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Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic

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Dan Shaw
Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 1:20:58 am

Hi all - I am hoping that I can get a few opinions on this so that it could save me from having to try out a bunch of options.

I'm looking to do short video intros with a white background. Most of the shots are going to be chest high, portrait style as seen in this clip.





i have been listening to the pro's and cons of a lav or a shotgun and pretty much can see that both would work just fine. It would be great to get a mic that I could also use for other video applications. Before I spent in the range of $500 for a Rode NTG2,3 or a comparable Lav I'd love to know anyones thoughts.

What mic do you guys find that you use the most? Which is more versatile? I know that having both would be great. But if you had to choose just one. :)

Thanks everyone!!


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David C Jones
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 3:10:51 am

Hi Dan,

If you only go with one mic, I'd recommend the Sanken COS-11 lav. In a comprehensive test that was done a few years back, the one doing this test found it matched boom mics the best. It's my favorite mic.

Best,

Dave J


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Dan Shaw
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 7:02:09 am

Thanks Dave. I was looking at the Sanken COS-11 lav and it sounds like that would be a better fit for my productions right now.

While I have your attention, I was planning on running the lav into my Zoom H4N, but just started reading about low noise preamps (ex: Juiced Link) and how the H4N is not the best when it comes to noise. Should I be worrying about that or do you think the sound quality would be fine going from lav to H4N?


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 9:32:11 am

For stuff like you are wanting to shoot I'm going to suggest something a little different.
Use a mic stand with boom arm with a hyper-cardioid mic or short shotgun mic on it, ideally facing down as an overhead mic or second choice facing upward, but need to get them in as close as possible as the shot will allow.
The standard sort of mic for this shoot would be a Senni 416, Rode NTG3 or similar, if you want to be impressed with a mic (at a very low price) for this sort work try these..... http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/microphones/condenser-microphones...
http://www.zzounds.com/item--SAMC02
I do a lot of commercial / DOCO shoots often in green screen or sit down interview style and I just love these mics. They are also a lot more tolerant to slight head movements than short shot gun mics.

My only negative comment is they are not brilliant outdoors in wind (shot guns are better in that situation) but indoors..... stunning !!!!!!

PS. for the first couple of indoor shoots using the Samson mic I mounted it side by side to a 416 and recorded them on separate tracks and then used the best sound... after about 4 shoots and always choosing the CO2, I now no longer double mic.
Here are some commercials done with that mic, and all had the reflections of a table to deal with.
















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Peter Groom
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:20:31 am

Well I am a fan of the Cos 11, but with that framing, Id go for a short shotgun on a stand with its tip just out of frame. And I mean JUST.
I think that will likely give a better warmth, and youll have to bury a personal mic which always lessens their clarity.

Id also consider putting some cushions / large absorbent materials on the floor around the person. Its out of shot and will mute the 1st reflections to the mic pointing down at the floor.

If the floor is not SOLID, put the feel to the mic stand on rubber to lessen structural vibrations, and try to use a shockmount on the mic rather than just clipping to the stand boom arm.
Listen to the acoustic of the space. If you can hear a reverb, your recording WILL have it, and you cant get rid. Look at what you can do to lessen it before pressing record. Drapes, soft furnishings, Angling the shout away from a parallel surface etc etc. Spend time before the recording to get it right.
And 1) Make a test recording.
2) Listen to it back and check for problems away from the shoot location in a quite space.
3) Wear headphones throughout. Dont take them off for anyone.
4) If there is a problem STOP and fix it. Dont press on then wonder how to fix it later.

Good luck

Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 2:07:37 pm

All good info.

I prefer super/hyper cardiod just out of frame on a boom on a c-stand. Then a wired lav as 2nd choice. You could hide the mic in the hair too to elim that off-axis tone.

Peter mention reflection control. Cheap packing blankets on the floor and just out of frame do wonders.

My selection of mics usually has to do with the amount of time I have for setup and if I'm travelling solo. A lav for run-n-gun is great. If I have time and budget, I'll bring a c-stand, boom, & supercardiod. Studio work like the shot you propose would be a boom setup for me.

Steve






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Dan Shaw
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 4:00:01 pm

Brian, Peter, Steve, thanks for chiming in. It sounds like a shotgun on a boom would work also and with my white background I could put it very close to me and even edit it out in post since I have a white background. I like that!

I was planning on running the mic into my Zoom H4N, but just started reading about low noise preamps (ex: Juiced Link) and how the H4N is not the best when it comes to noise. Should I be worrying about that or do you think the sound quality would be fine going from mic to H4N?

Any thoughts?


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 5:54:10 pm

I used an H4N for the first time last week and I'm confused by that device. No problems with the sound quality, but it's not a SoundDevices. My opinion would be turn off all the auto stuff, limiters, compressors, etc and feed it with line level from a good mixer and bypass the mic pre.

Steve






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Ty Ford
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 7:35:47 pm

Hello Dan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Not a shotgun indoors unless you are on a soundstage. A hyper or super.

Here's why:





Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader


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


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Dan Shaw
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 8:24:56 pm

Ty - Thanks for that video! I think I watched about 50 on youtube, and somehow missed yours. Fantastic job and it really gave me a good idea for the different types of mics.

I'll be shooting this in a spare room so there most likely will be having some sound bounce off the walls. I'm starting to understand there there really isn't just one mic the does it all. Too bad!

Looks like now I will do some research on hypercardioid mics. :)


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 8:49:32 pm

And don't overlook renting this stuff, there's no need to buy everything - you'll go broke. Or hire and experienced soundperson and learn. And for sure you don't want to buy a mic and put it right into action without gaining some experience in a similar environment before you try it in a client situation.

Steve






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Ty Ford
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:13:37 pm

Hi Dan,

You're welcome. Try this as a list from top (best) bottom (not so much).

Schoeps cmc641
Sennheiser MKH 50
Audio Technica 4053b
Audix SCX-1 HC
Oktava MC012 or MK012 with hyper capsule

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader


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


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Dan Shaw
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:40:22 pm

Thanks again Ty for those suggestions. I am looking at the Audio Technica mic you listed and see if I can find a place that rents one of those.

If you have a moment I would love to know your thoughts on the best way to capture the audio. I have a Zoom H4N and I will be shooting with a Canon 5D Mark ii. Some have mentioned the need for a Juiced Link pre amp, but do you think the audio technica going into the H4N would do justice?


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Ty Ford
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:54:51 pm

Dan,

I don't have a lot of confidence in Juiced Link. If the H4N has a 48V Phantom supply, and takes mics, you could be OK. Try it before you need it.

I like putting a good mixer in front of a camera or recorder. In your case, something like a Sound Devices 302. It's a quality piece of gear that'll last a lifetime.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader


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


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Craig Alan
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 10, 2012 at 5:05:41 pm

Renting is a good idea if each shoot demands a different mike.

That said, the AT 4053b is a great mike for the price and you would not regret owning one or more. They are not as convenient to use as cordless lavs, but unless you spend quite a bit for the lav kits, the sound is sweeter and less hollow sounding. I'm not an expert but my guess is this is because the lavs I have used are Omnis. On the other hand, I feel the AT is more exacting – can sound more like a studio recording. I like the intimacy of that kind of sound, but may not be as atmospheric - that is integrated with the room and b.g. noise.

The AT is very sensitive and will pick up b.g. noise so controlling your environment is important. Use moving blankets or whatever to absorb sound around your subject. Not a cure all but helps. Find a quiet location. Experiment with the angle of the mic. That’s where a good boom pole operator with headphone monitoring would work better than a c-stand mounted one.

I would buy a Sound Devices 302 ($1300) which will help you get better results regardless of which mike or recording device you use. If you never use more than two inputs, even consider a Sound Devices MixPre-D. Why sound devices - good metering, good headphone out, easy calibration with any recording device that has headphone or other audio out port, very good pre amps so you can turn down the crappy ones on cheap recording devices. This does not bypass the cheap audio circuits in many cams and cheap recorders, but does improve the captured sound – a lot.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Dan Shaw
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Jan 23, 2013 at 6:13:30 pm

Hi guys- I am revisiting this topic and after having chosen the Audio Technica 4053b I am curious the best way to get this into the right position. I've seem mention of boom poles and c-stands vs overhead mic stands, but do not know the best route to take.


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/154639-REG/K_M_21411_500_55_Tripod_Mi...

Or the kit + c-stand and accessories...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/764686-REG/Audio_Technica_AT4053b_Hyp...


Just a refresher that I will be shooting this indoors without a sound operator. The shot will be of half my body in front of a seamless white background. The solution doesn't need to travel well or be too compact as it will be staying at home with me.

Any recommendations you might have would be much appreciated! I also do not have a big company budget so please keep that in mind also. :)

Thanks!

-Dan


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Ty Ford
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Jan 24, 2013 at 12:59:23 am

Hello Again Dan,

You'd need one of each of the links plus a gimmick that attaches to stand to hold the boom pole. That usually is something like a grip head and a fishing rod holder from a sporting goods store.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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Craig Alan
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Jan 24, 2013 at 4:35:05 am

Really like that mike but it does need to be directed toward the speaker's mouth. Very nice sound.

Plus it's sensitive. It can pick up noises you might not even be aware of. Fairly directional though.

Not sure about the stand. I'd go with a c-stand and some sand bags and a boom pole holder if I couldn't use an operator.

Not a fan of coiled internal cables or cheap boom poles. On the less expensive boom poles the twist locks end up twisting the pole instead which will screw up the internal cable and it takes a magician to get it untwisted.

I'd go with a straight cable boom pole of higher quality. Plus xlr cables go bad and with straight cables you can replace them. You can even go with wireless. If you ever use a boom pole operator in the future the higher end ones are lighter. The bag is poorly designed. Generally these kits are not the best options.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Dan Shaw
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Jan 23, 2013 at 7:28:22 pm

Hi Ty - Do you have any thoughts about the Sennheiser MKH-416? I would love to know your opinion. Wondering if that would be a good mic for my use.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/79502-REG/Sennheiser_MKH416_P48U3_MKH...


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Ty Ford
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Jan 24, 2013 at 1:05:32 am

not for interiors

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


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Brent Dunn
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 12, 2012 at 5:10:54 pm

For studio use, a shotgun is best, but you'll need to spend more than $500 if you want quality. Sure has a great mid priced shotgun in 3 sizes, short, medium, & long. Shure VP89 It's around $900 and sounds great. You can also find a blimp system for this mic for outdoor shooting.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/818983-REG/Shure_VP89M_VP89M_Modular_...


Sony makes great sounding wireless lav systems for around $550. I'm very happy with mine and I've used it with over 12 wireless systems going at once in a conference setting at a big hotel as well as during the St. Pete Grand Prix during a Race. It suppressed the background noise very well and gave me very good audio in an extremely noisy environment.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/553681-REG/Sony_UWP_V1_3032_UWP_V1_Wi...

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Craig Alan
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Nov 12, 2012 at 7:35:33 pm

Depends on studio. I think a Hypercardioid is better indoors. And the AT is a good mid price choice. Other than its characteristics it is used like a shotgun on a boom with a shock mount.

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/30/862590

I like the Sony too. The Senn G3s work well too and the countryman mics are a good upgrade.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Jim MacD0nald
Re: Can't decide between Lavalier or shotgun mic
on Dec 4, 2012 at 9:24:25 pm

I consider myself lucky to have a television network behind me. Over the years a lot of different manufactures have brought their equipment in for trial and evaluation. On the street for news or production or in the studio I have had great results with Sennheiser. Their lavs - little or no mechanical noise from the cable like other manufactures. What else can I say anout the 416. If it is a big shoot I talked to the wardrobe person. Natural fabrics. Cotton cotton cotton. No synthetics to make it sound like a forest fire. A good quiet room where the set designer hasn't used hard surfaces and you will get good results too. My own personal gear is the 416 and older MKE 2s for lavs. The power supply for the mke 2 also works with ME 80 ME 40 and ME20s {olde older}.


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