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mkh 8020 wind issue


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Hi, first post here, after checking in regularly for lots of invaluable advice on field kit.

 

I was hoping someone could shed light on an issue I've encountered with my recently purchased pair of MKH8020s. Last week was my first field test with them, and on a not-so-windy day, I took them with me on a trip to the Thames Estuary here in London to do some spaced pair recordings. As wind appeared light, I had them shockmounted with Rycote Super Softies, but was really surprised by the excessive amount of wind noise present on the recordings.

At first, I though it was a disappointing performance of the softies,but experiments with other mics, and later at home with the senny's confirmed that in fact, the connection between XLR module and cable was the culprit.

Basically the connection almost acts as a second capsule, which means without anything other than a full blimp/ zeppelin, my 8020s cannot be used outdoors. Taping the connection helps, but seems a rather strange thing to have to do to a £1000 microphone.

 

After contacting Sennheiser, it seems this may not be a fault but rather a design issue, but it would be great to hear any experiences from users here because as much as I love the sound of my 8020s, this issue makes them less than practical in the field, to say the least. Any thoughts would be amazing, at a bit of a loss here Merijn

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Pretty much no condensor mics can be used outdoors without a full zep, in my experience.  As you heard, slight wind puffs that seem inconsequential to people can really push a mic diaphragm around, and the effect is audible even with a steep high pass filter in.   Those mics need a decent sized zepplin plus "wind rat" covers to get much of anything clean recorded. 

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Thanks, agreed, the thing though is that it's not the diaphragm, but the xlr cable/ module that  picks up wind. Which means that even with a BBG, there would still be wind noise being picked up even though the mic capsule is not exposed. I don't have this issue with my other SDCs

 

I've attached the sound of a video I sent to Sennheiser to show the issue

senn wind noise.m4a

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Hi Merijn,

 

welcome to JWS. I’ve had my stereo pair of MKH 8040 cardioids since pretty much they were introduced, 2007 or 2008. I use them with softies, homemade softies, light waves and BBGs but always cover the back end with a short cut strip of tubular foam to catch the microphony wind noise when doing so. Find some cheap (pound shop) bicycle handlebar foam strips and cut them to just cover the remaining body length and a tad more over the XLR ... it’s the body of the MXS which is sensitive so you don’t have to cover the entire XLR. I prefer using a slightly softer handlebar foam than the more rigid but I doubt it actually makes any difference, it’s just covering the MXS xlr mic shell that’s important.

 

Depending on how you’re using clips /suspensions it’s fairly easy to cut slits through handlebar foam to accommodate them without compromising where wind might hit: if using the mic clips which come with 8020 etc series just cut a slit 3cm at the bottom where the clip goes and all is covered fine. If using suspensions or whatever have a play about but I’ve never not been able to sort it out. If using supersofties I would be personally tempted to pull a nylon short stocking over the whole apparatus just as a final thing but again, that’s just me- I wouldn’t say it’s necessary.

 

Really, in more than ten years this has solved the microphony noise problem whenever wind has been light enough to not need a full contained zeppelin- and possibly like you when wind is not an issue at all I am happy to use my Bruel and Kjaer omnis outside with absolutely no wind protection at all ... but this doesn’t happen all that often! In comparison, I would think that my 8040 body shells are more sensitive to wind/touch etc than my MKH40 but not even as much as my Schoeps which I couldn’t imagine using without suspension or cover.

 

Hope this helps (and sets your mind at rest when you get a chance to find an open shop), best,

 

Jez

 

 

 

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Hi Jez, thanks, that is super helpful, and really does set my mind at rest. 

 

Really good to know I'm not crazy, but also. that it is common and easily solvable., and not unique to the senny's 8000s, btw love the handlebar foam hack!

 

And thanks for welcome, glad to be here

 

Merijn

 

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As an alternate to the immediate xlr connection, have you investigated using Sennheiser MZL cables?  The 80xx capsule screws onto the MZL connector end of the cable and the the xlr half screws onto the remote end of the cable.  Rycote even makes a ConnBox support, and blimps, with built-in MZL connector(s).    Here's a B&H link - sennheiser mzl | B&H Photo Video.

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Along with what others have said, I'll state it this way:


There are two main types of introduced noise that must be prevented:  Wind noise from air gusts hitting the capsule, and mechanical noise from things such as cable noise, handling noise, wind hitting the connector, etc. This is why both proper suspensions and proper wind protection are critical for excellent sound.

 

Results with other SDCs can be misleading and is somewhat of an apples and oranges comparison. How well mechanically decoupled the capsule is from the body of a mic comes into play as well as the fact that the Sennheiser 8020 has an extended low frequency response which is great for classical music but not so great with either of the noise types mentioned above. Many SDCs do not have the extended lows that the 8020 does.

 

With proper suspensions and proper wind protection you’ll be a happy camper.

 

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Thanks for suggestions everyone, and I think it is indeed a design ramification, rather than a flaw. Did think about the remote cable as a solution, food for thought!

 

 

 

 

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FYI:

I actualy ordered a custom MZL (Sennheiser mic module) to Binder (conbox) cable for my MKH8060 to be even shorter for a very small basket solution (Rycote WS 1).

It will take some time to be made though.

PM me, if you want some details.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just done a test on my new  8020's by  blowing on them with the foam heads on ( which are pretty effective) and it's the XLR connectors letting in air from the cable entry, the band between the tail and body and the latch. Wrapping them with electrical tape seems to be the simplest solution. I've found this on other mics as well but not as bad as this so maybe it's because the body is so short? Will test them outdoors later today and report back.  

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It's not unusual to have the mic bodies affected by wind, as a number of posters have stated.  The MHK 30,40,50 series all have a significant wind whistle through the side low roll off and pad switches.  All my mic switches have a little piece of fuzzy side velcro covering them to act as little wind barriers in  a pinch, and if I'm doing anything serious outside, the mic is is a full jammer.  Maybe the fuzzy velcro would work better than tape on the xlr connector of the 8020?

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin 

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Tested outdoors in wind ( plenty at the moment) and no issues when sealed with electrical tape from XLR -Mic joint to cable entry on the XLR tail. It's a bit messy but  I'm just using them in an A-B spaced pair so have them permanently on a Y splitter 5pin to 2x 3pin short cable. As expected from omnis they have  good 'wind performance' with Rycote Softies or the smaller Movo copies. In high wind I put on the fur covers as well but it kills the HF a bit. The 8020's have huge LF sensitivity and I'm using the 120hz low cut filter on my Mixpre - 6 to get a realistic tonal balance.  Amazingly sensitive and very low noise makes them much more usable in quiet situations than my DPA 4060's which although comparable in pure sound quality/fidelity are just too noisy for this kind of work to be confident of using.

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Again.

A Sennheiser MZL adapter cable to whatever you like (XLR, MiniXLR, TA3...) can be used instead of the MZX XLR module.

It's smaller, lighter and doesn't have any wind issues.

 

I love the 80xx series even more since I have those adapter cables.

 

It even makes my 8060 fit nicely into a Rycote WS1!

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7 hours ago, Arcminute said:

...  Amazingly sensitive and very low noise makes them much more usable in quiet situations than my DPA 4060's which although comparable in pure sound quality/fidelity are just too noisy for this kind of work to be confident of using.

Hey - all useful information, thanks... but if you don't mind, curious where & what you are recording that the DPA 4060s are too noisy for? Thx -

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3 hours ago, petersont said:

Hey - all useful information, thanks... but if you don't mind, curious where & what you are recording that the DPA 4060s are too noisy for? Thx -

Quiet outdoor natural ambiences.

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Used them in some pretty strong wind yesterday with the Super softie covers and fur and they performed very well but needed more tape on the cable to XLR tail seal to stop a gap opening up when the cable exist at an angle and not straight. Very difficult to do on a taper as the tape get creased and a hole opens up with use. Amazing how such a tiny air leak can cause so much noise. Need to find a more elegant solution to this which will likley mean unsoldering the plugs and putting some heatshrink over the joint.

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1 hour ago, kavenzmann said:

Why not try the MZL cables instead of the XLR module?

 

Mainly because it's expensive and DIY is cheap but also because I want some solid body sticking out of the softie to mount the mics on a bar ( still work in progress as I haven't decided on the exact spacing for AB)

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