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Old June 30th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #1
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Seeking Advice For Lavilier Microphone

I got my video studio put together today for the first time and did a few test shots for a guitar instructional DVD that I want to shoot. I quickly realized that the single Rode mic hookup to my camcorder I had initially hoped was going to work was definitely not going to work for this particular project. I was planning on capturing my voice and the guitar amp sound with my Rode mic. The Rode mic is superb if you are holding it less than a foot in front of your mouth or if you, let's say, placed it a foot in front of an acoustic guitar or even an amp, but I need to position it out of the line of sight of the camcorder which means it is going to be out in front of me by at least 3-4 ft, and you can add another 2-3 ft. onto that distance from the amp that is positioned behind me. So far, I've bought and returned a very nice shotgun mic and now this Rode mic. This is all turning into one expensive experiment with all the gear I've already bought that I thought would work well but later proved to fail.

I decided to record direct from my amp to my Mackie mixer which will then either go to my computer via USB or to the camcorder. I have an XLR and a USB port on my amp so I can get a very clean guitar signal. After some quick amp direct to computer vs. amp mic'd to computer recordings, I realized that direct is the way to go. No need to attempt mic'ing something the mic isn't going to be able to better. The problem I'm having now is finding a mic to capture my voice.

My next microphone experiment will be a lavilier mic, and that's where I'm needing advice. I have a budget of between $200-$300 to dedicate to a mic. I started doing research on laviliers and found dozens and dozens of lavilier mics that might potentially work.

Now my primary concern with the lavilier mic is figuring out how I'm going to position it on me without generating a bunch of noise due to this being a guitar project. I'm going to be turning my head a lot from front/center to down to left/right when demonstrating things on guitar which means I really need a mic that's volume level isn't going to be all over the place.

I'm thinking I should be looking at an omni-directional mic for this particular project because if I use any kind of directional mic, the volume is going to change any time I move my head whereas omni-directional might possibly be a little more forgiving. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? As with this entire project, everything I'm thinking through is just what I think might work and so far I'm 0-2 on microphone choices.

I was discussing this issue with someone, and after I told him of the project details, he recommended either checking out the Countryman B3 or B6 because these particular microphones are so small that I could actually hide it either underneath the bill of a baseball cap or possibly allow it to stick out the left side of a baseball cap which would somewhat be out of the way and un-noticeable because my head will be positioned slightly to the left as I look at the guitar's fingerboard. Anyway, if this small mic is somehow attached to my head, the volume will stay consistent throughout because the mic will always move with my head. If I attach a mic to my collar or even my chest, there will probably be at least a certain degree of fluctuation in the volume. Does anyone have an opinion on this "theory" of mine? Does anyone have any experience with the Countryman mics? Are there any other lavilier mics by companies such as Shure or Audio Technica that I should at least consider?

I need a full-sounding mic. I've owned a bunch of different mics over the years and the problem with a lot of them was that they just sounded so incredibly thin. It's like there was no bass in my vocals at all. This Rode that I bought sounded incredible up close, very rich with incredible clarity, but as soon as I placed it a few feet away from me on a boom, all that richness and clarity was lost, most likely just due to this lack of ambience in this room.

I need a high-quality lavilier mic that is super quiet while maintaining richness, depth, clarity, and truthfully replicates the tonal quality of someone's voice.

Any thoughts on what you think will work well for this project would be greatly appreciated.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #2
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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ALL mics need to placed relatively close to the sound source as you discovered with your shotgun and Rode. The most often used mic for indoor recording in untreated spaces is a hypercardioid such as the Rode NT3, A/T 4051a, AKG S300B/CK93 and others. How about an inexpensive mic stand with boom arm to hold the mic just in front of you and above just out of frame?
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