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Hi Guys

Going crazy atm trying to decide on which avenue to go down. I'm currently trying to find a decent hypercardioid mic for an indoor dialogue boom situation for at the most £300. So far I've considered the AKG SE300b with the ck93 capsule and the Oktava MK012 Film Edition.

Any thoughts on those mics or is there any others that are in the same price range?

I really want to go for the Oktava mic but have read so many horror stories about qc and handling noise. I do have a Gitzo GB1540 Boom and the Rode Blimp but unsure if I would have to get a Rycote BBG windshield as well.

Any advice would be really helpful.

Thanks guys

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    You could always buy a modified MK012 from Michael Joly over at OktavaMod.com. His new circuitry helps the noise floor a lot. For the price, you might find less compromise elsewhere, but it is a better guarantee of quality if you go that route. – NoiseJockey Feb 11 '13 at 1:10
  • I have heard a lot about the Joly mods. Unfortunately, living in the UK, rules that out. – Squareal Feb 11 '13 at 15:38
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Maybe check ot the line cm 3 these "secret tip" mics from sweden for a very low price

  • I love them, but the CM3s are not exactly hyper cardioid. very wide pickup patterns, which could be problematic if you're trying to eliminate indoor reflections. – Rene Feb 10 '13 at 21:35
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I love the Oktava MK012! It has a wee bit muddy top, but all in all it sounds good for it's price. Myself, I nowadays use mostly Sennheiser MKH-microphones, but my old Oktavas is still in use, though now for different forms of sound design-chores and for perspective sounds. Handling-noises IS a problem on this one, you can't just grab it and hope for the best, but you can learn to work with it. Of course you'll need a good suspension, but once you get a hang of it, it's well worth it. The suspensions from Line Audio intended for their CM3 are fairy good ones, but Oktava's own suspensions blows on an epic scale I'm afraid.

As Andreas already noted though, the Line Audio CM3 is a very very good microphone for its price. The >only< reason mine isn't in much use anymore is because my MKH40's does the very same thing better....but in it's defense, when I got the 40's they where about 24.000 SEK a piece, whereas the CM3 was 1.000 SEK... One dollar being about 7 SEK/1 Euro - 10 SEK/1 Pound - 12 SEK. Still use it for vocoders though! And still the MKH40's was the only microphones that could replace it!

The characteristics the two microphones apart though are very different, so it's not as easy as one could have hoped to say which ones the better one. CM3 has a softer sound less sensitive to acoustics, but demand more work in post, whereas the 012 have a more intelligible sound for speech, and can change capsules, but leaves much less options in post. If I were you I'd go for both if possible - different locations demand different microphones. And once, I did :-)

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Have you considered the Sennheiser ME66, Rode NTG2, Rode NTG3, or Sanken CS1/CS1e? I haven't used the ones you listed, nor know anything about them, but these shotguns also fit your price range (the Sanken is on the higher end cost-wise), but I have heard good thing about these. Just my opinion though, others may have more ideas.

The only thing to consider is whether you can feed the mic reliable 48 phantom power versus using battery-only (some of these mics offer battery internal power). Sometimes the battery-only method runs at a lower power and cuts the mic sensitivity (and S/N) lower than if you feed it P48.

Case in point: my Rode NT4 sounded okay with the 9v battery, but feeding it P48 from a SD702 now breathes a whole new life into the mic, it's a night and day difference, especially in available gain.

  • I've already got the NTG2. I use that for outdoor stuff. I have used it indoor but it was too much echo which is why Ineed a hypercardioid. – Squareal Feb 11 '13 at 15:42
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Have you thought of using a cardiod pattern mic? I've had very good results with a Sennheiser ME64. There's no pick-up off the rear of the mic which helps knock down reflections (especially when booming close to the ceiling), and it's short in physical length so it can be used in lower ceiling rooms.

  • I haven't thought about using a cardioid. Does anyone else here use a cardioid for indoors. I thought it was common practice to use a hyper for indoors. Any thoughts? – Squareal Feb 11 '13 at 15:48
  • I sure does! I never use super-cardios indoors, I mostly work with Sennheiser MKH40 for that kind of work. I prefer the fullness to the sound one gets over the more difficult positioning. Common practice is only just that - common practice. It does not necessarily mean it's the best way for you, only that most people prefer it for what they do! – Christian van Caine Oct 16 '14 at 8:53
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Yup, a hyper for interior booming is definitely needed. In your price range, both the AKG and Oktava are good options. I haven't used them myself. My friend has got the Oktava with a Rycote blimp. He likes the fact that the capsules are interchangable PLUS what he did, with a bit more money, by replacing a couple of the capacitors, resistors and the transistor on the main board thtat mic sounds comparable to much more expensive ones. That's the cool part to Oktava. Modified, it'll sound less grainy and more transparent, which may help to what you've heard about the handling noise problem. If you know someone on the inside they can do it for you because it's a cautious procedure.

Personally, I rely on the AT-4053b. It's fantastic. I switch on the 80Hz hpf, wind screen, rode blimp and boom, good to go. It does a great job on picking up those upper mids (esp w/o filter) and I've never had to worry about handling noise. A bit more cash but for me it was worth it. I only knew that because I rented it out before hand. I recomend that for sure. Go to your local rental house and rent out a couple hypercardoids and listen to the difference. Then make a decision. See if you can listen to the Schoeps CMC641. Man, it's well deserved as the platinum standard.

Also, even though the Rode blimp states specific mics, there are many it doesn't mention that fit without causing it stress like the at4053b for example.

Hope this helps.

  • I have heard good things about the at4053b. Sadly it's a little too expensive for me atm. I just bought an old SQN mixer which set me back a bit so I really can't go over £300. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated – Squareal Feb 11 '13 at 15:46
  • Can't figure out how to comment directly to the cardioid/me-64 discussion, so I'll do it here. The ME-64 is a great mic. I've had great results when recording plays and dance docs. Pretty much anything where your focus is on one individual but you want pickup on the sides as well for reference. Cardiod will work well indoors, it uses the same refelction principle as the hypercardiod, but the directiveness and on-axis of your talent or source of sound won't be as focused as a hyper as I've found out using at4053 and me64 indoors. But both will work well for interior booming. – patman25 Feb 11 '13 at 19:29
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I've heard very good things about the Audix SCX/HC-1, so if you can stretch your budget or find one used, I would go for that. Another good choice is the at4053b, which might be within your budget if you get it used. Don't forget that you also need a shockmount and perhaps also some wind protection, so add that to the price.

The CK93 is supposedly quite good, but I've also read about several who think it's a bit hissy for quiet stuff (it's output and self-noise isn't worse than the oktava though).

I own and have used an oktava many times as a boom mic. It's true that it's very sensitive, but it can be dealt with by having a good shockmount (such as a rycote lyre) and decent wind protection, and it will work fine for indoor use (at least for things where you don't need to make big or very fast movements). For those who have never tried it and want something they are sure will do the job, I usually don't recommend it though.

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Audix SCX/HC-1 for indoor dialogue

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    This answer would be useful if you could describe why you would choose this mic. – Rory Alsop Feb 12 '14 at 7:20

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