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Oktava MK012 with modified electronic vs. Audix SCX1-HC vs. Autdio Technica AT 4053b for booming indoor dialogue


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Hi Guys,

 

when I look at he webpage http://www.rauschenbergstudio.com/Shop/shop_content.php?coID=11

and compare the sound-examples from the MK 012 UPdated Electronics with the KM 184 ant the Gefell M300

it seems that the modified Oktava - not the Mic with the stock electronic - can be in a similar class like the Audix and the Audio Technica. Is it so or is it some steps undermatched like the Mic with the stock electronic ?

 

I know the Oktava Problem wit the Handling-Noise, that can be cure with a good shokmount and windshield.

 

I'am looking for a Microphone in ordwer to use on a boompole for inddor dialogue addiotional to my Sennheiser MKH 416.

 

My Question: Is a Oktava MK 012 with modified electronic a real option, or its better, to buy a Audix or Audio Technica ?

 

How is the Quality of the Oktava MK 012 Hypercardoid capsule against the Audix and Audio Technica?

 

I know the Standards MKH 50 and Shoeps Hypercardoid Combo, but its for me to expensive.

 

Thanks a Lot!

 

HoJ

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I have used all 3 and I would say none of them. Get a used Schoeps. My opinion: Oktava sounds nice, but is very difficult on a pole (handing and wind noise). Audix can sound nice on certain voices but has poor reach. The Audio Technica has poor reach and a very boring sound. Just my opinion but if you're going to spend 600-800 on a mic you'll outgrow (and you will outgrow any of them), might as well spend 900-100 and get something you'll grow into.

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Audix.

 

If it had the reach it could have been a 999$ mic.

Now, for - usually - 499$ is the best low cost. Tough as nails as well (AT is well build also to be fair. The Oktava isn't).

 

Can be found used for very cheap sometimes.

 

 " know the Oktava Problem wit the Handling-Noise, that can be cure with a good shokmount and windshield." - 

 

How do you know that? I certainly do not agree, and I own the mic and few Rycote solutions for it.

 

This Oktava myth has gone too far I guess. It is not a good film and video production tool, and the worst part is that young and inexperienced people get them, which is even worst!

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1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

and the worst part is that young and inexperienced people get them, which is even worst!

 

This is precisely the point. Non audio people on forums like dvxuser or the like create myths because in their inexperienced hands, the budget tools that they try don’t magically do the work for them. The lesson they should be learning is to not buy cheap gear and just hire someone who has the gear and knows what they’re doing. But instead they persist in trying one form of snake oil after another, always thinking that some magic bullet is going to get them what only someone with experience will. 

 

In regards to the OPs question, I like Oktava mics very much, but I haven’t found their modded versions all that great in the end. And like it was pointed out, you’ll outgrow the mic if you are serious (and if you aren’t serious and ever decide to sell it, you’ll never get your money back). Keep your eye out for a used mkh50. If you decide to leave the business you can get what you paid for it, and it’s great mic that won’t disappoint. 

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  I have a matched pair of Oktava 012s from the Sound Room, which sound wonderful. The Sound Room hand picks and tests the best ones.The Sound Room does not mod the mics and should not be confused with the Dorsey type mods from Bill S and Mike J. which is worthwhile IMO, but they still have a very low sensitivity (10mV), and other inherent issues. Not good for inexperienced users with or w/o the mod. I use mine for drum overheads or acoustic guitars and such in the studio. I can't recall the last time I used one for dialog, since I have better options.

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+1 for what Philip says.  I spent a lot of money on boom mics in the course of my career and among the ones I came to reject over 30 years were some very well regarded choices.  I didn't reject them because they were bad, or didn't serve their purpose.  I just found ones that I liked the sound of better.

 

The thing about buying expensive, well regarded mics is that when you decide you like something better, you can get your money back on the ones you don't love any more.  Always buy the absolute best microphone you can afford; the good ones don't lose their value.  Cheap mics will never satisfy.

 

D.

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15 hours ago, tourtelot said:

 

...The thing about buying expensive, well regarded mics is that when you decide you like something better, you can get your money back on the ones you don't love any more.  Always buy the absolute best microphone you can afford; the good ones don't lose their value.....

Yes and no. While I see your point, it may hold true for % not actual $ -which is what matters to many: 

In the case of the Oktava Movie Set and the MKH50, the price is 185€ and 1545€ respectively (at Thomann.de). even if you can resell the used Oktava at only 40% of its new price you will still be out far less than if you manage to resell the MKH50 at 80% of new price (which would be the absolute max I would personally pay for a mint product without warranty).

If you end up disliking the Oktava and buy the MKH50 you'd loose 111€ - compared to going for the MKH50 directly.

If you go directly for the MKH50 and dislike it, you'd loose 309€

The dynamics on the second hand market is different, of course. However, it requires that you are able to comfortably navigate it - otherwise it may be very costly for you.

Edited by Niels
Typo
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I guess I'll be blunt here.  Why would any professional buy a piece of gear that was the MOST IMPORTANT link in their recording chain and cheap out?

 

Just a question.

 

And...  Why would you buy a Sennheiser MKH50 new and lose 300EU?  I didn't say you should buy new and sell used.  I am pretty certain I could get ALL my money paid back on all my first tier mics.  Or really close even if I was in a hurry to sell.

 

D.

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On 5/26/2019 at 9:42 AM, Niels said:

In the case of the Oktava Movie Set and the MKH50, the price is 185€ and 1545€ respectively (at Thomann.de). even if you can resell the used Oktava at only 40% of its new price you will still be out far less than if you manage to resell the MKH50 at 80% of new price (which would be the absolute max I would personally pay for a mint product without warranty).

 

That's totally worth considering. But if you buy a used MKH50 you can probably sell it for 95-percent to 105-percent of what you paid. 

 

For me, an advantage of my Schoeps mics is they cover up my quite-good-but-less-than-perfect booming. The reach, off-axis response and such smooth things out; especially helpful when talent goes rogue or on a hard documentary when you don't know exactly what will happen next.

 

So when you try some of these mics, think if your technique can make up for the inexpensive mics' shortcomings.

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6 hours ago, Jim Feeley said:

For me, an advantage of my Schoeps mics is they cover up my quite-good-but-less-than-perfect booming. The reach, off-axis response and such smooth things out; especially helpful when talent goes rogue or on a hard documentary when you don't know exactly what will happen next.

 

Jim, couldn't not come in on such a lovely reflection of the strive! I do in fact love every instance when I see a schoeps makes its way into the frame in early Hill Street Blues  - not because it is a fault but because the sound was great, the picture was great, and the storytelling was uninterrupted. Back then the public just witnessed perfection.

 

J

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I own a pair of Joly modded Oktavas, DPAs, Neumanns, and have used Sennheiser mics extensively. No experience with Audix or Audio Technica. 

 

All great sounding mics. I will say that a lot of the so called “issues” people claim with MK012s I have never had issues with. No RF problems ever, even when connected to wireless plug on. Handling noise and wind can be solved with a good shock mount and wind protection, and quality poor. If you use budget accessories you’ll get budget results. Shock mounts and wind protection isn’t a good place to cheep out. 

 

The Joly modded Oktavas sounds night and day better then unmodded MK012s. That being said my modded ones hold their own with mics several times their pice, like DPAs and Neumanns, and personality like them better then most sennheiser mics I’ve used. The noise floor is surprisingly low on them as well. 

 

Ultimately mics are not a one size fits all for everyone’s voice. The same mic that sounds full, big, and smooth on one person’s voice may sound harsh and thin on another person. Choose based on the situation. 

 

Are there better mics? Absolutely! Are they bad mics? Absolutely not, they don’t have the hype that top tier brands but that doesn’t make them bad mics. With top tier brands like Schoeps, DPA, Neumann, etc a lot of what you are paying for is build quality (longevity) and consistency of all of their mics performing under the most demanding circumstances. 

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  • 1 year later...

I've been renting or sharing my indoor options for far too long, but I wouldn't consider a cheap option as a place-saver for a Schoeps. Not even with the mods that I'm seeing. The advice on a used schoeps or the MKH-50 seem like the most responsible directions to take this purchase.

I'm inclined towards the MKH-50 as the intermediate career move, despite preferring the uniformity and the end results of the schoeps. Here's my reasoning:

By the time I want the Schoeps, I'm going to want a matched pair. There are so many opportunities for double-boom, and it's a remarkable instrument mic. Some coverage simply merits contrasting or balancing placement.

 

Meanwhile, I could be accommodating a lot of independent projects and broadcast singles very respectably with the MKH-50. But why that over a used Schoeps, aside from the price? Well, the MKH-50 could easily have a second life with the camera department. Whereas a used schoeps doesn't have that same repurposing. The MKH-50  makes for the best on-board mic I can think of. I don't feel odd handing it over. And between you and me, it's imaging is so persuasive for roving B-cam, as well as the scratch alike, that I've observed DPs choosing their frame based on its reinforcement. That's a blessing and a curse for them, really, as they may be subconsciously setting up their frame and movement to adhere to the sound perspective of the MKH-50, if they themselves are not conscious of the fact that they are doing that, or are not conscious of other artistic choices. The MKH-50 can be truly that informative of the shot.

 

By the time I can make the decision to buy a Schoeps, I'd want to leap-frog that technology and go for the 4017B, or something to that effect. You are welcome to steer me on the best configuration; I'm winging my answer. Did I get those pre-amps correct? The DPAs have remarkable off axis response. Whereas the 641 has some frequency bias. The sound you expect starts to pull apart. The dpa technology sounds more like someone balancing the fader. A newspaper read in front of father's line on The Queens Gambit (and I just use this example to set the scene) sounds like a separate audio asset. Lobe and off-axis coverage just sounds like its mixed in relation to the dialog, and interpreted accordingly. And while the 641 is an industry standard, I find that standard actually to be ever slightly too clinical for my taste. It's taking my not-technically-favorite sound over other admittedly more colorful choices in order to prioritize conformity and uniformity. There can be a slight brittleness I hear, a stodginess, that comes from opening up those mids and highs.

 

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7 hours ago, James Louis said:

And between you and me, it's imaging is so persuasive for roving B-cam, as well as the scratch alike, that I've observed DPs choosing their frame based on its reinforcement.

 

you must work on weird sets ;)

 

7 hours ago, James Louis said:

By the time I can make the decision to buy a Schoeps, I'd want to leap-frog that technology and go for the 4017B, or something to that effect. You are welcome to steer me on the best configuration; I'm winging my answer. Did I get those pre-amps correct? The DPAs have remarkable off axis response. Whereas the 641 has some frequency bias. The sound you expect starts to pull apart. The dpa technology sounds more like someone balancing the fader. A newspaper read in front of father's line on The Queens Gambit (and I just use this example to set the scene) sounds like a separate audio asset. Lobe and off-axis coverage just sounds like its mixed in relation to the dialog, and interpreted accordingly. And while the 641 is an industry standard, I find that standard actually to be ever slightly too clinical for my taste. It's taking my not-technically-favorite sound over other admittedly more colorful choices in order to prioritize conformity and uniformity. There can be a slight brittleness I hear, a stodginess, that comes from opening up those mids and highs.

 

seems to me that you have a pretty clear idea of what you're looking for.

sennheiser, schoeps, DPA are all excellent choices, so just go with whatever makes you happy (important aspect in life)

 

 

 

 

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On 11/15/2020 at 7:12 PM, chrismedr said:

you must work on weird sets

HA! No, I'm the weird one. And trying to find the words which won't over-state my claim. If anything, I think the DPs get less "weird", ie. more conservative with their shot choices, if they are monitoring through headphones. In other words, these are terrific on-board mics for following the action. So much so that a camera op can use them as feedback for coverage and blocking. The caveat being that I wonder if certain shooters may be constraining their creative decisions within the frame.

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