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Old February 15th, 2005, 02:18 PM   #1
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Recommend me a Boom Mic Please???

I will be shooting a series of youth sports games, mostly out side... My wireless system does the job for isolation on the coaches, but I need something that will work better than the standard shotgun mic on the XL1/XL1s when focusing on say a group of kids, I want to hear what they are saying more clearly...Any one have any tips on using a boom Mic, and more importantly recommend me one to purchases. Say around 7/800 Dollars. Drop some links... Thanks
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Old February 15th, 2005, 03:20 PM   #2
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I've been using a Sennheiser K6/ME66 combo for several years now and have had nothing to complain about.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #3
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Do you have a source of phantom power and/or an XLR interface for your XL-1?
The stock mic that comes on an XL-1 is a stereo mic, is that what you want to improve on or have you been using a shotgun mic on the camera already?
Do you really mean you want to use a mic on a boom? That is the best way, but will you have a person available for that all the time?
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Old February 16th, 2005, 09:23 PM   #4
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As Jay says, the mic you now have is a stereo mic. If it's like the mic on the xl2, it's pretty wide.

If you have a group no more than six feet wide even the Rode VideoMic works better as a mono, camera mounted mic. (I tried it.)

It will never be as good as a boom mic, operator and good mixer, but any good mono shotgun will have better reach than this stereo mic.

Here's a novel idea, get a better mic and make it a M/S stereo/shotgun.
Audio Technica 835ST, Sennheiser 418, or Sanken CSS-5. Mono when you need it, stereo when you need it. I think the 835ST does both XY and MS stereo. The CSS-5 has severl width settings. They might be easier than MS for you.

Make the existing mic sound like crap.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 17th, 2005, 08:58 AM   #5
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Pat, you sound a lot like me. I'm guessing you're usually a one-man band and you're trying to find a way to get the best all-around production including video and sound. Here's the deal with a one man band... you're missing one man. Even on a minimalist production it's going to take two guys to get really good picture AND really good sound. Since you specifically said "boom mic" you have us thinking you got that extra guy. (hopefully that's the case)...

If you do have an extra guy and you can spend $700-800 then I'd normally suggest my usual... the AT4073a... but that depends on if you have a phantom power solution or not. Also at $530 (mic alone) or $550 (kit with cheapy shockmount) you don't have a lot left for a medium-long XLR, boom pole, and shock mount. Sooo...

Without phantom, but still with an extra guy, my suggestions would be an AT897 (battery or phantom) $280, a K-Tek Aluminum Avalon (internal coil-cabled, beautifully made... and LIGHT) $225, a K-Tek KSSM $109 (my favorite little shock mount), a long haired Softie for the 897 $125, and a 10'-20' XLR star-quad cable $30ish. Okay so there's your budget... It's fairly effectively blown and your results should be fairly effective.

Now if you're ALWAYS a one-man band with one-man only... you have two choices. Either frame up your shots with your cam on a tripod and then be your own boom-op... or lose the boom and accept a much more distant sound... by resorting to cam mounting your mic. If you gotta' cam mount a mic then you really need to get the best mic you can afford and come up with a phantom solution... and STILL you'll have to accept weak audio (compared to picture).

Remember this... Sound is SIMPLE... Good sound is more a factor of distance then budget. Gimme' an 897 and boom it 2-3' over the talent's head... and then gimme' a 416 and camera mount it... I'll bet you a million dollars the 897 blows the 416 away unless the 416 is really close to the speaker also.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Gettemeier : Sound is SIMPLE... Good sound is more a factor of distance then budget. Gimme' an 897 and boom it 2-3' over the talent's head... and then gimme' a 416 and camera mount it... I'll bet you a million dollars the 897 blows the 416 away unless the 416 is really close to the speaker also. -->>>

Hmm, I'll take that money now, Matt. :)

Just did a quick comparison of both mics. The results are stereo .wav files in the Audio Folder will be up in my review archives shortly. One file has teh gains adjusted so you can hear similarities, regardless of differences in sensitivity. The other shows the difference in sensitivity.

The 416 is about 11 dB more sensitive than the AT 897! That's a good thing. It means you use less of your mic preamp gain. When gain are matched, the selfnoise of the AT897 is louder.

This was done in a fairly acousticized environment. The effects of normal room slap are less noticeable.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 17th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #7
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How far away from the subject are both mics?
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Old February 17th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #8
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Two feet then one.

Ty
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:39 AM   #9
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Anything less then 4' is close to the mic... Put the 897 within 2' of the speaker and then put the 416 about 10' or more away. Realistic distances. Now tell me which mic sounds better. The bet is for one mic being close to the speaker... and the other mic NOT being close to the speaker. 1' or 2' is BOTH close to the speaker.

Post something with a 416 about 10' from your speaker and then post something with the 897 2' or closer and I'll honor that bet... of course if you take this bet I'll expect my payment in cash.

How often do you get within 2' of a speaker with your cam mounted mic anyway? Even on full-wide angle I couldn't get both of your ears in the picture... :)

At one time I had a 416, 4073a, me66, ck-69, and the modest little Oktava. A $99 Guitar Center special... On any occasion where I could boom the Oktava within 2' I got a total studio sound. On every occasion that I used any of the other mics at distances beyond 8' nothing ever sounded even half as good.

For all the worthless garbage on my disorganized little site I've got a ton of stuff I never posted... including several Schoeps tests with a cmc6-41... and I'm telling you that NO mic sounds as good at 8-10' as a "reasonably decent" mic sounds at 2'.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 08:09 AM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Gettemeier :

Post something with a 416 about 10' from your speaker and then post something with the 897 2' or closer and I'll honor that bet... of course if you take this bet I'll expect my payment in cash.

How often do you get within 2' of a speaker with your cam mounted mic anyway? Even on full-wide angle I couldn't get both of your ears in the picture... :)

+++I never mic anything but ambience from 10 feet away, except once. (see below) I'm always within three feet for dialog.+++

For all the worthless garbage on my disorganized little site I've got a ton of stuff I never posted... including several Schoeps tests with a cmc6-41... and I'm telling you that NO mic sounds as good at 8-10' as a "reasonably decent" mic sounds at 2'. -->>>

+++I'm sure. But I'm not sure you're proving anything but the obvious there. It's not the mic that's bad at 8-10', it the mic technique.

OTOH, I have miced a jazz band in a food court with rather nasty acoustics and ambient noise. I was very happy with booming the Schoeps cmc641. I used it rather than the 416 because NO mono shotgun sounds as good off axis as a really good hypercardioid.+++

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 19th, 2005, 01:32 AM   #11
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When the guy asked about micing a group of kids at an amature sporting event with an on-cam mic... I'm assuming he plans to be not much closer then 6'-10'... or maybe even farther away?

Hopefully this guy will add something to this post to verify his expections... I was simply trying to reel the guy back to earth on what he'll get from an on-cam mic... which is nothing good, unless he's at comparable distances to booming anyway.

This is why I said Sound is Simple... I'll be the first one to say that I'm stating the obvious... I just don't think "the obvious" is so obvious to the original poster. Maybe I'm just swatting flys here... It's surprising that so many people hear great sound and think it was just a matter of having the "right mic".

Here's my original quote: "Gimme' an 897 and boom it 2-3' over the talent's head... and then gimme' a 416 and camera mount it... I'll bet you a million dollars the 897 blows the 416 away unless the 416 is really close to the speaker also."

The last part there is the key peice of advice I'm trying to give a newbie. My point was that even a mediocre mic used properly will smoke a fantastic mic used poorly. It's normal for people who are new to sound to assume that solutions can be bought rather then worked for... I guarantee that's what this guy thought.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 08:43 AM   #12
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Matt,

Context is everything. Thanks for taking the time to reconstruct the events. What you say makes sense now. Thanks for your patience.

Regards,

Ty
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Old June 5th, 2005, 10:05 PM   #13
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Best Indoor Boom Mic

I need recommendations on which of these two mics would be the best boom mic for indoor dialog and interviews?

1. AT835b Line + Gradient Condenser Microphone
2. AT897 Line + Gradient Condenser Microphone

I hope this is the best thread to post this question in. I did a search and there are a number of threads with similar titles.

I have seen recommendations for both in various threads. From the AT description, I can't really tell why I would pick one over the other.

I have seen recommendations for the AT4073a, but it's out of my budget for now.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 10:43 PM   #14
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Indoors shotguns can sound really nasty because:
-Sounds hitting a shotgun off-axis will get 'colored', as in they have extremely uneven frequency response. This can be demonstrated by speaking into a shotgun while turning it... there are clips on dvfreelancer.com of this (key words are off-axis test).
-Indoors, echoes and reverb will hit the shotgun off-axis. This contributes to a sound I consider weird/hollow/artificial. But adjectives are never really good at describing sound... sometimes you just have to judge for yourself.

The AT835b exhibits this effect a lot from what I've heard of it. If you get really close I suppose it wouldn't happen (i.e. 1 foot).

To avoid this you could get a high-end shotgun like the Sennheiser 416. Even better would be to get a hypercardioid microphone... oktava mc-012, oktava mk-012 from soundroom.com, rode nt3, at4053a, schoeps cmc6/mk41 (price and quality roughly in that order; the oktava mc-012 gives really good sound, mic technique and usage may overshadow differences between it and the schoeps). Unfortunately there's not too much information on low-budget hypercardioids... not many folks own two of the mics so there are few comparisons among them.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 04:00 AM   #15
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I can tell you from personal experience that the 4073
has no trouble sounding hollow indoors, when there's
much off-axis sound.

Glenn, are you saying that the hypercardioids do not
develop that hollow quality?
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