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Cost effective microphone suggestion?

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Michael Nowakowski
Cost effective microphone suggestion?
on Jan 25, 2008 at 1:09:54 am

Can anyone lead me in the right direction for a decent sounding microphone that is also very economical. I'm not looking to spend a lot of money yet on an audio system because film making is a relatively new thing to me and is still in the stages of a hobby. Was that a run on?

Anyway I'm looking for a mic that I can put on a boom and have more control over than the el cheapo built in mic but not spend more than a beginner should.


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David Jones
Re: Cost effective microphone suggestion?
on Jan 25, 2008 at 5:09:55 am

Well, how much money ARE you willing to spend? There are basically two types of shotgun (or boom) mics: electret condenser and "true" condenser. Electret condensers are the same mics you find on ENG cameras. They're basically fine for picking up general ambient sound, but even putting them on a boom isn't going to get you the sound you're looking for (unless the mic is no more than two feet away, all the time, and there isn't any other background sound going on). They start at around $250. True condensers can cost four times that much but, they can also "hear" about four times as good. They also reject background sound much better.

Now, all that being said, and considering your budget, I would recommend the Audio-Technica 4073a. It's the least expensive of the "true" condensers (at around $549) and, unlike a cheap electret, you can always re-sell it for about what you paid for it on Ebay. I personally have never used one but, I've heard good things about it. Otherwise you're looking at spending upwards of $1,000, and that's without a windscreen! Of course you could always rent one :o)


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Cost effective microphone suggestion?
on Jan 25, 2008 at 1:33:25 pm

How often do you plan on using the mic? Do you need to be ready to go at a moments notice? Why not rent gear or gear and an op and get some training at the same time? There's enough prod companies around here that stuff is readily available and to get a great mixer for $30/day and mics for under $20, you can get what you need for a specific situation. Steve


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Dan Brockett
Re: Cost effective microphone suggestion?
on Jan 25, 2008 at 6:26:16 pm

Hi Michael:

I would suggest that you actually listen to the microphones before choosing one. I tested eleven different models, a couple of which were very low cost.

Read, listen and learn http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/right_mic_brockett.html

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Ty Ford
Re: Cost effective microphone suggestion?
on Jan 26, 2008 at 12:44:01 am

Hello Michael and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum

As you may know, your choice of boom mics depends a lot on where you intend to record.

Shotguns work well on sound stage and tricked out spaces. They do not work well in normal interiors in houses and offices. They do not work well outside if you're shooting around surfaces that reflect sound like large cement or blacktop surfaces, near any large, planar surfaces, especially if those surfaces are parallel.

In these areas a good hyper or super cardioid works much better because it ignores the off-axis sound much better than a shotgun. So, right out of the gate, you may need more than one mic.

The best compromise I know of is the Sanken CS-3e. It is not an interference tube shotgun, even though it looks like one. It's a high quality piece of gear that will serve you well for years to come.

I don't know what your budget is, but I suggest to folks entering the market that they resist the urge to buy cheap. Depending on your clients, or clients whom you would like to attract, you can't afford to buy cheap. To that end, renting when you need to may work and rental houses ship pretty much anywhere. I have both "good gear" and rental house indexes in the back of my little audio book. I have an archive of microphone reviews on my web site.

Please tell me how much you're willing to spend. Think hard about the sum. Unlike cameras, this mic will be with you a long time.

Regards,

Ty Ford




Want better production audio?: http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
Watch Ty play guitar:





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Michael Nowakowski
Re: Cost effective microphone suggestion?
on Jan 26, 2008 at 2:48:13 am

Thanks to everyone who responded. My budget for now is around from the 200's to the 500's. I'd rather stay away from the thousands for atleast a little bit. Anyway my usually my shooting is done outdoors. I think I will go with the suggestion that some of you brought up that I should rent a higher quality mic for the shoot and just not go into the cheaper end of the spectrum.

If I decide to start out renting and later buy a mic I'll probably be more willing to spend close to a thousand if I truly fall in love with a mic.

Thanks everyone

-Michael



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