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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:09 PM   #1
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Rode VideoMic or NTG-1 for distance?

What kind of distances can I shoot at and get a decent monologue with these mics? Which is better for shooting from around 5-6 feet? I heard some samples on this page:

http://pana3ccduser.com/article.php?...%98DE-Videomic

Where a guy stood 5 feet away using the VideoMic and it sounded pretty good to me.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mike Costantini View Post
What kind of distances can I shoot at and get a decent monologue with these mics? Which is better for shooting from around 5-6 feet? I heard some samples on this page:

http://pana3ccduser.com/article.php?...%98DE-Videomic

Where a guy stood 5 feet away using the VideoMic and it sounded pretty good to me.
I know this sounds nit-picky but years ago I worked for a company who's founder's motto was "Good enough, never is" and I'm afraid that colours what I think of when I read the phrase "sounded pretty good." Put on a pair of good headphones and listen again ... there's a lot of room reverb and what I think of as "remoteness" (for want of a better term) that I find unacceptable for dramatic dialog in the voice recording at 5 feet. He sounds like he's recording while in the shower or while sitting in a barrel. But note that is NOT a criticism of the mic, it's just that the mic is too far away from him. Shotgun mics are not the audio version of telephoto lenses and 5 feet is beyond the optimal recording range of any short shotgun that I'm aware of, at that's what the Videomic is. Don't get me wrong, both of the Rode mics are good mics. But for good dialog recording either one of them will have to be closer to the talent than the 5 feet this demo was recorded at, probably more on the order of 3 feet. For 5 you're going to need to be in a very well controlled environment such as a soundstage and even there you may be pushing it. If you're looking to record at 5 feet or 6 feet from the talent, you're going to be very hard pressed to find any mic at any price that will give you the intimate sounding dialog you hear in Hollywood features or network dramatic presentations. The physics of acoustics and microphones works against you.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #3
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Well do keep in mind that I'm also not filming a hollywood epic, just a simple music instructional DVD. If I were to hang the mic above the subject and out of the frame, would that work? That would probably be more along the lines of 2 feet but it's not directly in front of his mouth either. hmm..
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #4
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The NTG-1, NTG-2, and VideoMic are the same microphones in different packages. The NTGs are phantom power-able, made of metal, and use the XLR connection. The VideoMic uses a 9 volt battery only, is made of plastic, and uses a 1/8" jack. I agree that these mics are not good for dialogue recording. Inside you will get a lot of echos etc. Go for a cardioid or omni lavaliere mic for recording in your situation.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mike Costantini View Post
Well do keep in mind that I'm also not filming a hollywood epic, just a simple music instructional DVD. If I were to hang the mic above the subject and out of the frame, would that work? That would probably be more along the lines of 2 feet but it's not directly in front of his mouth either. hmm..
2 to 3 feet or so away, held above and about 45 degrees to the front, and aimed carefully towards his upper chest should work well as long as the room isn't too live. The Rode mics are designed to minimize the off-axis colouration inherent in shotgun designs - it's there but less pronounced than with some other mics - so you should be able get away with indoors use as long as you work close. But another thought - in an instructional video, especially music instruction, is there really a need to hide the mic? After all, anyone watching the video will know there's one there and it's not like seeing it will destroy the illusion of eavesdropping on a dramatic event. If a lav gives better sound, go for it even though it's visible to anyone looking for it. Your talent is directly addressing the audience and I don't see how a visible mic pinned on him will detract from that.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #6
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HATE lavs, I have one now and I want to throw it on the ground and smash it into a million pieces. All the rubbing sounds and everything else that comes with it, no way, not anymore, got to find something better. I never really thought about having the mic IN the video frame.. I'll suggest it and see what they say..

For the person that suggested a "cardioid" does Rode make one of those?
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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:53 PM   #7
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The S2, NT55, and NT6 are cardioid (or come with cardioid capsules), although I haven't heard them before. The S2 seems more suited to hand holding, but the NT55 could be boom mounted.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #8
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"All the rubbing sounds and everything else that comes with it, no way, not anymore, got to find something better."

There is nothing better than getting the mic closer. Nothing. A mediocre mic a foot from the talent's mouth is going to sound dramatically better than an expensive mic six feet away.

There should be no rubbing sounds from a lav unless you are putting it under clothing. Even then, there are ways to reduce/eliminate rubbing. If you have a decent wireless, you shouldn't be having ANY serious issues. If you are having problems with the right tool for the job, you should adjust your technique. Don't search for a less optimal solution. If you had a camera problem, you wouldn't switch to a pencil and a sketch pad.

How are you positioning your lav? Are you getting reception problems? What brand and model are you using and what frequencies does it occupy?
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Old May 30th, 2007, 09:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mike Costantini View Post
HATE lavs, I have one now and I want to throw it on the ground and smash it into a million pieces. All the rubbing sounds and everything else that comes with it, no way, not anymore, got to find something better. I never really thought about having the mic IN the video frame.. I'll suggest it and see what they say..

For the person that suggested a "cardioid" does Rode make one of those?
There's no reason a properly attached lav should be noisy. Sure you need to position it with care but if you do it right it should be fine. Are you using a strain relief loop in the cable coming off the mic capsule? Look at Judge Judy ... the litigants are mic'ed with lavs. Look at CSI ... in many of the shots the principals are mic'ed with lavs. Done right, they work. By the way, take a look at the audition shows running this week for So You Think You Can Dance. The contestant interviews after each audition are mic'ed with a what looks like a short shotgun - can't tell which one - and they're getting great sound from them ... but note, the mics are about 18 inches to 2 feet away from the performer and they're shooting on a regular theatrical stage where sound control is part of the design.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 12:16 PM   #10
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For similar situation I would use my Rode Nt3, it does great work inside and is versatile. You can boom it, but the mic is a bit heavy.
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