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Old September 15th, 2006, 09:47 AM   #1
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Upgrade Mic on PD 170

I am looking to upgrade my shotgun Mic on the PD-170 to something a little better.

Almost 90% of my Video will be outdoors...I am working for a outdoor TV show.

I am wondering if I can get some suggestions.

I am looking at getting one of the following.

Rode NTG-1
Rode NTG-2
AT-897 (I think that is right)
Sennheiser ME 66

I think the ME 66 is the most expensive but is it worth the extra money...I have heard good things about the Rode as well.

I also have Sennheiser Wireless Mics for interviews.

What I am looking for is something I can point at an animal walking in the woods and pick up the crunching of the leaves as it walks. Or point at a Turkey 40 yards away and pick up the gobble. But not pick up a whole bunch of other noise around me.

Thanks for any help!!!!
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Old September 15th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Crumb
I am looking to upgrade my shotgun Mic on the PD-170 to something a little better.

...
What I am looking for is something I can point at an animal walking in the woods and pick up the crunching of the leaves as it walks. Or point at a Turkey 40 yards away and pick up the gobble. But not pick up a whole bunch of other noise around me.

Thanks for any help!!!!
IMHO none of the mics you mention is going to be much good picking up distant animal footsteps or turkey gobbles. Young critters tend to learn to move quietly or they don't become old critters <grin> and shotgun mics are NOT like a telephoto lens - they don't magnify sounds. They supress sounds arriving from off axis and let you boost the gain a little as a result but I doubt they'll help much in what you want to do, especially if mounted on the camera, since boosting the gain will also amplify wind noise, camera handling noise, etc. I'd suggest you investigate what is called a parabolic mic, sometime called "spy microphones" - birders use them a lot to record bird calls. They have a mic element at the focus of a parabolic reflector and they really do magnify faint sounds like distant footfalls on leaves etc.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 12:11 PM   #3
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Ok...let me re-phrase it then.

Out of the shotgun Mics I have listed....what one is the best and is the ME-66 worth the extra money.

I may have exagerated a little bit in thinking I can go out to 40 yards...but I have heard deer walking in the woods before on these TV shows so I know it can be picked up...and I am almost certain they did not have a parabolic Mic in the tree with them. You would be surprised how far away you can hear a deer walking in the woods on crunchy leaves. Anyway....back to the question at hand.

I am just looking to upgrade my stock shotgun mic and have a few choices..what one would be best...cheapest or best bang for the buck.

Thanks again
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Old September 15th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Edward Crumb
Ok...let me re-phrase it then.

Out of the shotgun Mics I have listed....what one is the best and is the ME-66 worth the extra money.

I may have exagerated a little bit in thinking I can go out to 40 yards...but I have heard deer walking in the woods before on these TV shows so I know it can be picked up...and I am almost certain they did not have a parabolic Mic in the tree with them. You would be surprised how far away you can hear a deer walking in the woods on crunchy leaves. Anyway....back to the question at hand.

I am just looking to upgrade my stock shotgun mic and have a few choices..what one would be best...cheapest or best bang for the buck.

Thanks again
Fair enough. All 4 are excellent mics. If you HAD to put them into some order, I'd probably rank them bottom to top: AT, Rodes, Senn. The NTG-1 and NTG-2 are essentially the same mic - the -1 requires phantom power while the -2 can operate on either external phantom or its own internal battery. The business ends of both mics are identical. So your decision between the Rodes basically boils down to a matter of whether you have phantom power available or not.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 12:45 PM   #5
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Ok...thank you!!!

Being that the Senne is about 2-300 more than the Rode...is the Rode comparable or is the ME-66 that much better for the money and worth saving the extra money to buy.

I really appreciate your feedback!!!!

Thanks
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Old September 15th, 2006, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Crumb
Being that the Senne is about 2-300 more than the Rode...is the Rode comparable or is the ME-66 that much better for the money and worth saving the extra money to buy.
I actually think the Rodes sound far better than the ME66, and I'm not alone in that assessment. The ME66 can be very midrangey and tinny-sounding. The Rodes have a far flatter response curve, which just sounds a lot better to me.

The oft-linked-to DvEstore shotgun shootout is a good way to hear the differences between all of the mics you mentioned.

I still think that Steve's suggestion of a parabolic mic, for the purposes of nature videography, is a good one. You may be able to hear that turkey's footsteps 40 ft. away with a shotgun, but you'll also hear every mosquito, gust of wind, or chirping bird within a mile radius by the time you crank up the gain enough to get those turkey sounds.
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Last edited by Jarrod Whaley; September 15th, 2006 at 04:16 PM.
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