nothing in reducing off-axis sounds.

I just can't see the point of the hyper cardoid capsule on the Octava, in the end, the difference is more academic than anything. I couldn't tell the difference without using a VU meter at all, despite trying for several HOURS.

The OMNI capsule, however, has significant differences in pickup pattern from the two cardoids, there is little drop off at 90 degrees off axis at any distance. Pretty amazing if you think about it. Again, the sound is not as pure an accurate as with the cardoids. If you will be videotaping a WIDE SOUND SOURCE , like a choir, or for ambient sound, this will be a good mike for that. Remember however, you will have to EQ this sound to get an equally accurate sound as from the cardoids.

OVERALL TOTAL EVALUATION CONCERNING A SINGLE CAPSULE VERSUS THE 3 CAPSULE SET: Again, the Octava MK012 is a really cost effective and wonderful bargain in the mike world. If you want a little more high end sparkle, you can spend another $300-$1000 on a fancier mike, or you can simply use the EQ knobs on your mixer for free, and add a smidgen of 10K, or whatever suits you. Left alone, the MK012 gives you a very very well balanced sound without any EQ to begin with, and this may be the best thing to do anyway. In the Electronic Musician shootout, many prefered the non-EQed MK012 on instruments like guitar over mikes costing much more.

If you can justify the additional use of an OMNI capsule, the $199 3 capsule set (Guitar Center) will give you options. You can't get this mike with just an OMNI capsule. OMNI directional mikes are not a particularly good mike to use for general camera work, because you are going to pickup sound from everything, not just your subject in view. It's more for getting crowd noises, or ambient environmental sounds, or sounds from a very wide sound source.
ANY of the Octava mikes are significantly better than the internal mikes on practically any camera, including the DVX100 which has good internal mikes to begin with, and great mike preamps.

The difference between the HYPER and the regular cardoid is in some situations is in sensitivity, and I could only find this using a VU meter on test tones. On voices, I couldn't tell the two apart, and I tried. The off axis filtering and rejection difference is fairly minor if at all. 1 DB difference is NOT detectable by the human ear, at that's what we're talking about with sound sources greater than 24".

Since you need phantom power with these mikes anyway, and most phantom power sources have some means of gain control, it's fairly easy to boost the output of the regular cardoid without adding any audible/discernable mike noise. 6 DB isn't much difference to get.
At 24" and closer, the sensitivity of these two capsules is pretty much the same.

So, it really boils down to what do you need your mike for, and is it worth $100 to splurge on the omni capsule, and minor or questionable differences between the regular and hyper cardoid?

With all respect to Matt's observations, I didn't find them to really bear out. It sounds nice, if this were the case that one mike would really reject off axis sound regardless of the situation, but I couldn't find it so.

I also tried the two mikes at once into the camera with earphones like the test he made. I couldn't find anything happening once the mike levels were set equal. I watched my camera's very accurate VU meters also- nada.

If you are a millionaire with unlimited funds, hey, just get the 3 pack.

If you are watching pennies, its hard to justify the 3 pack.

In either case, it's impossible to find as good a mike for anywhere near this price.

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Old February 28th, 2004, 08:31 PM   #26
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And if you do buy the single capsule at GC you could wind up with the unknown or nada. You also have no way of knowing where you are, in that sea of uncertainty that the Oktava QC resides. The only thing between a good mic or bad could very well be a bored clerk.

The difference between the single capsule and the set for me was $50 Canadian, that's less than $40 US. I also have a distributor and a dealer that QC'd them before i got them.

If you look at a polar plot there isn't much difference between the card and hypercard with the exception of the tail (lobe) It's about 4 db difference .

If you keep things in perspective the Oktava is a good deal singley or in the set.

To keep things in perspective, i just spent $1200 on one supercardoid that blew the CS-1 and CS-3 away so far as off axis rejection. Am i going to sell my Oktavas? No way!

There are some clips online at www,freelancer.com.
The schoepes is clearly the better sounding mic than the oktava but that not all the extra thousand and some buys. The biggie is the off axis rejection.
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Old February 28th, 2004, 08:39 PM   #27
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Why Tri? (tres, three)

Well, I wouldn't buy 3 capsules just to insure that one of them works... if I buy anything and it doesn't work when I get home, back it goes. I can't imagine any Guitar Center anywhere making you keep a brand new anything that's defective, whether its a pack of strings or something more expensive. I've always gotten exceptionally good service at these stores, and that includes returns and exchanges.

As it turns out, Guitar Center in north Denver was happy to give me the single capsule mike and refunded me $100 and took back the 3 capsule set. Kudus to them. The clerk was glad I took the time to investigate the reality of the Ocatava capsules, and found this information valuable. An honest clerk looking out for his customers.

As in many things, performance is sometimes exagerated by companies in order to justify sales of a product.

In the US its a $100 difference between the 1 and 3 capsule sets, so a little more money involved here, and what you are actually getting is a little more relevant. A spare capsule for $50 is a good deal--- at $100, you could get a whole new mike rather than just a capsule, so I passed on the 3 set.
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Old February 28th, 2004, 10:29 PM   #28
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My point was that the Oktava QC at best is questionable. Although many are happy, the quality of the GC stock has been questioned. There are those that buy several , take them home test them and return the ones that don't meet their criteria.

There are also those that are happy to pay The Sound Room $190 for a single capsule, they get piece of mind and a mic that is among the best that oktava puts out. The Sound room and a few other Oktava resellers pay a premium for the pick of the litter. The actual production cost of a mic preamp or capsule is very low, the cost is in testing.(and lots of profit)

Try and buy a Schoeps , Sanken , Sennheiser or Neumann at a deep discount. It makes me shudder.

All said, the oktava is a hell of a good deal.
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Old February 28th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #29
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$50 cheaper? How much are both 1cap and 3cap set CAD? (I am long distance, someone elses phone bill right now...can't call)

Thank you all for this oktava info...it's REALLY helping me and I am sure many, many others.

Thanks for the hard work guys!
JVC DV3000U - 30P (non-interlaced) capture on a budget - tests@http://robvideo.netfirms.com
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Old February 28th, 2004, 11:11 PM   #30
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The numbers for the Toronto Oktava dealers are toll free.

The AT 4053a Hyper is only a 4 db difference (between the cardoid) at 90 degrees as well (on paper). if it wasn't important to some people they wouldn't make them. -6db is half the sound so -4 would still be a fair difference.
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