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-   -   If you could could only purchase 1 mic (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/494929-if-you-could-could-only-purchase-1-mic.html)

Jay Knobbe April 22nd, 2011 04:46 AM

If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
H everybody.

I own a Sony vx2100 with a Rode Stereo Video Mic. I do this as a hobby, albeit a serious hobby. Occasionally I get paid for a shoot, mostly I shoot to learn. Sometimes I put the Rode on a boom pole.

The Rode is very sensitive to sounds from all directions.
I want to improve the quality of my audio and through the search function of this forum have been gathering info.
I can afford something like a NTG1 or 2 and a Beachtek adapter.

Would appreciate some recommendations. I can't afford a mic for indoors and a mic for outdoors.

Would a Rode VMP be a step up for me or is that for DSLR shooters?

Thanks for your help.

Iker Riera April 22nd, 2011 05:12 AM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
what type of events or productions would you shoot the most with it? interviews? weddings? outdoors/indoors? etc.

This will help to make better suggestions.

Jon Braeley April 22nd, 2011 06:59 AM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
Do you need XLR inputs on the mic? Thats the main question and if so, I would go with the very inexpensive AT875 - less than $200.
Instead of the Beachtek I prefer to use a seperate recorder - my choice is the Tascam DR-100 but you can use the Zoom - both have XLR inputs.

Jay Knobbe April 23rd, 2011 04:43 AM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
In reference to the type of events I shoot here's an example...
Shot the hauling out of a WW II fighter plane from Lake Michigan. 4 Helicopters from local TV stations were flying over head and I'm trying to record some dialogue with a WW II Veteran. During playback the helicopter is as loud as the dialogue.

Doing anther interview and there is a bus running in the backround. Again, during playback the bus is as loud as the dialogue.

I had no control over any of these obstacles so I couldn't change the location of the interview, working alone, etc.

Last month I covered an event at work with about 150 people in a large room. It sounds as though all conversations are picked up equally regardless of where I point the camera.

High school basket ball game. Yikes!

In July I'm doing a family wedding. Ceremony outside, reception indoors. No sound boards anywhere.

Hope this gives you an idea.

My VX2100, which I love, has a mini plug for the mic connection. It's big brother, the PD170 has XLR.
The Rode SVM is a super cardioid.

If a mic with XLR is a must I would need to get a Beachtek adapter unit although I seem to remember someone stating that an adapter could be purchased to go direct from the XLR mic to the mini plug on the camera, but I don't know what I would be giving up if I did that.

So, understanding that there is no such thing as the perfect on-camera mic for all occasions, if you could only have 1 mic in my situation, what would it be? (can't spend $700 on a mic either)

Thanks for your comments.

Jay Knobbe April 23rd, 2011 04:49 AM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
In reference to the type of events I shoot here's an example...
Shot the hauling out of a WW II fighter plane from Lake Michigan. 4 Helicopters from local TV stations were flying over head and I'm trying to record some dialogue with a WW II Veteran. During playback the helicopter is as loud as the dialogue.

Doing anther interview and there is a bus running in the backround. Again, during playback the bus is as loud as the dialogue.

I had no control over any of these obstacles so I couldn't change the location of the interview, working alone, etc.

Last month I covered an event at work with about 150 people in a large room. It sounds as though all conversations are picked up equally regardless of where I point the camera.

High school basket ball game. Yikes!

In July I'm doing a family wedding. Ceremony outside, reception indoors. No sound boards anywhere.

Hope this gives you an idea.

My VX2100, which I love, has a mini plug for the mic connection. It's big brother, the PD170 has XLR.
The Rode SVM is a super cardioid.

If a mic with XLR is a must I would need to get a Beachtek adapter unit although I seem to remember someone stating that an adapter could be purchased to go direct from the XLR mic to the mini plug on the camera, but I don't know what I would be giving up if I did that.

So, understanding that there is no such thing as the perfect on-camera mic for all occasions, if you could only have 1 mic in my situation, what would it be? (can't spend $700 on a mic either)

Thanks for your comments.

Michael Wisniewski April 23rd, 2011 05:13 AM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
The typical shotgun condensor mic can give you very good sound, but can be problematic in noisy/loud/uncontrolled environments because of their sensitivity. For noisy environments where you don't have much control over your sound environment look at picking up a dynamic mic like the Shure SM57/58 or the Electro-voice RE50, or the Shure SM11 dynamic lapel mic, AKG also makes some good ones. Keep in mind you have to get the dynamic mic as close to the interviewee's mouth as is comfortably possible.

Matt Davis April 26th, 2011 06:14 PM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay Knobbe (Post 1641816)
Would appreciate some recommendations.

This is going to be a bit 'left-field', but have you considered a Zoom H4n and synchronising the audio in post?

I got one originally to work with a DSLR, but I'm using it more and more with my Sony PMW-EX1Rs.

I didn't intend to use the built-in mic pair, but they're good for voice. You can hide it near an interviewee, keep it low and just out of shot, put a wind jammer on it for outdoors, and use 24 bit audio for a wide dynamic range in difficult and changing audio situations. It will do interviews, VOs, atmos, wild track, groups (yes, in stereo) and even take a line feed from a desk with an attenuator. You can leave it recording on a lectern all day and an 8GB SD card lasts for ages. It will work with any camera you may wish to upgrade to, it will work with any microphone you may get in the future (it will phantom power it if necessary).

It will also work as a sort of BeachTek with its 3.5mm line output, and as a USB audio interface to your Mac/PC. It has its irksome irritations, but sync is not a problem any more. It's just a gosh-darn useful box to have around.

As I said - bit of an odd recommendation, but worth considering.

D.J. Ammons April 26th, 2011 06:53 PM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
Since you already have a Rode Stereo Videomic why don't you consider adding to that with a wireless UHF lavalier microphone?

Then in noisy situations you could use the lav to isolate the voiceover you are trying to capture and where appropriate you could use the shotgun you have.

Wayne Reimer April 26th, 2011 07:49 PM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
I was going to make a similar suggestion, but also including a Zoom. A shoot a few months ago dictated adding some additional audio capability on very short notice. I had neither the time nor the funds to buy quality, and they weren't available locally in any event. I wound up going with a low end sennheiser wireless lav system ( As I recall it was about $175.) and a Zoom H-1 ( $99.)
I used various combinations for a couple of days of shooting; the lav and the wireless for talking head stuff, the zoom and the wireless for a couple of situations when I needed room ambience, and the lav/wireless and the receiver/zoom as a stand alone audio system that I synced in post.
Overall, the results I got really surprised and pleased me, especially since all in it was less than $300. I doubt they would stand up to daily heavy use, but they worked ( and continue to work) well for occasional use

Ed Roo April 26th, 2011 08:19 PM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
I agree with Michael, the Shure 58 Cardioid dynamic ($120 @B&H) is a good choice. Personally, I have a Sennheiser MD46 Cardioid ($200@B&H), that does the same thing.
The nice thing about the dynamic mic is that it doesn't require phantom power and can be used with many different cameras. You can use XLR directly or through an XLR to 3.5mm adapter.

Jay Knobbe April 26th, 2011 09:49 PM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
Thanks for all your suggestions.

I use an Olympus DS-40 digital recorder from time to time. When I sync it in post I expand the timeline and line up the peaks. Is there a better way? Sometimes it's not all that easy.

Adam Gold April 26th, 2011 10:06 PM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
Nope, that's how you do it. But depending on what editor you use, you could try Plural Eyes, a plug-in that does that automatically for you.

Ken Hull April 26th, 2011 11:43 PM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
Jay,
It sounds like it's no big deal if the audience sees the mic in your videos. So rather than using a boom, how about a handheld mic or a lapel mic (wired or wireless)? You would get the mic much closer to the talker(s) that way.

Ken

Tom Morrow April 27th, 2011 12:37 AM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
I'm also a hobbyist not a pro. I'd second the lavalier suggestion, especially since you already have a camera/boom mountable. The Rode lavalier or PinMic are good because you can buy both 1/8 and XLR connectors to use them with a most any device, ensuring that they grow as your system does.

But Lav mics really call out for wireless transmitters to keep the subject from walking away while corded, potentially pulling your camera off the tripod, ripping their clothes if the PinMic is attached, etc. I splurged on a Sennheiser G3 and don't regret it.

Zach Love April 27th, 2011 06:58 AM

Re: If you could could only purchase 1 mic
 
If I could only purchase one mic & one mic only, I'd purchase the nicest lav I could get.

My rational behind this would be that often the best audio you're going to get is when the mic is close to what you want to record.

Good sound guys will tell you that you need two dozen mics for a half dozen scenarios. But if you can only have one mic, I would rather have a $50 lav clipped onto somebody, than a $1000 shotgun mic too far away from my subject to hear the audio.

I'd highly suggest searching the good work horse mics & picking up used (but not abused) ones. If you can get 2 lavs (Tran TR50), 1 haldheld (EV RE50b or Shure SM58) & one shotgun mic (MKH416, Rode NTG-3), you'll be covered for 90% of what you need to record. (Just a couple of my recommendations)


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