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Old November 19th, 2004, 03:08 PM   #1
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Adobe is wiping my 4073a out

And I mean the building material adobe. I am shooting a reenactment in an old adobe building and for some reason all of my mics sound marginal. I'm picking of refections and the voices are hollow sounding. I'm using a boom placed about 5 feet above the actors heads (sometimes less, occaionall a little more) and so far I've tried using an AT897, an AT4073a, an ME66, and an AT3031. The AT3031 sounds the best and the ME66 sounds the worst, but none of them are producing a very warm, clear sound. Can anyone recomend a better mic for voices held on a boom above the actors heads for not too much money? Or is it just they way things are and I should make do and try to fix it in post?

Thank you for any advice,

James
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Old November 19th, 2004, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: Adobe is wiping my 4073a out

<<<-- Originally posted by James Lilly : Can anyone recomend a better mic for voices held on a boom above the actors heads for not too much money? Or is it just they way things are and I should make do and try to fix it in post? -->>>

If the room is just acoustically terrible, your going to end up having to clean it up while you're editing. I assume you're looking for a shotgun, and you're not really going to find a decent one for cheap... or one that isn't from Audio Technica.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 07:47 PM   #3
 
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Even an expensive mike (as though cost was the mitigating factor here) will be challenged in this sort of environment.
Can you get your hands on an AT4053 and get it fairly close? It's a great mic, with tight rejection. There are other choices, but it's one I've worked with in a Moab, Utah sandstone canyon with good results. Another option is to create a "cone" like what you put on a dog so he doesn't bite his butt. This will screw with the sound a bit, but it's easier to EQ than to kill delay/reverberant sound. I've only done that once, and it was a pain, but it was workable. Try it out, see what you get.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 09:39 PM   #4
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Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it. About the AT4053, I've never actually used one and have been told that the AT4073a is better? Is there any merrit to this? Or is that just a tale told to confuse non sound oriented people like me? And why, as long as I have your ear, does the 3031 do so well indoors, better than shotguns 4 times the price?
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Old November 19th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #5
 
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I've never used the 3031, but it by definition, should generally be better indoors than a shotgun.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 10:01 PM   #6
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In a problematic environment, you really must strive to keep the mic as close as possible. Five feet is really pushing it, two feet would greatly improve the situation if it's possible to stick this close.
Is it possible to use softer materials, such as moving blankets to treat some percentage of the floor and walls that won't be in the shots?
I know you may be trying for realism, but keeping the actors' voices slightly quieter will also reduce the return of audio energy from the room's surfaces.
As for other mics you can try, there are several that would probably give better results.
The Sanken CS-1 has a good reputation for situations like this.
I'd probably rate that as a first choice to try next.
Certainly the Schoeps Mk41 capsule and a CMC6 preamp body with a Cut1 filter would be top of the line, but very expensive.
Among more affordable mics, the AT873r hypercardioid works well for me because it uses a very small diaphragm that gives clean results at a distance. It does have slightly higher self-noise than the other mics that have been discussed but if there's a fair amount of noise on-set this may work.
The Rode NT3 hypercardioid works well, but it's very large and heavy for active boom use.
A tested Oktava MK012 with a hypercardioid capsule from The Sound Room would also work. It is a very small mic for shockmounting and is prone to handling and wind noise so it takes special accessories to live up to its full potential.
In the work I've done lately with my AT4053a, I've found that in bad indoor situations (ambient sounds, not reverb) it tends to be very receptive of bass frequencies off-axis. It sounds great for on-axis vocal frequencies and it's worth a try for your situation, but I think the CS-1 would be a better bet.
A couple of other choices would be the AKG Blue Line, with a SE300b preamp and a CK93 hypercardioid capsule. Or the more expensive AKG ULS series with a C480B preamp with a CK63 hypercardioid capsule.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 10:09 PM   #7
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I've become very fond of the AT3031 lately. It's a very quiet mic with a well-balanced frequency response overall. Awesome quality for such a low price. Its cardioid pattern makes it very open for use on a boom at 5-feet, I really wish AT would make a hypercardioid version that would be a less expensive alternative to the AT4053a. If you can keep the 3031 closer to the subjects, treat the surfaces with soft material, and do some careful bass roll-off, you could get away with using it.
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Old November 20th, 2004, 10:51 AM   #8
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Don't expect ANY shotgun won't work well in that situation.

Actually, sometimes an omni lav works better than a shotgun or hyper because it's closer to the mouth. (even if the boom mic is as close as 6 inches above the head.

Best mic for that test, in my book, would be a Schoeps cmc641 hyper. I like the 4053, but I compared the two a few years back and the more expensive Schoeps was more of a mic.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old November 20th, 2004, 08:20 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ty Ford : Don't expect ANY shotgun won't work well in that situation.
(snipped)
Best mic for that test, in my book, would be a Schoeps cmc641 hyper. I like the 4053, but I compared the two a few years back and the more expensive Schoeps was more of a mic.

Regards,

Ty Ford -->>>

You're getting soft Ty ;-)

If you can afford it the Schoeps is the way to go. Even if you can't, Ty will convince you.

It's because of him that I own one. What's better than an MK41




Two mk41's of course.
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Old November 20th, 2004, 10:13 PM   #10
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You're getting soft Ty ;-)

If you can afford it the Schoeps is the way to go. Even if you can't, Ty will convince you.

It's because of him that I own one. What's better than an MK41




Two mk41's of course. -->>>


Bryan,

And let's be clear..that little exercise took, what? SIX MONTHS! :)


Regards,

Ty
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