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Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice

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Jim Bruce
Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 9, 2009 at 2:25:02 am

Hi All,

I'm an editor/producer turned director/producer, gearing up for a documentary.

We'll be shooting a lot of "man on the street" exterior interviews/walk and talks and the Sennheiser 416 sounds like what I need.

We'll also be shooting a lot of seated interviews for which I am planning to buy a Sony ECM 77B wired lav.

These are about my budget max for mics...

Am I on the right track with these models?

Any advice for a shock mount for the 416 (camera will be Sony EX-1)?

How bad will the 416 be as a second channel for the indoor interviews?

I have a friend who shot several (very successful) docs using just a 416 mounted on camera and the sound is great as far as I can tell. But he is a big fan of a wide angle converter and interviewing just a few feet from his subjects. Is that close distance to the subject why his indoor 416 sound is still pretty rich to my ears?

My interviews will probably be a bit further back (6-8 feet). Could place a baby stand a bit closer (down low to keep it out of frame).

Am I over-thinking the closeness issue to compensate for indoors with the 416?

I will have a PA but no dedicated sound person for cost reasons.

Any thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated.

Regards,

Jim



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Brian Reynolds
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 9, 2009 at 7:51:07 am

Hello Jim,
I have always worked on when using a 416 mic. (for training of assistants and camera operators) the talent must be at least be able to touch the tip of the mic or blimp windshield for sound suitable for broadcast. Any further away and you can possibly expect trouble.
With current trickery in protools etc. you might get a little further away, but its better to get good sound from the start as it will save a huge amount of time & money later in editing.
Another thing to think about is what is behind the talent waterfalls, fountains, flapping flags, machinery and crowds look good on camera but also generate a lot of noise that may give problems in an edit session.
I have always found that Sony ecm77 mics give good results for a middle of the road mic.
Hope this helps....


The difference between Knowledge and Wisdom is... Knowledge is the knowing of facts.... Wisdom is the sensible application of good quality knowledge...


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Tom Maloney
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 9, 2009 at 12:07:14 pm

Hi Jim , just my ideas , I never mount a mic on a camera , think about it. You want the mic close to talent not a camera making noise.
Also with a shotgun, the 416 is an excellent mic but for indoors I use a Schoeps CMC6 w / Mk41. Costs a bit but the DPs I have worked with love the final result. Just my opinion, but whatever mic you use get it near the talent not the camera.

good Luck
Tom


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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 9, 2009 at 12:38:45 pm

Hello Jim and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Tom's spot on here. 3-4 feet is marginal for a camera mounted mic. 6-8 feet is a recipe for disaster.

The Inside/Outside rule for interference tube shotgun mics is mutable. The real issues are the reflectivity of the environment and how much ambient noise there is.

Shotgun mics like the 416, while directional at higher frequencies, are much more non-directional at middle and low frequencies. That's why the director calls "Quite On The Set!"

Booming from below begs the question how far below? If you can't get any closer than 18 inches above or below, you're probably better off using the lav, even though it's an omni, depending on the level of ambient noise.

With the 77B, make sure the end of the mic is pointed towards the mouth of the person speaking. Even omni mics are directional at high frequencies.

I have used my cmc641 Schoeps in a zep outside and been very happy with the sound. It was boomed, it was no more than two feet from the person speaking, the ambient noise was relatively low.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Mark D'Agostino
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 9, 2009 at 3:02:27 pm

I have used a Sennheiser MKH 60 for location sound and for interviews interior and exterior for the past 15+years. I use a lav only as a last resort such as when the shot's too wide to get the boom close enough. I just think a boom sounds better because there is a separation from the voice and the subject's body that is more like we normally hear others speak, (unless I have my head against the subject's body but that's another uncomfortable story). I totally agree with Tom, Brian and TY regarding distance and placement.

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 10, 2009 at 11:40:44 am

I too am a huge fan of a supercardiod mic close to the talent - I use an ancient Sennheiser ME-40/K3U thru a Shure FP32 mixer. Mount the mic above them as your headroom won't change much; if you mic below, as you get wider shots the mic needs to be out of the shot and your tone will change dramatically with even slight distance changes. For outdoors I have a windjammer (looks like a furry rodent... on a stick)that doesn't soak up too much fidelity.

Consider renting this stuff and a soundperson rather than purchasing. You'll learn something and you can focus on your vision rather than tech stuff.

Steve



Jump to the FFP Website



View Steve Kownacki's profile on LinkedIn




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Archie Cruz
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 13, 2009 at 2:47:14 am

I concur with all that's been said regarding distance of the MKH416. It's an unforgiving mic but when properly positioned, gives that rich chesty tone to a voice. As a point of fact, when shooting Interviews at 6-8', I have used my ME66/K6 to very good effect.It's more forgiving to off-target aim than the 416. The Sony ECM44b may disappoint you, as I sold mine, for it's lack of 'umph'. The 66B or 77B might be better. I use a Sennheiser EW100 wireless kit for lav and I've had NO complaints with it for interviews


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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 13, 2009 at 12:30:09 pm

Archie,

With all due respect. The only reason I'd use a 416 indoors (much less an me66) is if I didn't have another mic. Or if the acoustics of the room allowed it. I've used the David Letterman example many times before. You can use a shotgun on an interview show because the set has no walls and the ceiling is 30 feet up and probably treated. 6-8' away from your target while shooting in most average interiors will provide a washed out and distant track for which there is currently no plug in to fix.

If you're inside and can't get closer than 18"-24" with a super or hypercardioid, go to a lav.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Archie Cruz
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 20, 2009 at 5:14:27 am

I stand corrected and a quick sound check confirms your sage advice.


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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 20, 2009 at 10:46:01 am

Archie,

We're all here to learn. Thanks for your contributions.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Jim Hilton
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 22, 2009 at 11:51:39 pm

I'm a professional production sound mixer. You don't want the mic on the camera pointing forward, you want it on a fish pole with a c-stand boom
holder. Now you can position the mic a couple inches in front of talent facing down. This gets your mic close and uses his body to get rid of room sound.
This will give you the very best results in most cases. If you use a Schoeps CMC6 w / Mk41 its not as directional and the results will be less the rewarding.
If you are doing interviews with off camera interviewer, Put you lav on him and the 416 above talent. I've done 100's of documenteries with this configuration
and had very happy clients.
Also I have 416's, 816's, Sennheiser - MKH60, Sennheiser - MKH70 , Schoeps CMC6 w / Mk41's and booms for sale.
Don't forget how important sound is...
Good luck
Jim (©¿©)


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Jim Bruce
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 23, 2009 at 12:49:14 am

Hi Jim,

Thanks so much for your helpful response. The positioning of the boom that you describe is roughly what I had imagined. I'm guessing about 12 inches in front of (and above) talent and angled steeply, but not 100% vertically down (so they don't go off mic if they lean forward a bit).

Does that sound about right to you?

I'd also love to get a recommendation on the best particular device to attach the boom to a C stand.

I've seen the Boom Mate which looks a bit flimsy - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/469811-REG/BoomMate__Boompole_Holder_...

and two kinds of boom "cradles":
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/292924-REG/K_Tek_K_BC_K_BC_Boom_Pole_...

and

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/329191-REG/ATS_RAM_BPC_BOOMPOLE_CRADL...

Do you have a preference? Something else that you like?

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

I'm on this board because I do know how important sound is. I just don't have the funding to buy as many microphones as some folks would like me to.

Glad to hear you think the 416 should be able to pull this off.

Thanks for your advice,

Jim



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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 23, 2009 at 12:57:38 am

JIm,

Gotta say, for interiors, unless you have the space blanketed, a 416 is not a good choice over a cmc641.

The 416 is directional at high frequencies, but very non-directional at mids and lows. As such as the liveness of the spa e increases, you get more and more wall bounce.

That doesn't happen with a cmc641.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Jim Bruce
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 23, 2009 at 1:11:21 am

Hi Ty,

Thanks for chiming in. We actually will be using a solid backdrop and blanketing all windows (for lighting purposes) which should really help.

I realize this is frustrating for some folks but for me the cost of both a 416 and the Schoeps is simply not in the cards for us. And we already need the 416 for exteriors where the Schoeps would not be useful. Trust me I wish I had a bigger sound budget! And of course if we run into problems we'll have the ECM 77B as a backup. If we do seem to get terrible sound with the 416 I will probably sell one of my small children to a nice family and buy the Schoeps but out of the gate it's just not in our budget.

While you're here I'd love to get your take on a good boom clamp of some kind for mounting boom to C stand.

Any thoughts on ideal positioning of same would be great as well.

Thanks,

Jim



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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 23, 2009 at 1:22:44 am

[Jim Bruce] "Thanks for chiming in. We actually will be using a solid backdrop and blanketing all windows (for lighting purposes) which should really help.

> add some rugs and drape some fabric over c-stand arms just out of frame. That'll knock down some more slap.

I realize this is frustrating for some folks but for me the cost of both a 416 and the Schoeps is simply not in the cards for us. And we already need the 416 for exteriors where the Schoeps would not be useful. Trust me I wish I had a bigger sound budget! And of course if we run into problems we'll have the ECM 77B as a backup. If we do seem to get terrible sound with the 416 I will probably sell one of my small children to a nice family and buy the Schoeps but out of the gate it's just not in our budget.

> a cmc641 is fine outside. I use mine all the time.

While you're here I'd love to get your take on a good boom clamp of some kind for mounting boom to C stand.

>C-stand, knuckle, fishing rod bracket from fishing hardware store.

>http://idisk.mac.com/tyreeford-Public/Video/Ty's%20Boom.mov

>put the mic where it sounds good! :)

Regards,

Ty Ford

Any thoughts on ideal positioning of same would be great as well"




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






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Jim Bruce
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 23, 2009 at 1:32:09 am

Thanks Ty!



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Borys Kucherenko
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 23, 2009 at 10:34:15 pm

Hi Jim,
can you email prices for miks you mentioned about?
Thanks,
Borys K.
bkucherenko@newsco.ca


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Greg Curda
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Jul 31, 2009 at 1:42:43 pm

Hi Jim,

I'd love to see a list, too, if it's not too much trouble...

Thanks,

Greg

greg@gefhgroup.com


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Paul Hurt
Re: Sennheiser 416 Indoor advice
on Aug 25, 2009 at 1:34:58 am

Hi Jim, without meaning to pull this thread off-topic, I'm looking for a pair of 816s... If you still have them, can you message me somehow?

I agree with the approach suggested. I also find that if you can get in fairly tight with a mic, then it's a close-run thing between a good short shotgun and a good hypercardioid... Usually coming down on the side of the hyper. I find that the tone is more natural.

For me, the shotgun starts to win out when the distance to the mic goes over perhaps three or four feet, or when there's ambient noise that I need to overcome.


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