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Handheld mic for on location interviews

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Sophia Smoloka
Handheld mic for on location interviews
on Aug 26, 2015 at 1:28:53 pm

Hi,

I'm looking for a mic that I can use for on-location interviews with my H4n and also ideally, plug into the computer via USB (this would be useful for skype interviews recorded with the Zoom).

There aren't many USB/XLR mic - one's the Samson Q2U aka ATR2100.

Is this suitable at all for handheld interviews? I know an omnidirectional mic would be better but I'd like something that can also be plugged into the computer, or just more of an all-rounder.

Thanks!


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Richard Crowley
Re: Handheld mic for on location interviews
on Aug 26, 2015 at 1:43:34 pm

If having both XLR and USB output is that important to you, then your choices are very narrow.

OTOH, inserting a simple XLR to USB "adapter" for computer use allows you to select from ALL of the various kinds of microphones.

"On-location interviews" covers a rather broad range of situations. You probably have a narrower definition in mind, but we don't know what you are planning. A rather bulky dynamic cardioid microphone like that is probably OK for some situations, but probably not ideal for others.


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Sophia Smoloka
Re: Handheld mic for on location interviews
on Aug 26, 2015 at 4:13:05 pm

Sorry, with on-location interviews I mostly mean inside, mostly in someone's office and sometimes at a conference location (although again, with the possibility of finding a quiet room where there isn't much going on around). So it doesn't need to withstand any dramatic conditions but needs to be free of handling noise and be good at recording speech. I'd like to be able to record the interviewer's questions as well as the answers though.

The reason I'm asking for a USB/XLR mic is because you can plug that into the computer and H4n simultenously. So when you record a skype call, the person on the other hand can hear you through the mic (via USB) and on the H4n you'll also be recording yourself through that mic (via XLR). Is that possible with an adapter? I'm imagining an XLR splitter where one end goes into the H4n and the other end has an XLR to USB adapter that will go into the computer...

I guess I'm wondering whether there is a mic that could do both or whether I should be getting 2 mics for the jobs (which I don't have budget for though).


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Bill Davis
Re: Handheld mic for on location interviews
on Aug 26, 2015 at 10:25:50 pm

Sophia,

I suspect you're over thinking this. ; )

The H4n has XLR inputs (with phantom power if you need it for a condensor.) That means ANY mic with an XLR output will feed it.

The H4n also has a small USB port on the side and when you connect the unit to a computer - it automatically launches the H4n in Connect mode so that the computer can "See" the USB output in real time. Voila.You basically already have a system that can use any mic you can imagine.

On the subject of mics - the tradeoff will be sensitivity verses environment noise. Which is to say that a simple dynamic interview mic like a EV RE-50 or a Beyer M-58 will be less sensitive to the sound of the ROOM, compared to a more sensitive powered condenser mic. If you cant' control for recording location noise, less sensitivity can be your friend.

Basically, sometimes, simple is better.

Good luck.

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Bruce Watson
Re: Handheld mic for on location interviews
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:49:49 pm

[Sophia Smoloka] "I know an omnidirectional mic would be better but I'd like something that can also be plugged into the computer, or just more of an all-rounder."

I wouldn't sacrifice omnidirectional character for anything else when it comes to a reporter mic. All directional mics exhibit proximity effect as well as directionality, both of which can play havoc with interviews. IOW, you need a well trained interviewer who knows exactly how to use the mic (maintaining spacing and directionality), and religiously uses it just that way, or the results can be, well... less than professional.

I'm just sayin' that you can sacrifice quite a bit by giving up an omni. So I'm with Mr. Crowley in thinking it's better to use an XLR to USB interface. Then use a standard reporters mic. In NA the most often seen mic is the EV RE50N/D-B, in Europe it's probably the Sennheiser MD-42.


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