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Super-Cmit 2U vs KMR82i Shotgun Shootout / ATL Mixer Breakfast @ Whit Norris' House

shotgun field test review schoeps super cmit Atlanta

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41 replies to this topic

#1
Chris Durfy

Chris Durfy
  • LocationAtlanta, GA, USA

Attached File  DSC_0016.jpg   97.74KB   55 downloadsHi all,

 

Last Saturday morning a bunch of local Atlanta mixers, boom-ops & utilities met over breakfast at Whit's house to field test the Super CMIT.

 

We had all heard how successful the Super CMIT had been used by Simon Hayes on “Les Misérables” in studio conditions. We wanted to test the practical applications of using the Super CMIT in the field.


(Note: I am writing this from memory a week later, so I encourage any involved to correct me or add more details to our findings!)

 

The Gear


-788t / CL-8 Bag rig


-Neumann KMR82i on a 22' Ambient Boompole


-Schoeps Super CMIT 2U on a 22' K-Tek Boompole


Note 1:
To use the 788t in AES mode, you have to enable “AES Power” in the menu and also on the individual tracks (in same place you select phantom power). Hook up your AES Cable to the back. The cable we had was set to put the DSP (super-CMIT) channel on channel one, the CMIT (non-dsp output) on 2 through a single XLR output. The cable also had a second XLR to hook up a second Super CMIT if desired.

 

Note 2:
There are two preset DSP modes. One is “standard” DSP and the
other what we termed “extreme”.

 

From the Schoeps website:    


             -Preset 1
                1: moderate directivity increase (green LED); ca. 11 dB reduction
                in diffuse sound (5 dB greater than a Schoeps CMIT 5 U or channel
                2 of the SuperCMIT 2 U)

                Preset 2: strong directivity increase (red LED); ca. 15 dB
                diffuse sound reduction. This setting is reserved for special
                applications since sonic artifacts can occasionally be heard.

 

In our tests, we did not tinker much with Preset 2 as it isn't very applicable to our purposes with the introduction of artifacts into our tracks. We also did not engage the filters on the CMIT and left them open.


This kind of became a test of three, as we compared all results between the Super CMIT in DSP mode and in standard CMIT versus the Neumann KMR82i.

 

The "Shooting Range"

 

Whit's house has some good conditions for a proper field test. There is a good-sized waterfall and a busy road nearby. Also, there is a small airport nearby. At the back of Whit's house is fairly quiet (except for the occasional aircraft).


Test 1: Waterfall


While booming a single person near the waterfall we noticed that the Super CMIT had amazing background rejection and pulled the dialogue right out of the waterfall. The background could still be heard, but was diminished greatly.


The standard CMIT and the 82 performed as expected and did a good job of bringing the dialogue forefront, leaving the sound of waterfall in the background.

 

While booming between two people have a conversation, the CMIT and 82 sounded “natural” while cueing.


The Super CMIT had some issues here. Some noticed artifacts while cueing as the processing tried to match the movement and change of position of the mic relative to the background. To fight this effect, a BoomOp would have to be careful to keep the mic on a the same plane of axis when cueing.


Which is better? Well, I suppose the answer is “It depends”. If that waterfall was instead a generator, perhaps the directivity would be exactly what you want. The waterfall as part of the scene, perhaps not.


Test 2: Running Diesel Truck in Background


We experienced similar results with the rumble of the truck as with waterfall. Again, if the rumble was a generator you couldn't get turned off, perhaps the Super would be the way to go... If a picture car, the CMIT or 82i sounded more natural to most of us.


Test 3: The Wide

 

We conducted this test with stationary subjects with an imaginary frame above our “actors” of 10-12 feet. On pavement, we noticed a reverb effect on all mics that was added. When moved to the grass, this was removed. The 82 lost a lot of low end frequency at this height, but was still very legible. The Super and CMIT both kept more of the low end and sounded better to most of us, with Super CMIT having a slight edge in a controlled situation of two actors having a one to one conversation.


Whit brought up a very valid point here though: The Ad-lib. What if there were other actors in the scene were known to adlib often. Would you want the more directional and less forgiving Super CMIT? Likely not.


Test 4: The “Really” Tight


We ALL agreed the Super CMIT sounded too present and “splattered” when used to close to the source. It needs some air in between to sound natural.


Test 5: Walk & Talk


We did walk & talks two ways: from above, and from below.


From above, all mics sounded nice. Noted that the Super CMIT might be nice in mitigating the sound of gravel or crunchy footsteps if boomed from the proper angle, if so desired.


From below, they also sounded good. Of course, all were in some form more susceptible to aircraft noise with the Super CMIT giving a few more moments of “acceptable” sound than the others by mitigating some of the off axis background noise.

 

The Conclusion

 

Someone in the group called this mic a “very expensive one trick pony”. While it may be useful in more than just one scenario, it certainly is a very specialized microphone and at $4,449US it is certainly very expensive.


Is it something to have in the kit? As a wise man once said... “It depends”... While it certainly would be nice in certain situations to have, it is one of those items that might be difficult to recoup costs outside of your standard kit rental.


It is an amazing piece of technology and if you can afford it, and it would be a nice microphone to have in the arsenal. That being said, I don't think any of us rushed out to get one after our testing. But time will tell!


The Players


Mixers:

Whit Norris, Chris Durfy, Aron Siegal, Todd Weaver, David Terry


Boom/Utility:

Chris Harris, Matt Derber, Maaike Snoep, Dana Simmons


ENG/Post:

Michael Wynne

 

Special thanks to:


-Whit & Kathy Norris for hosting us at their house.


-Trew Audio for arranging the Super-CMIT appointment.


-Redding Audio for supplying the demonstration Microphone.


-Michael Wynne for taking the pictures of the event.


THANKS!!!


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Chris Durfy, CAS

ChrisDurfy.com
IATSE Local 479, Atlanta, GA
FCC LP License WQPU590

#2
Boomboom

Boomboom
  • LocationMontréal, Canada

Cheers to that and thank you all for that review !


--- Pierre ---
--- Montréal , Canada ---

#3
Vasileios Alexandris

Vasileios Alexandris
  • LocationThessaloniki

Thanks for sharing this informations!

I love when I see and read these reports.

 

:)


Vasileios Alexandris

Sound Recordist

Greece, Thessaloniki


#4
soundslikejustin

soundslikejustin
  • LocationBrisbane, Australia
Nice review. Simon HAYES, though.
Justin Harrison
Brisbane, QLD, Australia

#5
Chris Durfy

Chris Durfy
  • LocationAtlanta, GA, USA

Right so! Changed.


Chris Durfy, CAS

ChrisDurfy.com
IATSE Local 479, Atlanta, GA
FCC LP License WQPU590

#6
stevegrider

stevegrider
  • LocationNashville, TN
This is the most informative review I have read about this mic. Thanks so much!

#7
Whit Norris

Whit Norris
  • LocationAtlanta, GA

Very nice job Chris! I have been dragging my feet on CPA Antennas that we tested. Hopefully I will have that up tomorrow.

 

Whit


Whit Norris C.A.S.
FCC LP License WQOE682

#8
Marc Wielage

Marc Wielage
  • LocationNorthridge, CA

Terrific report! Very informative, and good pix, too!


www.cinesound.tv | location sound • post-production consultant

#9
sergiofucchi

sergiofucchi
  • LocationCivitanova Marche (Italy)

A week ago I used my KMR-82i to capture the dialogue of two people sitting at a table in a kitchen. the microphone was approximately two meters above the table top, at the center of the two persons. The kitchen had a slight reverb. The result was very good, perhaps better than I had using my CMC641. It has for some time that I'm thinking of buying a SuperCMIT, but then I do not know if I will be able to use it since I already have a 82i, a CS-3e, a MKH416 and MKH816. Perhaps in some cases the result is better, but certainly the cost of Schoeps would not be adequately rewarded.



#10
Christian Spaeth

Christian Spaeth
  • LocationStuttgart, Germany

thanks for the report. Nice read.


www.tonperson.de

#11
Vasileios Alexandris

Vasileios Alexandris
  • LocationThessaloniki

Sergio. The cost of Schoeps SuperCMIT 2U it's nothing when you have this "weapon".


Vasileios Alexandris

Sound Recordist

Greece, Thessaloniki


#12
greg sextro

greg sextro
  • LocationNew York
Thanks for posting Durf!

Brookly, NY
IATSE Local 52
FCC Call Sign: WQRA624

www.eastwestaudio.com


#13
Jon Gilbert

Jon Gilbert
  • LocationNorthern England

Really interesting read, thanks everyone involved for taking the time.



#14
euphemia

euphemia
  • LocationRio de Janeiro - Brazil

Very good report Chris. I used to have more Neumann mics in the past. The 82i was excellent but for some reason it didn't stand the field burden and it broke quite often. Then I switched to MKH70, which is similar to the 82i. I did have the 81i, another excellent mic, but then I switched to the CMIT and I am also please. My question to you: would be better to compare the 82i with a 70 or 816? Of course your choice of mic - Super CMIT - is the reason you did the tests, but for me, when I need a longer reach I go for the sennheiser, not for the schoeps. And yes the cost of the mic makes a very important decision when you consider buying it: is it worth? A lot of people would say yes, but it I think that one has to consider if the feeling is like driving a Ferrari in a dirt, not paved road... 


Marcio Camara
euphemia@matrix.com.br
55 21 83148454 / 2551 1030
skype - euphemiaproducoes

#15
Constantin

Constantin
  • LocationGermany

Attached File  DSC_0016.jpg   97.74KB   55 downloads
The Super CMIT had some issues here. Some noticed artifacts while cueing as the processing tried to match the movement and change of position of the mic relative to the background. To fight this effect, a BoomOp would have to be careful to keep the mic on a the same plane of axis when cueing.

Yes, thank you for a very much for a great review! And what a fun day it must've been.
Quick question: the artifacts you mentioned, are they very audible? If in your example, you'd record a wildtrack of the waterfall and put that under the dialogue, maybe pretty much at the same level as the original recording's waterfall sound, would that sufficiently disguise these artifacts?
Sorry for my awkward wording, I hope you know what I'm getting at

#16
Jan McL

Jan McL
  • LocationNY Metro

Thanks much Atlanta!

 

Look forward to reading this in detail while on the road.


Jan McLaughlin, CAS
http://janmclaughlin.tv
FCC LP Call Sign WQOF571
914-509-4661

#17
mastermixaudiomedia

mastermixaudiomedia
  • LocationNew Jersey USA

Great info, thanks folks.


Kenneth McGee

Mastermix Audio Media

FCC Part 74 LP WQRQ354

#18
Mark O'Russa

Mark O'Russa
  • LocationSpokane, WA
Any chance you'll post some audio samples? Maybe on sound cloud or something?

Mark O.

ADRList.com - ADR list creation and management for professionals in the film and television post production industry.
FCC Call Sign: WQPV695


#19
srab1138

srab1138
  • LocationNew York, NY

Very good report Chris. I used to have more Neumann mics in the past. The 82i was excellent but for some reason it didn't stand the field burden and it broke quite often. Then I switched to MKH70, which is similar to the 82i. I did have the 81i, another excellent mic, but then I switched to the CMIT and I am also please. My question to you: would be better to compare the 82i with a 70 or 816? Of course your choice of mic - Super CMIT - is the reason you did the tests, but for me, when I need a longer reach I go for the sennheiser, not for the schoeps. And yes the cost of the mic makes a very important decision when you consider buying it: is it worth? A lot of people would say yes, but it I think that one has to consider if the feeling is like driving a Ferrari in a dirt, not paved road... 

 

Yes about the the 70/8070/816 mikes? I am curious how useful these are compared to a SuperCMIT. 

 

Good stuff though guys. It does match what I expected. The DSP works best in controlled situations. Nice tool to have though (but expensive). 

 

 

 

Sawrab


Sawrab Karim

Freelance Sound Recordist, located in:

New York, NY

#20
Todd Weaver

Todd Weaver
  • LocationAtlanta

I'll own up to the "very expensive one trick pony" comment.  But, perhaps I should have said "very expensive two trick pony" as the microphone can perform in "standard CMIT mode" and in DSP mode. The rub is the extra $2,250 plus tax for that extra little trick called digital signal processing. IMHO, the CMIT-5U is still king and is my ‘go to’ mic for the majority of conditions, outdoors especially. The Super CMIT-2 seemed to produce frightening artifacts in extreme conditions with the DSP modes activated, the very same DSP modes that tack an extra $2,250 to the sticker price. As far as return on investment goes, I will stick with the plain ole CMIT-5U with its perfect combination of reach, rejection, and a very pleasing and natural reproduction of its intended source. Heck, take your $4,449 and buy two! If the two mics were closer in price, I would get the Super CMIT 2u.

 

-Weaver
 


Todd Weaver
Production Sound Mixer
weaversound@gmail.com
FCC LP License WQTA972

 


#21
bralleput

bralleput
  • LocationAmsterdam,The Netherlands

Nice test!Makes me think 3 times about buying a digital mike.Not. Problem with digital microphones (CMIT and digital KMR 81) Vs boards (mixers): they are not up to them yet.Will have to use the 'mike input'of the recorder(788) in order to stay 'digital'.Not ideal.Yet.



#22
Simon Hayes

Simon Hayes
  • LocationLondon

Guys,

Wow,what a great test !  

 

Please allow me a couple of days to respond fully,but thanks for such an informative post.

 

Simon



#23
Chris Woodcock

Chris Woodcock
  • LocationN.Ireland

Guys,
Wow,what a great test !

Please allow me a couple of days to respond fully,but thanks for such an informative post.

Simon


You mean after the hang over clears right? I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Rowe at the weekend he spoke very warmly about you.

This has been an interesting thread to read I am going to get the chance of listen to the super cmit in a week or so. I am looking to it as I have heard great things about this mic.

Regards

Chris W

Chris W

#24
Michael Wynne

Michael Wynne
  • LocationAtlanta
had a great time everyone, thanks for posting Chris !

#25
Whit Norris

Whit Norris
  • LocationAtlanta, GA

had a great time everyone, thanks for posting Chris !

Michael thanks for all the photos and helping out and your participation in the test. It always great to get the Atlanta Sound Mafia together! 

 

Whit


Whit Norris C.A.S.
FCC LP License WQOE682

#26
Marc Wielage

Marc Wielage
  • LocationNorthridge, CA

The Super CMIT-2 seemed to produce frightening artifacts in extreme conditions with the DSP modes activated, the very same DSP modes that tack an extra $2,250 to the sticker price. As far as return on investment goes, I will stick with the plain ole CMIT-5U with its perfect combination of reach, rejection, and a very pleasing and natural reproduction of its intended source. 

 

Very hard to argue with that. I'm still inclined to think that the post sound department is better at minimizing extraneous background noise with tools like Cedar and iZotope after the fact. But I concede, there are clearly people who have used the Super-CMIT with great results, including Simon Hayes' crew on Les Miserables. 


www.cinesound.tv | location sound • post-production consultant

#27
old school

old school
  • LocationSo Cal

Glad the Atlanta Sound Mafia made this effort and test. What's next?

CrewC


So beautiful or so what.

#28
Todd Weaver

Todd Weaver
  • LocationAtlanta

I would like to see how all of the common conventional shotgun microphones stack up. Perhaps the Sanken CS-3 up against the Scheops CMIT-5U, Neumann KMR82i, Sennheiser MKH70, and RODE NTG3.... Who is up for it?


Todd Weaver
Production Sound Mixer
weaversound@gmail.com
FCC LP License WQTA972

 


#29
David Waelder

David Waelder
  • LocationLos Angeles

A very worthwhile comparison and you report interesting and valuable findings. Thanks to all the participants.

 

I would be interested to hear a little more about how the Neumann 82 fared in comparison with the standard Schoeps CMIT. Most of the reporting seemed (understandably) focused on the digital mike versus the conventional designs but the testing would also present a good opportunity to evaluate the comparative performance of the Neumann versus the Schoeps.

 

David



#30
Earmuffs

Earmuffs
  • LocationLos Angeles

I very much appreciate the comparison here. I look forward to more of these and contributing when possible. I'm interested in reading/hearing a field test and comparison that includes the KMR81D. I've read that this digital version is supposed to reject RFI much better.


-Michael M.
www.LASoundMixer.com

#31
Chris Durfy

Chris Durfy
  • LocationAtlanta, GA, USA

UPDATE: I have drunk the Kool-aid. I just ordered my own Super-Cmit 2U. It will be here this weekend. 

 

I'm interested to use it in the next wide/tight and see how well the boom sounds over the lavs... but I am going to be very secretive about my new weapon on set... I don't want directors thinking they can get away shooting wide/tight too often!

 

I'll keep everyone updated on how things go.

 

Cheers,

 

-Chris


Chris Durfy, CAS

ChrisDurfy.com
IATSE Local 479, Atlanta, GA
FCC LP License WQPU590

#32
Chris Woodcock

Chris Woodcock
  • LocationN.Ireland

but I am going to be very secretive about my new weapon on set... I don't want directors thinking they can get away shooting wide/tight too often!


-Chris


Surely if directors knew that you would get hired more :-P

Regards

Chris W

Chris W

#33
Chris Durfy

Chris Durfy
  • LocationAtlanta, GA, USA

We had a chance to try out my SuperCMIT in the real world on the set today.

 

There was a couple of things I noticed tonight and wanted to add to this thread:

 

1) It is damn cool to be able to record the Super and regular CMIT mode on the mic at the same time...(the AES outputs both tracks) that way, if you do get some adlibs - you still have them as well as you would with a standard CMIT. 

 

That being said, you can only record them to channels 1(Super) and channel 2(CMIT) or on channel 3 and 4, likewise on the 788t.

 

2) With the SuperCMIT, be aware your limiters will NOT engage in digital mode (at least with the 788t). Tonight we had a scene where everyone was speaking at a normal level... then suddenly yelling. First take, I was seeing red and red on both tracks of the SuperCMIT. I found I had to aggressively tweak the gain to get good results in this situation.

 

I'll keep on posting my findings.

 

Cheers,

 

-Chris


Chris Durfy, CAS

ChrisDurfy.com
IATSE Local 479, Atlanta, GA
FCC LP License WQPU590

#34
pindrop

pindrop
  • LocationEurope

We had a chance to try out my SuperCMIT in the real world on the set today.

 

There was a couple of things I noticed tonight and wanted to add to this thread:

 

1) It is damn cool to be able to record the Super and regular CMIT mode on the mic at the same time...(the AES outputs both tracks) that way, if you do get some adlibs - you still have them as well as you would with a standard CMIT. 

 

That being said, you can only record them to channels 1(Super) and channel 2(CMIT) or on channel 3 and 4, likewise on the 788t.

 

2) With the SuperCMIT, be aware your limiters will NOT engage in digital mode (at least with the 788t). Tonight we had a scene where everyone was speaking at a normal level... then suddenly yelling. First take, I was seeing red and red on both tracks of the SuperCMIT. I found I had to aggressively tweak the gain to get good results in this situation.

 

I'll keep on posting my findings.

 

Cheers,

 

-Chris

Yes any pair of tracks 1&2 3&4 5&6 7&8 on the 788T

I back the CMIT off about 8db from the super CMIT which gives me more of a chance with unexpected loudness without limiters.



#35
pindrop

pindrop
  • LocationEurope

Anyone happen to know whether it is theoretically possible to limit an AES42 digital mic input on the input to a recorder please? Would be very nice to have this on a 788T.



#36
engaudio

engaudio
  • LocationAuckland, New Zealand

Anyone happen to know whether it is theoretically possible to limit an AES42 digital mic input on the input to a recorder please? Would be very nice to have this on a 788T.

 

The neumann range all have digital limiting done in the mic, not sure on specifics.

Regarding the super cmit 2U, from the  schoeps website

 

"Since firmware version 2.0 the SuperCMIT is equipped with a limiter (when gain boost is active) to prevent overload caused by very loud signals."

 

And in the Firmware history pdf:

 

"Firmware history:
2.0 (September 2011): Limiter on active gain
boost, improved high-pass filter as well as
beam former optimization to reduce artifacts
1.33 (September 2010): Ability to raise output
levels by 30 dB with a combination of button
presses
1.29 (June 2010): First released version of the
firmware
If you wish to have your SuperCMIT updated,
we ask you to send it to your dealer / distributor.
As a special service, for any major firmware
revision (i.e. if the first digit of the version
number changes), SCHOEPS offers you a free
update. You assume only the shipping costs."

 

hope that helps..

 

Regards,

Grant.

 

Found this interesting.

 

"A new approach to high directivity and sound quality
The SuperCMIT 2 U microphone uses exclusive technology from ILLUSONIC (patent pending). In addition to the capsule behind the interference tube, it contains a second, rear-facing microphone capsule. Digital signal processing (DSP) can analyze both signals and thereby distinguish discrete versus diffuse sound energy. The two signals are then combined in a time- and frequency-dependent manner such that the directional effect for discrete sound energy is increased while the level of diffuse sound is reduced.
At high frequencies (above 6 kHz) only the signal from the front-facing capsule is used, since the interference tube already offers optimal effectiveness in that range."


Grant Finlay ENG/EFP sound recordist: Auckland, NZ.
http://naturesounds.co.nz
http://grantfinlay.com

#37
pindrop

pindrop
  • LocationEurope

Thanks but the 30db gain boost has to be activated each time the mic is turned on which is not very practical for me, and although one might get the knack of the timing of the 3 x double button press needed to activate it it's a bit hit and miss for me.

 

I'll email Schoeps to request whether the limiter might be activated without the 30db gain boost (which isn't needed with a 788T anyway)



#38
Michael P Clark

Michael P Clark
  • LocationAtlanta, Georgia, USA
If I could've made it we would've had that option. In down for that, as well as some audio recordings to post for everyone. I think with the collection of mixers here, we would have all the major mics available for testing and recording.

(null)

Michael P. Clark, CAS
Atlanta, GA


#39
Michael P Clark

Michael P Clark
  • LocationAtlanta, Georgia, USA
Sorry, last post was quoting Todd Weaver, in testing other mics.

(null)

Michael P. Clark, CAS
Atlanta, GA


#40
pindrop

pindrop
  • LocationEurope

Bernhard Vollmer at Schoeps very kindly explained to me that the limiter is only relevant to the 30db gain boost scenario, and that the Super CMIT in normal mode cannot overload anyway until the maximum SPL 125db is reached. The overload I've experienced occasionally is purely caused by me adding gain in the 788T to enable me to easily monitor and match other analog mics for level, if using the Super CMIT alone one could / should just record with a lot more headroom.

But SD have indicated that it might be possible to enable a limiter on the 788T for AES42 inputs.



#41
Aron Siegel

Aron Siegel
  • LocationAtlanta
Thanks again Chris for posting our findings. Having used the Neumann 81 and especially the Neumann 82 for doing my exteriors, I'm still convinced the super cmit is a specialty mic for a decent reach with a wider pattern (ad libs). The 82 seems warmer with better rejection and a better reach.
Aron Siegel, CAS
FCC LP License WQPV692
"Dammit Jim, I'm a mixer, not a kitchen appliance"

#42
bigmaho

bigmaho
  • LocationNY and NM

Just found this thread.  Thanks so much for taking the time to do the test and posting your results.  Excellent! And appreciated.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: shotgun, field test, review, schoeps, super cmit, Atlanta