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Old April 19th, 2004, 12:15 PM   #1
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Distant Audio

Ok, when I record audio it always sounds distant. Is there a way to prevent this? I am using a shotgun mic and holding it more than 6 inches away makes it sound hollow. Is there something I am supposed to do or is it cheap equipment?

I know you are supposed to use a boom as much as possible but I am getting better audio quality from the lavalier mic I have. That I can just hide under clothes, but I want some options.

Any help would be appreciated.

-Scott
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Old April 19th, 2004, 02:21 PM   #2
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Which camera and what shotgun? How is it setup and what cable or adapters are you using?
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Old April 19th, 2004, 08:14 PM   #3
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Scott...

At an NAB seminar on production sound this past Sunday, Fred Ginsburg demonstrated how a uni-directional cardioid mic is better for indoor use than a shotgun mic for boom work.

The reason is that a shotgun is actually a bi-polar mic with substantial sensitivity to the rear. Quite a surprise to all of us there as you'd think that a shotgun mic wouldn't pick up anything except what's in front of it.

The uni mic was picked up less room ambience than the long shotgun.

The uni he demo'd was an Audio Technica 4051. Nice sounding mic.

Dean Sensui
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Old April 20th, 2004, 05:15 AM   #4
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The previous post is correct. Use a "short" shotgun for interiors.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 06:55 PM   #5
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I am using the audio input on a Canon XL-1 and the mics are cheap Audio Technica mics. ATR55 shotgun and a $30 Lavalier that actually sounds pretty good. It's the shotgun that sucks as far as volume.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #6
 
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The ATR is a pretty low end mic, more sexy than useful. You'll do better indoors with a cardiod than with a shotgun due to how room reflections act. Needless to say, any distance greater than a few feet is too much for that level of mic to work with. Get the mic off the camera and on a stand, closer to the subject. You'll be much happier.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 09:54 PM   #7
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Apparently the hypercardopid capsule that shares the mic body used on the 4051 is considered much better. The 4053a is supposedly one of the best hypers south of $1000. Both mics are $400 at B&H if you want one of each a capsule is $196.

I think the hyper would be a better choice.
http://www.audiotechnica.com/prodpro...fo/AT4053a.pdf

A better price with a few inconveniences is the Rode NT3. The Rode sounds similar to the AT4053 but is heavier and larger. The plus is that it can be battery operated and it's only $152 at B&H

If you do have phantom then the best deal is the Oktava mco12.

Sanken short shotguns have been able to reduced the rear pickup on the CS1 and CS3 short shotguns by using multiple diaphrams. Both of these mics are expensive with the cheapest selling for $780 and the CS3 going for $1600.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 01:32 AM   #8
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I don't think Scott was asking for shopping advise. He has a shotgun and it seems to perform worse than it should. To move the microphone closer is of course good advise, but the reason for using a shotgun is often that you can not or will not move in close.
The first thing to do is to test the microphone with other cables and then, if there is no difference, with another camera or recorder. Still no difference? Try an identical mic on your camera. Then you'll know what to do.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 01:45 AM   #9
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For me the first option is a lav mic and a wireless transmitter/receiver.

If it's at a podium, then the lav is taped to the podium mic's gooseneck.

If neither is possible, then a soundman holding a boom. And if not that, then a shotgun on-camera and getting the camera as close as possible. That's where a wide-angle lens comes in handy. But that's strictly for run-and-gun shooting.

When it comes to getting good sound, nothing beats proximity.

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Old April 26th, 2004, 09:37 AM   #10
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Thanks all, I am not spending any more money on this project....

The shotgun mic I am using I had planned on using as a boom so when I was testing it it was at the distance it was going to be at on the boom. So far the best sound is from the Lavalier running straight to the XL1. The ATR only sounds good from less than 2 feet away. After that it always sounds as if it were in an echo chamber and it's far away.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 10:12 AM   #11
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A possible solution is to get the mike off the camera, as someone said earlier, but make sure it is pointing down at your subject, preferably off a boom pole. Since it's camera mounted you are getting reflections from everywhere, especially nearby hard surfaces.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 10:53 AM   #12
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If the mic sounds OK within 2 feet don't bother trying cables just get the mic closer. If that's not an option then the only other recourse is to use the lav.

"He has a shotgun and it seems to perform worse than it should. "
That shotgun is very inexpensive and hasn't been well received.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 12:09 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Belics : A possible solution is to get the mike off the camera, as someone said earlier, but make sure it is pointing down at your subject, preferably off a boom pole. Since it's camera mounted you are getting reflections from everywhere, especially nearby hard surfaces. -->>>

It is NOT camera mounted. It IS on a boom pole.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 11:40 PM   #14
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Scott
I'm not suggesting you buy more gear but do have a listen to some samples of different mics. They're not mean't to be anything more than a rough idea of what you get with some of the common mics in use out there.
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Old April 27th, 2004, 07:03 PM   #15
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What environment are you attempting to use the mics in?
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