What microphones would be best? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 30th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 104
What microphones would be best?

I have two questions. I'll start with the simpler one.

I want to buy a super cardioid condenser shotgun mic in the $250-$350 price range (or close). The Rode NTG-1 has been recommended to me, but I want a second opinion. Are there any better mics in this price range out there? Also, I wanted to know if it would be best to go for the NTG-2 instead. It's essentially the same mic but it also has the option of being battery powered (instead of only phantom). The reason I'm unsure is because I'm just starting off in video so I still have loads of equipment to buy and I don't know whether it might be more convenient later on to have the battery option. As of right now the camera I'm using (Canon XH-A1) can supply phantom power so the battery isn't necessary. But is there any advantage to having the battery (besides the fact that it won't drain the cam's battery)?

Second question:
Let's say, hypothetically, that after buying the super cardioid condenser mic I decide to buy another couple of mics. What kinds would be best for me to get to have a well-rounded audio kit? I can see some advantages to getting lavalier mics, but honestly I'm not so crazy about them (if you give me a good reason I might reconsider). I've been told that large diaphragm condenser mics are good for voice work, but how often would that come in handy? I might be wrong, but for the small amount of voice work I do, it might just be much more efficient to use the shotgun mic on a stand or something. Stereo mics intrigue me, but considering my camera already has a "decent" stereo mic built in, I'm a bit reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars to get one if I can be using that money to buy something I DON'T have.
Anyway, those are the pros and cons, the way I see it, but I barely know what I'm talking about, so that's why I'm coming here for advice.
__________________
Canon XH-A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, ProAm 12' Jib, Matthews M25 tripod, Rode NTG-1
http://ozvideoproductions.webs.com
David Seguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Hollywood, CA, United States
Posts: 790
I don't think phantom power drains your battery any measurable amount. And you WILL forget to take the AA battery out of your NTG-2 and you'll end up with no audio one day. That being said, the only disadvantage to the NTG-2 is that it's longer.

I would next look at a hypercardioid mic like the Oktava MK-012 for interior audio. Also make sure you have a boom pole, enough quality XLR cable, and a good set of headphones.

After that I would look at a god mixer or recorder (or both, like the Sound Devices 552.) But that's a way off in terms of budget.
Edward Carlson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2010, 10:36 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Both the RODES have the same great performance in your price range. One reason you might consider the NTG-2 is .. you'll have a far better chance of selling it (and you will one day) with its battery option. And you might pick up another recorder that doesn't have a 48V supply. There's almost zero drain on the A1s battery .. btw voices are recorded in mono.

If you run it on 48V don't leave a battery installed and forget about it, when it goes flat it might leak that's not covered by warranty.

Hold your horses on the other mics, read all about 'em but wait till a project comes up and be ready to jump :) More haste wastes cash.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2010, 10:43 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 104
Yeah, I know it wouldn't drain the battery much, but I'm just listing the only real difference I can think of.

After buying the mic, the next thing on my shopping list is a boom, XLR cables, and possibly a blimp.
I will eventually get a mixer (when I can afford one, since it's not a necessity at the moment), and am considering getting a recorder. What are the pros and cons of recording on a recorder or in camera?

What would you consider good headphones? I have $40 headphones that block out sounds pretty well. Obviously the other specs aren't up to pro standards, but they'll definitely allow me to hear what I'm recording. Do you think that's sufficient? or should I get better quality headphones?

Also, something I forgot to mention in my original post, if I want to record with two mics for whatever reason, on a standard shoot, is it best to have two of the same/similar mics, or does it not really matter?

Thanks for all the advice :P
__________________
Canon XH-A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, ProAm 12' Jib, Matthews M25 tripod, Rode NTG-1
http://ozvideoproductions.webs.com
David Seguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2010, 10:46 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 104
[QUOTE=Allan Black;1544052].. btw voices are recorded in mono.
QUOTE]

Yeah, I know lol. When I started talking about stereo mics I was actually just moving on to the next thing. Should have started a new paragraph. My bad lol
__________________
Canon XH-A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, ProAm 12' Jib, Matthews M25 tripod, Rode NTG-1
http://ozvideoproductions.webs.com
David Seguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Hollywood, CA, United States
Posts: 790
Sony MDR-7506 are my headphones of choice, but there are others.

If you would want to record one scene that is so big you need two boom ops, then you want the same mics. At the very least, the same type of mics. I have personally never needed two mics because of logistical boom-movement issues. I have used a boom with a wireless lav before, but that was a nightmare of a set. Highway, airplanes, not one but two soccer games, and wind. The lav saved the track. That was the first time I've needed to use more than just a shotgun on a boom.

The benefit of an external recorder is that the recorder's audio quality will be better than that of the camera. Also you are no longer tethered to the camera. Not a necessity at all, especially this early in your career/budget.
Edward Carlson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 1st, 2010, 03:08 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,104
David:

For what it's worth, I have been in very much the same situation as you, wanting good gear on a minimal budget. I've basically got it all now - except the headphones which are supposed to be coming...

It has taken me quite a long time to accumulate all this stuff after reading and sounding out ideas like you are doing.

Rode NTG2 - for outside
Rode NT3 - for inside
Countryman B3 lav - for when I need an XLR lav
Juicedlink CX231
Blimp from India off Ebay One like this only with an added extension - which I haven't needed but it gives me spare end caps. 40cm Blimp Windscreen Windshield Windjammer + Fur Cover - eBay (item 380244903167 end time Jul-01-10 21:05:14 PDT) (Landed at my door this was about 1/5th the raw cost of the 'recognised' brands, but excellent quality.)
Headphones on recommendation: Audio Technica ATH-M50
Boom: I know this is not kosher, but I got a fantastic long aluminium washing brush pole from the local hardware which with a very small modification is all I need. The weight is just fractionally over profession jobs and a tiny fraction of the cost - $NZ27

I also have a Rode Video mic (which I may sell) and some Giant Squid lavs ($US25 I think) to go with Irivers.
Renton Maclachlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2010, 08:17 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Careful about handling noise on the DIY boom. There's more to boom design and construction than just finding a long, straight stick.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:50 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norcross, GA
Posts: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Careful about handling noise on the DIY boom. There's more to boom design and construction than just finding a long, straight stick.
Exactly. I suggest the K-Tek Boom poles because of internal cabling. I also proved this to a director once. How using a cheaply made boom pole could give unwanted handling noise. We used his and then mines(K-TeK) and he was like wow that's a huge difference. So as Steve mentioned please be careful.


Nicole
Nicole Hankerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2010, 05:23 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 104
Awesome. Thanks for all the help.

One more thing, I've noticed people speaking of having different mics for outdoors and indoors. I can sort of figure out why that would be needed, but just to make sure could you tell me why? Do you think it would be a bad idea to use the NTG-1 for both inside and outside? Or is it just a question preference?
__________________
Canon XH-A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, ProAm 12' Jib, Matthews M25 tripod, Rode NTG-1
http://ozvideoproductions.webs.com
David Seguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2010, 06:03 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
It's not really an outside/inside issue, though that is what it often boils down to in practice. What the real situation is, is the way an interference tube 'shotgun' mic (such as the NTG-1) behaves in a reflective environment and since most non-sound conditioned interiors are highly reflective, the advice not to use a shotgun indoors holds generally true. When a 'gun mic is used indoors, the delayed short-term reflections coming from the floor, walls, and ceiling hit the mic slightly later and in different phase than the direct sound coming straight from the speaker. This mish-mash of sound waves beat together inside the tube, leading to some frequencies being emphasized while others are supressed, producing strange echo'y effects. I liken it to the ringy-hollow sound of talking while walking through a metal culvert. In a non-reflective environment, such as a soundstage and often the great outdoors, there are no reflections to confuse things and the interference tube does its job of cancelling out sound from the sides and rear while letting sound from the end get through to the pickup unimpeded. I say 'usually' because if you try recording with a 'gun on a paved playground next to a brick building, problem reflections can come up once again even though you're outdoors. The alternative is the hypercardioid design, ranging from the cheap Oktava M012 up to the spendy Schoeps CMC641. It is almost as directional but uses a different physical principle to achieve its pattern. There's no interference tube and thus none of the potential distortions in the presence of reflections that a 'gun is subject to. In a non-reflective environment the (slightly) greater directivity of the 'gun gives better isolation, in a reflective environment the hyper sounds better.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:46 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 306
David - you're getting a lot of good hypothetical information here. But the real question is: what are you recording?

Different mics are designed for different uses. There's no such thing as a 'best' mic. Only a mic that's suited for some particular use.

If you have to do news interviews in noisy environments, you'll need a handheld omni. If you're doing sit-down controlled interviews, you'll want an omni lav. Scripted narrative, you'll want a shotgun on a boom. Event stuff you'll need wireless mics first. Run-n-gun news a cardiod in a shock mount (not a hyper.) In many situations you'll use two or more types of mics simultaneously.

They all have drawbacks and advantages in different situations, and within reason, using the right type of mic is more important than the particular brand you're using. And learning from experience how to make it sound good is the most important thing of all, because placement and settings affect sound more than anything.

Give us an idea what you want to do.... I often advise people to buy a shotgun last because it's the least versatile mic.
Chuck Fadely is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 3rd, 2010, 02:36 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 104
That's actually my problem to begin with. At the moment I'm really doing a bit of everything I can get involved in. I guess I gravitate more towards scripted narrative, but I want to be able to do a decent job if I try doing something else. I know the best thing would be to have a few different kinds of mics for different uses, but right now budgetwise that's not an option. So I guess what I'm really looking for is something that will allow me to get the best audio in as many situations as possible.

I have very little experience with audio (obviously lol), so I guess part of the reason I was thinking of getting a shotgun mic is just because I'm familiar with them because that's what my school has
__________________
Canon XH-A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, ProAm 12' Jib, Matthews M25 tripod, Rode NTG-1
http://ozvideoproductions.webs.com
David Seguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 4th, 2010, 09:38 AM   #14
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 19
Chuck's right there is no single mic that does everything well. Same with almost everything in this world lol. Like trying to get by on one set of clothes.

But I understand where you're coming from just starting out, on a shoestring budget and looking to acquire that first reasonably-priced mic that will be as versatile as possible. Later, as your budget allows, you'll undoubedtly add mics to your arsenal (been there done that).

That being said, in my very humble opinion, a super or hypercardoid condenser such as the Rode, probably fits this bill. I believe I made the mistake at your juncture of getting a short shotgun (Audiotechnika AT897 line gradient). I had thought it could be useful for indoor and outdoor booming, as well as for recording sound effects. After using it on an indoor boom in a particularly reverberant location (plaster walls and ceiling, hardwood floors) I realized this was the wrong mic for that job. I quickly acquired a hypercardoid (AT4053b) and find this is actually more versatile. I've used it for indoors as well as close outdoor booming as well as in my humble ADR booth in my home studio. I've subsequently added four wired omni lavs (body and plant mics), and a long shotgun (for longer outdoor use).

My wish list includes mics for Foley and for Voiceover, and one or two radio mics. You can really spend a lot on mics alone if you go down the road of being a sound guy. If you are a budding cinematographer trying to keep costs down on a camera, sound gear, tripod, editing software and computer, etc. etc, then it is understandable that you would be desperate to keep everything as simple and within budget as possible and then expand, enhance and fill in the holes later. I concur that the NTG1/2 would make a decent first mic.

Good shooting to you.
Robert Gordon is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:56 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network