When The Better Mic Isn’t Better…….

I was trying to sell a microphone to a well known voice over studio in Los Angeles. They had numerous studios, all dedicated to recording voice talent. Their standard microphone was a Sennheiser long shotgun mic, maybe an Mkh805 (?) I went over with a Km53 system , thinking, “ this has Got to be better than that thing” ….and we set it up in their booth and did a comparison. I was shocked to discover that the Sennheiser was far superior . Later, after I had left, the reason why occurred to me, and it was quite simple really.

To be kind, their booth was totally dead sounding. I mean really really dead. The voice talent were speaking directly into the business end of the Sennheiser, which was picking up virtually No “room” sound . The Km53 on the other hand , is an omnidirectional microphone that would have picked up a substantial amount of the ambient sound. In an nutshell, the booth sounded um, well, ah…. not incredible , and the Km53 did an admirable job of reflecting that; the shotgun mic did not.

Whatever works. Those shotgun mics didn’t keep anyone away; those booths were very very busy….