need moderate priced interview microphone

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jan 5, 2006
11,601
384
Redondo Beach, California
I'm in the market for a decent lavaliere microphone. It can be the type that shows in the video. I don't need to hide it. It will be used for basic interviews.

I care about price and sound quality. The mic I use now is great but it's not mine, I borrowed it. It's a TRAM TR-40 and works very well but costs over $400. That is way over budget. But the TR-50 is easy to hide. I don't need that feature.

I'd like something that follows the 80/20 rule, 80% as good for 20% of the cost.

Maybe someone here can give me a few I should look at. I know I can't afford the best but what else to look at?
 

sjschall

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2013
29
0
You're going to want to decide if you need wireless or can go wired. Wireless will obviously cost more. Also think about what camera you're using - do you want to go straight into the camera or are you recording into an off-camera recorder?

A simple solution I see a lot is to buy an inexpensive lav mic (i.e. rode smart lav) and go straight into an iPhone, pocket recorder (i.e. zoom h1), or straight into camera for a simple lav solution.

If you want to go wireless you will generally not get very good quality until you hit the $400-500 price range. However, some brands to look into might be Audio Technica, Azden, and Sony, which all have ~$100 sets on Amazon.
 

prestonkd

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2007
78
34
Alabama
My wife does video depositions. I'm an audio/video techie kind of guy so I set her up with some pretty nice wired AT lav mics. The people wearing them were pretty rough on them and they kept breaking or would just stop working which got expensive. On a whim, I tried the AT 3350 wired lav mic which at the time sold for $17. I expected it to be garbage. It has proven to be a very good mic for depositions. The original set of three I bought her is still working after a year. They were so affordable she carries spares in case one quits on her. At less than 1/10 the price of the other mics, I'd have to say its a tremendous value and the quality is surprisingly good.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jan 5, 2006
11,601
384
Redondo Beach, California
My wife does video depositions. I'm an audio/video techie kind of guy so I set her up with some pretty nice wired AT lav mics. The people wearing them were pretty rough on them and they kept breaking or would just stop working which got expensive. On a whim, I tried the AT 3350 wired lav mic which at the time sold for $17. I expected it to be garbage. It has proven to be a very good mic for depositions. The original set of three I bought her is still working after a year. They were so affordable she carries spares in case one quits on her. At less than 1/10 the price of the other mics, I'd have to say its a tremendous value and the quality is surprisingly good.
I tried one of those $17 AT mice. Our quality standards must be different. I thought the sound was horrible. Yes they are great values and I really wanted it to work. I do think they would be good enough for depositions where all you need is to make out clearly what was said.

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You're going to want to decide if you need wireless or can go wired. Wireless will obviously cost more. Also think about what camera you're using - do you want to go straight into the camera or are you recording into an off-camera recorder?

A simple solution I see a lot is to buy an inexpensive lav mic (i.e. rode smart lav) and go straight into an iPhone, pocket recorder (i.e. zoom h1), or straight into camera for a simple lav solution.
Wired is fine. I can go straight to a recorder. Which simple lab mice to look into
 

adamneer

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2013
421
743
Chicago, IL

prestonkd

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2007
78
34
Alabama
I tried one of those $17 AT mice. Our quality standards must be different. I thought the sound was horrible. Yes they are great values and I really wanted it to work. I do think they would be good enough for depositions where all you need is to make out clearly what was said.

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I know the mics are not high quality. I run an audio/video recording studio and am familiar with and own some very nice microphones. Depositions are taken in a wide variety of locations from lawyer conference rooms to courthouses to hospital break rooms with humming drink machines. The bar for quality is not very high. I've edited several of her depositions when she's not working for another agency that does it. The quality is far beyond adequate. We are running it through a pretty decent mixer and have a nice table mic for ambient sound also. I wouldn't use them in the studio but for field work, they are more than fine. Best part is if it breaks or has a problem I just throw it away and get another one out of the bag.
 

adamneer

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2013
421
743
Chicago, IL
if you have access to Adobe Audition, it has a great adaptive noise filter that you can use to get rid of minor feedback and ambiance, if needed. You don't even have to guess and check gate frequencies, just set an in/out to a blank spot in your audio track and it'll capture a noise print from that and use it to clean up the rest of the track. i highly recommend it for times of unavoidable mic trouble. also great is the healing brush tool, which does a pretty awesome job of smart patching bumps and pops using a sort of visual "heat map" of the waveform.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jan 5, 2006
11,601
384
Redondo Beach, California
Looks like autocorrect attacked you :D
Yes it did. This is one of the best I've seen in a while. It changed "lav mic" to "lab mice" Once it changed a memo I wrote from "rigorous testing" to "religious testing" that got a few laughs.

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if you have access to Adobe Audition, it has a great adaptive noise filter that you can use to get rid of minor feedback and ambiance, if needed. You don't even have to guess and check gate frequencies, just set an in/out to a blank spot in your audio track and it'll capture a noise print from that and use it to clean up the rest of the track. i highly recommend it for times of unavoidable mic trouble. also great is the healing brush tool, which does a pretty awesome job of smart patching bumps and pops using a sort of visual "heat map" of the waveform.

iZope RX3 does the same thing. I tested it in a bathroom with one of those blower hand driers going place the mic near the drier and it was so loud we had to raise or voices to talk. Later I tried to see what I could recover. I'd say it took 85% of the fan noise out. then I tried to remove the echo from the tile walls and again about a 90% solution. No it did not sound like a studio recording.

I suspect Audition works as well, I don't know but after that experiment I always take time to record 15 seconds of ambient sound so I can sample it.
 

adamneer

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2013
421
743
Chicago, IL
Yes it did. This is one of the best I've seen in a while. It changed "lav mic" to "lab mice" Once it changed a memo I wrote from "rigorous testing" to "religious testing" that got a few laughs.

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iZope RX3 does the same thing. I tested it in a bathroom with one of those blower hand driers going place the mic near the drier and it was so loud we had to raise or voices to talk. Later I tried to see what I could recover. I'd say it took 85% of the fan noise out. then I tried to remove the echo from the tile walls and again about a 90% solution. No it did not sound like a studio recording.

I suspect Audition works as well, I don't know but after that experiment I always take time to record 15 seconds of ambient sound so I can sample it.
yup, I've used that program as well, though i believe its called iZotope. it also has the visual frequency maps for locating and correcting pops and bumps. i think there may be a free version of iZotope out there, but I mention Audition since users of Adobe Premiere or After Effects are likely to have it already if they've got either the Production Premium set of CS or the Over Priced Unnecessarily All Encompassing CC. By the way, I'm surprised you were able to get rid of the echo. I've never had luck doing any meaningful correction for echo since its very difficult to correct that sort of audio defect. You did so with the same adaptive noise filter as the ambient room noise?
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jan 5, 2006
11,601
384
Redondo Beach, California
I tried one of those $17 AT mice. Our quality standards must be different. I thought the sound was horrible. Yes they are great values and I really wanted it to work. I do think they would be good enough for depositions where all you need is to make out clearly what was said.

----------

I know the mics are not high quality. I run an audio/video recording studio and am familiar with and own some very nice microphones. Depositions are taken in a wide variety of locations from lawyer conference rooms to courthouses to hospital break rooms with humming drink machines. The bar for quality is not very high. I've edited several of her depositions when she's not working for another agency that does it. The quality is far beyond adequate. We are running it through a pretty decent mixer and have a nice table mic for ambient sound also. I wouldn't use them in the studio but for field work, they are more than fine. Best part is if it breaks or has a problem I just throw it away and get another one out of the bag.


My criteria is that when you listen to the audio in headphone it should not sound like a recording. It should fool you into thinking the person is in the room speaking.

I also need to by able to inter-cut video shot with a lavaliere mic with studio recorded voice overs and I don't want there to be a noticeable difference where it ping-pongs between two different voice qualities. I can cut between the TRAM TR-50 and my Rode NT1-A and people tend not to notice.

Maybe I should have said that up at the top. The microphone needs to be able to be mixed and cut with other microphones

My problem is I some near state of the art gear and got spoiled.
 
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