mic question at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 2nd, 2003, 05:40 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 408
mic question

I'm looking for advice on a mic to connect with my desktop computer. I use Vegas for editing, and I want to do some voice overs on some projects. I have an Audigy 2 ZS soundcard. Any suggestions on a decent mic?
Stephen Sobel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 09:19 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
I'm not familiar with the exact inputs on that soundcard, but generally you'll get much better results by using a small mixer or preamp with your mic so you can send a line-level signal into the soundcard.
What's your budget? There are inexpensive mixers, preamps and mics available that will do an acceptable job. Obviously, better equipment will yield better results, but it is possible to do good VO without spending an arm and a leg. Important points for making this work are to have a quiet, non-reverberent space to record in and proper positioning of the mic.
The other question you may want to ask is, "Do I want to record directly into the computer?". If your projects are very short, then this may be advantageous. Normally though I record to another medium first, such as audio CD-R or DV. This reduces the amount of material on the computer, gives me an archive copy with trackable time reference if I have to recapture and it allows for a much quieter recording environment (no fans).
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 10:38 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 316
"There are inexpensive mixers, preamps and mics available that will do an acceptable job."

Jay,

Could you recommend some of the inexpensive ones that will do an ok (not ferrari) job?!?

Also, (forgive my ignorance), the setup you are talking about would be (recording straight to the computer) Mic to Mixer to Preamp to computer? If this is correct, why couldn't you go Mic to Mixer to computer? Doesn't there need to be an amp somewhere, or is this just if you are going to monitor sound via external speakers? ...trying to figure it all out....thanks....

Clay
__________________
I understand everything about nothing.
J. Clayton Stansberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 10:45 AM   #4
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Big question is what type of Mics do you have also does your computer make enough noise will the mics pick them up as well as do you have a long enough XLR cable to get away from the computer and other noises?
  Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 11:03 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 316
No mics yet. Looking for voice over mic that may also double as an interview mic that I could hook up to the camcorder (xlr or 1/8" stereo). I was planning on testing the noise (G5), and if it were a problem, either get a long enough cord to make it into the clothes closet, or go straight into the camcorder in the closet. Have done several searches and looked as several, just too much information to pick one that's "just right." The age old question of spend more now and sacrifice eating for a few days or get something to get by, save get better later and have a backup????
__________________
I understand everything about nothing.
J. Clayton Stansberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 11:19 AM   #6
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It is possible to step down from a mic to any jack on a computer. What is tricky is getting the audio for a voice over to sound good. Some make an acoustics room others use blankets to even talking under a heavy coat. So the computer especially a G5 as I have a Dual G4 and it is to noisy to record in front of it as the mics pick it up. So setting up a remote area from the computer with good acoustics then your basic mic will be able to pick up the audio yet you will sound better in post. You want to make the voice over to sound like itís isolated.
  Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 02:09 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
You can use either a mixer or a preamp into the computer. Either one will boost the mic-level signal up to line-level.
The two big dividing lines when selecting a small mixer or preamp for this kind of work is phantom power and ability to run on batteries.
If you don't have to run on batteries for truly portable use, then there are a lot more choices among lower cost mixers and preamps.
It's also important to select a unit that provides a suitable phantom power voltage for your mics that need phantom power.
Some mics run only at 48 volts while other models can use from 9 volts up to 48. Dynamic mics don't need power and some mics can run on either internal battery or external phantom power.
I think the current best value in a small AC powered mixer with full 48volt phantom power is the Yamaha MG 10/2 at $100 online. I just bought the MG 12/4 for $200 and I'm very impressed with it.
If you need a battery powered mixer, the Behringer MXB-1002, the Samson Mixpad4 and a couple of models from Rolls are available.
Probably the best value in small AC powered preamps is the ART Studio MP for about $70. There are battery-powered preamps too, but generally they are much more expensive for the better models and lacking in controls for the lower end models.
For lower cost mics that would work well for VO, I can recommend the RODE NT-1A for $200, the RODE NT-3 for about $150 or if you really are going low cost the AKG D-880 for $50. The Sennheiser e835 can also work for VO if employed properly and it's about $100. There's lots of others around, including the Chinese-made studio-style mics available cheap, but their quality seems to be hit or miss.
As already mentioned, the acoustics of the space you record in are very important. Using the right pop-filter, good cables, a good preamp or mixer, a worthwhile mic (even if it's not the best) and using the correct mic techniques for VO go a long way towards a professional sound.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 03:04 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 316
Has anyone used either of these mixers?

http://www.macmusic.org/news/view.php/lang/EN/id/898/

or

http://www.zzounds.com/item--TASUS224

Thanks in advance...
Clay
__________________
I understand everything about nothing.
J. Clayton Stansberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 03:12 PM   #9
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The Tascam looks good as the specs are not that bad.

Me I guess I spoiled I like my Mackie yet there is no USB interface.
  Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 03:31 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 316
Hey Tom, what Mackie model do you have? And, do you think the USB interface would support "live" recording? Thanks....
__________________
I understand everything about nothing.
J. Clayton Stansberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 04:32 PM   #11
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I have the Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro, as I do not need a lot of mics to the panel when I am at a shoot. I usually have three to four mics to catch all that there is on a shoot and the 1202 does it. I would like a better one yet I think that it would be to big for the shoot. I do need a field mixer as well. Like a 1600 series yet....

For the USB interface I do like it it's just that it limits the sound quality and the speed as to which you can drop a line in on the track. I guess I would like a card with a breakout box to the front end with about four XLR inputs. (Where is the money for this one??)

We run through an APC Back Ups Pro so we do not get a grounding signal. Then we terminate the camera to the APC so as they are both on the same loop.

We also went the distance a bought Star Quads, as there is no feedback from other cables in the area. Basically we had a major shoot over the summer and we kept getting these hums. Each hum was different from the other as we went from location to location. Learned a lot and then I bought a lot. All the money I earned from the shoot I put towards the audio it paid off in the long run.
  Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 05:39 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 408
For now, I'm looking for a mic I can plug directly into the computer. If I get a dynamic mic, will I still need a preamp?
Stephen Sobel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 05:48 PM   #13
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You'll need some form of converter, as you won't be able to connect directly to the computer. Sort of like a step down yet from XLR to 1/4 jack. There are plenty to choose from if you have a local Radio Shack or electronics store even a music store such as one that sells instruments they'll have it. To order it from mail order if you don't like it you are stuck with it or have to ship it back.
  Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2003, 06:14 PM   #14
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
Probably the quickest and easiest hands-on testing can be done at your local guitar store. They will help you and they usually have low prices too. Something like Guitar Center.

I started out with a Shure Beta58 into a 267 mixer and then into a Marantz stereo cassette recorder. OK sound. I built a tent of plastic sprinkler tenting and then draped sound blankets (Markertek) all over it. Used it in a bedroom with an open closet behind me.

I'm most happy with an AT 4033 studio microphone for voice-over. I run it directly into my cameras or through the ole Shure 267 mixer and now into my Sony MD recorder. (The Marantz bit the dust after a very easy and somewhat short life)

I'd not use computer-direct recording if you can avoid it. Otherwise use one of the good wall-powered USB boxes with a built-in pre-amp. ProTools has a nice one for just under $500. So does Tascam I think.

The dynamic microphone is great for ignoring a lot of ambient noise. I've also got an old Shure SM11 dynamic lav. Big as a thumb but it works really well in noisy environments.

Shure SM58 - $100
Shure Beta58 - $150
Shure SM11 - $90
AT 4033 around $300 IIRC

I now have a plastic storage bin lined with acoustic foam (Markertek) and a microphone mount hanging from one end inside. The outside of the other end has a mounting plate from one of my PA speaker tripods so I can hold the whole thing up for the standing talent.

It's good enough to quiet stages and smaller rooms when I need a quick voice-over recording session and I cannot take the talent to a sound booth. Don't know how it would work if I put it backside to a computer. Probably not unless I used a dynamic microphone. The 4033 picks up gnat burps at 30 paces.

You can see it here: http://www.byvideo.com/new_page_2.htm
__________________
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
Mike Rehmus is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:40 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network