Interior Dialog Boompole Microphone Roundup
When you’re operating a boompole to capture dialog for a video or film production indoors, it’s often best not to use a shotgun microphone. The kind of microphone that you want to use is a small diaphragm condenser with either a hypercardioid or a supercardioid pick-up pattern. More specifically, there are only a handful of microphone models that are preferred for this task. In this roundup, we’ll discuss every model that’s available at B&H, and explain what makes each one desirable.
The main reason to use a hyper- or supercardioid small diaphragm condenser is that shotgun microphones tend to pick up more distracting echoes and sound reflections when used for interior dialog.
Schoeps CMC6 MK41
The Schoeps CMC6 MK41 is considered by many to be the finest tool available for booming interior dialog. Consisting of the CMC6 amplifier module and the MK41 supercardioid capsule, it is part of the Colette Series, which has remained one of the main product categories for the German manufacturer since its introduction in 1973. There are several other modular accessories available for the Colette Series, such as capsules with different pick-up patterns, low cut filters, pads and more. If you’re booming dialog in a tight space, it’s possible to use a Schoeps Active Extension Cable between the CMC6 and the MK41 capsule. This effectively reduces the amount of microphone on the boom to just the capsule, allowing the operator to squeeze it into smaller spaces. If you seek the utmost in sound quality, look no further than the Schoeps CMC6 MK41. This microphone is also available in a matched stereo set.
If you don't have the cash for a top-of-the-line microphone, a more budget-friendly (yet still excellent-sounding) option for interior dialog booming is the hypercardioid Audix SCX1/HC. Of all of the microphones that have earned a reputation for being good interior dialog microphones, the SCX1/HC is the only one that has the distinction of being manufactured in the USA, at the company's headquarters in Oregon. Also a modular system, there are two other capsules available for this microphone (cardioid and omni). The SCX1/HC is available in a complete B&H interior dialog kit which includes a K-Tek cabled boompole, shock mount, microphone cable and boompole bag.
Sennheiser MKH 50
Short in size, rich in sound and solidly built, the Sennheiser MKH 50 is known for having a slightly more narrow focus than the Schoeps CMC6 MK41 (meaning that it will be a little more directional). This supercardioid microphone is an excellent companion to the Sennheiser MKH 60 short shotgun (when wide and tight shots are cut together). On a quiet set with proper wind protection, the MKH 50 is also sometimes used outdoors when the subjects can be closely boomed. It features switches for a -10dB pad (to tame loud sounds) and roll-off filter (to cut low the frequencies of footsteps and rumble). The MZS40 shock mount is included.
The Audio-Technica AT4053b is another great option for people who need to capture exceptional sounding interior dialog without spending a great deal of money. Also a modular system, the AT4053b has a hypercardioid capsule, and the AT4051b-EL cardioid and AT4049b-EL omni capsules are available separately. Like the MKH 50, the AT4053b features a -10dB pad and a roll-off filter to cut unwanted rumble. This microphone is available individually and in two different complete B&H interior dialog kits. Both kits come with a K-Tek cabled boompole, a microphone cable and a boompole bag. What makes them different is that one kit comes with a Pearstone shock mount, and the other kit comes with a Rycote InVision Series shock mount.
Neumann KM 185
An excellent option, price-wise, between the entry level and higher end interior dialog boompole microphones, the hypercardioid Neumann KM 185 (available in a black matte or nickel finish) is well known for capturing first-rate sound quality and being fairly immune to RF interference. The KM Series from Neumann is modular, and there’s a full suite of capsules available for it, including the KK 120 (with a Figure 8 pick-up pattern) and the cardioid KK184 (excellent sound capture for drum overheads). There is also a digital version of this microphone, the KM 185D, which outputs an AES/EBU 42 signal and requires the Neumann DMI-2 interface for operation (which is available in a regular or portable version). The KM 185 is also available in matched stereo pairs in a matte black or nickel finish.
AKG Blue Line CK93 and SE-300B
The Blue Line series CK93 and SE-300B kit from AKG offers a unique solution for sound capture in video and film production. A modular system, the CK93 capsule is hypercardioid, and well regarded by many for interior dialog boompole work. An interesting twist here is that AKG also offers a separately available short shotgun capsule in the Blue Line series (the CK98) which makes it possible to have one microphone system to use for both interior and exterior booming. The included SE-300B power supply features a combined roll-off filter and -10dB pad. There are a number of other capsules available, as well as compatible shock mounts, such as the popular Rycote InVision INV-7.
|Pick-Up Pattern||Frequency Response||SPL||Low Cut||Pad||Phantom Power||Length x Diameter||Weight|
|Schoeps CMC6 MK41||Supercardioid||40 Hz -
|132 dB||20 Hz||No, optional||12 - 48 V required||5.4 x 0.8" (138 x 20mm)||2.7 oz (77 g)|
|Audix SCX1/HC||Hypercardioid||40 Hz -
|130 dB||No||No||48 - 52 V required||4.1 x 0.8" (104 x 21mm)||4 oz (114 g)|
|Sennheiser MKH 50||Supercardioid||40 Hz -
|134 dB||30 Hz||Yes, -10 dB||48 V required||6 x 1" (153 x 25mm)||3.5 oz (100 g)|
|Audio-Techncia AT4053b||Hypercardioid||20 Hz -
|145 dB||80 Hz||Yes, -10 dB||48 V required||6.1 x 0.8" (155 x 21mm)||4.5 oz (127 g)|
|Neumann KM 185||Hypercardioid||20 Hz -
|142 dB||No||No||48 V required||4.3 x 0.9" (108 x 22mm)||2.82 oz (80 g)|
|AKG CK 93||Hypercardioid||20 Hz -
|132 dB||75 Hz||Yes, -10 dB||9 - 52 V required||6.4 x 0.7" (162 x 19mm )||4 oz (114 g)|
Thanks for checking out this B&H InDepth Roundup. If you have any more questions about microphones used for interior dialog boompole work, we encourage you to submit a Comment below.