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Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?

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Buck Forester
Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on May 14, 2008 at 4:52:15 am

I've got it narrowed down to these two on-camera mics (I think anyway!). I'll be using it on my Sony EX1 for wilderness adventure shooting. Field durability is an issue. I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to audio recording, so any insight, or other suggestions, would be helpful. Thank you!



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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on May 14, 2008 at 10:02:01 pm

Hello Buck and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum,

Must be the time of the season for CS-10 comments. I have answered several questions the last few days.

I had one here from 24Plus and it was way too noisy. I sent it back to Jim Pace and asked him to contact me if it was broken. He never did. I assume, then, that it wasn't broken and that it's a really noisy mic. Especially so for its price. It was a little weird to see it had a hardwired cable. Dunno. I just came away with a very funky feeling about it.

The MKH 60 mics have a lower selfnoise than does the 416 and the EQ curve is not as peaky as the 416. If you're after distant natural sounds, I think the 60 would be a better choice.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Buck Forester
Re: Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on May 15, 2008 at 1:57:48 am

Thank you for your response, Ty! I found it quite helpful. I did a search on this forum for Sanken CMS-10 before I posted and didn't find a whole specifically so I thought I'd ask. I am also using a Sony PCM-D1 for "nature" sounds so I think I'll stick with the 416... either myself or someone will occasionally be talking so it sounds like the 416 might be more directional for dialogue. But I really don't know what I'm talking about yet, ha!



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David Jones
Re: Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on May 15, 2008 at 2:17:33 am

Hi Buck

I own a MKH-60 and did use it, once, as an on-camera mic (on a sony betacam sp camera). It's much lighter then the 416, but one thing to keep in mind with both these mics: they're extremely sensitive and hard to control if you're trying to "do it all" so to speak. They really need a seperate (audio) operator to use them correctly, and they need to be used from above the subject. I would recommemd something like one of the Sony ECM shotgun mics; they're less expensive, and made to be used as a mounted camera mic.

Regards, Dave


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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on May 15, 2008 at 3:44:15 am

Hi David,

Booming from below is an accepted practice when the situation requires it.


Buck,

It wasn't totally clear in your post how you intended to use the mic; on-camera or on a boom. In either case, you'll need a good suspension mount(s) and wind gear.

Also if you do plan on using the mic while mounted on the camera, you should test to see how quiet your camera is. Some are quire loud and the mic will pick that up.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Buck Forester
Re: Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on May 15, 2008 at 4:09:35 am

Gracias! I will be using this as my "on camera" mic. I will be using a Sony PCM-D1 for separate, non time-coded recordings of nature sounds (it's small and light, which is important). The other mic will be on the camera all the time. I will be solo much of the time, backpacking, climbing, and expedition tour kayaking on multi-day wilderness adventures. I hope I'm in the right direction? I just want very good audio instead of using the built-in mic. My camera is the Sony EX1. I will be ordering a shock mount and a Rycote softie. I'm a still photographer wanting to go into high-def video so the sound thing is new to me. Actually the video is pretty new to me too, but visually I feel confident... audio I'm completely ignorant. I'm open to good solutions... I've just heard the Senn 416 is a good, durable field mic able to withstand lots of conditions and has good audio. I will be doing some onsite narration in wilderness settings too.



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Steve Wargo
Re: Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on May 15, 2008 at 4:17:26 am

I haven't checked the other posts but we have a 416. It's bulletproof, gives us great sound under all conditions, and didn't break the bank.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Jim Bruce
Re: Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on Jun 24, 2009 at 11:14:12 pm

Hi Steve,

I'm a long time editor, directing my first documentary and I wanted to ask you a bit more about your experience with the Sennheiser 416.

I want to buy just 1 mic. We will be shooting with just a DP and co-producer, lots of indoor interviews and some "man on the street" exterior interviews as well.

The 416 gets a lot of rave reviews but some say it's not great for indoors unless you are within 2-3 feet of the subject. Wondering if that's to an extreme high fidelity concern or something that creates a real problem?

I'm planning on having it camera mounted on an EX-1 most of the time (no $ for a sound recordist) and am looking for just 1 mic.

Have you found situations where the 416 doesn't work well?

Have you shot interviews with a longer lens (i.e. further back) and/or with the mic mounted on camera?

Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

Cheers,

Jim





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Martin Ucik
Re: Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on May 15, 2008 at 6:00:37 pm

The MKH416 (list US $1957) and MKH60 (list US $2700) are mono microphones. The Sanken CMS-10 (list $2290) is a MS Stereo Microphone (2 capsules) with a build-in decoder that gives you a Mono/Stereo output option via a switch. It was especially designed for NHK for use on HD cameras with the goal of being very short (210 mm) so not to obstruct the view of the lens, with excellent rear and side rejection to minimize background and camera noise, and to plug directly into the 5-pin connector of the HD camera (an adapter to 2 x 3-pin XLR is available). The self noise of the CMS-10 is 20 db in Stereo and 22 dB in Mono mode with a sensitivity of -26 dB in Stereo and -30 dB in Mono Mode. The Sennheiser MKH60 has a very low self noise of 6dB, the 416 of 13dB.
In the book “Audio in the Media”, Stanley Alten writes ”a fair self noise rating is about 40dB, a good rating around 30dB and excellent is about 20 dB or less.”
It is natural that a complex specialty microphone with 2 capsules such as the CMS-10 with build in electronics to do MS decoding is SLIGHTLY noisier than a mono microphone with one capsule (but still in the excellent category). So apples are compared with oranges in this thread.
Furthermore, the directivity and rear rejection of the Microphone might be more crucial in the recording of sounds in natural settings than the self noise of the microphone. Unlike most other Shotgun microphones (including the Sennheiser models mentioned in this threat), Sanken Microphones have practically no rear lope (don’t pick up in the back). This can be an advantage but does not have to be. It really depends on the situation, again apples and oranges. Microphones are tools!
A better (and fair) comparison to the MKH416 is the Sanken CS-1 (list US $825) which is mono, short (181.5 mm), low self noise (15 db), with excellent rear and side rejection and comes with a foam windscreen and rings for camera mount, or for boom operation, the longer (270mm) Sanken CS-3e (list US $1415) is also an option.
For a good article on microphone self noise visit http://www.prosoundweb.com/studio/sw/micnoise.php
Feel free to contact me with any further questions or visit http://www.plus24.net/sanken/default.asp for information and PDF brochures of Sanken Microphones.




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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser MKH-416 or Sanken CMS-10?
on May 15, 2008 at 6:16:08 pm

Perfect that you popped in Martin,

Perhaps you can explain the high selfnoise of the CMS 10 sent to me. No one ever got back to me to let me know if your demo mic was broken or not.

BTW, as I understand it, the CMS 10 isn't exactly the same as the model created for NHK. The NHK model has some extra features, right?

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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