Microphone recommendations at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 29th, 2007, 11:16 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
Microphone recommendations

I need a microphone to record people speaking at the podium. There is often a separate mic used for amplification so they often don't speak directly into mine and if they're doing a slide show they can be a couple of feet away. Btw, wireless lav don't work well because if there are multiple speakers its impractical for me interrupt the event and re-wire each speaker.

I would also like to use it as a hand held for short reaction interviews during crowded noisy events.

I currently own a very nice Audio Technica AT825, but it doesn't work well with my setup because its stereo. When a stereo mic is plugged into one of my Sony Z1 xlr inputs the other one can't be used. When I do an event I like to use two microphones.

Anyways, I was considering Shure SM58 or ElectroVoice ND367S (not sure if their audible quality difference between theses two). My only concern is that is it sensitive enough? Isn't it designed for concerts/speeches where person holds it close to their mouth and speaks/sings loudly? I also thought a shotgun would be to directional and impractical for hand held interviews.

I also noticed the shure sm58 is offered with with or without a on/off switch. whats the deal?

Suggestions or input greatly appreciated.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 30th, 2007, 02:11 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 111
My vote goes to the AKG C1000S. It's dual powered, phantom or a 9V battery.

Being a condenser microphone it is more sensitive than a Shure SM58 (dynamic). And is pretty handy for interviews.
http://www.americanmusical.com/item-...000SK44PK.html
Hsien Yong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 30th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
You could simply turn your AT825 on its side, pointing a little high and just plug in the appropriate capsule that's now facing the presenter. It doesn't have to be used as a stereo mic, but you would need to pay strict attention to the XY pattern and use the correct capsule and XLR plug for how you've placed the mic.
There are also newer AT condenser cardioids that could do double-duty for "not-close-up-at-the-podium" and interview. The new versions of the Artist Series are supposed to be immune from cellphone interference and have a good balance of sensitivity and low self-noise. I don't think they have any dual-powered mics in that line like the previous ATM31a, which is still available and would also work. It's essentially one-half of an AT825 in a conventional body.
One of the newer models would be the ATM710.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 30th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hsien Yong View Post
My vote goes to the AKG C1000S. It's dual powered, phantom or a 9V battery.

Being a condenser microphone it is more sensitive than a Shure SM58 (dynamic). And is pretty handy for interviews.
http://www.americanmusical.com/item-...000SK44PK.html
thx for the recommendation, seems like it matches what i'm looking for. I put in a order and let you know how it turns out.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 30th, 2007, 06:47 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
Posts: 287
In no particular order...

The SM58 is offered with an off-on switch because it is used a lot in voice amplification applications where you may not have easy access to the amplifier controls and would like to turn off the mic feed to the system. For your application, it would not be a feature.

An approach you can use if you have multiple people speaking at a podium is to tape your lav alongside the podium mic. You will get a good recording of whoever is speaking into the podium mic without the need to rewire each speaking. This may get a little tricky if the podium setup uses a wireless handheld microphone.

The standard mics for handheld use in broadcast are the ElectroVoice RE50 and the Sennheiser MD46. The SM58 is designed for vocal performances and has a boost to the mid-range along with a cardiod pickup pattern. All of these are dynamic microphones. Pretty much bullet proof and they need no power.

Another option would be a modular mic system like AKG's 'Blueline' series. You can get a cardiod capsule for applications like this and a shotgun capsule for situations where you would like to better reject noise from the sides. Sennheiser's K6 modular microphones are aother popular choice that has a high output level for direct to camera applications, and they can be battery powered where the AKG's require phantom power. Personally, I like the sound of the Blueline mics better, but the Sennheiser's may work better for you.
Ralph Keyser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 1st, 2007, 04:51 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Keyser View Post
In no particular order...

The SM58 is offered with an off-on switch because it is used a lot in voice amplification applications where you may not have easy access to the amplifier controls and would like to turn off the mic feed to the system. For your application, it would not be a feature.
so does that mean mics that have a switch have a battery for amplification and if you leave it on it will go dead? the mics without a switch aren't battery operated but need to be phantom powered?

I don't mind batteries if it helps give a strong clean signal but i hate having to remember to replace batteries for every event especially when i go wireless. the receiver takes two batteries, base transmitter takes one, mic takes another, and if i use a lav thats another. its really easy to forget to turn them off and then your really screwed. Plus all of these devices only work with throw away alkaline, bad for the environment, costly, and end up having to buy in enough for bulk for savings but not too much that they expire. then you always got to store them some where and check your inventory so you don't run out. At my last event i put all new batteries in the night before but the transmitter switch got bumped on inside my video bag, so when i get to the event it worked for 5 min then died.



Quote:
An approach you can use if you have multiple people speaking at a podium is to tape your lav alongside the podium mic. You will get a good recording of whoever is speaking into the podium mic without the need to rewire each speaking. This may get a little tricky if the podium setup uses a wireless handheld microphone.
dam thats a good idea oh well i can always use that in a pinch if something goes wrong.

Quote:
The standard mics for handheld use in broadcast are the ElectroVoice RE50 and the Sennheiser MD46. The SM58 is designed for vocal performances and has a boost to the mid-range along with a cardiod pickup pattern. All of these are dynamic microphones. Pretty much bullet proof and they need no power.

Another option would be a modular mic system like AKG's 'Blueline' series. You can get a cardiod capsule for applications like this and a shotgun capsule for situations where you would like to better reject noise from the sides. Sennheiser's K6 modular microphones are aother popular choice that has a high output level for direct to camera applications, and they can be battery powered where the AKG's require phantom power. Personally, I like the sound of the Blueline mics better, but the Sennheiser's may work better for you.
thx for the advice, i already made my purchase. blue line sounds nice but way out of my price range.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 1st, 2007, 08:25 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
Basically you need to read the manufacturer's instructions for each mic to know for sure how it operates.
A switch on a dynamic mic like an SM58 is just used to turn off the sound coming from the mic. Think of it as a MUTE switch rather than turning any kind of power off or on. There aren't any batteries in a dynamic mic.
Some battery-powered mics have a switch for the battery, others don't have a switch. Some of them also have a mute switch but others don't.
Some phantom powered mics also have mute switches, but not many. And they won't ever have a power switch because that would make a huge "thump" in the sound when phantom power is interrupted. Again, it varies from mic to mic.

Batteries are a way of life in this business... It's just something that has to be done as part of the job.

Back to my original comment on just using one channel of your AT825. Why don't you think that will work with your Z1, leaving the other XLR input for use with a second mic? I've done this many times with the AT825, but not with a Z1. I do have a several other Sony DVCAM cameras though. As long as you point one capsule of the mic correctly and use the correct XLR output, it's perfectly fine and will give you performance about like the C1000s will.

There can be two problems with mounting a lav on the podium mic. The worst is the presenter who constantly handles the mic. The second is the potential for a hum if any metal from your mic touches any metal of the mounted mic or gooseneck in a facility with poor wiring. I like to keep my recording mic separate from the PA mic if I can. I've even put small notes on the recording mic saying "You won't hear yourself on this mic, it's recording you". The story behind that one is too long to tell here...

I have an AT2021 on order. It's a relatively inexpensive mic but only available as a package with an AT2020. It has very good specs but I'll let everyone know if it lives up to that for use in this type of podium situation. It should have much lower self-noise than the C1000s.
The ATM710 is about $30 less than the AKG and has more sensitivity. It also has a vocal type grill and pop filter system for interviews.
Let us know how the AKG compares to using one channel of the AT825 if you set up a test.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:43 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
Basically you need to read the manufacturer's

Back to my original comment on just using one channel of your AT825. Why don't you think that will work with your Z1, leaving the other XLR input for use with a second mic? I've done this many times with the AT825, but not with a Z1. I do have a several other Sony DVCAM cameras though. As long as you point one capsule of the mic correctly and use the correct XLR output, it's perfectly fine and will give you performance about like the C1000s will.
thx for the switch info. that clarifies the matter greatly. i'll have to read the manual on my mic.

As for my problem with the stereo mic. I'll retest it to make sure but I've found when you try to combine a stereo mic with a mono mic the camera will only accept input from one of the mics can't remember which. Either the stereo mic grabs both channels or the mono mic takes one and the camera rejects the stereo mic because only one channel is available. I'll try it again.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:03 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Posts: 711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofran View Post
I need a microphone to record people speaking at the podium. There is often a separate mic used for amplification so they often don't speak directly into mine and if they're doing a slide show they can be a couple of feet away. Btw, wireless lav don't work well because if there are multiple speakers its impractical for me interrupt the event and re-wire each speaker.

I would also like to use it as a hand held for short reaction interviews during crowded noisy events.

I currently own a very nice Audio Technica AT825, but it doesn't work well with my setup because its stereo. When a stereo mic is plugged into one of my Sony Z1 xlr inputs the other one can't be used. When I do an event I like to use two microphones.

Anyways, I was considering Shure SM58 or ElectroVoice ND367S (not sure if their audible quality difference between theses two). My only concern is that is it sensitive enough? Isn't it designed for concerts/speeches where person holds it close to their mouth and speaks/sings loudly? I also thought a shotgun would be to directional and impractical for hand held interviews.

I also noticed the shure sm58 is offered with with or without a on/off switch. whats the deal?

Suggestions or input greatly appreciated.
This may be a bit of divergence, but have you considered:
1) using two mics at the podium?
2) investing in a small 4 - 6 channel mic mixer to feed your camera?

If you use two mics at the podium, angled at 45 degrees to the speaker's anticipated position behind the podium, then you will always get a steady audio signal.

An audio mixer will allow you to adjust/shut off any incoming audio signal and feeds out in stereo. It is a really easy way to add more audio signals to a camera's limit of 2 channels @ 48k. Several manufacturers make mic mixers to serve your needs. Alessys, Behringer, Samson, Peavy, Shure are just a few. NADY used to make a 6 or 8 channel min/line rack mounted mixer for less than $200 that occupied only 2" of rack space. Great tool if you do not need precise tone controls on each incoming channel. When one uses an audio mixer, a wireless system is just another incoming channel. Great oportunities for flexibility!

Rewire speaker? Have two wireless systems. Problem solved. Mixer helps.

Any microphone will perform at its best when you use it within design limitations. I can easily make a super cheap microphone surpass a super expensive microphone if I use one within its design limits and push the other well beyond its design limits. Dynamic microphones generate signal based upon the sound waves that impact their pickup elements. The closer the audio source, the stronger the signal. The more distant the audio source, the weaker the signal. Condenser microphones need an external power source, battery or phantom, and are more sensitive in many respects. However, the physics of position between sound source and microphone doesn't change. Closer is stronger, distant is weaker.

I spent 25 years as a media specialist in the meetings/conventions industry. Most of what we did was public speaking. Shure SM 58 and 57 mics were standard issue to almost every office. Indeed, the SM58 and SM 57 are legend mics. Virtually all other microphones are measured against these mics when examining performance specs. Because both of these mics are dynamic, there is a limit to acceptable distance from the sound source. My experience is about 2 feet on average. Still, I've been able (with a good bit of tweaking in post with analog equipment) retrieved acceptable speech from as far as 12 feet from a SM58.

If you must, you can combine your AT stero mic down to mono with an inexpensive Y-Adapter.

SAM58's are wonderful interview mics, if you are willing to deal with their directionality. It is a scenario of ask the question, move the mic to pick up the answer, move the mic back to ask the question, move the mic to get the answer, etc. An omni- handheld, like the EV 630 series, might be better.

On/Off switches are options on just about every mic made, and they are an absolute pain when your job is to record what is happening. None of my SM58's have these switches, because the decision of what gets kept is mine.

Lastly, a shotgun mic might be the perfect tool for interviews. But you are going to have to learn how to use it effectively. I don't use them, so I can't offer any pointers.

Hope my opinions have been of value.
__________________
Waldemar
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:50 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
seems like lately i've been covering a lot of slide show events where the speaker turns towards the screen and then back to the audience. obviously this situation would be better suited to a lav.

There almost always amped so mic placement doesn't have to be on top of the person. I made the mistake of the last event of putting the mic on a stand next to the camera. Unfortunately because it was next to the audience it picked up chatter of these ppl. So next time i'll make sure i put it next to the podium and that way it will at least pick up the amp and not the audience.

I didn't realize you could convert a stereo mic to mono. As you can tell I don't know a lot about the audio end.

One of the most annoying things I've found about these events is that i often don't anticipate correctly what going to happen. Like I did a church memorial service and didn't realize there were two podiums on either side of the altar, so of course I mic up the wrong one. When I was setting up all the lights were dimmed so I didn't see the other podium.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2007, 08:26 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
I finally figured out what was going on. First of all it was my fault I had the incorrect settings in the menu. But I've got to say the way Sony has setup the Z1u menu its easy to make a mistake.

Inside the Menu, in the audio section, there's Audio Moni menu, here you can select channels 1, 2 or 1,2. But whats not obvious is that there is a more important menu buried down in another section that controls how the camera will deal with the xlr inputs. So if you exit out of this menu and scroll down to the bottom and open the XLR Set menu and then XLR CH SEL menu you will find settings to the xlr inputs. So if you use a mono shotgun and send it to both channels the second xlr input gets turned off. So even if you have channel 1 and 2 selected in the other menu you will only get audio from the first channel. Even though you can view a status screen, this setting isn't displayed.

In addition, I had set in another menu the xlr input 2 to line when I did a previous shoot and forgot to set it back.

I also I discovered that because the ATT822 is battery powered there is a small switch next to the XLR input that needs to be set to phantom power off. If this switch isn't set correctly the mic will not work.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2007, 08:35 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
I figured it was probably a switch and/or menu setting. But do you have the AT825 or the AT822? The 825 will work with phantom but not the 822.
Do you have your C1000S yet?
In my preliminary tests, both the AT2020 and AT2021 sound very good but I haven't thoroughly tried either one in a real-world environment to see if they are quiet enough, sensitive enough and flat enough to recommend for area coverage for video.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
I figured it was probably a switch and/or menu setting. But do you have the AT825 or the AT822? The 825 will work with phantom but not the 822.
Do you have your C1000S yet?
In my preliminary tests, both the AT2020 and AT2021 sound very good but I haven't thoroughly tried either one in a real-world environment to see if they are quiet enough, sensitive enough and flat enough to recommend for area coverage for video.
I have the AT822 (since the model # are so close I got confused). The C1000s hadn't been delivered yet so I notified the FedEx to return it. I'm going to use the money towards paying off my camera. This whole situation forced me to learn more about microphones, their application, and how they interact with my camera.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2007, 10:37 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
I figured it was probably a switch and/or menu setting. But do you have the AT825 or the AT822? The 825 will work with phantom but not the 822.
Do you have your C1000S yet?
In my preliminary tests, both the AT2020 and AT2021 sound very good but I haven't thoroughly tried either one in a real-world environment to see if they are quiet enough, sensitive enough and flat enough to recommend for area coverage for video.
Jay,

The ATs were not designed for video use.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:11 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network