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considering MKH8020 or MKH8-40
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
considering MKH8020 or MKH8-40

I am a nature audio recorder. Currently I use the following:
(1) Rode NT5 matched pair
(2) LOM Usi Pro
(3) Sennheiser MKH8070 to isolate individual bird songs
(4) Sennheiser MKH416 another choice to isolate individual birds

I also DO have a single MKH820. The questions for this group is,

(1) Should I buy another MKH8020 to use in recording stereo nature soundscapes? *I've read on here having matched pairs is not as critical as it used to be*

(2) Should I take the big plunge and buy a matched pair of MKH 8040s?[/B][/B][/B] (*Which many professional nature recorders swear buy*)
Thanks
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I can't answer whether a pair of omni's or cardioids will be more useful to you in this application, but I don't think an unmatched pair of 8020's is going to cause you much difficulty. You can simply check their average sensitivities and compensate by slightly adjusting the gain of one preamp channel. There may still be some residual frequency-dependent differences, but those are unlikely to cause anything more than a slight positional error. I don't imagine anyone cares whether some particular bird is in exactly the right place.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
I can't answer whether a pair of omni's or cardioids will be more useful to you in this application, but I don't think an unmatched pair of 8020's is going to cause you much difficulty. You can simply check their average sensitivities and compensate by slightly adjusting the gain of one preamp channel. There may still be some residual frequency-dependent differences, but those are unlikely to cause anything more than a slight positional error. I don't imagine anyone cares whether some particular bird is in exactly the right place.
Thanks very much David for your very quick reply. I had a hunch that what you just said is right. Yes, I am pretty good at adjusting gain in the field with my Sound Devices 702 anyway...AND, since I am not selling my sounds to big time move makers who need the most up-to-date surround/5.1 specs for their movies, yes, if my Wood Thrush is not in the right place, no biggie. Thanks again so much for confirming...you just saved me over a thousand dollars!
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
I’d have little concern about using Sennheiser MKH series mics built at different times. The technology they use, and their calibration, result in very consistent sensitivity and frequency response characteristics. I have two MKH40’s made at different times, yet they are better matched than my custom ordered matched pair Gefell’s.

Last edited by Chuck_S; 5 days ago at 08:05 PM..
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S ➡️
I’d have little concern about using Sennheiser MKH series mics built at different times. The technology they use, and their calibration, result in very consistent sensitivity and frequency response characteristics. I have two MKH40’s made at different times, yet they are better matched than my custom ordered matched pair Gefell’s.
Thanks for the great confirmation Chuck. The fact your 2 mkh40s /different are better than custom matched Gefells' is a powerful testimony to Sennheiser. Great to hear.
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevgarlic ➡️
Thanks for the great confirmation Chuck. The fact your 2 mkh40s /different are better than custom matched Gefells' is a powerful testimony to Sennheiser. Great to hear.
Well, that's based on my pairs of mics.

The Sennheiser manufacturing dates were about 6 months apart. Their sensitivity spec, at 1KHz, are about 0.7dB different. Their frequency response graphs are almost indistinguishable (but it is a smoothed graph, I don't know the filtering that was used to generate them).

The Gefell's are matched within 0.1dB for sensitivity at 1KHz. Their frequency response differs by no more than 2dB from nominal (within 1 dB for majority of range) and the two mics differ from each other by no more than 2 dB at any point across the entire range (usually closer). The graph is not smoothed at all.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevgarlic ➡️
Yes, I am pretty good at adjusting gain in the field with my Sound Devices 702 anyway.
In the very unlikely event that your new MKH 8020 ends up not matching well with the one you already own, remember to avoid using the "link" feature to link inputs 1 and 2 when recording on your 702. Otherwise you won't be able to adjust the two channels' gain independently. When link is engaged, the input 1 knob controls gain on the two channels simultaneously; the input 2 knob controls left-to-right balance.

You might be able to establish a gain offset first before linking the channels; I've never tried that myself so don't know if it would work or whether the offset is maintained once linking is engaged.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #8
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh ➡️
In the very unlikely event that your new MKH 8020 ends up not matching well with the one you already own, remember to avoid using the "link" feature to link inputs 1 and 2 when recording on your 702. Otherwise you won't be able to adjust the two channels' gain independently. When link is engaged, the input 1 knob controls gain on the two channels simultaneously; the input 2 knob controls left-to-right balance.

You might be able to establish a gain offset first before linking the channels; I've never tried that myself so don't know if it would work or whether the offset is maintained once linking is engaged.
Thanks Brad for the reminder. I hardly ever use the "link" feature anyway, which gives me much greater freedom in post-production. I did not know the 702 has a gain offset, but, like you said, it's much easier to just leave linking alone. Cannot wait to get my second 8020...scheduled delivery this Friday.
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