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Old July 8th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #1
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Suggestions requested

I need to set up a boom mic for a specific set located in a garage. This is for a series of motorcycle dvds, and I expect to be shooting a lot of tape in there. The garage has concrete floors, and an 8-foot drywall ceiling. Because of the occaisional wide shot needed, the mic needs to have decent range, at times being up to 30" above the actor's heads.

Any suggestions for a good boom mic? I have a lavalier setup that's working great, but there are many times that I'll need to use a boom as well. I'm looking in the $200-$300 range for this mic, and I'd prefer a mic that can run on phantom or battery power both.

I've looked at the well-regarded Rode NT3, do you think this would have enough range for this application?

Right now I'm thinking hypercardioid, since I'm afraid a shotgun would pick up too much echo off that concrete floor, and all the steel toolboxes and bike lifts.

Your advice greatly appreciated..
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Old July 12th, 2005, 06:06 AM   #2
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian L. Davis
I need to set up a boom mic for a specific set located in a garage. This is for a series of motorcycle dvds, and I expect to be shooting a lot of tape in there. The garage has concrete floors, and an 8-foot drywall ceiling. Because of the occaisional wide shot needed, the mic needs to have decent range, at times being up to 30" above the actor's heads.

Any suggestions for a good boom mic? I have a lavalier setup that's working great, but there are many times that I'll need to use a boom as well. I'm looking in the $200-$300 range for this mic, and I'd prefer a mic that can run on phantom or battery power both.

I've looked at the well-regarded Rode NT3, do you think this would have enough range for this application?

Right now I'm thinking hypercardioid, since I'm afraid a shotgun would pick up too much echo off that concrete floor, and all the steel toolboxes and bike lifts.

Your advice greatly appreciated..
Mics have directivity but they don't "reach out" for sounds in the sense that a telephoto lens magnifys distant images and makes them appear closer. A visual equivalent to the behaviour of both shotgun or hypercardoid mics is more like looking at a scene through the tube from a roll of bathroom tissue than it is looking through a telescope. For echos coming back from the front along the axis of the mic there's not likely to be much difference between the two. But off-axis reflections and other sounds coming from the sides and rear are another matter and there are differences in both the amount picked up and the off-axis frequency response. A good amount of a shotgun's directivity is lost in the low frequency ranges so the echos it picks up would sound hollow and "boomy." I'd go hypercardoid first. As for brands and models, I leave that to others to suggest. For myself, I'm lusting for a Schoeps CMC6/MK41 but that a notch or two up in the budget. LOL
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Old July 12th, 2005, 06:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian L. Davis
I need to set up a boom mic for a specific set located in a garage. This is for a series of motorcycle dvds, and I expect to be shooting a lot of tape in there. The garage has concrete floors, and an 8-foot drywall ceiling. Because of the occaisional wide shot needed, the mic needs to have decent range, at times being up to 30" above the actor's heads.

Any suggestions for a good boom mic? I have a lavalier setup that's working great, but there are many times that I'll need to use a boom as well. I'm looking in the $200-$300 range for this mic, and I'd prefer a mic that can run on phantom or battery power both.

I've looked at the well-regarded Rode NT3, do you think this would have enough range for this application?

Right now I'm thinking hypercardioid, since I'm afraid a shotgun would pick up too much echo off that concrete floor, and all the steel toolboxes and bike lifts.

Your advice greatly appreciated..
30" in a slappy garage? That's unworkable with a hyper or shotgun. don't boom it, period. Go with the lavs.

Find out more in my bootcamp book.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 12th, 2005, 10:16 AM   #4
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Ty didn't mention it in his note but there is a great video clip on his outstanding website that demonstrates the differences between shotgun, hypercardoid, and omni mikes. Absolutely worth viewing!!! And FWIW I was thinking lavs would be the best choice as well, only suggested the hyper as the better choice of the two options Brian presented if one simply HAD to boom it.

Ty, if boomed shotgun or hypercardoid were the *only* options, which way would you go?
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Old July 12th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #5
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Steve,

Thanks for the flowers. :)

At 30" it really wouldn't make much difference, they'd both be really bad.

Lavs are your only choice.

Ty
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Old July 12th, 2005, 01:01 PM   #6
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Brian,

Most of the audio pros (I'm not one) that I have read recommend the following:
  • Buy/rent the best quality mic you can afford
  • Shotgun mics do not make a good choice for interior recording because of the room reflections that the mic will pick up
  • Cardioid/Hypercardioid mics are the best choice for indoor boom recordings.
My personal approach is to start out with the low-mid priced mics since my budget won't permit much. I can always sell these mics later, and buy a better, higher-priced mic.

I have seen a number of good reports for using the AT3031 as a boom mic. It sells for about $170 at B&H, and seems to be excellent quality for the price. It often appears in the middle of recommendations for boom mics. Here is one list I have seen posted:

In order of price (low to high), and implied order of quality (min acceptable to very best):
  1. rode NT3
  2. oktava MCO-12
  3. AT3031
  4. AKG CK93
  5. AT4053a
  6. AKG CK63
  7. Sanken CS-1
  8. sennheiser MKH50
  9. Schoeps MK41
The last two are apparently the mics most commonly used as interior boom mics in Hollywood and other high-end productions.
I'm sure reasonable people can disagree on the exact order of this list, but I have seen good agreement in general among the audio pros. And there are probably some other mics that should be on this list. Hopefully some of the audio pros will jump in here and further edify both of us.
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