Concert audience mic: Rode NT1 or Shure SM57 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 22nd, 2005, 12:18 PM   #1
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Concert audience mic: Rode NT1 or Shure SM57

I'm videotaping a benefit concert tonight for Habitat for Humanity. It's 4 different bands and is being held in a church that seats somewhere between 200-400 people. I'm not sure what kind of music they'll play, but I highly doubt it's death metal or anything especially loud like that.

I'm using my GL2 and will be locked-off at the sound board. Since I don't have access to a second camera, there will be no run-and-gun footage, only this one (sigh). Anyway, I already plan to get one audio feed from the sound board and want to mix in some ambient audience noise. I own a Rode NT-1 and a Shure SM-57. Which mic should I use and how would you recommend I use it?

This gig was on really short notice so assume I have to choose from the equipment I already own; borrowing or buying additional equipment is not a realistic option.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 06:48 PM   #2
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a shotgun aimed at the crowd would be best, but if I only had the 2 the SM57 because it is a little more focused than the NT1. Put it on a high stand in front of the band and aim it at the crowd. Off to the side as to not interfeer with the perfomance, but not in front of the speakers.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 11:22 PM   #3
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Follow-up

The concert went well. I decided to take both mics and test them out. I ended up using the on-board mic of my GL2. First of all, the Rode NT1 needs phantom power and I was not able to supply it. The SM57 probably would have worked if I had a mic pre-amp, but I didn't, so I barely heard anything through it.

Using isolation headphones (that I use when playing drums), I was able to hear pretty good audio coming from the on-board mic. Since the sound guys did a great job with the house mix, the natural sound of the band and the audience came through just fine. Basically my GL2 recorded what the audience heard. The environment was acoustically decent and the sound was mixed well, so it worked out okay.

In the future I'll remember to take my Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer and plug in a real microphone. Lessons learned.

One more thing: I found the following challenges:

1. I had only one camera; three would be ideal -- one locked off and two roaming run-and-gun style.

2. It's dark so I had to do everything I could to let as much light into the camera lens as possible.

3. Depending on the location, it's very important to get your locked-off camera well above the audience's head. When it's dark, the auto-focus had a helluva time figuring what to focus on -- the band or the back of some tall audience member's head.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 07:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Williamson
3. Depending on the location, it's very important to get your locked-off camera well above the audience's head. When it's dark, the auto-focus had a helluva time figuring what to focus on -- the band or the back of some tall audience member's head.
The next time use manual focus. Especially if the camera is locked down. Just zoom into a microphone on the empty stage and either set your focus manually, or let the camera auto focus and then set it to manual mode. Now zoom back out. Thatís it. All shots in between will remain in focus and no oneís head will trip the auto focus (because itís off) to get in your way again. (I learned this the hard way ;-) but never use manual focus in a lock-down situation anymore)

~jr
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Old October 24th, 2005, 08:36 AM   #5
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Manual focus on locked-down shots

Actually, using manual focus is what I realized needed to be done early on. I had to change a couple of times as the main singer roamed around, but for the most part, once the focus was set, it stayed. Good suggestion, though, and I'm glad you brought it up because I forgot to mention it.
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