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Old December 14th, 2012, 05:16 PM   #1
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Microphone for interior dialogue

I currently have just one microphone: the Sennheiser ME66. Which also means I own the K6 power module. I'm looking for a second microphone to go along with it for interior dialogue scenes, since I've read that shotgun microphones aren't ideal. Obviously, since I own the K6 module, I might be able to get something from Sennheiser that would work, and was looking at the ME64. But I also read that a hyper-cardioid is the way to go and that the NT3 is a good option at a similar price. What do you think?
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Old December 14th, 2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

In my interview days, I had an ME64/K6 which I used as a handheld iv mike with a plug-in transmitter, as a desk mike and on a short (3 foot) boom for talking heads....worked a treat. It is, IIRC, a cardioid, decent pickup in front without the echoish problems a shotgun can give inside. Press conferences ,etc, I would just put it on a desk stand with the radio plug and was always happy with it.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 05:44 PM   #3
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

I'm gonna be using it for film fiction, hopefully boomed from above. The problem I have is that houses over here are quite echoey anyway. The ME64 definitely seems much better than the ME66 for this particular use, but I've heard good things about the Rode.

The other advantage of the Rode is that I could use it and the ME66 at the same time, whereas if I get an ME64, I'd only have one power module. I can't imagine when I'd want to use both at the same time, but it's always nice to have options.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:51 PM   #4
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

Excellent points, and the Rode has a good reputation. I have no experience with it, so can't compare, but that sounds like it would be a good choice. Might check output level vs. the Senny, as the latter has a "hot" output that is quite nice, needing less in-camera amp than some of the competition (talking to YOU, Audio-Technica).
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Old December 14th, 2012, 07:47 PM   #5
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

Joe, did you mean the Rode NTG-3? The Rode NT3 is a sensitive mic that will not isolate your sound source like the NTG-3 will.
In a quiet setting, where you have an interviewer holding the mic between him and the interviewee, the NT3 is actually very useful
since you don't have to point it as accurately as a mic that is more directional. But for a boom mic, not so good at isolating sounds.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

THe NTG3 is a wonderful shotgun, but he's already got the Senny 66...a cardioid or hypercardioid in a room interview can work pretty well if you can mike it close enough...just my 2 cents...
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Old December 15th, 2012, 12:57 AM   #7
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Brenner View Post
Joe, did you mean the Rode NTG-3? The Rode NT3 is a sensitive mic that will not isolate your sound source like the NTG-3 will.
In a quiet setting, where you have an interviewer holding the mic between him and the interviewee, the NT3 is actually very useful
since you don't have to point it as accurately as a mic that is more directional. But for a boom mic, not so good at isolating sounds.
As I understand it though, there's something about the physics of shotgun mics that make them particularly susceptible to echo indoors. From what I've read, hypercardioid mics are better, because they don't pick up as far, meaning you get the dialogue, but less of the background noises and more natural/less echo. As you can probably tell, I don't know a massive amount about this, but everything I've read says hypercardioid for dialogue indoors.

The other issue is that a shotgun can actually be too directional indoors, meaning you have to work pretty hard to capture the full conversation. I've recorded a few scenes with the ME66 so far (admittedly without a boom), and just had to record each actor's lines one at a time. But that gets a bit unnatural, because you end up having to ask the actors not to interrupt each other and leave spaces between the lines for you to edit them together later.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 01:21 AM   #8
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

If you are after a low cost hypercardioid have a look at these... I've been using them for about a year or so and VERY impressed with the results.

Samson — C02
http://www.zzounds.com/item--SAMC02
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Old December 15th, 2012, 07:43 AM   #9
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

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Originally Posted by Joe Piechura View Post
As I understand it though, there's something about the physics of shotgun mics that make them particularly susceptible to echo indoors..
The problem with 'guns indoors is not so much pickup of echo as it is their reaction to the presence of short-term reflections. Echos are much longer term reflections than we're worried about here. Imagine standing in a normal room interviewing a subject who is standing 6 feet in front of you. Some of the sound travels direct from his mouth to your mic but a portion of it bounces off the ceiling and then hits your mic, kind of like a glancing billiards shot. The path the bounce travels is slightly longer than the path the direct sound takes and so it takes a little longer for that portion of the sound to get to the mic. The reflected wave front arrives at the mic slightly out of phase with the direct sound due to the transit time differences and when they interact within the mic's interference tube it leads to comb filtering that distorts the sound. Hypers don't have an interference tube so the reflections don't interact with the direct sound in the same way. Shotguns are also "selectively directional" and at low frequencies often become almost omnidirectional. Good hypers have a pattern than is more consistent over a wider range of frequencies.

I should also mention that a 'gun is no more sensitive than a hyper - there really is no such thing as "reach." The narrower pattern of the shotgun allows it to be held a little farther away from the subject than a hyper and still achieve the same ratio of desired sound to extraneous noise picked up from the sides and rear. But we're not talking about a big difference in working distances, ie a 'gun at 22 inches is about equivalent to a hyper at 18 inches.
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Last edited by Steve House; December 15th, 2012 at 05:52 PM.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #10
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

The O.P. is quite correct that hypercardoids are usually recommended for most indoor use, for the reasons that Steve states. "Usually... for most..." because interior spaces vary so much in their wall, ceiling, and floor surfaces, and their dimensions, that there really can't be a hard and fast rule about mic choices for interiors.

The Samson CO2 is too heavy to put out on the end of a boom pole. By all means do try it if you own one, it's really a great value for a medium diaphram mic. But don't buy it if your primary use is at the end of a stick, it's really more of a V.O. and singing mic by design.

Arguably, the NT3 is on the heavy side, and not directional enough. This is a mic designed to hold a 9v battery... which makes it quite a bit bigger than mics designed for the purpose. More people are familiar with the AKG C1000, which is a similar design. Having said that, a cardoid is sometimes the best choice on the end of the boom, and the NT3 is another great value with great sound from Rode. Heavier and less directional...

The classic approach is a hypercardoid small-diaphram "pencil" design, about 3/4" in diameter, that depends on phantom rather than a battery. Your k6 with an ME64 is actually a very good choice for this for under $200.

If you wanted to spend a little bit more so that you could simultaneously use your existing shotgun and a new mic the Oktava MK012 system with a hypercardoid capsule (phantom power only) is a great value, if you can avoid the many counterfeits. But, why would you? You're really going to have only one mic on a stick at a time, yes?
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Old December 15th, 2012, 11:52 AM   #11
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

Okay, I might go for the ME64 then. The other issue with the Rode would be the need to buy a different-sized mount for it, which could set me back another 30-40.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #12
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

I have the Rode NT3 and NTG3 and the AKG-CK93 and they all fit nicely in an Audio Technica AT8415 which is not that expensive. The NT3 is indeed fat and heavy so you'd have to make sure it was secure for boom pole use. The CK-93 is hypercardiod and is a good contender for indoor work. It's quite small.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 03:04 PM   #13
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

The ME64/K6 works well as an overhead boom mic, although I haven't recently tested it directly against any of my hypercardioids. I've mainly been using it for wider coverage of two to four people without having large changes in the character of sound when it's a little off-axis when the group speaks quickly. It's also handy to run on the internal AA battery so phantom power isn't required from the plug-on transmitter.
It can also be equipped with less expensive furry wind coverings due to the short length of the mic.
I find the Pearstone universal shockmount to have the best support bands and connection options among the low-cost shockmounts. It's about $50 online by itself, although in the past it could be purchased as part of a mic kit for almost no additional cost. That's how I got my first one. The example below is listed as "for camera shoes" and it does that well, with a swivel adjustment too. It also has a 3/8-16 thread for boompoles.

Pearstone DUSM-1 Universal Shock Mount for Camera Shoes DUSM-1
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 03:04 AM   #14
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
Arguably, the NT3 is on the heavy side, and not directional enough. This is a mic designed to hold a 9v battery... which makes it quite a bit bigger than mics designed for the purpose. More people are familiar with the AKG C1000, which is a similar design. Having said that, a cardoid is sometimes the best choice on the end of the boom, and the NT3 is another great value with great sound from Rode. Heavier and less directional...


If you wanted to spend a little bit more so that you could simultaneously use your existing shotgun and a new mic the Oktava MK012 system with a hypercardoid capsule (phantom power only) is a great value, if you can avoid the many counterfeits. But, why would you? You're really going to have only one mic on a stick at a time, yes?
Personally I prefer the sound of the Rode NT3 to an AKG C1000. But I agree they are both fat and heavy mics and require a different mount than thin pencil mics. As far as cardioid mics go, I would prefer slim pencil mics like the Shure sm81 or an old AKG C451 to eithe rof them though. But..really it's hyper cardioid that is required, and none of the above have that pattern.
I totally agree that The Oktava MK-012 is a really versatile choice with their screw on capsules with various polar patterns...and they sound pretty good too. Many say ( though I haven't tried myself) that Michael Joly modded Oktava's are even better still. Great for the price.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 12:52 PM   #15
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Re: Microphone for interior dialogue

Some 012 mics are nice sounding and the MJ modded 012 is indeed better, but still subject to it's inherent issues.. though some are lesser with the MJ/Dorsey type mod. As I have previously stated here and elsewhere, IMO, it's not a good mic for the inexperienced and/or when using the POS preamps on budget portable recorders.. and by the time one spends the extra $$ for a hand-picked and modded 012, the price is that or more than a medium priced small diaphragm hyper anyway.
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