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Old February 7th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #1
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NT3 or oktava: I cannot make up my mind

Does anyone own both or have used both and would care to comment on benefits/drawbacks? intended purpose is indoor interviews.

thank you

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Old February 8th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #2
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No experience with the NT3, but I do use the Oktava MK 012 with cardioid capsule for interviews. I record into my iMac, through a PreSonus firewire interface. The Oktava's so a great job, but they capture everything from 20-20k Hz. So, I do tend to equalize a bit in post to remove some bassy-ness in my voice and some at the high end to suppress room/mechanical noises (this isn't in a studio environment). Use a wind screen on the Oktavas and isolate them from any handling/surface noises and you will be quite happy with them.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 09:10 AM   #3
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I have both mics. If you go with the Oktava I'd definitely get the hypercardioid head. Both mics have about the same sensitivity, with the Rode being just a little quieter in self-noise.
The Oktava does have a wider frequency response and as mentioned that's sometimes good and sometimes bad. The NT3 works well for me without EQ when used in a sound dampened and sound proof studio environment. I often put it on a static boom just out of frame for quick in and out interviews. It saves me from having to lav the executives when they are in a hurry. It sounds smooth and natural with a minimum of setup and no special shockmounting or windscreen. Just remember though, I'm using it in a near perfect environment! It can also run on battery power, but as you know it is a very large and heavy mic.
The Oktava sounds very open and accurate, probably more balanced than my 4053a, but it doesn't have anywhere near the sensitivity of the AT. It does require full 48volt phantom, it is prone to handling and wind noise and it's almost too small to easily shockmount. It can be part of a modular system though if that's important to you in other areas.
You're still going to have to make a choice, these are just too very different mics physically but they both have good sound.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:24 AM   #4
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hypercardioids in typical office setting (no curtains usually)

Thank you for your comments. Yes, I was definitely thinking about the hypercardioid Oktava.

In most cases I'll be using it in a typical office environment and in some cases in homes where there may be better dampening from curtains, sofas, etc.

It sounds as if the NT3 will be more forgiving of mistakes and require less work in post. As a novice I like that considering that both mikes are fairly similar as far as picking up good sound from interviews, right?

Jay: I like the idea of the static boom out of frame because in many cases I'll be on my own and will not have anyone to use a boompole. Any specific stand you'd recommend for the NT3 considering its weight? Or just the average ON stage stand will do despite its weight?

What about a shockmount? So far I think the tensimount seems to be fairly priced and apparently of good design (any other alternatives I should consider?:

Thank you again for taking the time to answer my novice questions
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Old February 8th, 2006, 11:42 AM   #5
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An ON STAGE boom stand will work, but I wouldn't trust it without a sandbag/counterweight, the weight of the NT3 will make it very easy to tip over.

The AT8415 shockmount also works well with the NT3. Runs US$50-70.

I also use an inexpensive Rycote microphone handle, it screws into the bottom of the shockmount, and allows you to hold the whole setup pistol grip style. Plus the handle has a 3/8" thread on the bottom so you can quickly attach the whole setup to a boom or stand.
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
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Old February 8th, 2006, 03:09 PM   #6
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Yes a sandbag or two is a must for my peace of mind with almost any mic, especially with the hefty NT3.
Here's what I use most of the time:
A medium-duty light stand, a Bogen SuperClamp, a boompole, shockmount and two approx. 5 pound pro shotbags that have a loop for hanging. (I know they are somewhere between 3 and 6 pounds, I haven't weighed them lately.)
One bag goes on the leg struts of the light stand. The superclamp is on the mounting stud of the stand. One leg of the lightstand should be pointed toward your subject. Extend the boom as needed with the shockmount, mic and cable in place. Put the other bag loop on the short end of the boom, then sit the boom in the clamp at its balance point. Snug the clamp so the boom can't move. This is very stable and shouldn't fall over unless somebody just flat-out tackles the whole setup or you have a mechanical failure somewhere. It also has the advantage that the boom is held straight out at a fixed angle. It can't sag any more than its natural curve. To go up and down you raise or lower the lightstand.
Since the mic will usually be pointed down at a steep angle, it's helpful to put one small bit of gaffers tape on one of the rubber bands and secure it to the heavy and smooth NT3.
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