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Which of these mics to use for this shoot?

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kat hayes
Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 11, 2008 at 10:06:38 pm

I want to shoot some simple videos that will consist of a camera setup in a single spot while I am talking to the camera. I will be around 10-12ft from the camera. I am going to connect either a ME 66 boom, a Sanken COS 11-Xbp lav or a Countryman E6 earset directly to the camera. I might also need to shoot this against a green screen. This will be shot in a room that will ideally have minimal extraneous noises. I've read good things about the E6 though it would be nice if it was not visible wile I'm wearing it. I could remove the boom out of the shot if needed with a garbage matte. I understand that the lavs could pickup noise if not worn properly.

1. Which of these should be able to get the best sound quality based on my scenario?

2. Are there other pros/cons to using one type of mic or the other.


Thanks.



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Ty Ford
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 12:59:41 am

Hello Kat, The cos 11 or Countryman B6 (not e6) would work. The B6 is the easiest to hide.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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kat hayes
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 1:11:17 am

Hi Ty,

1.) Why are you suggesting the B6 and not the E6? And, how would you hide it?
2.) Why are you not recommending the boom?

Thanks!



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Ty Ford
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 1:41:45 am

1. it doesn't mount on the face
2. you can move around a bit

Ty Ford

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






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kat hayes
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 1:54:46 am

Hi Ty,

I am thinking of going without using a mixer to keep the shoots simple. Will I be sacrificing much in terms of sound quality if I use either of those two mics? OR will I just be missing out mainly on the ability to use the low filters to cut out potential extraneous noise?

Thanks for your help!



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Ty Ford
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 2:13:52 am

Mixers are more than knobs that let you vary the volume.

1. They let you vary volumes without shaking the camera or getting in the way of the camera op.
2. You may need to do that a lot with some people. I ride gain even if one person is talking if their voice fades on the end of each line. You can only do this in a relatively quiet environment, otherwise you bring up the ambient noise.
3. Mixer preamps (good ones) sound better than camera preamps.
4. Good mixers have input transformers that scrape off RF before it get into your audio.
5. Good mixers have limiters that allow you to record hotter, keeping your audio further above the noise floor without distorting.
6. Good limtiers have EQ that lets you roll of LF HVAC noise before it gets into your audio.
7. Good mixers have mulitple outputs so you can feed more than one camera, or separate recorder simultaneously.
8. Good mixers make your sound better. If they didn't pros wouldn't use them.


Regards,

Ty

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






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Rodney Morris
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 4:03:00 am

Kat,
You'll want to use a lav for this situation. You've already indicated in another post that this is a one man band shoot. If you're not going to be listening while shooting (which you can't if you're on camera) you need to have a mic that will stay in position if you move. A boom mounted on a stand with no one manning it can't do this.

Ty has listed a lot of good reasons for using a mixer. If you want to know how it's going to sound if you don't use a mixer, then watch (or listen to) your local news reporters in the field. They always go straight to camera. You rarely here something on the local news and think "wow - that sounds good". Half the time you think, "wow - that sounds pretty (insert expletive of choice here)." It can be done but it's not the best way. It's the fastest and sometimes easiest but is also the quickest way to screwing up your sound.

I said it in my response to your earlier post and I'll say it again - Don't be lazy. You will get bit at some point.

Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Rodney Morris
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 4:04:27 am

Forgot to add...

Use the Sanken lav.

Rodney

Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Brett Underberg-Davis
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 15, 2008 at 6:20:48 pm

If you mean by "one person shoot" that you'll be setting up the equipment and then standing in front of the cam, then I don't see how a mixer will help. Yes, it would be better to have one, if you had someone to operate it. Seems to me the best you can do with one person is do some test shots to find proper levels, get the basic tracks as good as you can live, and fix any glitches in post, assuming you have more time than money.

Having more crew for a low budget shoot may save you money by reducing the amount of time you need to spend in post fixing stuff that a good crew would have fixed at the time of the shoot itself? Of course this is said with my having little idea of what the end product is, or what level of finish will be good enough for your project.

And yes, I realize this is heresy considering this is the audio pros forum. But the real pros here have already covered the "right" way to shoot this, and I agree with them completely, assuming you have the budget to do it right. If you don't have that budget though, and you do have someone who doesn't value their time highly, my suggestion may work as a bad second choice. ;)



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Ty Ford
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 15, 2008 at 7:05:07 pm

Brett,

You make me nervous, even though you contradict yourself. :)

Why is it always the sound that people toss to an unkowing neophyte? (Sound, Phht! Anyone can do sound!

As to the usefulness of a mixer in this situation (again):

1. Good mixers have better preamps than cameras. That's a delicate stage, amping up from mic to line level.
2. Good limiters have MUCH better limiters.
3. Good limiters usually have input and output transformers that help to scrape off noise before it gets to the camera.

Regards,

Ty Ford




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






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Brett Underberg-Davis
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:59:37 pm

I realize I contradict myself. But the reason people toss the sound to someone unqualified is usually desperation. I would love to have a good sound person, but most of what I shoot is shot on no budget. Not low budget, NO budget.

If I could trust a neophyte to run the camera I'd probably choose that over having them run the sound. In most cases, with my XL H1, I try to do both, or set up a recorder as well as I can, separate from the cam. It's a bad compromise, but the other choice is not to get the shot at all.

I've begged those surrounding my efforts to try to find someone better at sound than I am, to handle recording and mics and all the rest. While I knew it coming in, my experience over the past few years has reinforced what you and other pros say in spades. I actually think audio is generally MORE important to the viewer's sense of quality than image is, in almost every case.

Sometimes the people I volunteer for even have great the equipment lying around unused someplace. What none of us seem to have is endless free time to gather and persuade good people to crew the shoots the way they ideally should be crewed.

I don't (generally) get paid for these shoots. I come with a $10K camera, $10 tapes and another $3K in sound equipment, not counting several $1,000s in computer equipment and editing software I use in post much of the time -- and my investment (which seems foolhardy, especially in the face of a major recession) has been largely predicated on my doing the best job I can under the circumstances in hopes that those associated with my "charity" jobs may think of me sometime when they are shooting something where there are people actually willing to pay for production values. Frankly it's (emotionally) depressing and it probably should be, considering out collective attitudes have done a lot to make the looming (economic) depression a near certainty.





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Brett Underberg-Davis
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 15, 2008 at 11:31:35 pm

p.s. I should have said "a reason" rather than "the reason" as I'm sure there are many other reasons why individuals treat audio as an afterthought when (ideally) they should not.



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Ty Ford
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 16, 2008 at 1:36:24 am

[Brett Underberg-Davis] " don't (generally) get paid for these shoots. I come with a $10K camera, $10 tapes and another $3K in sound equipment, not counting several $1,000s in computer equipment and editing software I use in post much of the time -- and my investment (which seems foolhardy, especially in the face of a major recession) has been largely predicated on my doing the best job I can under the circumstances in hopes that those associated with my "charity" jobs may think of me sometime when they are shooting something where there are people actually willing to pay for production values. Frankly it's (emotionally) depressing and it probably should be, considering out collective attitudes have done a lot to make the looming (economic) depression a near certainty.
"


I would be depressed as well were I in your situation. Not getting paid is a problem. Why on earth would you do that unless you are financially independent and doing it as an expensive hobby? I would counsel you that once they get you for free, getting any more than that is extremely difficult. In undercutting the rates of professional videographers, you are part of the problem instead of being part of the solution. You have maybe $25K in gear and you're working for free. STOP IT. Get a hold of yourself, or rather your selfworth.

You HAVE to re-evaluate yourself. I suggest that folks in your situation get up every morning, look themselves in the bathroom mirror and ask what your hourly rate should be. Make it a good one you can make a living with. Look yourself in the eye and tell yourself what your rate is. Do this every day until you believe it. Unless you do, you will never get the rate you want. If you can't sell yourself to yourself, you'll never be able to sell yourself to anyone else.

If someone asks you to do a job for low pay for the first job with promises of better pay on future jobs, don't go for it. Tell them you consider giving them a break on the 2nd or 3rd job if you get your regular rate for the first one. If they won't do that, you know they are just trying to hammer you for rate. Hope this helps. I mean it with all good intent.

Regards,

Ty Ford



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






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Brett Underberg-Davis
Re: Which of these mics to use for this shoot?
on Oct 16, 2008 at 8:25:42 am

I do this job because my daughter is in the marching band, and I want to have a record of that that is better than what they had before. I have the equipment because I'm a business writer who saved a lot of money over the years, who won some awards long ago for dramatic writing, and the more I know about video from the inside, the better I can do the kind of work I want to do, namely screenwriting and related efforts. (Though some of the footage I've shot also has me flirting with the idea of putting together a documentary, assuming I could scale that project up and find some funding to do it right).

No one is offering money for this job, nor have they ever done so. Nor are they likely to in this environment.

I do it because I am at best a talented amateur as a camera operator, DP, sound person, and editor, and I don't have enough years left in my life to want to waste it do wedding videos or deal with cranky clients who think they own me because they pay a piddling fee, just so I can say I'm getting paid. I make more in interest, even in this market, than most local clients are likely to pay.

I hold myself to a far higher standard than this particular job is ever likely to justify in purely mercenary terms. But if I do it well enough, who knows, I may also wind up with a reel that I can use to get the sort of related work I might actually want to be doing?

I worked for years at max pay in jobs I detested on any number of grounds. It gave me some life experience, though, and I do hope at some point to translate that into a project or projects that may eventually pay off, though I really can't look at them that way and stay (relatively) sane.

Sorry if that attitude aggravates the pros. But this job was never put out to bid, and if I were not a part of it, it would still happen, the only difference would be that it would be shot on consumer vidcams using just built-in mics and whatever sound accidentally made its way to them.



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