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New Sennheiser MKH8000 Series Mics Condenser Microphones
Old 26th March 2008
  #121
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videoteque's Avatar
Those drums sound good!

What other mics were used on the drums?? Signal chain??
Old 27th March 2008
  #122
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Overheads - MKH 8040 - DAV BG 2 mic pre
Kick - Sennheiser e902 - Neve Portico 5012 mic pre
Snare - Shure sm57 - Neve Portico 5012 mic pre
Toms - Sennheiser e604's - Neve Portico 5012 mic pre
HH - AT450 - True P8 mic pre
Old 27th March 2008
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare View Post
Tomorrow night I record the Emerson plus the American Steinway and will use a 1m spaced pair of 8020s for mains and 8040s on the piano. If they are anything other than subtle I'll report back.
Here is a snip of the part of the concert that used the piano-- a Schumann Piano Quintet. I went with 18 inch spacing rather than 1m-- the lack of acoustic was causing a slight hole-in-the-middle. They were about 9ft above the stage for this-- slightly higher on the first half in which the quartet stood-- a typical Emerson practice.

I also added 1dB at 2kHz with a wide Q with Algorithmix Orange LPEQ and used the Haydn Hall IR (with extensive modification) in Altiverb 6.

I am VERY pleased with the overall soiund of the 8020s and how the 8040s (delayed 15ms) on piano regained only the overtones.

Rich
Attached Files

emerson_lucasSNIP.mp3 (1.51 MB, 1266 views)

Old 28th March 2008
  #124
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dunno, I'd like to hear more presence (3k-8k) and less 200-300Hz... in non-fatique manner of course ;-), this sounds a bit dull and nasal to me when splitting hairs
Old 28th March 2008
  #125
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What are you listening on?

Rich
Old 28th March 2008
  #126
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Nothing fancy (anymore )... apogee minidac and adam s3a. I'm very used to this setup, though I know minidac isn't the best DA around.

listened again this morning and my opinion stands in a way, but I think it is a bit muddy because of the room and I'd like to hear the instruments closer than they are.
Old 28th March 2008
  #127
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

The one thing I have found with the symmetrical capsule MKH mics is their neutrality and revealing character (or lack of "character").

So a good instrument played by a good musician in a good room sounds superb.

But if any of the above are not right they will show it up as they do not colour the sound in any way.

Your comment about more 3-8kHz and less 200-300Hz is asking for a coloured mic. - but you can always tweak in the mixdown if required if you want colour.
Old 28th March 2008
  #128
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d_fu's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matucha View Post
dunno, I'd like to hear more presence (3k-8k) and less 200-300Hz... in non-fatique manner of course ;-), this sounds a bit dull and nasal to me when splitting hairs
I would agree - I listened on speakers and (Beyer) headphones, incl. a new 880 Pro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The one thing I have found with the symmetrical capsule MKH mics is their neutrality and revealing character (or lack of "character").
Are you referring to MKH 80/800? The 80x0 don't seem to be made to be totally neutral, even Sennheiser's press material states that they "emphasize the warm content of a voice or an instrument", and the published graph indecates the same...


Somewhat OT, I recently compared the MKH 80 to C414 B-TL (not TL-II) on a fortepiano (stereo spot) and though the MKH sounded terribly and plasticky...
Old 28th March 2008
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu View Post
...
Somewhat OT, I recently compared the MKH 80 to C414 B-TL (not TL-II) on a fortepiano (stereo spot) and though the MKH sounded terribly and plasticky...
That is usually a tell-tale sign of resonance issues (as is the 'golden halo' effect mentioned previously).

We are conditioned from birth to know the sound of various material resonances, wood, metal, plastic, glass, etc. These natural signatures can be easily masked by microphone or speaker resonances.

Andy
Old 28th March 2008
  #130
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matucha's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_simpson View Post
That is usually a tell-tale sign of resonance issues (as is the 'golden halo' effect mentioned previously).

We are conditioned from birth to know the sound of various material resonances, wood, metal, plastic, glass, etc. These natural signatures can be easily masked by microphone or speaker resonances.

Andy
Strangely in this orchestral sample I can hear something thats also present in a way in my old MKH405, this mic is fat and smooth on the top, but somehow veiled in the low mids. Strange character, but not bad sometimes. It tamed some very agressive voices quite nicely.


OT

And your microphones (andy) sound quite strange too ;-). When I listened to the drum samples it had "rubber-like" character. Strange and interesting. There was also strange thing about phase, not natural at all. The other samples had the same feeling too.

But I liked that somehow and thought... it would be fun to have a pair for dunno... $200, for some special FX stuff. But then you're not selling them for such amount.

/OT
Old 28th March 2008
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu View Post
Are you referring to MKH 80/800? The 80x0 don't seem to be made to be totally neutral, even Sennheiser's press material states that they "emphasize the warm content of a voice or an instrument", and the published graph indicates the same...
I was referring to both old and new.

The original Sennheiser literature on the MKH 8000 was pretty poor and has been changed.

I spoke to someone high at Sennheiser Germany who said "the MKH 8000 are the most uncoloured microphones Sennheiser has ever made".

The "warmth" bit refers to the extended low end response that picks up frequencies that virtually all other directional microphones miss.

The corrected version of the brochure is HERE.

The brochure now says: "They are accurate without being clinical or hard; warm without being coloured."
Old 28th March 2008
  #132
0VU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
I was referring to both old and new.

The "warmth" bit refers to the extended low end response that picks up frequencies that virtually all other directional microphones miss.

The brochure now says: "They are accurate without being clinical or hard; warm without being coloured."
How do those descriptions sit in the context of the oft proclaimed concept that the original MKH mics are completely uncoloured, have a far more extended LF response than other small diaphragm mics and are neither clinical nor hard? If they're both the same how can one be different?

Is it possible that some of the perceived difference is due to the slightly 'tailored' frequency response of the newer mics? I don't have a problem with it at all, I just can't see how it can be claimed that it's completely neutral/uncoloured when it's obviously a different sound - and spec - from the other MKH mics for which similar claims have long been made. I know it's all just marketing but either the new ones are and the older ones aren't or vice versa.
Old 28th March 2008
  #133
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Neutral or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0VU View Post
How do those descriptions sit in the context of the oft proclaimed concept that the original MKH mics are completely uncoloured, have a far more extended LF response than other small diaphragm mics and are neither clinical nor hard? If they're both the same how can one be different?
......................

I don't have a problem with it at all, I just can't see how it can be claimed that it's completely neutral/uncoloured when it's obviously a different sound - and spec - from the other MKH mics for which similar claims have long been made. I know it's all just marketing but either the new ones are and the older ones aren't or vice versa.
I like MKH mics, haven't tried the new ones yet, but I absolutely agree with the questions you raise. If they're neutral than say so. But how can they be "more neutral" when the old ones were the epitome of neutrality? And it seems like Sennheiser didn't really know what they created with the new ones-first off, they were discribed in "glowing" warm and humanistic terms. Now they seem to be different yet warm, but yet neutral. I don't quite get it either. First I attributed it to marketing. Now I no longer dismiss it that way. With high end mic manufacturers, generally we don't get the whole spin thing, say from Schoeps or DPA. They just describe their mics. Sennheiser has taken us all into the realm of humanism, temperature, etc. Not very dignified.

None of that will keep me from trying and probably appreciating the new mics.

It also bothers me about the curves being drawn my various manufacturers for mics they've "improved" with extended HF response. Those response curves always become less linear below 20 kHz-look at Schoeps new mic preamps and the Sennheiser 80/800. Then they were "corrected" to look, well, better. All of this doesn't quite strike me as being very forthcoming.
Old 28th March 2008
  #134
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0VU View Post
How do those descriptions sit in the context of the oft proclaimed concept that the original MKH mics are completely uncoloured, have a far more extended LF response than other small diaphragm mics and are neither clinical nor hard? If they're both the same how can one be different?
I can only go on what I have discussed with various people at Sennheiser Germany.

The MKH 8000 directional mics go 10Hz lower than the old (30Hz as opposed to 40Hz bottom end - MKH 8040 compared to MKH 40) and go up to 50/60kHz (the old ones rolled-off pretty sharply just above 20kHz).

The frequency response curve is not quite so ruler flat as the MKH 20/30/40 series, but I have been told, less coloured.

All I can say is try and see.
Old 29th March 2008
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matucha View Post
...
And your microphones (andy) sound quite strange too ;-). When I listened to the drum samples it had "rubber-like" character. Strange and interesting.
...
You might be surprised to know that I actually predicted your response (indirectly) several years ago when I began the concept phase for the Model A.

What you are describing is the relative over-damping of the acoustic system of your speakers.

People often describe this as a 'softness' of sound also.

If you listen on more efficient speakers which operate at a higher acoustc impedance you will find a very different story.

Do you have efficiency figures for the individual drivers of the s3a?

This will give us an idea of the acoustic impedance at which they operate - which is essentially as direct-radiator as far as I can tell.

Andy
Old 29th March 2008
  #136
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You guys for sure know, I think, that the freq. response graphs, as well as the polar plots are "smoothed" by the manufacturer. We are not seeing the raw output from the test lab because, for all makers, this raw output graph looks ragged and it's hard to interpret.

That some posters are now debating the language from Sennheiser's ad agency and expecting technical truth instead of a sales pitch, is pretty funny. The brochure you're reading is meant to sell the microphones.

I'm still using the 8020 pair in an orchestral setting. I've decided to use it for several months and then re-evaluate it. It is not fulfilling the sound world expectations when compared to the M50 pair I was using.

However, I hail the 8020 pair as a piano pick-up in a good room.
Beware of judging any omni mic in less than a very good acoustic. They will always sound bad in an ordinary room.

I do not believe that the sound of the new Senn. mics is due to any sort of resonance.
I am still tryiing to discover exactly how Senn. have electronically tailored the freq. response of the 8000 series. Testing continues. . .
Old 30th March 2008
  #137
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Plush et al,

I was under the impression that the frequency plots given in marketing material could be the average graphs of up to 100 microphones of the given model, and then smoothed out so as to only give the most basic of gists as to how they will react. Surely THIS is why matched pairs are so important - and why companies like Neumann, Schoeps and DPA are so expensive; they state that off-the-shelf they will not deviate from the published spec by X amount (anything down to 0.5db for DPA isn't it?) - which is an EXPENSIVE process.

MohThoM
Old 30th March 2008
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
You guys for sure know, I think, that the freq. response graphs, as well as the polar plots are "smoothed" by the manufacturer.
That should be a commonplace which does not require any debate.

Quote:
That some posters are now debating the language from Sennheiser's ad agency and expecting technical truth instead of a sales pitch, is pretty funny. The brochure you're reading is meant to sell the microphones.
And as such, it needs to tell the customer at least something about what to expect from the product... If the 80x0 mics were heralded as the worlds most neutral mics, the use of the word "warm" would be prohibitive and the graph would not show an obvious 2 dB raise in a range from 30-300 Hz or so... It would look more like the Neumann graph I've attached.

I'm not over-interpreting the Sennheiser graph (did you see the little dip at 5.5k? I bet that is problematic when recording violins... ). But together with the press material, it does indicate a tendency, oor at least an intention.

Quote:
I am still tryiing to discover exactly how Senn. have electronically tailored the freq. response of the 8000 series. Testing continues..
Do tell us when you find out..
Attached Thumbnails
New Sennheiser MKH8000 Series Mics-131.jpg  
Old 30th March 2008
  #139
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The Neumann graph is a pre-amp graph, not a microphone frequency response.

I think the Sennheiser brochure *does* say what to expect. I hope so, as I wrote some of it. Rather I changed some of the original text after talking to the designers and other people in Sennheiser Germany - the "warm without being coloured and accurate without being clinical" bit was mine - trying to put what I was told in words that would give meaning.

You can design a mic that measures perfectly and sounds not very good and you can design a mic. that may not look perfect on paper but sounds perfect. My understanding is that the MKH 8000 series has been designed and measured and used in recording situations and tweaked to get the best compromise. But when someone in Sennheiser says "these are the most uncoloured mics we have ever made" makes me sit up and take notice.

After hearing them in a real situation I am adding them to my own collection.
Old 30th March 2008
  #140
0VU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The Neumann graph is a pre-amp graph, not a microphone frequency response.
I thought that was the 1kHz graph for the KM131. As labelled.

I'd be worried if the preamp module had a +/- 2dB tolerance and a roll off below 20kHz, let alone needed measuring in the free field.
Old 30th March 2008
  #141
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0VU View Post
I thought that was the 1kHz graph for the KM131. As labelled.
Sorry, my mistake - I looked at the KM 100 bit and missed the KM 131 bit highlighted.

I forgot the 131 was ruler flat - and I have a pair myself in the KM-D version.

that's what comes of posting while drinking a bottle of good vino.
Old 31st March 2008
  #142
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Quote:
I forgot the 131 was ruler flat
Ruler flat because they make the graph with a ruler?? I don't think they even swithched on any audio meter...
Old 1st April 2008
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu View Post
Somewhat OT, I recently compared the MKH 80 to C414 B-TL (not TL-II) on a fortepiano (stereo spot) and though the MKH sounded terribly and plasticky...
Need to correct that statement... The MKHs sound brighter, but not bad at all... Listening for the first time since the recording now, admittedly. Might use them in the mix, after all...
Old 1st April 2008
  #144
Joining this thread at the last possible moment- I just wanted to add my $0.02 to the discussion.
I've had a pair of 8040's for a month now and the 8020's for a couple of weeks and must say that for the price they are a great bargain. We will end up purchasing a couple sets of the 8040's and 8020's for the mic cabinet.
However, as with the older MKH-20 and 40, these mics are very quiet and clean, but lack any real character. (Caution: Opinion about to be expressed) In the grand scheme they are always the "compromise choice" when it comes to microphone selection. I realized that I am incredibly spoiled with the choices of microphones available to me, but to be honest, I chose the microphone based on it's color, rather than lack there of.....
As always YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
Old 1st April 2008
  #145
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
I realized that I am incredibly spoiled with the choices of microphones available to me, but to be honest, I chose the microphone based on it's color, rather than lack there of.....
I'm the opposite - I choose microphones for their *lack* of colour and character as I mainly record classical and want to record what the performance really sounds like without changing it with coloured microphones.

Also the lack of intermodulation distortion in the MKH 20/30/40 series and MKH 8000 series allows the subtleties to come through that are lost with other mics.

Perhaps that's why I like the MKH so much. heh
Old 2nd April 2008
  #146
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I have to say, it is interesting to see the wide range of opinions here about the same mic. Might as well add a few more of my own

I've been enjoying using the 8040 in a way that I never enjoyed using the MKH40. Both are great mics, but the MKH40 always struck me as a bit sterile and lacking of personality. There can be a certain flacid quality to recordings made with them. I use that to my advantage when I use them as woodwind spots in an orchestra as it keeps the sound of the brass that are usually behind a woodwind section under control. When I've used the MKH40 in more distant micing situations, I've been less pleased. The limp quality on an orchestra makes for a boring recording. The reach for choirs means a lack of diction, etc.... They work, but they are what they are.

Now, the 8040, I find to have a personality. The transient response and the dig into an ensemble are preserved (much like the MKH800). A visceral impact for an orchestra or other ensemble are preserved, while maintaining a good open sound.

After use, my only complaint is the lack of hype on the top end (usually a very good thing) has required me to EQ things a bit brighter as it can be a bit dark. I like this 95% of the time, but it has been an issue on a couple things- most notable on solo vocals.

--Ben
Old 2nd April 2008
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
I have to say, it is interesting to see the wide range of opinions here about the same mic. Might as well add a few more of my own
One opinion per person only, please... heh

Quote:
the MKH40 always struck me as a bit sterile and lacking of personality. There can be a certain flacid quality to recordings made with them.
While I agree, I've found their sound tends to mix very well with the main mic (also the 50).

Interestingly, a Tonmeister I know makes a similar statement from the opposite perspective about the old MKH 20 - says he doesn't like it in a two-mic setup, but thinks it's great when used with spots...
Old 3rd April 2008
  #148
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Lots of good discussion here re the 8020 omni and 8040 card. So it begs the question....

...has anyone played with the 8050 hypercard? How might it compare to the fabulous but PAINFULLY expensive Schoeps MK41?
Old 3rd April 2008
  #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken K View Post
I bought a pair of the 8040's last November and just recently had a chance to try them as drum overheads for a Jazz concert. Heres a sample. No EQ on the OH's.
I really enjoyed listening to this drum recording. The overhead sound is so crisp and clear and real, it almost makes the rest of the set sound dull in comparison. Very nice.


(Listening on HD 600, and Lavry DA10)
Old 7th April 2008
  #150
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Per recommendation (thanks Mike) I'm Looking to pick up 8020 stereo pair.

Anybody try these with a Jecklin Disk? Any samples posted?
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