Tuesday, 12 April 2011

New Location Microphones from Sennheiser

I'm a bit of a fan of Sennheiser location microphones, so it's always good to hear that they have once again advanced and broadened their equipment range. One of the reasons I like them so much is that their condensers work on the RF principle (explained here and here) which makes them inherently more resistant to moisture - which is a prime consideration when working out in the field.

The two new microphones are from the recent 8000 series, which are based on a modular design. The new 8060 and 8070 capsules are designed specifically for location audio work, both being based on the successful  MKH 60 and 70; the 60 being the original successor to the "industry standard" MKH 416.
MKH 8060 capsule

The 8060 is the physically shorter of the two new capsules - short shot gun -  and has a wider acceptance angle, a tight hypercardioid if you will. The original improvements of the 60 over 416 changed the frequency response of the off axis sounds, making it a much nicer microphone to use indoor (due to reflections) - and slightly less harsh, as the presence hump had been lessened. As the 8060 is modular, this is just the capsule that would then need attaching to an XLR adapter for a complete conventional microphone; however with the 8000 series design there is the option for an LF Cut / attenuator module, AES 42 digital converter module (making a digital microphone), or remote attachment of just the capsule using a lightweight cable - useful for reducing weight and length - a definite consideration in tight corners when booming or mounting on top of a camera.

MKH 8070 capsule
The MKH 8070 is the long shot gun microphone, with a much tighter pickup pattern, and extreme directionality. Designed for much more remote placement. Again, though as modular, connects to all the other modules I've just mentioned.

Although the 'sound' of the Sennheiser range is sometimes said to be inferior to the Schoeps or DPA - there are very few recordists that I know that don't have a Sennheiser microphone in their kit - purely because of the reliability. When I bought my first "proper" location microphone, I bought the MKH 416, because I asked a number of my far more experienced colleagues:  "If you could only own one microphone, what would it be?" - and the answer was either the MKH60 or MKH 416.

I hope that the 8060 continues this pedegree, with the additional benefits that the modular design of the 8000 series has to offer - I look forward to hearing them.


12 April 2011

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