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Best Mic for News Show

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Patrick Leeson
Best Mic for News Show
on Dec 30, 2017 at 7:27:24 am

I'm creating my own news show and trying to decide on the best mic. The show will be live-streamed to YouTube and produced in my apartment with the following specs: 13'x8' room with 9.5' ceilings; plaster walls/ceiling and hardwood floor; very reverberant/echo-y (I plan on treating it with some cheap moving blankets and some acoustic foam, but suspect some reverb will remain). I will be delivering the news standing in one spot the entire time.

I'm looking for a mic with the following characteristics:
1. Intelligibility and clarity - my voice/words must be very clear as I read the news
2. Ability to handle yelling/shouting - I'm enthusiastic and will talk loud, shout, etc. often
3. Ability to minimize room reverberations/echo (it shouldn't sound like I'm producing this out of my apartment)
4. ~$500 or less

I've heard that (super/hyper)-cardioid condenser mics work well indoors for dialogue (the Audix SCX1-HC and the Oktava MK 012 are on my list). Heard mixed feedback on lavs. Finally, I wouldn't be opposed to using a handheld news reporter style mic (as that would actually go with the theme of the news show).

What do you recommend?

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Richard Crowley
Re: Best Mic for News Show
on Dec 30, 2017 at 4:23:30 pm
Last Edited By Richard Crowley on Dec 30, 2017 at 4:34:26 pm

Headset mic. It will get the mic within millimeters of your mouth. That will do MUCH more than ANY OTHER technique for increasing the "signal-to-noise ratio". i.e. the amount of voice vs. the ambient reverberation (and noise). If you are stationary, then you don't need wireless (although it may be useful for other "use cases").

Note that 99.8% of all the news and chat show people on commercial TV are wearing either a clip-on lav or a headset mic. For your use-case (amateur, one-man-band show), there is no point in using historic cine microphone techniques from 100 years ago. That is a very different use-case. It is almost 2018, take advantage of modern technology,

There are versions of headset (and lav) mics that are specially designed for higher sound levels if you are worried about overloading from shouting, etc.

Remember also that shouting will "load up" the room and make handling reverberation much more difficult. You will need much better ($$$$) acoustic dampening if you wish to indulge in loud speech without sounding like you are broadcasting from the toilet.

My opinion (and experience) is that Oscar Sound Tech sells good products at a very sensible price. For example:

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

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Bruce Watson
Re: Best Mic for News Show
on Dec 31, 2017 at 2:14:45 am

[Patrick Leeson] "What do you recommend?"

Look at your local and national news shows. What do you see?

OK, you don't want to make that effort, so I'll tell you what you would have seen. Lavs. Lots of them. Practically unanimous. About the same percentage of professional news readers use lavs as professional scientists believe in the theory of gravity. That is, nearly all.

And nearly all of these lavs are omnis.

So what I recommend is the Oscar Soundtech 802, worn above clothing and visible in your picture, just like very news show you can find. Get the XLR adapter (OST calls it a "power supply" IIRC, I don't know why), and a sufficiently long XLR cable and you're good to go. Way below your budget, and sound quality equal to the pros.

That, and move off the walls. And remember that shouting raises your levels in the room, which in turn makes more reverb noise; being loud and shouting aren't good in small reflective rooms (and no mic can change these particular laws of physics for you). And keep your hands off your body -- no demonstrative hand slaps to the chest as the lav will pick that up extraordinarily well. And learn what a strain relief is, and how to make and secure one with gaffer tape.

Anyway, this is what works for me, clearly YMMV.

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