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Selecting microphone(s) for film

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Justin Teague
Selecting microphone(s) for film
on Nov 11, 2009 at 4:44:30 am

I’m looking to buy one or two boom microphone to be used in the production of narrative and documentary films. I’ll be shooting mainly interiors with the occasional exterior. What I’ve gathered from reading a lot of forums is that it is best to use a hypercardioid for interiors and a shotgun for exteriors, but I’ve seen some who disagree saying that some shotguns (particularly ones that aren’t tube-interference, like the Sanken CS-1) work fine indoors and other saying that a hypercardioid can do fine outdoors in low-noise conditions. I’m looking for more opinions on this issue.

I’m also looking for mic suggestions. My budget is around $1000 (for the one mic or the two together). I've heard great reviews (and in some cases great samples) of the AT4053, AKG CK93, Sennheiser ME 66, and Oktava MK-012. Didn't like the samples I heard of the various Rode mics and the AT4073. I'm curious to know if anyone has used the AKG CK98. On the higher end (i.e. if I only got one mic), it's the Sanken CS-1 and the MKH416. Don't know of a good hyper at that price. (MKH50 is a little high.)

I should also mention that my intended showcase for the finished products is the web / DVD, so if an expensive and less expensive mic can't be distinguished on normal speakers / headphones, then the cheaper is all I need. I'm also new to booming, so a microphone with low-handing noise and a forgiving range is best.

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Sam Mallery
Re: Selecting microphone(s) for film
on Nov 11, 2009 at 5:16:38 pm

"a microphone with low-handing noise and a forgiving range is best."

All sensitive shotguns & small diaphragm mics are going to produce handling noise. You need a shockmount on your boompole to avoid vibration noise. The Pearstone DUS-M is a good shockmount for a boompole that won't set you back too much financially.

Of the mics you mentioned, if you were to only buy just one, the Sanken CS-1 is your best bet. Remember, if you ever plan on setting outdoors to use the shotgun, you are going to need a softie windscreen. The exact model you need for the CS-1 is the Rycote
Standard Hole Softie Windscreen with a 19 - 22mm hole. Factor in an additional $110 for the softie.

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