Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Special Interests > Visual Media > Digital Video

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jul 22, 2013, 11:57 AM   #1
igmolinav
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Rode Shotgun Mic vs. external mic

Hi,

I had thought for a while to get an external mic or recorder like this one:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Portable.html

However, compared to this one, this one records (directly) to what is being
filmed:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t_Shotgun.html

Which one would you prefer? The Zoom can also be used separately.
The Rode, perhaps only with the camera. Which one records with
better quality?

Thank you in advance, kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!
igmolinav is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 02:04 PM   #2
kohlson
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
To be sure, the Zoom records better quality than the Rode mic, which doesn't record at all.

The Zoom and Rode have different capabilities. Shotgun mics will work OK if you are recording fairly close in, but will still sound thin when capturing a source from some distance. It will probably be better than the built-in mic on your camera. Getting the mic closer to the source is always better, and depending on your shot, you may be able to discreetly place the Zoom nearby.

I have an earlier Zoom H2, and the UI (tactile and menu) is not very good. If you decide to go with a recorder try and work with it first. The correct settings make all the difference when recording, but only if you can get to them.
kohlson is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 03:44 PM   #3
nneufeld
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Minnesota, United States
Like kohlson alluded to, your choice is going to really depend on your application.

If you're looking for something very general, the shotgun is likely your best bet. Keep in mind that if you use the recorder, you're going to have to go through the extra work of syncing the audio with the video. This can be extremely time consuming depending on how and what you're shooting.

If you answer the following questions, we may be able to help you nail down just what you need.

1. What kind of camera are you using?
2. Is this a one-man-show or do you have assistance?
3. What is your budget?
4. Is this a specific application or a general one?
__________________
Professional Photographer & Graphic Designer
nneufeld is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 04:22 PM   #4
floh
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Quote:
Originally Posted by igmolinav View Post
Which one would you prefer? The Zoom can also be used separately.
The Rode, perhaps only with the camera. Which one records with
better quality?
Well, most things have already been said. But, I want to add three thoughts, since I own both those devices (and quite a few more):

1. The Rode Videomic Pro will mostly be on your camera, and that is bad. You want the mic as close to your sound source as possible, not where the camera is. This will influence your sound more than the quality of the mic.

2. The Rode mic can not record on its own, and will probably be recorded into your camera. That camera (if it's not a pro-level camcorder) will have a terribly bad pre-amplifier that can easily ruin a very decent microphone sound. This is not as bad with the Pro version of the Rode mic, since it has an internal 20dB boost.

3. The Zoom Recorder (I also own the old H2 version without the "n" in the end) gives you great quality in mic and preamplification. You can put it close to your subject. But: It will have to be synced in post (most NLEs can do that nowadays), since it is not going directly into your camera, and, more importantly, it does not record highly directional but at a 90 (or optionally 120) degree angle.

So, my advice for most purposes would be: Get the Zoom, and get it as close to the source as possible. The sound will be better. Plus, it is easier to upgrade with an additional shotgun mic later. A shotgun mic plugged into the Zoom will sound way better than into your camera.

The Rode Videomic Pro is a great upgrade from the in-camera mic, but of the many audio things I own, it was the last I bought. I mainly use it as a failsafe backup and to have good on camera sound for easier syncing. I don't use it for great sound quality.

Some of the stuff I just said is compared in this video of mine, at 02:16 and 06:02 minutes:



But, if you want really solid advice, we do need more details, like nneufeld said.
floh is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 23, 2013, 02:40 PM   #5
igmolinav
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Hi,

Thank you for all your messages : ) !!!


I take some quotes from you guys. I have some questions with regard to them:

"If you're looking for something very general, the shotgun is likely your best bet. Keep in mind that if you use the recorder, you're going to have to go through the extra work of syncing the audio with the video. This can be extremely time consuming depending on how and what you're shooting."
Yes, the syncing sounds scary. I have never done it, but I wouldn't like to have it off!

"The Zoom Recorder (I also own the old H2 version without the "n" in the end) gives you great quality in mic and preamplification. You can put it close to your subject. But: It will have to be synced in post (most NLEs can do that nowadays), ... " What are NLEs and how do they help to make the syncing in post easier and perhaps not so time consuming ??


1. What kind of camera are you using?
I'll be buying a DSL'r, perhaps a Nikon d5200. It would be cool to shoot with a full format camera like a Canon 6D or Nikon D600, but my budget is limited. My luck may change if a friend and I buy a full format camera together.


2. Is this a one-man-show or do you have assistance?
One-man-show. On some ocassions my sister may help me.

3. What is your budget?
The budget is for the body, the zoom recorder, and perhaps
for the shotgun. I already have a lens.

4. Is this a specific application or a general one?
I'll be doing interviews. I may also do some short films in
which dialogue is the most important feature of the film,
and not action of any sort. (I hope I understood what you
meant for application).


Thank you again, kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!
igmolinav is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 23, 2013, 03:41 PM   #6
floh
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Quote:
Originally Posted by igmolinav View Post
Yes, the syncing sounds scary. I have never done it, but I wouldn't like to have it off!

What are NLEs and how do they help to make the syncing in post easier and perhaps not so time consuming ??
Sorry for the tech talk... NLEs are "non-linear editors", which is just the software you will be editing your videos with. The newest versions of "pro" software (i.e. Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro) will both be able to sync sound for you. This means that it is as simple as clicking on both the video- and audio-track, right click and choose "sync"...

But I don't know what software you will be using, and the less expensive ones don't all have that feature. Do you know what you will be editing with?

All this being said: I know (because I own it) that the Rode Videomic Pro includes a free license of the software "PluralEyes", which does exactly this: Sync clips for you automatically. It's really not that big of a deal today.

But if you really fear the syncing, another idea with the Zoom is: You can just take the headphone output of the Zoom and run it into your camera. That way, you will benefit from the proximity of the mic and the good pre-amplifier of your Zoom, but the audio will be recorded directly onto the video track. I haven't tried this, but principally it should work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by igmolinav View Post
I'll be doing interviews. I may also do some short films in
which dialogue is the most important feature of the film,
and not action of any sort. (I hope I understood what you
meant for application).
In both cases, I would personally pick the Zoom over the Videomic. You can mount the Zoom on a broomstick or some improvised boompole and hold it above your actors instead of having the mic fixed on your camera for short films. And for interviews, you can even hold the Zoom up to the mouth of the person being interviewed. You should also be aware that the Rode mic will record terrible sound from your questions if you are standing next to (and not in front of) the camera. So if you want to include the interview questions, take care of this.

So, can you tell us what software you will be editing with? And by "what's your budget", nneufeld wanted to know what amount of money you want to spend on audio recording equipment in general. Maybe you would be better off with a completely different solution (like a Zoom H1 and an inexpensive pro-grade shotgun microphone attached to it that you can put anywhere you like).

Does that clear up some things? I tend to ramble a lot and maybe type too much and scare people away...
floh is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 23, 2013, 08:06 PM   #7
nneufeld
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Minnesota, United States
Check this out:


Notice the placement of the microphone above the subject's chair. I realize your budget is a bit limited but I would highly suggest getting a real (i.e. not a videomic) shotgun. Check out Rhode's NTG-1 or NTG-2. These are economical shotguns which means that they're not the most directional...but for indoor and relatively close-up work, that'll be fine. They also aren't the highest quality but, in my experience, they're far better than the videomic or the like.

I really have to recommend against an external recorder as the potential for that causing problems is just too great. If you really need your mic placed far away from your subject, invest in longer cables or a wireless package. Heck, I've had audio problems with recorders that were jam-synced with the camera.

Also, there are plenty of cheap boompoles out there and, for interviews, a regular mic stand will work just fine.

As a small side note, you'll notice the smaller mic on top of one of the cameras. This is a small-diaphragm condenser which will pick up a bit of the room's ambience (reverb) to create a more realistic vocal sound. Because it will be recorded as a separate channel, it can be adjusted in post against the shotgun for just the right mix.

Finally, don't forget the lights! I know that's completely off-topic...but lighting is a must especially for formal interviews.
__________________
Professional Photographer & Graphic Designer
nneufeld is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 24, 2013, 12:32 AM   #8
igmolinav
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Hello,

Thank you for your messages : ) !!!

So, can you tell us what software you will be editing with? And by "what's your budget", nneufeld wanted to know what amount of money you want to spend on audio recording equipment in general. Maybe you would be better off with a completely different solution (like a Zoom H1 and an inexpensive pro-grade shotgun microphone attached to it that you can put anywhere you like). I have talked to my friend and we'll be buying the two of us one copie of either Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro. It is more likely to be Final Cut Pro X, unless you guys recommend something else. About the camera purchase, he didn't want to promise (yet) buying it between the two of us, but a zoom recorder, either the H1 or H2, he would.

Also, there are plenty of cheap boompoles out there and, for interviews, a regular mic stand will work just fine. If we can't get a boompole, we may find something to have the recorder (or should it be a microphone?) hanging above the head.

I really have to recommend against an external recorder as the potential for that causing problems is just too great. If you really need your mic placed far away from your subject, invest in longer cables or a wireless package. Heck, ... You would still recommend against the external recorder, even if it is placed hanging above the subject's head.

...I've had audio problems with recorders that were jam-synced with the camera. No, I don't have to sync it directly to/with the camera. I could use the external mic, (or external recorder), not recording into the camera, but into the external recorder. How do you envision a good way to record for the kind of recordings I want to do?

Finally, don't forget the lights! I know that's completely off-topic...but lighting is a must especially for formal interviews. We don't have any HMI external lighting. We have some photo lighting, and the continuous lighting from it is halogen lighting, (yellow or warm light!), and not any white light that imitates the sun! Is it posible in post production to change the light temperature or "the color warmth" of the video recording?

Thank you again : ) !!!

Kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!
igmolinav is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 24, 2013, 01:19 AM   #9
floh
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Quote:
Originally Posted by igmolinav View Post
I have talked to my friend and we'll be buying the two of us one copie of either Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.
Then you should not be afraid of syncing, that's not a problem. Just be sure to set the mic levels manually in the camera and turn off the automatic gain control. That makes a big difference for syncing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by igmolinav View Post
If we can't get a boompole, we may find something to have the recorder (or should it be a microphone?) hanging above the head.
If you might be a one-man-band, just get a cheap mic stand. They are very robust and easy to handle. And (at least in Germany) you can get them for about 10 euros...

Quote:
Originally Posted by igmolinav View Post
You would still recommend against the external recorder, even if it is placed hanging above the subject's head.
Well that's the thing. If you go the more "professional" route like the image shown above, you will want to get a decent external shotgun microphone (not the videomic). But for that to sound even remotely as good as the Zoom, you would have to get an external pre-amp. Be it an external recorder to run the mic into or something like the JuicedLink in the image setup. But then you're way out of your budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by igmolinav View Post
How do you envision a good way to record for the kind of recordings I want to do?
Well, a good way in my eyes would be:
- A decent shotgun microphone (doesn't need to be the most expensive, the Rode NTG-2 would work just fine, but don't get the NTG-1 unless you will only be recording into devices that can output phantom power, and those are usually more expensive)
- A good preamp (whether it is a JuicedLink adapter or a Zoom H4n or a Fostex FR2-LE...)

But this setup will surely run you at over 400 bucks, most likely a lot over that. So, I want to say as some final advice:

1. Think about how much you spend on your camera. Then think about that half your movie is sound. Good audio is just as important and expensive as good video. But, as always of course, you can get along with some cheap solutions like the Zoom H2n as a start. I already like that you don't plan on using the internal camera mic.

2. While the Zoom H2n is not perfect, I will absolutely recommend it over the Rode Videomic Pro as your main sound investment. I know that a lot of filmmakers use the videomic, but in my opinion it is the wrong way entirely. You can't move it, you can't upgrade it, and for the pricetag, the sound quality is barely acceptable, nothing more. Its only advantage is being very easy to handle.

3. If you give us the choice between the two options you mentioned, definitely go with the Zoom. If you want to spend a little more, you with a cheaper pro shotgun mic like the Rode NTG-2 or the Azden SGM-1X and an external preamp like the Beachtek or the JuicedLink. That would save you the syncing, sound better and be easier to upgrade later. This would set you back about 350 bucks at least.

Finally, even though that's another topic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by igmolinav View Post
Is it posible in post production to change the light temperature or "the color warmth" of the video recording?
Yes and no. You can set the color temperature correctly in the camera (which you should definitely do) and you can also change it in post (even though that's harder than for photos and you will lose quality). What you can not do is properly correct a setup where you have a mixture of two different light temperatures, like the sun as a keylight and then your Halogen as a fill for the face. That will always look strange. The easiest way and cheapest investment if you want to film outside would be a reflector. For inside without windows, your lights will work for a start. If you must mix things, try to use the sun as a hairlight. That can be very bright and slightly off color without ruining your shot.
floh is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Special Interests > Visual Media > Digital Video

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
iPhone 5S Mic or External Mic - How good is it? (Filming in a car) MacCrank iPhone Accessories 0 Apr 11, 2014 01:10 PM
Can't use Macbook Pro built-in mic when a headset with mic is plugged in Machlonomic Mac Basics and Help 3 May 8, 2013 04:45 AM
My headset has a crappy mic, how do I only use the internal mic? Action MacBook Air 3 Oct 19, 2012 07:48 AM
Iphone Boom Mic / Belkin LiveAction Mic yashiharu iPhone Accessories 0 Aug 30, 2012 09:28 AM
iPhone 4 Make Secondary Mic the Primary Mic? ohmygahitscoby Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks 0 Jun 5, 2012 01:05 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:29 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC