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Best shotgun for audio producer (public radio/podcast
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Best shotgun for audio producer (public radio/podcast

Hey all,

I’ve been content with my puny NTG-2 for awhile now. But I want to step it up and get a professional grade shotgun.

I need something that can:
• record voices on the go for interviews, indoors and outdoors
• record great ambient sound when I seek it out. Longer range is better but not necessary
• work for recording tracking if I can’t access my studio

I know this is asking a LOT from a mic. But I was considering the Sennheiser 8070.

I really like the look and description of the Neumann KMR 28. But it seems to get not so great reviews when used outdoors and seems kinda sensitive.

Any thoughts?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Nut
I'm not a film/dialog guy, but FWIW the Audio Technica AT4073 (now called BP4073) is underrated - step above the Rode without breaking the bank.
Can find them used in good shape on eBay every once in a while, for quite little.
There are also longer models: BP4071, BP4071L. These I have no experience with.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Find a used Senn. 416. It will always work, sounds fine, super rugged.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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For your purposes the shorter shotgun Sennheiser 8060 could be more versatile than the 8070: it should be a bit less directional and that might be useful if you want to record ambient sounds as well as interviews (which you say you do). A shotgun isn't really the best tool for ambient recording, nor is it the best tool for recording indoors. I use an 8060 for outdoor interviews/dialogue and an 8050 (supercardioid) for indoors; when I need to record ambient sounds or if I'm doing a mix of interviews and ambient recording I use either the 8060 or 8050 in M/S with an Ambient Emesser as the "side" mic. That gives the most flexibility: for interviews you can just use the mid channel. Another nice thing about the 8060 is that it's shorter and you can thus use a smaller blimp for outdoors recording in windy conditions.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
Find a used Senn. 416. It will always work, sounds fine, super rugged.
I'm leaning towards this because it seems like the one mic you want to have in your kit before branching out into the more situationally dependent mics. And like you said, super durable.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohnobro View Post
I'm leaning towards this because it seems like the one mic you want to have in your kit before branching out into the more situationally dependent mics. And like you said, super durable.
And always sellable if you want a replacement. But you won't if you do much of this kind of work--you'll keep it as a back up. For me, it has saved my ass many times when my main go-to mics (Schoeps, Sanken, Neumann) had issues due to RF or other radiation or humidity.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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tourtelot's Avatar
+1 for the venerable 416. 50+ years old and still doing what it does with skill and taste.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Agreed on the 416. If you're buying used, though, get one that's been used for studio/indoor recording if you can, not outdoors. Guys tend to unload them after they've been rained on and dropped in the mud.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
I'm gonna up the ante and say Sennheiser 418S.

It's a 416 shotgun rigged internally for Mid/Side stereo. It was invented for the Olympic broadcasts way back in the '80's; and is a favourite at NPR for things like the TinyDesk concerts, ambience for remote broadcasts, &c.

The only caveat is you have to use a 5-pin XLR, and phantom must be supplied to both channels even if you are only using the Mid capsule.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Neumann KMR 81/82 long. Those are used in all the major Hollywood movie foley rooms.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobAnderson View Post
I'm gonna up the ante and say Sennheiser 418S.

It's a 416 shotgun rigged internally for Mid/Side stereo. It was invented for the Olympic broadcasts way back in the '80's; and is a favourite at NPR for things like the TinyDesk concerts, ambience for remote broadcasts, &c.

The only caveat is you have to use a 5-pin XLR, and phantom must be supplied to both channels even if you are only using the Mid capsule.
I never really liked this mic.

The mid capsule is a 416 - the side capsule is made up from back-to-back cardioids and is not like other MKH fig-8 capsules. This makes the side capsule rather noisy and it's best left at about -6dB when used in MS (I got this from the designer).

It was developed quite quickly for the Lillehammer Winter Olympics - I'm not sure if the back-to-back cardioid design of the fig-8 was because of the short development time, or because this design makes it better resistant to wind noise (at the expense of being a poorer fig-8 than a single diaphragm design).

The one I really like is the MKH 8060 - same basic pattern as the 416, but quieter, less distortion and with a better off-axis response.

Use the 8060 with an MKH 30 for MS (until they eventually do make the 8030 )
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Neumann KMR 81/82 long. Those are used in all the major Hollywood movie foley rooms.
Nice mics - I have an 81i myself.

Many people thought they sounded better than the 416, but they were not so good outdoors as they are an AF design, not an RF one.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Use the 8060 with an MKH 30 for MS (until they eventually do make the 8030 )
John, I dimly recall you had dialogue with Sennheiser regarding their reluctance to bring out the MKH8030...was it due to technical problems of production, or perceived poor marketplace interest and take up ? They were bitten by the need to recall some of their early 8000 series mics for repair...maybe this soured their enthusiasm ? Does the MKH30 set too high a bar, unable to be matched by a smaller version ?

Neumann, Schoeps and even Tony's Taiwan based B9 Audio have similar sized fig 8 condensers, but they aren't RF mics
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
John, I dimly recall you had dialogue with Sennheiser regarding their reluctance to bring out the MKH8030...was it due to technical problems of production, or perceived poor marketplace interest and take up ? They were bitten by the need to recall some of their early 8000 series mics for repair...maybe this soured their enthusiasm ? Does the MKH30 set too high a bar, unable to be matched by a smaller version ?

Neumann, Schoeps and even Tony's Taiwan based B9 Audio have similar sized fig 8 condensers, but they aren't RF mics
My understanding is that they don't want to be bothered as they don't think they will sell enough.

They fail to realise that having a complete range will increase sales of the whole range, including all the other mics - they don't seem to see that without the 8030 then many people will get the Schoeps MS rig rather than the MKH 8000 series one and they have lost lots of sales of other mics as well.

There was a new person starting a year or two ago and I had a chat with him at IBC when he started and stressed the importance of completing the range - IE: MKH 8030 and the missing Y-cable.

I thought he was going to do this - maybe he will, I really hope so.

If IBC goes ahead in September maybe I will get a chance to chase up - but so many trade shows have been cancelled/postponed this year because of Coronavirus.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Though I do not use my MKH8060 often, the times I have needed it, it was a gig-saver. My other long-'gun is a late-'90s AKG CK98/SE300B combo, which I didn't like much from the start, and used only in "must use" scenarios. The MKH8060 is another tale entirely. I look for places I can use it, and have yet to be disappointed, or even "under-whelmed".

FWIW...

HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 2 weeks ago at 09:30 PM.. Reason: Typo...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
Though I do not use my MKH4060 often, the times I have needed it, it was a gig-saver. My other long-'gun is a late-'90s AKG CK98/SE300B combo, which I didn't like much from the start, and used only in "must use" scenarios. The MKH4060 is another tale entirely. I look for places I can use it, and have yet to be disappointed, or even "under-whelmed".
Er .... do you mean 8060?

There isn't a 4060.

Short guns are: MKH 415, 416, 418S, 60, 8060.


Long guns are: MKH 815, 816, 816F, 70, 8070.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Er .... do you mean 8060?

There isn't a 4060.

Short guns are: MKH 415, 416, 418S, 60, 8060.


Long guns are: MKH 815, 816, 816F, 70, 8070.
Of course. I shall repair the post immediately. Thanks!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
Of course. I shall repair the post immediately. Thanks!

Old 1 week ago
  #19
Here for the gear
 

So I went the safe route and got the MKH 416 just to have it in my arsenal. I don't have a finely tuned ear as a lot you but it's like night and day compared to the NTG2 I was using. Thanks so much for the input!

Now, onto a more complex question...

I got an H6 for 50 bucks more when I got the MKH4 416. I use a MixPre 3 but figured for 50 bucks, it would be good to have a backup recorder. But now I also want to have a backup mic. But there's a twist.

I also run a live, spoken word storytelling event. Ideally, I'd like to get a decent announce mic and just keep it handy as a backup in the field if my 416 craps out. Since it's a 416, it likely WON'T crap out any time soon shy of something terrible happening.

The question: is there a mic that is a high quality announce mic that could also be used for interviews in the field? I have a thing for how Neumanns sound and was looking at the KMS105.

I figure that's a good mic for live spoken word events. But would it be a decent mic for recording interviews in the field?
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohnobro View Post
I figure [the 105 is] a good mic for live spoken word events. But would it be a decent mic for recording interviews in the field?
Sure, as long as it's on a stand and stays in one spot and the interviewee stays planted directly in front of it.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Sure, as long as it's on a stand and stays in one spot and the interviewee stays planted directly in front of it.
Well (most of) us public radio producers have a weird thing, for better or worse, where we all use shotgun mics for interviews. I can't imagine the KMS 105 would less forgiving off axis than the MKH 416, right?

Edit: I should clarify we usually use a single shotgun mic and point it at the person talking, point it back at ourselves to respond, etc. I imagine this sounds wonky as hell but we do spend a lot of time developing handling skills to minimize the handling noises
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohnobro View Post
... we usually use a single shotgun mic and point it at the person talking, point it back at ourselves to respond, etc. I imagine this sounds wonky as hell but we do spend a lot of time developing handling skills to minimize the handling noises
Wonky as hell. Pretty much everyone else in the entire world uses omni mics for that task. Not because of the handling noise, but because you don't hear the speakers drifting in and out of the pickup pattern. An omni doesn't have a pickup pattern.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Wonky as hell. Pretty much everyone else in the entire world uses omni mics for that task. Not because of the handling noise, but because you don't hear the speakers drifting in and out of the pickup pattern. An omni doesn't have a pickup pattern.
Yeah, I totally get that. I wonder if it's somehow woven into the audio tradition of having that super crisp, intimate shotgun sound and even the occasional off axis to on axis transition (or, ugh, handling noise) sounding more on location somehow? No clue. From a gear standpoint, it doesn't really make sense that it's the standard.

Anywho, would you happen to know of a mic that would double as a good stage mic for spoken word and be something you could use in an interview? I get that might be a lot to ask for from one mic but I'm open to any feedback.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Wellll... the ideal handheld interview mic is an omni. But if you use that as a stage mic -- you teed it up for me so nicely -- you'd better be open to feedback. :-)
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Lives for gear
Pretty well 'tried and tested for decades' mic for handheld interview use: EV RE50:

http://recordinghacks.com/pdf/ev/re50-1997.pdf
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Wellll... the ideal handheld interview mic is an omni. But if you use that as a stage mic -- you teed it up for me so nicely -- you'd better be open to feedback. :-)
Oh man. Walked right into this one.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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Why not a Shure Beta 58a or even just an SM-58 as your backup? That's a standard stage announce mic, sounds good, is dynamic (no need for phantom power), nearly indestructible, and cheap. Works for interviews too if you're close enough. The 58a is a supercardioid with narrower pickup pattern than the 58, and also has an extended frequency range. I've used one of these as an MC/announcer mic for over a decade and it's excellent. These mics have a strong proximity effect, so you want to ignore the usual "eat the mic" advice and talk into them from about 4-6 inches away; if you do that you get a nice crisp and intelligible sound with no EQ required. A windscreen/pop filter is built in.

Because it's a dynamic mic you'll need to dial up the gain on your preamps more than you're used to, but I've tested it with a Sound Devices MixPre and there's plenty of headroom.

I also use condenser mics on stage, mainly for instruments but also for singers and speakers, and while they do generally sound better they are also much more prone to feedback, no matter how narrow the pickup pattern. The Shure Beta 58a is actually a great-sounding mic and I've had singers choose it over my much more expensive Earthworks or Sennheiser condensers on stage.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Also check out the Sennheiser MD 46, a cardioid dynamic handheld.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohnobro View Post
... The question: is there a mic that is a high quality announce mic that could also be used for interviews in the field? I have a thing for how Neumanns sound and was looking at the KMS105.

I figure that's a good mic for live spoken word events. But would it be a decent mic for recording interviews in the field?
I've used the KMS105 in live music and "announcing" situations (though my favorite use, after vocals, was an X/Y pair over a very nicely tuned drum kit at a live-tracked jazz concert) and, with a foam sock (plosive-fighter) think it could work as an interview mic. However...

At a DPA evening at the local Vintage King, I was mightily impressed with the d:facto vocal mic. It was part of an all-DPA rig on a piano (4099 pair, 4011 pair),bass (4099), cello (4099), vocal (d:facto 4018) trio. The group was tracked into a API desk to a PT session in the next room. I listened "live" (beside the cello), and listened later in the control room. d:facto is an appropriate name for the series.

About 10 minutes after the band took a break, I wandered back in just as the guy at the API desk said "Now... listen to this..." and proceeded to mute out all the mics but for the d:facto vocal mic, which he gained up on an instrumental break! Everything heard (they were also demo'ing ADAM A77x) was off-axis. The mic was, of course, still pointed at the singer's mouth. Everything was there, and nothing sounded wanky/phasey/bad at all. It was mostly just what the stuff sounded like... only at a lot less level.

A year later (this past December) I was working with my friend Dave Sinko at a benefit concert (Charlie McCoy was the headliner; Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, and Emmy Lou Harris were "surprise" guests) and Dave deployed four of the d:facto mics (3 frontline vocal, 1 utility/backline vocal) and it was the best vocal sound I've heard in 11 years of doing this event. The lack of plosives was noticeable, as was the minimal EQ necessary. It's a beautiful microphone.

Were I doing more live reinforcement/live tracking gigs, I'd own at least a pair. See this beauty at: https://www.dpamicrophones.com/handheld-microphones

One old guy's opinion...

HB
Old 1 week ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
I've used the KMS105 in live music and "announcing" situations (though my favorite use, after vocals, was an X/Y pair over a very nicely tuned drum kit at a live-tracked jazz concert) and, with a foam sock (plosive-fighter) think it could work as an interview mic. However...

At a DPA evening at the local Vintage King, I was mightily impressed with the d:facto vocal mic. It was part of an all-DPA rig on a piano (4099 pair, 4011 pair),bass (4099), cello (4099), vocal (d:facto 4018) trio. The group was tracked into a API desk to a PT session in the next room. I listened "live" (beside the cello), and listened later in the control room. d:facto is an appropriate name for the series.

About 10 minutes after the band took a break, I wandered back in just as the guy at the API desk said "Now... listen to this..." and proceeded to mute out all the mics but for the d:facto vocal mic, which he gained up on an instrumental break! Everything heard (they were also demo'ing ADAM A77x) was off-axis. The mic was, of course, still pointed at the singer's mouth. Everything was there, and nothing sounded wanky/phasey/bad at all. It was mostly just what the stuff sounded like... only at a lot less level.

A year later (this past December) I was working with my friend Dave Sinko at a benefit concert (Charlie McCoy was the headliner; Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, and Emmy Lou Harris were "surprise" guests) and Dave deployed four of the d:facto mics (3 frontline vocal, 1 utility/backline vocal) and it was the best vocal sound I've heard in 11 years of doing this event. The lack of plosives was noticeable, as was the minimal EQ necessary. It's a beautiful microphone.

Were I doing more live reinforcement/live tracking gigs, I'd own at least a pair. See this beauty at: https://www.dpamicrophones.com/handheld-microphones

One old guy's opinion...

HB
I have 4 of the dFacto vocal mics and they sound terrific. I use them for live sound +/-
live recording. The linear version 4018VL is flat on-axis from 100Hz on up. The regular version, 4018V, is flat except for a 3dB “air” bump at 12kHz.
The off-axis response is also tonally neutral and I have also found that any bleed from
instruments to be natural sounding.
Even though it’s a supercardiod the mic is very forgiving of a vocalist singing off-axis, a little softer but no tonal change.
I have used it for simultaneous pickup of a vocalist who was also playing violin.
While Sennheiser MKH8040 and 8050’s are my go to instrument mics, when I need more mics, it also sounds great on almost any instrument e.g. jaw harp, violin, acoustic guitar, banjo, brass, flute, clarinet, even drums(though the lowest bass notes may be a little weak). The smooth on and off-axis also makes for very low feedback risk. If the PA is Eq’ed for flat response I almost never need to use channel Eq, unless the vocalist insists on “chewing” the mic in which case some bass roll-off is needed. Like-wise I almost never need Eq on the recorded vocal track.
The flat on-axis Eq response is at approximately 4 1/2”.
Not cheap, $1050, but worth it.
Makes doing live sound and live recording
easy.
I’ve had all vocalists very impressed
with how good they sound and only the price deters them buying one for themselves.
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