View Full Version : Cardioid vs Super Cardioid (ME64 vs ME66) ?
06-02-2004, 03:23 PM
O.K. Need some help here
I'm buying a book as well "Producing Great Audio for Digital Video" but I want a quick answer to a specific question.
What in the world is the difference between a "cardioid" and a "super cardioid" mic and when/where would you use them?
Specifically an Sennheiser ME64 vs. ME66 ?
I've got both here in front of me on my desk and no idea what to do with them. Tried both of them out and they seem to sound the same in my issolated little office here.
Can anybody help a brother out?
06-02-2004, 03:45 PM
It has to do with directionality. The "cardoid" refers to the pickup pattern of the microphone -- it's sort of shaped like a heart with the front end of the mic at the little indent. A cardoid pattern picks up little sound behind the mic, but a lot directly in front of it and some to the sides. A super-cardoid pattern is even more directional, picking up less on the sides.
Shotgun mics are probably the best for recording dialogue and dampening out ambient sounds of the room.
06-02-2004, 06:33 PM
Even though the ME66 is more directional, it has some downsides. *The ME66 has a "lobar" pickup pattern that provides good off-axis noise rejection, but it does pick up sound directly behind the mic. * Also, as sounds move off-axis, the ME66 differentially attenuates different frequencies. *This can lead to odd coloration of off-axis sound.
The ME64 has a traditional cardioid pattern without the rear pointing lobe, but provides less off-axis noise rejection.
Some suggested uses:
Boomed outdoors (where there's nothing to reflect sound back to the the rear lobe)
ENG-style outdoors (mounted to the camera, shooting in noisy run 'n gun situations the ME66 will attenuate off-axis noise)
ENG-style indoors with high ambient noise levels.
Boomed in large interiors with some uncontrolled noise.
Boomed in small sound-reflective interiors with low ambient noise (i.e., an indie set)
Boomed in any size interior with low ambient noise where you need to pick up 2-3 closely placed actors with only one mic.
These are just some suggestions, but since you have both capsules, I'd recommend testing them against each other on location to see which you prefer. There are a lot of variables such as the level and type of ambient noise, the size and layout of an interior, the reflectivity of various surfaces, and personal preferences that will dictate the right mic for the situation.
06-03-2004, 08:16 AM
Thanks Barry, that's exactly what I was looking for.