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What is the best shotgun mic on a budget?
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bcgood
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16th November 2007
Old 16th November 2007
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Question What is the best shotgun mic on a budget?

What do you guys/gals think is the best shotgun mic for the money, (All around mic that sounds natural, delivers a clean signal and has good off axis rejection)? I would like to keep it around the 300-400 dollar range.

Thnx
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16th November 2007
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Possibly the Rode, but it might be a bit more...

It IS better than a Senn. ME66, but that's not saying much.

Till you get near a grand, it's all relatively cheap shit.

best,
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Last edited by PlugHead; 16th November 2007 at 04:31 PM.. Reason: grammar
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16th November 2007
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Yea, I was checking out a Rode package they have at B&H that comes with a pole, small gerbal and shockmount for around 550, I'll probably go with that. At my old job I had a full set up with a zeplin and a 416 so I'm sure I'll be missing the sound I got with that set up, oh well. I'll upgrade later.
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16th November 2007
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I started out with the ME66, and bought a 416 last month. What a difference!!!
Looking back, I really wish I paided the exstra $ back then, and bought the 416, right away.
You should be thinking about getting the 416 (or another mic in that pricerange) from the start. Especially considering you have used the 416 before. You will not get there with a Røde or ME66!
Maybe look for one used on Ebay?


Best wishes,

Mikkel
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16th November 2007
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You really don't have many quality choices in the $300-$400 range. It's pretty much the Rode or Sennheiser. The next step up would be the entry Sanken or something like the Audio Technica 4073. Those are both decent mics. That said, I do feel you get what you pay for and if you're serious about this save up and get one good mic. I made the mistake of buying cheaper mics when I was starting out wished I hadn't. Save your coins and get something you'll want to hold on to for a while.
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16th November 2007
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There's also the Beyerdynamic MCE86i.
Of course, it's no 416, but its frequency response seems to be somewhat similar.

I'd try to get a used 416 if I didn't already own one.
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You guys make some valid points. I might try out the Rode NTG2 first just to hear it. If I don't like it then I'll get the 416.
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16th November 2007
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16th November 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pindebraende View Post
Take a listen to these samples from different mics:

DV eStore Theatre - Shotgun Shootout

I knew exately what to get after I heard the different ones in that shootout!

Mikkel
Thanks for that link. The 416 is the clear winner for me. I think you guys are right, this is the sound of movies and the sound I'm used to working with. The 416 it is.
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17th November 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Thanks for that link. The 416 is the clear winner for me. I think you guys are right, this is the sound of movies and the sound I'm used to working with. The 416 it is.
Someone else- Ty Ford I think- did a more comprehensive shootout. The 416 does sound great in environments like the control room in the demo. The other demo I heard involved listening to the mic off axis, not just from the side but the rear as well. Nothing sounds as even to my ears as a Schoeps mk41 in a reverberant room, but the AT 4073 sounds better to my ears in many environments than the 416. The off axis coloration and room sound isn't as pronounced and it seems to have better pull from greater differences. The 416 certainly does sound good when the talent is right in front and works great for ADR, but I use my 4073 when I'm not sure what the recording space is going to sound like.
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17th November 2007
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Great point Joe. Not all shotguns pickup sound the same. The pickup pattern of a mic can seriously effect how good it will sound in certain situations. Any important factor for me is noise floor. Not such a big deal for outdoor stuff, but when you get inside doing adr and foley it becomes a major factor. More things to think about.
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When you know the 416 and its off-axis behaviour, you can use this even as an advantage in some situations. Great value in its being THE sound of the movies.

If we make rocket science out of it: I've found the MKH 60 to be way better than the 416 IN SMALLER ROOMS, especially regarding cam noise. Outside, nothing beats the 416, IMHO.
The Schoeps CCM41 is small and therefore great for indoor shoots.
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18th November 2007
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I watched the Ty Ford demonstration which was a very nice presentation. For me it reinforced my love of the 416. I honestly wasn't very impressed with the Schoeps.

If you have a nice zeplin and gerbal around the 416 a lot of that reflection is taken care of. Also, like Ty made clear the 416 should be as close to the talent as humanly possible.
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13th December 2007
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For a good deal of time I was using an NTG-2 that a friend of mine owned and was pretty satisfied with it, but I picked up a used 416T with power supply for under $500 and it puts the NTG-2 to absolute shame.
my .216 pesos.
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14th December 2007
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The 416 is a nice versatile microphone, but honestly you'll run into problems if you try to use one microphone for all of your location sounds needs. You'll want enough microphones to cover these common needs.

1. Outdoors - Wider shot, closest you can get the mic is maybe 5 feet, maybe more. Need a nice rifle here that will zero in from a distance.

2. Outdoors - closer range. 416 will do you well most of the time. The 4073 would work here too.

3. Indoors - reverberant room - treat the room best you can with blankets. Use a Scheops mk41 or Senheisser hyper. Hypers are going to work better in this situation.

4. Indoors - lav mic - use in addition to a hyper

5. indoors - many people - might need to widen the pattern to pick up lots of back and forth conversation

6. sound effects, ambience - the 416 would work well for collecting individual sounds, a nice Sanken stero mic or something similar to capture ambiences, or setting up your own XY configuration, maybe MS.

Your faced with various sound recording situations every shoot. If you could only go with one mic, maybe it would be the 416. But for getting the best audio, you'll need options. You can always substitute brands. For example where I have a Schoeps listed, maybe you can try the Okatava MK012 hyper. You need to get used to it to see how it performs but it's under $200.

Steve
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15th December 2007
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I paid $500 for a 416-t ....same damn mic with a different connector.

SENNHEISER MKH-416 MKH416 SHOTGUN CONDENSER MICROPHONE! - (eBay item 260192607391 end time Dec-20-07 19:29:02 PST)


I got it on ebay from germany and the 48v connector was included. I use a k-tec zeppelin shock mount/windscreen on it.

K-Tek ZEPPELIN


but you can make your own if money is an issue

Microphone Wind Protection - less expensive alternatives to high-priced solutions.
DIY Mic Windscreen (Zeppelin) on the Cheap



some day i will get a real 416 without the dingleberry connector at the end
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17th December 2007
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Get the rode mic. It is completely awsome. I have used to use mid range sennheisers a lot and let me tell you that I did foley at a friends place with the rode shotgun at like half the price and it blew the sennheisers away. good thing I didn't own them but I would definatly buy the rode if I was doing foley a lot. You cant beet the performance it picks up all the details that the big ones do. and get the rode nt 1000a condensor for a room mic. awsome!
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Can the K6 power supply from the ME66 be used on the MKH416?
OR is it a better deal to just ebay my ME66 and get an entirely new MKH416 kit.

FWIW, I paid $500 new for my K6/ME66 shock mount and windscreen. (5 years ago)
Also my converters on my camera are built-in so not sure if I would even know any difference. (Just using a sony PD-150 with no solid plans on replacing it or field recorder)

However Im doing my first major documentary and would like to beef up the audio.

I have 2 AT 831b lav mics onhand also.

So many things to upgrade tho... and im using DVCAM still!
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31st December 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay- View Post
Can the K6 power supply from the ME66 be used on the MKH416?
Nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay- View Post
OR is it a better deal to just ebay my ME66 and get an entirely new MKH416 kit.
Absolutely.

And, make sure to get the mic OFF that camera and get an experienced boom op. Even better, if this is a real project, get an experienced sound mixer which will save you many headaches and likely even save you money down the line.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
Possibly the Rode, but it might be a bit more...

It IS better than a Senn. ME66, but that's not saying much.

Till you get near a grand, it's all relatively cheap shit.

best,
LOL haha... just get the Rode!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay- View Post
starcrash13, yeah I have access to a few good guys that are helping me with the mixing. thumbsup
Just to be clear, what I meant was a production sound mixer as opposed to a re-recording or dubbing mixer. Sound editorial and final dubbing mix are important too, but that wasn't what I meant in my post. For some reason your reply made me think that maybe we had a misunderstanding.

The Rode NTG-2 is generally thought to be the best out of the prosumer mics and is recommended by a lot of DV folks. However, if you can find a used 416 you will get much better results compared to the NTG-2. On eBay, an MKH416 P48 usually goes for between $500-800 USD (you can usually find the T-powered version MKH416T for cheaper but will require an inline converter to use with the more common 48v phantom power source). This will be money well spent as it's an excellent microphone that's rugged, time-tested, and "sounds like the movies". They're also extremely versatile. I've used mine for foley, voice-over, and even vocals for a music project and got great results.
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Thanks again starcrash13!

Ill try to get that mic on ebay. (used) and if Lucky Ill have help both before during and after this gig, as long as I show up with the best tools for my budget.

Studio vocabulary is also something I need to work on, and video vocabulary. Still confusing terminology in regards to production sound mixer.
(hay but at least I wont show up as a know it all intern) ehe..


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1st January 2008
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I just lost an ebay auction that had a 416 and a Rycote included in the package. I think I'm probably going to go and buy a new one from B&H unless someone knows a better deal, tell me now!
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19th January 2008
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I just wanted to give everyone an update.

I just received my Sennheiser 416 today. I've been recording with it a little bit already and I'm lovin every minute of it. It sounds like it's time for lights, camera, action!
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19th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
I just wanted to give everyone an update.

I just received my Sennheiser 416 today. I've been recording with it a little bit already and I'm lovin every minute of it. It sounds like it's time for lights, camera, action!

Well... Come on what are you waiting for? Post those samples
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19th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnAverageJoe View Post
Well... Come on what are you waiting for? Post those samples
You didn't say the magic word.
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21st January 2008
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Quote:
lights, camera, action
roll camera... A-cam speed, sound speed, dolly, background, anddddddd.......... ACTION!
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21st January 2008
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+1 for MKH416
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