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A well priced dialogue mic.

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I recommend the modified (*) Oktava MK 012 mic with hypercardiod capsule. Oktava makes a 90 degree swivel ($115) for those that like it. They also make an in-line low cut but this, unseemingly, adds to the noise so it's only useful in a louder environment.

 

The Oktava typically comes with an in-line -10 dB pad but, after modification, I find this is unnecessary. The advantages are: No sensitivity to RF, humidity or gunshots. Small size, high performance and, even after modification, low cost. This combo is very different from the Chinese copies of yesteryear. 

 

Oktava also make several capsules that interchange. Small Diaphragm: omni, cardioid and figure of eight. Large Diaphram: Several cardiods-some axial addressed and some side addressed.

 

You can buy most any of the, authentic, Tula, Russian made mics listed on eBay since all the guts will be reworked in the modification. Prices vary from $150 used to $300 new. 

 

* Bill Sitler (at billsrecording.com) has a very effective but inexpensive modification that makes the MK012 into a very different mic with less noise, a sweeter more natural sound as well as an extremely high overload level (no edginess with a Trombone inches from the mic).

 

Oktave make a fine product mechanically but have poor access to premium electronic components mponents. For those of you in the know Bill has four 1 Gig Ohm premium resistors shunting the Capsule for minimum loading as well as selected low noise transistors.

 

This is his premium mod (don't buy the kit unless you are a virtuoso Micro solder artist) and includes replacement of most every electronic component is $87.50 (rtn postage inc). So with outgoing postage your cost is about $100. You can easily hear the difference.

 

I have 20 or 30 of these Oktavas working for my Big Band recording and have retired my fragile Neumann KM185s. 

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20 hours ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

??

 

Although nobody has asked me I recommend the Sennheiser MKH50. Not cheap but 'well priced'.

 

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+1

 

I had an Oktava Mk012 with the hyper cap as my interior dialogue mic when I first started out. It was ok... pretty susceptible to handling noise, and I was never super in love with the sound of it. To be honest I didn't end up using it that much, preferring my 416 and later my CS3e for most situations. 

 

Now I use a Sennheiser MKH50 as my go-to interior mic and every time I put it up I get a smile on my face. It's easy to use, has an incredible ability to suck the voices away from the room sound, and just sounds rich and full and like a finished track already. So for me, the MKH50 is a well-priced microphone because of how amazingly useful it is. 

 

-Mike

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JWBaudio   
On 09/08/2017 at 5:14 PM, Mobilemike said:

+1

 

I had an Oktava Mk012 with the hyper cap as my interior dialogue mic when I first started out. It was ok... pretty susceptible to handling noise, and I was never super in love with the sound of it. To be honest I didn't end up using it that much, preferring my 416 and later my CS3e for most situations. 

 

Now I use a Sennheiser MKH50 as my go-to interior mic and every time I put it up I get a smile on my face. It's easy to use, has an incredible ability to suck the voices away from the room sound, and just sounds rich and full and like a finished track already. So for me, the MKH50 is a well-priced microphone because of how amazingly useful it is. 

 

-Mike

+1 I still have my old Mk012 around somewhere, but I do remember that it was prone to handling noise. 416 I still keep as my outdoor mic and  main mic on docs where it's a lot of run an gun, because its been an industry 'go-to' for decades that just seems to handle any conditions thrown at it, cuts well with most other mics, and is what I would recommend if you could only afford 1 mic, and 1k new and 700-800 for a good condition used is hard to beat for something still being used by pros.

 

For interior dialogue lately I've been playing around a bit with a Neumann KM184 that was recommended to me, not a typical choice, but it's a great sounding mic, has a nice response, and to my ears at least sounds a bit more natural than the CMC5/Colette,  does very well with rejection in more reverberant locations. Matched stereos run around 1200 and singles can be found for around 500, so not cheap, not expensive, but it really packs a punch and sounds like it should cost around 3x more. Only mark against it is the lack of interchangeable capsules, but I haven't had this be a problem yet and have been getting some stunning results with people asking what mic it was.

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On 8/10/2017 at 6:55 AM, JWBaudio said:

For interior dialogue lately I've been playing around a bit with a Neumann KM184 that was recommended to me

 

how does it work for you in very quiet situations?

I tested a KM185 a while back and had to crank up the gain quite a lot (since the mic is pretty low output) resulting in problems with self-noise (either by the mic or preamp) which made me wonder if I had a defective unit.

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On 10.8.2017 at 6:55 AM, JWBaudio said:

. Only mark against it is the lack of interchangeable capsules

 

Good news, then, as Neumann seem to be under the  impression that the capsules are interchangeable...

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Constantin, hmm?

Quote

The mechanical construction was simplified, for example, capsule and output stage cannot be separated from each other. For this reason the "Series 180" is an economical alternative without giving up the electroacoustic features the users expect from Neumann microphones.

https://www.neumann.com/?lang=en&id=current_microphones&cid=km180_description

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6 hours ago, chrismedr said:

both seem still to be still current, the KM184 and the KM184A, with the former being cheaper but without interchangeable capsules.

https://www.neumann.com/?id=current_microphones&lang=en

 

 

 

Alright, maybe I should amend my original, perhaps somewhat dickish comment to this: 

 

If the only issue you can find with the KM184 is the lack of modularity, you should perhaps consider the modular version instead. However, it is also more expensive and not widely available, but there is a whole range of accessories available for it

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Ah, no worries Constantin, it's all good. I just thought the whole point of the KM184 recommendation was that you can pick one up cheap. If a modded Oktava Mk12 costs you about 250eur, you can sometimes find a refurbished KM184 for 550usd. If I was picking up a hyper, I know which one I'd pick from those two options.

 

Quick edit since someone is going to pedant-snark me: the KM184 is cardioid, not hyper. (:

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JWBaudio   
6 hours ago, Constantin said:

 

Alright, maybe I should amend my original, perhaps somewhat dickish comment to this: 

 

If the only issue you can find with the KM184 is the lack of modularity, you should perhaps consider the modular version instead. However, it is also more expensive and not widely available, but there is a whole range of accessories available for it

Hey Constantin, no worries!

 

Yes, I'm aware that the KM A/D range is more current and offers the interchangeable capsules, and I auditioned one on a project a while back and was very pleased with the results, but with the thread discussing well prices mics I though I would throw in something at a slightly more budget friendly level, especially with the Mk012 being the first mic mentioned at a very low price point and with the A/D range being at a higher price point I though I would focus on the older 184.

On 12/08/2017 at 6:21 PM, chrismedr said:

 

how does it work for you in very quiet situations?

I tested a KM185 a while back and had to crank up the gain quite a lot (since the mic is pretty low output) resulting in problems with self-noise (either by the mic or preamp) which made me wonder if I had a defective unit.

chrismedr, I can't speak to you're having a defective unit or not but I can tell you I've been able to keep the gain fairly low, about the same as when I have a Colette out, and that I haven't had any problems in quiet situations.

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