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Old March 22nd, 2010, 03:25 PM   #1
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Boom mic and sound mixer help

Okay so this is my first time posting here and I'm 17 so don't go crazy with audio talk here, its not really my department.

Currently for audio, I run my NTG 3 from a boom pole into my EX-3 directly with no mixer. Often, the sound is too quiet so should I be using a mixer? What would be the best option in the sub $500 range? I'm assuming then that I would need a separate recorder to put the audio on and I have a Zoom H2 will that be sufficient?
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 04:26 PM   #2
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If the audio is too quiet, then you should either boost the gain on your camera, or get the mic closer to the audio source.
An audio mixer will only help if you have a person dedicated to running audio, or if you need to record more than two sources. Running a camera, boom, and audio mixer is nearly impossible.
A Zoom H2 doesn't have XLR inputs, only 1/8". You would need the Zoom H4 or H4n to record from your NTG-3 mic. Most field mixers have XLR outputs, I don't know of any off the top of my head that have only 1/8" outs (except the ones that have only 1/8" ins.)
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 04:49 PM   #3
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You could try experimenting more with the audio in automatic. That will give you a better idea of what levels the camera should be running at and whether the problem is more to do with the location of the mic.
You won't want to use automatic levels when you are shooting for real (because they will go up and down when you don't want them to) but they will help you to get a better idea of what the camera should be doing.
I can't see much point in using a mixer or a separate recorder unless you are filming in a difficult audio environment.
Is the boom pole fixed? How are you placing it in relation to the sound source?
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 06:07 PM   #4
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You could use your H2 if you had something like this lying around:
Beachtek | DXA-4P Audio Adapter for GL2 | DXA-4P | B&H Photo

But for $150, you could almost buy an H4.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 06:27 PM   #5
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Tyler,

I've never used an NTG-3 so I can't tell you what to set it at but go into the menu under audio set and see if adjusting the trip helps. I know for some mics I've had to increase the sensitivity a little.

Garrett
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler Dreher View Post
Okay so this is my first time posting here and I'm 17 so don't go crazy with audio talk here, its not really my department.

Currently for audio, I run my NTG 3 from a boom pole into my EX-3 directly with no mixer. Often, the sound is too quiet so should I be using a mixer? What would be the best option in the sub $500 range? I'm assuming then that I would need a separate recorder to put the audio on and I have a Zoom H2 will that be sufficient?
Before you start thinking mixers - not a bad idea to use one but maybe not the solution to this particular issue - you need to analyze what you are recording and exactly where you have placed the mic in relation to the sound source. Shotguns such as the NTG-3 DO NOT magnify a distant sound in the same manner that a telephoto lens magnifys a distant image, so you still have to be close. If you're recording normal speech, such as in a dialog scene, the tip of the mic needs to be somewhere around 20 to 24 inches from the speaker's mouth and not much more than that, aimed DIRECTLY at their mouth. It doesn't take much of a mis-aim, like letting the mic point at the speaker's shoulder instead of their mouth, to signifigantly effect the recording level. You need to keep the mic pointed within a circle that is maybe 8 inches in diameter. The inverse square law also applies here - the level hitting the mic at 2 feet is 1/4 the level at 1 foot while the level at 4 feet is 1/16 the level it is at 1 foot.

A mixer does not necessarily mean you have to record double-system to realize its benefits. Mixers are also valuable tools in single-system workflows. You can feed your mics to the mixer and the mixer's output in turn to the line-level inputs of the camera and get a lot more control and often better quality than you'd get just connecting the mic directly to the camera alone. But first deal with any mic placement issues, getting a mixer, no matter how expensive, won't make them go away.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 09:27 PM   #7
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I do have an XLR to 1/8th by the way. Just thought I'd throw that out there. But it sounds like I just need to teach my friend how to use the boom mic better. That will probably be the best solution for now.

As for the adjusting the trip I will certainly try that.

Thanks everyone.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 08:57 AM   #8
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I think he meant to type adjust the "trim".

Something you may want to look at is an amplifier that your boom op can wear on their belt and get a headphone output of the mic they are using. It will also send a line-level output to your camera.
The SoundDevices MM-1 is a good example.
MM-1 Line Driver / HP Monitor | Sound Devices, LLC
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:53 AM   #9
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Jay thanks, yes I did mean to adjust the trim.

Garrett
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:41 PM   #10
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Yeah, I've looked at one of those before but at the time I was going to use it just for headphone monitoring.

Anyone know anything about the Rode Nt3? I was also lookin for a mic to do indoor recording in small to medium size rooms. Thanks
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Old March 24th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #11
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The Rode NT3 is an excellent mic, I have 3 and use them for a variety of recording tasks including overhead on a static boom with a heavy-duty stand.
The mic is quite large and heavy, also difficult to shockmount without slipping, so I only use it on a static boom for stationary subjects. I've never tried it for live booming and can't imagine that I ever would.
If you're looking for a hypercardioid for indoor use to complement your Rode NTG-3, it would have to be something else unless your boom op is super-human or it's just mounted to a stand.
The mic has good clarity, low-noise and a nice predictable pattern. It is moderately sensitive and might require a mixer if your subject is quiet or your camera has poor preamps.
It isn't very "beefy" sounding so I only employ it for voice-overs when the subject should be more realistic sounding and less "announcer-like". On the other hand, this slight lack of low-end response means room reverb, handling noise, air conditioner rumble, etc are rarely a problem for the mic.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 09:31 PM   #12
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Thanks. Any suggestions for something not so heavy?
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Old March 28th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
I think he meant to type adjust the "trim".

Something you may want to look at is an amplifier that your boom op can wear on their belt and get a headphone output of the mic they are using. It will also send a line-level output to your camera.
The SoundDevices MM-1 is a good example.
MM-1 Line Driver / HP Monitor | Sound Devices, LLC
I use the MM-1 with the ntg-3 and it works great! Also has a headphone jack and limiter.
I also use it to feed a Sennheiser G2 wireless system which gives me (or whoever the boom op is) total freedom.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 05:32 PM   #14
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Tyler, my daughter operated a Rode NT3 on a boom pole all day on a shoot recently. Yes, it is fairly heavy but so long as you rest between takes you will be fine.

Good luck.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 03:27 PM   #15
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Are you sure it wasn't an NTG-3 rather than an NT3? I know the NT3 at 371 grams doesn't sound all that heavy, but that's 2 and a 1/4 times the weight of the NTG-3 (which would also be a much more likely candidate to find on the end of a boom).
If she boomed all day with an NT3 that's great. I know I end up doing a lot of way too long segments without stopping and with a 10 to 12 foot boom too. I wouldn't pick the NT3 except in the cases I have it statically mounted like I've already described, or with a 6 foot boom.
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