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Best microphone for noisy indoor interviews?

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Bob Mark
Best microphone for noisy indoor interviews?
on Jul 8, 2016 at 2:25:39 pm

Hello everyone. I will be doing some sit down interviews in gov't. buildings with noisy central air conditioning and some street noise. There is also quite a bit of RF in the air. What would you recommend for microphones? There will be an interviewer, but their mic is only for question reference and will not be used in the edited program.

Thank you!

Bob


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Jonathan Levin
Re: Best microphone for noisy indoor interviews?
on Jul 8, 2016 at 5:34:55 pm

I'd be inclined to use a wired lav.


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Bruce Watson
Re: Best microphone for noisy indoor interviews?
on Jul 8, 2016 at 8:05:09 pm
Last Edited By Bruce Watson on Jul 8, 2016 at 8:07:01 pm

[Bob Mark] "I will be doing some sit down interviews in gov't. buildings with noisy central air conditioning and some street noise. There is also quite a bit of RF in the air. What would you recommend for microphones?"

Wired lav. as Mr. Levin suggests, or a hypercardioid on a boompole on a c-stand. I usually get better sound from a boomed hyper. Use a hyper that has a HPF, or use a field mixer that has a HPF (or use both at the same time for a sharper cut off). If you can drop everything below 80 Hz, you'll drop out the vast majority of HVAC noise, and there's no human speech in that low frequency range, so you won't loose any speech quality.

If you're running wired with XLR cables, the RFI issues become nearly moot.

I had to do a series of interviews at a hotel. The room they gave me was nearly empty, but shared a wall with the floor's air handler. Very noisy, lots of low frequency noise in the 60 Hz range. I was able to walk the room and find some room modes. I was able to place the interviewee in a nice armchair from the hotel lobby in one of the room's nulls. Then I used an AT4053b with the LPF switched in (-12 dB/octave at 80 Hz), and the LPF on my MixPre-D (another -12 dB/octave at 80 Hz). The combination results in -24 dB/octave roll off, very sharp. Client figured I was wasting my time and that the interviews would be useless, but couldn't get me a better room. When client heard the results, she was pleased and amazed. The air handler was nowhere to be heard. The interviews sounded like they were recorded in some CEO's executive suite. I do love to underpromise and overperform. ;-)

If you go the hyper / boom pole / c-stand route, I advise a nice comfortable arm chair if possible. Why? It limits their movement so they are less likely to go out of pattern on you. Women, particularly short women, might try sitting on the front edge of the chair, so you have to deal with that (either get them to sit back, or move the c-stand forward to get them in pattern again). And if you can, pull that chair off the wall; this helps getting away from some of that "small room sound" (but it's not going to eliminate it) you'll end up with in small offices.


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Bob Mark
Re: Best microphone for noisy indoor interviews?
on Jul 8, 2016 at 8:38:46 pm

Thanks for the replies guys! I have found that an omni lav picks up too much room noise, and cardiod lavs are too big and can sometimes have problems picking up the voice evenly with head movement. I appreciate the ideas about cutting and passing frequencies, but I have been told that the editor would rather do that in post. The hypercardioid boom mic sounds interesting, but I wonder about the rear lobe picking up ceiling vent air conditioning?? The producer picks the setting based on visual appeal or room availability, not sound issues. Have any of you tried a cardioid boom mic in a noisy
setting? Any specific microphone models you would recommend? Thanks again.

Bob


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Bob Mark
Re: Best microphone for noisy indoor interviews?
on Jul 8, 2016 at 8:46:16 pm

Oh, thank you Bruce Watson about the seating info. If I could fly a sound blanket right over the talent that would be great, too!

Bob


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Allen Cavedo
Re: Best microphone for noisy indoor interviews?
on Jul 9, 2016 at 5:59:01 pm

I use a Sennheiser MKH8050 supercardioid or depending on rear lobe pickup of HVAC noise from the ceiling a MKH8040 cardioid on a boom pole in a C-stand. Always sounds great, better than a lav because it brings room perspective to the audio. I will also run a Sanken COS-11D lav if the producer insists, but is usually unneeded.


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Bob Mark
Re: Best microphone for noisy indoor interviews?
on Jul 9, 2016 at 6:47:58 pm

Thanks. That is very good info!

Bob


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