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Small mic to be used close to speaker

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Tony Connoly
Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 17, 2010 at 4:28:03 pm

I'm looking for a small, budget friendly mic with a medium width, forgiving pickup pattern (hyper maybe?) that can be held by a speaker or placed on a table near the interviewee. I already have a Rode NTG-2, so this would be a complement to it.


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Ty Ford
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 17, 2010 at 4:55:08 pm

Tony,

where?
why?

Ty Ford

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






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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 17, 2010 at 5:04:04 pm

To be used for informal on-location interviews, indoors in sound-forgiving locations (lots of furniture and carpeting). I'm just finding the NTG-2 to be difficult to keep pointed in the right direction all the time, so I want to try something different, even if it means the mic will show up on camera.


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Ty Ford
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 17, 2010 at 5:11:01 pm

nah, won't work. The secret to good interview audio is a close mic with a tight pattern.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 17, 2010 at 5:13:59 pm

I'm looking for a "small mic to be used close to speaker". Which part won't work: "small" or "close"? Thanks.


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Bob Kessler
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 17, 2010 at 6:12:55 pm

Is the mic going to be placed on a stand or handled by an interviewer?

Is the person speaking standing in one spot or moving around?


What's your budget?


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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 17, 2010 at 8:10:43 pm

I was thinking of the Shure SM57-LC. Will this pick up delicate sounds, or does the person have to have a voice that carries?


I have no budget in the sense that this is on my nickel. Every penny I don't spend I keep.


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Bob Kessler
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 17, 2010 at 9:01:49 pm

The Shure SM63 is more like the interview mics you see newscasters use; about the same price as the SM-57. Also the Electro Voice 635A and the Audio Technica AT8004L in the same price range. They are all omnis so should be fairly forgiving directionally. I've never used any of them, so only anecdotal info on my part.


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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 17, 2010 at 9:14:25 pm

Bob,

What would you recommend for an informal interview (besides a lav, which is the subject for another discussion)? Let's say in the $100-200 price range, unless everything in that range is terrrrrible.


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Bob Kessler
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 3:48:47 am

But you still haven't answered my questions.


Is the mic going to be placed on a stand or handled by an interviewer?

Is the person speaking standing in one spot or moving around?

What's your budget?


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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 3:58:10 am

I thought I said $100-200, but maybe I forgot to hit send.

I wasn't planning on buying a separate mic for handholding and one for putting on a table and one for moving around unles you tell me that's the way to do it. I guess if there is a mic you can hold and walk around with, that's the one I'd want because I assume you can also put that one on a table, but I'd like to know what the drawbacks would be.


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Eric Toline
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 1:06:11 pm

Get an Electrovoice RE-50. It's the de facto standard for hand held interviews. Will also work well for table/desk/lectern mounting. About $160.


Eric


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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 1:13:34 pm

Thanks Eric,

I just took a look at the frequency response table of Electrovoice RE-50. It drops off below 100Hz. Is that an issue for voice?

They also make a version with high-output neodymium called RE50N/D-B, for about $8 more. What do you think of that?


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Eric Toline
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 1:59:13 pm

Theres nothing below 100hz that you need for dialog. Everything below 100hz is "mud". Don't sweat it. The high out put version is a very good choice, it means you do't have to turn up the gain as much to get a reasonable level. Run do not walk and get the RE-50. If EV offers a long handle version then get that also.

Eric


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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 1:55:01 pm

Eric, if I wanted to get something that maybe has better audio quality than the EV RE-40 but might require more effort to set-up properly, what would that be


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Eric Toline
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 2:02:47 pm

What exactly are you going to record? Your budget is the limiting factor in your choice of mics and quite honestly the RE-50 will do everything you require.

Eric


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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:20:19 pm

My concern is that if I plug the dynamic mic into a cheap recorder like the Zoom H4n, I would have to turn the gain up so high that the noise levels would be too high. Unfortunately I can't try this before I get all of the gear.


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Ty Ford
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:25:28 pm

Tony,

I think your concern should be that unless you have the mic pushed into their faces, it ain't gonna work.

If you want good audio, you have to use good practices. Last time I'm saying it, but In my experience, this approach is a bad idea.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:29:51 pm

Ty,

I am really, honestly confused. When you say "this approach won't work" which approach are you referring to, and how do you recommend I change it?


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Ty Ford
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:43:42 pm

Tony,

You said: "I'm looking for a small, budget friendly mic with a medium width, forgiving pickup pattern (hyper maybe?) that can be held by a speaker or placed on a table near the interviewee. I already have a Rode NTG-2, so this would be a complement to it.

To be used for informal on-location interviews, indoors in sound-forgiving locations (lots of furniture and carpeting). I'm just finding the NTG-2 to be difficult to keep pointed in the right direction all the time, so I want to try something different, even if it means the mic will show up on camera."

--------------

Unless you plan to have it in their faces like a radio talk show, it won't work. Learn to use your NTG-2 better.

Ty Ford

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






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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:52:59 pm

Got it. Thanks Ty. I need to be able to monitor while recording before I can learn to use it, hence one of the reasons for my other question re: preamp/recorder.


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Eric Toline
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:38:39 pm

What makes you think that it won't work with a Zoom thingy? If you're that nervous then get a mixer to put in front of the recorder. Look for a used Sound Devices MIX PRE, it will do the job just fine.


Eric


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Tony Connoly
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 23, 2010 at 4:00:21 am

Ok, per Ty's advice I'm going to stick with the NTG-2 and learn to use it first.

But while we're discussing dynamic omnis, how about the elctro 635A?


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Ty Ford
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 23, 2010 at 11:51:50 am

Tony,

It'll work, but an re50 has much better wind protection built-in

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Eric Toline
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 23, 2010 at 11:59:28 am

I seem to recall that the RE-50 is the 635 capsule in a different housing.


Eric


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Ty Ford
Re: Small mic to be used close to speaker
on Nov 23, 2010 at 12:39:25 pm

Eric,

yes, better wind protection and handling noise rejection.

Ty

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






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Craig Alan
Off topic but related
on Nov 29, 2010 at 2:33:57 am

Hi,

Just want to add that I find this conversation popping up frequently. At our school, we are asked to shoot events all the time and are expected to get good results without any rehearsal or cooperation from the talent or organizers that want to be recorded. That’s ok, if not great, for visuals. Find a good location, mount the cam on a tripod, ball balance, white balance, adjust the exposure and hope that your location is adequate to cover the entire event. You can go with multiple cameras and hand-held cams for additional footage, though you are increasing the amount of time you need to spend in the edit bay for this afterthought shoot. But good, even just usable, sound requires the talent’s active participation.

Whenever I get asked about shooting an event, my questions run as follows: “Do you care about the sound at all?” “Do you care about the sound quality?” “Will your talent be miked to powered speakers?" “Can we get a feed from the sound board.” “Would the talent be willing to hold a hand held mike or stand or sit right in front of a mike on a stand?”
Some times the best we can do is set up a cordless mike aimed at a powered speaker and let it record both the live boomy sound coming out of it along with the ambient noise of the event. I find event organizers are usually pretty happy with this “live” recording. I’m not. Other times, I find the talent is willing to hold a cordless mike. You get drop offs when the talent misdirects the mike, but it works pretty well. If we not only have the talent’s cooperation but some extra time for set up, a lav will allow them more physical freedom, but you really need that extra set-up time.

I always find it interesting when there is a live news interview with a hot breaking story and there are like 20+ news teams surrounding the poor subject. It’s a mass of boom poles and handheld recorders, all vying for position really close to the subject. Now if you could just zoom the mike the way you zoom your camera, well then, documentaries would feel more like documentaries and run and gun would be just that.

OSX 10.5.7; MAC Book PRO (EARLY 2008); Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30, Sony vx2000/PD170, Canon xl2; Pana, Sony, and Canon consumer cams; FCP certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: Off topic but related
on Nov 29, 2010 at 2:56:53 pm

Craig,

Thanks for the editorial! :)

And usually these are the same people who complain that the sound person screwed the pooch of the audio.

When I run into sound problems that I think are problematic, I give the headphones to the person in charge and say, "here's what I'm hearing. so you hear the X? Is that OK with you or do we need to do something about it? If you want to get better sound, here's what needs to happen."

That way it's their call, not mine.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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