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Microphones used is movies
  • Reading around the internet can get you a lot of disinformation, or rumours at best. So I thought I'd create this thread to see if the microphones that are mentioned have indeed been used in movies, and which ones.

    For example, there is a rumour going around that Sennheiser MKH 416 has been the "industry standard" throughout 70s and 80s (and even 90s) in many Hollywood films. Is this true? If yes, which films? Please mention them. I would love to listen to those films.

    There is another rumour that Rode NTG-3 (and even NTG-2) is being used in film productions. If you KNOW this to be the case, then,please, list the movies that use NTG-3. (and I don't mean movies made for Vimeo, or amateur movies that don't stand the chance of being accepted into any decent festival)

    If there are other microphones that you know of, please add them to this list and please mention which movies they were used in. Movies from any decade are welcome. (like, I'd love to know what mics were used in Taxi Driver, The Godfather, Network, Blowout, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction etc)

  • 13 Replies sorted by
  • ADR or on set sound?

  • Schoeps microphones are industry standard

  • @soundgh2 I'm talking about the on set sound!

    @katig exactly! that's what I thought too. By the way, do you have any info on which Schoeps was used in which particular movie?

    But then again, one bumps into an occasional blog post or forum post where people make claims that most of the on-set sound from movies in 70s and 80s was done using Sennheiser 416 (with so much authority as if they just got back from shooting another mid or big budget movie). So I created this thread to serve as a myth-buster.

  • I don't remember where I read it, but I know for certain parts of the Pirates of the Carribean movies (probably smaller sets/interiors) they used the Scheops CMC641. I've always heard that was the industry standard for indoor dialogues (and one of the reasons I bought one).

  • There is no industry standard per-se people use Schoeps, Senheiser,Neumann, AKG, Audio Technica, DPA etc etc etc - depends who the recordist is - mics are a very personal choice - to be honest having a good boom op + a $200 mic >> bad boom op and a $3k mic. The 416 was used a lot in TV and film as were a plethora of other mics. Schoeps aren't seen any more on set than the other brands available - one nice benefit they have are that some caps can be removed from the body (although I find these a touch noisy as they are unblanaced from the cap to the body) so can give that extra little bit of clearance in tight spaces for your boom op. A lot of on set sound is replaced anyway these days due to filming restrictions - lighting noise (lighting crew noise lol) etc or purely for artistic choices by the director.

  • I see an awful lot of Schoeps MK 41s, but there isn't a huge difference in quality between a DPA omni and a Schoeps omni, the supercardioid is kind of a legend from Schoeps. As I mentioned in a previous post I like the MKH 40 for dialog and I posted an example, so the fact is there are so many examples online you can pick the one you like. I find most movie dialog sounds processed, dry, fake and cheesy with a slight harsh or trashy note in the HF, what we call "high frequency hash", but, hey, they are the pros :)

    Fact is, you cannot go wrong with a 41, so it doesn't matter if it is the standard, it is a world class mic. You can record dialog or a symphony orchestra. I haven't had any noise related issues from Schoeps in more than thirty years, so if your capsules are noisy just send them back.

    @soundgh2 is right--on a set, it can be really noisy, so a lot of the sound is replaced. And then you are talking about a totally different set up, with maybe a windscreen, large diaphragm neumann, etc.

  • @DrDave and @soundgh2 thank you for your input. But please note, this is not one of those "which mic should I buy?" threads. This thread is about: which particular mic was used in which particular film (or scene in the film)? (in the format that @kingmixer did). For example:

    Pirates of the Carribean --> Schoeps CMC641 (smaller sets/interiors)

    I'm especially interested to know which particular films Sennheiser MKH 416 was used in? Instead of saying "many" or "a lot", please name some.

  • I don't know if you've seen Casa De Mi Padre, but it looks like they used 416s. Source:

    I have to say, I'm extremely surprised they even used them in recording guns. Would not have guessed that.

    Also, it's not a "movie", but for Breaking Bad they talked about using the sennheiser MKH50 and Sanken CS3e.

    If this WERE a topic about suggestions for picking a good shotgun boom mic, by the way, I'd suggest the Sanken.

  • Also, if you're interested in it, may be a site you'd like. Although, I wish they'd talk about gear too – as much as they talk about "feelings" and "moods".

  • @kronstadt then your question should be what mics are used in ADR as that's 90% of the stuff you hear when you sit down with your popcorn :) and in that case @DrDave is correct, usually a Neumann large diaphragm/416/cos11 or similar setup dependant on the artist/ADR suite/ADR mixers personal choice.

  • @soundgh2 it's only in recent years that the percentage of ADR has increased so much. There were times when you would hear a lot of location sound. And that's what I'm talking about. And that's why in the original post I said:

    Movies from any decade are welcome.

  • @DrDave okey , let's keep it within limits- no earlier than 60s