"One Mic To Rule Them All"

"One Mic To Rule Them All"


- [Dave] Hey everyone, Dave from DVEStore here. And today, we're talking about supercardioid and hypercardioid microphones, specifically, I'm rocking out with an Audix SCX1-HC on channel 1, I have a DPA 4017B on channel 2, a Schoeps MiniCMIT on channel 3, and a Sanken CS-3E on channel 4.

I'm recording on to a Zoom F4. I have set up the gain. There are all...the levels are all pretty much the same. So, the reason we're doing this is we wanted to do a listening comparison between these four mics. Well, we get asked all the time, "I need a mic that's great for indoors and maybe for some exteriors." And my go-to response usually is the Sanken CS-3E.

I've used it for both exterior and interiors and it works great, and it has a good off-access attenuation. The thing is, it's a little long, so the MiniCMIT is a really great option. It's Schoeps, so you know it's going to sound fantastic like every Schoeps mic ever made. And then, the DPA 4017 is also a really fantastic option as well.

And you can have the B or C. There's different end pieces you could screw on. And then the Audix SCX1-HC, that microphone is nice and small and it's low-cost. So, that's why I threw it in here. So, we're going to listen. We're going to go through each one of these and just kind of flip between them and see how they sound. This is the Audix SCX1-HC, "Sally sells seashells by the seashore."

Okay. This is the DPA 4017, "Sally sells seashells by the seashore." And then, this is the Schoeps MiniCMIT, "Sally sells seashells by the seashore." And then, this is the Sanken CS-3E, "Sally sells seashells by the seashore."

And why do I say that phrase? Because it has a lot of s's. It's very sibilant and it kind of runs the mic through its paces. A lot of sibilant stuffs can puke out on certain microphones. So, I like microphones that can handle that. The Audix is a hypercardioid microphone, the other ones are supercardioids. They're very similar but the hypercardioid, the front pickup low is more focused.

It's not as wide. So, that might be ideal for doing some interiors without a really reflective. Like this room right now is...we have some acoustic treatment up, but it's still pretty reflective, but that's okay. So, if you're doing a shoot where you don't have control over the environment, like you're doing a documentary, or a corporate gig, or something else, where you're in a room that you can't go in and do a ton of acoustic treatment, you might be able to hang some moving blankets or sound blankets out of the shot, maybe put some carpet down, but other than that, you're kind of stuck with what you have.

So, that's where microphones like these come in really handy. You want a hypercardioid or a supercardioid to help attenuate room reflections. You also want to get the microphone as close to the subject as possible so having it mounted on the camera is the last place you want the microphone.

So, you want the mic as close as you can. Imagine a tennis ball right in front of your subject's mouth. That's where you're pointing the mic. And you want to get it just out of frame. In terms of room treatment, if you're doing a set that's locked down, like a narrative project, a film, or TV, you know, you go to town, you do what you can, otherwise, you know, shut off computers, unplug the fridge if you can.

What you do is you unplug the fridge, throw all your car keys in the fridge. That way, you don't forget that you unplugged it because you won't be able to leave. Go back to get your keys, plug the fridge back in because you don't want to leave, and the fridge is unplugged, and the owner of that fridge in the home you were just in all day, gets really mad because all their food spoiled. In terms of price range, the Audix is going to be the least expensive.

The other ones you're looking at over $1,000, you know, $1,000 on up. They're purpose-built. They sound really good. With microphones, just like wireless systems and like a lot of audio equipment, you really do pay for what you get. And what I found over the years is that a mic, or a wireless system, or whatever it is, it's a logarithmic scale.

For a little bit more better quality, you get a bigger price difference. The pricing is what it is. So, I always recommend to people, know what you need, know what's appropriate for the jobs that you're doing, and budget for your gear purchases or rentals appropriately. All of these, I would recommend you go and look at the specs on the manufacturers' websites.

You can see their frequency responses. Some of them have selectable switches for high-frequency boost or low-frequency roll offs. They're all a little bit different. And now, these are all really good and I would be... If you handed any of these to me to use on a shoot, I would be happy with any of them. But some of them are more specific in what they do than others, and you need to decide which ones are going to work best for you.

That's why there is no answer to the question, "I need one mic to rule them all." You need to listen to these microphones, get your hands on them, try them out, and get what's best for you. All of these mics, we have available. We have them on our website. If you want to demo one of them, you can email me If you want to check these out and compare them.

Product links to these microphones are in the description below. Oh, do you hear that? - [Woman] Yeah.

- See, that's why you should always have... I should have foam windscreens on these, but I don't. Yeah. If your subject is prone to gesticulation, if they like to wave their hands around when they talk, like if they're Italian... I'm half Italian so I talk with my hands, and if they... Right now, there's no foam windscreens on these, so you can see the mics better, but... I mean, you can hear that.

I'm not even going crazy. ♪ [music] ♪

10th Sep 2018

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