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Pro Audio Mixers, mics, outboard, monitors, headphones

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Old 8th July 2008 , 11:07 AM
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Default What microphones would you suggest for film and TV use?

I recently finished a two year media college course and for sound the college was using Sennheiser ME 66 shotgun microphones with K 6 powering modules that were connected to Sony HVR-Z1E cameras. Now that I have left college and have a new job I plan to buy a Edirol R-44 for its 24-bit 192 kHz recording quality with some microphones that are high enough quality for recording film and TV soundtracks. Should I stick with the ME 66 or are there any other microphones I should look at too? Although my price range is around 100-300 I'd like some high end recommendations as well for consideration later on in my career as a location sound recorder and sound designer.
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Old 9th July 2008 , 11:46 AM
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Hi there

Your question is too broad to answer simply!

The two 'industry standard' mics used for location work tend to be the Sennheiser MKH 416 and the MKH 816 Shotgun for long distance work

Both of these should be enclosed in a Rycote 'Rat On A Stick' style wind shield for external location work

You will also require a good field mixer and waterproof shoulder/kit bag and a good set of headphones for monitoring

Have a look at this guy and his equipment list for a an idea of what you need as a working Pro Sound Man Home Page

Oh! and a bloody good sense of humour or you won't survive

Hope this helps

Cheers
Anton
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Old 12th July 2008 , 04:35 PM
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For closer work (or recording ensemble or orchestra) don't forget the MKH40. A really great all rounder which works at medium distance without getting too noisy. Fantastic when used as a crossed pair.
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Old 14th July 2008 , 05:23 PM
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You could also check out the new RODE NTG3, though it might be a tad outside your price range.

There's a great [URL="http://web.mac.com/tyreeford/Site/Ty_Fords_Blog/Entries/2008/7/10_Sennheiser_MKH_416_P48_versus_the_Rode_NTG-3.html"]comparison between it and the 416 here.[/URL]
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Old 18th July 2008 , 09:20 AM
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The K6/ME66 is a fine starter mic - while it has a high noise floor and sounds a bit harsh, it's getting used in documentary/ENG and super-low-budget film (ie, student-level stuff) on a daily basis all over the world.

The MKH-416 is where it's at as far as I'm concerned - there's an eminent film/tv mixer out there whose name eludes me at present so I can't attribute this quote (please, if anyone knows, help me out) - but he said that 'the 416 sounds like the movies' - which I completely agree with.

The 416 is also a kick-a** VO mic, whereas a lot of short shotguns aren't (the ME66 for VO sucks as far as I'm concerned, it almost needs that studio or outdoor ambience to cover up its' faults).

Recordists that I know also use the Schoeps system quite a bit (spendy, but terrific for spot-miking). Neumann SDC mics (the KM series) are also used in this capacity as well.

The R4 isn't going to be a very good recorder for location use - the pres aren't great. I'd save up a bit if you absolutely need a location recorder and maybe get something like the Fostex FR-2LE at the absolute minimum.

Sync is an issue with these things as well, of course... but that's a whole seperate topic...
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Old 23rd July 2008 , 08:13 PM
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I would suggest you the Shure 545 its a very good microphone, and its useful as well.
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Old 18th August 2008 , 08:20 AM
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Thank you all for your replies to this topic, particually with the info about the microphone choices and R-44 preamps. I would consider a Fostex FR-2-LE but I want to have the ability to record at 24-bit 192 kHz with XLRs, the Fostex FR-2 can do that but it is 220-so more than the R-44. Thank you all again, this forum came up at the right moment.
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Old 6th September 2008 , 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terminal3 View Post
The R4 isn't going to be a very good recorder for location use - the pres aren't great. I'd save up a bit if you absolutely need a location recorder and maybe get something like the Fostex FR-2LE at the absolute minimum.
There is a review of the R-44 in the latest issue of FutureMusic and it says the pres are great on it, with the only downside being a slightly fiddly UI.
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Old 6th September 2008 , 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabber Foxx View Post
There is a review of the R-44 in the latest issue of FutureMusic and it says the pres are great on it, with the only downside being a slightly fiddly UI.
Have you heard them? If they were "great" then there wouldn't be a $900 mod available for them. They're known to be really noisy with mic-level signals. I wouldn't call them "great" at all. Useable, perhaps, but far from the quality of an SQN or a SoundDevices mic amp, for example. You'll find that at 16 bit recording they sound better than at 24 bits, though, so if you NEVER intend on doing 24 bit work then it still might not be a bad choice.

btw, the mod can be ordered here, but they're US-based OADE BROTHERS AUDIO Field Recording Experts, Sony, Tascam, Marantz, Fostex, Compact Flash recorders

For the record, I don't trust a single review from FutureMusic... They're one of the most advertising driven music magazines on the market. Check the review you read and see if there's a big full page Edirol ad just a couple pages away..
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Old 7th September 2008 , 03:11 PM
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I bought the issue today and I've been listening to the sample recordings provided on the DVD. Granted the internal mic isn't too good (when is a internal mic ever decent?) but the recording quality of the XLR inputs sound crisp and clear. The tests were done with an acoustic guitar and a drum kit and it sounds perfect for my needs, particually the ability to record at 24-bit 192 kHz.
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Old 7th September 2008 , 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabber Foxx View Post
I bought the issue today and I've been listening to the sample recordings provided on the DVD. Granted the internal mic isn't too good (when is a internal mic ever decent?) but the recording quality of the XLR inputs sound crisp and clear. The tests were done with an acoustic guitar and a drum kit and it sounds perfect for my needs, particually the ability to record at 24-bit 192 kHz.
If it's perfect for your needs then by all means don't listen to me!

Remember that in film/tv we never record at sample rates that high, though. Even recording on-set at 24 bits is extremely uncommon, most of the recordists I know work at 16-bits. Some of the top guys still use DAT as well..!
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