Audio recording noisy room!
Looking for a bit of advice, I have a shoot in a few weeks where we will be conducting short interviews with award winners, the difficulty I have is that the awards ceremony will be continuing during our short interviews! we have tried to get the client to find us a small room off to one side but currently it isn't looking likely.
Therefore I need to find the best mic for picking up as clean as possible audio while there is a lot of background noise! currently I am thinking I may try and rent a Sennheiser MKH8070, to give me the most directional sound possible. I am also potentially looking at reporters mics such as the electro voice RE50 so that I can have that mic on screen and get it close in.
So long story short if anyone has any experience and could recommend some mics to me that would be fantastic!
The standard mic for this duty in NA is the EV RE50N/D-B. I've used mine a number of times for interviews on tradeshow floors. Works like a charm, sounds great, and it's practically indestructible.
Thanks for the reply Bruce, Im having trouble sourcing a local EV RE50, however my local rental house does have an EV 635a, it seems to me like this is just a much older model of the RE50 but im may be mistaken?
An alternative to the RE50N is the Sennheiser MD 42, which is the standard reporters' mic in most of Europe. Note that you want an omni, not a cardioid. Two main reasons: talent going out of pattern with a card is very audible and painful in post, and talent generating variable proximity effect by moving the mic closer and farther from the mouth is also quite painful in post. An omni on the other hand you can just hand it to them with "hold the mic about here and talk". Most all the problems you'll have in post are just level problems, as opposed to the frequency response problems you'll get with a card. Just sayin'.
Thom, the 635 has less pop protection and less handling noise isolation. Its handle is shorter.
The 42 works well. The RODE reporter will also do.
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Does "short interview" mean on-camera interviewer grabbing subjects and positioning them in front of a stationary camera? Is the interviewer on-camera? Or does it mean a mobile (shoulder-mount) camera roving around looking for subjects?
The first scenario typically uses a hand-held mic which the interviewer alternates between their mouth and the subject's mouth. Or the interviewer has a separate headset mic for themselves and uses the hand-held exclusively on the subject. The interviewer is responsible for getting and keeping the microphone close to the subject's mouth, especially in a high-noise environment. It would be helpful to have the interviewer wearing good isolation headphones so they can ONLY hear the program audio. That helps the interviewer/reporter HEAR what they are doing.
As has already been mentioned the most popular mic for this in North America is the ElectroVoice RE50. The ElectroVoice RE50 is just an EV 635a microphone inside a larger shell for added mechanical isolation (to reduce handling noise) and additional breath/pop/wind filtering An EV 635a mic could be a viable alternative but without the extra mechanical isolation and pop-filter of the RE50. You can put an external foam pop-filter over the 635a.
In Europe, the Sennheiser MD42 seems to be the go-to microphone for hand-held reportage. And a newcomer is the Rode "Reporter". These are all dynamic microphones with deliberately less sensitivity (compared to condenser mics) to provide better separation (signal-to-noise ratio) between the desired signal (the subject's speech) and the surrounding noise.
OTOH, if "short interview" means "run-n-gun" mobile camera operator chasing down subjects and asking questions themselves, perhaps one of the few legitimate use-cases for a camera-mounted microphone like a short shotgun, etc.
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.
Thanks for all the responses guys, I will have a look at the MD42 and see if I can find a rental house local to me that carries it.
as for the style of interview; The interviews will be with award winners as they leave the stage, currently I think the camera will handheld, however it may end up being on sticks for ease, the interviewee which actually could be up to 3 people will stand in front of the camera, with the interviewer holding the microphone in front of them, we do not need to capture the interview questions, we will have a sound recordist with us, who will be in charge of the levels on the mic. Hope this clears up any questions and still means i'm going down the correct route!
Thanks again guys
I see the MD 42 was mentioned, but the MD 46 is another option to consider. It was designed for the (I believe 2000) Olympics at NBC’s request specifically for interviewing athletes in loud stadiums/arenas and to this day a vast majority (if not exclusively all) of sideline reporters at professional sporting events use that microphone.
[Brian Sahlin] "I see the MD 42 was mentioned, but the MD 46 is another option to consider. It was designed for the (I believe 2000) Olympics at NBC’s request specifically for interviewing athletes in loud stadiums/arenas and to this day a vast majority (if not exclusively all) of sideline reporters at professional sporting events use that microphone."
Yes, well, I'd be interested in what makes you say that because it doesn't jive with what I'm seeing. From what I've seen in the last few years very few events outside of football playoff games and the NCAA tournament make enough noise to force the roving sideline reporters to use cardioid stick mics. What I'm seeing are dynamic omnis except in the noisiest of environments. I watched three-five (depends on how you define "watched") basketball games today, didn't see a single cardioid stick mic held by a sideline reporter. All I saw (that weren't using printed foam windscreen/mic flags that obscure the top of the mic making identification difficult) were EV RE50Ns. I'm in NA so this isn't surprising. The announcers of the NBC games I watched where wearing headsets that looked to be some version of Sennheiser HMDs (had that split headband, but I didn't recognizes the boom mic, or at least the foam on the boom mics).
Using a cardioid stick mic requires talent to actually have microphone talent (a pretty rare thing IME), and training. It takes a fair amount of practice on top of the training to use a cardioid correctly. Beginners invariably turn their heads out of pattern, many within seconds of being told not to. And it's very difficult to get people to hold the mic a fixed distance to the mouth -- they've got other things to do other than think about mic position, like think about what they are trying to say, making sure they maintain proper head and body orientation to the camera (so they look good on camera and thus keep their jobs), etc. So I've seen a lot of microphone "droop" resulting in variable proximity effect from a cardioid, which is audible (unless your HPF is set very high).
Those two things alone (going in/out of pattern, and variable proximity effect) are two excellent reasons to avoid cardioid stick mics. Just like cardioid lavs, I don't own any cardioid stick mics. All my lavs and stick mics are omnis. Saves me a lot of trouble, keeps my talent sounding good, makes everyone happy, and works even in very noisy environments like trade show floors.
But if I were ever called upon to do interviews at the NCAA final four (and I didn't have the good sense to refuse the job), I would in fact be looking to rent cardioid stick mics.
I’m not much of an basketball fan so I can’t speak to that, but I notice in the NHL games I watch they tend to use Sennheiser stick mics (sometimes they hold it where you can recognize the logo). I suppose I could just be assuming they are the 46 when they could as easily be 42/Omni.
Wife wanted to watch the Oscars last night. The "red carpet show" and the actual presentations were crawling with Sennheiser mics. When the reporters would make a slip like not swinging the mic fast enough toward an interviewee you could hear how they performed out of pattern. Sure sounded like omnis to me. Then again, they didn't look long enough to be MD mics, so perhaps mics based on their SKM D1 handheld transmitters. Everything was wireless that I could see. Must have been a fun load-in and setup. ;-)