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Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:47 PM   #1
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Mic advice for a potential XL2 owner

Hi Everyone,

My first post! Anyways, after lurking around, I realized what I had been looking at for a microphone to invest in for my small video making business, the Sennheiser ME66 with K6 kit, wasn't a good idea.

So, now I need some help from those more experienced. I will be connecting the mic straight to the camera for the foreseeable future until I could potentially look at getting a mixer board, since I'm on a limited budget and I've only got about $700-$750 CAD to play with. I'm looking at a shotgun since I tend to do quite a bit of shooting in environments where ambient noise is heavy (outdoors, office spaces, etc.) and the wireless Mic I had access to in the past picked up so much ambient noise it was worse than the built-in mic on my Sony DCR-HC20. More specifically, I do a lot of interviews.

Is there anything reasonable in that range that won't suck horribly and won't cause me post production issues? I'm looking at purchasing from Vistek.ca since they're canadian and I won't have to worry about customs fees.

Thanks!
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 08:11 PM   #2
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Hello,

I'm an XL2 owner. For your first boomed mic, I'd suggest an AT 4053a or Audix SCX1. Both are hypers and do better in high ambient noise situations than a shotgun. Shotguns are much more omnidirectional at mid and low frequencies.

You'll need the boom, a good shock mount and some wind protection. K-tek makes good stuff that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

I would HEAVILY suggest that you get a mixer. For you, I'd pick the Sound Devices 302. I use their larger 442.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 08:18 PM   #3
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Hi Ty,

Thanks for the input. My selection is a bit limited since I've only found one canadian retailer for equipment. Buying a field mixer kills my computer upgrade budget pretty good...

EDIT: I looked up some gear, so what is your opinion on:
- Rode Microphones Mini Boompole 6.6' Aluminum
- Rode Microphones SM4 Boom Pole Shock Mount NTG1/NTG2
- Shure FP24 2 Channel Preamplifier
- Sennheiser ME64 Mic

The dealer I'm going with doesn't carry either of your recommended mics, how does the Sennheiser ME64 compare in your opinion?

Last edited by Troy Fontaine; May 2nd, 2007 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Adding more information and an additional question.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 10:45 PM   #4
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The 64 is a mid-grade shotgun. If you are in a reflective environment, you don't want a shotgun.

The FP 24 is not a mixer, it's a two channel preamp. I suggest you don't buy bad stuff, but wait until you can buy good stuff.

NTG1 and NTG2 are OK. Not world class, but OK.

Is a 6.6 pole long enough? Maybe for run and gun. Maybe not. You do a wide shot and you can't reach the talent. When I bought my k-tek, I bought a 16 footer, know that if I bought the 12 footer, I'd need 14 feet the next day.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 10:51 PM   #5
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Hi Ty,

Thanks for the advice. I think I'm just going to drop the mic for now and work with the built-in. I'll kick out the investment in a good mic setup with all the accessories when I have the cash. Not perfect, but it will just have to do. I've put up with the crummy onboard of a Sony DCR-HC20 for 3 years, the Canon has to be better than that junk, and I'll hopefully have the cash to splash on new gear next year.

I simply can't budget all of this gear this time.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 04:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Troy Fontaine View Post
Hi Ty,

Thanks for the input. My selection is a bit limited since I've only found one canadian retailer for equipment. Buying a field mixer kills my computer upgrade budget pretty good...

...?
You didn't say who your dealer was, but take a look at Trew Audio's site. They have locations in Toronto and Vancouver and are 100% professional.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:17 AM   #7
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Troy,

Getting away from the on camera mic can be scary, but once you hear the difference, you'll never go back. I promise. You DO need someone to hold (boom) the mic and they need to know what they are doing to get the best results.

If I am doing locked down shots with little motion, I use a boom mic, boom, grip head and light stand with a fishing pole cradle to hold the mic in place. I have a shot video if that in the Video folder of my online archive

How about renting a simple package for a week when you really have time to stick your face in it? I suggest a Sound Devices 302 mixer, Sanken CS3e mic, whatever boom and suspension mount/wind breaker they offer, mixer to camera snake and a pair of Sony MDR7506 headphones. You probably have headphones, but those Sonys are really good for location audio.

You can use other mics than the CS3e, but it does a nice job. I'd also feel very at home with a Schoeps cmc641. It doesn't have the reach, but it sounds great.

Trew is in Toronto and Nashville.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:25 AM   #8
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Take a look at the Rode NT3, if you find a better mic for anywhere near its price you let me know. :)

- Kyle
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:51 AM   #9
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Troy,

...
Trew is in Toronto and Nashville.

...Ty Ford

And just recently opened a Vancouver location as well.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 08:14 AM   #10
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Take a look at the Rode NT3, if you find a better mic for anywhere near its price you let me know. :)

- Kyle
At about 1.5 pounds it's a little heavy, no a LOT heavy for manual booming. Stick it on he end of an eight foot boom and try to hold it. After a week, you'll have Popeye forearms or tennis elbow. :)

By design, boom mics are light. The Sennheiser MKH 416 is less than six ounces. The Schoeps CMIT is less than four ounces. These are boom mics, the weight of the NT3 puts it out of contention.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:43 AM   #11
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Hi Everybody,

The vendor I was looking at is Vistek.ca, I see Trew has a canadian online store...hrmmm...

Buying the proper sound gear as recommended will take me so overbudget I don't think my boss will go for it.

I'm going to contact a business in Winnipeg and get their assistance on this :)
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Fontaine View Post
Hi Everybody,

The vendor I was looking at is Vistek.ca, I see Trew has a canadian online store...hrmmm...

Buying the proper sound gear as recommended will take me so overbudget I don't think my boss will go for it.

I'm going to contact a business in Winnipeg and get their assistance on this :)
I've found Vistek to be more than a little overpriced in many cases. Trew is used to dealing with production pros and they're very helpful. For big box, look in B&H Photo, FullCompass, or Markertek. They all ship to Canada and even after shipping charges they'll usually be a lot cheaper than Vistek. You might also go visit your local Long & McQuade store, if you know what you need they're happy to special order and their pricing is usually pretty good.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:35 AM   #13
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Troy,
I too went through the inevitable decision to by a mic for my XL2. Like you I live in Canada and have less choice than our neighbours to the south in where to buy gear. There is less now that Trew has bought out Location Sound in Vancouver, but here are a few others that are good to deal with:

Audio Services Corp http://www.audioservicescanada.com
BSE (lots of used mics) http://www.bse.on.ca

All the Best
Jon Goodman
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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #14
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Hi everyone,

I figured I'd give an update on what I went with.

Since my budget was already stressed, I've gone with an EDIROL R-09 along with a variety of accessories (table stand and case, mic set and the carrying kit), since it fit nicely with my interview style. I'm certain that this will fit my needs for the near future and once I get more business (and am able to handle it) I'll hire some people to crew with me and start getting gear suitable for a crew to handle (boom mics, etc.) since it is just me at this point, and a volunteer (I can drag one staff person with me if I need to), and I only need the added help when I'm shooting outside or somewhere that I need to use the mic kit.

it's not a field mixer by any stretch, and it isn't as capable, but I think it will fit my needs just fine and kept me in my budget.

Thanks everyone for all your input :)
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:23 AM   #15
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So you bought a hand-held MP3 recorder/player with onboard stereo mics to record on-camera interviews?

That's very inventive. I don't see the benefit over using the stereo mic that comes with the XL2, but best of luck.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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