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Having trouble deciding which mic to buy for my basic setup

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Max Palmer
Having trouble deciding which mic to buy for my basic setup
on May 23, 2012 at 1:03:22 pm

Sorry, I'm long-winded- feel free to skip to the second paragraph... I've finally been given a budget for some equipment at work. I'm a designer trying to get a little bit into video and multimedia production, and I'm trying to assemble some basic items that would be most useful where I work, which is a corporate environment. I want things that are the most well-rounded, so I can make do well enough with my limited budget. So far, I have picked out a Canon XF100, a Manfrotto tripod with fluid head, a basic three-head dimmable flourescent light set, and a bag for the cam. I have about $700 left, but don't want to buy extraneous things that would be seen as wasteful. (I'm lucky enough to be getting what I already have.)

All I need now is to decide which type of mic is best for doing what I forsee in the near future, which would be meetings, events, and probably documentary-style/interview commentary with execs. So, essentially run of the mill corporate stuff for the most part. I've been reading about mics lately, and I know the difference- just having trouble figuring out which would offer me the most practicality.

Tell me if I'm correct: A lapel mic would obviously be best for straight-up interviews, but probably not useful for anything else. A omnidirectional mic would probably not be best for anything in a corporate environment where I have no chance of drowning out extraneous noises of people, doors, and a/c noise. A well-placed shotgun mic could also be put on the cam, and would be good for interviews and single-person filming, but would it work well for events and meetings? Should I consider something like a omnidirectional cardioid mic?

Thanks guys!


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Todd Terry
Re: Having trouble deciding which mic to buy for my basic setup
on May 23, 2012 at 2:16:28 pm

[Max Palmer] "A lapel mic would obviously be best for straight-up interviews,"

Depends... I personally hate lavalier mics even for interviews and only use them if I absolutely have to. We almost always use a boom mic for interviews if I can. A lavalier mic, even a really good/expensive one, just has such a cold sterile sound to me. An interview with a really good boom/shotgun mic (appropriately placed) will have a much more open and warm sound, which to my ear is much more aesthetically pleasing.

If someone told me I could only have ONE mic and have to use that one and only that one... it would be an easy choice for me: Sennheiser MKH416. This is the mic we use every day, it's almost always my first choice. It sounds incredibly great and is very very versatile. It's a highly-directional shotgun, and has just a great sound. It's good for interviews, scene dialog... and I later learned that some of the top narrators also use it in the booth as a voiceover mic, so we gave it a try in there and it actually sounds great for that application too.

The downside is that it is a little expensive... it's going to be north of a grand. But sometimes you see used ones on eBay that might be within your budget.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Max Palmer
Re: Having trouble deciding which mic to buy for my basic setup
on May 23, 2012 at 2:27:45 pm

Thanks- I'm learning towards a shotgun mic, as I was also thinking it would double as a voiceover tool, which I do have to do pretty often (Currently use a snowball). Unfortunately, the only thing I have to use right now is the "acoustical foam inside an 18" fabric cube" setup for a soundbooth, and my recording locations all have "air duct" noise which is a terrible pain to remove in Soundbooth. I'm hoping a shotgun mic would help remove some of this ambient noise, as long as it doesn't catch any extra reverb on the back wall.

That Sennheiser mic looks beautiful, but unfortunately way above my budget. I need something around $200.

Does anyone have any luck using a tabletop stand placed to the side for filming, when an overhead boom isn't possible?


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