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Old April 13th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #16
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I read this differently.
Quote:
everyone seems to say that shotguns are better ...
They do indeed - but the point I was making is that if the acoustics are a problem, then rather than trying to find a particular microphone to minimise the problem, it would be better to solve the problem at source.

My reasoning is this. If you have even a modest studio space, can you guarantee that the circumstance won't arise when you need more microphones/different microphones? So if the real issue in a particular space is the rear and side lobes are allowing early reflections to colour the sound, then the simplest method of producing better sound is to treat the room. A mic that can only be used at a certain location, in a certain direction isn't really very useful.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #17
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I've thought about my 'studio' and I don't think it is a problem acoustics wise. The room sound is flat, due to its characteristics which I described earlier: carpet on floor, sloping ceiling, absorbent material on walls, etc.

I have used my shotguns (latterly the NTG2 but earlier a Rode videomic) and I guess the 'sound' from them is OK. One issue I did find in one recording was that when I dropped my head and read from some paper, the volume decreased. Is this just a characteristic of shotguns, or simply that my mouth was just that much further away from the mic and pointing in a less favourable direction?

One problem I have is that I've had a life time of running machines, and while I can generally hear ok, I am aware that I have lost some hearing from the top end. Thus to be frank, I can listen to a recording, and it seems ok to me, but the question is, is it really, or could it be better with a different mic? Better that is for other people who have better hearing than I have. I confess I'm not sure if I can confirm or deny whether the recordings are fine/adequate/more than adequate with my present setup or not.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #18
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I have made some comparison videos showing the Rode NT3, and the Audio Technica AT4053b, and I am in LOVE with the AT4053b now. The first video was in a treated studio, and I thought my AT was maybe too dark sounding, but upon extended use, and a 2nd test in a more live room, I found the NT3 to be too thin and brittle, and the 4053b to be full and rich. I even threw in some NTG-3/NTG-2 stuff in to get that perspective.

Here are the tests:

Studio

Live Room
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Old April 13th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #19
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One issue I did find in one recording was that when I dropped my head and read from some paper, the volume decreased. Is this just a characteristic of shotguns, or simply that my mouth was just that much further away from the mic and pointing in a less favorable direction?

- This is a normal, even with omni lavs to an extent. Except when the mic is attached to someones head, via a headset, tape, hairpins.. or implant.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
So if the real issue in a particular space is the rear and side lobes are allowing early reflections to colour the sound, then the simplest method of producing better sound is to treat the room. A mic that can only be used at a certain location, in a certain direction isn't really very useful.
You need more than one mic in the video world. And though the original poster is working in his own studio, most video productions take place at some location you have no control over. So treating a room of an interviewee you will be with for 30 minutes is not practical. It's not like you need a bunch of mics, mainly 2 will cover most situations, a Hyper and a Shotgun. Of course if you are going hand held for interviews a good Dynamic is needed. Any audio person worth their salt will have an array of mics to handle what the situation requires.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 01:48 AM   #21
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Something has just come up today that made me realise a hyper will not be used only in my studio (of course!) but any indoor event that I record. There is the possibility I could be filming a speech at an auditorium at Parliament in about a months time and I guess the shotgun would not be suitable for that. I have a dynamic handheld (uni-directional), a number of lavs (giant squids to irivers), a videomic (probably should sell it) and the NTG2, but none really suitable for an auditorium from the lectern direct to camera (through my JuiceLink).

Thus I'm back (I think) to looking at getting a hyper. I can get the AT U873R for a good price - and am attracted because the JuicedLink guy has a recommend on his site. It says that while it a handheld, it is also good on a stand. But if there are better for not all that much more, I'm interested. Will have to act relatively quickly to have it for this possible event.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #22
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Renton,

I might have found the perfect solution - or not.

At NAB I went to the Shure booth and asked about hyper and super cardioids for indoor use. The guy noodled for a while, and then offered up the MX202. It's an overhead mic on a gooseneck that can accept a super cardioid cap. It costs less than $200. I'm not sure exactly how to mount it, but I'm sure that you could figure that out.

Shure - Microphones - MX202 Microflex Overhead Microphones

Shure | MX202B/S - Mic with Stand Adapter | MX202B/S | B&H Photo

The good:
* It's a super cardioid.
* It's light.
* It doesn't use a long tube, interference pattern.
* It's meant for use a foot or more from the mouth.
* The specs look reasonable.

The not so good:
* Non-traditional mount.
* The frequency response looks like it has a high peak, but it lacks a 1 kHz peak, which is generally nice for voice clarity. The bass looks weak.

The might-not-be good:
* For all I know, it sounds like junk! (I haven't heard it.)

Anyway, it's an interesting - and cheap - option.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 02:16 AM   #23
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Thanks Jon...

However, if it is recording from a lectern, it is going to be further away than one foot from the mouth, and must allow for some movement by the speaker.

And given it would be used mostly on a mic stand/boom of some sort, it would be better to have a regular method of mounting it - or so it seems to me...
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Old April 14th, 2010, 11:33 AM   #24
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The MX202 and other mics of that type, are not very versatile, and subject to extreme plosives when used on a podium with a "mic eater".. windscreen or not.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renton Maclachlan View Post
I can get the AT U873R for a good price - and am attracted because the JuicedLink guy has a recommend on his site. It says that while it a handheld, it is also good on a stand. But if there are better for not all that much more, I'm interested. Will have to act relatively quickly to have it for this possible event.
Hey Renton. I make my living doing video, and my specialty is audio. The AT U873R is a hand held mic. It's not what you, as a videographer need no matter how cheap it is. You would be better off with the NT3, though I highly recommend the AT4053b. And the MX202 is for recording choirs so just forget it.

The 4 "best value" indoor boom/on camera mics are the Oktava MK12. the AT4053, the AKG CK93, and the Rode NT3.

Google these, or look on B&H Photo:
• The Oktava sounds great, but is susceptible to handling noise. The Trusted Source for Genuine Russian Oktava Microphones, Heil Microphones, Grado Labs Headphones and much more!!!!
• The Rode NT3 is awesome, cheap, battery powered but heavy. If you must cheap out - go with this.
Rode | NT3 Microphone | NT3 | B&H Photo Video

• The AKG CK93 sounds great, but the other caps it can take(shotgun, cardioid) aren't so hot.
AKG | Blue Line Series Microphone Kit | B&H Photo Video

•The AT4053b is the best out of the 4 at 500.00, and worth every penny.
Audio-Technica | AT4053b Hypercardioid Condenser | AT4053B | B&H



But you have to think of this as a career purchase. For 500.00 you'll have a great mic that will suit your needs as long as you have it. If you cheap out and get a 200.00 hand held mic made for singers you won't be using the right tool, and your audio will suffer. With the right tool you will be able to do better jobs and make that money back. But if you buy a cheap mic you will have to replace it and spend MORE than if you just got the right mic the first time. Think about it.

As for the speaker at the podium: Perhaps you could get a direct line from the PA to your camera? Or put one of your lavs on the speaker, but don't buy a hand held mic for this one gig. Robert from JuicedLink is a good engineer, but he doesn't buy the best mics.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #26
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Thanks so much Chad. Very helpful. I also listened to your creative comparisons of the mics in the clips you posted. I confess I couldn't pick up much difference between the various mics, though the NT3 did sound a bit - what the hang do these words mean!!! - 'thinner' - something anyway! :-)

The Otavia MK012 looks attractive. Plus it gives three options as opposed to one only. What exactly (if anything is exact in this business) does '...susceptible to handling noise.' mean? Under what circumstances?

The NT3 also looks attractive.

I'll check out prices.

Shipping really affects prices. Robert at JuiceLink would ship the U873R for $US35, whereas another outfit I've been talking to, the cheapest they could do shipping was $US90!

I have someone who will ship on for me using USPS which can be cheaper.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #27
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Renton, it doesn't matter how cheap Robert will send the mic for if it's the wrong mic. A value isn't a value if it's the wrong tool for your kit.

Handling noise: With the Oktava, if you put it on a boom pole or on your camera, whenever you move your hands/camera you will hear it. Holding the pole, and making a slight adjustment of your hands will be picked up by the mic. If there is the slightest breeze you will hear it. That's why I say the Oktava isn't great except in a stationary, indoor situation.

Best value is the AT4053b.
Second best value is the Rode NT3.

The AT4053b sounds a lot better than the NT3. I say dig deep and get the 4053b. You will not be disappointed, and you won't think about the money ever again. But if you get a crappy mic you will think of that every time you use it.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #28
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Handling noise is actually more of an issue than sometimes people give credit for. One of my old shotguns is an Audio Technica 815 - I've always liked the sound, a bit more 'up front' than a 416. Isn't it hard putting sound into words? BUT - it does have an issue with handling noise. In a proper suspension mount like the older style Rycotes with the elastic band style mounts, it's fine. But in the more modern rubber style mounts then noises from the housing or handle get through. Any attempt to hold it in the hand, even gently, are very tricky. The noises from my fingers, just gripping the tube, can be clearly heard. The worst examples I've ever heard come from the Chinese copies of the Shure SM58s - compared to the real things, every rub, nail tap and vibration come through VERY loud and clear.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #29
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Thanks Chad. I was just mentioning variations in shipping costs to illustrate how the cost is added to.

Appreciate your concern for me to get the best, but the AT4053b really is out of my league price wise...

I can get the NT3 for $US220...
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Old April 14th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #30
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Renton I've used the NT3 for years. I have 2 of them, and have recorded VO, on a boom, acoustic guitar, plays - it's the best bang for your buck out there. Go for it.

Here's a tune I did with just one NT3 and a little reverb:

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