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Old December 21st, 2007, 09:13 PM   #16
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To Bill Davis:
That was so well said, I don't think there is anything to add!
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:28 AM   #17
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A few had questions on where the mic will be used. Jack made his suggestions based on the fact he knows where I shoot. I am on and around the water for all of my shooting. Most of the time there is wind and some times a lot of wind.
SNIP
As for my budget I can spend up to $600 this sounds like a good budget from the suggestions.



At that budget and with that specific need - you want a really "out there" suggestion? Look up the Coles "lip" mic.

It's one of the weirdest mics ever made - designed to press against your upper lip when you use it - but that very design makes it INCREDIBLE for noisy or windy locations.

Then again, never having had the occasion to own one, I'm not sure how moisture proof it is.

Anyone have direct experience with that?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 08:51 AM   #18
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Not directly, but its a ribbon mic and those I've known who have used it say it's a "last resort" mic, so the fidelity is not that great.

Interesting though,

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 09:25 AM   #19
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VO Mic

Considering the possibly rough terrain it will be subjected to, you might want to look into an AKG C1000s, it is like a rugged-ized small diaphragm condenser that can operate from a 9v battery, and comes with an adapter that can change the pick up pattern from cardioid to hyper-cardioid. and you can hammer nails with it if necessary. not to mention that it sounds pretty good as well, and should give you what you're looking for both in the booth and the field.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 09:39 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Wow loads of great information...
Thanks for adding more info. If I can restate your requirements:

1) You would like to upgrade your existing mic to get a better product for your clients. You are currently using a dynamic mic that is more suited for a live sound vocal.

2) You have a budget of $600.00 to find a single mic that would fit all your invironments or a combination of two mics that could work in the studio and the field.

3) Your stated "in the field" invironment is wet & windy...and sometimes your talent wants to use the mic as a hand held unit.

4) You're a one man operation recording directly to camera (no mixer?, no limiters, no EQ roll-off).

A final question... Is the VO work "on camera" or "off camera" or both?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:35 AM   #21
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Jim from the input and research it looks like i will go with two mics since I am cutting my self short with just one. So let me edit your stated requirements.

1) I would like to upgrade my existing mics to get a better product for my clients. I am currently using (Sure SM48 in Studio for VO, Audio Technica AT897 shot gun, two Samson T32 Lav, Zoom H4, plus camera mic).

2) Since audio is just as important as the video I will up my budget to $2000. Yes this is a huge increase but with this I expect to purchase a nice VO studio mic and upgrade my field mics.

3) You stated "in the field" invironment is wet & windy...and sometimes your talent wants to use the mic as a hand held unit. YES, but I can talk them into the Lav if the quality was there currently it seem too low quality most of the time.

4) You're a one man operation recording directly to camera (no mixer?, no limiters, no EQ roll-off). YES, it is tough for me to have extra gear on me since I am on the move. Currently I have 24 lbs on me when hand holding the camera (two KS-8 gyros, custom shoulder brace, Sony XDCAM and cover, Gyro battery, Lav, shot gun). So I don't know how I could use additional gear.

A final question... Is the VO work "on camera" or "off camera" or both? Both most of it up till now has been taken from the field except a few jobs. But two upcoming jobs the client has asked for studio VO with their talent. This is the spark plug that has started this search since they are excellent long term clients.

Thanks for helping to dial this in. I could go higher with funds but it really must be worth the extra dollar.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 11:24 AM   #22
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Paul,

Thanks for sharing your experience. If I may, you have hit the wall many shooters hit. Some keep hitting it and never get that their craft has ascended past the point where one person operation is feasible.

Adding another person to your crew and having the right gear would allow you to get the job done better. I know the concept of working with other people can be off putting to some, but it really is the only solution to getting to the next level.

I work for others as an audio person. I know how to shoot. I have an XL2. I have lights. I don't know everything about lighting, but I do OK for the kinds of shoots I get hired to do.

I get hired to do audio because I remove the responsibility and pure burden of making sure the audio is done right. I am their insurance policy and I also help them grip. light and hump their gear. That's the sort of person you need to partner with.

Yes, your client will pay more, but face it; we all run out of resources at some point. I think you have reached that point. To get to the next level you need good mics and a mixer and someone to operate them. Congratulations, you are growing!
Regards,

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Old December 22nd, 2007, 12:30 PM   #23
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Chirping in from left field... Ty's point about having a sound person is so on-point. As primarily a shooter, while I will probably add some better mics to my package, if audio is really important, I hire a sound person. They not only have great mics, but they are familiar with them, a big plus.

But most importantly to me, once Tape/HDD/Card is rolling, so to speak, as camera op I find my attention to framing and observing talent puts my attention to audio monitoring in a distant second. Plus, as Ty mentioned about sound people willing to grip a bit, setups go faster, giving your client(s) possibly more/better video for the extra money as well as better audio.

A good test for me has been if I have to ask myself; "I'm hearing the (plane, air conditioner, elevator motor, background voices, etc.) in the shot now, but how long have they been there before I've noticed them?" If you can't accurately answer...
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 01:52 PM   #24
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Ty and Eric,

I appreciate what you are saying but the extra cost is not in the budget for this coming year. After say 30-50 more jobs yes that would be one of the next steps but this year I am still going to be a one man show. Yes I am growing but trying to keep control of that and not just add staff or subs. So for now I will upgrade my mics and try and do more interviews on site so I can concentrate on audio and also more studio VO. Maybe a field recorder when so I can take the time to do interviews with camera on tripod in the field? And then when I shoot I can concentrate on the money shots.

Any more mic input based on my current set up?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 02:19 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Ty and Eric,

I...
Any more mic input based on my current set up?
If I can add my 2 cents, since you say that so much of what you do is in high moisture level environments, I'd strongly suggest you look at dynamic mics for your field recording work. Condensor mics are moisture sensitive and can get very noisy or die altogther when in a condensing humidity environment or get splashed with water. Dynamic stick mics like the EV-635 or RE-50 will keep on chugging when a high-quality condensor is dead as a dodo due to moisture on the diaphram.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 02:44 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Ty and Eric,

I appreciate what you are saying but the extra cost is not in the budget for this coming year. After say 30-50 more jobs yes that would be one of the next steps but this year I am still going to be a one man show. Yes I am growing but trying to keep control of that and not just add staff or subs. So for now I will upgrade my mics and try and do more interviews on site so I can concentrate on audio and also more studio VO. Maybe a field recorder when so I can take the time to do interviews with camera on tripod in the field? And then when I shoot I can concentrate on the money shots.

Any more mic input based on my current set up?
Paul,

I'll give you one thing; you're hard headed. :)
And I mean that in the most fun way possible.

To write off getting help for an entire year (or 30-50 jobs). How do you come up with those sorts of figures?

You don't want a mixer, but now you're talking field recorder! Dude, we're giving you the stright dope and you just don't want to hear it.

Up your rate and get some help or you will hit the wall; something you don't see or don't hear. If you are very, very lucky, you can cover your butt when you screw up. Or you'll break your gear because you're running on pure adrenaline and when the blood sugar drops, so does an expensive piece of gear.

Step away from the high octane caffeine beverage stand for a moment.

YOU CAN'T DO IT ALL AT A HIGH LEVEL OF QUALITY. That's all I'm sayin' on the matter.

The mic to get for hand-held field use is the EV RE50, btw.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:01 PM   #27
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Yes Ty I can be hard headed and don't worry I have thick skin.

I came up with that number since half of those jobs are booked and the price is set. So I cannot go back and increase by 40% now. And with a year more under my belt I will be able to take on a full time person.

I understand what all of you are saying and I agree a sound person would be excellent. Also an office manager when I am on the road would be great. But having run multiple very successful businesses since 1985 I have to trust my gut and experience. That said if the new clients will pay the increase fee for a sound person I will hire a sub and get my feet wet. Given the chance it will also let me hunt for an employee better yet a sub who I can build a long term relationship.

I do listen but I also always trust my gut when it comes to my business. And I value the input from DVinfo.net.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:21 PM   #28
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Paul,

Gotcha. I understand your business plan and thanks for sharing. Be sure and take your vitamins. Sounds like it could be a long year.

Should the renegotiation offer itself, and they frequently do, hopefully you'll have someone to plug in to help you.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:32 PM   #29
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With the new information, I will make more suggestions:

Outdoor:
-----------------------------------------------
1. Get a good sounding dynamic handheld mic. I have also suggested the Heil PR20. I think this may well be the best sounding. However, there are several others that are commonly used by broadcasters, several in stormy weather (perhaps the most popular being the EV RE50, though I don't care for the sound of this one as much. The EV RE50N/D-B has better output which might be better with the weaker pre-amps on the camera:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...arch&Q=*&bhs=t
(Call the local TV station as ask what mics they like for their reporters for the coastal storm stories. Maybe they'll let you try one in real life conditions.)

2. Get a windjammer that will fit the mic. The one for the RE-50 is at the above link.

3. Get a Samson plug-on transmitter for the handheld that will transmit to one of your existing Samson receivers. They are in the last half of this list:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...arch&Q=*&bhs=t

Indoor:
-----------------------------------------------
1. First, I would go at this with the advice above of looking at the entire signal chain. A. Mic-> B. Pre-Amp-> C. Recording Device-> D. Post Processing.

A. Microphone: I don't believe it's necessary to spend $1000 for a mic for your use. I think there are several good choices between $300 and $600, with maybe one you might try at $99.

I have already suggested the dynamic Heil PR40 (which should match nicely with the Heil PR20). I also mentioned the Audio-Technica AT4047SV, which is used by some TV networks in location voiceover booths. I think the Audio Technica mics are frequently used by the networks, because of the price/performance issue as they need to by many mics for some one-time events:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...tudio_Mic.html
This mic is worth trying.

There are a lot of other suggerstions in the posts above. In my opinion, rather than using one of the expensive dynamic studio mics, I would pick the Heil PR40 for its much lower price and its equal or better sound in the dynamic studio selection. A dynamic studio mic could also be used on location without worriying about damaging it in travel, etc... though not as convenient as a handhelf for on boat use.

If there is an Audito Technica dealer around, you also might try the AT4050 (multi-pattern):
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...tudio_Mic.html
This is also a location studio voiceover mic used by some TV networks.
(The AT40470 abd 4050 both come with a studio shock mount.)

And I would be remiss if I didn't suggest trying the AT2020, fairly recent large condenser from Audio Technica at $99:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...icrophone.html

B. Preamp: Whether this is a standalone unit, in a mixer, in a USB or Firewire input box make sure you have something that is clean sounding with absolutely as little noise as possible.

The signal has go get into the recording device, be it computer, camera or digital recorder. The preamp will be a part of this. It will be worth it to improve on the camera pre-amp.

If you are going to increase your crew in near future, it might be worth it to invest in a Sound Devices 302 mixer. You could use it in the studio or in the field.

If you are going to record into the computer, you need a good audio interface. E-mu makes the 1616m that can be used with a laptop and has good preamps. There are a lot of other choices, some fairly new on the market. If you only need one or two channels there are some high quality units that will get you pro mic into a computer for a low few hundred dollars.

C. Recorder: I touch on this above. The first decision is how you will record. The options seem to be

(1) Camera--Add a good mixer or pre-amp and record in DV mode to get uncompressed PCM audio (in other words, don't do the studio recording in HDV mode--though I don't know what camera you're using, but the point still applies)

(2) Computer--you need a quiet laptop or a computer in another room to avoid noise.

You need an interface to plug your mic into that will take the signal into the computer via USB or Firewire. Or you may have a sound card that supplies this interface.

You need a program to record into, anything from an NLE (not my recommendation) or an audio program such as Adobe Audition or even the free Audacity.

(3) Digital Recorder--there are some great little choices that could be used in the studio or on location. I have a Microtrack, which just came out in a new versions vor $299. It accepts balanced inputs, records high quality wav as well as mp3, etc. (The Microtrack has a built in rechargable [not removable battery] or AC power.)

There are a lot of other options as well, with the choice constantly improving.

D. Post Processing--you will want at least want to apply a little EQ and compression to make the recordings sound good. This can be done in some NLEs, in the free Audacity, in Adobe Audition, in the program that comes bundled with your Firewire or USB audio interface.

A multi-track program (like most are) will also allow you to add some on-scene ambience, add effects, or whatever.

==================================================

So my bottomline plan is:

1. Make an overall outline or plan of what and how you will capture and record for each situation you envision.

2. Spend the money for things that make the biggest difference. Don't spend money for negligible quality increase.

3. Get microphones that can continue to be used in the future. That is, even if you upgrade audio, the stuff you get now should continue to have a use, even if specialized, in the future. (One exception might be the AT202... it might be a great choice now, but be replaced later.)
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:34 PM   #30
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Ty,

If the clients will go for the extra funds that would be great but most are set so it will have to be new jobs.

If I get a job in the Annapolis area which happens in spring and fall and need an audio person for a job I will send you a email.

Thank you for the input.

Nice job on the guitar I enjoyed it.
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