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8050/8040 for reality/doco work?


James Arnold
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Is anyone out in the sound world using either of the Senny 'minis' for reality or run 'n' gun doco stuff?

I'm back on another reality show soon and looking for something to complement my trusty 416 that is easier on the ear indoors and easier on the arms everywhere!

Had a brief try of a Schoeps but it lacked 'suck' and was ludicrously bass responsive. In fairness the latter might be down to poor choice of mount and lack of the LF cut module.

If you are using either of the 80 range, how are you suspending them? Using the LF cut add on?

Or is one of the short shotguns a better alternative?

Many thanks!

James

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I did a feature length doc with the MKH8050 and really appreciated it's footprint and light weight. get a good shockmount though at that mic has incredible bass response. When using it on a boom pole, you'll definitely need a roll-off (HPF) but I don't suggest the Sennheiser screw-on version that is presently on the market. It only offers (from memory here, my apologies if I'm wrong) like 3dB/octave at 18hz or 180hz. Not useful. Sennhheiser may eventually come out with a roll-off for boom use but in the meantime, I found the 18dB/80hz roll-off on the 744T worked nicely and the HPF in the Fusion/Deva has worked fine for me with a variety of boom operators. The Nomad HPF (in the hardware domain) starts at 30hz/12dB and is adjustable up to 130hz (dB/octave unknown) so I expect it can tame the low end of the MKH8050 as well.

Most importantly is the shockmount. My favorite is the Rycote Invision 5 or the Invision 7 with the clips rearranged. Be sure to tuck the cable under the hook/loop plastic tab near the base of the mount to quell unwanted cable and handling noise.

I have had reality/doco mixers express that the mic was unboomable do to it's beefy low-end, but I don't find it to be the case. It's reach is slightly less than an MKH50 with almost identical sound (save the extra-beefy low-end of the 8050) and I find it to be a wonderful compromise for doco work. The lower weight and smaller profile can make all the difference. Of course, if you really need to reach due to a wider frame, there's no replacement for a proper shotgun. The 8060 matches nicely and could even share the same power amp (just unscrew capsules and put on hard grey invision clips) if $$ are really tight. Excellent mics.

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I haven't used them, but I recall some comments regarding low freq handling noise issues.

I think my Schoeps has lots of suck! I use it indoors and out when necessary and I am always happy. I use the Rycote Invision mount and it is great (after some tweaking)

Thanks Jason.

I recall the handling noise comments, but I'm curious as to if anyone has fixed these enough to use them outside of movie and commercials work. I could simply go for an MKH50, but I'd like the weight reduction if possible. Certainly with the Schoeps I borrowed the handling was an issue - impossible without the Ambient Floater that was supplied with it - but it wasn't using the new Lyres. In suck terms it had nothing on a '50, though I think the model was the very cardiod of the Schoeps, so not perhaps the best choice for running about with.

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I did a feature length doc with the MKH8050 and really appreciated it's footprint and light weight. get a good shockmount though at that mic has incredible bass response. When using it on a boom pole, you'll definitely need a roll-off (HPF) but I don't suggest the Sennheiser screw-on version that is presently on the market. It only offers (from memory here, my apologies if I'm wrong) like 3dB/octave at 18hz or 180hz. Not useful. Sennhheiser may eventually come out with a roll-off for boom use but in the meantime, I found the 18dB/80hz roll-off on the 744T worked nicely and the HPF in the Fusion/Deva has worked fine for me with a variety of boom operators. The Nomad HPF (in the hardware domain) starts at 30hz/12dB and is adjustable up to 130hz (dB/octave unknown) so I expect it can tame the low end of the MKH8050 as well.

Most importantly is the shockmount. My favorite is the Rycote Invision 5 or the Invision 7 with the clips rearranged. Be sure to tuck the cable under the hook/loop plastic tab near the base of the mount to quell unwanted cable and handling noise.

I have had reality/doco mixers express that the mic was unboomable do to it's beefy low-end, but I don't find it to be the case. It's reach is slightly less than an MKH50 with almost identical sound (save the extra-beefy low-end of the 8050) and I find it to be a wonderful compromise for doco work. The lower weight and smaller profile can make all the difference. Of course, if you really need to reach due to a wider frame, there's no replacement for a proper shotgun. The 8060 matches nicely and could even share the same power amp (just unscrew capsules and put on hard grey invision clips) if $$ are really tight. Excellent mics.

Brilliant Robert - just the kind of stuff I need to hear. The slight lack of reach is interesting. Its a shame the LF plug on is worthless. I suspect for this job I'll be teaming it with either a 788 or a 552 so hopefully roll off would work at the mixer end. Normally I run an SQN though which only offers flat response, -6db, or -16db @ 50hz - fine for most stuff, but inadequate for the Schoeps and I suspect the 8050.

Well be running about a lot so delicate booming might be out. I'm not sure if that makes the bottom end problematic.

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The 8000 series Sennhesier mics have a very robust low end --- if you had problems with a Schoeps you will have the same problem or worse with the Sennhesier. The problem is not with the microphone, it is with your choice of shockmount and your input --- if the input does not have proper high pass filter you will have trouble with any condenser mic with extended low end response.

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I found the 18dB/80hz roll-off on the 744T worked nicely and the HPF in the Fusion/Deva has worked fine for me with a variety of boom operators.

Have an 8060 myself and this is the exact setup I use going into my 744. Or on the 552 I have the HPF at the initial 80hz position, or slightly further at about 9 o'clock. Using a Rycote Lyre mount.

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The 8050 is a challenging mic to wield. The handling noise is significantly greater than the typical shotgun with built in filters. The filters on my preamps don't eliminate handling noise 100% (or whatever percent is typical with other mics). With the Invisions, it helps keep the noise to a minimum, but it is still there. I'm happy with the sound and low noise of the mic, and especially its compactness and lightweight. I've used in in rough docu situations, would probably use it again, but just requires a bit of extra care. I don't know if I would hand this off to a novice boom op, though, or someone who has the expectation of working with more traditional mics, but for myself I love it.

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I've been using my 8050 for a few months now, with mixed reviews. It was almost unusable on a boom, before I got the low cut module. Now it's a lot better. Althoug I find it isn't as robust at blocking RF interference as my MKH-50 is (I get some slight buzzing from practicles on set) But as far as weight and compactness on the end of the boom is concerned, it's pretty unbeatable.

I'm really curious to know if anyone has used the digital module with these 8000 series capsules ? If used in conjunction with a SD 788T (or other similar mixer/recorder) which can power and decode AES42 digital signal, it would seem it would be a great mic, since you could then dial in your low cut to whatever suits the situation.

http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/home_en.nsf/root/professional_wired-microphones_studio-recording-mics_mkh-8000-8000

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I believe you would need a Neumann DMI-2 or DMI-8 to actually remote control the HPF function of the DSP inside the MZD8000. Our rental department has DMI-2's that I could use check the combo. Are there any specific tests anyone would like me to run besides "compare handling noise between analog and remote-controlled AES42"?

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oh, and one more thing. Not to totally thread-jack, but I noticed the other night on the ABC cop show "Castle" that in the interrogation room at the police station, the mixer of that show has placed a pair of MKH-8050 or 8040's on table stands on the table in plain view. They pass as the microphones a police dept. might have on the table while conducting an interview. I'm sure only sound mixers are at home saying "yeah right, the cops have 3 grand worth of mics in the interrogation room !"

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I have used an 8040 and 8050 since they first appeared on the US market. Handling has always been a challenge. The Invision series is the only mount I have found usable with in my budget. Cinela is tempting but expensive. I use BD-5 most of the time. The bottom end on this mic will kick you in the shins in dynamic situations as both boom handling and any air flutter on the cable will rumble through. My go to mic now is a 641 and I don't miss the 8000s. Although they are good interview mics with a slightly bigger and dryer sound I find them some what hard on the ear, unforgiving on the edges, and much more tiring to manage. The 8050 is slightly tighter with a harder edge than the 8040 but not particularly directional. I have not done much testing with filters and have always relied on 442/302 limiters and post for help. The 8000s have never let me down but I also feel I have worked for most of the sound they've served up.

I also don't find their reach particularly good. I think the 641 holds onto a voice at least a half foot better than the 8040. I don't have much experience with the 416s but having spent a fair amount of time in news clutches I am always pushing past them with my 8050 to get a bite.

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Thank you for your great responses folks. Shame to hear that the 8050s are problematic for most of you. I was really keen to get hold of a more forgiving indoor mic than the 416 and really hoped to lose the weight. I guess I could go MKH50 which will at least have the sort of response I was after if not as much drop in weight.

Any other suggestions? I could swap out the 416 for an alternate shotgun (CS3 or CMIT) but there isn't a weight saving in that. How do the other shotguns fare indoors compared to the 416? Or indeed the short shotguns?

I'm not familiar with the 641 Reid. What kind of mic is it?

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" Any other suggestions? I could... "

See, you answered your own question...

there are lots of options, and with a little bit of reading on jwsound, some looking around the excellent websites of our several professional production sound dealers, maybe even a couple of phone calls to their helpful staff associates (none of them are on commission!) and you would be familiar with many of them, as this stuff keeps coming up, and not much is really new (as even the new stuff gets discussed here promptly.... Also, by visiting a dealer, you can experience "ears-on" several options. (also can be accomplished by renting)

" How do the other shotguns fare indoors compared to the 416? Or indeed the short shotguns? "

The 416 is a short shotgun (the 816 is a long shotgun)...

Of course some book learnin' can help, too, as interference tube microphones, aka shotgun mic's, tend to emphasize reflected sound, most especially in reverberant or small spaces (it's physics!) so hyper-cardioids are often preferred INT, or at least shorter short shotguns..

all that rounded out by the purely subjective!

just for conversation several smaller, and / or lighter options to a Senn 416 could include: 641 (clue: wildly popular Schoeps) CMIT 5, AT 897, Schoeps collette and miniature series's, DPA's interchangable series, KMR 100 series, MC012, ( DPA 4017, AT BP 4073 CS2 CS1e, CS3e, MKH 50, MKH 60, AKG, RoDE, and even Shure's new line of "shotgun" mic's). There is no shortage of options...

As for weight savings: an ounce on the end of a short pole becomes pounds when the pole is extended.

Edited by studiomprd
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Any other suggestions? I could swap out the 416 for an alternate shotgun (CS3 or CMIT) but there isn't a weight saving in that. How do the other shotguns fare indoors compared to the 416? Or indeed the short shotguns?

You could still benefit from a drop in microphone weight by moving from the 416 to a Schoeps. The 416 weighs 165g (5.82 oz.) whereas the CMIT-5U weighs 89g (3.14oz.). The DPA preamp MMC4017 is 30g and the MMP-C is 40g which totals 70g (2.47 ounces) That weight at the end of a pole for extended takes or a 16 hour day can make a real difference.

The MKH8060 at 3.9 ounces with the analog XLR module is a notable drop in weight. The Sanken CS-3e at 120g (4.23 ounces).

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Adding to what other posters have written, I'd go with an MKH-50. It's got a great pattern as an alternative to the 416, being wider and less susceptible to room reflections, and a punchy, scooped response that has been described as dynamic and exciting. It's still going to be lighter and smaller than a 416 or MKH-60, even if it's larger than an 8000 series Sennheiser.

A 50 in a Rycote Innovision mount works very well for me, with no handling issues using an minimum of an 80Hz 20dB/Octave roll off. Since the 50 has so much bass response, I often dial in the rotary frequency roll off on my 442 to suit the particular talent's voice, and/or to minimize AC rumble.

The 50 allows enough working room to stay out of the frame for medium and tights. I find with my 8040 that I can't get it as close as I'd like in many instances, and it also "hears" more of the room than I'd like (example: producer's laptop fan).

The 8040 is perhaps "purer" than the 50, being more even sounding to my ears than the 50, but I find for my work (doco, commercials, "verité", network news magazine, feature film press kits), the 8040 doesn't get much use.

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As an owner of a dozen MKH Sennheisers, I will continue to voice my displeasure with the 8000 series. The 8060 sounds like an overpriced 416 and the 8050's have waaay to much handling and wind noise. For run and gun I have reverted to my 416's, but for sit down interviews I do prefer an 8050 when it can remain stationary. The MZF filter is wrong in so many ways even though I bought 3 of them. As mentioned earlier the MKH 50 is still King.

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I have to agree with the majority here: I own a pair of 8040's, and an 8050. Booming these mics is nearly impossible, and that's using the specially-designed Rycote extended mono ball gag mount, and the (all wrong) low cut module. Wind noise swinging the mic around is horrid, it persists even with the schoeps B5D as suggested by Glen Trew, and isn't much better even while within the Rycote zepp. Changing position of my hands or rotating the pole produces rumble and thunks, unless the gain is turned down to a point that you don't get decent levels. Unless you're on the hair line or lower, I find the mic needs 45-55db of gain to give significant output, and more often than not the handling noise and wind peak higher than the dialogue.

I'll keep the 8040's, for SFX capture, music or sit-down interviews they're great, but the 8050, low cut and Rycote are headed for consignment...

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I've had an 8040 for almost two years and love it. I generally use it for film and more controlled interviews (sit-down situations). I use the Rycote invision 7 mount and the Schoeps hollow foam teardrop windscreen (based on Glen Trew's review on TrewAudio.com). I have not (yet) gotten the Rycote zeppelin, though would look into it for the future.

I don't have the low cut module, but when doing wireless boom we use it through a MM-1. More than handling noise, we have to watch quick swinging wind noise.

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I've had an 8040 for almost two years and love it. I generally use it for film and more controlled interviews...but when doing wireless boom we use it through a MM-1

This has pretty much been my experience as well although, in my case, with the 8050. The mike does have an extended low end that needs both a good shock mount and some low frequency roll-off but I haven't experienced the considerable difficulties others have reported. I'm not sure I would be quick to reach for it in documentary or reality show circumstances but, used in a controlled environment, it's a terrific mike. Like JohnPaul, I use it with the MM-1 preamp and use the low-cut filter in that preamp. With an Invision mount, I've had no handling noise problems but my boom ops are typically experienced and have a light touch.

David

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