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Old January 4th, 2005, 06:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: dallas texas
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recording an interview

hello all
i am conducting an interview of my grandfather and i was curius what mic i should purchase in order to achieve the best quality audio?

the interview will take place in my grandparents home , and i will also be filming the interview, with my canon Gl2

i have the option to record the audio directly into the camera or into my laptop, thus synching the audio up later

any suggestions?

Dan Richards is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #2
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A quality lav mic, even a wired option to get the track into the cam. If you can fund a shotgun along with a lav that will give you full voice with some room presence.
For such an interview, to go to the laptop would just make extra work.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 09:04 PM   #3
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I agree. The laptop will also increase the ambient noise. A hypercardioid hung on a boom and strapped to a C-stand works well.

As for the mic, the best mic for interior boom work is a hypercardioid. The best one of those is a a Schoeps cmc641, but they cost about $1400. If you're going to be making videos and want excellent sound, do it.

If not, try an AT 4053 hypercardioid. There is a quantum leap down when you move from a hypercardioid with a 1/2" diaphragm to a lav with a 1/4 or 1/16" diaphragm.

I have a list of recommended mics (including lavs and other gear) in the Audio Bootcamp Field Guide.

Depending on where you are, etc. You could also rent a really good mic for a day or so for the job. I also have a list of audio rental facilities inthe book.


Ty Ford
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Old January 5th, 2005, 08:28 AM   #4
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For an important interview you should use two mics, recorded on separate tracks of the camera. This gives you a back-up and a choice of how to use one of them or a careful mixture of both when editing.
A key component of this choice will be the acoustic character of the room where you record the interview.
Another important factor will be how outspoken your grandfather is.
You must also consider the support equipment you'll need, such as an audio mixer, phantom power supply, XLR interface to the camera and/or boom stands and shockmounts.
Lastly, the budget you have to work with must be factored.
As already mentioned, renting better gear may be an option.

For mics, I have a 4053a and it's a very good mic. Depending on the character of the room though, and how outspoken the subject is, it may pick up too much of the room to sound as good as a high-quality lav. How you shoot the visuals will influence how close you can place an overhead hypercardioid and this will affect how much of the room sound it picks up. At $430 to $500 depending on vendor, it may also stretch your budget and it requires full 48-volt phantom power. I always have it in position for interview recording unless I'm traveling ultra-light, but it is usually not the primary mic used in the final mix. Because many of the rooms I work in are too lively, the lav is still my primary tool.
I think one of the best-sounding lavs that doesn't cost a great deal and comes fully equipped with an array of clips and screens is the AT899. It's $200 and can run on battery or phantom power.
Some other choices for the overhead mic:
If the room is very dead acoustically and your grandfather is very soft-spoken, you could use an AT4073a short shotgun.
If you think a hypercardioid will work better, but your budget won't allow for a 4053a, you could use a Rode NT3. You would however need a more substantial stand for this mic, it's many times the size and weight of the AT. It can also run on phantom or battery.
You could also try an Oktava MK012 with a hypercardioid capsule from a good vendor like the Sound Room. It's under $200, is small and light, and has excellent sound. It is more susceptible to even indoor breezes however and does require full phantom power. You'd need to get a small foam windscreen for it.
With any of the hypercardioids, placing it properly (distance and angle) is very important. So take all this into consideration with how you plan to shoot the visuals of your grandfather and other objects he may talk about or have nearby.
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