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Old October 15th, 2004, 02:31 PM   #1
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Opinions wanted on mic, please!...

Hey guys!

I'm planning on shooting a (kinda) experimental documentary and all of it will be in the cab of a moving semi truck. The driver will be talking to the camera- which'll be in the passenger seat. I want the best audio possible and as some of you know, semis are really loud when riding in the cab.

So I really need a mic, and I want a shotgun mic. And I'd like something that'll stick on the shoe... Unless I can get something that'll work a lot better. I don't wanna use a lav because it seems like that would be too much hassle. A handheld mic might be ok if I could prop it on something.

I can only spend like around $100.

I have a JVC grd 800 camera, so I'm sure any kind of shotgun mic will help the sound out.

Here's what I'm looking at buying right now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=43440&item=3845248389&rd=1

it's a SONY UniDirection Pickup Camcorder Microphone: ECM-Z37C

Would anyone suggest a handheld instead? I need something really unidirectional, though, because the engine noise is LOUD.

if you guys have any recommendations or suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Thanks!
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Old October 15th, 2004, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: Opinions wanted on mic, please!...

<<<-- Originally posted by Ryan Harrison : Hey guys!

I'm planning on shooting a (kinda) experimental documentary and all of it will be in the cab of a moving semi truck. The driver will be talking to the camera- which'll be in the passenger seat. I want the best audio possible and as some of you know, semis are really loud when riding in the cab.

So I really need a mic, and I want a shotgun mic.
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Bad choice for a truck cab, Ryan. Shotguns don't handle loud noise very well and they lose their directivity with low frequency sound so you'll pick it all up.

You need to get very close to the driver. A headset boom microphone with noise cancelling might be great. If you put it on the other side of the driver, you might not even be able to tell it's there.
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snip -->>>
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Old October 15th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #3
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so do you mean a regular shotgun, just placed close to him and not mounted on the camera - probably no room for a boom (can't buy one anyways)?

Maybe like this one -

http://www.audio-technica.com/guide/line/atr/ATR55.html

or this

http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_techspecs_full.php/masterid=771878#description

and just tape it down somewhere - maybe on the door by the driver or hold it with my other hand or something...

Anyone have suggestions for good shotgun mikes that don't mount on camera (but are in my price range)?


Thanks for the reply, Mike

Later
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Old October 16th, 2004, 09:44 AM   #4
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I'm afraid Mike doesn't mean a shotgun at all. And I agree with him. Almost any kind of mic you can fix, tape, nail or glue to the driver's left chin will do better than a shotgun.
If it's an experimental thing you're doing, maybe it's OK if the mic is visible?
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Old October 16th, 2004, 10:06 AM   #5
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maybe I can tape a lav to his cheek or something then... I'm not sure if I want him wearing a headset.

All lavs seem kind of cheap price-wise (on ebay) - is the quality good, though?

It doesn't have to be amazing quality - just intelligible and audible. Audible audio.

if I get a cheap enough lav, I can get a shotgun too, then I'll be prepared hopefully...
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Old October 16th, 2004, 05:19 PM   #6
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You seem determined to get a shotgun. That's OK - they are good for many things but not for the shot you described.
The closer you can get the mic, the better signal you will get. This is genetrally true, especially in a noisy environment. You may have to tweak the audio a little afterwards, to make it sound "natural", and if you succeed in getting a good voice over the sound of the engine, you may want to add a (controlled) engine sound afterwards on another track.
Taping the mic to the chin is good. And some of the modern headsets are quite discrete - easy to cover up with a scarf etc. I mean you are lucky to be able to shoot from one side of the person all the time.
(Although - with a polar filter on you could fix the camera to the front of the truck, and shoot through the glass. Makes for good video, but where would you put the mic then, I wonder.)
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Old October 16th, 2004, 09:53 PM   #7
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Tor and Mike are right, forget the shotgun. Use a lavolier and if you must use a stick microphone, a cardoid is about the only think you could use. A cardoid doesn't have a tail (pickup sound from behind) The problem is any cardoids that I'm experienced with require phantom and cost more than your budget allows.

You can clip the lav to the drivers collar, his ball cap visor, even his shirt pocket.
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