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Best indoor mic for under $1,000?
  • 116 Replies sorted by
  • Spacewig is exactly right as usual about shotgun mics, hyper and super cardioids picking up noise from the rear. Many of these mics are basically modified figure-of-eight patterns, so they have a narrow view from the front and back, with the back attenuated but still present. They also have real nulls on the sides, which is really handy sometimes if you are micing two things that are close together but you want some separation.

    One way to use these of course is to make sure that there is no sound coming from back end, and you can sometimes point the front down and the back "off into space", for example in a Cathedral or auditorium with a very high ceiling.

    The AKG 414, especially with the Audio Upgrades mod, is a good sounding mic but as paulhouston mentions it is heavy for video work, and for pure audio work it is on the bright side.

  • I liked this video for the explanation of directivity:

  • It turns out that Vitaliy was correct. I guess the battery in my iRig Pre was just dying when I tested the CM20C, and I forgot that there is an internal battery in the Sennheiser ME80 (amazing to think how old that battery is) that must have kicked in when the phantom power from the iRig Pre got too low. There was only about 8V going to the CM20C.

    I put in a new 9V battery, and VOILA! about 47V coming from the iRig Pre, and nice quality sound coming from the CM20C.

    My only complaint is that the side rejection of the mic seems quite minimal, more like a cardioid pattern than a super-cardioid... Still a good sounding mic! :) Oh, and just for reference, to me it initially seems like the sound quality is very similar to the Sennheiser ME80, but the ME80 has a bit more side rejection.

  • @Tjabo

    Better check

    It also seems like you do not understand principal difference between shotgun and such mics.

  • Wow, that will keep my busy for a while -- Thanks!!! :-)

  • The CM20C gets noisy if its not powered by full phantom power (45v+) other wise it's quieter than my Senn. I found the side rejection from the mic very good outdoors, not really used it indoors.

  • Hey, I just uploaded a quick sample of the iSK CM-20C. What you guys think.. I am not expert on sound.

  • I'll be interested to see what others say about that sound, but the visuals are nice! :)

    BTW, when my phantom power has been in the 46.x volts range, I have had very nice sound from the CM20C also. I'm still not positive, but indoors I think I prefer it over my Sennheiser ME80, which I like a lot too...

  • It sounds good to me; I like the pickup of her voice. The rejection's not too high but I actually like that. The room acoustics blend well with the backdrop IMHO.

  • I used a boomed CM20C for an indoor interview project last week, and it sounded fantastic. By far the best sound quality I have gotten. I'm sending it into an iRig Pre, and from that into the GH4 through an adapter cable. Input sound all the way down on the GH4.

    Thank you to all here who I've learned from on this and other topics! :)

  • To me it sounds bright and also there is some high frequency hash in the electronics. An unmodded Oktava would sound better.

  • @DrDave, have you tried the CM20C, or are you going off of some of the samples here?

    I will look into the Oktavas, but my guess is that I'm not discriminating enough to hear the difference... Still, I would like to find out!

  • I have 2 x CM20C ... they sounds good.
    I find that when boomed, you cannot move it very fast ... poor shock mounting. Static mounted I'll use them ... mostly I stick with NT55 and the NT3

  • The oktavas are the only non-bright option in a cigar size (boomable) package that I have seen except for the naiant omnis which are tiny cheap and really rather nice sounding. But I have only used the omnis, which you need to really get in close with. I mean, a used oktava is so cheap.

  • this guys (Vincent Thomas) is in la, has been modifying audio gear for long time, and he is known for good work..I bought a stereo pair of modded mxl ua-1 mics, 135$ each mic plus shipping,they are condenser mics, so they do need phantom power, I have basically just used them to record guitars, but they sounds very nice for the price,they are very directional (forward) ,no extra features (like pad etc) to me they are on par if not better than the AT4050 mic (costing 3 times more), He informed me that few film students have used this latest one on sets.

  • Oktava's are great, but like vitally said you need to be on the look out for fakes ones....I had a 319 that died on me, I did a little surgery , took the capsule (which i love) and put it in an American tube mic (made in china :) ) (that i liked but sounded a little thin) cad m9 , now sounds much fuller with the 319 cap inside

  • I bought a CM20C, and tried recording a voice over in one of our dubbing suites. It's a great sounding mic, but what's amazing is the noise floor, which is subjectively comparable to an SE Electronics product costing several hundred pounds more. Astonishing value for money.

  • @Tjabo what do you use to handle wind noise outdoors with the CM20C?

    And is this the one everybody referring to (it is the cheapest one I can see online):

  • And is this the one everybody referring to (it is the cheapest one I can see online)

    This one is cardioid, you need CM-20C

  • Ah, so I need the Super Cardioid:

    Would that make it a better choice over the Takstar CM60 which is a normal cardioid? (also goes under the name of "CAD C9" or "Pronomic SCM-1")

    This is for booming indoor dialogue for films.

  • @IronFilm

    Yep. This is that you need.

  • Purchased both now! :-P

    iSK and Takstar

  • Well drat... it has arrived. But.... they shipped the CM61, not the CM60! Messaged the seller to now send the CM60 that I want. They're totally different microphones. As the CM61 is an omni-directional microphone.

  • Finally tried out the ISK- CM20C I bought a year ago and I like it. Sound quality is good. Amazing for $35 (USD). I had mic about 15" from actor's mouth. Used it indoors. Footage by @Rambo shows it's quite good outdoors too. Thanks @Rambo for turning me on to this mic. On a budget?..give this mic a try. Shipping from Australia to US was pretty quick too.