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Thread: My apologies for asking what must have been asked before, Microphones

  1. #1
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    Default My apologies for asking what must have been asked before, Microphones

    Using a Nikon D810 with Zacuto Z finder I use a Rode mic, but the background noise it terrible when doing an outdoor shoot at say a racetrack.

    I set up my small photographic business with my disabled 20 year old son when my father died and left me some money, now I need a better mic.

    Can someone please suggest a decent(ish) hand held or wireless (probably too expensive) that we can use for interviewing drivers at race meetings

    Thank you

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    The mic is almost certainly not the issue. It's the proximity (how close you get the mic to the sound source you want to record).I presume you are talking about car racing. Look on the TV. The commentators/interviewers have mics that are held right up to their mouths (often with "cages" held against their jaw. That is the only way to reduce background audio. Very good directional mics will significatly reduce audio from the sides but there's a lot of sound coming from the same direction as the voice so get in close.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    The mic is almost certainly not the issue. It's the proximity (how close you get the mic to the sound source you want to record).I presume you are talking about car racing. Look on the TV. The commentators/interviewers have mics that are held right up to their mouths (often with "cages" held against their jaw. That is the only way to reduce background audio. Very good directional mics will significatly reduce audio from the sides but there's a lot of sound coming from the same direction as the voice so get in close.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GisN-lrZdA

    More the second part with the Yeigermaster orange car

    This is the problem

    Any specific make/type

    Thanks for replying

    JR
    Last edited by JR1; 11-14-2015 at 12:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR1 View Post
    More the second part with the Yeigermaster orange car

    This is the problem
    ... which is a perfect example of why my answer above is correct. You need to get the mic off the camera and close up to the sound source (by which I mean six inches in this sort of environment, and when racing (if you speak whilst recording that) actually right up in the speakers face.

    Watch any racing on TV where there's someone in the paddock interviewing people. They have hand held mics and hold them 6-8 inches from whoever is speaking. Get one. And get a "flag" printed saying "JR Photography" - as you have to show the mic on the screen you might as well use it to advertise
    Tim

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    Thanks for the advice on the advertising, my son and I have not "made" any money this year but we do shoot for Classic Cars magazine, at Silverstone, Brands Hatch and all over

    https://www.facebook.com/JRSPhotogra...uk?pnref=story

    We hope the small family business will work, as I said my son has learning difficulties and is on the new PIP, getting work other than self employed is almost impossible. So this is how we hope to get on.

    I have NO idea what to look for, cabled or wireless, wireless looks very expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR1 View Post
    I have NO idea what to look for, cabled or wireless, wireless looks very expensive.
    Wireless is more expensive, there's more to go wrong, and you are more likely to suffer interference.
    Cabled can be less convenient.
    For starters you culd use your Rode mic (I'm guessing you've got something like a Rode VideoMic or Rode VideoMic Pro. You'll need an extention cable and it won't look the part, but you will notice immediate significant improvement in the sound. Actually just try it. Go out near a busy road and record in different positions.
    The problem with that type of mic is that it uses a 3.5mm jacks which fit into your camera, but the signal is not balanced, which means it is prone to pick up interference (and the longer the cable the more this is a problem). You really need to use a balanced signal (if you're interested in how this reduces interference, Google it, otherwise just trust me on that). This means having another bit of kit attached to your camera - a pre amp which takes (and potentially provides power to) the mic (all this is built in to "proper" camcorders, DSLR with video is designed for making images only, really).
    The most common make of these is Beachtek but others are available (I have a JuicedLink). But these alone aren't cheap.
    Then the mic. I'm not really up on hand held. If I need one I use my Senheisser shotgun (ME66/K6P - cost me £250 on eBay) and a pistol grip, but ideally one designed for hand holding (so the capsule doesn't pick up handling noise) would be preferable to having to carry aroudn a pistol grip with shock-mount. I've heard good results with the rock singers "standard" mic - the Shure SM58 (about £100). This is not particularly directional but it has a rapid fall off the further you get from the mic. This means it would need to be held very close to the speaker's mouth though.

    If you're beginning to see an expensive shopping list think on this:
    In watching your videos, yes the image is important, but what is more important is what is being said - the commentary and the interview. You've spent upwards of £1500 on your camera body alone and I'm guessing more on lenses. The D810 is a fine camera (I've had the pleasure of editing footage shot on one over the past two weeks). Why would you match that camera with audio designed for an entry level camera?
    What's more, microphone technology is very mature. The SM58 I mentioned earlier was the "standard" among rock musicians in the 1960s and is still the standard with very little modification. Any mic kit you buy now will last you and your son much longer than any cameras (and will retain resale value) so it's a good investment.

    I know of several good models but am not prepared to recommend anything I haven't used, so i hope you'll forgive me if I don't mention any other particular mics.
    Tim

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    Thanks I have printed off your reply, use the Rode mic, yes , NOW that is why I asked here, I never ever thought of that, thanks

    taking th reply to read over a cupper

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    We do also have the Tascam DR-60D would this help us

    NO we have not used it yet, it was bought with plugging it directly into a mixing deck in mind when doing gigs but it can be mounted on the camera, I guess !!!!!! with the mic going into that then the camera or VV ?

    My unknown situation there is how the heck does the sound sync with the video of the camera

    The RODE was bought before we had the DSLR and was being used with a Camcorder albeit a decent Panasonic
    Last edited by JR1; 11-14-2015 at 03:13 PM.

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    Read your detailed comments, thank you so much for going into such detail, in other words we can get a decent microphone under £100 one for the job.

    Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR1 View Post
    Read your detailed comments, thank you so much for going into such detail, in other words we can get a decent microphone under £100 one for the job.

    Thank you
    Steady on. if you're thinking of the SM58 - please try one first. it really does have to be held very close. If you have a mate with a band, I bet they can lend you one.

    You hadn't mentioned the Tascam and I'm glad you've raised that as a digital recorder was another option. Don't mount it on the camera. All that'll do is give you another audio recording taken from a distance. Plug your Rode VideoMic into the Tascam. Put the Tascam in the "reporter"s pocket and record onto that. This eliminates the potentially cumbersome lead from the camera to the mic.

    yes, you will need to sync in post but this is easy with a very simple bit of planning.

    When you are about to film, switch on both camera and recorder, shout out the shot title ("Jenson Button interview take 2") followed by a countdown and a very sharp clap. This should result in a very clear "spike" which will be visible in the waveform of the audio of both the video footage and the separate audio and these should be pretty easy to line up in your editing software. I do this all the time.

    One tip. Wherever possible set the camera and the audio recording and leave them on - in other words don't actually cut every time there's a fluffed line or whatever. Then you only have to sync once as opposed to every sentence. there is software that can make a good job of syncing stuff up, but it's not cheap. I'd buy it if my stuff was time critical, but it's not and I get a perverse pleasure our of syncing

    The only downside of this method, and it is a potential biggie, is that you are not monitoring the audio so you will not be aware of any problems (eg drop out, interference) until it's too late.
    Tim

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