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Old September 4th, 2005, 02:32 AM   #1
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Best Microphone

What is the best microphone that doesn't cost too much for getting a natural voice audio (at least as close to natural as one can reasonably expect) from a distance and doesn't look obtrusive.

I know that it is best to place a mic as close as possible to the person speaking but I have a situation where that is not possible and a wireless or other solution is also not possible.

I want as long a distance as I can get. Preferrably at least 10 feet if possible.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 02:53 AM   #2
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What's the budget? G
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Old September 4th, 2005, 05:47 AM   #3
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Less than $500.

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Old September 4th, 2005, 07:57 AM   #4
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What have you heard that you like?

That's like 250GBps? Ten feet is quite a long way for that budget to "reach". That budget wouldn't allow for my Senni 66 and K6 module. If do get a mic that would do 10' then you would most likely need a pre-camera boost for recording. Others will have a view though. Something under eight foot would give you the budget Rode Video Mic which I've used and have been impressed with. At this price you could stump up a few bucks for a boom pole and or a stand. Again it is all going to depend on the quality you need/have to reach.

I'd also like to hear of something around this budget for 10'. Rode are bringing out more shotties . . .look out for them.

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Old September 4th, 2005, 10:00 AM   #5
 
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Danny, Any shotgun will give you poor results in most situations at 10'. You can't expect a mic to reach out like that and get great sound. Put differently, in most situations a $5.00 mic 12" away from the subject will sound better than a 5K mic 20' away.
At 10' you're really pushing distance.
A good hyper cardiod, like the AT 4053 will be acceptable, but only just by the thinnest of margins. That's the only hypercard that's even close to the price range you're working within. There are lots of other good mics, but they're very expensive by comparison.

Don't use a shotgun indoors unless you absolutly have to, and in that event you want a shortie anyway. Rode' has their VideoMic, which isn't bad, but at 10', it isn't gonna be the bomb, either.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 10:12 AM   #6
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LISTEN TO DOUG!

There's no way you'll get anything good at 10 feet. The last few jobs I was hired for were due to the fact that the previous production company didn't handle the audio right.

It's quite common for a lav to beat a boom mic in certain noisy circumstances because the lav can be set closer than the boom mic.

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Old September 4th, 2005, 01:04 PM   #7
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Thanks DSE and all.

I think I should clarify what I am trying to do.

I made a home-made assistive listening device to help me hear what people are saying in a large room.

I built it and used it this summer with boundary mics.

I got pretty good audio up to approx 5 to 6 feet. I used a mixer which sends the audio to an avl and then to another junk mixer to output to headphones. This allows me to use the first mixer to adjust for sensitivity so I can get the max audio with the least amount of reverb and room noise.

The second junk mixer is primarily for adjusting the headphone level.

My problem is that I must use headphones to prevent the sounds from being too loud. My hearing will not adjust to sounds and most audio sounds too loud. Even so, with my selective hearing loss, I can't understand any of the words being said without this system.

I was at Singles Reunion this summer at Graceland University and in using this system I was able to hear many (60%) of the words being said in the classes for the first time in many years. Talk about excitement!

I can't use a hearing aid because my ear will wax up real quick when using one and then I can't hear at all. My other ear is a quiet distorted noise.

While the boundary mics were good, I'd like to be able to get a bit more reach if I can so I can hear what people are saying further away in the room.

I doubt if any mic or solution will go as far as the entire room or much more than 10 feet, but I am hoping to get as much range as I can and not kill my limited budget. I also don't want to have to run mic wires all over the place either.

By the way, my avl (also home-made) has an attack time of 5 microseconds and release time of 1 second. It uses an LDR (Light Dependent Resistor) instead of the normal diode-capacitor-resistor combination.

Believe me, I appreciate being able to hear. I am glad that I can still hear music which I love so much!

Sorry about the long winded post but I hope this helps.

Thanks much,
Danny Fye
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Old September 4th, 2005, 01:56 PM   #8
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If tone isn't important, I'd probably look at a long shotgun like the AT4071a (its predecessor is the AT815).

Outdoors, they give you the most reach/directionaly/block out everything else. You do need to watch out for wind noise, shotguns mics are sensitive to wind noise. The foam windscreen (comes with the mic??) will reduce wind noise a little. If you have the money, there are better systems to reduce wind noise.

Indoors, shotguns sound a little weird (which is why people recommend hypercardioid insteads). But they should give the most directionality still.

Short shotguns like the AT897 and AT4073a are less directional. Their shorter length makes them more practical sometimes. They also have a wider cone where the mic doesn't make things quieter, which can be useful for boom mic use.

2- I have no idea if that'll work well for you.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 03:04 PM   #9
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It would be used indoors with voice and high frequencies being the most important. Also the least amount of background noise. I will 'roll off' the bass end.

It doesn't really matter if it is a shotgun or not. Just whatever will give me as much range as possible and still have reasonably good audio.

Thanks,
Danny Fye
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Old September 4th, 2005, 06:38 PM   #10
 
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You may find a shotgun will work for you in this instance, and I'd recommend something really compact. For your budget, I'm right back to the 897.
If you are handy enough to build yourself an assisted hearing rig, you might even be able to create a circuit to give you some EQ control in those low mids where the mic will be a bit muddy, due to the room reflections.
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