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Old July 20th, 2014, 04:16 AM   #1
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New Mic for Commentary work

Hi everyone, i finally found what i hope is a great place for all my Videography needs, and this will be my very first post, so i hope it is in the right forum sub-section.

I shoot all my video in 1080/50p avchd on my panasonic SDT750 camera, and all my videos are shot in roaming mode, with my camera mounted on one of my own custom made hand held camera rigs, or on one of my customized monopods, and i have also been using a Rode VideoMic Pro attached to the camera, which i believe is meant to be a directional type microphone.

A lot of what i shoot involves me commentating from behind the camera, and talking to other people in an informal interview style scenario with me asking them questions from behind the Mic while filming them, and as crude as it might seem, and given that the Rode Mic was not designed to work this way, my voice has always sounded quite fine while commentating and interviewing from behind the mic during my shoots.

That was until i took the camera on a recent trip thru The Philipiines where i shot a lot of travel related family videos, as well as some promo videos for various resorts and tour operators.

Before taking this trip i realized that we would be spending lots of time on boats and beaches, so i decided to invest in a black fury windsock for my Mic, and it worked exactly as they stated it would, it did reduce most of the wind from my videos, which i was very happy about.

However, this is where i noticed a problem that i never thought of, or had factored into this scenario.

When i returned home and started editing my 300gb+ of videos, i realized that while that windsock was on my mic, my voice from behind the camera has turned out to be muffled, and it has really made me realize that i should have looked into this before i went away.

So here i am, needing some help or advice on some way to eliminate this issue with my current Mic and windsock, OR better still, probably find a totally different Mic that picks up audio from both the front and from the rear (not from the sides) with and without the windsock.

Apologies for ranting on, just need to be sure that everyone is clear about my situation, and what it is i am trying to achieve.

I will also be upgrading from this camera as soon as i can decide which format and camera to go for, which i also hope this Forum can help me with as well.

Any suggestions very much appreciated......Glen
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Old July 20th, 2014, 10:23 AM   #2
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Re: New Mic for Commentary work

The Rode was presumably pointed forward and you were behind it.
Get a decent quality lavaliere with a windscreen.. problem solved. (in that scenario)
You will just have to remember to take the lav it off or unplug it when putting the cam down.
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Old July 20th, 2014, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: New Mic for Commentary work

Get a headset microphone. It will keep the mic right near your lips which will greatly improve the signal (your voice) to noise (camera sounds, wind noise, ambient interference) ratio. Yes, there are expensive headset mics, but you don't need a mic that costs as much as your camera. You just need a basic, functional model.
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Old July 20th, 2014, 11:52 AM   #4
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Re: New Mic for Commentary work

Hi, sorry maybe i have not explained myself properly.

When i said i shoot in roaming mode, thats exactly what it is, i roam around with my camera on a small rig, and when i want to film something, i turn the camera on and just start shooting, nothing i shoot is set up or staged, and in most cases i need the camera and mic running almost immediately, so i don't have time to mess around with plugging in a headset or clipping a mic onto any of my subjects to record the audio.

As i mentioned, want is need is a mic that is attached to my camera that can record my voice behind the camera as well as it can from the front, but i am not that concerned about audio levels, if i am shooting something where i am asking someone questions and they are talking back to me, i am usually never any more than 10' from them, and the Rode mic is very good at front on recording, it just doesnt do good audio from the rear, especially with the windsock on it.

As much as i appreciate the 2 suggestions offered, in my situation neither is going to work for me.

Cheers.
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Old July 20th, 2014, 02:45 PM   #5
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Re: New Mic for Commentary work

In that case, gaffer tape a lav to the camera body, (providing the camera is quiet) in close proximity to your pie hole. But out of the way of direct breaths to avoid plosives (wind blasts. A second mic for the interviewee will have to be within around eighteen inches of the person or it won't sound very good.. period.. no ifs' ands' or buts'.. no matter how much you spend on the mic.
There's no way you can do this with one mic and expect any kind or quality.
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Old July 20th, 2014, 03:03 PM   #6
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Re: New Mic for Commentary work

There are only two types of mics that will pick up equally in front and in back.

One is an omnidirectional, which picks up equally around 360 in all planes. You don't want that, because that will pick up much more ambient noise than you're getting now. Unless you're shooting inside a very quiet room, the noise will be a problem, and inside a room the reflections from walls, ceiling, floor will be a problem. Rule out an omni.

The second option is a mic with a bidirectional ("figure of eight") pattern, like an open ribbon or bidirectional condenser capsule. Ribbons are quite fragile, so rule them out. A figure-eight condenser will pick up just as much behind it (towards you) as in front of it, and each directional pattern (both front and rear) is broader than the cardioid you're used to, so again you'll pick up significantly more ambient noise than you're getting now with one directional mic. Also, since you'll be much closer to the mic than the "talent" that you're shooting, your voice will record much louder, which might make setting levels a bit dicey. Also, a figure-eight mic will usually be side-address, rather than end-address, and that will make the logistics of mounting and positioning it difficult.

I think you misunderstood Mr. Reineke. I don't think he was suggesting a lav for the talent, he was suggesting one for you.

Mr. Reineke and Mr. Crowley both suggested that you need your own mic, and I agree with that. If you can't be bothered to clip on a lav or put on a headset, then get an inexpensive lav and rig it on your camera somehow so that it will be relatively close to your mouth when you pick up and use the camera.

Of course the talent mic should feed one channel, and your mic should feed the other channel. That will make it easier to get correct levels and keep noise to a minimum when you do your final mix.
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