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Old April 4th, 2010, 09:43 PM   #1
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Need advice on a wired lav & an ENG handheld mic

Hey Everyone,

I'm looking to gain some more flexibility in terms of what situations i can capture decent audio in. I say decent because I'm on a tight budget and these upgrades are not entirely necessary, I just want some cheap coverage in case i run into a situation where I could use them. So, I could use some advice on if i can get away with the cheapest of the cheap in these categories, and also some suggestions if i don't have any ideas yet. thanks!


1. Wired Lav with 3-pin XLR (will be going straight into my Panasonic HMC150)

Cheapest option: dubbed the "Radio Shack" mic / the Audio Technica ATR3350 $36 w/ XLR output option selected from sound professionals

USB Microphone, Stereo Microphone, Preamplifier, Digital Recorder, Custom Cables and more at Rock Bottom Prices from The Sound Professionals - Great deals on Microphone, Preamplifier, Digital Recorder, Cable and more!

Other options:

Shure SM11-CN: $100

Shure | SM11-CN - Lavalier Microphone | SM11-CN | B&H Photo Video

I was going to list the Audio-Technica AT803B for $160, but at that point i would probably just step it up to a countryman B3, but I really cant go over $100 for a wired lav right now.



2. Wired handheld ENG mic

Sure SM58, $100.00

Shure | SM58-LC - Cardioid Dynamic Mic | SM58-LC | B&H Photo


- Anyone recommend a cheaper option? (I am willing to sacrifice a bit of quality for price as im only trying to buy the minimum quality i can get away with, as I will upgrade much more later)


3. A boundary microphone (to gather audio from many people sitting around a table / meetings)

- no ideas at all for this, suggestions please!

thanks!

- Shawn
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Old April 5th, 2010, 02:43 AM   #2
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You can have cheap or you can have decent but don't count on getting both at once. Can't help you with the lav - you're just about rock bottom as it is and frankly I'd suggest saving your money until you can get something better rather than wasting it on such marginal gear as the A/T lav. If you're going to settle for marginal quality, why bother shooting it at all? Never go public with anything less than the best work you are capable of.

The SM58 is a decent mic but it's really built for stage vocal use, not reportage. For the handheld, you can get a classic purpose-built for hand-held ENG use such the Electrovoice EV635 for about $125, or the Audio-Technica AT 8004 for about $135 and I think one of them would work out better - less intrusive on-camera, easier for the interviewer to handle, and less handling noise. Take the $25 you're throwing away on the consumer lav, add it to the $100 you're spending on the SM58, and get one of them.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 03:12 AM   #3
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I do only use wireless lav mics so I can't help you on that one. For street interviews I do use the ElektroVoice RE-50 a few times a week. It's a descent reporter mic but not cheap at all. Anyway, I did not regret the money for a second, just love it. Some of my colleague use the Sennheiser E845 for this purpose and I must say, it's not bad at all. Although meant for inside vocals it's a pretty good lapelmic on the street.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 03:27 AM   #4
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I'll second Gabor's recommendation of the EV RE50, a broadcast industry standard, in addition to the two I already mentioned. Also I like and personally own a Sennheiser MD46 cardioid dynamic stick mic. But they are from double the price of the first two so I omitted them in the interest of budget. Still, if you can free up a couple of bucks they woruld be well worthwhile to consider. These days, $100 is about the price of a couples of good burgers and a movie if you figure in gas and parking.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice Gabor and Steve.

"These days, $100 is about the price of a couple of good burgers and a movie if you figure in gas and parking. "

That's crazy, I can't imagine. I live in Blacksburg, VA. I live close to downtown, so I usually walk to our local theater, and if I get a bite to eat after the film, im probably looking at a total spending that night of $10

Ticket - 3.50
Burger / full meal from my fav downtown restaurant - 6.50
Gas / Parking - 0

Good times in Blacksburg
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Old April 6th, 2010, 01:28 AM   #6
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The defacto ENG news stick mic where I'm from originally is the Sennheiser ME66 (w. K6 power unit) - it's absolutely ubiquitous. Now, my take on that is that the ME66 is harsh in the upper mids SO my position is:
If you're going to be doing stick mic interviews like on TV news, I'd suggest the SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper RODE NTG-1 or NTG-2, depending on whether you can supply phantom power or not. EVERY TV news personality I've ever worked with knows EXACTLY how to hold the ME66 so the RODE will come naturally, have better sound and cost less, albeit more than the mics you have listed.

Rode | NTG-2 Battery or Phantom Powered Condenser | NTG-2 | B&H
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Old April 6th, 2010, 03:11 AM   #7
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Really? the ME66 is used for ENG? I thought it was mostly for sound effects or situations where you want a really narrow pickup from a distance. Most of the ENG mics i had seen on B&H were omnidirectional and had internal devices to reduce handling noise. From what i remember when i used the ME66 in film school, it was pretty bad with handling noise.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 04:04 AM   #8
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Yep, Shawn............

The ME66 is universal.

I run a ME64, ME66 and a ME67.

Trouble at the upper mids, who cares? I ain't shooting for Hollywood blockbusters here.

Handling noise? Don't hand hold it, not rocket science.

Stick it in a decent holder like the Rycote or Rode and there IS no handling noise.

Magic, the punters KNOW what it is (wow, that's a REAL pro mic) and it works a treat.

Most punters are deaf, don't fret too much about the sound quality (whoa', is that Steve or Shaun frothing at the mouth over there.......) really, it's a damn site better than any "on camera" solution and a heck of a lot cheaper.
**************************************************************
However, the original question beckons:

Forget it.

You're jerking yourself and the Forum about.

As numerous posters have already said, at your budget level, you might as well buy Radio Shack and be done with it.

There is no such thing as "CHEAP and GOOD".

Cheap is rubbish.

Don't ask the people here to deliniate where "cheap" turns into "rubbish", as it really can't be done.

You will not find a professional sound person on this forum who will endorse any of the products you can afford to buy, end of story.

Neither can any of them give you chapter and verse on your selected cheap options because.......they wouldn't use them in a fit.

I sincerely appologise if this has come over a bit harsh, but you're asking the imposible of some of the most respected sound guys (I'm not one of them) on the planet.

I understand where you are coming from, I started with the same budget limitations you have now, but, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear unless you're prepared to..............spend money (which you don't have).

Please take this in the context in which it was written, you can't do Hollywood on a "Pocket Money" budget.

This is one expensive business.


CS
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Old April 6th, 2010, 05:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Whiting View Post
Thanks for the advice Gabor and Steve.

"These days, $100 is about the price of a couple of good burgers and a movie if you figure in gas and parking. "

That's crazy, I can't imagine. I live in Blacksburg, VA. I live close to downtown, so I usually walk to our local theater, and if I get a bite to eat after the film, im probably looking at a total spending that night of $10

Ticket - 3.50
Burger / full meal from my fav downtown restaurant - 6.50
Gas / Parking - 0

Good times in Blacksburg
Was thinking of a movie night for two people, Toronto area: burgers for two at Wendy's $20, first-run movie theatre tickets for two $30, gas $25, parking $20.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
The ME66 is universal.

I run a ME64, ME66 and a ME67.

Trouble at the upper mids, who cares? I ain't shooting for Hollywood blockbusters here.

Handling noise? Don't hand hold it, not rocket science.
I too own one. When I bought it (5 or so years ago), the RODE NTG-2 didn't exist. If I were to replace it today, I'd buy an NTG-2. VERY similar qualities with a little less abrasive sound - most of my work these days is real world verité programming (documentary style & news EFP).

Handling noise on the ME66 is apparent IF you you hold onto the thing for dear life. Learn the "finger tip hold" and all is forgiven.

I use my ME66 in place of my camera mic when gathering viz or as a backup/room noise mic when using a lav and in my boom pole. Again, I've had the pleasure of using an NTG-2 in all these applications and again would recommend it for high quality sound on a budget (again, realizing WHAT I'm using it for - NO dramatics)

And again, both these solutions are out of your price range but start saving. Mechanics start building their tool box while in school and 35 years later, they are STILL buying. We're pretty much the same EXCEPT we can rent!
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