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Old May 20th, 2006, 10:14 PM   #1
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Recording the Sound of the Ocean

Hello all

I've read here that the MA300 does NOT have phantom power.
(wish I knew this before I bought it)

I had hoped to use a pair of Oktava MC 012-01's.
Well that's not possible now because naturally they require phantom power :(

I also have a Sony Stereo Mic Model ECM-MS907.

Wonder if I should use this, or the built-in Mic on the Cannon?

Guess it would be pointless to use a pair of Shure SM58's. They're not the best choice for this type of recording. I also have a few SM57's - but all of these Mics are typically used for on-stage LIVE performances.

Soooo - the Sony Stereo Mic Model ECM-MS907 vs. the GL2's built-in Mic?

Thanx
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Old May 21st, 2006, 07:09 PM   #2
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It's not impossible to use phantom powered mics with the MA300, just a bit inconvenient. You can get a battery powered phantom power supply. I have this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

To choose between the MS907 and the built in mic, I'd start by A/B testing the two with headphones on.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:35 AM   #3
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The 907 and build-in are probably close to a toss-up, but using an off-camera mic can reduce possible motor/transport noise pick-up.

If you are near the ocean, try some with each of the mics including the 57s and 58s.- see if any meet your need. You might be pleasently surprised. But wind could be an issue at a beach
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 04:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki
wind could be an issue at a beach
Certainly you're going to need a good wind protection system, a.k.a. dead cat or wookie, the foam that comes with some mics will not be enough, and since it's waves, I'd suggest whichever mic you use, definately record in stereo, waves make for great stereo sound as they crash to the left and right...
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Old May 26th, 2006, 09:30 PM   #5
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Thanx Fred, Don, David

Thanx guys

Yes indeed I just learned quite a bit of technique (while on location)

The Ocean as you say, can be very difficult. But here's what I did:
First off I scrapped the MA300. As pointed out here, the design is lousy making it top-heavy and awkward, not to mention No Phantom Power.

Instead I returned it to B&H and picked up a 'Beachtek BEDXA6'

Very nice - metal construction, phantom power too! I also like the way it mounts making it more professional.

But - In recording the Ocean, after some tests, and using what I have on hand, I actually got some nice results with #2 SM58's in X pattern, and spread apart too. Very nice - I realize ideally these aren't the best for the application, but believe me, they were more controllable than a pair of Oktava's (condenser Mics). And I'd venture to say produced as good as my Sony ECM Stereo Mic.

So all in all - I used what I had - after soon discovering the wind problem, and I'm happy with the results.

I also tried digging a small cavern in the sand, and sheltered the Sony Stereo Mic on 3 sides and covered the rest of it with fabric. That was ok too - but I liked what the 58's did better .....

Thanx again
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:04 AM   #6
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When you listen and estimate to a sound effect for a movie, You have to close your eyes and have the relevant picture in your mind.

Apart of mic kind and wind protection etc. allow me to point another issue on the actual sound effect..

The ocean have no sound, its silent, what makes the sound is breaking waves or the sound of water splashing against any solid object floating in the ocean.

So you have to create a sound effect to match your scene or specific shoot..

When you record from the shore you get a general noise and you pickup all the waves and water noise all together, All waves breaking together, Kind of a loud "HISS". this is a realistic ocean shore line sound..

You need to have some "details" in your track. to get a nicer shore line track
you better go into the ocean, just pass the first wave line and point to the shore, what you will get is a nice periodical wave breaking effect. You can go few meters in by foot, use a boat or find a rock or a pier that goes into the ocean.

This is a fake effect, but this is what the audience will expect as a sound that serves your picture.

Also look at your scene and try to get an effect with waves similar to what you had in your shoot, Strong, Medium or… No breaking waves at all.

Last thing. Using dynamic speech mics e.g. sm-58 close to the ground surrounded by
A sand barrier is not very good. You probably got a muffled sound with very little hi freq. And detailes , The right choice are condensers (even one) at at least one meter above the ground.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:05 AM   #7
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sorry double post
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Last edited by Danny Natovich; May 27th, 2006 at 03:07 AM. Reason: duble post
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Old May 27th, 2006, 07:00 AM   #8
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Thanx Danny :)

Yes I was told before by another friend of mine, that the Ocean Sounds are relative to what your ear will hear.

With that in mind, I carefully listened intently to make sure that what I heard in the headphones was close to what was heard on location.

But basically I don't want to get away from the point I made earlier:
I really did improve my results simply by eliminating the Oktava's that I barrowed from a friend. Why Ocktava's? Because they are like you say (condenser Mics). But perhaps not the best choice either. As I mentioned, they were too sensitive, and difficult to control. Soooo as I said, I used what I had on hand. And I was very surprised at the results of the pair of SM58's on Mic Stands. Of course that being said, with a Dynamic Mic, naturally the gain had to be increased on the GL2, but believe me the results were very satisfactory.

And in regard to using my Sony Condenser Mic, no I did not simply bury it - I dug a small cavern, then placed it on a table top Mic stand - so yes it was about 8 to 10 inches from the surface, but protected from the wind with the 3 sided cavern, and the sheet over it. But as I mentioned, I still really liked the sound produced by 58's. Later on I'll post an MP3 right here,so you can hear them.

Have a Great Memorial Day!
Talk Soon
Mike

PS- Here are some photos of the site at Long Beach Island NJ

http://www.locationstudio.net/LBI-7a.jpg

http://www.locationstudio.net/LBI-8a.jpg

http://www.locationstudio.net/LBI-16a.jpg
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