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I have sinned with shotguns.......

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I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:11 am

A recent thread on choir miking got me thinking. I have on a number of occasions used shotgun mics (Rode NTG-1s) to mic choirs and to ambiently stereo mic ensembles or small orchestras at outdoor concerts to (what I thought was) reasonable effect.

I'm now thinking a pair of quality hypercardioid mics may be more suitable for this purpose and would also be useful for spot miking in a general sense.

I find the Sennheiser e614 an excellent choice for close miking live duties, very much an underrated mic, but they're probably a tad too noisy for distant miking.

I'd imagine the MKH50 would be ideal, but is out of my price range. The Neumann KM185 (just within budget) has an ideal polar pattern, nice deep nulls just over 90º of axis, but has a considerable low frequency drop off, presumably for dealing with proximity effect when close miking.

Any comments from KM185 users on their suitability for distant miking for live amplification? Any other suggestions?

Ta.

Bob
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby John Willett » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:45 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:Any other suggestions?

The Gefell M310 is priced around the same price as the KM185. It has a ceramic capsule and an opto-coupler for the phantom power to prevent any DC nasties in the supply getting into the audio circuit.

The Sennheiser MKH8050 is a little cheaper then the MKH50, though still quite a bit more than the 185.
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:33 am

I like the KM185 a lot, and find that hypercardioids are often my favoured polar pattern for so many applications -- far more useful than boring old cardioids

The bass roll off on the MK185 isn't an issue when close miking, of course, but does become more obvious when distant miking. However, the roll off is smooth and progressive below about 500Hz and some bass shelf EQ easily sorts it out ... although for live sound applications, the bass roll off is no bad thing, generally, in my experience!

Can't comment on the Gefell M310 --apart from wincing at the drive-by advertising again -- as I've never used one, but the sibling M300 is a very nice mic, and I have no doubt that the M310 will maintain the standard.

Other options worth considering are the sE Electronics SE4, the Earthworks SR78, AKG's modular Blueline system SE 300/CK93, or Audio Technica's AT4053a...

H
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby TSH-Tim » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:57 pm

The SR78 is a stunning mic but wooow they are still around the £700 mark
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:58 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I like the KM185 a lot, and find that hypercardioids are often my favoured polar pattern for so many applications -- far more useful than boring old cardioids

Now that's a comment that begs expansion!

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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:48 pm

It seems my pricing of KM185s and MKH 8050s is close enough for me to choose the 8050s given enough reason.

I don't have any quality hypercardioid mics in my arsenal, but do have M300s, TLM193s, KM183s as well as a range of large diaphragm condensers.

Applications would be:

Recording:

Spot miking acoustic instruments in classical or acoustic ensembles (currently use TLM193s or M300s).

Possible co-incident or near co-incident pairs where they would be preferable to my cardioid mics, possibly on choir in oratorio performances with orchestra (currently use m300s).

Very occasional outdoor ambient recording (currently use M300s).

Live Sound:

Outdoor ambient amplification of choirs and acoustic ensembles such as ukelele groups, school orchestras, where gain before feedback is an issue (currently use shotguns).

Indoor amplification of choirs, where gain before feedback could be an issue (currently use shotguns).

Critical close miking of instruments for concerts which may also be recorded (currently use e614s).

Amplification of Steinway piano in live acoustic for jazz and occasional rock concerts (currently use e614s).

I guess it's swings and roundabouts concerning the benefits of the low frequency roll off on the KM185s. I notice the KM185s have a lift around 10kHz, sounds like this is not a problem for spot miking close up?

Much appreciated.

Bob
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby John Willett » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:05 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:It seems my pricing of KM185s and MKH 8050s is close enough for me to choose the 8050s given enough reason.

In the UK the KM185 is £690 and the MKH8050 is £1,187 - quite a difference.
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:39 am

Bob Bickerton wrote: Now that's a comment that begs expansion!

It's a couple of things, really. If close miking then I'm usually trying to minimise spill from other instruments, and in that case the relaticely broad pickup angle and single rear null of a cardioid is rarely well placed to be effective. The much narrower pickup angle across the front coupled with the two rear-quarter nulls of a hypercardioid usually allow more practical and effective mic placement with better spill rejection.

And if I'm distant miking for a classical performacne of some kind, an XY stereo pair of hypercardioids often gives exactly the acoustic perspective that I need for the required stereo acceptance angle. XY cardioids have to be sat on top of the conductor and rarely give a nice perspective on their own. XY Fig-8s have to be too far back and the rear pickup tends to make them a bit too washy in many venues...

And in my previous TV career, hypercardioids swung over the actor's heads give almost as much 'suck' as a short rifle mic, but with out the nasty phasiness on off-axis sources.

So yes, I find I use hypercardioids a great deal...

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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:43 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:It seems my pricing of KM185s and MKH 8050s is close enough for me to choose the 8050s given enough reason.

Go for it -- I'd choose the 8050s if the outlay is the same. AS JW says, they are almost twice the cost of the KMs in the UK, and probably are worth the extra...

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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:41 pm

Gone for it......................

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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Skerrick » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:56 am

yo, so i recently cam into a Roland DR80C microphone, it seems quite decent, has a tiny tiny dent on the steel netting around the top of the condenser (its literally such a tiny dent, id say from built up pressure rather than a whack) but i was wondering what to do with it? keep it? sell it?
anyone have any experience with these? it has the pad/db cutoff switches on it etc - as you can see i dont know TOO much about microphones, was hoping for some decent info rather than the sponsored "BUY THIS" type stuff written on nearly every website i check it on..
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:08 am

I see the Roland DR-80C described by Dolphin as "ideal for amateurs and karaoke enthusiasts".

I think that's called 'damning with faint praise'...

If you already have it then give it a go and see how it turns out for you. Personally I like quirky un-loved mic's. They give me flavours to add to a mix that make people wonder how you did it!
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Richie Royale » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:03 am

The Elf wrote: Personally I like quirky un-loved mic's.

Except the C1000

"ideal for amateurs and karaoke enthusiasts"


Didn't harm the Beastie Boys' career using karaoke mics.
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Guy Johnson » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:44 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote: Now that's a comment that begs expansion!

>snip> actor's heads give almost as much 'suck' as a short >snip>
H

Sorry, couldn't resist, feel free to zap, Hugh
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:47 pm

I'm in love with the MKH8050s!

Actually prefer them on acoustic guitar than my M300s, beautiful natural top end, considerable proximity effect though!

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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby mjfe2 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:58 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:I'm in love with the MKH8050s!

Actually prefer them on acoustic guitar than my M300s, beautiful natural top end, considerable proximity effect though!

Bob

Is the proximity effect inherently more severe on hypercardioids than cardioids?
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Re: I have sinned with shotguns.......

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:44 am

mjfe2 wrote:Is the proximity effect inherently more severe on hypercardioids than cardioids?

All other factors being the same, then yes. The proximity effect is generated by the pressure-gradient element of the mic. The more PG in the polar pattern, the more proximity effect there will be so fig-8s are the worst, followed by hyper- and super- cardioids, cardioids, and hypo- or sub-cardioids. Omnis are pure pressure operation and have no proximity effect.

However, having said that, the mic's designer can tailor the response to achieve specific aims, so the proximity effect on one manufacturer's cardioid could appear to be stronger than another's fig-8 depending on how the mic has been designed and tuned.

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