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JazzBox

Microphone for audio dialogues on set?

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Dear all, 

I'm going to shoot a web series and I need some tips for the dialogues.

I own a recording studio, I have microphones for vocals and music that are perfect for voice over, ADR (which I made quite often) etc... but not for cinema, since it is difficult to mount them on a boom.

Since it is an indie (super low budget) series I'm thinking to record the dialogues with a shotgun mic and then sync in post with the camera's audio. 

I saw some Rode mics (I already own a Rode Lavalier for interviews) and I'd like to have some advices from you:

http://www.thomann.de/de/rode_videomic_go.htm?ref=search_rslt_rode+video_329025_2

http://www.thomann.de/de/rode_videomic.htm 

http://www.thomann.de/de/rode_videomic.htm?ref=search_rslt_rode+video_177309_8

http://www.thomann.de/de/rode_ntg4_2.htm?ref=search_rslt_rode+video_358843_10 

I also saw this, that look useful on set: http://www.thomann.de/de/rode_blimp_mkii.htm?ref=prod_rel_358843_1 

Do you think one of those mic could have a good sound (no hiss, harsh frequencies, good volume etc...) or there are some better choices? 

Of course I could still think to ADR after the editing of all dialogues, but since the budget is low... if I could have the audio on set that would be better :)

Thank you all!

 

 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

If you're indoors, you may have better and more natural sound with a hyper cardioid than a shotgun. Thing is, there aren't a lot of hypers out there.

A budget favorite is the Oktava, but do some research and don't get a counterfeit mic, and learn about their handling issues. The At 4053b is the best "budget" value I'm aware of - but it's six hundred bucks. But if you have a studio, they're fantastic instrument mics as well and great for live sound.

I've gotten good sound when testing a pencil condenser (I have an ADK SD) but I find the 4053 to be pretty amazing for detail and sparkle and presence - and off-axis rejection with a decent sweet spot. If you have a small di condenser, test it against the shotgun in your shooting environment. 

Go to DVXuser.com and poke around - they have one of the best audio-for-picture forums on the net.

I'm still kind of amazed that Rode or someone doesn't do a $300-range hyper - maybe because newbies think any mic used to record audio on set is a "shotgun"? (Or maybe someone does, I haven't seen one).

And an edit: looking at your links, you have two on-camera mount mics and one shotgun. I'd skip anything on-camera unless you're shooting events or just need sound to synch in post. You really want to get your mic as close to the talent as humanly possible. Unless you're shooting everyone with a 20mm and you're right in their faces, you need something off-camera.

And the Rode blimp is really a very nice piece of gear, well designed and a great value for the money.

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Thank you very much for your kind answer and for all the tips, I'll try to search something also on DVXUser.com!

I know very well the modded Oktava MK-012 (a friend of mine has a matched pair in his studio), amazing on instruments!
I have a pair of pencils and I tried to use them while shooting, but I had a lot of noise outside and the series will have a good amount of external shots. For that I thought to ADR in the first moment, but I don't want to bother the actors at the end of the editing... 

I added the "on-camera" mics just because they where cheap and I could find a way to mount them on a boom. I don't want mic on the camera, otherwise when I'm pulling focus etc. all the noise could be recorded. 

My maximum budget is in the € 300 range, but if a €200 NTG-2 would be fine... better :)

http://www.thomann.de/de/rode_ntg_2.htm?ref=prod_rel_358843_7 

I just need a nice, clean, not harsh mic with good volume and no noise to record with my trusty Zoom H5.

Huge thanks! ;) 

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I know it may sound out of context here, but if you are really on a tight -and I mean tight- budget like I do, you could follow Curtis Judd's advice and use the Samson C02 for indoor audio. Please don't kill the messenger. :D
 


 

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Either an Audio-Technica AT4053b or an Audix SCX-1 HC or an Oktava MK012 (with some very heavy caveats... ! ) are basically the "standard" when it comes to indoor dialogue for low budget indies. 

But even those can not be low budget enough.....  Samson C02 seems like a viable alternative in that case. I've got one ordered which should arrive soon, which I plan to use myself. But for bigger paid jobs I'll be renting something better for sure! And hopefully in the near ish future I'll be able to afford buying an Audio-Technica AT4053b for myself. 

Also keep an eye out for the Aputure D3 which will ship soon, it is meant to be as good as a Sennheiser MKH-416, but at a heaps cheaper price than any of the others mics mentioned here so far (except the Samson of course). 

A RODE Blimp is basically essential for outdoors if you're going to have adverse conditions, ignore those who say it is no good, the v2 from RODE is greatly improved (I have it myself).

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The Samson is interesting - there's just a flood of chinese large and small di. condensers out there (with companies like ADK finding decent capsules and doing their own electronics and housings - I own an Area 51 and it's an impressive mic for the dollars) but I haven't seen a hyper myslef, especially this cheap. They're not reviewed that well by the studio guys using them on acoustic guitars and as drum overheads, but you never know...

The Aputure D3 is a shotgun, and there are plenty of affordable shotgun choices out there already.

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Thank you all!! 

I know the Samson C02, the AKG Perception 170, the Beheringer C2 etc... they are all perfect for live instruments micing, for indoor shooting, but outdoor they become quickly very difficult to use. 
I'd like to find some "video" mic so I can rely on it when I shoot indoor and outdoor.

The Rode NTG are bad?

Thank you all!

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8 hours ago, IronFilm said:

The 416 is a hypercardiod, and they're comparing the D3 against the 416 as a direct competitor, so maybe don't write it off quite so quickly?

The D3 is an interference tube "shotgun" mic, regardless of what they compare it to - Aputure calls it a shotgun as well. Where did I "write it off"? My comment is that there's been a lot of fairly affordable (even cheap as hell) shotguns out there, but it's interesting we're finally seeing hypers get democratized.

ADK A-51s are under $200 and a pretty spectacular value, so I won't write it off til I hear it.

4 hours ago, JazzBox said:

Thank you all!! 

I know the Samson C02, the AKG Perception 170, the Beheringer C2 etc... they are all perfect for live instruments micing, for indoor shooting, but outdoor they become quickly very difficult to use. 
I'd like to find some "video" mic so I can rely on it when I shoot indoor and outdoor.

The Rode NTG are bad?

Thank you all!

There's no "video mic" that has some magic wind-proof power - you need wind protection. A blimp has an internal shockmount, a shell that has some wind cut properties, and (the Rode for instance) comes with a "dead cat" - the fur cover. None of that will allow you to shoot in wind over 20mph or so with total quiet, but they go a long way. 

My son does some on-set audio - his blimp doesn't have a removable front cell. The Rode does - I use that indoors if there's AC we just can't shut off (big office buildings) and remove just the front - that does seem to help deaden room noise even more. In fact, I never take my mic out of the blimp and transport it that way (I have sort of a foam rubber "donut" that I stick in there to keep the shock mount cords from having to "work" in storage).

Another good trick - if your blimp is designed for shotguns, it may be hard to get a hyper all the way up to the front - so essentially you're sacrificing 2 or 3 inches of mic placement. Get one of the XLR barrel on-off switches, tape the switch to "on" and plug it onto your mic and stick the whole thing in the shockmount - basically makes your mic about 3 or 4" longer.

The Rode NTG 2 and 3 are shotgun mics. Unless all you do is shoot outdoors, I'd start with a hyper. Shotguns can really pick up a lot of room reverberance and noise - their design makes the pickup from the rear of the mic very strong, it's a problem inherent to the interference design that makes the front more directional.

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10 hours ago, JazzBox said:

Thank you all!!

What about capsules for Zoom H5? Are those toys or useful piece of gear? :)

How close can you get the Zoom with a capsule stuck on it to the actor's voice? I'm not super-familiar with that setup, but I'm thinking it's for ambient sound or recording concerts and such. If you're doing narrative work or interviews, you need a decent mic as close as possible to the subject. And optimally it's a mic that captures as little extraneous sound as possible. A Sure 57 2 feet from the talent is going to trump a zillion-dollar hyper across the room - much less a Rode videomic on the hot shoe. Think about getting a hyper on a stand, or a quality lav on the chest, while you're trying to shoot with a lens long enough for the look you want - usually 5 or 6 feet away for starters. Work backwards from there - what's it take to get up-close audio, with as little ambient sound as possible, into your edit? Not necessarily into your camera, but on your timeline?

There's no super-secret formula you'll find that beats a hyper mic just out of the frame. Plug that mic into a proper recording chain (balanced low impedance cables, decent preamp, decent recording medium). Stage yout gain so you get the max signal to noise with no distortion. Find a way to synch it to the camera (even FCPX has auto-synching built-in, or synch by ear). And it will synch to the built-in mic on about any DSLR - your synch track doesn't need to be amazing. Get a clapboard if you're worried.

That's it. A $1500 Schoeps mic is just icing on the cake. The basics are the basics and they work.

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On 5/19/2016 at 9:53 PM, JazzBox said:

Thank you all!! 

I know the Samson C02, the AKG Perception 170, the Beheringer C2 etc... they are all perfect for live instruments micing, for indoor shooting, but outdoor they become quickly very difficult to use. 
I'd like to find some "video" mic so I can rely on it when I shoot indoor and outdoor.

The Rode NTG are bad?

There is no one mic which is perfect for everything, you'll often be using a different microphone for indoors vs outdoors. 

So don't write off a mic because it is not suitable for outdoors.

There are many different NTG models from Rode, the two most popular ones are the NTG2 and NTG3. The NTG2 is a solid enough cheap entry level mic, I have it myself, but it is not a hot mic at all by any measure as the output is rather on the low side. The NTG3 is a totally different kettle of fish, is more expensive, and is highly regarded and also seen as very good value. 

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3 hours ago, IronFilm said:

There is no one mic which is perfect for everything, you'll often be using a different microphone for indoors vs outdoors. 

So don't write off a mic because it is not suitable for outdoors.

There are many different NTG models from Rode, the two most popular ones are the NTG2 and NTG3. The NTG2 is a solid enough cheap entry level mic, I have it myself, but it is not a hot mic at all by any measure as the output is rather on the low side. The NTG3 is a totally different kettle of fish, is more expensive, and is highly regarded and also seen as very good value. 

Thank you very much! 

Maybe the best bet would be Rode NTG3 (or NTG4+ http://www.thomann.de/it/rode_ntg4_2.htm) for outdoor and an Hyper for indoor :) 

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On 5/19/2016 at 2:30 PM, JazzBox said:

Thank you all!!

What about capsules for Zoom H5? Are those toys or useful piece of gear? :)

Don't waste your time on the Zoom H5 shotgun capsule, it's terrible - I own one. An NTG4+ or NTG3 would be good for outdoor use. I bought the NTG4+ and while it's good enough with my Zoom H6, I wish I would have just gone with the NTG3. 

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2 hours ago, AnthonyWithNoH said:

Don't waste your time on the Zoom H5 shotgun capsule, it's terrible - I own one. An NTG4+ or NTG3 would be good for outdoor use. I bought the NTG4+ and while it's good enough with my Zoom H6, I wish I would have just gone with the NTG3. 

Thank you for your advice! :) 

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I run an NTG-2 into a Tascam DR-40. When I bought it I was lusting after the NTG-3 but couldn't justify $700 at the time for one as I only infrequently use a shotgun.

As others have said, the NTG-2 doesn't put out the hottest signal, but after some research I bought a FetHead xlr booster thing for it, and now it's awesome! You let the NTG-2 use it's own battery power and the FetHead takes the phantom from the recorder and supercharges the mic with an ultra-clean +20db boost. Basically, I went from having to have the Tascam's gain cranked past 75 to 80 all the time get good sound, now I rarely take it past 20. It's been a real game-changer for me, and really takes care of pretty much all of my audio needs. GAS averted!

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1 hour ago, Parker said:

I run an NTG-2 into a Tascam DR-40. When I bought it I was lusting after the NTG-3 but couldn't justify $700 at the time for one as I only infrequently use a shotgun.

As others have said, the NTG-2 doesn't put out the hottest signal, but after some research I bought a FetHead xlr booster thing for it, and now it's awesome! You let the NTG-2 use it's own battery power and the FetHead takes the phantom from the recorder and supercharges the mic with an ultra-clean +20db boost. Basically, I went from having to have the Tascam's gain cranked past 75 to 80 all the time get good sound, now I rarely take it past 20. It's been a real game-changer for me, and really takes care of pretty much all of my audio needs. GAS averted!

3 Questions:
1. Which FetHead did you exactly purchase? A link would be useful.
2. Are you using battery or XLR power for the NTG-2
3. What is your recording set-up?

I asked because this article (http://chromonaut.ch/2013/boost-zoom-h4n-recordings/) stated that the XLR may not work with the NTG2 (Maybe he was not using an External Recorder with Phantom Power). 
Also, there are (atleast) two versions of the FetHead:

1.  Triton Audio FetHead Phantom: http://www.zenproaudio.com/triton-audio-fethead-phantom
and 
2. Triton Audio FetHead

Thus, the questions above. 

Thanks

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