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newfoundmass

Budget Stereo Microphone Options?

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I've been thinking of adding a stereo mic to my set up, in hopes of getting better crowd noise during events I'm shooting. There aren't a ton of reviews though on YouTube for stereo mics. There are some for RODE's Stereo Video Mic X, Stereo VideoMic Pro, etc. but not many for budget friendly options. 

Anyone have suggestions or reviews they can point me to? 

Thanks! 

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4 hours ago, ac6000cw said:

I've used a Tascam TM-2X on several Pana G-series cameras and been very happy with it. Note it needs 'plug-in power' on the mic socket to work.

https://tascam.com/us/product/tm-2x/top

(the plastic extension arm is optional - I've never used it, the basic mic is relatively small)

That hits the sweet spot, I think! I'm looking at videos now! 

Still open to suggestions! Any and all are appreciated! 

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What is frustrating about 90% of the video reviews for stereo mics I'm watching is that the reviewer doesn't understand what a stereo mic is for. So you've got a lot of videos where the reviewer is using it like you'd use a shotgun mic or comparing it to a shotgun mic. Example:

"The RODE is better because it doesn't pick up background noise." 

Ahhh! 

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4 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Definitely Sennheiser MKH 440.

It is my cheap stereo mic that I use all the time. Directional Stereo is the way to go for cheap.

This is a great buy also.

https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/5c9c0e5adaceb659/index.html

+1 for DIRECTIONAL stereo.  The problem is that with less directional stereo mics you end up recording the things that the camera can't see, which is strange when viewing the footage back because the image and sound are disconnected.

15 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

What is frustrating about 90% of the video reviews for stereo mics I'm watching is that the reviewer doesn't understand what a stereo mic is for. So you've got a lot of videos where the reviewer is using it like you'd use a shotgun mic or comparing it to a shotgun mic. Example:

"The RODE is better because it doesn't pick up background noise." 

Ahhh! 

Again, directional is what people want.

Remember that you can always have a DIY solution with a Y-splitter cable and just have two directional mics that get recorded to left and right because of the Y-cable.  The issue with that however is that you can't have dual-level recording so you have to really watch your levels because clipped is clipped.

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I'm looking for something that picks up pretty much all the noise, from the action in the wrestling ring / to the crowd. I want the viewer to feel like they're there in the building. While the camera mics aren't terrible for this, I would like something better. 

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59 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

I'm looking for something that picks up pretty much all the noise, from the action in the wrestling ring / to the crowd. I want the viewer to feel like they're there in the building. While the camera mics aren't terrible for this, I would like something better. 

We - sound men - are using multiple mics and mixing to achieve our goals in live performances. With just one mic you can't do everything obviously.

That is why I suggested the 440, is the cheapest stereo mic that has some kind of direction, and works quite well (it is a Sennheiser after all).

Anything with less directionality, and you just hear the crowd, you - changing camera settings, and almost nothing in front.

It is a tricky situation.. and this, "While the camera mics aren't terrible for this, I would like something better. " doesn't help!

 

 

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In a prefect world I'd have the crowd, the ring and under the ring mic'd up, but that's just not feasible for a variety of reasons. I'm not looking for the best, given the circumstances and the budget, but hopefully something that gives fuller and richer sound than the camera mics. 

What I have now is the announcers going into a recorder and, sometimes, a Zoom H1 recorder I'll put under the ring to make the "bumps" sound more impressive. 

Ideally the stereo mics on the hard camera and my ringside camera would get better sound than I currently am getting. In terms of sound I'm already ahead of most of the people in my niche field, but I'd love to improve it more. 

5 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Hell your mike is more important than the camera. I don't see why people get their panties up about DR. Silly shit on here. I don't give a shit about your story if I can't hear it.

I'm definitely not concerned with DR, especially in the venues we run! 

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IMG_20190512_223701.jpg

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28 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Nice shot by the way. Both the sounds and the action are equally important in wrestling.

Yeah, I mean, when you're shooting in gymnasiums like that, with awful lighting, you need all the help you can get and if upping the audio game helps I'm all for it. 

In a prefect world I'd have enough lights to light the ring myself, but I'm not experienced so much in lighting venues like that and I imagine it'd be pretty expensive! I did just build 4 sets of bank lights to try and see if it helps, in hopes of being about to kill some of the house lights. 

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3 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

I'm looking for something that picks up pretty much all the noise, from the action in the wrestling ring / to the crowd. I want the viewer to feel like they're there in the building. While the camera mics aren't terrible for this, I would like something better. 

 

1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

I should've noted I use a GH5 and G85. I also set up a Sony handy cam (pictured above) just as a back up. 

I think there are a couple of scenarios: 2 channels or more.

If you're limited to 2 channels, you could do the Y-cable trick but have one directional and one omni to get the crowd.  That would mean you can balance the action vs the crowd in post.

If you're able to have more than that, perhaps between the two cameras, then one directional pointing at the stage, one under it, and a stereo pair for the audience might be a good setup.

In case it's relevant, I've read a lot about how audio engineers record music, and an example is how to record an orchestra.  They record using a directional stereo pair seated in the centre in the first few rows, or hung a bit above the orchestra looking slightly down.  Then there's a second pair of mics that are omni-directional that are hung way up in the ceiling space of the venue, on the left and right sides of the hall, either about a third of the way back from the stage or even further back.  
The idea is that the stereo pair give the stereo imaging, and the omni mics give ambience and scale to the recording.  They just pan them hard right and left and then adjust the two pairs to give a balance of directional and ambience.

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3 hours ago, kye said:

In case it's relevant, I've read a lot about how audio engineers record music, and an example is how to record an orchestra.  They record using a directional stereo pair seated in the centre in the first few rows, or hung a bit above the orchestra looking slightly down.  Then there's a second pair of mics that are omni-directional that are hung way up in the ceiling space of the venue, on the left and right sides of the hall, either about a third of the way back from the stage or even further back.  
The idea is that the stereo pair give the stereo imaging, and the omni mics give ambience and scale to the recording.  They just pan them hard right and left and then adjust the two pairs to give a balance of directional and ambience.

Great advice. This is indeed something with do with live audiences.

This is one way though. There are litteraly hundreds of different ways, depending the orchestra, the venue, the direction of the sound scape (as - what the director wants), the equipment and many more. Physics (acoustics) play a major role in whatever we do in sound as well.

Practically, if you have a very wide stereo mic, like what all the cheap ones are and do, you are gathering mostly sound next to the mic. If you have one loud person there, your recording is wasted, all you will hear is the specific person.

Maybe better is to have a small console next to the main-wide camera and do a little mixing in the fly. With a few 100$ microphones and a tiny console (all in all 500$ or so) you can achieve a greater sound scape than 1 1000$ microphone.

Then you can have a classic short gun (Sanken CS-1M would be ideal) for the camera closest to the action and to the ring, and something different on the 3rd camera (what the 3rd camera does?), maybe a stereo there? Then do the mix in post. You will be amazed what production values will give you a simple setuo such this!

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