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Sennheiser ME 66/ K6 issues and questions

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Angel Jara
Sennheiser ME 66/ K6 issues and questions
on Mar 22, 2015 at 6:04:40 am
Last Edited By Angel Jara on Mar 23, 2015 at 1:08:31 am

I recently made a great deal and bought a used ME66/K6 from BH Photo, mint condition, no signs of use, just like new...

My main problem here is... Im getting a very low audio signal from this mic... Im quite concerned because I've heard this is one of the hottest mics out there, with a 50mV/P, right? And im getting a very low low sensitivity from this mic... Either with my Nikon D800 and my Zoom H6.

I'm mostly going to use this mic with my Nikon D800E, and got myself a Kopul LMT100 - Low to High Impedance Matching Transformer (1.5') to use with it.

The problem is that im getting very low levels from this mic, making me push the preamp gain almost to its max... And of course, I'm getting completely unusable audio from this setup... which is quite... disappointing. And I get it, DSLR preamps are BAD... but i was expecting a better result considering the high sensitivity of the ME66.

But what concerns me the most is, when I use this mic with my Zoom H6 I'm still getting very low levels from it... Which makes me push the Zoom's preamp gain high, resulting in high noise and hiss audio.

My settings pluging the ME 66 to the Zoom H6 are:

ME 66 plugged via XLR to one mono input in the Zoom H6.
48V Phantom powered.
Channel gain is 50%, which is the #5 in the gain knob.
No -20dB padding on the Zoom H6

With this settings im getting a low level audio, about -18dB on the Zoom's monitor VU meter.

Going any higher in the gain knob will result in nasty noise showing up..

I would really appreciate your thoughts, your recommendations, and your help to solve this problem.
I hope everything is clear, and understandable.

Thank you Thank you in advance!

So, the setup for the test i made with the Nikon D800 & the Zoom H6 with the ME 66 is:

Average closed silent room, rigging the mic on the Nikon's hot shoe with an Auray Shockmount, im about 1 meter away form the mic, which is pretty close...

Using the Zoom H6, i just switched cables between camera and the Zoom, meaning the setup stays the same... (Rigging the mic on the Nikon's hot shoe with an Auray Shockmount, I'm about 1 meter away form the mic)

I'm wondering whats wrong with the setup, what am I doing wrong or is it the normal way this mic operates... Or badly the mic is deffective,or damaged...

Thanks for your help!

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Richard Crowley
Re: Sennheiser ME 66/ K6 issues and questions
on Mar 24, 2015 at 9:09:37 pm

Mounting ANY microphone on a camera is a terrible idea. It is almost always too far away from the subject and way too close to the camera and the camera operator.

You did not state what the sound source was? (someone speaking?)

We are assuming that you mean that the mic was 1m away from the sound source.

1m working distance is QUITE FAR away, probably farther than most professionals would be comfortable with.

A "shotgun mic" is NOT a "zoom lens" for audio. The only thing the shotgun mic can do is reduce the off-axis noise better than your average mic. It does NOTHING to "amplify" the audio from too far away. Nobody yet has found a way to violate the inverse-square law of physics, and you have demonstrated that the law is still in effect.

It is not clear why you need a "matching transformer" to connect a microphone to your DSLR. Kopul fails to reveal what they mean by "low impedance" or "high impedance". There are probably NO DSLRs with "high impedance" inputs. Most people use a simple adapter cable (no transformer required).

It is not at all clear that anything is wrong with your microphone. From what we have seen so far, it seems likely that you simply have unrealistic expectations of using a "shotgun mic" in ways it cannot perform.

If you had any other mics that you could compare to, it would be beneficial for your process of "differential diagnosis" to identify the problem.

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Angel Jara
Re: Sennheiser ME 66/ K6 issues and questions
on Apr 1, 2015 at 3:23:45 pm

Im quite disappointed... Specially with the Zoom H6 ME66 combo... Noise floor is terrible, i have to push the gain to 50% on the zoom to get a still quiet signal, even when recording in a very controlled enviroment (Mic placed 9in away from my mouth, rigged in a boom pole, ponted down). If i push the gain knob on the Zoom just a touch higher, nasty noise start to show up, and my levels aren't enough... :(

Pretty useless for field shooting, Im making a documentary, and its CRITICAL to get good quality audio without huge and advanced systems... the smaller, compact, and comforable, the better, Im swithcing between tripod, glidecam, and moving at all times... all fits in a single backpack and a belt... No assistants, It's just me out there. Hope someone understands..

Im wondering if this is normal with this combo... if someone has the experience with using this combination. I want to avoid investing $350 on a JuicedLink preamp... I'm going to take a while to afford it!! :P

Filmmakers out there who are using the Zoom H6 and the ME66/K6, is this normal??

Thanks for your support and help!

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Rebecca Murray
Re: Sennheiser ME 66/ K6 issues and questions
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:16:15 pm

I experienced this too. Have the same combo...only a Tascam DR-40 vs Zoom. It turned out I had the EXT In on the wrong setting. I had it on Line and it was supposed to be on Mic. When it was on line, it would record, but the audio level was extremely low.

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Peter Groom
Re: Sennheiser ME 66/ K6 issues and questions
on Apr 22, 2015 at 3:01:19 pm

Yep - theres 40db difference between mic and line.

Post Production Dubbing Mixer

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