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Best indoor mic for under $1,000?
  • I'm going to get some serious gear soon and I have to upgrade my current shotgun.

    I'll be shooting a lot of interior diagloue shots in small to medium sized rooms. From what I've been told, a shotgun mic like the MKH 416 is terrible for indoors, correct?

    What's the best indoor mic for $1,000 and under?

  • 101 Replies sorted by
  • There is a good article on B&H about just this.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/indepth/audio/hands-reviews/interior-dialog-boompole-microphone-roundup

    I myself use the AKG Blue Line CK93 and SE-300B. I really dig how it sounds, but you need a good pre-amp ahead of it. I've been using the Zoom H4n and I have to jack up the mic volume into the 90's to get a good signal. Thinking about investing in a Juicedlink box or an actual mixer.

    Here is an example of the AKG during my light panel review.

  • I have a couple of Oktava MK012's fitted with hyper cardioid capsules for indoor use. They sound good but are very susceptible to handling noise and air turbulence. Hence a good shock mount and wind protection is required. I ended up getting a Rycote Invision 7 shockmount and Rycote Baby Ball Gag (see attached photo) so maybe budget for these along with the mic if you go down this path.

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  • Who said the 416 is horrible for indoors? Hasn't this been the go to mic for Hollywood for years? BTW, I have one and you can hear spiders farting with it!!!

  • @vicharris I think the OP is probably referring to the acoustic problems often encountered when using shotguns in small interior spaces caused by out of phase reflections. Hence the reason for switching to hyper cardioids.

  • Hmmm, well, it was still the industry standard for some time, so that must mean something......or not :)

  • It's not the 416 that's at fault it's the design (interference tube) and resulting pattern typical of shotguns. They tend to have a very narrow but prominent rear lobe. In a small, and I should have said bad sounding reflective acoustic environments, phasing issues can develop which can screw things up. Hyper cardioids have less rear pickup and straight cardioids have even less but are of course not as tight in front. If the room is acoustically well damped then it's not such an issue.

    Here's a relevant link...

    http://javierzumer.com/en/microfonos-de-canon-en-interiores/

  • Nothing wrong with a shotgun indoors (so to speak)

  • What about the NTG-3 vs the Audio-Technica AT4053b? Are either one of those better than the other or are they evenly matched?

  • I also recommend the AKG Blue Line SE-300B with CK93 capsule OR alternatively the Audix SCX1/HC. Check ebay for used and cheap!

    NTG-3 is shotgun and good for outdoor recordings, unless you work in a very spacious room with good acoustics, which is quiet unlikely.

  • @acuriousman - google is your friend. Sound on Sound in the UK have a particularly good archive on mic tests. The sennheiser 416 initially mentioned is an industry standard and a great all round choice.

  • It seems there is some ignorance about the use of shotgun mics indoors. General rule of thumb is shotgun mics are for outdoor use and hyper cardioids for indoor use. Yes the 416 maybe an industry standard shotgun mic but Schoeps are the industry standard for hyper cardioid mics for indoor use. Of course for us 'little guys' we may have to pick something more affordable ;)

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  • Interesting. I've heard a few people recommend the Rode but quite a few more recommend the AT. I'm guessing because the RODE is more of a shotgun like the 416 like you said.

    My only fear is the 4053 might be too bassy...

  • hi pundit I just got myself a mk-012 off of fleabay .. do yours have the joly mod or are they stock? regarding the handling noise, I'm going to try to make my own windscreen as I have a sewing machine.. the one made in this video seems to be very nice; perhaps some sort of stretchy liner material would be even better though

  • I used the superlux S241 for all dialogue in this video. Costs around $125 and sounds great; 20hz-20Khz, low-noise, high SPL, high sensitivity, flat freq response with bump around 10Khz which makes up for high frequency loss when the mic is more than 16 inches from the subject... I bought two and haven't used my Oktavas since.

  • @acuriousman A mic's bass response is irrelevant in this context as you can attenuate/eliminate low frequencies with a high-pass filter/EQ in post. This should not be a determining factor in your purchase.

  • spacewig: wow! I wish i knew about these before.. what caps do you have? cardiod or hyper? 180 shipped for a matched pair is an amazing deal

  • Hard to believe those $25 - $40 mics would be the best indoor mic under $1000 ?

    Anyway, found this: Audix SCX1/HC Microphone, price about $500 . Was reading some reviews and someone described it as "poor mans Schoeps".

  • Hard to believe those $25 - $40 mics would be the best indoor mic under $1000 ?

    :-) May be :-)

    In fact, they are good mikes.

  • There is a reason why Foley and ADR studios use also the Senn 416 shotgun mic. That's to have consistent sound with the original dialogue and ambient tracks. Don't use $30 mics. It's like using your SD DV camcorder for your current HD productions. Everybody could use a largish sensor camera for megabucks production look shallow depth of field, but good sound is the main difference with good productions. Just my .02 euros

  • If you shoot on proper isolated studios, that's fine, but like said many times, it's not a good mic for indoor (normal situations for low/no budget with lot of echos) - between I see more Schoeps and Neumann than 416 when money isn't an issue ("industry standard"...). I'm not often in charge of the sound but a good all-around mic that I use sometimes (slighty more than 1000$ though but sometimes there is some used ones at "good" prices...) is Sanken CS3e. Very good outdoor shotgun but even in bad indoor it works quite well (way better than 416 senn).

  • Don't use $30 mics. It's like using your SD DV camcorder for your current HD productions.

    No, it's not. And very far from it.

    Also, it is much better to properly use such $30 mike than wait to get pricey one or use one without necessary skills (and skills shooting indoors come with expirience).

  • @robertGL They are cardioid capsules which I find much better for dealing with reverb in tight or sparse spaces. Also, I find a lot of noise can be controlled if one prepares properly. For example, going to your locations alone with your sound gear and good closed-back headphones to listen to the ambient sounds present in said location allows you to devise effective strategies/alternatives to minimize noise in your dialogue recordings.

  • @spacewig how is the handling and wind noise on the superlux mics on a boom?

    @inviev I think that for dialogue purposes, microphone selections are not entirely a big deal in the super-cardioid range.. sure, the top shelf offerings from sennheiser and schoeps are going to be worth the money, given the scale of the productions they are generally used... but from what I'm reading, the cheaper offerings from Rode down to the chinese 20+$ mics can provide successful audio capture when properly used