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Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom

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Ed Denton
Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Dec 20, 2010 at 6:25:19 am

Hi all,

I'm hoping to have some advice on choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom use. There's a lot of threads on various forums on this topic but they tend to lead all over the place and I was hoping to bring some of them together by listing some of the main contenders (as far as my research has led me to believe) and seeing what the best options are when placed head to head. Some of the main threads I'm bringing together are:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/30/862590
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/archive/index.php/t-201874.html
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?198058-Schoeps-MK41-Alternatives&p...
http://www.hv20.com/showthread.php?37194-Audio-recording-equipment-for-indo...
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?103662-Best-Rugged-Indoor-Outdoor-...

So now to business.

The main contenders that I've come across for an indoor boom hyper-cardioid are:

Schoeps CMC641
Sennheiser MKH50
Neumann KM 185
Audio Technica AT4053b
Audix SCX1 HC
AKG Blue Line CK93
Oktava MK-012
-also-
MBHO mics (not sure which model)

I've listed them roughly in price range but I'm hoping the very knowledgable members of this forum will help me and other know how they rank against each other in sound quality.

For me, the Schoeps and Sennheiser are out of my price range unfortunately. The Neumann is pushing it too but if it's a vastly better mic than the others I'd still consider it. What do people know about the MBHO mics? Heard they are made by an old colleague of Mr. Schoeps? Are they up there with Schoeps mics?

My main contenders in my price range are the AT4053b, SCX1 and CK93. I've got an MK-012 and I find it extremely difficult to use. Even with a foam windscreen, the slightest movement through the air (indoors) induces a wind rumble. For booming a moving target it is useless. I need something a little more versatile.

There's a lot to go through there, sorry about that. But if you guys can answer some of these questions I think the sound recording community will be much better off for your information.

Best,

Ed

Sound Devices 552
Lectrosonics UM400a/UCR411a
Sanken COS-11 D
Rode NTG-3
Oktava MK-012


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:51:41 am

I have just bought a pair of Samson C02 "super cardioid" mics for a boom pole indoors. I haven't tried them on a job at this stage but for the price you can't go wrong, and they seem to sound nice on the tests that I have done.
http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=1664&brandID=2


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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Eric Toline
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Dec 20, 2010 at 2:12:48 pm

The AKG Blueline is a good choice. Nice part is that it's a modular system with interchangeable capsules. I've had a set for years and have been very pleased with it's performance. One caveat is that although the Blueline will run on 12v phantom you always want to feed it 48v phantom for best performance.

Eric


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Ty Ford
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Dec 20, 2010 at 3:38:12 pm

Ed,

You have done great "due diligence" here. I wish every one who came in the door had that with them.

I saw where the CMC641 was down to $17xx in the US last week. As your research probably indicates, the mics you list are only similar by their approximate patterns, but not their sound.

Some folks find this unbelievable, until they hear the difference. Provided their ears are up to it, there's a very big difference.

With your octava, are you using a pop filter?

Regards,

Ty Ford

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





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joe pena
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Aug 5, 2012 at 4:12:51 am

After watching and listening to your video, I wondered how you had both you and the guitar mic'd up.

Given the sound of the guitar, I guessed you had it mic'd up separately, and also wondered how far and where the mic was positioned. I'm guessing the mic was just above the frame, but that's just a guess. Perhaps you can fill in the details.


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Ty Ford
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Aug 5, 2012 at 4:52:21 am

Joe,

On the sofa armrest, you can see a little grey oval. That's the Schoeps supercardioid. For vocal, I had a Countryman E6 over my ear and on my cheek.

I split tracked the recording and then ran the mono guitar mic through a stereo reverb.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow audio Forum Leader


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


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joe pena
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Aug 5, 2012 at 5:01:02 am

Ty, thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I suppose if I watched in full screen mode, I would have seen the oval, but while watching/listening in the thread, it was "invisible". Same for the Countryman. (veiled compliment)

I'm listening again as I'm writing this. I hear the reverb loud and clear. I suppose that's what threw me. I wondered as I watched the first time, how you managed that.

In the end, a fine piece of work.

Thanks again,

Joe


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Ty Ford
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Aug 5, 2012 at 12:53:06 pm

Joe,

Thanks. I figured it would only be seen on computer. That was my first attempt at home video. It took me 20 minutes to be satisfied with the location of the rose on the table. I shot the video from my camera right into Quicktime on my laptop using my lap top as a monitor so I could see it from the couch and get a better idea of the shot rather than looking through the camera eye-piece.

I had mics going to my Sound Devices 442 mixer and from there to the camera.

I had floor lamps out of frame in just the right places and had to change to the white shirt so I popped off of the background.

I knew where the mic needed to be and confirmed that by listening over headphones when I set the shot up. I seem to recall some issue of my angle to the camera so my left hand was not obscured by the couch. Careful planning or trickery? You decide. :)

Also, I was playing pretty well that day.. :)

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader


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


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Will Salley
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Dec 20, 2010 at 3:45:45 pm

Another one you may want to consider is the Beyer MC836.

http://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/shop/mp/microphones/film-and-broadcas...

It's harder to obtain in the US, but I think it's the best "short" shotgun I've ever used. What I like about the mic is that it cuts well with the Countryman B6 mics that I have - or as good as a boom and lav can cut together. The pattern is rather wide for a shotgun style and it's extremely lightweight. I have the Sennheiser as well and while it is very good, the 836 seems to do better for me.

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Ed Denton
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Dec 21, 2010 at 1:07:49 am

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by pop filter Ty? I've got a foam cover for my Octava much like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/298936-REG/WindTech_1212_Windtech_120... and also it is in a Rycote suspension shock mount. I just can't seem to avoid wind sounds even indoors.

As I've been looking around a little more the AT4053b is standing out to me as a good choice. It seems similar to the the Audix or the AKG in price range but has the advantages of having an in-built low frequency rolloff and -10db pad and greater tolerance of high SPLs. It is also modular like the AKG. I'd love to put all these mics together and be able to compare them but unfortunately over the pond here in Australia we don't have anywhere that stocks all (if any) of these mic so I can't test for myself. So keep the comments coming in!

Ed

Sound Devices 552
Lectrosonics UM400a/UCR411a
Sanken COS-11 D
Rode NTG-3
Oktava MK-012


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Ty Ford
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Dec 21, 2010 at 1:39:13 am

Ed,

interesting photo. I didn't realize you were transgender. No worries. I have several friends up here who are.

Yes pop filter like that, but Schoeps makes a better, more effective one. The BD4 of B4D, I forget which it is.

The Okatava is a bit floppy. I compared the 4053a with the cmc641. No comparison really.

The Audix SCX-1 HC is about 80% as good as the Schoeps, but it's still not a schoeps.

Look Ed, if you plan to be at this a while, it's more economical to buy right once than to buy wrong once (or twice) and have to buy again.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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





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Ed Denton
Re: Choosing a hyper-cardioid mic for indoor boom
on Dec 21, 2010 at 4:42:00 am

I understand that Ty and I've taken that into consideration. I'm strongly considering the Schoeps and may wait a few months to save for that mic. Thanks for your comments. They really do help.

Ed

Sound Devices 552
Lectrosonics UM400a/UCR411a
Sanken COS-11 D
Rode NTG-3
Oktava MK-012


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