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Best mic for outdoor dialogue?

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Ben Knight
Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 10:44:37 pm

Hello Cow friends,

Just wondering what techniques and mics are best for getting clean dialogue outdoors, especially when there's background noise, eg traffick.

I've got a Zoom H4N and a Rode NTG3. The Rode is great indoors, but picks up too much background outside, I find.

Are lav mics the best for this kind of thing? Recommendations in the sub $1000 category?

Any tips appreciated... thanks!

:-)

Ben


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Eric Toline
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 12:49:57 am

Under $1k? If you're lucky a used Sennheiser 416. Try ebay.

Eric


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David Jones
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 4:15:48 am

Hi Ben,

Yeah, what you need is a long shotgun mic with a narrow pick-up pattern, like the Sennheiser MKH 70; not available for under 1k. Might find one used but, again, probably not for less than a thousand.

That said, no mic is going to cut out 100% of background noise, esp. traffic, planes, etc.

Dave J


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Ben Knight
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 7:46:39 am

Thanks for the mic tips guys, appreciate it. I've also heard good outdoor results can be achieved Sennheiser Wireless G3 system and a high end lav mic. Do you guys agree, and / or have a recommendation on which mic to use?
Cheers,
Ben


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Eric Toline
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 1:30:20 pm

A lav might sound better only because it's closer to the sound source. Basically you don't have a sound problem you have a location problem. That said and to address your lav question, the Countryman line of lavs are very good. In particular the EMW or B3 lavs for about $200+ each. Sennheiser also has some very good lavs. The Sanken COS11 is also a top performer for about 2x the price of a Countryman. Do some online research on those products and make your choice. You really can't go wrong with any of them. You can get prices and tech specks at: http://www.bhphotovideo.com.

Eric


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Ty Ford
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 5:12:09 pm

Hello Ben and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

First, I'm glad the NTG-3 is working for you indoors, but it's not the mic of choice for indoors, a super cardioid without an interference tube is. Here's why: http://gallery.me.com/tyreeford#100038

That would be a Schoeps CMC641, Audio technica 4053B or Audix scx-1HC.

As long as you can get the mic close enough during outside shooting, these mics will work fine there as well. In fact on the street on in any outside location with lots of hard surfaces, e.g. streets, buildings, walls, the above mics should work better as long as you can get them to within 18" of the person speaking.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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Ben Knight
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 8, 2011 at 9:52:11 pm

Thanks Eric and Ty, plenty of great info there. Makes me wonder what IS so great about the Rode NTG-3. At the moment I feel a bit like it's not perfect for any situation, which bums me a bit as it was sold to me as a mic that I could shoot a feature on.
I'll further research your suggestions guys.
Nice video, Ty.
:-)
Ben


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Ty Ford
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 12:29:22 am

Ben,

Nothing inherently wrong with the NTG-3. It pattern is wider than a Sennheiser 416, which may work in your favor booming two people talking. It's designed using similar theory to that used in the Sennheiser 416.

In the end, you need at least three types of mics lavs, shotguns and supercardioids. A good handheld for interviews, like an EV RE50 is also very handy.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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Ben Knight
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 10, 2011 at 1:15:05 am

Thanks Ty. So what do you think is the best application for the NTG-3, generally speaking... eg 2 feet from talent in quiet outdoor settings (minimal hard surfaces).... ? Cheers, Ben


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Ty Ford
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 10, 2011 at 3:14:57 am

Ben,

Two feet or less. And any interference tube shotgun is in trouble in a reflective environment.
That's why it doesn't work as well as a super cardioid like an Sennheiser MKH 50, Schoeps CMC641 or Audio-Technica AT 4053b, in most residential or commercial interiors.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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Ben Knight
Re: Best mic for outdoor dialogue?
on Oct 10, 2011 at 8:45:42 am

Appreciate it, Ty. :-)


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