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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:52 PM   #1
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Audio for theatre production

I went through the various threads about stage production, but either missed what I needed or it isn't there.

It would appear that I'll be doing some taping on a regular basis at a rural (VERY rural) community theatre. It's an old converted church with tiered seating and no sound system. It seats 95. If you're an audience member you can usually hear just fine.

I did an emergency job last week for them just using the VX-2000 and an on-camera mic. It was surprisingly good. However, if I'm going to do this on a regular basis then I want to make it as good as I can afford.

My thinking was to run two XLR cables from the balcony to the front of the stage, but keep the cables up high ... not on the floor.

There is a ledge above the front of the stage where some work lights are located. I thought about just hanging two condensor mics from this ledge ... putting each one in about a third of the way from stage left and stage right.

Does this sound like a workable solution?

If so, are there any specific mics you could recommend ... hopefully something in the $200 range.

Thanks for your help.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:12 PM   #2
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Scott-

Normally I am into full blown audio... micing everyone and every thing. But after doing this a number of times and feeling like I worked too hard for the money I received I tried what you are suggestion. I was pretty pleased with the results-for the time invested.

However, if there is a single person speaking at a normal volume, its not going to sound 100%. But the important question is, what is your client expecting? For a $200 budget, your options are fairly limited. I would suggest finding some used condensor mics to try.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Pike
Scott-

Normally I am into full blown audio... micing everyone and every thing. But after doing this a number of times and feeling like I worked too hard for the money I received I tried what you are suggestion. I was pretty pleased with the results-for the time invested.
This is part of the problem. I'm the president of our local theatre group, so I have a soft spot for other groups ... this one in particular. Many of them have become friends over the years and this is certainly not a money making venture.

There are no body mics or any sources of amplification.

My plan was to purchase the XLR cable, get it hung from the stage to the balcony and then pretty much make it a permanant fixture, so all I would have to do is show up and plug it into my PD 150 or my Mackie mixer.

I know very little about microphones, so that's why I'm asking for recommendations for those. If I need to increase my budget ... I "might" do it.

By the way ... even though the cable would remain ... the mics would come down and leave with me. ;-)
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:25 PM   #4
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Here's something you might like to take a look at:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:34 PM   #5
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Very intersting find ... and very much in the budget. :-)

However, I'm wondering if the mics should be omni directional as opposed to cardioid. Which should I be looking for?
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:34 PM   #6
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Were you thinking $200/ea or $200 for both mics?
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright
Were you thinking $200/ea or $200 for both mics?
Sorry ... $200 for each mic = $400 budget (but it can be played with).
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:38 PM   #8
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I'm not an audio expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I would think you would want cardiod mics, pointed at like maybe a 45 degree angle (depending on how high off the ground), from the ceiling, towards the stage.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:44 PM   #9
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This might be another option for you. These mics can be changed from omni to supercardioid by attaching an extension:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Again, I'm not an audio guy, but basically I think you're talking about a couple stationary boom mics in essence. Those Azdens are appropriate for booms and you could use them as shottys on your camera for other stuff too.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:51 PM   #10
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This is another one, with some awfully impressive specs for the price:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

I'm really tempted to get one of them.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 09:10 PM   #11
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I don't know if this would work for you but hanging mics might work for this. They would not be very portable and not very usefull for other projects. I have used them with good results.

<http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=NavBar&A=search&Q=&ci=8547>

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Old March 1st, 2006, 11:42 PM   #12
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My favorite cheap mic for what you're doing is the Rode NT3. There is also the AKG C1000s which can be cheaper and is switchable between cardioid and hyper-cardioid patterns, but I much prefer the sound of the NT3, especially with voices. Boundary mics are also another option.

By the way, indoors, you want to use a cardioid or hyper-cardioid, not a shotgun.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 11:48 PM   #13
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Michael - Can you tell me what the distinction is between cardioids/hyper-cardioids and shotguns is? That's something I'd like to understand a lot better.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 12:21 AM   #14
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Unfortunately, the way they use the stage and their space, I can't utilize PZMs. I have 4 Crown PZM mics (love 'em), but there's literally no where to put them. Even if there were I would be afraid of all the noise on stage.

It looks like I've got several suggestions for mics ... I'll have to start checking them out.

Thanks
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 12:26 AM   #15
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I've seen quite a few of those AKG C1000s go for close to $100 on eBay. That might be an option for you.
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