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Old January 25th, 2012, 10:23 AM   #1
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Need Help Choosing Mic

Hi,
I been reading this audio form for several hours off and on again and need some expert advice,
I have one event I shoot four times a year and it is my most problem event I shoot as far as regular jobs go.
I have an sony ex3 I use for this event and the set up is in a gym converted that had been converted to a theater. Most of the acts I use an XLR feed from there control booth but a few of the acts are off mic so I also must use the on camcorder mic also.
I am not happy with the audio I am getting from the camcorder mic but am not sure what Mic would help.
I am looking at a Rode NTG 3. Is this a good mic for indoor recording in a gym or should I look at others.

Thank You
Jeff King
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Old January 25th, 2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

It seems unlikely that a shotgun would be a good solution for this situation.
But then we don' really have any clue what "act" means?

The most obvious soulution from the brief explanation you have provided would be for the venue sound people to use enough mics to get those acts ON microphone. It would seem to be to their benefit as well as yours.

If you can give us some details about what kind of "acts" these are and why they are "off mic" we may be able to provide some suggestions that are more on point.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 11:21 AM   #3
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

I sorry, I guess I left out some needed info,
An "act" was a bad choice, for a better word would had been a scene in the play, sometimes the actors will come out into the crowd to perform where there could be as many as 5-10 actors that are off mic and in a couple of different location in the crowd. I am shooting at a location about 45 feet from stage an at about a 15 deg offset from the center of the stage on a platform raised about three feet above ground level with people sitting very close. The room is always full about 150 people and loud.
I shoot this event for a youth group.

Sorry to leave out the need info
Jeff King
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Old January 25th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

The classic way to handle the cast coming off the stage into the audience is to mic them all with headworn mics feeding wireless, 1 channel per person. That would probably be the venue's responsibility, of course, as I assume they'd need to pick up the cast for the house PA as well as your audio feed.

At the distances you're talking about, no mic at your position is going be any good.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 03:55 PM   #5
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

Sorry, that is pretty much a hopeless combination without the high-tech solution (individual wireless) that Mr. House suggested. Even if you had a good shotgun mic, and it would work indoors (neither of which are the case) you would still have the problem of where to aim it? If you are far enough away to get all the actors within the pattern then your are WAAAAAY to far away for it to do any good.

Unless it is only the ambience (crowd reaction, etc.) that is important and you can loose the dialog?
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Old January 26th, 2012, 06:30 AM   #6
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

Thank You for the feed back.
This event I shot for years and do it for the local acting group mostly young adults and older kids sense they are non profit and have very little equipment I don't think adding additional wireless systems is in the books.
I already let them use my three wireless Lectrosonics for ther play and shoot for free as this is a great bunch.

Again Thank You for your imput.

Jeff King
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Old January 26th, 2012, 06:47 AM   #7
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

Jeff,

Maybe hanging or otherwise hiding a handful of Zoom H1's at key locations around the auditorium would give you a better, although imperfect result.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #8
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff King View Post
Thank You for the feed back.
This event I shot for years and do it for the local acting group mostly young adults and older kids sense they are non profit and have very little equipment I don't think adding additional wireless systems is in the books.
I already let them use my three wireless Lectrosonics for ther play and shoot for free as this is a great bunch.

..
Alas, Mother Nature doesn't bend the laws of acoustics because the event is for a worthy, but no-budget, cause. :( Unless you can get radio mics physically on the wandering talent or stationary mics on stands scattered around in the audience that they can walk up to before starting their lines, I can't think of anything you can do that is going to sound very good. At the distances you're working, especially with the desired sounds (actors voices) buried in a sea of close-by interfering noise (audience sounds), shotguns are of no help no matter what the price. Too bad, because it's likely the audience won't be able to hear them very well either.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 08:52 AM   #9
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

Again Thank You, Thank You

When I shoot this event, I have an XLR feed from the sound booth as one audio channel and am using the actual built-in sony omni mic on the ex3 as the second audio channel.
About 99% of the time when I am shooting the actors that have no mic on them or very close to them, I have the camera pointing right at them so my audio pick-up would be at a center location to the camera.
and from the ex3 omni mic on the second audio channel.
Would there be a shotgun mic say a hypercarioid or a supercardioid that will give me a better audio pick-up when compaired to the onboard built-in camera mic with the distance for the audio being being around 15 to 20 feet.
Most times in editing I am having to raise the onboard camera audio scene and as you would expect I notice a lot of unwanted audio also.

Thank You
Jeff King
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Old January 27th, 2012, 09:28 AM   #10
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff King View Post
Again Thank You, Thank You

When I shoot this event, I have an XLR feed from the sound booth as one audio channel and am using the actual built-in sony omni mic on the ex3 as the second audio channel.
About 99% of the time when I am shooting the actors that have no mic on them or very close to them, I have the camera pointing right at them so my audio pick-up would be at a center location to the camera.
and from the ex3 omni mic on the second audio channel.
Would there be a shotgun mic say a hypercarioid or a supercardioid that will give me a better audio pick-up when compaired to the onboard built-in camera mic with the distance for the audio being being around 15 to 20 feet.
Most times in editing I am having to raise the onboard camera audio scene and as you would expect I notice a lot of unwanted audio also.

Thank You
Jeff King
You need to understand that hypers and shotguns are not the acoustic equivalent of telephoto lenses - they don't magnify or pull in the sounds they're pointed at. What they do is REDUCE the level of sound hitting them from directions other than along the mic's axis so there's less of it in proportion to the desired sounds. Think of looking at a scene through a paper tube - you see a narrower field of view than with the unobstructed eye but the part of the scene you see is no brighter than it is without the tube. So at 15 or 20 feet they're not likely to pick up the desired voices any better than your omni, all other things being equal. Now because there is less interfering sound picked up from the sides and rear you MIGHT be able to increase your recording level a bit but it's still not likely to sound any good. With the talent wandering around in the audience there are likely to be a number of interfering sound sources still laying well inside the mic's pickup pattern even when it's pointed directly toward the talent from such a distance. To do what you're asking, the mic distance from the talent's mouth has to be measured in inches while the distance to the interfering sources is measured in feet so the inverse-square law kicks into play to help you out.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 11:54 AM   #11
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

It wouldn't be ideal, but I have two Audio Technica Choir mics Audio-Technica - Microphones, headphones, wireless microphone systems, noise-cancelling headphones & more : U853A Cardioid Condenser Hanging Microphone These are designed to be placed above choirs and they work pretty well if you can get them within 10' of the talent. If I were you, I would buy or rent three or four of these, suspend them from the lighting grid or rafters. They are black and the audience will not notice them unless you have a light colored BG. Unless your stage is huge, you could cover it with 2-4 mics. Not an ideal solution, but better than any camera mounted mic or mic not mounted within a few feet of the talent.

I have used for training seminars, same situation, a room full of people and I don't know who is going to ask questions. Presenter wears a wireless and the other channel is dedicated to the choir mics and the results have been surprisingly good.

You'll need a boatload of XLR cables, but that's a given.

Dan
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Old January 27th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #12
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Re: Need Help Choosing Mic

Yeah, Dan, but I bet you're not in a converted gymnasium. :)

I would, and have, declined the gig to keep people from thinking I had lost my sense of hearing, but that's just me.

Jeff, If their expectations are low enough, you'll be OK. Not great, but OK.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Last edited by Ty Ford; January 27th, 2012 at 10:27 PM. Reason: clarity
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