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REVIEW New Sennheiser MKH 8060 and 8070 by David Thirion, Dubai Based Sound Recordist S ennheiser recently asked me to review two new MKH series microphones, and a new Lapel MKE 1 I had a job coming up and I thought this would be the perfect time to try the two MKH microphones out. The job was a TV commercial. We would shoot on the beach and in Jumeirah Beach Park. For my set up, I decided I would use a PSC Alphamix Mixer, a Sound Devices 744T HDD Recorder, Lectrosonics for wireless applications and for Boom Poles it would be PSC. We shot in hot weather and let me tell you straight away, I was concerned about the humidity affecting the microphones. Normally I wouldn’t be worried about an RF condenser fighting humidity (even the 70% we had that morning right next the water) but in this case, both the MKH 8060 and 8070 are modular microphones and I was nervous to have humidity going through the slightest open space between the capsule and preamps. But do you know what? It was just fine. Not a single problem. Now that I was reassured regarding our weather forecast for that morning, I could concentrate on what those two beasts had to offer. The first sequence we shot was on the beach. The conditions were good for me to try the MKH 8060. So for each shot did a few rehearsals. I started to rehearse with my regular MKH 416 (a classic Super Cardioid/Lobar pick up pattern with a sensitivity measured at 25mV/Pa) and then switched to the MKH 8060 for an on the spot comparison. 64 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE MKH 8060 Sensitivity The 8060 has a sensitivity measured at 63mV/Pa! That is two and a half times more sensitive than the 416! I was blown away. Every time I would use the 416 and then plug the 8060 back on, I had to bring my mixer preamp level down a fair bit to not overload the signal. I could even lift up the boom for wider shots and still have enough signal because this mic is that sensitive! Brilliant! Intelligibility To be honest, when I started to test the MKH 8060, I thought that it was the equivalent of a 416 but much more sensitive. Then when I started to pay more attention to what I would hear, I realized that not only was there an improvement on the sensitivity of the microphone itself but there was also a huge improvement on the intelligibility of the mic. (by this I mean the way it reproduces the sound we are trying to capture). I could really make out a clear difference between the low, medium and high frequencies. Directivity The 8060 and the 416 are both Super Cardioid/Lobar pick up pattern microphone. But the beauty here is that the MKH 8060 is shorter than the 416, in fact it is 75mm shorter (with the analogue module) and still has a greater attenuation of off axis sound without colorations. I could really hear an improvement, the volume is just much lower on the side then the sound source in front of the mic. And remember because this mic is so sensitive, when used on a wider shot, you do not have that fear of losing your subject due to a too tight directional microphone... As you can read, it seems that the MKH 8060 is performing pretty well so far. It’s an improvement on sensitivity, intelligibility, directivity and what else? Well what about the fact that it can become a Digital microphone? Yes, the MKH 8060 is a modular microphone. In this case, you can replace the analogue module or preamp (MZX8000) to a digital one (MZD8000) that provides AES42 format. You can also add a filter unit (MZF8000) that would provide a low cut as well as a -10dB switch PAD that could be very useful in some situations. So I hear you say: “... we’ve read all the pros, what about the cons?...” Indeed there are some characteristics to consider when buying a microphone. With regards to the MKH 8060, one of my concerns would be the weight. The microphone capsule itself is 80gm; when you start adding the modules then it begins to add up. With the analogue module, the mic weights 112gm, then if you want to add the filter module it is also an extra weight. Especially if you repeat the operation with the digital module, which is 65gm and 96mm long compare to 32gm and 30mm long for the analogue one. >>