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Old July 14th, 2005, 08:05 PM   #1
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When actors are talking quietly

My budget only allows me to spend about 300 bucks on a mic and then 100 bucks on a boom pole. Now I narrowed it down to AT 897 and the AT815B. Basically would these mics do a good job recording quiet convos(when on the boompole). And which one of these 2 would do a better job generally, they are the same price but the 815b is physically longer, is this a plus or a minus?


Btw, I am using the Pana agdvx100a with either one of them.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #2
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More directional doesn't necessarly matter on a quiet soundstage. It will sound more natural of a wisper if you get some more environmental reverb. At leasts thats what I felt from personal experience. Did a strange conceptual movie about cigs last year, lots of strange descreet wispering. I don't remember what model number mic I used, I just remember I tried a lot before I found what I liked, it was a cardioid large coil thing.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 09:10 AM   #3
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Tell us more about the environment where you'll be shooting and how quiet or noisy, reverberent or soft it is. Also tell us how many characters and how widely they may be spaced.
The AT897 would be the better choice of those TWO mics, but there may be better choices yet depending on your other circumstances.
The AT897 is a very good mic with low noise characteristics, but it has a fairly low sensitivity. The fact your camera has excellent sounding, sensitive mic inputs might allow you to get good results, but I'd rather recommend an equally quiet but more sensitive mic. The problem comes in finding one in your $300 range that will work in the environment you plan to shoot in. It can be done, but give us more info.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 11:55 AM   #4
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Well most of the time it will be indoor, pretty spacy rooms. Some scenes are going to be on the roof of a very high building and in central park. Mostly indoors I'd need the mic to be sensitive since i have a few quiet scenes.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 08:34 AM   #5
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As long as the indoor scenes are in fairly open rooms and the dialogue will be quiet, I think the AT897 would be your choice for this project at this price point. I would definitely use the phantom power from your camera rather than an internal battery in the mic. This will give you a little more sensitivity as well as making the mic weigh less while booming.
Setting the camera input sensitivity will be important for each situation. You have a choice on that camera's mic inputs of -60db (very sensitive) or -50db (sensitive). Both of these settings can be overloaded in a loud situation, but will do well for quiet situations.
Striking a good balance with the micing distance will also be important. You need to be close to the subject, but no so close as to dramatically change the character of the sound as the mic is moved around and pointed to different subjects quickly.
Keep ambient noise as low as possible and remember that this mic's greatest rejection is about 120-degrees from the front. It still has a fair amount of pickup from directly to the rear.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 10:17 PM   #6
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and mids and lows from the side.


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