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Old September 28th, 2004, 02:06 AM   #1
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Again, which mic under 300$ for 100a

Sorry for the repeat subject....but somehow I did not feel this has been answered for my needs.

I have a pan. 100a, I want an onboard mike to shoot some intimate monologue ...perhaps the actress won't have anything to attach a wireless mike to, so I thought it wiser to use a shotgun....
No crew, so no perch..
I want to record the faintest whisper...
I will shoot indoors and outdoors, but never very far from the actress.
I want something that is relatively simple to use...I work with pro sound guys all of the time and realize how complex top sound is..
I'm looking for the perfect compromise...cheap...effective...under 300$
thanks for your help.
jonathan
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Old September 28th, 2004, 08:33 AM   #2
 
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It ain't gonna happen....not for 300.00...
The AT 897 is a great mic, and pics up well, but not that good, and it's in that price range. The AT 4051 would be an excellent choice, but again, from the camera it's not going to work. To get what you want, you need a controlled environment, close mic techniques, and a good mic.
Shotguns generally don't work well indoors, although some situations permit it.
You'll also need a boom operator if you plan on keeping the mic in her face. Mounted on a camera is all but the worst place for a shotgun.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 08:41 AM   #3
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A $300 on-cam mic to record the faintest whisper?

That statement is full of lofty expectations... I've offered the same mic recommendations over and over... so this may be getting repetitious, but from $300 on down I'd suggest an AT897 shotgun, $280... An Oktava Mk012 with hyper-cardioid cap, $195... An AT3031 cardioid, $170.

With any of these choices you'll still need a decent shockmount, the cheapest one I would consider would be the PSC for $55.

ANY mic... even if it's $4K... sounds WAY better at CLOSE range. If you want to record a faint whisper and the mic is only about 1'-1.5' away from the mouth... no problem. If you're shooting from across the room and you still want that faint whisper then forget it. That's why we boom and use lavs... and don't forget ADR. I don't see how you'd ever need to hear a faint whisper outside of a CU so that shouldn't be an issue... but if for some reason you want a really faint whisper from a little longer distance then I'd do the whisper ADR. Anytime you use audio without the video your actor can be 6" away from the mic and then you'll REALLY get an intimate sound.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 09:03 AM   #4
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Thanks for both replies...and yes...probably I will never be happy, but now for my degree of unhappiness...
Matt you happened to suggest the 3 mikes that I have available to me...as I am in France at the moment, and my local mike salesmen, who, by the way agrees completely with Douglas. He also claims the Octavia pops when used with the Panasonic camera. So that leaves the ATM 33 and 897 available. The prices are alot more expensive over here, so I'm leaning towards the 33...just how unhappy would I be? how does it compare with the Senhauser 66?
thanks
jonathan
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Old September 28th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #5
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"He also claims the Octavia pops when used with the Panasonic camera."

Absolute rubbish, Matt has used this mic on camera and I've used it boomed. Without wind protection you will be prone to pops but so is my $1300 schoeps.

$300 won't cut it.
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Old September 29th, 2004, 08:33 AM   #6
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All the mics mentioned will sound warmer and more natural then the me66. The me66 is a purpose-built mic... and I'd say 99% of the DV world doesn't know it. Sennheiser created the me66 to address a problem with DV-ENG... the cam inputs on most DV cams is either weak or not so clean... with the me66's super-hot output most of those problems can be overcome. The mic provides most of the gain allowing you to turn down the input levels on your camera... thereby lowering the noise-floor of the "not so hot" audio circuitry. The end result is a strong soundtrack with good, intelligible dialog... sounds all good right?

Well the problem is that over the last few years a lot of really good sounding mics have come along for around the same price or even less... The other issue is that many people have chosen to take the control of audio away from their cameras. If you use a Mixpre or similar, then you can feed your cam a line-level input and get the best sound possible... All this has reduced the original value of a super-hot mic. With a DVX you don't even need to do anything special to get very acceptable sound... even with a weak mic. A hot mic is actually more of a liability then an asset with this cam.

I've got two Oktavas that I use with my DVX all the time and they don't pop.

If you get an Oktava you shouldn't consider any windprotection other then a Rycote BBG... I honestly think that 90% of the "distortion" that people claim to get with the Oktava is actually caused by wind. When I had just a foam screen I had problems that could be perceived as popping and distortion, still really minor... but when the mic is mounted on a stand and DEAD still... OR when it's in the BBG, I have no problems whatsoever. Actually it's amazing how good the Oktavas sound for the price.

The AT3031 is probably just as good of a mic as the Oktava... maybe even slightly better... but you're limited to cardioid pattern only. Even with this mic you'll be SO FAR AHEAD of the in-cam mic that you'll be blown away... In actual tone and character the 3031 is going to blow away mics such as the me66 too. If you can live with cardioid... which shouldn't be too hard... this little mic will be hard to beat.

The 897 is basically going to be a much weaker, although much warmer, version of the me66... so with a dvx you may be totally satisfied with it.

You have several decent options at bargain prices... after you get into mics and audio a little more you'll realize that everything under $300 is peanuts.
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Old September 29th, 2004, 10:30 AM   #7
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Thank you Matt... I finally feel like I have a an answer, I'm off to the store...really thanks alot!
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Old October 2nd, 2004, 04:44 PM   #8
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Sorry for the late reply, been very busy lately.
There seemed to be some confusion regarding the AT3031 that Matt recommended and the ATM-33. While the ATM-33 and the ATM-31 are great mics for what they do, the AT3031 is far and away in a better class of mics as long as you have phantom power available. It would definitely perform better but would still probably be difficult to obtain the results you want because the situation is such a difficult one.
What were your results?
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Old March 6th, 2007, 11:05 PM   #9
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2 Me66 variants

I saw a Sennheiser chart somewhere that I don't remember that shows they make a different mic base unit that outputs lower levels just for DV cameras. So apparently they have reversed that problem. Of course, I found that out after I bought mine.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:03 AM   #10
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You can get your K6 retro-fitted to the lower sensitivity option, but I'd rather have a different lower-sensitivity complete mic and keep the K6 at high level for times when I need a high gain mic.
You have two K6's though don't you? In that case you could change one of them and leave one at high output. And it depends on the camera or mixer you're using them with.
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