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-   -   Gefell M310 and other supercardioids/cardioids for location sound and music recording (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-in-acoustic-music-and-location-recording/1265798-gefell-m310-other-supercardioids-cardioids-location-sound-music-recording.html)

The Listener 22nd May 2019 09:21 AM

Gefell M310 and other supercardioids/cardioids for location sound and music recording
 
I occasionally record sound for some short films, documentaries, once even a big budget TV series, but that is rare - and in that case - the production rented equipment for me...

I am looking for a good(*great) SDC mic for my smaller projects and regular use, one that would be useful for dialogue AND my main thing - recording instruments, narration, etc.

I am a big fan of Sennheiser MKH40 that I rent occasionally, I like the smoothness, the pitch black silent background - absence of any self-noise, the response and the overall tonality - it just works for me...

Now, for interior dialogues two most common standards are MKH50 (and Schoeps MK41)... so I was thinking of getting a used MKH50 instead of MKH40, but don't know if it sounds equally good for recording instruments and singing vocals as MKH40 that is super-useful in ANY application...

Moving to the main question - I had a chance to rent Gefell M300 and found it a really nice mic, but when I compared it directly to MKH40 it lacked the rich low end and was too hyped in the high-end - even after EQing I couldn't get the same response as with MKH40 and also - it is not as silent in direct comparison - it is a very clean mic - but MKH40 is exceptional and I like that...
But it was interesting and good enough to spark my interest, especially because I can get a good price and since I saw the super-cardioid version has better specs...

The problem is that I can't demo M310, but on paper it has specs that are closer to the noise specs of Sennheiser and also the highs don't seem to be as hyped... It could be a perfect mic for me, but I can't test it - perfect because I can get a new one for around 800+ EUR... Dose anyone have any experience with this mic? Compared to Schoeps MK41 or MKH40/50? There is very little talk about this mic and no test videos or test recordings around... I know it is not perfect to judge a mic upon those - but at least you get some impression...

Also - would 50 work equally good for instruments recording than MKH40 or should I sacrifice a bit of "reach" in those dialogue recording sessions and have a more natural sounding mic for music?

I am now deciding wether to buy a used MKH40 for around 900-1000EUR or a new Gefell M310 for around 800...

And there is also an option to get good price for DPA 4018A (version with MMP-A preamp) - that I also never tested and wonder how it compares to MKH40/50 and if it is equally well suited for music recording as those - or at least the superb MKH40...

Many questions, I hope someone with more experience with those mics can chime in... I listened to MKH40, MKH60, directly compared to Gefell M300, but can't test M310 - should buy it blind (or better - "deaf" :) ), but I can rent DPA4018A - although some additional opinion doesn't hurt - from the actual use and experience..,.

matucha 22nd May 2019 01:41 PM

I don't think (any) gefell will sound similar to MKHs. There is nothing like MKHs other than MKHs ;). At least to my knowledge.

Even schoeps is more noisy and lighter sounding than MKHs.

I'd say the "tilted" nature of M300 can be a good thing for dialog/voiceover type things. For SFX gathering it's really not though, I miss the lowend and rich lowmids of MKHs for that.

For me M300 is a good tool for recording instruments where you want certain character and either play with the proximity effect or use the tilt in your advantage (mixing decision really).

Out of the whole MKHx0 line, if I'd have to pick one to have (desert island type of situation), I'd go for MKH80 (or MKH800). It's super clean (feels less noisy than MKH60 or MKH30), high output, variable patterns. It's side address, so not really ideal for dialog recording on set unfortunatelly.


So I'd say used MKH40 or MKH50 is the better option for you.

Folkie 22nd May 2019 01:57 PM

I have no experience with dialogue but lots of experience with Sennheiser MKH8040/8050 for live sound and live recording. I have used them on everything. Very smooth on and off-axis. Plenty of low-end. No roll-off or pad switch like the 40/50 but have the advantage of being much
smaller!

Folkie 22nd May 2019 02:06 PM

I have no experience with dialogue but lots of experience with Sennheiser MKH8040/8050 for live sound and live recording. I have used them on everything. Very smooth on and off-axis. Plenty of low-end. They don’t have the pad or roll-off switches like the 40/50 but are only
3” long compared to 6” for the 40/50.

philper 22nd May 2019 04:39 PM

A location dialog mic is often used n situations where clarity and reach are more important than subtle tonalities and low noise floor. Many mics commonly used for location dialog work don't sound especially great on their own in a quiet, dead space, but can get a bit of an edge vs the BG sounds on dialog being recorded in unfavorable circumstances and have it cut through a mix without a lot of extra work done to it. In short, my location dialog mics almost never work on my music recording gigs and vice versa.

jnorman 22nd May 2019 04:42 PM

As you mention, the usual suspects are the mkh50 and the Schoeps cmc641. The mkh50 perhaps has the edge for dialogue while the Schoeps has the edge for music applications. Both are excellent mics.

celticrogues 22nd May 2019 04:59 PM

I would get the mic thats best for whatever you do the most of.

That said, I know quite a few people who use the MKH40 for on set dialogue even over the MKH50. Glen Trew (of Trew Audio) has written a couple of articles on it that he feels the pattern and off-axis sound of the MKH40 is closer to that of the Schoeps MK41 than the MKH50.

In my own experience I love the MKH50 for dialogue but it does take a skilled boom op to operate, as the off axis sound drops off extremely quickly. For scenes that are more doc-style or have a bunch of overlapping actors I would choose the '40 over the '50 for its off axis smoothness.

-Mike

The Listener 22nd May 2019 08:32 PM

Thanks for all the replies... I am considering MKH40 that I have here for a test and I love (I let go of MKH50 idea - seems that MKH40 will be better suited for both music and recording dialogue that I don't do so often) and Gefell M310 which I don't know...
I only have M300 here for testing - and I like it, but it is too hyped for some applications - but overall a very capable mic (just not equally suitable for being on a boom as MKH40 and a tad too brittle (compared to MKH40) for some rattles, kalimbas, metal percussion, etc. that I test recorded.

M310 looks much better on paper (for what I need) - less self noise, not hyped in the high-end, higher sensitivity... but I didn't hear it and test it...

The Listener 23rd May 2019 05:57 PM

I bought MKH40 in the end... it was a decent offer for a used mic in a great condition, including MZS40 suspension.

If anyone will do any tests with Gefell M310, comparing it to some other mics like MKH40, Schoeps MK41, MKH50, etc. it would be great to share them here... M300 is not the same mic! I heard it - it is very nice and I did comparisons - but the playing and speech was for my info only, so it is too bad to share it here and anyway - M300 is a completely different mic, not so much suited for indoor dialogue recording in my opinion, but very cool for spot micing...

sd270 23rd May 2019 11:20 PM

Soundonsound does a comparison between Neumann KM184 and Km84 vs. the Gefell 310 plus a nice review.

The Listener 23rd May 2019 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sd270 (Post 13999288)
Soundonsound does a comparison between Neumann KM184 and Km84 vs. the Gefell 310 plus a nice review.

Nope, it's M300 in that article and tests... M310 is a different mic...

sd270 23rd May 2019 11:34 PM

You're right, I misremembered the review, haven't looked at it in awhile but you can't go wrong with the MKH40.

The Listener 25th May 2019 10:25 PM

Ah well, and now a crazy thing happened and I am also getting MKH30...

I guess my CM3s will become spots now... I was always a fan of MS stereo, now it has finally come the time to do it properly... I used to do it with vintage Gefell M70 and UM70 (set to fig.8) in close micing situations - for acoustic guitars mostly... but this is a whole new level... looking forward... I sold the Gefell mics in between... M70 I didn't need so much (preferred CM3s and Shure KSM141) and UM70 was the most valuable item I had at one point, my desert island mic, but I needed finances for a Sony camera... I will buy it back some day or maybe not - since MKH40 is also good for narration and vocals and even better for solo instruments...

After I had the experience with MKH40 (and 60 and 70 on location work) I fell in love with those mics, but because of the price I was searching for alternatives...

I don't understand why some people dislike them and can fully understand why Rolo46 of this forum likes them and it is clear from his audio examples that he "understands" those mics...

I also heard a comparison between DPA4006 and MKH40/30 around here and I immediately loved the first file in the blind test example, but was convinced it was DPA, because it was deeper, more "open", etc. It turned out that it was MKH pair... Yay!

I just love it... since one time that I rented the stereo pair of MKH40, set it up and just played for a few hours, never minding the mics, because what I had in the headphones was inspiring and sweet, I knew this is a tool I need to have one day... this was the album I recorded with them (when the mics dissapeared and I just played like I am not recording at all) - no EQ on the dry signal - and it is close micing in a dry studio: https://nimetu.bandcamp.com/album/abri

A similar thing happened when I tested M300 - a very inspiring sound, but a tad bright and a bit more noisy than MKH40 that I directly compared to... I need to hear M310 one day... hence this thread...

I think I will be happy for years now... :) I can log off Gearslutz for awhile again... rockout

jimjazzdad 27th May 2019 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Listener (Post 14002716)
...I think I will be happy for years now... :) I can log off Gearslutz for awhile again... rockout

Life without GS -THE HORROR!!!
But congrats on your purchase nonetheless (I'm jealous).

John Willett 28th May 2019 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Listener (Post 13998727)
I bought MKH40 in the end... it was a decent offer for a used mic in a great condition, including MZS40 suspension.

If anyone will do any tests with Gefell M310, comparing it to some other mics like MKH40, Schoeps MK41, MKH50, etc. it would be great to share them here... M300 is not the same mic! I heard it - it is very nice and I did comparisons - but the playing and speech was for my info only, so it is too bad to share it here and anyway - M300 is a completely different mic, not so much suited for indoor dialogue recording in my opinion, but very cool for spot micing...

If you are in the UK there is no problem about borrowing an M 310 to try.

If in another European country, just talk to the Gefell distributor in your country.

Personally - I have most MKH microphones and also the M 300 and 310 - but I use a super-cardioid so rarely that, if I need one (or a pair), I just use my MKH 800 switched to super-cardioid.

The Listener 28th May 2019 12:25 PM

I am in Slovenija, there is one Gefell distributor, but they don't have M310 in stock... I doubt they would order it just for me to test...

Can you comment on the sonic difference between M310 and M300? Or if you have any recordings you could share?

I just bought the MKH40/30 combination, so won't be buying any mics (or anything else :) ) for a long time... but just for the information about M310 - it seems like a cleaner and less hyped version of M300, but also with a different characteristic...

And I don't mean to say that M300 is particularly hyped or noisy by any means - it is a great mic - just in direct comparison to MKH40 that I did it was more noisy for the dialogue recording... for music it is great... So I wondered how M310 compared...



Quote:

Originally Posted by John Willett (Post 14006323)
If you are in the UK there is no problem about borrowing an M 310 to try.

If in another European country, just talk to the Gefell distributor in your country.

Personally - I have most MKH microphones and also the M 300 and 310 - but I use a super-cardioid so rarely that, if I need one (or a pair), I just use my MKH 800 switched to super-cardioid.


John Willett 28th May 2019 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Listener (Post 14006424)
I am in Slovenija, there is one Gefell distributor, but they don't have M310 in stock... I doubt they would order it just for me to test...

Can you comment on the sonic difference between M310 and M300? Or if you have any recordings you could share?

I just bought the MKH40/30 combination, so won't be buying any mics (or anything else :) ) for a long time... but just for the information about M310 - it seems like a cleaner and less hyped version of M300, but also with a different characteristic...

And I don't mean to say that M300 is particularly hyped or noisy by any means - it is a great mic - just in direct comparison to MKH40 that I did it was more noisy for the dialogue recording... for music it is great... So I wondered how M310 compared...

I have not used the M 310 myself - but Gefell do have microphones that they can send out to distributors for customers to try, so the Slovenian distributor would not have to order one for stock.

I have two sets of MKH 40/30 and they are very good. I have used the M 300 as an ORTF pair, though I now use an ORTF pair of M 930 for this.

The M 300 and M 310 are unique in the fact that they have ceramic capsules (that keep the diaphragm at a constant tension, when a metal capsule can expand and contract with temperature change - also, they have Gefell's unique optical phantom power coupling. Info here).

Puffer Fish 2nd August 2019 03:13 AM

I am so sorry I missed this thread. My main work is recording sound for film and TV and I have a pair of M310 mics that I use for interior booming. I also have a pair of M300 mics that I picked up recently.

FWIW, I will share a little info that I can regarding the M310, if anyone here still cares to know about them...

So the mic does NOT have any sort of harsh high frequency peak, which is one of the things I was looking for: a mostly flat mic with a hypercardioid pattern for interior boom work. And what it does, it really just sounds correct and has a serious appeal to my ears. If I am listening on a production to sound through other mics and then hear sound through the Gefell mic(s) I just feel like things settled back into the place where they should be and those other mics really just do not sound believable.

One really interesting thing I have found with the M310 is as the source drifts off-axis, it simply becomes more quiet and the tone does not really shift, which is not typical in a hyper-cardioid mic in my humble experience. Yes, in an omni, that is generally what one would expect, but not so in such a directional mic. This feature of the mic makes it really useful for booming on the fly with talent, because if someone speaks out-of-turn, they still sound correct, just not as loud, and that is an easy thing to adjust in post.

Somewhat of a disappointment with the mic is it needs more current via the phantom power feed than some other microphones. Thus it is NOT a good candidate for use with plug-on wireless transmitters. My Lectrosonics HM/ HMA transmitters will NOT deliver enough current to power the M310 or the M300. But they will power my Sennheiser MKH60 and MKH8060.

They are really solid microphones and a joy to operate. I would still like to acquire an MKH50 to use with my plug on transmitters and for tool choices for different settings. But if I only ever have my M310 and my MKH60 for booming interior/ exterior, I will be able to deliver excellent on-set recordings.

celticrogues 2nd August 2019 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Puffer Fish (Post 14128157)
One really interesting thing I have found with the M310 is as the source drifts off-axis, it simply becomes more quiet and the tone does not really shift, which is not typical in a hyper-cardioid mic in my humble experience. Yes, in an omni, that is generally what one would expect, but not so in such a directional mic. This feature of the mic makes it really useful for booming on the fly with talent, because if someone speaks out-of-turn, they still sound correct, just not as loud, and that is an easy thing to adjust in post.

Thanks for your comments. Do you have any experience booming with the Schoeps CMC641? Your comments on the Gefell here match my experience with the Schoeps so I’d be curious to hear a comparison of the two.

The MKH50 by the way does not exhibit this behavior. That mic has a definite and drastic tonal shift when going off axis. I love the mic but it definitely needs more precise boom work.

-Mike

Puffer Fish 2nd August 2019 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by celticrogues (Post 14128362)
Thanks for your comments. Do you have any experience booming with the Schoeps CMC641? Your comments on the Gefell here match my experience with the Schoeps so I’d be curious to hear a comparison of the two.

The MKH50 by the way does not exhibit this behavior. That mic has a definite and drastic tonal shift when going off axis. I love the mic but it definitely needs more precise boom work.

-Mike

Hey there Mike,

I do not have experience booming with our industry standard CMC6/ MK41 combo. I seriously considered getting into a CMC6 and some capsules, but ultimately opted for the Gefell M310. Cost was part of my consideration, but obviously when a mic gets into the $1000 territory like the M310, I was for sure going for quality.

Maybe someday I will be able to do a side-by-side with the M310 and the CMC6/MK41. But as you know, it comes with many hours of operating our mics on a boom before we really know the tools we are working with. I do not think I will ever get to that point as I am really happy with the M310 (using for four years now) and would only want something with a tighter pattern as an option.

Your description of the off-axis responses of the MKH50 and the CMC6/MK41 are not surprising to me. But it does make me think if I picked up an MKH50, I might have trouble putting it to use for anything other than a single person sit down interview, locked down on a C-stand.

The Listener 7th August 2019 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Puffer Fish (Post 14128157)
I am so sorry I missed this thread. My main work is recording sound for film and TV and I have a pair of M310 mics that I use for interior booming. I also have a pair of M300 mics that I picked up recently.

FWIW, I will share a little info that I can regarding the M310, if anyone here still cares to know about them...

So the mic does NOT have any sort of harsh high frequency peak, which is one of the things I was looking for: a mostly flat mic with a hypercardioid pattern for interior boom work. And what it does, it really just sounds correct and has a serious appeal to my ears. If I am listening on a production to sound through other mics and then hear sound through the Gefell mic(s) I just feel like things settled back into the place where they should be and those other mics really just do not sound believable.

One really interesting thing I have found with the M310 is as the source drifts off-axis, it simply becomes more quiet and the tone does not really shift, which is not typical in a hyper-cardioid mic in my humble experience. Yes, in an omni, that is generally what one would expect, but not so in such a directional mic. This feature of the mic makes it really useful for booming on the fly with talent, because if someone speaks out-of-turn, they still sound correct, just not as loud, and that is an easy thing to adjust in post.

Somewhat of a disappointment with the mic is it needs more current via the phantom power feed than some other microphones. Thus it is NOT a good candidate for use with plug-on wireless transmitters. My Lectrosonics HM/ HMA transmitters will NOT deliver enough current to power the M310 or the M300. But they will power my Sennheiser MKH60 and MKH8060.

They are really solid microphones and a joy to operate. I would still like to acquire an MKH50 to use with my plug on transmitters and for tool choices for different settings. But if I only ever have my M310 and my MKH60 for booming interior/ exterior, I will be able to deliver excellent on-set recordings.

Thanks, that is some useful info... M300 (the cardioid) is a wonderful mic, but not for booming, I would be interested in your comparison between M300 and M310...

The MKH40, even though being a cardioid, works well also as a boom mic, if the room is not too ugly... it is still rather "zoomed in" on a sound and has great "reach"... it also has a smooth off axis response.

M310 seems to be a great mic, for a reasonable price.

Puffer Fish 7th August 2019 02:08 PM

My thoughts on M300 vs M310...

The M300 has a sweeter sound. It really just sounds so lovely and if you are familiar with the mic, you already know that.

The M310 sounds, well, less sweet! LOL! But reviewing the frequency plots the high frequency bump on the M300 is what I am hearing as the difference, I suppose. The M310 is pretty darned flat and is a feature I really appreciate for booming for film/ TV.

An interesting thing about the M310 is it is NOT overly aggressive in its hyper-cardioid pattern. I have not made direct comparisons, but I suspect the MKH50 has a tighter pattern, but this is supposed to be an M300 vs M310 thing, soooo... Yes, the M310 has a more tight pattern than the M300, but not strikingly so.

That is about as far as I am willing to take the comparison at this point as I only acquired my M300 stereo set (Thank you VK!) in June and have NOT had ample time to put the set to use.

As I mentioned earlier, the off-axis response of the M310 is what I really fell in love with. Of course it just sounds fantastic, or rather, captures sound in a fantastic way that appeals to my sense of hearing (I must be accurate on GS or else someone will call me out, silly, I know.) I always love hearing the sound captured via my M310.

Oh, something I have not mentioned before: the M310 requires more gain than my MHK60 mic. Probably a solid 3 to 6 dB more to achieve the same performance/ output/ level. So it is current hungry and requires a bit more gain than some of the other contenders we have for boom work for film/ TV. I find the M300 eats current and requires gain in a similar fashion, which is of course no surprise... I expect the electronics inside each mic body (M300 and M310) are the same with the only difference being the physical construction in the head basket---no one at Microtech-Gefell told me any of that, I am making an assumption based upon use and observation.

The weight, fit and finish of the M310 is identical to the M300. In fact, even the slots for the forming the cardioid/ hyper-cardioid pattern look the same. I have taken to storing my M300 and M310 mics with the tiny cardioid/ hyper-cardioid pattern facing up in their wooden boxes so I can know at first glance which mic I am retrieving from its storage case. It would be REALLY easy to accidentally grab the wrong mic if one owned some of each. The M320 (omni) does not have the slots in the mic body so it would be an easier model to differentiate.

On the mic body weight: if you are accustomed to using MKH50 or MKH8050 mic bodies, you may feel like the Gefell M310 is a heavy microphone. I just feel like the M310 is a typical mic body weight, given its size and that the MKH mic line is an unusually light weight mic body... Sennheiser was clearly thinking of boom use when they designed the MKH line.

I have NOT try using my M300 in RF busy environments yet, but I can tell you the M310 has performed with no flaws in busy RF land. I have a lot of wireless in play sometimes (Comteks, Lectro on talent, Zaxcom wireless for camera hops and even wireless for BETSO time code boxes) and the M310 has always delivered without interference. That includes up to 100' cable runs for the boom op. And yes, one needs long cables to run to the boom op if using the M310 since it does not play well with plug on wireless transmitters, like my Lectro HM and HMA. On a side note, I prefer wired boom anyway, so this is not a bid deal for me.

I should add on that RF interference thing... for bag use, I am running a coiled cable attached to the boom pole. The boom poles I use are cabled carbon fiber Ktek poles. On long cable runs when I have a boom op, I use quad cable and/ or heavily shielded cable. So for the most part, I am employing the best RF protection I can. But a lesser RF protected microphone would not fare well in my wireless transmitter-heavy world. I know because I have tried some other mics that had problems. : ) I fully expect the M300 to behave like the M310, but as I already implied, I can't say as of yet that it has the same level of RF protection based upon experience since I have not used it much in the field.

Okay, so I did have some more things to add. I hope that was useful to someone. freshflowe