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Why do shotgun mics always sound so bad when i use them?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Why do shotgun mics always sound so bad when i use them?

So obviously im doing something wrong.

I have tried a cmc6 and a senny 416, both are supposed to be top of the line voice over mics.

But not when i use them. they sound like boxy crapola. WhYyYyyY??

I have an ultra treated room, with 10 inch floor to ceiling base traps with about a 4 inch air gap behind each of them. I have 8 inches of rockwool that covers about 85-90% of the walls.

I have an aphex channel>audient id22>into a hardware warm audio pultec eq and wa2a compressor. into my pc. my pc is beefy so i dont think thats it.

in any event everything sounds horrible still. ive seen voiceover youtubers speak into the cmc6 and the 416, unprocessed and it sounds like a work of art.

What am i doing wrong?

(I cant give any samples as i have returned both, but i really want to buy one immediately, if someone can help me make them work.)

Also, i currently have a U47 and it sounds amazing fyi.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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Dan Popp's Avatar
If the U47 sounds amazing, why are you messing around with these?

In my experience, shotgun mics do not do well in closets and prefab booths. You talk about the treatment but not (unless I missed it) the dimensions of your space. You would have to make a small booth anechoic for it not to screw up the built-in cancellation effects of the interference tube of a shotgun mic.

Also, if everyone else is getting a good sound "raw," why so much processing? Shotguns sound great on some voices for some applications, but when they're not right, they're really not right.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Popp View Post
If the U47 sounds amazing, why are you messing around with these?

In my experience, shotgun mics do not do well in closets and prefab booths. You talk about the treatment but not (unless I missed it) the dimensions of your space. You would have to make a small booth anechoic for it not to screw up the built-in cancellation effects of the interference tube of a shotgun mic.

Also, if everyone else is getting a good sound "raw," why so much processing? Shotguns sound great on some voices for some applications, but when they're not right, they're really not right.

1. I need the shotgun for some other video work i want to get into on youtube. i just shared info on the u47 just to highlight my inexperience with shotgun mics, because the 47 works great on its own out of the box.

2. Yeah, i think the dimensions may be the problem, its a 12x12x8 room :( But i thought the cmc6 was supposed to work really well indoors???

3. Its not a lot of processing, just a wa2a compressor and a wapultec for some slight eq. ( dont use the aphex for anything but the preamp.) I tried the shotgun mics straight into my audient interface and it still sucked :(
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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Dan Popp's Avatar
TuggerTugger, if you try any other shotgun mics, get them out into a more open space before you send them back. Ernie Anderson got the whole shotgun-for-v/o paradigm rollng when he wanted to get out of the booth and into the main room.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Popp View Post
TuggerTugger, if you try any other shotgun mics, get them out into a more open space before you send them back. Ernie Anderson got the whole shotgun-for-v/o paradigm rollng when he wanted to get out of the booth and into the main room.
Hey, Dan, pardon me for sticking my head in, but I've never used a shotgun for VO or, come to think of it, anywhere but outside (for vid).

For an application like voiceover, roughly what distance range from the talent are we talking about for an in-studio application like that?

Last edited by theblue1; 4 weeks ago at 05:06 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Popp View Post
TuggerTugger, if you try any other shotgun mics, get them out into a more open space before you send them back. Ernie Anderson got the whole shotgun-for-v/o paradigm rollng when he wanted to get out of the booth and into the main room.
I believe everything you said to be true. But then theres people like the guy who runs the "booth junkie" youtube channel, who uses a 416 inside of a small box that he calls a whisper room. and it sounds amazing.

Side note. Im from Akron also, Born in cleveland raised and graduated high school in Akron. Small world.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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hypercardioids and shotguns can shine in less treated rooms/large spaces due to their ability to dampen sound coming from the sides - in a well treated room though, there is no need to use tight patterns and other mics in a close position may give you more pleasing results - use what sounds good in your room: could easily be that you like ldc's (with whatever pattern) much better and frankly, if you're not getting from a u47 what you are looking for, then no other mic will possibly be of much help either...


..and get me a quote for the schoeps if you're about to sell it!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Guru
 

For me, shotgun would be way down the list of choices for voice-over, IMO.

Way down my list for anything, really. To me, a shotgun is a really compromised mic made specifically to get that super cardioid pattern. Not to "sound great".

If I can get a 'normal' mic close to the voice, I would almost always choose that option. If you are going to see it in the shot, why not use a normal mic?

Quote:
Also, i currently have a U47 and it sounds amazing fyi.
Okay!! I would say you have solved your own problem right there. Before the first reply, even.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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Earcatcher's Avatar
What capsule was on your CMC6? Should be Mk41. Unlike an interference tube shotgun, this one usually does not have any problems with room reflections and is indeed one of the best voice mics.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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matucha's Avatar
Interesting. For me MKH60 is bulletproof mic for voiceovers. It just sound right every time on everyone. With other mics it's often a mixed bag, sometimes they sound good, but a not every time and on everyone.
I haven't tried U87 at my place (yet). My other VO mics I use with various degrees of success are C414EBs (both capsules), U89, MKH80, SM7, Coles 4038, CMV563 and C24. The tube/ribbon stuff mostly when some specific sound is a plus. 95% of the time it's MKH60 though.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
I have a Sennheiser ME66 shotgun mic; superb mic but when used indoors (in regular home studio-type scenario) it can sound boxy or 'phasey' due to the side-rejection properties of the mic's design: reflections from the room walls interfere with the direct signal (within the mic) affecting the capture of the source.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
You keep mentioning the CMC6. Are you referring to the Schoeps CMC6? That is a mic amp body only without a capsule. The CMC641 (CMC6 + MK41) is a great shotgun replacement and works great indoors. Is that what you used?

Edit: Just saw Earcatcher's response; pretty much a duplicate of mine.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Why do shotgun mics always sound so bad when i use them?
Because there is a right tool for everything. Maybe this is not the right tool for you to use for this specific occasion
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Dan Popp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuggerTugger View Post
But then theres people like the guy who runs the "booth junkie" youtube channel....
I think all Utoob channels of this type have limited value, and some have negative value. The peeps are basically sharing their ignorance with the world, which is entertaining but annoyng at the same time.

What's happening in a very small enclosure is that you've got sound wrapping around to the back of the mic, where a shotgun mic has a significant pickup lobe, and your U47 in cardioid does not.

To the poster who asked why anyone would use a shotgun for v/o, the 416 in particular has been a standard since Ernie Anderson's ("the Luuuuuuv Boat") day. It has become an accepted and even preferred sound for movie trailers, promos and other genres where a lot of punch is required. Used on a midrange-heavy voice in the right environment it can be a dream. Otherwise, not so much.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aural Endeavors View Post
You keep mentioning the CMC6. Are you referring to the Schoeps CMC6? That is a mic amp body only without a capsule. The CMC641 (CMC6 + MK41) is a great shotgun replacement and works great indoors. Is that what you used?

Edit: Just saw Earcatcher's response; pretty much a duplicate of mine.
yes i have the mk41 capsule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
What capsule was on your CMC6? Should be Mk41. Unlike an interference tube shotgun, this one usually does not have any problems with room reflections and is indeed one of the best voice mics.
yes i have the mk41 capsule


Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
hypercardioids and shotguns can shine in less treated rooms/large spaces due to their ability to dampen sound coming from the sides - in a well treated room though, there is no need to use tight patterns and other mics in a close position may give you more pleasing results - use what sounds good in your room: could easily be that you like ldc's (with whatever pattern) much better and frankly, if you're not getting from a u47 what you are looking for, then no other mic will possibly be of much help either...


..and get me a quote for the schoeps if you're about to sell it!
and i wanted a shotgun mic for some other work i want to do where it would be best if a big mic wasnt covering my entire face :(

I think for now, I'm just gonna stick with the 47 until i can figure out how to get a mic out of frame but still maintain top level quality.. hmmmm
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Popp View Post
[The 416] has become an accepted and even preferred sound for movie trailers, promos and other genres where a lot of punch is required.
For VO, pretty much anything other than animation. In LA, at least. It's become a tail-wags-dog situation, unfortunately. If you can't figure out how to sound good on a 416 you're kinda sunk.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuggerTugger View Post
yes i have the mk41 capsule


yes i have the mk41 capsule




and i wanted a shotgun mic for some other work i want to do where it would be best if a big mic wasnt covering my entire face :(

I think for now, I'm just gonna stick with the 47 until i can figure out how to get a mic out of frame but still maintain top level quality.. hmmmm
If you are not getting top level quality out of the CMC641 out of the frame/above you, for example, then something outside of the mic is inhibiting the sound relatively excessively. That combo is like a tight and even spotlight to the source with very neutral off-axis response. Sorry if I missed it, but make sure you have very good *broadband* absorption at all reflection points (not foam) including the ceiling.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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Too close to the mic?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
MYN
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MYN's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
For VO, pretty much anything other than animation. In LA, at least. It's become a tail-wags-dog situation, unfortunately. If you can't figure out how to sound good on a 416 you're kinda sunk.
Yup. Here in L.A. and beyond, actually. I find that clients I serve across the country and overseas, especially in the EU and Middle East, prefer the 416 (or the MK-50) sound on my voice nearly all of the time. Animation (like Brent said) and real high energy car spots where you're really barking into the mic, are the exception.

I find with the 416, that signature secondary harmonic distortion it creates, that lets it cut through a music bed, gets really hairy when you project into it like you might with an 87, but if you just speak naturally into it (or at it) at a conversational volume or even softer, you can get right up on it and get fantastic results. It definitely requires slightly different mic technique and positioning.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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Dan Popp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Hey, Dan, pardon me for sticking my head in, but I've never used a shotgun for VO or, come to think of it, anywhere but outside (for vid).

For an application like voiceover, roughly what distance range from the talent are we talking about for an in-studio application like that?

theblue1, I personally would start with the shotgun mic a tad further back than I would a "regular" side-address LDC. Maybe 8 inches versus 6 inches, just as a starting guess. But you'll definitely see guys use them very close.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asYV-6kxIWo
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

FWIW, shotguns are constructed with their capsules at the midpoint of the vents. So "very close" isn't going to be all that close.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
I looked up the Sennheiser 416. I now remember seeing a clip from a guy extolling use of 'short shotgun' mics for VO in noisy or otherwise less than ideal situations. It does seem to make sense in such a use scenario. I'd just been focused on treated booth VO.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I looked up the Sennheiser 416. I now remember seeing a clip from a guy extolling use of 'short shotgun' mics for VO in noisy or otherwise less than ideal situations. It does seem to make sense in such a use scenario. I'd just been focused on treated booth VO.
I've used 416's for VO in all kinds and sizes of pro situations. I have no idea why OP's should sound like boxy crapola, unless his ultra-treated room is also ultra-tiny.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Dan Popp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
FWIW, shotguns are constructed with their capsules at the midpoint of the vents. So "very close" isn't going to be all that close.
Brent Hahn, the 416 has its diaphragm about halfway in the interference tube; but the diaphragm of a Neumann KMR81 is at the front (which also explains the wider pickup pattern of the Neumann). And I believe there are shotguns with the diaphragm closer to the rear of the tube, too.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Popp View Post
Brent Hahn, the 416 has its diaphragm about halfway in the interference tube; but the diaphragm of a Neumann KMR81 is at the front (which also explains the wider pickup pattern of the Neumann). And I believe there are shotguns with the diaphragm closer to the rear of the tube, too.
Oh, okay. I'm familiar with the 416 and the 816. Guess I shouldn't have assumed it was a more generalized thing.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
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Matti's Avatar
"The KMR 81 i is a studio condenser microphone featuring excellent directional characteristics for its
relatively compact dimensions and low weight.
The high directivity is due to a special acoustical
principle: the microphone capsule is located inside
an interference tube which is acoustically open but
has a high acoustic impedance."
-From the manual
@ Dan Popp Why would a mic have its capsule in FRONT of the acoustical interference tube
thus losing the purpose of the tube?

Matti
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Dan Popp's Avatar
Quote:
Why would a mic have its capsule in FRONT of the acoustical interference tube thus losing the purpose of the tube?

Matti

Why Neumann designed it with the capsule in front is a question for Neumann engineers. If you ever meet a KMR81 in person, you'll clearly see the shiny gold diaphragm behind a brass plate with holes in it - at the front.

Reading between the lines of their marketing material a bit, it seems that the boys in Berlin wanted to make a shotgun mic that was less peaky, and less colored off-axis than competitive mics. Moving the capsule to the front is probably a significant factor in the 81's hypercard pattern, which may help to achieve that design purpose.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
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Matti's Avatar
I disagree having used one...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matti View Post
I disagree having used one...
Disagree about which thing? The "less peaky" or the capsule placement?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
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Matti's Avatar
The capsule placement. The capsule is abouts where arrow is pointing

Matti

P.S. I was in the film industry my share
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