What mic should I use ?

Hey everyone and especially mic specialists.

I have something to shoot on Tuesday and I have to choose a mic between one of these three :

Sennheiser MKH 418 P48 (non S version I think : read below)
Sony ECM-NV1
Sony ECM-674

The mic will be used on a boom, plugged into an H4n and we will have a door scene (int/ext, the owner of the house inside opening the door to the visitors who stay outside), some outside dialog and maybe some inside dialog (but this part is not in the script so it's the least important one).

Thoughts ?

(Also, anyone knows how to record in dual mono but with a different gain lvl on an H4n ?)

About the 418, I can't find anything on the web about a non S version, not even a picture, yet it exists since I took this picture today :

bpfJMzE.jpg
 
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Also, anyone knows how to record in dual mono but with a different gain lvl on an H4n ?

You need to use a seperate input, but with the same mic. Try one of the Zoom's multi recording modes. Alcove had some nice info about mic splitters, which I'll copy from another thread:


You run the cable from the mic into the mic splitter. You can use as long a cable as you need. You then run two (2) cables from the mic splitter into the H4n, so yes, you will have to buy two (2) more cables. They can be as long (50') or as short (6") as you need them to be.

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Here's the WhirlWind mic splitter:

whirlwind_imp1x3_a1-250x187.jpg


Yes, it's exactly the same as the ART splitter, but it costs $80.



BTW, you can use a simple "Y" cable to split the signal.

spliter-2.jpg


The problem is that you will experience a -4dB to -8dB loss of signal (which is actually a lot), a real problem when you already have weak, noisy preamps like in the H4n. That's why you use a mic splitter, so you do not experience degradation of signal.
 
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Yeah I know of these solutions, was just asking if the H4n did it natively.

Guess not.

Can't wait for the day i'll work with proper gear (and proper sound technicians).
 
Do you happen to know if the 418 is a 8-figure mic ?

To the best of my knowledge, the MKH-418 has an M-S (Mid-Side) pattern.

220px-MS_stereo.svg.png


Mid-Side recording presents a very wonderful stereo field, but requires special matrixing/decoding. It can also present problems when transferring across platforms. For instance, it may sound great it stereo, but phase cancellation is a very real possibility when going to mono, to the point where the M-S sound disappears completely, and phase issues abound if not properly mixed in a surround setting. I personally use a basic X-Y stereo mic, or rent a matched pair for stereo recording. Fewer technical problems; hey, I'm lazy...... :D

stereo_XY.png



A figure 8 polar pattern is a mono mic that can record from both sides. The original idea (back when mixing and multiple mics was a technical challenge) was to allow two singers to face each other while they sang. It is still has some applications, but is not very useful for production sound purposes and very few audio post needs.

figure_8_top.png




Also, anyone knows how to record in dual mono but with a different gain lvl on an H4n?

No, the H4n does not have dual mono capabilities.
 
I agree with Alcove's post totally in that you should certainly avoid using a stereo mic to record production dialogue.

Mid-Side recording presents a very wonderful stereo field, but requires special matrixing/decoding. It can also present problems when transferring across platforms. For instance, it may sound great it stereo, but phase cancellation is a very real possibility when going to mono, to the point where the M-S sound disappears completely, and phase issues abound if not properly mixed in a surround setting.

I'm not sure but it sounds like you might be slightly misunderstanding MS recordings? I know (and I know you know) that we often make considerable efforts to avoid phase issues and phase cancellation but in this particular case, phase cancellation is a specifically designed and wanted feature of MS recordings! As per your posted diagram, the side channel is split into two mono channels, panned hard right and left and the right channel is phase inverted. The left and right channels of the side part of the recording are therefore identical except for being 180deg out of phase with each other. When played back in mono, these two side channels are summed, resulting in a complete and perfect phase cancellation. This is exactly what is wanted (!), the side channels effectively cease to exist, leaving just the mid channel audible. The end result is a level of mono compatibility which cannot be as perfectly achieved with any other stereo mic'ing technique, even a near-coincident (X,Y) pair.

When stereo TV broadcast was king and mono compatibility was a required delivery specification, MS recording was therefore frequently the stereo mic'ing technique of choice as it provided both superior stereo imaging and superior mono compatibility in many recording situations. However you are absolutely right about surround, unless you really know what you are doing there is a far greater potential to cause yourself some seriously unintended problems when using MS recordings in mixes which have more than the standard 2 channel stereo.

G
 
I'm not sure but it sounds like you might be slightly misunderstanding MS recordings? ........................ However you are absolutely right about surround, unless you really know what you are doing there is a far greater potential to cause yourself some seriously unintended problems when using MS recordings in mixes which have more than the standard 2 channel stereo.

Of course; but do you think anyone around here should be messing with M-S at this point?
 
A bit of a digression but from what I know stereo FM transmission is not L and R but a Mono and Spread very similar in theory to MS recording to allow mono compatibility as a lot of radio handsets still only had one speaker. Quite a crucial point when mastering CDs
 
I didn't see anyone else pointing this out...

Can't do the split input thing with an H4n without a separate mixer in the chain. The H4n's input gain controls both channels, you can't set them individually.
 
I didn't see anyone else pointing this out...

Can't do the split input thing with an H4n without a separate mixer in the chain. The H4n's input gain controls both channels, you can't set them individually.

That was true originally, but they've updated it via firmware at some point in the last couple years to allow setting levels on each channel separately.

What it won't do is take a single input, route it to both channels, and allow each channel to be set independently. That's why you need either a Y-cable or mic splitter to allow you to plug a single mic into both channels.
 
That was true originally, but they've updated it via firmware at some point in the last couple years to allow setting levels on each channel separately.

What it won't do is take a single input, route it to both channels, and allow each channel to be set independently. That's why you need either a Y-cable or mic splitter to allow you to plug a single mic into both channels.

WHHAAATT!!??

Dang, thanks man. Useful information. Time to update!
 
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