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Darlene Drake

What's best indoor mic for film/video?

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I'm looking to purchase a good indoor mic for indie shoots. I'm considering the MKH50, but wanted to get the opinions from this forum on any experience you may have had with this mic. What other options do you recommend?

Thanks!

Darlene

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In my research of the same question, I can tell you this first: There is no one mic that is "best" all around for everything. This is why professionals have an entire KIT to be prepared for various conditions, environments and obstacles.

That said, the most popular in my research for an indoor, boomed mic is a super or hyper cardioid. Of the few most common are the Schoeps CMC6 tube with MK-41 head (commonly called the CMC641), the Sennheiser MKH 50, or 8050, and by some the Neumann KM-185.

And FWIW, I am going with the Sennheiser MKH-50 to use with my Sennheiser MKH-416 feed into a Sound Devices 702 (for now).

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Thanks! Currently I have MKH-416 and MKH-60 in my kit, but have heard that the MKH50 handles indoor reflection better. Would love to have the Schoeps, but too expensive right now.

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There is a discussion started here just a couple days ago that adds context to benr's comment. Check it out:

Then do a search on this site for "interview" and you'll find more informed thoughts.

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This question has appeared a number of times. It is sure to be in the archives somewhere. The mics listed so fare are the main players being used by most. I like the 41 best but it is so subjective that there is no real better mic.

CrewC

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A worthy contender for your budget dollars would be the Audix SCX-One. It is about $400-500,a Google search will confirm actual street price, sounds very close to a Schoeps and is modular so you can interchange the Hypercardioid & Cardioid capsules. Trust me, you won't hate it ::)

Eric

post-22-0-90165800-1331351580.jpg

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A worthy contender for your budget dollars would be the Audix SCX-One. It is about $400-500,a Google search will confirm actual street price, sounds very close to a Schoeps and is modular so you can interchange the Hypercardioid & Cardioid capsules. Trust me, you won't hate it ::)

Eric

It even LOOKS like a schoeps, minus the fact that it's black instead of grey. Look at the capsules, they look veeeery similar...

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I'm not sure what is considered an "indie" shoot is these days... But, I don't think you would ever regret getting Mkh50. For any production.

Hi "fieldmixer", indie meaning private funding vs studio big budget shoot. Thanks, glad to hear a positive for the MKH50.

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A worthy contender for your budget dollars would be the Audix SCX-One. It is about $400-500,a Google search will confirm actual street price, sounds very close to a Schoeps and is modular so you can interchange the Hypercardioid & Cardioid capsules. Trust me, you won't hate it ::)

Eric

Thanks Eric, I'll check it out.

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A worthy contender for your budget dollars would be the Audix SCX-One. It is about $400-500,a Google search will confirm actual street price, sounds very close to a Schoeps and is modular so you can interchange the Hypercardioid & Cardioid capsules. Trust me, you won't hate it ::)

Eric

Hi Eric,

I'd like to ask you if find the two mics (Senn and Audix) to have the same reach. I own an Audix but I've never had the possibility to test the Senn in the field by myself. Did you also find the Senn to have a tighter polar pattern? I've found the Audix to be quite permissive in this respect, which could obviously be good or bad depending on the situation.

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Hi Eric,

I'd like to ask you if find the two mics (Senn and Audix) to have the same reach. I own an Audix but I've never had the possibility to test the Senn in the field by myself. Did you also find the Senn to have a tighter polar pattern? I've found the Audix to be quite permissive in this respect, which could obviously be good or bad depending on the situation.

Depends on which capsule is on the Audix that you tested. Mine has the hyper. Comparing the Audix to the MKH50 is really not fair as the 50 has more reach & is a bit more of an "in your face" type of sound which is why I love mine and I'm sure others love theirs.

I also think the 3x the price of the Audix that the 50 has, has a lot to do with the "what you hear is what you get" results. That said the Audix is a wonderful mic with a bit more of an open airie type of sound that lends itself to tighter two shots or as an overhead interview boom mic. I think it's a close to a Schoeps as you can get for the money.

Eric

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Thanks a lot Eric for the very useful informations! Why a nice list of mics for a complete kit is so endless?? ;D

Doesn't have to be endless. I have a friend who does 90% reality. He uses a Sanken CS3e for everything that's boomed. Enjoy the search for the holy grail in the microphone world.

Eric

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Doesn't have to be endless. I have a friend who does 90% reality. He uses a Sanken CS3e for everything that's boomed. Enjoy the search for the holy grail in the microphone world.

Eric

Thanks once more Eric for your suggestions! Holy grail I'm coming!! :)

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John B...Touche

Darlene,

Thanks for taking my earlier comment with the grain of salt it was intended with.

I'm curious which boom you prefer for your outdoor work -- the 60 or the 416? I ask because that might be a clue to what you'd like best in a cardioid or super-cardioid. I'll add that I'm only guessing here because I currently own neither a 50 nor an Audix but I'm familiar with both of the booms you have. My guess, based on what I think I know about these two mics, is that if you prefer the 416 for its reach and dialog bite, you might lean toward the 50 over the Audix. The 60 is a little more "subdued" in character, while the 70 and 50 have a bit more "excitement" in their sound.

But, of course, mic choice is a personal preference thing, so maybe renting and making your own determination would be ideal. I don't know if the Audix is easily available via rental. You might be able to work out a "try before you buy" for the 50 with one of the "usual suspects" audio dealers.

I own several Schoeps which are my go-to mics for indoors, but I'd consider getting an MKH-50 one of these days for its tighter pattern and superior climate resistance.

That brings up another possibility, a used Schoeps CMC4 (T-Power) and MK41 capsule combination. Used, they are in your price range and a 48v phantom to T-Power adapter is under $40. The Schoeps requires a bit more care, however, in terms of atmospheric exposure. Basically, if you keep the screw-on connections clean and store it with some climate considerations (silica gel for moisture control) they'd be an excellent choice -- especially for narrative work where naturalness reigns supreme. Also, the edges of the Schoeps 41 capsule lend themselves to smoother fall-off than do most other hyper-cardioids. It makes booming a little smoother.

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I have always said that I prefer the sound of the MKH50 when in the hands of an expert (meaning when perfectly "on mic"). But what I love about the Schoeps is that it sounds great all the way around the edges of the pattern too. I loved booming with either when that was my profession - briefly.

While I own MHK50s, which I use 95% of the time inside, and almost as often outside, I do have CMITs for their amazing ability to sound true throughout their pattern. But I also love the 416, provided it's used properly. It's not nearly as forgiving at the edges as the Schoeps, which is why it's now in the box for when only a 416 will do.

The problem you might encounter, is neither the 50 nor the 641 will "match" your 60. If you love that sound over the 416, you might want to have a serious look at Eric's suggestion, the Audix (which I know nothing about).

But since you mentioned price... I would much rather have a cheap mic placed properly than an expensive mic placed incorrectly. Your photo shows you wearing a bag. If I had to mix and boom at the same time, I'd prefer the forgiveness of the Schoeps. As mentioned, you can buy older models at very competetive prices, and if you are having RF or moisture troubles, you'll have your 416 available.

Robert

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MKH50,8050, or the Schoeps CMC641 are all good professional grade choices. I have used both and both are fantastic mics. You can't go wrong with either one.

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