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JonG

Favorite Long Shotgun Mic

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JonG   

Just looking to see what everyone's favorite long shotgun mic is. Specifically looking at:

Sound Quality

Throw

Weight

Price

Other Pro's and Con's

I see a lot of people selling mkh70s and am curious why that is? I do a ton of outdoors stuff and a long shotgun would be a more suitable mic than the 416 that Ive been using, but if these mkh70s are so undesirable (I only say that because I see them for sale so often) then what are my alternatives?

Obviously renting a bunch and trying them out is going to be the ultimate factor, but I am interested in getting some of your opinions. Thanks!

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I've often wondered that as well. I've deduced that, due to the size and weight of a long gun, specialized usage (outdoors in a heavy Zep), and budgets that preclude having a skilled operator (on smaller jobs), people have opted for smaller short guns with good reach and rejection -- the Sanken CS-3e, for example. Long gun performance in a short gun package!

My favorite long guns are still the Sennheiser MKH-816 (exteriors) and Neumann KMR-82i (stage).

I'm not 100% sure but I believe it was Fred Ginsberg, CAS who once described the difference between a 416 and 816 as something like this...

(MKH-416) A car pulls up, the driver exits, extinguishes his cigarette and walks away.

(MKH-816) An eight cylinder engine with a loose fan belt rolls to a stop on a gravel road. The door opens, groans and creaks. The driver exits, exhaling a final drag on his cigarette. We hear the butt hit the ground, as he tosses it, the crunching sound of his boot stepping on it to extinguish it, and every one of his footsteps on the gravel road as he walks away.

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engaudio   

It's not a long shotgun at all but check out the sanken cs-1, a very tight pattern and is small and light. I use it for 90% of my work indoors and out.

Just to throw a spanner in the works..

Grant.

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gpiegari   

I absolutely love my MKH-70; One of my favorite mics.

Excellent rejection, great reach, environmentally robust,

and relatively lightweight for a full-length shotgun.

I suspect many are sold because many folks are relying more

heavily on wireless LAVs and just not using them as often as they

thought.

Working alone and mixing over-the-shoulder can be tough if you're

swinging a MKH-70 but it's often the right choice.

Glen

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I prefer the Neumann KMR82i. It's totally subjective, though, and I can't explain it. I am generally no fan of Sennheiser mics.

If money is irrelevant, the Schoeps SuperCmit combines great reach, excellent off axis rejection and yet a natural sounding off axis, all in a medium length tube. It's trickier to use wirelessly though, plus skilled booming is essential, just like on the long guns.

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" I am interested in getting some of your opinions. Thanks! "

we can all give you our own personal opinions of the subjective question, but your choice still has to be up to you.

there are lots of reasons folks are selling gear, there are also folks who consider a 416 to be a long shotgun! There are folks who compare and choose a different mic (like CS-3e, 8070 4017, Super-CMIT, etc) for their own personal, subjective reasons...

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Freeheel   

Glen's got it... Wireless has rendered the long gun much less useful, especially as regards to sheer size when you lug it around. I do mainly documentary and I've had a Sennheiser 816 for about 12 years and can count on both hands the number of times I've used it.

In any situation that can't be pulled by a 416, CS3e, or CMIT, wireless is easier, lighter and usually better.

The only time the 816 comes out is a) when I don't have to pack it for flight, and b )some specialized sound gathering where a wireless won't work, ie sounds of a bear 100 ft away, a wide-ish shot of dialogue between swimmers, or some un-lavable child standing next to a full frame tall adult.

Although, in response to wamsutta's description of how the 816 details sound, I once had to get the sound of a car door closing, as seen through an open window of a house 100 ft away from the car. Nothing really sounded right in the scene until I stuck the 816 out of the window and recorded the car door closing from there... So while I don't use it much, I still can't bring myself to sell it either.

YMMV

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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" I once had to get the sound of a car door closing, as seen through an open window of a house 100 ft away from the car. "

unreasonable expectations maybe ??

typically a SFX would be applied...

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Like Brent, I have a AT4071 long shotgun and have only used it a few times. Can't bring myself to sell it though for those few instances one needs the extra reach. (and 89.1 mV sensitivity)

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Freeheel   

<typically a SFX would be applied... >

Hey Mike, That was the thing. I was cutting SFX for a short film and none of the cut FX really were working for me. None of them seemed to match the scene despite listening what seemed to be a million of them from the library. They were all too close-miked.

My point was, that to get a decent effect to match the picture perspective, the 816 did a brilliant job of crushing the distance involved, and giving a beautifully detailed sound that included elements of the distance. (a bit of natural reverberation and high end attenuation)

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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Freeheel   

Anyway, we've kind gone away from the original request for info into why we don't use these things much anymore.

So in the spirit of the original request...

The 816 is long, heavy brass and is very unwieldy on a boom when it's got a full windjammer on it.

When it's on axis, it sounds a lot like a 416 and sounds pretty good, when it's off axis, things can get a bit ugly.

T-powered versions pop up all the time and can be dead cheap like $400 for the mic by itself and 6 or 700 for mic with full rycote suspension. These might be 25 years old, but they're probably fine if they weren't someone's daily driver all through the eighties and nineties. And they may be fine even then....

Phantom powered ones are less seen second hand, and are more expensive. To show the range, I just looked at Trew second hand and there was an 816 T power with rycote for 700 and a 816 phantom with rycote for 2500.

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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" that to get a decent effect to match the picture perspective, the 816 did a brilliant job "

ah--- so you were recording SFX. a bit different than most of us using long mic's EXT... and a 416 (sdame guts, shorter tube) might have sounded comparable, and maybe worked about the same a bit closer... trial and error in post...

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JonG   

Thanks for the info guys. My main purpose for having it would be for outdoors when camera wants to do a wide and a "tight", and of course for SFX gathering. On a lot of the shows I work on distance is everything, often because there are explosions, and often because there is a lot of first person shooter type stuff happening. I find that generally a 416 is inadequate for many of those situations. I had a chance to play with an 8070 one time, but it was inside during a stage performance. Me and another cat both had 8070s on pistol grips and we were picking off performers from the crowd, which worked pretty well but I never did get to try it outdoors. I would also like to try it against other mics.

Any more opinions would be great. I am leaning toward getting a CS-3e in the near future, just wonder if it will be enough for some of the distant field recording I do.

Senator: I understand that each person's opinion is their own, that is why I asked for their opinions :)

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" that to get a decent effect to match the picture perspective, the 816 did a brilliant job "

ah--- so you were recording SFX

He was recording what he was recording, he knew what he was doing, so why did you dump all over him?

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Freeheel   

Hey Jim, it's all right. I'm aware of the Senator's need to constantly talk while generally not saying very much at all. I generally treat him like a normal human, since he does know some stuff, despite his completely obsessive posting behaviors.

And I like to think that the 816 brought a certaine artistique je ne sais crois to the recording, that I would not have gotten by using a 416 at closer range. And more on point to the discussion, 'cause I never get to use the damn thing and here was a perfect opportunity.

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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Hey Jim, it's all right. I'm aware of the Senator's need to constantly talk while generally not saying very much at all. I generally treat him like a normal human, since he does know some stuff, despite his completely obsessive posting behaviors.

And I like to think that the 816 brought a certaine artistique je ne sais crois to the recording, that I would not have gotten by using a 416 at closer range. And more on point to the discussion, 'cause I never get to use the damn thing and here was a perfect opportunity.

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

For the longest time I thought the Senator was absolutely crazy. Over time I have really come to appreciate his wisdom (seriously). I hate to admit it, but I may in fact be somewhat like him! Anyway, he certainly is an interesting character. I'd very much like to be able to meet him some day. I think we'd get along just fine.

Senator, with out a doubt you are an odd bird, but I do very much appreciate your input here (most of it anyway) and you have a fascinating sense of humor. I wish you well for 2013 and I eagerly look forward to reading many more of your stimulating posts.

Thank you for your contribution here on JWSound.

Tom

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pindrop   

For the longest time I thought the Senator was absolutely crazy. Over time I have really come to appreciate his wisdom (seriously). I hate to admit it, but I may in fact be somewhat like him! Anyway, he certainly is an interesting character. I'd very much like to be able to meet him some day. I think we'd get along just fine.

Senator, with out a doubt you are an odd bird, but I do very much appreciate your input here (most of it anyway) and you have a fascinating sense of humor. I wish you well for 2013 and I eagerly look forward to reading many more of your stimulating posts.

Thank you for your contribution here on JWSound.

Tom

The signal to noise ratio is not very good - generally you get what you pay for!...........oh no!

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VM   

My first choices are MKH70 and SuperCMIT, but I don't use them very often.

thanks everybody ::) for sharing your comments, advices and opinions. Senator can be irritating, but his reminders and comments are sometimes very relevant.

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I had a chance to play with an 8070 one time, but it was inside during a stage performance. Me and another cat both had 8070s on pistol grips and we were picking off performers from the crowd, which worked pretty well but I never did get to try it outdoors. I would also like to try it against other mics.

I have an 8070 and its really very specialised, I only really use it for sound effects now. I've tried it out a couple of times for wide dialogue shots and I've always put the CMIT back on the boom for take 2. ..Its nasty for dialogue.

If I was buying again, I'd go for the CS3e (or stretch to a super CMIT)

Senator can be irritating

Its unfortunate the ignore function is so useless. This place would be better off without him, as more people would have contributed over the years if he wasn't here poisoning the water.

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A new year, same old subjective mic questions.... Not a knock, just a jaded observation on my behalf. I'm using a mkh 70 as I type. I have used an 815/6 many times over the years as well. IMO one needs a long shot gun. They are often the best tool in our bag of tricks. I would gladly wage a bet that more dialog on TV n Films n commercials have used a 815/6 or a 70. That said, it is still a very personal choice.

CrewC

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