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Altenative for MKH 418S Sennheiser


Motune
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Hey everybody,

 

on my last shoot my MKH 418S Sennheiser started to give me trouble. The 418 has its own noise anyway, but after a day on the ocean it felt like I imported the ocean to the land. The noise of the mic itself was unbearable. I will send the 418 to sennheiser to see if they can fix it.

 

But maybe it´s time to look for alternatives. I´m mainly working on documentaries, a lot of times on remote places, with harsh conditions. I´m looking for a system, that is stable and that can be used for scenic situations, interviews and basic ambience at the same time. I know its a hard task;-)

 

Any recommendations?

 

Thanks

 

Moritz

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Honestly I think there isn't anything more rugged than the 418S.

Audio Technica BP 4029, Sanken CSS 5 come to mind as competitors.

416 with Emesser?

 

That Pearl surely is great for backgrounds, music, etc, but I would not use it as a general all-terrain dialog mic.

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<<<used for scenic situations, interviews and basic ambience at the same time>>>>

 

 

assuming you want to use ONE mic to do all of this. so it has to be an M-S mic. 

it also has to have the capacity of a shotgun to isolate for specific source - interview in noisy space for example

in other times it has to provide a possible stereo track of ambience/atmosphere. 

 

If i have read your requirements correctly, you could either continue with your MKH418S (after repairs) or get a Schoeps shotgun - CMIT and a M-S combo or a Sennheiser 416-MKH30 combo (probably most capable of handling humidity and other bad conditions as i have read from peoples' experiences with MKH mics)

 

-vin

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Thanks everybody for your responses

 

Yes Vin, I am looking for ONE Mic or a combined system, that can be used in one windshield system. 

I will see what Sennheiser will say. But even before the self noise was quite present in quieter ambiences. What are your experiences with the CMIT? Sounds like a great mic. 

 

Matthew thanks for the offer. I will see if I can get a hold of a CSS5 and hear what it sounds like. 

 

I tried the Audio Technica BP 4029 but couldn´t hear a difference to the 418s regarding self noise. 

 

After the crash of the 418 I used a 416 as a backup and added for ambiences a Sennheiser MKH 60 in 90° angle. Would you say, thats even a better option for ambience then the MS? I´m not talking about an ambience for a room or location after a dialog but an ambience of an atmospheric scene

 

Thanks

 

Moritz

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Is anyone able to compare the CSS-5 to Sanken's CMS-10? I have the 416 with emesser which has produced wonderful recordings when paired with the MixpreD or 744T, though it requires a blimp, and for when mounted on a camera, it sure does increase top heaviness and camera height. I wonder if the CMS-10 could be an alternative for the MKH-418s. If I could ask, would you prefer the CMS-10 or the CSS-5 as an on camera mic, and why or why not? 

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But even before the self noise was quite present in quieter ambiences. What are your experiences with the CMIT? Sounds like a great mic.

Moritz

The CMIT does sound like a great mic, and I love it dearly, but self-noise is quite apparent here as well. That was always one aspect that annoyed me with this mic. You will probably have to look at a different mic if you are concerned about self noise.

I think the 418 is a good choice in your situation, and if you are considering the two mic solution, getting two MKH60 would be very good, too, or two KMR81 or two CMIT...

BTW, large diaphragm condenser mics tend to be much quieter than SDCs...

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+1 re: CMIT = quiet.

 

If you're getting self noise with your CMIT you've got an issue needs sorting.

Agreed, if we are talking about dialogue on films but in a past life on docs I used to find myself frequently in African savannah at dawn cranking up the gain to record the waking wildlife. You become very aware of mic self noise (I started out with some AKGs that were completely unsuitable), so much so that I bought MKH 30 / 50 / 60 / 70 when they first came out in the late 80s - 25 years ago - as they were without doubt some of the quietest and most robust mics I had ever heard and although I have moved on, they served me well. I owned a 418S for a few years and it had its uses but it was never as quiet as the rest of the MKH range and you had to keep the side element powered up or the mid would become more noisy - annoying if you were short of inputs. I cannot think of a more convenient all in one mic than the 418S and once repaired I would certainly keep it as a spare, but a 30/60 is an ultra quiet directional solution, and being aluminium bodied mics (unlike the 418 in brass) is still quite lightweight and with a little care ill fit in a Rycote WS4. 

 

Tim

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If you're getting self noise with your CMIT you've got an issue needs sorting.>

and constantin, you've got schoeps in your backyard :))

yeah, I know, although it would still take them a few weeks to turn around. Anyway, I don't think it's a problem with my mic. I've got two of them, bought at very different times and both have this. It's not an issue anyway, as it's only apparent on very quiet scenes and it's a kind of mid-range hiss, maybe at 8-12 kHz. But it's there. When I switch to the CMK641 combo, it's not there.

A Schoeps engineer did confirm this to me, too.

And by comparison the MKH60 is a bit quieter, but it sounds like a 60, not like a Schoeps

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From the Schoeps site, CMIT is:
 

  • suitable for music recording as well as dialogue

The issue that needs sorting is using a mic for a purpose for which it is not intended and the noisy consequence of such use. Not sure I would characterize that as "self noise". Don't want folks to read this thread and imagine it less-than as a result.

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From the Schoeps site, CMIT is:

 

  • suitable for music recording as well as dialogue

The issue that needs sorting is using a mic for a purpose for which it is not intended and the noisy consequence of such use. Not sure I would characterize that as "self noise". Don't want folks to read this thread and imagine it less-than as a result.

 

I think using a CMIT to record ambiances on a doc shoot is not exactly the unintended use of this mic, even though Schoeps may not expressly advertise it as such. Even if it is not the intended use, it is still possible to compare different mics in various situations. And to this extent I agree with the assessment that the CMIT is very suitable and sounds very nice on dialogue and music, as long as neither are really really quiet.

 

Just to find out if what I thought about the CMIT was true, I made a quick test recording, with both my CMITs, a CMK641, an MKH60 and a KMR81i. I looked at their spectral graphs and it turns out that the hiss is really there, although it's higher than I thought, it's from around 15kHz and above. It's clearly visible and it's also clearly visible that on the Schoeps CMK641 combo it's not there.

BTW, the Neumann KMR81i is a lot quieter here than the Schoeps.

I'd just like to point out that I love the CMIT, I use it almost every day and it's a great mic. Just not in every situation. The "hiss" is inaudible in many instances and usually not a problem. In all cases the sound of the mic is still nicer than that of most others.

 

Here are the two screen shots:

Schoeps CMIT-5U

 
Schoeps CMK641

 
I have the screen shots of the other two mics as well, if anyone is interested.

 

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are you sure this is not turning out an 'apples to oranges' comparison?

you are comparing an interference tube microphone with a hypercardiod small diaphragm microphone.

just saying...

-vin

No I know that. And I'm not making a claim that one is better than the other. I'm just using the 641 to demonstrate that there is noise coming out of the CMIT. I could (should?) have uploaded the KMR81 graph, too, because it's much quieter than the CMIT, too, and it's an interference tube
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I'd say that even though a CMIT sounds good on most interiors, as opposed to most other interference tube mics, for quiet interior scenes my mic of choice would still rather be a mk41 or other hyper. For exterior use, which interference tubes are designed for (mind you, in order to reject unwanted noise!!!) you won't be able to hear any hiss on the CMIT. So all in all one could argue that using interference tubes on scenes without unwanted noise is like shooting birds with cannons.

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