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Old June 14th, 2006, 12:29 PM   #1
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Mic for feature length movie.

Hello everyone. I am shooting my first feature length this summer and I need to get my hands on a decent mic for dialogue.
I was considering a Audio-Technica ATR55 Shotgun but I need a really long cord as I will be using the zoom in technique for short DOF.
Can anyone suggest a mic that will fit an 1/8th plug, with a long cord, and good audio in the same price range?
Thanks
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Old June 14th, 2006, 02:24 PM   #2
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I own a ATR55 and Im looking for a replacement (under $150), because the quality is complete crap. The built-in mic sounds much better (I use a vx2100).
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Old June 14th, 2006, 03:01 PM   #3
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I've had good and bad results with the ATR55, but I always got the dialogue. I was so blown away by how bad the camera mics were, when I did my first wedding. I couldn't get the B&G exchanging vows7 ft in front of me, but picked up the click and snap of every disposable camera 15 ft behind me.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 03:13 PM   #4
 
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If you're doing anything that requires critical audio, the ATR55 (and everything else in it's class) isn't worth consideration at any level. You're better off with a stick-on mic from the computer store if it can be put close to the subject.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #5
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Douglas, what non-xlr shotgun mic would you recommend?
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Old June 14th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #6
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It's okay if it's non-xlr, you could go with a Beachtek, or a series of adaptors (XLR -> 1/4" TRS -> 1/8" Mini Stero.


Or those Sima things... I cant speak for the quality but it should get the job done...

for feature legnth, I wouldnt want to sit through bad audio... depending on the content, you could get a decent sounding mic that wouldnt sicken the audience for too bad. I had to judge an amateur film-fest once... went home deaf and nauseated.


btw, if you go with an XLR mic - you get "limitless" extension by natural cords...vs. reapted 1/8" extensors.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 04:28 AM   #7
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Im looking for a camera mounted shotgun mic... so there is really no point of getting a XLR adapter for me. 1/8" will do just fine, its just that I cant find anything in the $100-200 range.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #8
 
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First, no camera-mounted mic will do the job, and regardless of price, will usually be barely one step above the built in mic. Particularly for "feature film."
Mics MUST be close to the source in order to do their job properly. There is no "zoom" feature on a mic like there is on a lens.

Second, consider used mics. That'll save you grief, and buy you a lot more mic for 100.00 than you'll otherwise obtain. A quick search on Ebay brought up more mics than I expected, at decent prices.
To my knowledge, only Azden makes a sub 200.00 shotgun, and I wouldn't touch their mics with a 10 foot boom for any kind of reasonable audio work.
Rode and AT are significantly better choices in the low end.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 11:16 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions Douglas, but I do not need it for a feature, most of my projects are more documentary style, so walking around with a boom pole is out of the question. I just require a good uni-directional mic, that will let me shoot in busy places.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 03:05 PM   #10
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It doesn't really matter whether you are doing feature work or documentary work, your mic needs to be within 2 feet (maybe a bit more under the right circumstances) of the speaker's mouth to get really good audio. In fact, given the fact that there is no ADR in documentary film, audio might be MORE important to documentary work. The spot for the best audio and the spot for the best video are seldom the same, and that's the reason that you won't find recommendations for on-camera microphones.

For one-man-band operations, the usual solutions are 1) lav microphone on the speaker (wireless is nice, but real $$ for even low-budget solutions) or 2) a microphone stand to hold the mic close to the speaker.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 03:45 PM   #11
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I have an ATR55 and get good sound from it by placing it as close to the subject as possible...which is true for any microphone. The purpose of shotgun mics isn't so much "reach" as off axis noise reduction. Any mic you use should be within a foot or two of the speaker to get good usable sound. I'd invest in some ATR288w wireless + lavs.

I just used my set of these in a shoot (I have 4 units 2 from each frequency range, so I can mic 4 at a time if necessary - two camera situations). They sound great for the $$$. They are also inconspicuous, so you can hide them in clothing...a little white paint and they're ready for bridal use as well. I connect them to my XL1s by means of a 1/8" > rca adapter and run sound out of the reciever into audio 1 for 16bit recording.
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Last edited by Cole McDonald; June 15th, 2006 at 03:47 PM. Reason: added clarification
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Old June 15th, 2006, 04:23 PM   #12
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I appreciate your suggestions, but this isn't a conventional "documentary", where I would sit down with the speaker. Most of the stuff Im shooting is 1 take, under most unusual circumstances, so wireless microphones, boom poles, and etc are out of the question. I need a camera-mounted mic, nothing more, or less.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #13
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Yegor, are you shooting indoors, outdoors, or
both?
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Old June 15th, 2006, 06:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yegor Sak
I own a ATR55 and Im looking for a replacement (under $150), because the quality is complete crap. The built-in mic sounds much better (I use a vx2100).
At under $150, the most obvious choice given your requirements i think has to be Rode Videomic at $149. nice quality, integral shockmount, sneaks under your budget by $0.05...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=363083&is=REG

Get one - i think you'll be pleased.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 06:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yegor Sak
I appreciate your suggestions, but this isn't a conventional "documentary", where I would sit down with the speaker. Most of the stuff Im shooting is 1 take, under most unusual circumstances, so wireless microphones, boom poles, and etc are out of the question. I need a camera-mounted mic, nothing more, or less.
Then you will have to go with the best shotgun you can afford and know that your sound will have some issues. Sorry, with an omni, you'll get every thing around you, with a hyper cardioid, you get everything in its path. Generally, you hang it from a boom to make it point across the subject toward the ground or under pointing to the sky. This is to minimize the sound sources in its path. A windsock put over it will diffuse the path of the wind to eliminate the wind sound as much as possible.

Good luck, maybe somebody has some other ideas for this.
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