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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 30th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #1
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What shotgut mic should I buy?

During part of an event I'm going to be walking around and grabbing quick interviews. I don't have the option of having a person hold a boom for me, or a wireless handheld. I'll probably have to have a camera mounted shotgun mic.

I don't have much experience with them. Here's the few I'm looking at. If anyone has hands-on experience with these or others I'd appreciate the advice.

Rode NTG2 ($269)
http://www.amazon.com/Rode-NTG2-Condenser-Shotgun-Microphone/dp/B00093ESSI/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1345705354&sr=8-8&keywords=shotgun+microphone
Audio-Technica AT897 ($230)
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-Gradient-Compact-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B0002TTN3Y/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
AZDSGM2X-AZDEN SGMX2 ($219)
http://www.amazon.com/AZDSGM2X-AZDEN-PROFESSIONAL-BARREL-SHOTGUN-MICROPHONE/dp/B0000ARKW8/
I need it to be somewhat forgiving since I'll be a run and gun one man crew.

Will I need a shock mount for stationary filming?

(and the fact that I'm looking at getting a new camera, one of which doesn't have XLR inputs is another story. :-) )
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Old September 30th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

The Rode NTG-2 is battery powered which will work for you with you non-XLR cameras. All you would need in addition is a short XLR to mini plug cord. It is a fairly forgiving mic, and handles well on camera.

This kit would give you all you need for on camera use:

Rode NTG-2 Condenser Shotgun Microphone Kit B&H Photo Video


If you are going to run off camera on a boom, you would need to add an XLR adapter like these:

Camcorder XLR Adapters | B&H Photo Video
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Old September 30th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

Not to Hijack the thread, but I've been considering upgrading shotgun mics too, how does the NG-2 compare to the videomic pro?
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Old September 30th, 2012, 03:37 PM   #4
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

James, the Rode NTG-2 is a great mic, but if the event is an indoor wedding reception with alcohol and many people and going to be noisy as a result,
you have to reconsider how you do this.

A camera mounted mic will be to far away from the interviewees to record usable speech, you need to position a mic to within 1 foot of them.

Enlisting a suitable guest as an interviewer in a side room could be the way to go. Then you could use a handheld mic, (or your NTG-2) on a cable,
and even set up a light or two. That mic comes with a shockmount to mount it on your camera for future use.

Evan, the Rode Videomic Pro is 9v battery operated and specially designed for on camera use. It's smaller than the NTG-2, which can be AA battery OR 48volt phantom powered.

Both deliver great sound and you can register them on line for their free Rode 10yr warranties.

Cheers.
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Old September 30th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

In my experience shotguns are not really the best mic to use for what you want to do. I've live by my hypercaroid for most on camera mic interview type stuff but it will also pickup some side noise like a shotgun. the best is to use something like a EV-R50 or Shure SM63 or something similar, cabled to the camera (since obviously a lav wouldn't work) but if the handheld won't work for logistics then I think you'd be better off with a hypercaroid than a shotgun regardless of whether you boom it or not.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 01:07 AM   #6
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

Thanks everyone. To clarify, and give more info as my setup has changed.

I'll be at an event (not wedding but similar) and I'll be pulling people off to the side and doing quick interviews. There will be ambient and conversational noise around, so I was hoping to cut that off with the shotgun.

As is often the case I'm guessing, I might be overestimating what the shotgun will do without a zoom. This video gives me some hints:

Don: Given this setup, I think the hypercaroid would be a little worse than the shotgun?

ALSO, I will probably be using a GH10 and won't have XLR inputs. An adapter should work I understand, but mention it since I'll need a powered mic.

Anyone have previous similar experience?
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 01:53 AM   #7
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

Hi James

Both my cams have the good ole Rode Videomic on them and at weddings during pre-dinner drinks I also do interviews and having tried a whole bunch of mics, these, for me are still the best..they have the ability to punch thru a lot of background noise (sorta 50+ people chatting) and I still get clean audio on the interviews. I'm normally less than 10' from couples/persons saying something nice for the bride and groom so it's becomes a "video guestbook" My Rode's are pretty good at ignoring side noise so the audio is certainly very clear despite often loud background ambience.

If you are doing the same thing then it's a tough call for a mic anyway and I think ideally a tiny lave would work better but I normally have less that 30 minutes to go thru maybe 10 - 15 couples so having to clip on a lav would be a serious time waster.

One thing I should mention is that I use shoulder-mount cameras so the mics do have an advantage as they are already almost 6 ' in the air and tilted slightly downwards so it's a sorta semi-boom situation. If you do use shotguns they are amazingly sensitive to noise miles away if it's line of sight with the mic..often a simple slight to the right or left can elminate the guy making a noise next door as long as the mic isn't pointed directly at the source with your interviewees in between.

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Old October 6th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

Here's a recent review we did of the NTG-2, we also compare it's sound when connected to different combinations of equipment that include the camera, the JuicedLink CX211 preamp and the Zoom H4n recorder.



English subtitles are available by clicking "CC"


Hope it helps, enjoy! :)
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Old October 6th, 2012, 04:09 PM   #9
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

Very nice review. I wonder how it compares to the Stereo VideoMic Pro

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Old October 6th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #10
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

Very good and cute Iker; love the parrot :)

Don't forget to include the fact that the Rode 10yr warranty on all their mics is free, libre, gratuito :)

Many folk don't realise this and won't register their new Rode mics to get their warranty.
Buying a pre-loved Rode mic, you can transfer its warranty.

Cheers.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 04:52 PM   #11
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

thanks :), we'll be doing a NT3 review/comparison too in a few weeks.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #12
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

Thanks to everyone. I ended up gettting a Rode videomic and will also bring a lav. Not sure if it's the right choice, but I felt it was the safest.

I'll update after the shoot.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 07:47 PM   #13
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

Hi James

They work well!! Just make sure the mic rubber bands are good. The original square shaped ones break pretty easily so I replaced mine with industrial rubber "O" rings ..they last for ages and a second tip is to put a tiny drop of superglue between the hook and the band once it's in place otherwise if you walking into something/someone and bump the mic the bands jump off!!

Chris
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Old October 8th, 2012, 12:27 AM   #14
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

Good choice James; use its windscreen all the time, one thing it does do is keep microgrit offa the mic capsule, and depending on your use,
wash it in warm water and mild soap every 12months. Rinse it out and let it airdry.

I'd use the low cut/high pass for everything, except maybe live music .. experiment/practise etc etc.

Keep some fresh silicagel in your mic case and don't forget to register your new baby, blah blah blah :)

Cheers.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #15
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Re: What shotgut mic should I buy?

I own and use the Rode NTG-2, Rode Videomic, and Rode Videomic Pro. On every single wedding shoot I use the NTG-2 and either the Videomic or Videomic Pro. I have not used the Pro enough to give an opinion but the NTG-2 is great as a backup to the wireless mics on the groom and minister when it is attached to the mobile camera on the front row.

The Videomic has been a great overall mic when mounted to our center rear fixed B roll camera. If there is audience participation in the ceremony or laughter, etc we can edit in the ambience from the Videomic to enhance our wireless micrphones audio.

We don't do much interviews with the guests but when we do have never been disappointed with the performance of the Rode NTG-2. It has also worked well when recording toasts, etc at receptions.

We have XLR plugin modules for both our Sennheiser G3 and Sony UWP wireless systems to use but frankly rarely use them. Generally only when multiple speakers in addition to a minister are speaking during a ceremony. However for extensive interviews in a loud enviroment that might be your best bet.
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