The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Oktava mk012 vs shure sm81 as drum OH mics... Condenser Microphones
Old 23rd May 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Oktava mk012 vs shure sm81 as drum OH mics...

Howdy.

First question: Which would you use as drum overhead mics, a pair of shure sm81 or a pair of oktava mk012?

Second question: So one of the first mics I bought was a sm81. It was a secondhand one and I used it as a SDC on accoustic guitar. Now I am planning to multitrack record some drums. Should I buy another sm81 and use it as a pair for overheads with the one I already own, or should I rather go for a new pair of Oktava mk012's and use them instead?

I am afraid I will hear some differences between my current and future sm81 if I'd decide to go down the shure path.

Thanks for your advise people!
Old 23rd May 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 

SM81: studio standard for decades for many instruments. Any 2 of them you have, in decent condition, will likely be a fairly close match. (Good enough!)

Oktava: not guaranteed to reproduce the sound of you jingling your keys without noticeable harmonic distortion. Not even really worth having a "matched pair" without mods.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Having used both for this application, i have to say neither is very flattering on cymbals. But, the SM81 is a great drum mic. Stock 012's are cloudy and veiled and the SM81 colors the cymbal sound quite a bit. If money is an issue, look into some of the inexpensive LDC's available for a cleaner cymbal sound. If you've got money to burn, go for the Neumann KM84 or KM184.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 

Fatheads for overheads! Sorry- a little off topic.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
recordinghopkins's Avatar
I've never heard anyone describe the 81 as a colored mic. It's got pretty darn flat response that gets even better if you do the resonator disc/windscreen removal mod.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
AT Pro37's

012's are great on toms especially with the pad - and particularly when amp'd with the EH 12AY7 pre.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #7
I went from mk012 to Peluso cm6c's. A bit better transient response, like an improved mk012. Came with hardcase etc really nice quality on the Pelusos
Old 23rd May 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Silent Sound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearowner View Post
First question: Which would you use as drum overhead mics, a pair of shure sm81 or a pair of oktava mk012?
Either. They're both great SDC's for the money. They're both great low cost drum OH mics. I use the MK012's, but I could also get great drum sounds from a pair of SM81's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearowner View Post
Second question: So one of the first mics I bought was a sm81. It was a secondhand one and I used it as a SDC on accoustic guitar. Now I am planning to multitrack record some drums. Should I buy another sm81 and use it as a pair for overheads with the one I already own, or should I rather go for a new pair of Oktava mk012's and use them instead?

I am afraid I will hear some differences between my current and future sm81 if I'd decide to go down the shure path.!
If you want to save some money then getting a second SM81 would be the cheapest way to go. However, if you got the MK012's then you would have more options. The MK012's also have an omni capsule available for them that sounds terrific!

Don't worry about the two SM81's not sounding identical. They probably won't, and it won't matter. They'll be close enough to use as a stereo pair. You can always adjust the gain with the preamps to level match them, and any tonal variations would be slight. And even that's okay, because if you're using them as a stereo pair, then you want what the two mics are picking up to sound a bit different. That's the point of stereo. I use my MK012's as stereo overheads and they sound pretty different from each other. Side by side, I can tell a difference, but once I've level matched them with the preamps and pointed them in different directions, I can't tell which is which anymore. They both sound like MK012's at that point. I'll bet Shure has better quality control than Oktava anyhow. "Matched pair" is marketing hype to me. Maybe if I was doing classical recordings it would be something that interests me, but as is, it's wasted money in my book.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
recordinghopkins's Avatar
I have two omni capsules for the 81. I absolutely love them. Sold originally as SM80 if you're trying to goole them. A good general use omni. Not quite low enough self noise for classical music, but omni overheads or room mics can sound really nice in a good room.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
Depending on where you get them (Banjo Hut) the Mk012s can be all over the map. At least the Shures will be close. I have a pair of selected and matched Mk012s from The Sound Lab. Used as overheads they pick up the bright overtones of the cymbals and much less of the toms than other SDCs like the Shures or low cost LDCs like CAD M179s. If you mic the toms and have full range LDCs for room mics, the Mk012s can add a nice shimmer and spaciousness along with a clear ping to ride cymbals. This can give you options in a dense mix. For less dense mixes I've found that Ribbons in a more minimal set up like the Glyn Johns sound more balanced and realistic. You can also put a gentle rolloff on the SDCs but that kind of defeats the purpose.
I do like the Mk012 on acoustic guitar and other things where I want that present sense of clarity.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #11
Deleted User
Guest
got both.. of the 2 the shure is my choice.. the Oktava (I have) is too soft sounding .. the Shure brings out too much ping ... I will take the ping forward

generally use the 4050 ..3/4" diaphagm seems to work just fine for me
Old 23rd May 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by recordinghopkins View Post
I've never heard anyone describe the 81 as a colored mic. It's got pretty darn flat response that gets even better if you do the resonator disc/windscreen removal mod.
Actually, the windscreen removal mod causes the HF response to droop just a tiny bit, but improves the transient response. The mod removes a bit of HF resonance created by the cavity created in front of the diaphragm by the windscreen.

I have and regularly use the mikes I got from Scott Dorsey that have this capsule mod. I also have the frequency plots he got from David Josephson when David tested the mikes after Scott did the mod. Scott didn't have that capability back then. Response is flat until a bit of roll off at the top end, and only -3 dB at 18 KHz. OTOH, the mikes are pretty sensitive to wind so a pop filter is typically in order with vocals.

Oddly enough, I just bought the mikes because I wanted bodies to use with a pair of SM80 capsules I had, so I wasn't too concerned about whether the SM81 capsules were stock. I bought the SM80s back in the late 90s based on David's recommendation that they were the only "decent, cheap condenser omnis" he knew of. Sadly, Shure discontinued the SM80 and the omni capsule in about 2000, presumably due to low sales volume.

Another odd quirk is that Scott never used these mikes on a gig. They were spec'ed on a festival gig he did, but he ended up not needing to use them and never had occasion to use the Shures.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 23rd May 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
I have the Oktava with all the capsules and the Fig8 adapter as well,
and they are great on so many sources, the omni capsule is stupidly good
They are not necessarily my first choice as OH but def more than the 81,
I use the Oktava for stereo room pretty often, but I used them as OH too,
again, probably not a first choice but fairly good at it
Old 23rd May 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
recordinghopkins's Avatar
It would be interesting to see the freq plots for those mics. Perhaps you can scan them and share?

What I was talking about is the ~2dB shelf-type rise above 4k. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that it goes the other direction a couple of dB with the mod. A little less sizzly and great for brighter sources.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #16
Gear Addict
 

One of the best drum sounds I ever recorded to tape was a good sounding kit in a nice sounding living room in an old house with one SM 81 positioned just over the drummers shoulder and a little bit forward.
Having said that, a good pair of 012's (mine are very old and modified) can work quite well.
Old 23rd May 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
ScumBum's Avatar
 

SM81's
Old 23rd May 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by recordinghopkins View Post
It would be interesting to see the freq plots for those mics. Perhaps you can scan them and share?

What I was talking about is the ~2dB shelf-type rise above 4k. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that it goes the other direction a couple of dB with the mod. A little less sizzly and great for brighter sources.
The Oktava matched pair comes with the matching test papers,
they should still be in the box, when in studio tomorrow I'll take a look,
if I find 'em I'll scan&post
Old 24th May 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Thanks for the link. I've been considering some modded MK-012 for a long time now, and only recently after I heard some clips, the Beyer MC930 has been making me reconsider. The only problem is the Beyer are cardioid-only, and I htink being able to use omni caps would sometimes be useful.

Anyway, in that particular test, I found Audio File 3/C to sound the most alive, and File B to sound the most veiled/dead. I was shocked to find out the result because I know that MK-012s are not the brightest SDCs and have less air than KM84s, and in other tests I've heard, Beyers did not sound darker than Oktavamods.

Retinal, do you have stock MK-012s or modded?
Old 24th May 2012
  #20
I'd say that the drum kit and the room will be a bigger determination of a good drum sound than choosing between those mics. I would also suggest the ATM450, which works quite well and was my OH of choice until I moved to LuLu Fets, which I think are a bargain at the 2 for 1 price.
Old 24th May 2012
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I have been very happy with MC012s as ORTF overheads.
Old 24th May 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retinal View Post
The Oktava matched pair comes with the matching test papers,
they should still be in the box, when in studio tomorrow I'll take a look,
if I find 'em I'll scan&post
Sorry, I thought you were saying that you have freq. plots of modded 81's.
Old 24th May 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melodeath View Post
Thanks for the link. I've been considering some modded MK-012 for a long time now, and only recently after I heard some clips, the Beyer MC930 has been making me reconsider. The only problem is the Beyer are cardioid-only, and I htink being able to use omni caps would sometimes be useful.

Anyway, in that particular test, I found Audio File 3/C to sound the most alive, and File B to sound the most veiled/dead. I was shocked to find out the result because I know that MK-012s are not the brightest SDCs and have less air than KM84s, and in other tests I've heard, Beyers did not sound darker than Oktavamods.

Retinal, do you have stock MK-012s or modded?
Beyer MC930's are dark, there's another shootout where they are compared to KM84's and they clearly are darker sounding.
Old 24th May 2012
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by recordinghopkins View Post
I've never heard anyone describe the 81 as a colored mic. It's got pretty darn flat response that gets even better if you do the resonator disc/windscreen removal mod.
Yes, it's quite flat, but that resonator disk just chews up cymbals. Try it yourself, record a cymbal with the SM81 and a KM84 and see which one sounds colored. The SM81 is flat and the KM84 isn't, but the 84 will sound more like the cymbal every time.
Old 24th May 2012
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamelan View Post
Yes, it's quite flat, but that resonator disk just chews up cymbals. Try it yourself, record a cymbal with the SM81 and a KM84 and see which one sounds colored. The SM81 is flat and the KM84 isn't, but the 84 will sound more like the cymbal every time.
More like the cymbal, you more like what you want the cymbal to sound like?
Old 24th May 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
SM-81s are not great (or even good imo). A Joly Modded Oktava MK-012 is a really good mic.


I also hugely prefer the modded MK-012 to the Beyer MC-930s (which I didn't find dark, in fact way too bright around 10k). A stock MK-012 is dark and slow, pleasant but doesn't reproduce highs correctly at all. Both the Beyer's and the modded Oktavas will beat the pants off of the SM-81.
Old 24th May 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamelan View Post
Yes, it's quite flat, but that resonator disk just chews up cymbals. Try it yourself, record a cymbal with the SM81 and a KM84 and see which one sounds colored. The SM81 is flat and the KM84 isn't, but the 84 will sound more like the cymbal every time.
The SM81 windscreen creates a bit of resonance that helps hold the static frequency response "flat", but at a cost in terms of transient response. OTOH, it makes a more robust mike for non-studio use. Without the windscreen, transient response is improved and I rather like the sound, as far as cardioid mikes go, though it still can't impersonate the KM84 or a Schoeps in terms of off-axis response.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 25th May 2012
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Man,... you guys are making it hard for me, lol. I don't have the money to get modified 012's,... are there any comparison files between non-modded and modded 012's?

Which mic has lower self-noise? I don't really know how to read the specs to understand which is more silent.

Also, I use the sm81 as an acc. guit. mic as well. I don't like that sound. Dull, sort of. Maybe getting 012 is a nice change.

I am really interested to know the difference between the unmodded and modded 012 sounds. If anyone knows a thread, ... thanks!
Old 25th May 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearowner View Post
Man,... you guys are making it hard for me, lol. I don't have the money to get modified 012's,... are there any comparison files between non-modded and modded 012's?

Which mic has lower self-noise? I don't really know how to read the specs to understand which is more silent.

Also, I use the sm81 as an acc. guit. mic as well. I don't like that sound. Dull, sort of. Maybe getting 012 is a nice change.

I am really interested to know the difference between the unmodded and modded 012 sounds. If anyone knows a thread, ... thanks!
Its the difference between a decent/slightly crappy mic and a great one. So worth the $!
Old 25th May 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearowner View Post
Man,... you guys are making it hard for me, lol. I don't have the money to get modified 012's,... are there any comparison files between non-modded and modded 012's?

Which mic has lower self-noise? I don't really know how to read the specs to understand which is more silent.

Also, I use the sm81 as an acc. guit. mic as well. I don't like that sound. Dull, sort of. Maybe getting 012 is a nice change.

I am really interested to know the difference between the unmodded and modded 012 sounds. If anyone knows a thread, ... thanks!
These are the only modded versus non-modded clips I've been able to find in years of lusting after these MK-012s haha

Near the end of this thread.
Oktavamod MK-012: really as good as a KM84?
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
UnDeFiNeD / So Much Gear, So Little Time
46
wilkinswp / So Much Gear, So Little Time
28
jdjustice / So Much Gear, So Little Time
9
Disjointed / So Much Gear, So Little Time
12
e-cue / So Much Gear, So Little Time
1

Forum Jump
Forum Jump