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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old March 1st, 2012, 01:42 PM   #1
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audio question for shoot

shooting a small performance at a school, this is a very small stage in a classroom. i iwll be on a riser about 30ft away, they have no audio at all, just projecting. i want to hang a mic down in the middle of where they perform to get a somewhat better signal than the cam mike on my ex. the stage area is roughly 25-30 ft across. was thinking of hanging my sennheiser 835 mic down in the middle about 3ft down from lighting scaffolding, and will use my lectro wirless plug. will this get me much off them or should i use another mic instead?suggestions
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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Re: audio question for shoot

In similar situations I'll often try to put a small hand-held recorder on a mini-tripod near the stage as an inobtrusive backup, In my case I use the Sony M10, but there are a number of recorders out there, and their limiters often work surprisingly well.
For live shows I hate to put too much trust in a wireless (hence wanting to have a backup) - particularly since anything mounted in the ceiling would be tough to get to during the performance.
For a small stage any decent hypercardioid should be fine, such as a 416 or a Rode NTG3. If you can run a wire to it so much the better! If you have two mics put one to either side of the stage.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Re: audio question for shoot

Performance of WHAT? Drama? Music? Magic act?

Dynamic mics like that are designed for up close (practically swallowing) use. I wouldn't hold much hope that it will do very well for a distant pickup application like that. It likely isn't sensitive enough (by design).

I would also reconsider hanging it in that position (upstage and high). You might get better results laying it on a piece of foam right on the front lip of the stage, etc. Again, depending on what kind of "performance" we are talking about???

This kind of production (especially dramatic acts with many speaking parts played by children) is one of the most difficult to do without a wireless lav on each speaking participant. But that is virtually always beyond the budget for such things. Good luck. You have tackled one of the worst-case situations.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 06:21 AM   #4
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Re: audio question for shoot

As Richard says, the dynamic mic is the wrong type of mic. You need a condenser which means phantom power to the mic (unless it has it's own battery source. There's a Rode model (NTG-2 I think) that is an inexpensive shotgun with a battery. A large diaphragm condenser choir mic (either hung or on a stand) would be another one to try renting. Next down the list is a Crown PCC 160 boundary mic
PCC Series

Or one of these
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Old March 5th, 2012, 07:14 AM   #5
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Re: audio question for shoot

I can see disagreement galore here.

Personally, I'd use the boundary mic. Stages, reflective rooms and children all pose challenges to clear audio. I've actually got nothing against dynamic mics. For this kind of thing we're not talking about delicate sonically superior sound sources, we're talking kids acting singing or dancing I guess.

Hanging mics I would only use as a real last resort because they are great at hearing stamping, banging and scuffling feet, but kids are notorious for speaking downwards, not upwards. Hanging mics and hard floors mean some very reflective sound. If you don't have any boundary mics, then a pair of ordinary cardioids 45 degrees apart, looking 45 degrees up towards centre work quite well. If the floor bounces, then some extra care in suspension mounts works great. I hate shotguns for stages, just too narrow, and the always end up pointing at the loud kid at the back who overpowers everybody without a mic being needed, while the quiet ones just vanish.

I see quite often sm58s stuck onto Sennheiser plug in transmitters being used for this kind of thing, and gain is ok.
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