Tag Archives: Russian Microphones

OKTAVA MD-66a Noise-cancelling Microphone (1979) Brand New!

Oktava MD-66a New Old Stock

A Rare Find! Still wrapped up in it’s original box!

According to the yellowing Russian leaflet pictured above, the Oktava MD-66a is  a ‘Dynamic coil microphone meant for sound amplification of speech and air traffic/transport controllers/officials communications.  One direction microphone.’  (literal translation)

Oktava MD-66a Grill

AKG D58 and Oktava MD66 Frequency Response comparison v2

Although the Oktava MD-66a doesn’t look anything like an AKG D58 it is clear from the 2 frequency response graphs above that the design intention of both mics is fairly similar, with a steep cut from the mid-range downwards and a considerable boost to the frequencies which affect the intelligibility of speech. N.B. The dotted line on the AKG graph shows how the low-end frequency response is restored to flat when the sound source is very close to the mic (bass proximity effect).  Low frequency sound emanating from further away, however, will be greatly attenuated thereby improving the clarity of the close mic’d sound.

Oktava MD-66a Polar Plot

The polar plot also shows a  narrowing of the high frequency response on axis. High frequency sound arriving off axis will therefore be considerably reduced.

Although I don’t have any ‘air traffic’ or ‘transport’  to control or ‘officials communications’  to make, it does occur to me that this neat little noise-cancelling dynamic might have many other uses.

CLICK HERE for Acoustic Guitar & Harmonica.

P.S.    Having taken the MD-66a out on a number of live gigs recently it is currently my favourite mic on snare. It delivers a crisp, fat, punchy sound whilst picking up very little of the bass drum.

BBC Engineer Recommends ORTF!

Some years ago a colleague of mine was given a useful piece of advice by an elderly ex- BBC engineer…….. When preparing to record an orchestral concert, if setup time is in short supply, the simplest and safest choice of microphone assembly is an ORTF pair, which can be guaranteed to give good results in almost any situation.

Recently I have had cause to test this theory, with only a 15 minute ‘window’ in which to set up mics and no proper sound check!!

Oktava MK012s set as ORTF pair ready to go on a tall stand behind the conductor.

Viewed upside down,Oktava MK012 cardioids set as ORTF pair ready to go on a tall stand behind the conductor, angled downwards to point towards the woodwind.

And so……………. was our old chum from the BBC right?

Here is a clip from the concert.