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craigzarkos

Neumann km184 < would this work as a boom mic?

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New to the location audio game, and I'm trying to adapt some of the studio gear I own to outfit a rig.

I've got a pair of Neumann KM184's. Would this mic serve well as a boom mic for interior/dialog.

I know I'll be purchasing a shotgun as well, but would love to make use of what I have.

If these are useable, is there a preferred suspension and windscreen/blimp I should be looking at. '

I'd rather purchase quality than price....

no km184's in search here at JW btw.

thanks!

craig z

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Sounds great for controlled indoor sets. I like to pull it out if I can but being a card it picks up a lot of bg noise. I use the rycote invision mounts with mine. I think the 7 fits the km184/5

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I've been using 184/185 for over ten years now, recording documentaries all over the world. The last version of these mics has no Rf and humidity issues, they sound great and are very cute mics. Just be aware, these are no hot mics, so if you are working with noisy pre-amps, it can show, you will crank the levels around the 3 o-clock most of the time with Sound Devices mixers

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The 184 is a cardioid and thus might pick up too much room and background noise. I would not rely on a cardioid as my only interior mic. I do have the 185 hyper-cardioid, and it's what I pull out of my cart's drawer first on INT shoots. Only very few times I ended up using a KMR81 instead.

The fitting suspension is the Rycote INV-7.

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Generally my experience with the Neumann pencil condensers is they just don't have the "reach" of the Schoeps 41 or mkh-50. For a sit-down interview where you can get the mic very close they're beautiful.

E.

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Generally my experience with the Neumann pencil condensers is they just don't have the "reach" of the Schoeps 41 or mkh-50. For a sit-down interview where you can get the mic very close they're beautiful.

E.

Funnily, I feel the other way round: Neumann 184/185 to my ears have way more reach than MKH 40/50 or Schoeps 4/41. Activating an MKH's treble lift can compensate, though.

The 416 has a lot more reach than a KMR81 - at the price of severe off-axis coloration.

This seems to be a matter of taste and preferences. Obviously, both have their places where they can shine.

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Generally my experience with the Neumann pencil condensers is they just don't have the "reach" of the Schoeps 41 or mkh-50. For a sit-down interview where you can get the mic very close they're beautiful.

E.

+1

They sound good, but for my taste they lack some kind of ability to grab the sound and put it in front of your face.

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I have used Neumann mics for about 45 years. The KM184 will be fine for the close and medium interior shots but you will want the "reach" of the KM185 for longer shots. I seldom used the KM184/5 outdoors preferring the KMR81/82 (and seldom used the KM81/82 inside preferring the KM150/185).

The KM184/5 has lots of low frequency rumble so you will need a good shocknount and low cut on your preamp. I use two Shure "donuts" one inside the other to have dual axis protection (you wrap one donut with tape to fit snugly inside the other). It makes a compact and effective set up with room for a WS100 ball foam windscreen.

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The beauty of the 184 is that if you have a fairly tight shot with 2 or more actors in a tight group, you can just park it in the sweet spot and get a very nice mix. That said, I generally use my 185's inside. If the space is large enough and the DP is high, wide and stupid, the km 81 is often useful.

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Reading this a year later or so, I hope someone else uses this info or the Original poster hasn't gotten that far in their respective career yet :D:

 

My impression: 

 

In terms of differences, I heard the KM184 plugged into a studio mixer and to my ears it didn't sound that "bright," sounded a bit fat, like the 84 does.  A bit cozy for my taste, but in post it sounds good.   Not uncolored or bright, but pretty steady and slightly warm.  84 is the same way, but I haven't done extensive work with the 184, and i heard going into a so/so mixer(mackie board).  If you don't imagine hearing it in post, you might think "bleh!" is my impression of both mics, even with a bump, but I heard it after it got mixed-down and it was good.  The TLM103 has a similar kind of feeling.  It's not wide-open or flat, and it lacks some presence, but it's pretty honest and it sounds good when you mix it.  Does that help anyone? 

 

As far as getting into location sound and using a cardiod mic like the 184.  I agree with the other people here on use case.  The 84/184 is not going to have much reach.  It's used for a lot of different purposes in the studio, but for vocals, I would say you don't have much throw, and it's pretty gain hungry.  That being said, it's a good mic, and you shouldn't be trying to shoot a bunch of wide dialogue anyway(probably not even on 35mm).   

 

If you're new to cinema dialogue, and you're thinking going big on a mic.  Get something like an 84/85, because of the price.  Shoot on 16mm set first, though.  It's tempting to work on a DSLR project shooting on 35mm, but that format is really hard to get right.  I've been shooting on a "super16" Black Magic Camera for a while now, along with a few other cameras of that frame size, and the way the story telling goes, you get tight on the action, and dialogue. It's less ambitious in many ways. 

 

I also recommend the blue line by AKG.  They are dirt cheap, and the caps are interchangeable.  I use them for location video shoots, because I don't care if I drop them.  They sound great, have very little self-noise, which is good for a beginner, and they're relatively flat(you might find yourself not liking them later on, but for an entry level mic, they will impress the director and probably the audience of an indie film).  The top end is a bit off, but up against even expensive shotgun mics, they sound better, so there is that.  AKG also makes the ULS mics which I think are a notch up from the blue-line.  For a while Locationsound in hollywood had some on special, but probably now you might have to get an old schoeps, or score some of these neumanns to keep the price/performance ratio happy. 

 

Also, if you're going to crank up the volume on any mic, which I think you'll have to do with a lot of these mics, just make sure you're plugged into a Sound Devices mixer, or something quality(wendt etc.) with a low-noise preamp, and if you're going into the recorder, maker sure you don't use compression on that box or the mixer, and you bracket it(look that up!!! especially for horror films, because the screaming will get ruined by a limiter/compressor).  Also, bring a dynamic mic with you in your bag.  I like the Shure SM7.  You have 4 channels on a good recorder, and if not get 2 mixers, and submix your channels!!! 

 

Hope that helps some newbies. 

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@nick Yea, I really like my akg mics.  They take a beating, and they're inexpensive.  For video work, there is nothing better really, maybe the sennheisers, but the cost/fragility in those situations isn't really worth spending.  The sound difference isn't enough, and I'm used to editing these now.  Best deal for a boom mic, period. 

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