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Viscount Omega

Using shotgun mic indoors

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I like the sound of the Sennheiser 416 but using it indoors I'm getting a strange sound.  You say it's from reflections off of hard surfaces returning back through the mic.

 

Not sure if this would harm the mic, but If I covered up the holes on the sides of the mic with gaffers tape would that eliminate it?

 

Anyone tried this?

 

(I know this would defeat the noise-reducing properties of the mic but that's okay if it's already quiet indoors)

 

Thanks.

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16 hours ago, Viscount Omega said:

I like the sound of the Sennheiser 416 but using it indoors I'm getting a strange sound.  You say it's from reflections off of hard surfaces returning back through the mic.

 

Not sure if this would harm the mic, but If I covered up the holes on the sides of the mic with gaffers tape would that eliminate it?

 

Anyone tried this?

 

(I know this would defeat the noise-reducing properties of the mic but that's okay if it's already quiet indoors)

 

 

More than one of your comments indicates that you don't understand how microphones work.  I recommend studying a lot more before making assumptions about their operation. 

 

For instance, your comment about "noise-reducing properties" no doubt causes many here to just shake their heads. In other words, what you say you know, you don't know.

 

Not meaning to be harsh -- just direct. 

 

Use mics the way they're designed and choose the right tool for the job. 

 

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The mic needs those slots. Here's an image that shows how the slots in a shotgun mics increase rejection of off-axis sound:

QA-01-1213-II3BB8mRRwpYH45kDD4bNduQeugaq

 

(The image is from an article that, after giving it a quick glance, seems to go off the rails).

 

SO ANYWAY, the 416 is known for picking up reflections/reverb in interiors with hard surfaces. A different mic could help more than doing anything to your 416. If you dig through the archives of this forum, you'll find LOTS of information abot which mics work well in which situations, what sort of treatments can help solve common audio problems (ie- using sound blankets / furnipads to reduce reflections), and so on.

 

For more on the whole subject of capturing audio for film/video, check out this book by one of the denizens here:

 

http://www.greatsound.info

 

00PGS4eCoverSm.jpg

 

 

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Well, maybe my writing wasn't that clear but anyway.....

 

I suppose the textbook mics for the job would be something like the MKH-40 or 50 for indoors.  

 

I own both of them too. 

 

The 40 sometimes requires me to get too close to the actor and has too much room sound. 

 

I like the 50 but it has a darker tone to me.

 

The 416 has a brighter but grittier resonance or timbre that I like.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Viscount Omega said:

The 40 sometimes requires me to get too close to the actor and has too much room sound. 

That's an incorrect statement. I know this stuff's tricky, so I am not criticizing. 

 

The closer you get to the source, the more you reduce the level of refections coming from the room ( or tone). The further from the source, the more prevalent the reflections will become. It's Physics. Remember, Sound puts the "Fun" in "Physics". 

 

reflected.gif

 

 

And, 

5bcc86f727c8a5d4e422c95ce5300695.jpg

 

Please feel free to PM or ask more questions. I have a passion for Acoustics. 

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2 hours ago, Viscount Omega said:

The 40 sometimes requires me to get too close to the actor and has too much room sound. 

 

What mean is, too close to the actor and still keeping the boom out of the shot.    

 

I mean, I can hear the actor fine with the MKH 40 from 5 feet over his head.  I just don't like the room sound.  The 50 eliminates that problem but I prefer the sound of the 416 a little better.

 

Hence, I was just wondering about covering up the slots to avoid the reflections.

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28 minutes ago, Viscount Omega said:

I was just wondering about covering up the slots to avoid the reflections

Understandable. It's a hard no. 

 

Your attempting to alter the pickup pattern of a specific design. I equate this to an adhesive stick on hood scoop on an automobile. It might look like turbo, but it's not. You have to change the engine to change performance, or pony up for custom fabrication. A  Ford mustang will never be a 4x4, and vice versa. 

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if i can get close to the talking head specialy for classic sit down interviews i dont use shotguns anymore, as distance you loose the length of the tube,  and the tube of a mkh416 is rather long, a hyper or cardioid gets the membran closer to the soundsource, all shotguns that i tried do strange things to the sound in reflective indoors, its part of their construction... i use often Gefell M310 ( more open sounding) or Sennheiser 8050 (very good directivity, i like the sound less, but nothing that can‘t be fixed by eq)

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Just buy yourself the right mic for the job! Schoeps MK41 / Sennheiser 8050 / MKH50 / DPA 4018 / etc are some popular pro mics for swinging indoors. 
While Audio Technica AT4053b / Audix SCX1HC / AKG Blueline CK93 / Oktava MK012 HC / etc are popular low budget ones to check out. 

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Hm..maybe you should try the Sanken CS-1M?

 

It is something in between the aforementioned groups, and it could be probably good enough for most uses anyway.

 

Why do you own the 40 and 50 if you do not like them?! They are very expensive microphones.

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I bought the 40 used because I got a great deal on it.  Love the sound but I find it hard to use on wider shots.

 

I bought the 50 new and like it a lot but like the 416 sound a bit more.  Maybe 60% to 40% I prefer the 416.

 

 

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Why not try it and see how it sounds? You seem intent on it, and it’s an easy thing to try without damaging anything. Give it a shot and see what you think. 

 

My guess is that you will quickly hear why so many of us are saying “hard no”, but you won’t lose anything by giving it a shot, and you might even learn something!

 

-Mike

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1 hour ago, Mobilemike said:

Why not try it and see how it sounds?

 

Yeah, I probably will test it out in the next few days.  Do an indoor A/B test on an actor with and without the slots covered up. 

 

I hear the vehemence against it--and if it sounds really awful I'll just stick with the 50.

 

I was just asking on this thread if anyone had tried it.

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If you really like the sound of the 416, maybe try the 8060. It sounds similar to me and the more “gentle” off axis coloration makes It sound a little nicer indoors.

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What I don’t understand is, why you want to alter the mic you profess to like so much? Don’t you think it’ll change the sound? 

 

When you do tape up your mic, consider two things: where is the capsule and what will happen to the polar pattern. Please let us know how it went

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9 hours ago, Viscount Omega said:

The 50 eliminates that problem but I prefer the sound of the 416 a little better.

 

Why I use Schoeps. Same polar pattern, different timbre. I don’t think the Sennheiser mkhxx series pairs well sonically with the mkh416. 

 

That said, remember that the final product will be EQd to the point where whatever the best source is, it will be consistent with the rest of the project. So in the end, get the best source and leave the little details to post, because they’re going to change it all anyways, for the good or the bad. 

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Many years ago I worked with a mixer who was of an experimental frame of mind. Somewhere he got a plastic parabolic reflector, about eight inches in diameter, pushed a 416 through the hole in the centre and focused it by eye to a point behind the slots to see what would happen, the theory being that it would reflect the sound waves back into the slot in front of the capsule. Well, THAT didn't work!

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what I always wondered is what would happen if you designed a zeppelin of acoustic fully absorbent, non-reflective material, opened the front and try to dampen the sounds from the side (indoors or outdoors).

 

obviously it doesn't work or otherwise somebody would have built it, but I still wonder why it wouldn't

(the only reason I can come up with is that it would have to be rather big and heavy and fully sound absorbing material is hard/impossible to find)

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53 minutes ago, chrismedr said:

what I always wondered is what would happen if you designed a zeppelin of acoustic fully absorbent, non-reflective material, opened the front and try to dampen the sounds from the side (indoors or outdoors).

 

obviously it doesn't work or otherwise somebody would have built it, but I still wonder why it wouldn't

(the only reason I can come up with is that it would have to be rather big and heavy and fully sound absorbing material is hard/impossible to find)

Hi Chris,

It would work if the zeppelin were several times larger than the wavelength of the lowest frequency you wanted to block. If 100 Hz were your cutoff, the diameter would have to be greater than 40 feet.  The more practical solution is what the mic designers do right now with diaphragms somewhat open on both sides, tuned chambers and interference tubes.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher 

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48 minutes ago, LarryF said:

It would work if the zeppelin were several times larger than the wavelength of the lowest frequency you wanted to block. If 100 Hz were your cutoff, the diameter would have to be greater than 40 feet. 

 

I see, that makes sense. Pity, would be a fun experiment to boom with a 40ft zep though : )

 

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Quote

 I can hear the actor fine with the MKH 40 from 5 feet over his head.  I just don't like the room sound.

I would expect some room sound with just about any mic at 5 feet from the source.

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On 9/18/2019 at 3:17 PM, Viscount Omega said:

Not sure if this would harm the mic, but If I covered up the holes on the sides of the mic with gaffers tape would that eliminate it?

 

if you cover over the holes, then basically you have an omni mic at the end of a tube. If you like the way things sound coming through a tube then that's pretty cool. I have a feeling you don't. ;-)

 

I suspect the sound you don't like from the 416 is because you're not hitting your target square-on. This is the problem with shotgun mics (as opposed to hyper-cardiods). If you're slightly off then you end up putting a table or the floor or a wall in the mic's sweet spot, instead of your desired dialog.

 

Also keep in mind that interference-tube microphones ("shotgun" mics) have strange frequency responses off-axis. Look at the polar patters for the typical shotgun and they resemble EKG readings. This is another reason people prefer super-cardiods (such as the ubiquitous Schoeps MK41) for controlled dialog situations instead of a shotgun: the off-axis response is smoother and more natural sounding, while still having a good amount of directional characteristics. Miss your target with a super-cardiod and you're not too bad off. Miss it with a shotgun and you start to get strange colors and coffee-cup frequencies.

 

I would say the MKH 40 has too wide a pattern for me to want to attempt to do film dialog with it, and it would definitely not have any immediacy at 5 feet. I've tried the MK 8050 and while it wasn't bad it did not turn out to be the cost-effective Schoeps substitute I'd hoped for.

 

I've done boom work on scripted films with shotgun mics, and while it's worked out I would not recommend it. Shotguns are for noisy situations or times when you can't get as close to (or perhaps anywhere near) your subject as you'd like.

 

 

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I appreciate all the comments and no, I have not tried to test out my theory.  You all have talked me out of it.

 

Perhaps the sound I'm looking for has not been made by Sennheiser yet?

 

What I want is the sound of the 416 mic--upper-mid-boost, bright, gritty, punchy, consonant-pounding, movie/film sound and using it indoors. 

 

Eliminate the interference tube?

 

I'm not looking for a smooth, "natural" sound like Schoeps at all, btw.

 

This would stand out.

 

Unorthodox?  Yeah, I know.

 

 

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