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Wednesday, 11 November 2015 21:15

The Sennheiser Mk8 Studio Condenser mic

Written by  David Hurd
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The Sennheiser MK8 is a great studio condenser mic for video work. I tested it on Voice over and Soundtrack vocals, revealing a crisp, neutral sound that enhanced everything that I tested it on.

The MK 8 has a lot of up-front presence and a generally airy, crisp sound that results in nice, professional recordings.

The MK8 is a genuine studio mic with dual, one inch, gold spattered, shock-mountedcapsules, along with five switchable polar patterns, three levels of switchable trim, and two levels of low frequency roll-off. The choice of five selectable polar patterns is what makes this mic versatile. The full-omni setting records sound from all around, and adds a room ambience.

The various cardioid patterns reject any sound hitting the back of the mic, and help with voice overs in a noisy room. The figure 8 records front and back equally, with strong rejection to the sides, which wasnt needed for my application. 

It sounds complicated, but you can simply start-out with the MK8 set to cardioid and experiment from there.

The -20 and -10dB pads were useful for trimming the output to match my pre-amps. The low-cut filter at 60Hz was handy for removing low-end rumble, and the 100Hz low-cut filter worked for removing the proximity effect bass boom on close-mic positions. 

My MK 8 tests revealed low noise, and an overall crisp, clean and detailed sonic character. The high end sounds detailed and airy, the midrange is open and clear, and the low end is focused rather than boomy. In addition, the differences in Tone and level when you switch between the MK 8s patterns are tiny, and not worth worrying about. 

There are a lot of Studio mics out there to choose from, so youll need to decide how much a good microphone is worth to your productions. At less than $800, the MK8 is a great sounding, versatile, built well mic, and its a good investment too. Since Sennheiser is a very reputable company, your MK8 should work  reliably for years to come.

The MK8 was tested on my Reviewsystem which is:

A Mac Pro 6 core with two D700 cards running Mavericks OSX, 64GB of OWC RAM, secured by a Compu-Lock MacPro Vault. A logickeyboard for DaVinci Resolve, an Apple Color panel,the Black Magic Ultra Studio 4K interface, two High Point Rocketstor 6328 TB RAID controllers connected to four G-SPEED esPro RAID cases, with a Rocketstor 5212 drive bay for inputting video from SSDs, and video output viewed on a Boland 32 broadcast monitor. A G-Dock for fast portable storage, and a Mackie mixer and Genelec studio monitors for audio. Recordings were made using a Line 6 UX2 interface while running Digital Performer 9 software, with plug-ins from MOTU, Waves, and isotope.

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