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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:25 AM   #1
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All-purpose mic

Hello,
sorry for what is a very ignorant question here. I have not been working much with sound for video, so I just need a little tip.

I'm making a promo for a company, and they are going to interview a client etc, and up until now I have just been using the "internal" mic on my XH A1.

What mic would you recommend I get for these kinds of situations, and hopefully something that will work as somewhat of an all-purpose mic?

I've bee looking at Rode NTG-2, but do I really need a lavalier mic?
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:01 AM   #2
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There are a few thousand posts on this if you search around. Don't, don't, don't even dream of using the internal if you're being paid for a job.

If you're reluctant to splash the cash, just rent a lav. People get great results with the NTG 1's and 2's, but it all depends on where you're doing the interviews.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Vinny Flood View Post
There are a few thousand posts on this if you search around. Don't, don't, don't even dream of using the internal if you're being paid for a job.

If you're reluctant to splash the cash, just rent a lav. People get great results with the NTG 1's and 2's, but it all depends on where you're doing the interviews.
Thanks, I'll look around, sorry for posting what I would have known to be a common topic had I thought about it. :)

And I've almost decided on the NTG now, and I'll get a wireless lav setup later.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:37 AM   #4
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Good luck. And some would advise you to think twice about a wireless lav - personally I like the guarantee of inteference free sound, but it depends on the situation.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:53 AM   #5
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Recently I bought the 3-capsule Oktava MK012. It comes with omni, cardioid and hypercardoid capsules for a price so low you might think it's a scam. Most of the interviews I do are interiors, with the mic in tight on a C-stand-mounted fishpole. I also use a Sony short shotgun mic when that's appropriate, and have a Sennheiser G2 wireless for when a lav is necessary. I've heard good things about the Rode NTG2. Keep in mind that putting it on your camera is not going to improve your sound quality--you need to use it properly.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 11:32 AM   #6
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Keep in mind that putting it on your camera is not going to improve your sound quality--you need to use it properly.
I know, I'll have to play around with it for a while, so I'll know how to use it properly. It also seems I should get a shock mount for it, as handling-noise is a problem with these kinds of microphones?
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Old April 18th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #7
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A shock mount for sure. B&H has a nice very lightweight cheap Rode for about 50 bucks. When a soundman is holding gear out on the end of a fishpole, lighter is better. Avoid that heavy Gitzo shockmount. An extra few ounces may not seem like much, but out on the end of a pole on a long take, your soundman might start dipping the mic into the shot.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 06:01 PM   #8
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Hey Bill how do you like your oktava with the A1. Which one do you prefer the Oktava or the rode ntg? i have the oktava but i wanted to add a second mic, do you guys think the ntg is better than oktava?
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:40 PM   #9
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I don't have a Rode but was referring to a couple of happy users I've corresponded with. They like it a lot, especially for the price, and both have the NTG2.

I am surprised by the Oktava quality. Apparently the Chinese knockoff problem is a thing of the past and only happened for a short time. So if you buy a new one from the Sound Room, you get a real one.

Originally I bought the Oktava for a shoot involving two people sitting next to each other talking, like across a small table. I wanted to try out the omni capsule for that, and it worked fine. Because of the tight space and the fact that the people were fairly close together I preferred not using two shotgun mics. Then I recently shot another talking head interview type thing using the cardoid, just as I would a shotgun. Works great indoors, especially in boomy rooms with low ceilings. The mic with capsule is just under 6" long; amazingly small.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #10
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Well, got the NTG-2 with a cable and a DeadCat today, but unfortunately they didn't have the shockmount right now, so I had to order it.

I'll just use the tripod for the shots with talking, without moving much, hopefully it'll be ok.

Using the zoom-button on top etc will be out of the question though, as it picks up the zoom-engine pretty heavily now.

Anyway, thanks for all your replies, soundwise I like this mic very good so far, at least for the price!
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Old April 19th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Henrik Reach View Post
Thanks, I'll look around, sorry for posting what I would have known to be a common topic had I thought about it. :)

And I've almost decided on the NTG now, and I'll get a wireless lav setup later.
"Lav" does not necessarily mean "wireless." For a seated interview situation, a hard-wired lav is far preferable to a wireless (and tremendously cheaper) if you can't boom the shot.

Shotguns such as the NTG aren't usually as good as a hypercardioid for indoors work. Either type needs to be boomed as close to the subject as possible without intruding into the frame. Be cautious of the tonal distortion that shotguns can introduce when used in a reflective environment - you may need to hang sound blankets out of shot to get it to sound right. As a rule of thumb the mic needs to be close enough for the talent to reach out and easily touch it. Using a 'gun from the camera position virtually never gives good results unless you're so close you're pushing the lens into the subject's face. So your next step before shooting your interviews is to get a boom and either an operator to hold it or a stand to mount it. Get the mic OFF the camera and within arms length of the talent where it's designed to be used and your issues with it picking up camera noise will solve themselves. (I know, 'pro' cameras all have mics on them but they're virtually NEVER used for anything except general ambient sound recording and the occasional breaking news where there's just no time to do the sound right.)
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Old April 24th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #12
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Thanks guys. This is some handy info for when I have to get a mic for my (hopefully) future XH-A1. Right now, I have a Sony HC1 but haven't had to do much mic work. I do have a lav mic I got from giant squid audio lab:
http://www.giant-squid-audio-lab.com/

I also have a Sony Hi-md Minidisc recorder (MZ-RH1)
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