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Old April 7th, 2010, 12:53 PM   #1
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Recording distance fro H4n and Rode VideoMic.

First of off, I appologize if this had been discussed before.

I was wondering how far away is the effective distance for the Zoom H4n internal mic to the subject? And what about the Rode VideoMic?

Thanks
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Old April 7th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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What are you recording? There's a big difference between a rock group and a couple in romantic dialog
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Old April 7th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #3
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There is absolutely no way of predicting working distance of ANY microphone. It depends on way too many variables. If you want to offer some specific examples, maybe you can get some usable responses.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #4
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Right. That's true. It makes sense. Let's say if I wanna record a presenter's voice on the busy street. Approximate??
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Old April 8th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #5
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The answer is as close as you can. After about two feet a shotgun mic starts to fall apart for dialog and it all sounds like ambient noise or a far mic'ed shot. There is a reason boom poles were invented and that news reporters use hand-held mics for their stand ups.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #6
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I'd be even a bit more pessimistic than Jerry. I'd say about 18 inches for the Videomic and about 10 inches for the on-board mics on the Zoom.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 03:21 PM   #7
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The Zoom will pick up decent conversation at 10ft-20ft with no wind or in a quiet room, as long as they are not whispering, but for recording a presenters voice in nice clear tone... then the nearer the better...not more than a few feet away if possible.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
The Zoom will pick up decent conversation at 10ft-20ft with no wind or in a quiet room, as long as they are not whispering, but for recording a presenters voice in nice clear tone... then the nearer the better...not more than a few feet away if possible.
Note that the original poster said he wanted to record a presenter on a busy, hence noisy, street.

As far as recording the spoken word from 10 feet away. the objective is not just to get something audible. It's not enough to be able to tell someone is speaking and figure out what they're saying. Network television such as, say, "60 Minutes" sets the bar for the minimal standards audiences will demand if you want to keep their attention.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 08:26 PM   #9
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That's why I mentioned quiet room for that distance Steve. And concluded that for the example he gave of a presenter in a busy street, he would obtain the best results by placing the mic within 2ft or at least as close to the subject as possible.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 04:07 AM   #10
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AFAIK, there isn't a mic made at any price point that will pick up normal speech from a distance of 10 feet with an acceptable quality level. Audible and understandable ... perhaps. But sounding like the listener was there live in the speaker's presence ... not a chance. It's like taking a picture with the camera out of focus - you might be able to make out the image but it still wouldn't be considered an image worthy of a professional. If you can record dialog fron 10 feet away with the Zoom and have it turn out with the quality level considered acceptable by network broadcast standards I'd love to hear it.
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Last edited by Steve House; April 9th, 2010 at 07:15 AM.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 12:57 AM   #11
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About the only think I can think of is a parabolic system of some kind - and I have no personal experience with them.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmond Sukotjo View Post
Right. That's true. It makes sense. Let's say if I wanna record a presenter's voice on the busy street. Approximate??
Hand-held, 6-8 inches, certainly no more than 12 inches.

The fable is told of a king who had a castle at the top of a mountain with a narrow, winding road and no guard rails. He wanted to hire a new driver so he asked the candidates: "How close to the edge can you drive and still keep me safe?"

The first candidate said: "I can drive within 12 inches of the edge and keep you safe." The second candidate said: "I can do better than that. I can drive within 6 inches and maintain safety." But the third candidate came along and said: "Sir, I would drive as far away from the edge as possible." Guess who got the job.
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