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Old June 29th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #1
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Best bang for the buck shotgun microphone

Hey fellas,

Having bought an XL-2 a couple of months ago and noticing the horrible quality of audio that comes with the standard canon microphone I want to invest my money into a shotgun microphone that would enhance the quality of audio for a short film that I want to shoot soon. My budget is basically $250-$300 US for a shotgun microphone set (Possibly including a boom pole, shock mount and windmuff) that would fit my needs and price budget. I have been looking everywhere and since I am not an audio buff i'm turning to you guys for some help.

Any reccomendations of kits/microphones would be greatly appreciated!
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Old June 29th, 2006, 08:37 PM   #2
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Not sure of the exact prices but I think the
Rode Videomic and the Rode boompole combo
is around $300. Not sure what the wind
options are for the Videomic but I'm sure others
here know.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 08:49 PM   #3
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I've been doing a little bit of research and from my previous purchase of the Tiffen Steady Stick from Guy at DVEstore i'm thinking of purchasing the RODE NTG-2 shotgun microphone from him, except he doesn't sell any boompole microphone kits...
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Old June 29th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #4
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It's all right here:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...hs=t&shs=ntg-2
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Old June 30th, 2006, 03:29 AM   #5
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You add all this stuff up and it comes to about
$300, which was the op's budget:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...t&shs=videomic

That Videomic has a shock mount built in.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 05:23 AM   #6
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AT 897.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 09:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Largent
You add all this stuff up and it comes to about
$300, which was the op's budget:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...t&shs=videomic

That Videomic has a shock mount built in.
Dave,

The Videomic doesn't have XLR though, im looking for a microphone that can go for long distances without any noises.

Thanks for your great help guys.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #8
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Take a look at this comparison:
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...tgun_mics.html

I've got the AT815b here at work. I find it to be VERY thin sounding. I think the challenge of finding a good low-cost shotgun is getting a decent bass response. You can't rely on the proximity effect when keeping the mic out of the video frame.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 02:22 PM   #9
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For the budget, a RODE Videomic with the VXLR (1/8" mini to XLR adapter), "Deadcat" windmuff, 20' XLR cable and a RODE Boompole could be had for $295. http://www.dvcreators.net/dvcreator-...und-package-2/

You can hear what the RODE Videomic sounds like on a 20' XLR Cable (minus the deadcat) at http://dvestore.com/theatre/mics_guide.html

Also see http://www.dvcreators.net/dvcreator-...und-package-1/

BTW, we're also a DVinfo.net Sponsor so be comfortable knowing your dollars go back to supporting the DV Challenge where we have given away many cool items such as Canon cameras, BeachTek audio adapters, Video iPods, DVD's, Steady Sticks and more! DVinfo.net members can always use the coupon code "dvinfo" at checkout and receive another 5% off too.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 11:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for the swift reply Guy, the VideoMic package you posted seems very reasonable in terms of price and contents. Are you sure the VideoMic's shock absorber will fit fine on the Rode Boompole? Because from the looks of it, it wouldn't look to sturdy if its mounted on there. And what about mobility of the shock absorber? For instance I might want to point the VideoMic 90 degrees from the elevation of the boompole to get a downwards audio feed, will it allow me to do that?

Thanks for the other responses guys, I appreciate all your suggestions.
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Old July 1st, 2006, 12:33 AM   #11
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It is certainly sturdy. Some have noticed squeaking from the rubber rings on the Videomic. We've found a bit of household oil or silicon will cease that if you find you're really jiggling the mic around abruptly. The bottom of the Videomic has a metal place where the boom pole threads into. It is indeed solid and tough. You will need to secure (gaff tape or something creative) the VXLR adapter as it will definitely go flying around.

The Videomic at the end of the pole is not swivel adjustable like the SM3 Shockmount is. You're basically stuck at a 90 degree angle.

The next system to check out for a bit more money would be the $249 RODE NTG-2 shotgun with the SM3. Then you can angle the mic wherever you wish. http://www.dvcreators.net/dvcreator-...und-package-1/
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Old July 1st, 2006, 05:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shervin Mandgaryan
Dave,

The Videomic doesn't have XLR though, im looking for a microphone that can go for long distances without any noises.

Thanks for your great help guys.
Just FYI - If by "go for long distances" you're talking about having the mic located a long distance from the subject, such mics don't exist. If you're talking about having the mic on the camera at usual shooting distances, it just won't work out very well with any microphone. For good quality sound, the mic - even a top of the line shotgun mic - has to be within a couple of feet at most, optimally about 12-18 inches, from the sound source. With the exception of specialized parabolic "spy" microphones, the acoustic equivalent of an image-magnifying telephoto lens just isn't physically possible.

XLR connectors imply balanced cables which are much more immune from electrical noise that are unbalanced cables like on the Videomic, so if by "long distances" you mean long cable runs between the mic and the camera without picking up interference that's another story. But the Rodes mini-to-XLR adapter is a simple plug adapter, not a balancing transformer and using it at the mic to connect to an XLR cable running to the camera or mixer does not mean you now have a balanced system. XLR cables or not, the whole system will still be unbalanced and will not have the high level of noise immunity usually associated with professional balanced XLR mics and cables. OF course most XLR extrension cables would use better quality mic cable and so you'll probably still be better off than if you used a cheapo Radio Shack stereo-headphone style miniplug extension cables.
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Last edited by Steve House; July 1st, 2006 at 09:07 AM.
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Old July 1st, 2006, 08:30 AM   #13
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For under $300 I would recommend the Audio-Technica AT897. It is much better than the Rode VideoMic (I own both) and B&H has it in a kit together with a Rode SM3 Universal Shock Mount and XLR Right Angle Cable for only $269.95 USD. This is a great deal.

~jr
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Old July 1st, 2006, 09:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
so if by "long distances" you mean long cable runs between the mic and the camera without picking up interference that's another story.
Hey Steve,

That was exactly what I was referring to, I know that it sounds quite idiotic if I am thinking that a shotgun microphone would pick up a person maybe 20 to 15 feet away.

Right now I am kind of debating whether to go with the Rode Videomic or the Rode NTG-2 or the AT-897. Basically for me its either an inexpensive Videomic setup, or an expensive high quality "XLR out of the box" audio setup.

Again I thank you ALL for your responses, this discussion board is probobly the best I have been to in a while in terms of quality of posts and suggestions!
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Old July 1st, 2006, 09:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shervin Mandgaryan
Right now I am kind of debating whether to go with the Rode Videomic or the Rode NTG-2 or the AT-897. Basically for me its either an inexpensive Videomic setup, or an expensive high quality "XLR out of the box" audio setup.
My recommendation would be to either get the Rode NTG-2 or AT897. Forget the VideoMic. Look at it this way, if you get the VideoMic you will want to upgrade to a better mic someday. Will you go from a $150 VideoMic to a $500 mic? Probably not. So you will eventually buy a $250 mic like the NTG-2 or AT897 eventually anyway. Why not just buy it now since it’s within your budget (AT897 is $269.95). In the end you will have a much better mic.

I’m not knocking the VideoMic. I own one and it sounds great for the money (...for the money!). But not as great as the AT897 and it is constructed of plastic and has a 1/8” jack because it’s unbalanced. IMHO this severely limits its usefulness for professional use. The VideoMic was intended as a consumer camcorder mic and priced (and built) accordingly. In that role it absolutely shines. Nothing can touch it for $150. It was exactly what I needed for my $500 consumer Panasonic GS200. It is not what I would use with your $3000 XL-2! Spring the extra $100 and get a descent mic that you will use for years to come, now.

~jr
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