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Old January 26th, 2005, 02:06 AM   #1
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long range outdoor mic help

I am looking for some advice on how I can capture audio of a horse and rider in a jumping arena. The rider will usually be between 10 and 50 yards from my Gl2. Up until now I have just thrown away the recorded audio and added a music track, but I would like to make my videos a bit more of a "you are there" experience. Are there any good mics that will pick up the sounds at this distance? Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 04:23 AM   #2
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You might consider a wireless mic on the rider or horse.
Bruce Yarock
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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:21 AM   #3
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not an option -- i generally have to cover 10-20 horses per show. And there is probably a rule against micing a rider at any rate.

I am also filming cross country but I know there is no mic that will cover that other than in proximity to where my camera is set up. I am willing to settle for whatever coverage I can get on the cross country phase with the same equipment that I would use for stadium work.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:23 AM   #4
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Is this during an event where there are other noises such as the crowd and PA speakers? Or are you doing this in a quiet environment? If it's quiet, then with the proper mic, support equipment and interface for your camera you can improve the audio. What's your budget?
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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:55 AM   #5
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Crowd noise varies, it is nice to pick up the cheers for a rider. There is usually a PA announcer as well, which I dont mind picking up (but I could also record it separately).

I haven't set a specific budget, but probably under $1K for everything (beachtek dxa-4p, mount, mic). Rather than price I am most interested in what would make the output good enough to be worth the effort.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 10:22 AM   #6
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If the wireless is not an option, the next best thing would be to
surround the ring with 4 mics. That is probably too costly, so
buy at least one really good mic (kit). There are lots of choices,
but a good mic is around $1K and the blimp, sock and pole could
easily cost another $800.

Good audio isn't cheap and video without it is imo ;)
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Old January 26th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #7
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Let me rephrase the question: Are there any mics available that I can mount on my GL2 that will pick up the sounds in the arena (up to 150 ft. distant) as I keep the camera zoomed in on the rider? I sometimes have to run between arenas so a separate mic setup is not ideal.

But if that is not possible, as a second choice, what mic setup would work that I could use mounted near my tripod that would cover the entire arena and give me clear audio?
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Old January 27th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #8
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There are a variety of mics you could use that will be an improvement over your stock camera mics, but they won't perform a miracle in that kind of arena environment.
I would say get a BeachTek DXA-8 with phantom power, limiters and extra gain so you can utilize the MicATT switch on your GL2 and have a broad selection of good mics.
Then add a moderate sensitivity mic like the AT897, a shockmount, a PoleCat furry screen that will fit over the foam screen that comes with the mic, a short XLR cable and give that a try. You could also get a mic stand and longer cable for those times when you can set it up that way.
You could certainly spend more money on much better mics, but I don't think that would be wise given what you've described. The $720 to $800 that I've just outlined would give you a worthwhile improvement I feel. If it didn't, you could easily resell that very popular mic with little lost.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Schultz : Let me rephrase the question: Are there any mics available that I can mount on my GL2 that will pick up the sounds in the arena (up to 150 ft. distant) as I keep the camera zoomed in on the rider? I sometimes have to run between arenas so a separate mic setup is not ideal.

But if that is not possible, as a second choice, what mic setup would work that I could use mounted near my tripod that would cover the entire arena and give me clear audio? -->>>

++Try a sennheiser 816 (rent one) with suspension mount and tripod with operator to keep the mic aimed at the intended rider and horse. I remember getting car key jingles from several hundred feet. Then a car passed by and I had to dump the gain or I'd have been deafened.

Ambient noise will be a negative factor.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 30th, 2005, 09:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

A friend of mine suggested using a parabolic mic. Would this work any better? Or are they in a totally different price range?
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Old January 30th, 2005, 10:07 PM   #11
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Parabolics do OK for getting football plays, but they're sort of weird sounding.

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Old January 30th, 2005, 11:04 PM   #12
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I'd be curious to get inside your head and listen to what you're after... If you've seen movies or ESPN... or some other professionally covered event... and thought, "that's the sound I want!", then you'll may be surprised to find out what was involved in getting that "you are there" sound. It may have even been foley recorded at some other time.

About the only thing that's going to give you a "you are there" sense is the wireless suggestion. Okay so that's out.

Next best option would be the 816... but the problem in all of these suggestions is distance. With any reasonably good mic you'll have a sense of "you are there" when you have your GL2 set at a wide angle... but I get the impression that you want your sound to follow your image... and considering that the GL2 has a tremendous zooming capability it would be impossible to get a "you are there" sound to match the "you are there" picture... unless you either use a wireless set OR you can find some other way to close the distances between the mic and the subject.

I'm no expert, but I'd say that more then any other factor it's DISTANCE from subject to mic that makes the most significant steps towards better sound... that's what a boom pole is for, it's what a wireless set is for, and it's what really long XLR cables are for...

Well not including my own post here you've probably already got the best possible suggestions considering the really constained parameters you've laid out for your shooting... but my suggestion is to rethink how you're going to get the "you are there" feel in a zoomed shot with a GL2... No mic will give a sound to match the zoomed image if that mic is as far from the sound as the camera is.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 11:12 PM   #13
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Matt speaketh the truth!

Ty

hmm horse foley
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Old January 31st, 2005, 12:06 AM   #14
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Thanks one and all for sharing your greater knowledge here. You are right -- I am really looking for an audio equivalent of the video zoom. It looks as though this is an "upgrade" that will have to wait for another time / technology. *sigh*
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