Microphone Comparison : Sennheiser MKH 8040 ORTF “vs” LOM Usi AB

For ambiances recording, I almost always use the LCR setup in the Cinela blimp, this setup is composed of a Sennheiser MKH 8040 ORTF setup + 1 MKH 8050 added for ” Center ” channel, which is really nice to have once in the edit room.

I often add the excellent LOM Usi omni microphones to get another sonic perspective and more edit possibilities afterwards, so I came up with the idea of mouting the Usi mics inside the Cinela basket in a unorthodox “AB” configuration.


please note that I didn’t use the ” center MKH 8050″ in the examples below and that the Usi are plugged into the 3.5mm AUX input on the MixPre-6,  the preamps are a bit noisier than on the normal XLR inputs in which the Sennheisers are plugged, so don’t use this as a noise floor comparison but more to compare stereo image and overall mic tones.

Here are the recordings for comparison:

no denoise applied here, I think the “weird” sound is due to the distance (approx. 1km) and sound diffraction through the valley

wind in tree in the background

For those who prefer a Pro Tools session, click on the link below :

4 replies
  1. Doug Langley
    Doug Langley says:

    Thanks for this comparison. I own the Clippy EM172 which use the same capsules as the Lom Usi so I was really interested in this comparison. The self-noise on the Usi is definitely higher, but only noticeable in certain very quiet scenarios. I downloaded your recordings which were really useful for helping me tweak my noise reduction settings. I managed to get them sounding very close in terms of self-noise, with minimal elimination of the signal. What helps is that the Usi are naturally quite sensitive in the 7-10khz range which is also where most of the self noise is apparent. So doing some reduction in that range doesn’t hurt the signal too much.

    • aXLsound
      aXLsound says:

      Thank you very much Doug ! I never tried the Clippy Mics but I’m thinking about grabbing a pair of EM272.
      True about the upper range, sometimes the Usi sound a little harsh so they can deal with a bit of noise/hiss reduction.

  2. Björn Viktorsson
    Björn Viktorsson says:

    Thanks for letting us see this comparison, one thing, have you ever used the mkh mics as a LCR and then the 2s LOMs for the back? As a 5.0 setup, not sure it will work but interesting to know if you have tried it!


    • aXLsound
      aXLsound says:

      Hi Björn !

      Thanks for your comment. Yeah I’ve tried that in the past, it worked okay but I prefer to use another ORTF pair as a rear pair alongside the LCR.

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