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gkim

choosing mics

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Hello again to this awesome community, 

I've read every single post about mics on this forum, gearslutz and trew, as well as talking with mixers, gotham and pro-sound folks. Every single one, so this isn't to rehash unresearched questions or to drag the Senator out to say, "it depends". 

I buy gear when the gig can pay for it, so currently my set up is: sd 633, neumann km150 (for indoors), lectro smqv. Got enough cash for a decent outdoor boom and zepplin but would prefer not to spend it all if I don't have to.  Been renting the following: 416, cmit5u, sanken cs3e, 816, dpa 4017. I know it depends on the shot, the environment, weather, etc. and I'd love to buy'm all, but i got enough for one of them. My work is based in nyc, a mix of everything and it's getting busier, so a 3rd mic is on the horizon. 

One thing I do notice is that the cmit5u craps out when it's humid, which is too bad. 

Now, I leave myself open for all the arrows and possibly opinions. I take them all humbly. 

 

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You've done your research, you've rented several possible exterior microphone choices, you know your gigs, clientele, current needs, and budget better than anyone, so what is the purpose of your post?

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You've got a nice mic for the indoors stuff. Which of the 'tubes' you listed gave the best off axis rejection in the outdoor situations you mainly work in?

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@john - guess i was more curious what other production soundies would reach for if they had to choose from this list. 

@daniel - to my ears, the cmit5u sounded best off axis. So far, the outdoor work hasn't been too unpredictable, so I have time to adjust. 

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"sounded best" as in "off axis rejection" or something else like a smoother transition/frequency response?

If you had the cash flow you could buy 2 and sell the 1 you use least or back up you favourite (but craps out) cmit5u with a used 416 for piece of mind - I think mics hold their value well and have long working life if looked after so are good investments in general.

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As far as working in a bag on your own, the DPA 4017 and Sennheiser MKH8060 seem to be the go-to mics.  Mostly due to a balance of compactness, directivity, sound  and working pretty well indoors too. Operating one of those single handed compared to a 416 makes a big difference

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4 hours ago, gkim said:

@john - guess i was more curious what other production soundies would reach for if they had to choose from this list. 

If I had to choose from that list I would examine my gigs, my clientele, my current needs, and my budget and make the decision that is mine alone to make -- considering that I'm the one person who knows those things better than anyone.

 

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1 hour ago, John Blankenship said:

If I had to choose from that list I would examine my gigs, my clientele, my current needs, and my budget and make the decision that is mine alone to make -- considering that I'm the one person who knows those things better than anyone.

 

+1.

Ands that's why i generally carry an mkh50 & cs3e :-)

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@john - true that ultimately it will be my decision, but thought i'd pick the brains and experience of more expericed folks

@daniel - sounded best meaning off axis. 

I've tried the mkh50 and never felt much love for it, maybe i'm not hitting the sweet spot. I'll give the 50 and 60 another shot though. 

Thanks to everyone guys  

 

 

 

 

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Personally I love the CS3e - I find it to be probably the most flexible mic in my arsenal. Works great for me indoors, outdoors, and in situations when I'm not sure which mic is best the CS3e comes out and always performs excellently. If I could only have one shotgun that would be it. 

-Mike

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Hello again to this awesome community, 

I've read every single post about mics on this forum, gearslutz and trew, as well as talking with mixers, gotham and pro-sound folks. Every single one, so this isn't to rehash unresearched questions or to drag the Senator out to say, "it depends". 

I buy gear when the gig can pay for it, so currently my set up is: sd 633, neumann km150 (for indoors), lectro smqv. Got enough cash for a decent outdoor boom and zepplin but would prefer not to spend it all if I don't have to.  Been renting the following: 416, cmit5u, sanken cs3e, 816, dpa 4017. I know it depends on the shot, the environment, weather, etc. and I'd love to buy'm all, but i got enough for one of them. My work is based in nyc, a mix of everything and it's getting busier, so a 3rd mic is on the horizon. 

One thing I do notice is that the cmit5u craps out when it's humid, which is too bad. 


I'm surprised that you actually did read all posts regarding mic choice, because you should already have your answer then.
Here's a hint: rent whatever mics you wish, then choose your personal favourite. Back that up with a 416.

I believe that the stories about the CMIT dying in humid conditions are greatly exagerated. For every story of a dying CMIT I read online, I know at least one real life story of the mic holding up great.

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As usual, the answer on this kind of thread is that there are a lot of good options and you have to listen and choose for yourself.  That this is not easy outside of a few cities doesn't change this, unfortunately.

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29 minutes ago, Constantin said:


I'm surprised that you actually did read all posts regarding mic choice, because you should already have your answer then.
Here's a hint: rent whatever mics you wish, then choose your personal favourite. Back that up with a 416.

I believe that the stories about the CMIT dying in humid conditions are greatly exagerated. For every story of a dying CMIT I read online, I know at least one real life story of the mic holding up great.

Agreed.  It strikes me as one of those things where the rumor is much greater than the reality.  Posts that tend to exaggerate what was previously stated often take on a life of their own -- especially when folks try to pretend expertise by regurgitating comments relating to something they've only read about.

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I've used all of the mics you listed other than the Sanken, and I've found the DPA to be the most versatile. I'm less stressed out if I have to move from outdoors to indoors without swapping to my 50, because the DPA is more resistant to reverb nastiness than the others to my ears.

I owned and liked the 8060 and the 416, but eventually sold them both and now just have two 4017Bs for shotguns. I'm in Brooklyn if you ever want to try one out.

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1 hour ago, John Blankenship said:

Agreed.  It strikes me as one of those things where the rumor is much greater than the reality.  Posts that tend to exaggerate what was previously stated often take on a life of their own -- especially when folks try to pretend expertise by regurgitating comments relating to something they've only read about.

This is also true re humidity and the collette series Schoeps as well. 

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I've been using a mkh60 for the last 20 odd years .... It's been thru hell weather wise ... Never missed a beat....and never had a call to say don't like the sound of your shotgun... :-)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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42 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

This is also true re humidity and the collette series Schoeps as well. 

Definitely a prime example. 

While on rare occasion I've encountered humidity-related issues (even predictable once you know the gear well), they're much less an issue than net chatter would have you believe.  I think most who have perpetuated and exaggerated this potential issue are inexperienced folk looking for someone to tell them which is the perfect mic and being frustrated that there's not a simple mic purchase that will transform them into pro status. 

 

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+1 to having to decide yourself. You might not just look for advantages of a certain mic, but rather try to rule out candidates.

I would, for example, not recommend an 816 or other long gun for a "general purpose shotgun mic". The 816 is my go-to outdoor narrative mic, but you definitely have to know who's speaking next. Sometimes its long reach reminds me of a long lens where things that are much farther away appear nearly as close as the object of interest. You don't want to pick up that tourist group half a block away.

Re the Schoeps humidity (non-) issue: I've never had a Schoeps exhibit any of the signs such threads describe. I've used CMIT, CMC6/MK41, and CCM41L in about any kind of weather you encounter in central Europe. Most reports of trouble refer to CMC/MK combos where the capsule was screwed on or off in humid conditions. Just don't.

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4 hours ago, allistair said:

I've used all of the mics you listed other than the Sanken, and I've found the DPA to be the most versatile. I'm less stressed out if I have to move from outdoors to indoors without swapping to my 50, because the DPA is more resistant to reverb nastiness than the others to my ears.

I owned and liked the 8060 and the 416, but eventually sold them both and now just have two 4017Bs for shotguns. I'm in Brooklyn if you ever want to try one out.

Interesting - the way you describe your DPA is exactly how I feel about my Sanken. I'm in Queens but work in Brooklyn a lot - would love to do a DPA/Sanken comparison sometime if you're up for it!

-Mike

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Interesting - the way you describe your DPA is exactly how I feel about my Sanken.

Except the DPA is about half the weight and 60mm shorter. With the C version is even more pronounced

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Hi Gkim,

99% of my career has been in narrative work. Here's my brief purchase history of mics:

The first mic I bought was a MKH-60. For a while, it was my only mic, so I bought a zeppelin and used it both indoors and out. Then because I wanted more reach when outdoors and to keep in the same microphone family, I bought a MKH-70. I thought it might be easier to match to my MKH 60 when those situations came up. I remember mixing a scene where an actor walked from inside a theater lobby to outside onto a midtown street. I had one boom operator with the 60 inside and one boom operator with the 70 outside and made the transition as camera and actor went through the door. 

A Schoeps CMC-6 with a MK-41 head was my next purchase. I had landed a feature film mixing job and wanted to really make an impression with a nice mic and thought that would be a good choice. Outside, I still used the long MKH 70. I ended up adding another Schoeps after mixing a scene where I needed to fade between a Schoeps on a boom and a MKH 60 on a plant and being frustrated by the shifts in tone. So I thought another Schoeps would help with matching in those situations. Schoeps CMC-6/MK41 for indoors and the MKH 70 for outdoors was my typical setup for a number of small films. Adding in a couple of Schoeps collette cables to help plant the mics and I had a setup that seemed to work well for the projects I was on. 

 

Later, I took a job on a TV show as a utility for another mixer who favored the MKH 60. As I moved into 2nd unit mixing and having a 3-man crew, I purchased another MKH-60 for double boom situations, 2 MKH 50 and 2 Senn. 416 mics as other options for indoor work (much like that mixer was doing), and another MKH-70 for matching two booms in outdoor work. Some of these mics I bought new and some I found as good deals used. 

I ended up working as a utility for a different mixer and he favored the Schoeps CMIT for both indoors and out. We were working together on a TV show and he left mid-season. I took over mixing and to try to keep some consistency, I bought 2 Schoeps CMIT mics. I got used to using the CMITs outdoors and if they didn't have the reach, I depended on the lav mics. I ended up selling my 2 MKH-70 mics out of disuse.

 

On a later TV show, I again started to feel the need for a longer shotgun mic outdoors in scenes that were borderline possible to boom with a tight boom pattern instead of a lavaliere. So I ended up purchasing a used 816T mic. Months later, I bought another 816 (that one a 48v version) so I could do double booms outside. I've also added a couple of T-powered Schoeps CMC mics, and MK-4 heads (for a wider pickup) and even a -10db Schoeps pad when I needed to record Bernadette Peters singing live in close up on a boom. 

 

Nowadays, my personal preference is to use the CMIT outdoors. I have 3 so I can do double booms inside and out and have a 3rd has an option for a plant, or if one needs to go on a long vacation to Germany. I'll use the 816 mics outdoors, too, from time to time. Between those two mic types, I feel I'm covering all the situations I tend to come across where we can boom a scene outdoors. When we use the 816, I prefer the T powered version first. If I'm choosing the 816, it's because the voices are whisper-y in sound quality and I want the high end snap I can get out of an 816 (much like the 416 which I will still sometimes use indoors for certain scenes). I feel the T powered version of the 816 gives more of that than the 48v version. Just a personal preference. I have a similar preference for the T powered Schoeps CMC mics since I find they handle being wireless plants better in my setup. 

That's my own mic purchasing history. It seemed like you were trying to stay away from the "this mic is better" discussions, so I thought a personal history might be slightly interesting. Like John mentioned before, a lot depends on your budget and what jobs you're on. For me, that's been a growth from very small to bigger, but almost exclusively in the narrative field. A lot of my purchases were either reacting to jobs I had finished (frustration) or jobs I was going to start (hope). 

Josh

 

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thank you everyone, 

Joshua - your mic purchasing history was really insightful into the reasons, the situations and decision making. That really helped a lot. Sorry to add to the "which mic is best" threads, wasn't trying to do that. It's hard to know what you don't know, so my thinking was, I have a decent indoor mic and got sick of renting. So after trying out a few, and knowing that most of my work is in nyc, a good mix of narrative, corporate and doc work, i was trying to think of considerations I didn't think of, know what I mean? (humidity, RF problems, known issues, etc)

I think I'm going with an 8060 - it'll give me flexibility to swap out capsules down the road to a 50, 40, etc. 

Thanks again folks

ps - the 3 times I used the cmit: indoors - great, loved it; coney island in july - crapped out; miami in august, died. I could give it another shot, love the way it sounds. 

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