Wedemark/Amsterdam – Sennheiser has launched a new filter module for its MKH 8000 RF condenser microphone series. For broadcasting and filming, the new MZF 8000 II effectively blocks low-frequency wind and handling noise for audibly better recordings, and ensures the input stage of connected recorders does not get overdriven. The filter module has been redesigned incorporating user feedback and will replace the current model.
The new MZF 8000 II filter module
“The MKH user community has supported us in the new filter module design, sharing their preferred thresholds and values for the low-cut and the pad,” explains Kai Lange, Product Manager Professional, Wire-bound. The mark II filter module features a switchable, high-quality 10 dB pad as well as a switchable low cut at 70 Hz (-3 dB) and a fixed low cut at 16 Hz (‑3 dB), both with an improved filter steepness of 18 dB/oct.
While dedicated broadcast microphones like the MKH 8060 and MKH 8070 shotgun mics are factory-fitted with a low-cut filter to eliminate wind and structure-borne noise, the other microphones in the MKH 8000 series are not. They also classify as high-end studio microphones and are used for the most detailed nature recordings, therefore they feature a very wide frequency response – for example 10 to 60,000 Hz in the case of the omni-directional MKH 8020. Adding the filter makes them fit for the specific requirements of broadcasting and filmmaking.
Whenever recorders are used, the switchable 10 dB pad of the MZF 8000 II reliably limits the audio signal of loud sources, ensuring that the input stage of the connected recorder is not overdriven. This feature benefits all 8000 series microphones.
The filter module has extremely low inherent self-noise in order to preserve complex acoustic detail. At a diameter of 19 mm and a length of just 29 mm, the compact module can be screwed directly onto the mic or added remotely, for example at the end of an MZL cable, for applications where the microphone needs to be as unobtrusive as possible.
Peter Caeldries, a field recordist with work published on labels such as Gruenrekorder and Engraved Glass, shares his thoughts about the MZF 8000 II filter module: “While on field recording trips, one can be in uninhabited places and yet experience high levels of low-frequency sound, often from far away locations. This distorts the soundscape and eats up too much of the dynamic in the recording. For quite some time I have been looking for an inline filter that is gentle enough to tame the low end but leaves the natural feel of the place intact. I find that the MZF 8000 II at 70 Hz exactly fills that gap.”
Pedro Van der Eecken, audio engineer and owner of The Image & Sound Factory, which is renowned for its expertise in high-end production sound and audio post production, shares his insightful perspective on the MZF 8000 II filter module: “Upon the unveiling of Sennheiser’s modular 8000 microphone series, we were instant and unwavering enthusiasts. For over three decades, we’ve relied on Sennheiser microphones day in and day out, both on set and within the studio. The remarkable technological advancements present in the 8000 series, as compared to the time-honoured MKH series, are strikingly evident in the captured audio signal. The outcome is a lowered noise floor, all the while preserving the characteristic timbre of Sennheiser microphones – a quality we hold in high esteem.
“Upon our evaluation of the MZF 8000 II filter module, it rapidly became evident that its tailored filter curves cater to the demands of controlled on-set recordings. These adjustments position the latest iteration of the MZF 8000 as the preferred solution for our on-set microphones, enabling us to preemptively eliminate useless noise like contact noise and other rumble at the source.
“The result: enhanced outcomes, less interference from compression and limiters in the signal due to useless and/or unwanted frequencies and thus more relevant dynamics on the recording. And on top of that, happy Production Sound Mixers, Boom Operators, Sync Editors and Re-Recording Mixers! Any Production Sound Mixer working with Sennheiser microphones would be remiss not to include these in their arsenal, or at the very least, give them a trial run!”
Dimensions: ⌀ 19 x 29 mm
Weight: 26 g
Attenuation/Pad: - 10 dB (switchable)
Nominal impedance: 50 ohms
Phantom powering: 44 to 52 V
Operating temperature: -10°C to +60°C
Equivalent noise level: increase at 0 dB: 1 dB(A), at -10 dB: 4 dB(A)
Input voltage range: at 0 dB: max 14 dBV, at -10 dB: max. 9 dBV
Output voltage: at 0 dB: max. 14 dBV, at -10 dB: max. -1 dBV
Low-cut filter: -3 dB at 16 Hz, 18 dB/oct (fixed); -3 dB at 70 Hz, 18 dB/oct (switchable)
The images accompanying this media release can be downloaded here.