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Best indoor mic for under $1,000?


acuriousman
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Shotgun mics are great for indoor and studio use. Unless its just a really really small room, and then it likely won't sound good regardless.

 

Shotgun mics do the best job of picking up sources directly in front of them, and rejecting sounds from the sides. This would include echo from the walls of smallish rooms. Heres a nice primer on b&h

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/indepth/audio/buying-guides/shotgun-microphones

 

The Rode ntg-3 is pretty great, and a nice bit under $1,000

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You'll probably be hard pressed to find someone on this forum that has actually used both of them. The hypercardioid pickup pattern leads me to believe it is probably similar in use to the NTG-3 -very directional with good off-axis rejection, though I can't comment on the sound because I haven't used it. 

 

gearslutz.com is a great audio forum that has tons of gear reviews and questions. You might be able to find more specifics on each of the mics there!

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Shotgun mics will definitely do a decent job in most indoor environments. However, I find that in many rooms they tend to pick up reflections that can cause dialogue to have a somewhat unnatural sound. For my money I would recommend a super or hyper cardioid small-daiphram condenser mic, like the Audio-Technica AT4053b (as you mentioned) or the Audix SCX1. The Schoeps CMC6 MK41 is definitely the cream of the crop for indoor dialogue recording, but it usually goes for just shy of $2,000. 

 

Don't get me wrong, all of the shotgun mics mentioned here are fantastic, but for indoor use, they are not always the best option.

 

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The Schoeps of course has the best sound but not the best reach and tends to crap out in humidity. Sankens can also be very good but priced accordingly. The MKH-416 is the warhorse Hollywood relies on. I dislike everything cheaper, though I do like the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro a lot for on-camera room tone.

 

Cheaper shotguns will lobe out irregularly off-axis and potentially color the room tone as Smeeth suggests, but the ones I'm recommending won't if aimed properly at the source (and your soundie should have headphones and taste and adjust accordingly). A wider pickup pattern will pick up more, not less, early reflections for a given distance from the source...and unless you are doing extreme closeups you will want to keep them out of the shot. Thus the value of shotguns, a microphone equivalent of a telephoto lens, giving you good isolation at 1-2m distance.

 

Tip of the day: while it's consistent to boom shotguns from above the talent, this is just standard because of whole-body shots. If you aren't shooting the feet, or are doing punch-ins, I find it better to mic from below the talent than above...as people are more likely to look down than up, and when looking down, tend to speak quieter than when looking up. You can have the mics on stands below the talent in this case. Shotguns are also almost always better than lavs but having a lav as a backup (use moleskin to adhere them to the inside of their shirt, address face clear and up) is a damn good idea.

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I was told by an expert today that the Sennheiser 416 is a pretty old microphone and is actually very aggressive in its sound. It´s still produced by Sennheiser because of popularity and sales but they discarded it from their shop cause of better performers. Likewise in this pricerange he mentioned the Neumann K81 or Sennheiser MKH 8060 as beeing excelent mics.

 

And of course one single Mic will not get you through every situation...

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Roland R-26.

 

I'm in love with it. Not a shotgun mic but a fully featured portable recorder with two stereo mics built in.

 

I'll be writing about that soon on here.

Please do - i've been considering picking one up but have yet to hear any really good examples. 

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