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Mics & Non-Professional Talent / Crown PZM

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Danny Grizzle
Mics & Non-Professional Talent / Crown PZM
on Jul 30, 2008 at 12:57:48 am

Every photographer knows the feeling -- many people turn their back if they see a camera.

Same goes for audio, doing documentary work. Bring out a microphone or recorder, and it will kill conversation. Some people are simply self-conscious.

Specifically, I'm trying to record elderly family members.

I've tried Edirol R-09 (and various Zoom). I always get caught. Too many LEDs and display lights. The Yamaha POCKETRAK 2G looks interesting.

---

Another track: any comments on Crown Audio PZM mics? 25 years ago, I read a favorable review, but I've never bought one. Model PZM30D (omni) is $334 @ B&H. I'm considering one to use in combination with a Sennheiser MKH-40, the Sennheiser used to mic a primary subject, with the Crown gathering audience interactions in very small groups (as in around the dining room table).

The Crown also has an advantage in that it does not look like a microphone. Maybe I could hide the thing in plain sight. In these situations, you can forget close mic work. I'm wondering how the Crown PZM might do at 4-5 feet.

Suggestions?




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Ty Ford
Re: Mics & Non-Professional Talent / Crown PZM
on Jul 30, 2008 at 2:31:36 am

Hello Danny and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Minidisc recorder for your relatives and don't try to hide it.

You're not going to get much from a PZM at 5 feet. Short shotgun and pick your environment carefully.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Danny Grizzle
Re: Mics & Non-Professional Talent / Crown PZM
on Jul 30, 2008 at 4:34:16 am

I know better than 4-5 feet. On the other hand, if I start brandishing my MKH 60, I'm afraid people will walk off.

30 years ago, I lost a great interview with my wife's grandmother because of holding a mic near her face. A great aunt, on the other hand, let me record stories her grandfather told her from the Civil War, the first time, after she was grown, to see an automobile and an airplane, experiences in the Great Depression, etc.

Today, I still have an uncle living who began life before automobiles were common. He tells how wagons used to be parked in a river ford in Sulphur Springs, Texas, while doing business in town. That way, the wooden wagon wheels swelled up and tightened inside the steel wheel rims.

Anyway, I've always wondered if I should have a Crown PZM in my kit, and it sounds like maybe no.

Maybe I would be better off hiding a Sanken COS-11 on my person, then stand too close to people talking.

Speaking of which, the Sanken comes with a little rubber mount intended to be taped to a surface. Any experience with this? It is certainly smaller than the Crown, but I wonder about using a lav in this way.





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Ty Ford
Re: Mics & Non-Professional Talent / Crown PZM
on Jul 30, 2008 at 10:34:35 am

[Danny Grizzle] "30 years ago, I lost a great interview with my wife's grandmother because of holding a mic near her face. .................
Maybe I would be better off hiding a Sanken COS-11 on my person, then stand too close to people talking.

Speaking of which, the Sanken comes with a little rubber mount intended to be taped to a surface. Any experience with this? It is certainly smaller than the Crown, but I wonder about using a lav in this way.
"


Hi Danny,

30 years ago, maybe the mic was too big or you did indeed brandish it. Either might have been objectionable. :)

Attaching a lav to a large flat surface can make it a pzm. Works pretty well, but not as well as being on the person in the right place.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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John Fishback
Re: Mics & Non-Professional Talent / Crown PZM
on Aug 2, 2008 at 11:31:17 pm

This reminds me of a story I heard while touring backstage at NBC in New York when I was a kid. It was about a famous opera singer at the inception of radio broadcasting who had a very bad case of mic fright. The solution was to hide the mic inside a lamp shade. Apparently, the singer had no trouble singing to the lamp shade. Go figure!

John

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