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Shotgun mic technique

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Kevin Herrin
Shotgun mic technique
on Jul 12, 2006 at 2:07:15 pm

Hi all, I have recently purchased a Sennheiser ME66. I have been using it with, I think, poor results. The problem I am having is that I am picking up way too much room noise and the voice sounds hollow. I have the mic positioned about 45 degrees forward and 2 feet above, pointed directly at the talent. The last shoot I did I scrapped the shotgun and went with a lav, which sounded much better. Am I positioning the shotgun mic wrong?
Thanks
Kevin


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Will Salley
Re: Shotgun mic technique
on Jul 12, 2006 at 9:43:09 pm

Are you using it on interiors? It's gonna sound that way if you have live (bouncy) walls, floors or ceilings and/or a small space - say less than 12'x12'.

The only time you should use a shotgun, or hypercardoid mic, is on exteriors and sound treated interior spaces. You can use sound blankets to temporarily deaden walls and overhead, but sometimes DPs and Lighting Directors will have something to say about that - so just use a good cardoid condenser, get in as close to the camera frame as possible, and aim the mic at the talent's mouth or a little in front of it if they move their head. 2 feet is too far (for the ME66). If the level falls off a little as they turn their head, don't worry, that's natural. Just keep it intelligible.

If your MKE66 sounds hollow on an exterior, make sure you aren't monitoring another mic, like a lav, in with the shotgun.

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Ty Ford
Re: Shotgun mic technique
on Jul 13, 2006 at 2:36:10 am

Whoa Neighbor!

The hypercardioid is quite usable in interiors. I use a Schoeps cmc641 in interiors all the time. You need to be closer than 2 feet. I like to be within 16 inches of the person's head unless we're in a very dead room. You are correct about shotguns, though.

For a quick tutorial, go on over to my website and download the mic tutorial video.mp4. It's a 12 minute crash course in why to use which mic.

Go to http://www.tyford.com
click on the OnLine Archive atop column #2
Click on the Video folder and download
Ty Ford Mic Tutorial VIdeo.mp4

Enjoy,

Ty Ford


Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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Will Salley
Re: Shotgun mic technique
on Jul 13, 2006 at 4:02:59 am

[Ty Ford] "The hypercardioid is quite usable in interiors"

[Ty Ford] "I use a Schoeps cmc641 in interiors all the time."


I have that same capsule. I was thinking of it as more of a "supercardioid" and a I.T. shotgun as a "hyper", but I get a lot of terms wrong.


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Ty Ford
Re: Shotgun mic technique
on Jul 13, 2006 at 2:08:37 pm

What's interesting is that, while many locations sound guys/gals refer to the cmc641 as a hypercradioid, Schoeps defines it as a supercardioid.

"increased directivity either for the sake of a


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Kevin Herrin
Re: Shotgun mic technique
on Jul 13, 2006 at 11:25:47 pm

Thanks guys for the tips, I will try these on the next shoot.
Kevin


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