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Old July 2nd, 2009, 12:51 PM   #1
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Groove Tubes GT-33 for interiors?

Hi all! This is my first post here, so be gentle! I've been amassing audio gear for video productions, and have worked on several short films and documentaries for the past few years. One thing I'm curious about is the use of a small diaphragm condenser mic on interior shots.
Thus far my choices have been either a shotgun mic or lav. I recently came into possession of a GT-33 with the standard cardioid capsule for my home studio. I'll most likely try it out while not on a shoot, to get my own opinion, but I was wondering if anyone here has any input regarding how this mic would do on a boom pole for interior shots.
My understanding is that I can purchase additional capsules from Groove Tubes for this mic (omni and hyper-cardioid, I think). Any thoughts on how the cardioid cap will perform in this application? Would it be worthwhile to invest in the other capsules for this mic? Thanks bunches! Andy
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 01:09 PM   #2
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Shotguns are sometimes problematic on interiors, as they tend to pick up reflected sound from behind whereever they are pointing. I use a Sennheiser ME66 on the camera and either a lavalier on a speaker, or an ME64 (cardioid) on a short boom held just out of camera range about 18" from whoever I'm interviewing. And, to me, the cardioid just sounds better on interiors when used in this way. The shotgun then becomes a c-y-a backup, just in case, and also provides some room ambience to blend with the better audio from the other track.

The lav wireless is the best for interviews but not always practical in news situations we deal with. I suggest a hands-on test with your gear is the only way to see if it works for you in your particular shooting style and locations..../Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 03:05 PM   #3
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Thanks, Battle! Since I have the shotgun and lav situation covered, I will play around with the GT-33 as an alternate mic for interiors. Of course, I will experiment with this BEFORE trying it on a shoot! What you said regarding shotguns not performing well on interior shots was what made me ask this question to begin with.
My understanding is that a SDC cardioid mic will give less room echo if handled properly. I've seen that many people here seem to use the Oktava SDC mics in this application. Can't remember the specific model off the top of my head. What I'm curious about, mainly, is this...Would my GT-33 be comparable to something like the Oktava models frequently used on interiors? Or should I consider selling it to buy an Oktava? Or is there another SDC in this price range which would be a more appropriate choice? Andy
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 03:47 PM   #4
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I don't have experience with any of those mikes, so I can't compare them. But within reason, cardioids is cardioids...we're talking about pickup patterns, not the fine points of which of them is "best"....I have great success with the ME64, but have also used an Audio-Technica condenser cardioid (now out of print, but about 1/3 the price of the Senny) so I'm thinking: if you have a cardioid you use and trust, it's light enough to boom if you want to use the short boom idea (I'm a one-man band on the job) and it's sensitive enough, heck, probably it would do the job. Only your ears will tell you! Regards / bv
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 06:04 PM   #5
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Anyone have any knowledge about these particular mics before I get going? The GT-33 is your typical small diaphragm condenser (with a -15 db pad and a bass roll-off switch...I'll check on the roll-off freq), and very light though solid, as such. So no worries about booming it. I'm also looking for a windscreen (just the foam type for interiors) for the GT-33, but haven't had any luck finding one yet. Maybe a generic foam screen would work? Any pointers? Andy
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 02:07 AM   #6
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Most of these 'pencil' microphones are the same re-badged Chinese model anyway. Oktava might be Russian made (or might be not). But that all doesn't matter.

Just use the one you have and get going getting experience - without that, it's all theory anyway. You'll definitely want to have a hyper-cardiod capsule. Putting 'foam' onto the microphone will help just a tiny little - better than nothing, but barely. It'll protect only very slow moves with your boom.

The question really is: are you trying to just getting by doing some 'unpaid' work on a no-budget short etc. or are you trying to become a professional and getting professional results. You've got to find the answer to that.

One can get by with a lot of things and one sooner or later pays the price for that. Shooting any kind of film/video project is really an awful lot of work and even if there's no money involved one thinks, it ain't so.

So why trying to go for the cheapest stuff one can find, why? Would anyone try to shoot a, let's say 5-day short project, with a camera they got for 299.99, but hey, it's HD (!) and 'digital' and whatever. Why going for the lowest way one could go? That's the perfect recipe to go nowhere. It's all fine if it's just for the 'accomplishment' that one did this or that - in that case why bother at all?

So, it's fine to use whatever you have in your toolbox to learn and if used in the best possible way you will get something out of it. BUT, If you can try to borrow one or two other (better ones if you want) microphones and use them/compare them on the set during the shoot. Don't worry about switching mikes, just don't do it in the same scene. Listen, learn, figure. And, I'll say that again and again (somebody actually listening?): if you buy USED sound equipment, especially microphones, you can always resell them later for the same price. Try that with your Chinesian thingy or for that matter, try that with a camera, any camera, after 5 years they're practically worthless. Your Sennheiser (the good ones (the MKH series), not the crappy ones please), your Schoeps, or AKG (the good ones only, 460/480 series) will if you take care of them work for you for a long time. And you can even get them fixed in case there's something wrong.

What exactly is the point in figuring out if this or that Chinese rebadged copy of a copy (produced with little QC) is able to get you through the day - or night?
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 08:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Lohninger View Post
What exactly is the point in figuring out if this or that Chinese rebadged copy of a copy (produced with little QC) is able to get you through the day - or night?
I understand your point, Karl, and this mic certainly isn't a Schoepps or Gefell, but it is a well regarded mic that costs $700 and has performed well for me in my studio. Not exactly fair to say that it would be the equivalent of shooting with a $200 camera. It seemed to me that it would be a decent mic to boom interiors with since it is well constructed, durable and sounds good.

As to what I am doing exactly...well, I'm planning on working. I've done plenty of shorts and docs for free, to get the experience for the past three years. I've built up a decent field kit. I have good connections in the local market. I understand the amount of work that goes into film/video projects...I've always enjoyed the work and went above and beyond to be professional and get good results.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 11:24 AM   #8
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Andy, by all means I didn't want to insult your microphone. If it works it works. Just, between the two of us, there is some thing called 'perception' and I'm talking now about 'producers'.
Producers are (understandably so) totally clueless regarding equipment and they hide this deficiency by sticking to 'standards' and when they ask you for a equipment list all they can do is checking for certain brand names. And the GT-33 might raise a flag or two or three.
Besides that there is good reasons for sticking to some standards (if ADR is necessary post wants to know what microphone you were using and they will not have a GT-33 or an Oktava in their locker) but they certainly have Schoepses, Sennheisers (again MKH) as well as AKGs (451 to 480).
In other words, if you want to break into the biz, do yourself a favor and do it right. Then, when you're the big-shot sound mixer on all those Oscar nominated movies nobody will care anymore. This in addition to all the other reasons already mentioned.
Please don't see that as an insult but as a very friendly advice.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 01:29 PM   #9
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I understand where you're coming from Karl. The "perception" thing certainly applies to recording bands as well. At this point, though, I'm only working locally in North Carolina and there is a serious lack of people willing to do the job (of sound mixer or boom op). Some have gear, but no ears and lack a professional attitude. Trust me, when I am able to, I will be going to high-end gear, but for the moment I must use what I have.
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