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kavenzmann

Next level on-camera microphone in M/S

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Hi,

 

I did research quite a bit but did not find anything close enough.

 

Here's what I want:

 

I'm a cameraman mainly doing documentaries.

 

Rarely, there's a dedicated sound person/operator on set.

Usually, there's me plus the director occasionally booming or recording additional non-sync sounds.

 

I have a very simple AT875R mounted on my lightweight Pansonic AU-EVA1 setup.

Audiotechnica calls it a ine + gradient pattern short shotgun mic.

There's barely much low frequency response below 80 Hz.

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/cae8c23cfe000574/index.html

 

I tested dozens of other on camera mics over the years on different cameras.

In the end, I always returned to this dead cheap mic again.

The simple reason is that I like its pretty natural, mildly warm sound and it's ruggedness.

 

If there's a talent talking there'S of course another technique involved. Let it be booming or lav, depending on the situation.

This is not the on-camera mic's duty.

 

Now, I did work with other very nice cardioid or hyper cardoids like the Schoeps CCM series or Sennheiser MKH-40/50/60, MKH60.

Yesterday I did some tests wuth a very interesting setup on camera.

The CCM MK4 as mid plus a Kortwich Acht

http://www.filmtontechnik.de/en/products-from-kortwich/microphone/

on top as side.

 

I was never listening to such a natural and balanced Stereo on-camera setup.

It is small and lightweight, too.

 

I also have a AT BP4029 M/S shotgun, which i s often used for a wide atmosphere when the camera is on a tripod.

I like it for what it is, but I thought I could have a better noisefree  and more natural sound without a shotgun as mid signal.

 

I thought of having a Sennheiser MKH 8040 incl. the MZW module as a mid/main mic adding a Kortwich Acht or Ambient Audio Emesser208 as side signal, when needed.

Later I'll buy another MKH capsule with longer reach - be it the 8050 hyper or 8060 shotgun.

 

Would this make a good combination for my needs and be a substantial upgrade from the A/875/ AT BP 4029 combo?

Can it be handled on camera well enough?

 

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Thanks for pointing that out.

 

But I've already found and read it before.

It's a quite different approach.

 

I already have a BP4029, which is considered a typical broadcast M/S mic.

But the shotgun mid does not sound very natural to my ears. And I also find it quite noisy..

Any shorter mic design should be better here - be it a cardioid or hyper cardioid.

 

I want a more flexible and more natural sounding setup.

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there many M/S setups and it's advantages discussed on this forum, try another search.

some favourites include:

MKH50 / MKH30

MK41 / MK8

CMIT / MK8

 

unfortunately those are not cheap, but if it doesn't fit your budget you probably have to live with the audio limitation (there's no magic 300EUR M/S setup). 

 

Be aware that you'll need a very good suspension and that on camera you'll likely get operator noises and possibly other challenges (like changing stereo imaging on moving shots). In the end you'll probably want to test this before you spend 3000 bucks.

chris

 

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The CCM MK4 is a great centre mic for M/S and I'm not surprised you like the sound of it.

 

For the side mic, my understanding of the Emesser is that its fairly noisy, from whats been reported on this forum. 

 

I'm not familiar with the Kortwich Acht at all, but it looks like a neat little mic, and would be quite worthwhile if its self noise specifications are good and it sounds nice.  I like its capability of going from figure 8 to stereo with a cable changeover.    

 

Have any of our usual audio pros played around with the Kortwich Acht, and can give us an opinion on it's sonics and noise floor?

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

 

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The CCM MK4 is a great centre mic for M/S and I'm not surprised you like the sound of it.
 
For the side mic, my understanding of the Emesser is that its fairly noisy, from whats been reported on this forum. 
 
I'm not familiar with the Kortwich Acht at all, but it looks like a neat little mic, and would be quite worthwhile if its self noise specifications are good and it sounds nice.  I like its capability of going from figure 8 to stereo with a cable changeover.    
 
Have any of our usual audio pros played around with the Kortwich Acht, and can give us an opinion on it's sonics and noise floor?
 
Cheers,
Brent Calkin
 
I have it used besides the Schoeps MK8.
It's less prone to handling noise, has a higher output but does also not have that absolutely natural Schoeps sound.

I'd say it's a perfect companion for the MKH80xx series. It's very small and lightweight but has a high output which is good for on camera.
The preamps of video cameras are far from the ones I know from the SD7xx series and sound better with low amplification.

I think I'll have Kortwich send me the whole setup for rent. Hopefully they'll do it.

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Here I come.

 

Kortwich also build their own cardoid mics and they offered to send me a set of their cardoid and figure 8 on a INV 7.

I'll test that combo next week - unfortunately I don't have a recorder with good preamps.

Only my camera and a Zoom H6.

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shure for the weight the schoeps ccm and sennheiser mkh series are hard to beat... but the price is reflecting this and schops are to sensible in climate conditions for my taste and sennheiser unfortunatly refuses to make a figure eight in that shape.

emesser i only know the old version (very noisy...) and the kortwich figure 8 is somehow okayish but coming from neumann kma 120 i here a big difference in audio quality.

good hypers/cardioids in small condenser shape are gefell m310 (hyper) ore m300 (cardioid) 799€ or a used neumann km 140, rugged and nice sounding 500 - 600€. the neumanns you can use with a remote cable between capsul and body, making the mount very light - like a ccm combination.

as for ms recording using a shotgun as mid is always somehow compromised and often translates not in a "nice" soundstage my combi for general ambiances is gefell m310 for mid and neumann kma 120 fo side signal. if i need a more direct mid signal i reach for dpa 4017 with the neumann as side mic or a neumann rsm 191, one of the short shotgun ms solutions that deliver a good soundstage, - miles better than the at, but lurky for camera mounting because you have to use a matrix box.

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1 hour ago, haifai said:

shure for the weight the schoeps ccm and sennheiser mkh series are hard to beat... but the price is reflecting this and schops are to sensible in climate conditions for my taste and sennheiser unfortunatly refuses to make a figure eight in that shape.

emesser i only know the old version (very noisy...) and the kortwich figure 8 is somehow okayish but coming from neumann kma 120 i here a big difference in audio quality.

good hypers/cardioids in small condenser shape are gefell m310 (hyper) ore m300 (cardioid) 799€ or a used neumann km 140, rugged and nice sounding 500 - 600€. the neumanns you can use with a remote cable between capsul and body, making the mount very light - like a ccm combination.

as for ms recording using a shotgun as mid is always somehow compromised and often translates not in a "nice" soundstage my combi for general ambiances is gefell m310 for mid and neumann kma 120 fo side signal. if i need a more direct mid signal i reach for dpa 4017 with the neumann as side mic or a neumann rsm 191, one of the short shotgun ms solutions that deliver a good soundstage, - miles better than the at, but lurky for camera mounting because you have to use a matrix box.

 

It‘s funny, my experience regarding the weather resistance of Schoeps CCMs and the Neumann‘s listed, seems to be completely opposite to your experience. I have never ever had a problem with a Schoeps, nor have I ever met (in real life) someone who did. I think this „issue“ is a bit over-hyped. 

Neumann on the other hand I have had some issues with (although not with the KMRs), but also never serious. RF shielding can be an issue with Neumann mics

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On 22/02/2018 at 10:27 PM, Constantin said:

 

It‘s funny, my experience regarding the weather resistance of Schoeps CCMs and the Neumann‘s listed, seems to be completely opposite to your experience. I have never ever had a problem with a Schoeps, nor have I ever met (in real life) someone who did. I think this „issue“ is a bit over-hyped. 

Neumann on the other hand I have had some issues with (although not with the KMRs), but also never serious. RF shielding can be an issue with Neumann mics

Likewise, never had a problem with my CCM's and have used them in a wide variety of climatic conditions. I think the module configuration of the CMC's might be more prone to occasional connection problems, but CCM's are one piece units.

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I find it totally overkill and a bit ridiculous to put a Schoeps M/S set or similar on a camera. You will hear all the noises you make pulling focus or pressing buttons etc. The reason why your cheap mic sounded good to you might be because it's less sensitive, has less high frequencies and probably also less low end which will result in less rumble. If you have too much money, instead of putting two Schoeps mics on your Panasonic cam maybe you could try working with a professional sound mixer. You will be surprised of the "next level" sound you will get this way.

The sounds you will be able to use from a camera mic is usually some atmo, maybe some sounds from when you're close to a sound source. These sounds in my experience will be totally fine with any inexpensive camera mic like the Sennheiser and Rode cam mount mics. Schoeps pick up way too much for to be mounted on cams.

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22 minutes ago, Christian Spaeth said:

I find it totally overkill and a bit ridiculous to put a Schoeps M/S set or similar on a camera. You will hear all the noises you make pulling focus or pressing buttons etc. The reason why your cheap mic sounded good to you might be because it's less sensitive, has less high frequencies and probably also less low end which will result in less rumble. If you have too much money, instead of putting two Schoeps mics on your Panasonic cam maybe you could try working with a professional sound mixer. You will be surprised of the "next level" sound you will get this way.

The sounds you will be able to use from a camera mic is usually some atmo, maybe some sounds from when you're close to a sound source. These sounds in my experience will be totally fine with any inexpensive camera mic like the Sennheiser and Rode cam mount mics. Schoeps pick up way too much for to be mounted on cams.

 

+1

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21 minutes ago, Christian Spaeth said:

I find it totally overkill and a bit ridiculous to put a Schoeps M/S set or similar on a camera. You will hear all the noises you make pulling focus or pressing buttons etc. The reason why your cheap mic sounded good to you might be because it's less sensitive, has less high frequencies and probably also less low end which will result in less rumble. If you have too much money, instead of putting two Schoeps mics on your Panasonic cam maybe you could try working with a professional sound mixer. You will be surprised of the "next level" sound you will get this way.

The sounds you will be able to use from a camera mic is usually some atmo, maybe some sounds from when you're close to a sound source. These sounds in my experience will be totally fine with any inexpensive camera mic like the Sennheiser and Rode cam mount mics. Schoeps pick up way too much for to be mounted on cams.

Throw in a bit of Cinela and it costs nearly as much as the camera:

1024_leo-20-ms-fs5.jpg?PHPSESSID=qattv9c

I don't mind the idea of a camera mic rig like this - spares 2 channels of the audio recorder, better chance for an 'on board' camera department - sensitive to sound, reasonable way of getting a stereo sound image to match camera in the context of a small crew etc (where it would not otherwise happen).

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With a 4ch camera, IMMO the way to go in 2018 is a ambisonic A mic, you can post-process for eliminate noises and focus the sound to the interesting part of image

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I really appreciate your insights.

Nevertheless, without going to deep into details of the project, I decided to do it this way.

I won't put a Schoeps combo on top, but I can tell you it does not sound awful on camera automatically.

It's always nice to have an extra sound guy on bord, but sometimes it doesn't help the filming when adding to much people in sensitive situations.

I received a very nice and small cardoid/8 combo built by Kortwich and I think this comes close to what I want. Will do some tests soon.

I'm also evaluating the possibility of recording the best sync mono I can get plus a seperate stereo (preferrable X/Y) atmo where we can.

I have a Zoom H6 with the 1/2" X/Y capsules and these guys aren't bad at all. That would still mean carrying an extra bag with recorder/mic, wind protection, batteries, small tripod etc. etc.

I also have an older Olympus LS-11 with X/Y capsules, too.I think it's one of the best complete small stereo packages.

I still have 4 weeks before we're heading to the production.

Further recommendations highly appreciated!

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53 minutes ago, kavenzmann said:

plus a seperate stereo (preferrable X/Y) atmo where we can.

 

Why do you prefer  X/Y? I would consider it the most boring of all stereo techniques

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I'd prefer A/B or its siblings ORTF and Blumlein.
But they are not as easy to set up as far as I know.

I'd be happy to listen If there's a simple A/B recording solution.

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On 2/21/2018 at 11:41 AM, kavenzmann said:

Thanks for pointing that out.

 

But I've already found and read it before.

It's a quite different approach.

 

I already have a BP4029, which is considered a typical broadcast M/S mic.

But the shotgun mid does not sound very natural to my ears. And I also find it quite noisy..

Any shorter mic design should be better here - be it a cardioid or hyper cardioid.

 

I want a more flexible and more natural sounding setup.

Are you sure the noise your hearing while using the BP4029 is not your mic pre's?   Here's a sample of a raw M/S recording I did decoded to a LR file from my BP4029 at a residential lake in the morning which was recorded into a Sound Devices MixPre3

https://www.dropbox.com/s/viv9hn32glhc93h/AKG_BP4029_DECODED_MS_WIDE.wav?dl=0

 

 

 

 

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We did some sude by sides with a Sound Devices.
BP4029, MKH418 and Schoeps MK41/MK8 and.

The figure 8 of the integrated M/S microphones are noisy and the shotgun is far from optimal for a stereo atmo in my ears.

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8 hours ago, kavenzmann said:

I'd prefer A/B or its siblings ORTF and Blumlein.
But they are not as easy to set up as far as I know.

 

ORTF or A/B are very easy to set up. I was mostly just surprised that you were looking specifically for a X/Y setup, rather than just any good sounding stereo setup. Of course, it depends on how you plan on deploying it, but since you already have (or plan to have) an M/S rig on your camera, it might be worthwhile to explore a wider stereo rig. Or follow Ramallo‘s suggestion and go for an Ambisonic mic. 

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Okay.

What would be a simple A/B rig on camera?
I thought it needs a pair of cardoids placed with quite some space between them. That would also mean two sets of shock mounts and wind screens. No?

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58 minutes ago, kavenzmann said:

Okay.

What would be a simple A/B rig on camera?
I thought it needs a pair of cardoids placed with quite some space between them. That would also mean two sets of shock mounts and wind screens. No?

 

No, not on the camera. You‘ve already said you had or wanted MS on the camera. You were mentioning your Zoom H6 with an XY config on it with a small tripod as a possibility. I was offering AB or ORTF or whatever as an alternative to that, not to the on-cam mic. 

 

AB need two windscreens etc., but ORTF will fit into one basket

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Hi,

 

I have the M/S-System from Kortwich for test purposes here.

There is a "Kortwich Cardoid Pro" and a "Kortwich Acht".

http://www.filmtontechnik.de/en/products-from-kortwich/microphone/

 

The system is mounted on a INV7 MKII.

Unfortunately, these guys do not fit in any of my windshield solutions, sothat it's basicly impossible to do tests outside.

It's very windy these days.

 

The Cardoid Pro sounds very natural and noise free - off axis response seems pretty good, albeit not on Schoeps MK4/MKH40 level.

But pretty close and surprisingly good at this price point. 

 

The figure 8 is also very reasonable and they do sound very natural together.

But when I listen to the Acht alone it heavily lacks low frequencies (sounds as if I engaged a 12db high pass filter at 120Hz).

The side channel of my AT BP4029 is rather similar but with a pronounced self noise in quite environments.

 

Should I do any tests here, sothat you can listen to it?

How can I do that?

 

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4 hours ago, kavenzmann said:

Hi,

 

I have the M/S-System from Kortwich for test purposes here.

There is a "Kortwich Cardoid Pro" and a "Kortwich Acht".

http://www.filmtontechnik.de/en/products-from-kortwich/microphone/

 

The system is mounted on a INV7 MKII.

Unfortunately, these guys do not fit in any of my windshield solutions, sothat it's basicly impossible to do tests outside.

It's very windy these days.

 

The Cardoid Pro sounds very natural and noise free - off axis response seems pretty good, albeit not on Schoeps MK4/MKH40 level.

But pretty close and surprisingly good at this price point. 

 

The figure 8 is also very reasonable and they do sound very natural together.

But when I listen to the Acht alone it heavily lacks low frequencies (sounds as if I engaged a 12db high pass filter at 120Hz).

The side channel of my AT BP4029 is rather similar but with a pronounced self noise in quite environments.

 

Should I do any tests here, sothat you can listen to it?

How can I do that?

 

How's it sounding if/when you mix a wireless speaker into the centre?

 

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