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Dan Wake

Which all in one mic/recorder?

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Hi I need a microphone for video interviews I’m searching something that have a nice audio quality and narrow “field of view” because if too open it can keep unwanted noise. The microphone needs to have an SD slot to record the audio tracks, and the possibility to connect a phantom powered external mic for future buy. Do you have any advices please?

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3 hours ago, Dan Wake said:

Hi I need a microphone for video interviews I’m searching something that have a nice audio quality and narrow “field of view” because if too open it can keep unwanted noise. The microphone needs to have an SD slot to record the audio tracks, and the possibility to connect a phantom powered external mic for future buy. Do you have any advices please?

Microphones are not like a telephoto lens such as a 200mm would be. 
Thus I suspect you're looking in the wrong places here in imagining what you think you want. 

Is this a seated staged interview? What kind of interviews are these? Indoors? Outdoors?

Quite possibly the best way to get acceptable audio here while a solo shooter is (however the best step is to first not be a solo shooter! & have a soundie) to have a C stand with Boom Buddy for the boom pole to position the mic just half an inch above the frame line. (an example of a very low budget recorder and mic to consider if doing these outdoors would be the Zoom F8n + Deity S-Mic 2 Shotgun with a blimp)

As the three most important rules of thumb for audio is:
Location! Location! Location! 
(the location of your mic that is)

Next most important tip to consider: your location again! (but in the sense of what is your shooting environment? As if you can improve it any form then that will lead to better audio too)

 

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+1 same recently got zoom f1 does the job. I am not into high fidelity but the version with the lav seems to satisfy my customers need for quality sound. On this you can connect different accessories like stereo mics and I think also xlr phantom thingy. Let's say this thing is fairly fool proof...

12 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Unless you have a second dude pointing that thing right at someone's head and out of frame this will be desaster bound to happen.

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4 hours ago, hansel said:

+1 same recently got zoom f1 does the job. I am not into high fidelity but the version with the lav seems to satisfy my customers need for quality sound. On this you can connect different accessories like stereo mics and I think also xlr phantom thingy. Let's say this thing is fairly fool proof...

Unless you have a second dude pointing that thing right at someone's head and out of frame this will be desaster bound to happen.

How do you know he doesn't have a second dude pointing that thing right at someone's head and out of frame LoL. But yeah the Zoom is a good choice.

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The problem is this. This setup to buy is not for me it is for a friend of mine. 

 

1) He is alone, he does camera operator and mic operator at the same time.

2) His camera doesn’t have a hot shoe mount and mic input

3) This is his first mic and he have no experience with audio studio. 

4) He don’t want to use lavaliers because he needs to speak with a lot of people on the go, and he don’t want a dynamic microphone because he do not wants the mic to be seen in the frame of the picture. 

5) this is a christmas gift for him so he can’t tell me how much his friends are going to spend for it.

I told him: buy a camcorder as soon as possible (you will have at least a hot shoe mount and a mic input) other that good video features for a documentary . Buy  a shotgun mic now as Christmas gift, and mount it on the camera later when you will buy the camcorder. 

Do you have better suggestions please?

 

 

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From my little experience: the camera mounted shotgun mic is totally insufficient to record someone talking. there will always be a great amount of background noise humming airplane train and what not. I got skunked so many times. Shot in calm rooms and the shotgun mic picked up some random hiss and hum from air conditioning and stuff like that. Even a lav can be insufficient with loud background noises. Just my two cents. But than again a shotgun mic is better than no mic at all 💥

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1 hour ago, Dan Wake said:

The problem is this. This setup to buy is not for me it is for a friend of mine. 

....

4) He don’t want to use lavaliers because he needs to speak with a lot of people on the go, and he don’t want a dynamic microphone because he do not wants the mic to be seen in the frame of the picture. 

...

There really isn't a solution for this.  Camera mounted mic won't work for interviews.  It just won't.
Boom Buddy won't work if you are hopping around a location hoping to interview people on the fly.

You're ruling out lavaliers, but I think they're the only real option in this case.  Radio-mic to a recorder setup alongside or underneath the camera.  Will take a minute or two to set up the mic, with a bit of practise.

This type of work really requires two people.

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2 hours ago, Dan Wake said:

1) He is alone, he does camera operator and mic operator at the same time.

And asking the questions for the interview? Sounds like the microphone he chooses is the least of worries.

One thing I would suggest in this situation though is put the camera on a mono pod so you can move quickly and be stable with one hand. In the other hand he can hold a shotgun recorder in a shock mount and hold it just out of frame but arms length closer to the person on screen. You could do this with the Zoom options previously mentioned.

Pair that setup with a wide-ish lens and he can certainly get close enough to pull it off, providing he can also check framing and focus.

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With respect, I really wouldn't recommend that approach. With your brain trying to simultaneously balance two objects, and monitor both picture and sound, and meaningfully engage with another human being - trust me - something's gonna give!

P.s - I retract 1 or 2 mins. Lav mics often take a little longer than that to get set up right.

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6 hours ago, Dan Wake said:

2) His camera doesn’t have a hot shoe mount and mic input

 

L bracket + Shure VP83F LensHopper (or Tascam DR10SG, or Zoom F1 with SGH-6)

 

image.thumb.png.0811973724ede7a142c87f7de004db32.png

image.png.5183fb4b1ac9a2441faa73e7e25ea11d.png

https://www.ebay.com/itm/L-Shape-Bracket-Holder-For-Flash-light-Camera-mini-DV-Camcorder-With-Hot-Shoe/222220823578

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/966010-REG/shure_vp83f_condenser_shotgun_mic.html

7 hours ago, Dan Wake said:

3) This is his first mic and he have no experience with audio studio. 

4) He don’t want to use lavaliers because he needs to speak with a lot of people on the go, and he don’t want a dynamic microphone because he do not wants the mic to be seen in the frame of the picture. 

I don't except my suggestion to produce great audio results for him, because of his constraints. But it is the best suggestion in this thread so far. 

 

6 hours ago, hansel said:

But than again a shotgun mic is better than no mic at all 💥

This. 

But also just because something is better than something else which is much worse, doesn't mean that approach is a good idea either....

 

5 hours ago, Mmmbeats said:

There really isn't a solution for this.  Camera mounted mic won't work for interviews.  It just won't.
Boom Buddy won't work if you are hopping around a location hoping to interview people on the fly.

You're ruling out lavaliers, but I think they're the only real option in this case.  Radio-mic to a recorder setup alongside or underneath the camera.  Will take a minute or two to set up the mic, with a bit of practise.

This type of work really requires two people.


Yeah, some scenarios can be with luck pulled off with just one person, other times you really need a dedicated soundie. And run and gun interviews on the move with no set up time really really does need a dedicated soundie, or put up with very sub par sound (or change how you do it, just giving a few minutes more times for instance, or changing up how your shots are done). 

There are also other times when even one soundie is not a good idea, and you should have a sound team of two (or even three or four people). For instance I did a low budget web series on the weekend which had a boom and seven wireless lavs (multicam shooting too, with up to three cameras frequently). I really should have had a boom op for this, rather than doing the whole sound department myself (but he had to cancel on me the night before when some work popped up. Thus I did sound solo, made for a stressful risky day). 

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5 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

And asking the questions for the interview? Sounds like the microphone he chooses is the least of worries.

One thing I would suggest in this situation though is put the camera on a mono pod so you can move quickly and be stable with one hand. In the other hand he can hold a shotgun recorder in a shock mount and hold it just out of frame but arms length closer to the person on screen. You could do this with the Zoom options previously mentioned.

 Pair that setup with a wide-ish lens and he can certainly get close enough to pull it off, providing he can also check framing and focus.

Holding a shotgun out at full arms length is a quick way to get tired arms! And I think you're perhaps meaning something like a Senal ENG-18RL, or other reporter's mic. But he doesn't want anything in frame...  which I believe is a bad idea. There is a reason why reporters have it in frame! As when you're doing quick interviews, on ultra low budgets, in bad environments, then this is by far the best way to get passable audio. 


And yes, if he has a wiiide lens then that will allow him (and the mic) to get a lot closer while shooting which is beneficial for the audio.

 

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4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Holding a shotgun out at full arms length is a quick way to get tired arms! And I think you're perhaps meaning something like a Senal ENG-18RL, or other reporter's mic.

I actually do mean a shotgun ;) I regularly see reporters using shotguns in a shock mount for quick interviews. Granted they're not also using the camera, so can physically stand between the lens and the subject, but still be out of frame (over the shoulder shot). They hold the mic kind of chest height and get great sound, with the mic being out of shot. 

My idea was to try to replicate that with a 1 man crew. The suggestion was based on not wanting a mic on screen, not wanting a lav and being a one man crew - this really is the only other option and will be much better than a camera mounted mic.

Here's the only image I can find, and they're not using a shock mount, but to give you an idea - the camera is probably between the two mics we can see. The black one though, is more than likely in shot, so there's no need to use the shotgun, but you get the idea.

image.thumb.png.6580f39a4d7cbd08e97b6b49d7486806.png

Personally, we always use a reporters mic, because there's no problem in having the mic in the shot in an noisey envornment. However I've heard many snarkey reporters complain to me and my reporter that the only reason to use one of those is to watermark the footage with your logo on the flag. I disagree.

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12 hours ago, Dan Wake said:

I told him: buy a camcorder as soon as possible (you will have at least a hot shoe mount and a mic input) other that good video features for a documentary .

Panasonic G85, not a camcorder.

If high-school level kind of thing then mobile phone with a Takstar plugged in. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Takstar-SGC-598-Photography-Interview-Shotgun-MIC-Microphone-for-Nikon-Canon-DSLR-Camera-DV-Camcorder-for/32787037899.html 

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10 hours ago, Mmmbeats said:

With respect, I really wouldn't recommend that approach. With your brain trying to simultaneously balance two objects, and monitor both picture and sound, and meaningfully engage with another human being - trust me - something's gonna give!

I missed this earlier, but yes its far from ideal - although I have done it myself of the rare occasion and the results have been more than just passable. Remember, he's not discussing the meaning of existence with the subjects. It's talking to a lot of people while on the go, grabbing them for a couple soundbites.

With this setup though, you could hand the mic to the subject and ask them to hold it waist level and point it up at their chin and you'd get easily usable results. Of course that also adds other risks, more time, etc. etc.

Another option I just thought of is the Tascam DR10SG - it's a shotgun/recorder and comes with a handy extension arm (aka micro boom?). You could mount this on the camera, get a widish lens and when you're filming the mic could be pretty close to the source. I'd imagine if he's using an MFT sensor, 18mm would get close enough, perhaps even too close.

image.png.c8680e5a8bd46f77d525b40ef19b5cfb.png

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7 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

I actually do mean a shotgun ;) I regularly see reporters using shotguns in a shock mount for quick interviews. Granted they're not also using the camera, so can physically stand between the lens and the subject, but still be out of frame (over the shoulder shot). They hold the mic kind of chest height and get great sound, with the mic being out of shot. 


They have shotguns because they either don't know about reporter mics, or they don't have them in their kit. 

And yes, I've seen shotguns used like that many many many times myself. 

 

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33 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

They have shotguns because they either don't know about reporter mics, or they don't have them in their kit. 

Sorry man, that's just not true. It's a decision. They use a shotgun because they don't want a mic in the frame. I'm pretty sure that the official crew at the British Film Institute at the BFI Festival have access to reporter mics.

Frame.thumb.jpg.055d1161be50e015f32154afc484d0a1.jpg

And in this shot I count at least 3 shotguns all in a row. All of them are stupid because they've never heard of a reporter mic, or poor because they can't afford to spring for one. Idiots.

Stone.thumb.jpg.8fd800062511e30c5f7f53f150798654.jpg

I'm not saying they're the BEST option, nor am I saying you should hold a cable the way that blue one is being held. But they are a viable solution and for a 1 man crew who doesn't want the mic in shot, they'll do the job, and they'll do it well.

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