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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 March 9th, 2009, 08:32 PM   #1
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XHa1 and Shot Gun Mic

Next week I am schedule to film a Choir (no instruments) do you think its better to have a shot gun mic hanging down from the celing or pointed right at the group. There are 8 member in the group. Thoughts?
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Old March 9th, 2009, 10:14 PM   #2
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A shotgun is not the right mic for the job.
1) It captures mono.
2) Choirs often using the reverb of the chamber
IMHO, two mics placed strategically on the left and right relatively close to the group so that the voices overpower the chamber reverb slightly would be better (assuming u dont want to alter audio in post). Careful placement is necessary for best capture with mic facing the group at a positive or negative angle. Be careful to check the levels for the highest peak of the passage.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 10:18 PM   #3
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What I have done in the past is use 2 shotgone nice crossed so that I capture stero. The xha1 also allows you to spilt the audio so that it records on both channels even if there is only one mic. I havent used one mic ye because crossing the shotgusns have worked in the past. I alwys have the mics aimed at the group from in front at an angle but I was wondering if the sound would be better if I hung the mics from up above?
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Old March 9th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Lewis View Post
What I have done in the past is use 2 shotgone nice crossed so that I capture stero. The xha1 also allows you to spilt the audio so that it records on both channels even if there is only one mic. I havent used one mic ye because crossing the shotgusns have worked in the past. I alwys have the mics aimed at the group from in front at an angle but I was wondering if the sound would be better if I hung the mics from up above?
I think it depends on the way it's set up. I would think above and below would have an effect on the amount of echo and reverb you pick up from the angling. Its really hard to say without simplying testing and finding the best.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 07:37 PM   #5
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There's nothing specific to the A1 about this question. There's lots of advice in the "Now hear this" forum. I suggest doing a search if you haven't already.

But to your question, "the closest mic wins". You want your mics to capture the audio so you gotta get them into the space where the sound waves are. If all you have is one shotgun mic, you don't have the right equipment. Will you get a recording? yes. Could it have been better? yes. Picture where the waves are and put your mic in there. For 8 people I would use 2 mics.

Condenser mics are great for choirs. That's what a professional sound engineer would use. Below is a is a professionally mic'd small choir using 3 mics. The sound board mix was the only input to the A1.

YouTube - Christmas Choir Medley

TIP: Practice your camera moves when the choir is warming up with the tape rolling. I was able to use warmup footage cut in with the performance to give the effect of a second camera.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 11:32 PM   #6
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Single mic setups are ok to capture mono audio without channel separation like single subject dialogs but capturing musical types 'raw' requires dual mics for both channels to produce the separation. Prosound engrs would probably use a lot more mics to capture each source into separate channels with specific mics designed for specific purposes/characteristics for each source. Then they mix everything together.

Generally, ribbon mics (dynamic) are supposedly good for the vocal range in choirs as they pick up gradients rather than pressure but also pick up everything else forward and behind the mic and are usually used for studio conditions. Shotguns (condenser) are good for isolation and mid-range vocals but are not generally used for recording musical pieces because of their sensitivity. I know lots of ppl use the SM58 (dynamic) as a good starting point. Given the high potential for feedback in live stage situations, i would think dynamic mics are a better choice. In fact, I would probably use both if I were in your situation with two dynamics to pick the the louder passages and two condensers specifically to pick up the softer ones recorded into four separate tracks and mix the audio in post. End of the day, are your clients paying for it?
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Old March 17th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #7
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The Shure web site includes a reference section with information on mic selection and placement and how to mic groups. You may find it of help.

Shure - Educational Publications

Note that shotgun mics have have polar patterns that vary with frequency, so in a venue with high reverberation you may find some interesting, perhaps unwanted, artifacts in the recorded sound.
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