Microphone

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by fisherman, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. fisherman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    in a house
    #1
    I just picked up a Sony HVR-A1U as a second camera for an outdoor documentary I work on (the shotgun mic provided on that SUCKS, not sure why they even bothered..). We shoot around boats on the water mostly and on the dock. Most of the people we film move around to much and don't like to wear wireless mics so I'm planning o getting a shotgun mic. to pick up the chatter and interviews we do. The "conversation" for audio is alway within close proximity of the camera (always within 10 feet). Hearing some of the background noise is Ok, but it can't overpower the voices/audio of our subjects..

    What shot gun mic would be best for this type of enviroment?? ME66 I hear a lot about. Do I get a OmniDirectional, Unidirectional, Cardoid ex...??

    Thanks-
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Any camera mounted mic is only good for picking up nat sound and/or providing reference so you can sync to clean audio later on. If subjects don't want to wear mics you'll need a sound guy there using a boom to get good audio.


    Lethal
     
  3. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    Omnidirectional would probably be too much like the mic you already have, and pick up way too much nat sound. I'd go with a unidirectional condenser mic. Some of them have a switch to adjust the "spread" of the pickup, so you might want one of those, if you're going to be getting conversations with multiple people.
     
  4. -DH macrumors 65816

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    Nov 28, 2006
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    Nashville Tennessee
    #4
  5. fisherman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    in a house
    #5
    Thanks for the info, the one I have now is unidirectional, and I don't like it that much. If the subject turns slightly while talking into the direction of the camera, or if the camera moves right or left while the subject is talking, the audio get's very low, until the subject comes back directly in front of the camera.....will a Uni directional mic solve this issue? (other than a boom guy, this is a low budget thing!)....
     
  6. Poeben macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    #6
    Just to add to the info:

    A shotgun mic, by definition, is unidirectional; usually a super-cardioid. Typically, the longer the shotgun (the more 'rear ports' it has) the more off-axis rejection (more focused pickup pattern.)

    I would recommend just about any mic by Neumann, sanken, AKG, audio-technica, beyer, shure. Price varies widely from $300-$3000+.

    Another thing to watch out for is phantom power. Some mics may be able to be powered with batteries, while others will require 48V (from the camera or external power supply.)

    Edit:
    "will a Uni directional mic solve this issue?"

    short answer is no. The purpose of a shotgun mic is to pickup a narrow field of audio, kind of like a zoom lens on a camera. This is why they have boom operators using shotguns.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    That will happen w/ANY camera mounted mic. Like I said in my first post, if you need to record good dialogue and the subjects don't want to wear a mic you have to get a sound guy w/a boom to capture audio (especially out doors w/a lot of nat sound).


    Lethal
     
  8. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #8
    fisherman,

    LethalWolfe is absolutely right. Ask yourself how important it is for your project to get a clear recording of what people say. If this is a priority, you just won't be able to do it with a camera-mounted mic. Wireless mics, while not perfect, would at least give you consistent and usable audio - too bad your subjects don't want to wear them. A boom mic really is the only other way to get a mic close enough to the subject.

    I haven't been on boats much; the few times that I have, it always seemed like a rather loud environment, meaning that omnis won't do you much good unless you can get them very, very close to the subject (read: lav mics, which brings us back to wireless). A good shotgun mic would be able to pick up the voice and save you from at least a good portion of the ambient noise. Again, this works the better the closer you can get the mic to the subject. 10ft, which is the typical distance you quoted between the camera and the interview subjects for your project, is pushing the envelope - it all depends on how much ambient noise there is. Still, mounting one of those shotgun mics on your camera will result in coloration and volume changes as the subjects move into and out of the frame.

    To summarize: if good sound quality is important for this project, get a sound person with a boom mic (shotgun) or convince the group to wear wireless mics. If sound quality is not so important, I'd recommend a decent condenser mic with a cardioid pickup pattern which you can camera-mount with less (not none, but less!) of the problems of a camera-mounted shotgun.

    Good luck! Once you are all done, it would be nice if you could let us know what you decide to do, and how it turns out!

    - Martin
     

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