Ambient Sound by Sennheiser MKH Series
Ambient sound is one the most important reasons that recreates a realistic environment for viewers of a sporting event at homes. as if they were watching a game at live at a stadium. Capturing ambient sounds at stadiums, such as ball hit sound, referee whistle, with a good and distinguished quality, as well as sports commentators’ voice, is what sound recordists put a lot of effort into , in order to cover and capture them in the entire field. To that end, proper equipment and microphones should be used. Some of these equipment are shut gun microphones and other hyper cardioid or parabolic microphones .The reason these types of microphones are used for this purpose is that their tight pick up pattern have the ability to capture separate sounds from afar. In fact these microphone, due to being directional, only capture the sounds that are on their axis and do not respond to off axis sounds that well.
In Azadi stadium, which has the capacity of 100000 spectators, some of whom use vuvuzelas, drums, horns and etc. a sound over 100 dB can be made.
Up to now, in important sporting events, eight Sennheiser MKH70 shotgun microphone was being used .However, Due to the high volume of spectators’ sound and the open pick up pattern of this microphone, the sound was not separated, However, this microphone is very useful in studios for recording movies and TV series.
Since using shotgun microphones with a tight polar pattern in Azadi stadium is significantly important, Ertebat Sedaye Bartar Company, agreed on providing us with five MKH8070 units in order for us to use them alongside MKH 70, for the football match between Iran and Qatar.
MKH8070 is a long shotgun microphone that is used for recording live radio and TV programs, as well as sporting events. This microphone, due to being directional, has the ability of capturing detailed sounds from afar. Being water resistant makes MKH8070 a reliable microphone for different environments.
MKH 8070 has an analog output as well as XLR output that like all 8000 series microphones, can be used to connect to digital systems directly through an MZD 8000 adaptor which results in having a noiseless and excellent sound quality.
MKH 8070 has a tight pick up pattern of almost 40 degree on 1KHZ frequency (MKH70’s pick up pattern is 60 degree). Looking at this microphone’s pick up pattern chart, one can see 5 dB from 1KHZ frequency and higher .Also the sensitivity of MKH8070 is 112 mv/pa, while MKH 70’s is only 50.
Comparison between MKH70 and MKH 8070.
In the beginning, I was wondering why MKH 8070’s sensitivity is higher than that of MKH 70. In order to get better results, both microphones were positioned in the middle of the field next to coaches’ benches. The sound we heard through MKH70, from far away, was rather intelligible and unclear. In fact we heard the warm speech that is suitable for speech. Whereas MKH8070, due to having higher sensitivity, and narrower pick up pattern, stronger mid-range and high frequencies, had a better and sharper sound. The depth of the sound was much better and also spectators’ sound was clearer .Overall, to cover a football match with the best sound quality possible, at least 16 MKH8070 units are needed.