FORUMS: list search recent posts

live music ambient mics?

COW Forums : Audio Professionals

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Jeff Mack
live music ambient mics?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 12:30:03 am

My show is wanting to do 5.1 delivery this season. It is a music show and I am looking to add 4-5 mics to my bag. one situation would be when we are filming bands at a venue. We have board audio covered but want 4-5 room mics to help with the 5.1 mix as additional sources. Also we do a lot of staged driving scenes so I would set up a mic on the ground (mini tripod) to the right, left and center just out of frame so when the car drives by, we get the timed sound. Those kind of things. I was looking for say a hundred dollar per mic if there is such a thing. I would probable also get a wireless plug on transmitter that can send phantom. as my budget renews, I could maybe go up on mic quality. Looking for like a 3-4 inch tube. Any suggestions?

Somebody told me about a small russion mic with a 20 db pad. He said the pair was like $170 but I can't find anything like this.


Return to posts index

Ty Ford
Re: live music ambient mics?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 2:19:20 am

Hello Jeff and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum,

Surround for music is usually pretty simple. Throw some delay and reverb to the rear channels and make it sound like a concert. You can do that in post with a solid stereo mix.

The russian mic is the Oktava MC012 or MK012, but watch out for counterfeits.


Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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

Return to posts index

Peter Groom
Re: live music ambient mics?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 9:41:35 am

Hey Ty
I have one of those Octava MC012 sitting here with 3 alt capsules and a 10db pad . Never used it. (its in a lovely hardwood oak box!)
Any good, and what use??? Are they costly

It was in a box of bits when we acquired a business some years ago. I didnt buy it.

Post Production Dubbing Mixer

Return to posts index

Ty Ford
Re: live music ambient mics?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:07:41 am


The hypercardioid capsule makes a poor man's cmc641.

As I noted, there are some counterfeits out there.

I reviewed the original before the McKays came out about 20 years ago. Um, lemme check... Ah! Straight from my archives!

The MK 012 Multi-Capsule Studio Condenser
Ty Ford, Baltimore, MD

Several years ago, an article on microphones made in Russia would have been
categorized as esoteric. With the fall of The Wall in Germany and the dissolution
of the Soviet Union, the possibilities have become both literally and figuratively
global. Six months ago, while attending a touring classic guitar and amp show, I
had seen the Sovtek(SP?) tubes and amps. As such, it was not really a surprise to
find Russian mics making their way to this country. What was a surprise was the
rock-bottom list price. The Oktava MK 012 Multi-Capsuled Studio Condenser is a
set consisting of an active transformerless output stage, three screw-on
directional capsules (omni, cardioid and hyper-cardioid), a threaded, inline 10db
pad and a simple pinch clamp mic clip. The whole kit comes in a nice foam-lined
wooden box. Frequency response is 20Hz-20KHz. Sensitivity is 10 mV/Pa. Output
impedance is 300 ohms.

Based on simple observations, comparisons to the AKG 460 or 451 or Neumann
KM 84 or KM 100 are inevitable. The price ($649 for the complete set), among other
things, separates the MK 012 system from the pack.

For the price, the MK 012 system was a major surprise. Using API 512B mic pre
amps with no EQ, the cardioid and hyper-cardioid capsules were almost, but not
quite as transparent as our reference Neumann U87, but with a smaller sweet
spot and not quite the high-frequency response. Used on voice, the MK 012 omni
capsule was virtually indistinguishable from the U87 in omni pattern. The noise-
shaping was also different. If you imagine a spectrum on the left end of which is
the Neumann U87 and on the right end of which is the AKG 414, The cardioid and
hyper-cardioid capsules of the MK 012 sit just to the left of the U87. I know that's
not on the spectrum, but that's were they are.

The MK 012 capsules are extremely sensitive. Even using a pop filter and placing
the mics to the side, or above is no guarantee of a popless recording. They are also
susceptible to physical vibrations. The C-ring sling-shot "suspension mount"
needs some work. Although the C-ring itself is sturdy, my paper deliverer uses
sturdier rubber bands than are used to support the rather crude cradle designed
to support the mic body.

Next on the sound check was a comparison between the MK 012 with cardioid
pattern versus a Neumann KMi-84 on snare. This time the preamps were in a
Trident 90 console with no EQ. Both mics were placed two inches in from the rim
and at about a 40 degree angle to the head. The MK 012 sounded throaty, the KMi-
84 a bit boxey. We restrained ourselves from reaching for an SM 57.

In our next comparison we mounted the MK 012 with cardioid capsule and a
Gefell UM70s in the same vertical plane about a foot and a half from an acoustic
guitar with moderately dead strings. The mics were angled from a point between
the nut and the bridge toward the sound hole so that they would "hear" the main
lobe of sound projected from the instrument and not be overwhelmed by the low
frequencies coming from the sound hole.

During rhythm chops with a flat pick, the Gefell was brighter than the MK 012
and the MK 012 had a much bigger bottom. During a round of finger-picking, the
Gefell sounded hotter and closer and very neutral. Again the MK 012 had a
warmer bottom.

Because different mic pre amps (and even cables) can make a noticeable
difference in the frequency response and sound. I finished up the comparisons
using a Mackie 1604, comparing the MK 012 with a Gefell M71 cardioid
condenser. The outputs of the two were within a dB of each other. The MK-012 still
had a much greater low-frequency response. It also had a more noticeable high-
frequency response, upwards of 7KHz I'd guess, making the M71 sound more

Pattern-wise, both the cardioid and hyper-cardioid capsules of the MK 012 were
wider than the M71. Because of this, the MK 012 heard more room noise. This and
the extended low frequency response should be workable in a nice quiet studio
with good EQ, but it may cause problems in basement studios with sound leakage
problems and limited EQ.

For the money, the MK 012 is a very good value. And because you can never have
enough RAM, console inputs or microphones, I'd say the MK 012 is certainly
worth a listen.

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

Return to posts index

Rob Neidig
Re: live music ambient mics?
on Jul 17, 2012 at 3:16:31 pm


I've got 4 of the Oktavas - 2 are MC 012 and 2 are MK 012. I got them ages ago for like $149 a pair from Banjo Mart. As Ty writes in his review, they are really a pretty good bang for the buck. They sound pretty good as drum overheads and on acoustic guitars. I also used one in my early days with the Hyper capsule on a boom. If you just listen to the sound they produce, you think "Oh, that sounds pretty good." HOWEVER, if you actually A-B them with better mics, you will definitely hear a difference. I do think the mic pre makes a huge difference with them, though.

Have fun!


Rob Neidig
R&R Media Productions
Eugene, Oregon

Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2018 All Rights Reserved