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View Full Version : Recommend Boom Mic setup?




Sdashiki
May 15, 2008, 12:24 PM
This is for work, so bear with me when I say I need to buy this from BH (which im sure isnt going to be difficult)

Anyway, Im no audiophile and we do not need anything over the top, but without any audio knowledge its hard to just search for something when you dont know what you need.

Looking for a simple overhead boom pole mic setup.

Like philip seymour hoffman's character in Boogie Nights...

Our current setup only really allows for 1-2 mic inputs on the MiniDV camcorder(s)...and in some things I will be shooting in the coming months will require grabbing dialogue from multiple people together talking. I feel a boom mic is the best for this kind of capture. But, what mic to put on the boom is the real question.

Any ideas, suggestions would be appreciated.



hakukani
May 15, 2008, 02:18 PM
This is for work, so bear with me when I say I need to buy this from BH (which im sure isnt going to be difficult)

Anyway, Im no audiophile and we do not need anything over the top, but without any audio knowledge its hard to just search for something when you dont know what you need.

Looking for a simple overhead boom pole mic setup.

Like philip seymour hoffman's character in Boogie Nights...

Our current setup only really allows for 1-2 mic inputs on the MiniDV camcorder(s)...and in some things I will be shooting in the coming months will require grabbing dialogue from multiple people together talking. I feel a boom mic is the best for this kind of capture. But, what mic to put on the boom is the real question.

Any ideas, suggestions would be appreciated.

What's your budget? Why only B&H?

zimv20
May 15, 2008, 05:12 PM
Looking for a simple overhead boom pole mic setup.

when selecting the pole, the main thing will be the length of reach vs how compact it needs to be. also, i recommend against the kind with the cable inside; i've found that during movement the cable bangs against the pole and gets recorded. even worse are the ones where the cable comes out of the very bottom of the pole, so you can't stand the pole on its end.

you might also want to get a pistol grip for the mic -- it will screw on the end of the pole when needed, but also gives you the ability to use the mic "handheld" but still in its harness. get a zeppelin and a fuzzy monkey if you'll be outside at all.

the mic itself is dictated by budget. my favorite is the schoeps system, with the mk41 (hypercardioid) capsule. get the cut1 filter if you can afford it, and the elbow if you'll be inside with a low ceiling.

if the schoeps is too pricey, check out the sanken mics. i hear they're good for the price, though i've never used one.

AviationFan
May 15, 2008, 09:35 PM
even worse are the ones where the cable comes out of the very bottom of the pole, so you can't stand the pole on its end.Very true!

my favorite is the schoeps system, with the mk41 (hypercardioid) capsule. get the cut1 filter if you can afford it, and the elbow if you'll be inside with a low ceiling.I second this suggestion. Indoors, I don't know anything that sounds better ("better" as in "more natural, real") than the Schoeps 641 combo. Outdoors, I mostly use a Sennheiser MKH416 with excellent results.

If it's outdoors, get a good windscreen. A full blimp system if great sound in very windy conditions is a must.

And to top it off, a good field mixer (like any of the Sound Devices mixers) between the mic and the camera will help improve your audio. Good pre-amps, accessible gain controls, and reliable limiters are worth a fortune.

By the time you add all this up, it's not a cheap solution by any means. But you'll have all the tools for very, very good sound recording.

- Martin

Sdashiki
May 16, 2008, 07:45 AM
Very good advice all around, but I think its a bit much for our purposes.

Its really just to capture good dialogue from a group scene with 3-4 people talking and not having individual lapel mics. I figured a hanging boom mic over the scene would grab the audio best. GOOD = anything better than the built in camcorder mic (not hard to beat)

We are looking to spend under $200 on the mic/boom arm. I know it aint much in the field of audio capture, but its what I gots to work with.

With that in mind, I am just stumped as to how to search through BH categories and all that looking for what I need.

Oh, and it would be preferable (though is it even possible?) to have the mic be passive and not need any external power source? Direct connect to camcorder with a minijack. Im sure this makes me sound like the newbest audiophile ever.

Am I going to be forced to use XLR inputs and a power pack of somekind inbetween the mic and camcorder?



BH because its where we are purchasing all the other stuff for this project, and the dept like continuity...

zimv20
May 16, 2008, 08:19 AM
We are looking to spend under $200 on the mic/boom arm.

buy the boom and rent the mic until you can save up more for a mic.

I am just stumped as to how to search through BH categories and all that looking for what I need.

call BH and let them talk you through it. in general, i've found them to be knowledgeable and helpful.


Oh, and it would be preferable (though is it even possible?) to have the mic be passive and not need any external power source?

i would definitely not recommend a dynamic for this purpose. i'm not sure what the issue is with you're not wanting to use phantom power, but many mics are driven by internal batteries, if that route works for you.

Sdashiki
May 16, 2008, 08:23 AM
Not looking for anything that over complicates the setup. We arent shooting a TV commercial, no need for a mic that is considered Professional and costs $1000+

Hell it doesnt need to even be a mic specifically for overhead dialogue pickup. Just a mic I could hang above the scene. Im not seeking fancy, just functional. Maybe I just need a typical handheald 1/8 jack mic, suspended from a good boom arm?

I can not seem to locate thru BH boom arms that arent the kind that you put on the floor (like for a speech, assembly) and are the kind you just hold over your head. WTF am I looking for wrong?

AviationFan
May 16, 2008, 08:40 AM
I can not seem to locate thru BH boom arms that arent the kind that you put on the floor (like for a speech, assembly) and are the kind you just hold over your head. WTF am I looking for wrong?
You should be looking for a "boom pole". B&H has lots of them:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/8659/Boompoles_Fishpoles.html

- Martin

Sdashiki
May 16, 2008, 08:44 AM
They hid that ***** under

General Video Equipment Audio for Video Portable Audio Boompoles & Fishpoles


and not

Professional Audio Recording Microphones Recording Microphones General Accessories Floor Stands & Boom Arms


how odd.

Are these boom poles only made to accept certain styles of mics? How do you attach it to the pole?

AviationFan
May 16, 2008, 10:17 AM
Are these boom poles only made to accept certain styles of mics? How do you attach it to the pole?You need a shock mount that holds the mic, suspended by rubber bands or something like that. The shockmount has a thread fitted for the screw at the end of the boompole.

So yes, we forgot to add a shock mount to your shopping list in our previous posts. Here's your link to the B&H web site:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/8709/Shock_Swivel_Mounts.html

- Martin

zimv20
May 16, 2008, 11:45 AM
we forgot to add a shock mount to your shopping list

pistol grips usually have those built-in, yes?

Sdashiki
May 16, 2008, 12:08 PM
Seems every mic for a boompole/shockmount uses XLR...

Ive only got a minidv camcorder with a single 1/8" jack...

Ummmm. Hmmmm.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/246517-REG/Samson_SAC01_C01_Studio_Microphone.html

looks nice, but again, XLR

am i gonna be forced to use handheld mics hung from a pole?

AviationFan
May 16, 2008, 12:40 PM
pistol grips usually have those built-in, yes?Yes, you are right, they do.

- Martin

junior
May 16, 2008, 03:37 PM
Seems every mic for a boompole/shockmount uses XLR...

Ive only got a minidv camcorder with a single 1/8" jack...

Ummmm. Hmmmm.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/246517-REG/Samson_SAC01_C01_Studio_Microphone.html

looks nice, but again, XLR

am i gonna be forced to use handheld mics hung from a pole?

All you'd need is an adapter.

hakukani
May 17, 2008, 02:49 PM
I've successfully made a boom pole out of 1 1/2" PVC, and mounted a mic to the pipe with something like this:

http://www.fullcompass.com/product/299821.html

Sdashiki
May 19, 2008, 07:44 AM
All you'd need is an adapter.

Do mics with XLR outputs require a power source typically?

zimv20
May 19, 2008, 08:22 AM
Do mics with XLR outputs require a power source typically?

it depends entirely on the kind of mic. condensers need phantom, dynamics and ribbons don't.

Sdashiki
May 19, 2008, 09:32 AM
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/378063-REG/Samson_SAC15CL_C15_CL.html

This is a condenser, with XLR, where do I power it from?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=sort&A=search&Q=&sortDrop=Price%3A+Low+to+High&bl=&atl=&pn=1&st=categoryNavigation&mnp=0.0&mxp=0.0&sv=8538&shs=&ac=&fi=all&pn=1&ci=8538&cmpsrch=&cltp=&clsgr=

is that the correct category to peruse?

Methinks I may just have to get an electret and hang it from the pole?

zimv20
May 19, 2008, 12:02 PM
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/378063-REG/Samson_SAC15CL_C15_CL.html


that's a side-address mic; you want an end-address mic. an sm57 is an example of an end-address mic (though i wouldn't want to use one on a filmset, except for a gunshot maybe).

This is a condenser, with XLR, where do I power it from?

on set, phantom power for mics will come from either:

1. a battery in the mic
2. a standalone, 9-volt powered box that sits between the mic and the XLR in
3. the mixer
4. the recorder
5. the XLR converter attached to the bottom of a consumer digital camera
6. built-in on a fancier pro digital camera

depends on the mic and the setup.

Sdashiki
May 19, 2008, 12:08 PM
Well, thank you for all the help, i think my best bet is a "nice" handheld mic, dangling from a boom pole with a proper shock mount.

adding the complication of XLR and power considerations is far too much for this tiny setup we have.

though, in the future all this knowledge will certainly come in useful, when/if we get a bigger budget! :cool:

Sdashiki
Sep 24, 2008, 08:05 AM
Ok, i got a bigger budget. :P

And I appreciate all the help I got in this thread, still alot is confusing to me, and I dont have the experience to know what the hell Id be looking for. Id much prefer a good kick in the right direction for our needs.


Can someone recommend everything we'd need to purchase for:

wirelessly capturing dialog from talking heads (clip on micl; someone talking directly to the camera, typically indoors but sometimes outdoors)

wired boom mic (capturing group audio of more than one person talking where the number of people make clip on mics not the better choice)

If the camcorder has a single audio input, and I want to have multiple mics feed it, how do I do that?

The mics would need to work with a typical 1/8" audio jack for the Sony VX2100 or if I go with the Panasonic DVX100B, XLR. Again, bigger budget...trying to stay near $200-600 for the setup(s) described above.

mediacobbler
Sep 18, 2009, 06:15 PM
how about a shure sm58 on a broomstick/ tripod setup total cost : $150 and as an added bonus you'll look uber professional

zimv20
Sep 18, 2009, 06:45 PM
how about a shure sm58 on a broomstick/ tripod setup

fantastic for recording gunshots and explosions. not so much for dialog.

ChrisA
Sep 18, 2009, 09:29 PM
Seems every mic for a boompole/shockmount uses XLR...

Ive only got a minidv camcorder with a single 1/8" jack...

I've seen a great gadget that fixes this problem. It attaches to the camera's tripod and then the box has aother tripod socket on it. You can plug in XLR cables and it has 1/8th in out plus gain controls and a headphone jack. I'm sure B&H has this. Cuts down on the "rats nest effect"

Funy thing is that when peole watch video they will put up with all kinds of poor video quality, poor lighting and not with poor sound. Even uneducated viewers will notice every audio defect and let the video glitches go by.

Another way to fix this problem is to buy more mics and a mixer. Use a mic on ever person.

I solved the problem of not enough inputs and no mixer a few times by using another miniDV cam. Just set it up on a second tripod and let it roll, un-manned.

hakukani
Sep 21, 2009, 06:22 PM
I
Funy thing is that when peole watch video they will put up with all kinds of poor video quality, poor lighting and not with poor sound. Even uneducated viewers will notice every audio defect and let the video glitches go by.

.

That's because TV is radio with pictures.

A large percentage of information is transmitted through the sound portion.

ChrisA
Sep 22, 2009, 01:05 PM
That's because TV is radio with pictures.

A large percentage of information is transmitted through the sound portion.

Not really. A good way to estimate the information content of a file is to look it's size after it is compressed. This is not an exact measure because there are many ways to compress a file. We are just talking about a rough order of magnitude here.

Technically by almost any measurement method much more information is sent in the video than audio.

I think the reason we are tolerant of video glitches is that our eyes don't need great temporal accuracy. We are used to glancing away and then back at physical objects or blinking our eyes and our brains are built to remember that objects don't disappear when you are not looking. So if a video glitch happens it is not disturbing. Our brains are quite good at filling in the missing visual bits.

Audio is not that way there is no way for our brains to fill in a missing audio segment so we notice the missing bits.

Our senses are rigged to work in the natural world. Vision tells us about a world that changes slowly enough that mostly if we miss something we can look again but in the natural world audio is gone if you missed it the first time around.

hakukani
Sep 22, 2009, 05:04 PM
Not really. A good way to estimate the information content of a file is to look it's size after it is compressed. This is not an exact measure because there are many ways to compress a file. We are just talking about a rough order of magnitude here.

Technically by almost any measurement method much more information is sent in the video than audio.

I think the reason we are tolerant of video glitches is that our eyes don't need great temporal accuracy. We are used to glancing away and then back at physical objects or blinking our eyes and our brains are built to remember that objects don't disappear when you are not looking. So if a video glitch happens it is not disturbing. Our brains are quite good at filling in the missing visual bits.

Audio is not that way there is no way for our brains to fill in a missing audio segment so we notice the missing bits.

Our senses are rigged to work in the natural world. Vision tells us about a world that changes slowly enough that mostly if we miss something we can look again but in the natural world audio is gone if you missed it the first time around.

Sorry I meant more information Communicated. Not file size.

Try watching a news program with the sound off. You can't really tell what's going on. Next, try, try 'watching' with your eyes closed and the sound up. Much more is information is communicated.

KeithPratt
Sep 23, 2009, 09:06 AM
Funy thing is that when peole watch video they will put up with all kinds of poor video quality, poor lighting and not with poor sound. Even uneducated viewers will notice every audio defect and let the video glitches go by.

This gets passed around a lot but I'm not convinced in it as a stand-alone concept. I think if you're watching something that uses audio more heavily than visuals to communicate it's true, but if you're watching something that's more visual you'd have a major problem if the picture was really poor.

hakukani
Sep 24, 2009, 01:20 AM
This gets passed around a lot but I'm not convinced in it as a stand-alone concept. I think if you're watching something that uses audio more heavily than visuals to communicate it's true, but if you're watching something that's more visual you'd have a major problem if the picture was really poor.

Really? name one. Only one.

I get most of my news from NPR. Most folks back in the day got good info from radio. TV is BS.

KeithPratt
Sep 24, 2009, 10:40 PM
Really? name one. Only one.

One what?

akdj
Sep 28, 2009, 03:10 PM
"fantastic for recording gunshots and explosions. not so much for dialog."

I disagree totally! Sorry...but the SM58 is an incredible vocal mic...the Beta, even better. Whoever mentioned an SM58 on a stick is on to something. I've used this concoction many dozens of times in a pinch. The OP is not filming a major production...just capturing some banter...the '58 is an excellent choice. Ergonomically it's going to be totally different than a true shotgun approach. But, at less than a C-note, it will be the best possible sound in that price category, IMHO. Another 50 bucks at Home Depot/Lowes and you'll be set! The only drawback I see is that is DOES need phantom power. But, if you have access to the DVX, you'll be fine.

Someone else mentioned rentals. That's actually your answer, on a budget. If you are in a market with others in the business, call around and see what you can rent a boom and Lav system for, from them. You could probably even hire a decent audio tech for the day (with his/her gear) for 2-300 bucks.

Here is an excellent comparison on reasonable priced video mics. Ken is very well respected...and you can even check out his "high end" mic comparisons to see (hear) the difference.
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/review_shotgun_mics.html

Also, as far as the SM58 direction...you can even use that mic as a hammer on stage if you forget your toolbox:) Seriously durable and heavily used for decades...one of the great mics on the market, IMO.

J

salientstimulus
Sep 28, 2009, 05:15 PM
I disagree totally! Sorry...but the SM58 is an incredible vocal mic...the Beta, even better. Whoever mentioned an SM58 on a stick is on to something. I've used this concoction many dozens of times in a pinch. The OP is not filming a major production...just capturing some banter...the '58 is an excellent choice. Ergonomically it's going to be totally different than a true shotgun approach. But, at less than a C-note, it will be the best possible sound in that price category, IMHO. Another 50 bucks at Home Depot/Lowes and you'll be set! The only drawback I see is that is DOES need phantom power. But, if you have access to the DVX, you'll be fine.

Just to clarify, the SM58 does not require phantom power...