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Recording Audio for DSLR Video Interview

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Brian Green
Recording Audio for DSLR Video Interview
on Nov 20, 2017 at 5:49:01 pm
Last Edited By Brian Green on Nov 20, 2017 at 7:08:35 pm

Hello everyone!

Aside from hooking up a lav to the interviewees, my current interview setup of a RODE NTG-2 shotgun mic coupled with a Zoom H4n Pro isn't doing the trick (it's not recording a strong enough sound).

Would love some recommendations for a different shotgun mic, recorder, and/or setup.

Thanks so much.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Recording Audio for DSLR Video Interview
on Nov 20, 2017 at 9:31:15 pm

You said "interviewees" plural? And you are using a single shotgun mic for two or more people?
Do you have a boom operator swinging the mic toward whomever is speaking?
At what distance are you trying to use the microphone?

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Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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Brian Green
Re: Recording Audio for DSLR Video Interview
on Nov 21, 2017 at 4:35:47 pm

Hello Richard!

Just a one person interview. Mic on boom stand. Any suggestion for a mic/recorder combo? Thank you!


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Bruce Watson
Re: Recording Audio for DSLR Video Interview
on Nov 21, 2017 at 9:47:19 pm

[Brian Green] "Aside from hooking up a lav to the interviewees, my current interview setup of a RODE NTG-2 shotgun mic coupled with a Zoom H4n Pro isn't doing the trick (it's not recording a strong enough sound).

Would love some recommendations for a different shotgun mic, recorder, and/or setup."


Yeah, you aren't the first. By a long shot. The problem of using a bargain mic (low sensitivity) and a bargain mixer/recorder (preamps without much clean gain), is noise. If you want a louder signal with less noise, you're going to have to spend some money, either on a more sensitive mic, or better preamps that can supply sufficient clean gain, or preferably both.

You want suggestions. So... how about a used Sennheiser MKH 60 for a shotgun. It will definitely give you more signal, and it's very quiet. The Rode alternative is the NTG-3 but it's also considerably more expensive than your NTG-2. For better mic preamps I'm thinking used Sound Devices equipment. A used MixPre-D would give you excellent mic pres, outstanding limiters, and excellent meters, and it's designed to give you outs to DSLRs. But... it doesn't include a recorder. If you really want a recorder, you can probably do rather well with a Zoom F4. Really good mic pres, and it records. And no, an H6 isn't going to do it for you.


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Brian Sahlin
Re: Recording Audio for DSLR Video Interview
on Mar 3, 2018 at 11:24:39 pm

There is no magic microphone that will solve all your problems. In fact, an important factor in mic selection for interviews is whether you are going to be indoors or outdoors.

The general rule is that “shotgun” mics like your NTG2 (eg. a long tube with the slots running down the barrel) are for outdoor recordings while a similar looking hyper cardioid (usually much shorter in length than most shotgun mics, but the important part is that there are no slots/holes on the side) are for indoor recordings.

The Audio-Technica 4053b is a really great example of a hyper cardioid indoor boom mic. It’s actually a modular setup, the 40xx being the tube and the 53b being the removable hyper cardioid capsule, you can get other capsules like an Omnidirectional too. Generally it’s sold as a package of the tube and one capsule for $599 USD.

I personally use this microphone for indoor interviews and it sounds fantastic. Even into a H4n Pro. Would I rather have a sound-devices recorder, sure someday, but this microphone and recorder set-up works great in my opinion.

There are a few similarly priced or slightly cheaper hyper cardioid booms mics out there, and then there’s a Schoeps Colette for like triple price. But I would say the AT 4053b is probably the most common indoor dialogue/interview boom mic for those who don’t have a Hollywood budget but are trying to greatly step-up their audio for video quality...there are tons of YouTube reviews and comparisons on that microphone and from what I can tell it’s always highly recommended for indoor recording.


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