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Old October 18th, 2005, 10:17 AM   #1
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isolating sound - unidirectional mic

I've searched the forum for info on this but haven't found anything... so I'm sorry if this has been already adressed. Maybe someone can point me to the correct post.

Any reccomendations for a mic that will isolate sound very well? I'm shooting a lot of interviews. I'm pretty meticulous about making sure the AC doesn't kick on, and finding quiet places to shoot, but sometimes, you just have to work around that stuff.

So I'm looking for a mic with a very tight pickup pattern that does a great job of rejecting ambient sound.

And it would be great if it could be moderately priced...
no... ...free!
And ice cream should be good for you!

Thanks, Daniel
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Old October 18th, 2005, 11:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Rudd
I've searched the forum for info on this but haven't found anything... so I'm sorry if this has been already adressed. Maybe someone can point me to the correct post.

Any reccomendations for a mic that will isolate sound very well? I'm shooting a lot of interviews. I'm pretty meticulous about making sure the AC doesn't kick on, and finding quiet places to shoot, but sometimes, you just have to work around that stuff.

So I'm looking for a mic with a very tight pickup pattern that does a great job of rejecting ambient sound.

And it would be great if it could be moderately priced...
no... ...free!
And ice cream should be good for you!

Thanks, Daniel
A mic processor with a gate on it might be better for this type of thing. You can set your sound level threshold and away you go.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 12:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Porter
A mic processor with a gate on it might be better for this type of thing. You can set your sound level threshold and away you go.
Thanks Jerry. I wasn't aware that a processor would be able to differentiate between the voice of my inteview subject and the noises that I don't want.

Daniel
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Old October 18th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #4
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It really doesn't. But, you can set the bottom end of the db that it will pick up. Your subject speaks at a certain level and the ambiant noise, AC kicking on, etc... is usauly significantly lower than that. Set the Gate threshold at the bottom end of your subjects voice and then the only thing your going to get is your subjects voice and very loud ambient noise. This used in conjunction with a tight mic should yeild very good results. Lots of mics will do the trick just find the one you like the best.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 02:32 PM   #5
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gate

please feel free to correct my understanding of a gate.

It only allows sound through, if the sound reaches the specified threshold. However, once the gate "opens" (like when my subject is speaking) it captures *all* the sound equally.

If my understanding is correct, this would help me only when my subject is not speaking. However when my subject is speaking I will still capture the AC or the fan on my laptop, or the squirrells on the roof.

Does this make sense?

However, your idea could definitely save me some valuable time in the editing room (so thanks very much).
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Old October 18th, 2005, 03:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Rudd
please feel free to correct my understanding of a gate.

It only allows sound through, if the sound reaches the specified threshold. However, once the gate "opens" (like when my subject is speaking) it captures *all* the sound equally.

).
No it only opens enough to let the sound level above the preset threshold in. Any sounds below that threshold are not allowed in. It's an attenuation thing not a open or shut thing. So if your talent speaks very softly that might not get let in and you would have to readjust. Keep in mind it's sound relative to the mic so if the sound is on the other side of the room the gate only goes off of what the mic is actually picking up.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 04:38 PM   #7
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As far as the microphone goes, you can look at:

Wired/wireless lav - less distance means better sound. You probably can't get closer than this, unless you make them wear a headset (which is silly).

Hypercardioid mic (on a boom and/or C-stand holding the boom). A shotgun would be more directional, but they sound weird indoors. The top-of-the-line shotguns exhibit that effect less (i.e. sennheiser 416), so they may be fine at 1-2 feet.

2- I don't think a noise gate or post processing is the best solution here. It won't give as good quality as recording things right in the first place, and there are time tradeoffs.

3- Are you by any chance monitoring on headphones? They let you hear everything, so you may be picky about things that your audience can't hear.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 06:58 PM   #8
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buy a schoeps cmc641 hypercardioid. Put it on a boom, lock it down, go to work. DO NOT USE A SHOTGUN.

Ty Ford
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Old October 20th, 2005, 08:41 PM   #9
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Ouch!

OUCH! TY, that's gonna hurt. $1400?
Can this mic make me coffee? Is it really that good?

I was thinking that maybe instead I could use a couple coffee cans connected by a long tight string, and gaffer taped to my on-cam mic.

I'll let the forum know how my client likes the end product.

Seriously though. Is the mic going to improve my audio that much? I'm hurting from my recent upgrade to HD. And does anyone know where one might find one of these used?
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Old October 20th, 2005, 09:02 PM   #10
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Well not coffee, but I think they are powered. Each monitor has it's own built-in power amp.

So you're getting two monitors and a healthy stereo power amp. Does that take the sting out?

It's pretty head turning what you hear when you have real monitors.

Ty

That's of course if you'relooking for monitors, for the hyper, there really isn't anything that sounds like a Schoeps cmc641 for booming indise or for any outdoor uses. It's just an amazingly real and right sounding mic.

A shotgun will give your reach, but you can't use it inside.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 09:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford
Well not coffee, but I think they are powered. Each monitor has it's own built-in power amp.

So you're getting two monitors and a healthy stereo power amp. Does that take the sting out?

It's pretty head turning what you hear when you have real monitors.

Ty
Monitors?? I think you need your microphones to make you a cup of coffee. Did you get your threads mixed up?

I thought we were talking about a hypercardiod microphone.
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Old October 21st, 2005, 05:24 AM   #12
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Trends Baaah

The current trend is to hate on shotgun mics don't ask me why because I don't know. Sennheiser makes great shotguns and although they won't completely cancel out noises such as A/C and refrigerator compressors they will create sufficient off axis rejection that the spl between your subject and background noise can be easily reduced in post. I mean really who is running straight dubs anyways?
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Old October 21st, 2005, 06:59 AM   #13
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I know of no such trend and I've been writing about mics and audio for over 20 years. I've been using them a lot longer.

The use of hypercardioids for internal shooting rather than shotguns has been a standard for at least as many years.

I know of no post procedure that is effective in reducing room ring that doesn't make the audio worse. The :Fix It In The Mix: attitude is just not supported when you can easily get it right during production by using the right mic.

Please explain your comment.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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