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Old July 5th, 2013, 05:54 AM   #16
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

I sometimes use a Rode NTG1 mounted on the camera. Extremely light. Fairly good reach. $249 at B&H:
Rode NTG-1 Condenser Shotgun Microphone NTG-1 B&H Photo Video

As others have said, mounted on the camera, not the greatest sound, but workable for lower quality projects.

Note: requires phantom powered XLR input.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #17
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
The AT875r has been extremely well-behaved for me when used indoors. So far I haven't noticed any off-axis coloration that can be a problem with some shotgun mics. I'm careful to avoid recording generally in locations with bad acoustics though, so your mileage may vary.

The AT4021 cardioid will be even less prone to off-axis coloration, but with its wider pattern than the AT875r will pick up more and more of the ambient sound as you get further from your subject. I would pick the AT4021 over the AT4053 though. It has a better signal to noise ratio, less bass response and is $150 less expensive.

Both mics really have excellent sound and would give you a lot of flexibility. The two mics and all the accessories I mentioned would also fit into your stated budget.

Since you are using a Canon XA20, I would also add a couple of -10db inline XLR attenuators (Or switchable -5db/-10db/-15db models). The Canon mic inputs are extremely sensitive, but the camera's built-in attenuation setting of -20db is too much.
Being able to drop by -10db is just right if the situation is louder than normal when using these high-output mics. The AT4021 has a -10db switch built in, but it's extremely small and hard to access unless you have exactly the right tool and the time and light to see it and switch it.

From what you are saying it doesn't seem like the AT4053b is even worth the extra cost over the 4021.

Does the AT875r have a wide enough pattern to pick up multiple people talking without having to throw the camera back and forth? Have you had any issues with the 875r picking up subjects that are behind the camera?

One of the reasons I was considering the AT4021 is because of the fact it does not pick up anything behind the camera like the 875r and the 4053b but in doing that how much reach does it sacrifice?
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Old July 5th, 2013, 11:53 AM   #18
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

The pickup patterns aren't that distinctive. It isn't like a lens. Even directional mics are much more open than you think from their published patterns, especially across the entire frequency spectrum.
I'm mainly basing my choice of the AT4021 over the AT4053b because of the lower self-noise and the less heavy bass response. I sold my AT4053a, as I use an AKG hyper for boom work and the AT4021 for wider uses.
I haven't used the AT875r in the exact situation you've described with 3 people talking at 10 feet, but my guess is based on how I have used it on-camera, is it would work and be reasonably even across that width at that distance (in a quiet environment).
To some degree, anyone behind and near the mic will be heard if they are also talking while you are shooting your subjects. That's why it's important to get any mic close to the subjects. Like on the stand just out of frame that we have suggested.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #19
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

One of the reasons the 4053 is more expensive is it's modular design.. the capsules can be changed.
The difference in self noise between the two mic models is not a concern.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 02:18 AM   #20
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

AT 875R is quite a tight small shotgun and will generally not pick up much from behind the camera.

Have a listen to this where I used two AT875R and a sony MS957 to cover a live theatre performance and the 875's are at least ten feet away.

Not an ideal mix but it was an educational video so it was more important to hear the actors rather than worry about stereo imaging and the interviews at the end were all done with a single AT875R.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #21
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
From 10 feet away virtually any mic, no matter what the price, will sound lousy with the type of subject you're shooting. You can't fool the laws of physics no matter how inconvenient Mother Nature's demands might be. It's not a question of optimum sound, it's a question of whether it's going to be usable at all where your name and reputation are on the line..
Exactly! And if you missed the point, Do Not Do This!


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Old July 9th, 2013, 08:46 AM   #22
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

Originally Posted by Josh Stone View Post
The microphone will mainly be used for interviews and small product demonstrations with up to 3 people in the shot from about 10 ft away.

Price range is $0-$1000
If you insist on doing this, the price of the mic won't matter. In many cases, a more expensive mic will just sound worse, because it'll do a better job of recording your atrocious mic placement.

Recording sound is largely about signal to noise ratio. You want more signal, less noise. And you typically do that by getting closer to the signal source, and farther away from the noise. So you want your mic as close to the speaker's mouth as possible, and farther from the reflective surfaces.

Your 10 foot distance does just the opposite -- it most likely puts your mic closer to a wall than to the speaker, so you'll record more noise than you will signal. It's not possible to fix this in post. The laws of physics won't be denied, no matter how fervently you desire it.

If you can't, or won't, have a soundie there to boom for you, use lavs. If this is just too darn inconvenient for people (and at this stage you've got to ask yourself what you are doing there if the people really don't want you doing the job), use a reporter's mic (EV RE50N/D-B) and make them pass it around. Or give one to each participant -- that'll still be well within your budget.

Barring that, I'd just walk. No way in hell would I record anything like this from 10 feet away and allow my name to be associated with it.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #23
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

Is this a total run and gun situation? If you've got time to throw a couple of wireless lav packs on I would try looking for a couple of used wireless setups. If you don't need to have the mic totally hidden you can wire someone in just a couple of minutes. You'll get better sound from a cheap wireless lav than even a Scheops SuperCMIT 2U placed 10 feet away on a camera.
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Old July 14th, 2013, 08:16 PM   #24
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

You could change the budget to $10000 and it wouldn't help your unworkable 10-ft distance.

"Ye Cannae Change The Laws of Physics!" - Scotty on Star Trek
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Old July 14th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #25
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

Disclaimer - I am not a real audio expert and I don't play one on TV.

And I agree 150% that a mic 10 feet away is not going to be great. To say the least.

The question that I do have is why so many people think that mic to subject distance is so irrelevant. After all, if you're talking to me from 2 feet or 5 feet or 10 feet, I don't perceive so much difference in sound level - heck, even 20 feet away you would sound reasonably OK.

And if I can hear you just as well at 10 feet as at 2 feet, then of course the mic should hear you just as well, right??? So why not put it on the camera? After all, don't ears and mic have to deal with the same laws of physics?

What I think is that this ignores the fact that there is an amplifier/signal processor of sorts, namely the human nervous system/brain combination hiding behind your ears. You hear what you want to listen to because the "organic amplifier" does all kinds of magic. And the speech that sounded so great from 20 feet away when you where there sounds like crap on the mic you were trying to record it with. Because your brain etc applied all kinds of signal processing to filter the noise and pass the signal, but your poor mic doesn't have a brain and elaborate signal processing capability helping it out.

Anyhow, just my 2 cents worth as to why this "mic on camera should be OK"thing keeps coming up so often. At least this OP knows he has a problem.
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Old July 14th, 2013, 11:38 PM   #26
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

Microphones do not have billions of brain cells which process the raw audio from your ears. Microphones simply simply DO NOT "HEAR" sound like your ears do.

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Old July 15th, 2013, 12:50 AM   #27
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

Good link - and exactly my point. I think that most people don't consider this and therefore think that if they can hear clearly at the camera position then the mic should be able to hear it as well, hence the endless posts that evoke reactions of disbelief when someone tells the poster that putting the mic on the camera is a very bad idea indeed.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 08:36 AM   #28
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Re: Indoor Mic Advice

if you can get the mic as close as possible that's best.. otherwise the audio will be thin and awful....
If you can use a lav that's the best. failing that, a shotty underneath them, just out of shot may work...

Try it first... folks can tell terrible audio in a heartbeat.

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