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Thread: Which mic

  1. #1

    Default Which mic

    Hi guys,

    I am currently using a 4 year old Sony TRV7000E without any external mics and i think the time has come to upgrade to a better mic.

    I make DVDs of motorsport events and also have a wedding to do in September for a friend and although this is just going to be an amateur attempt, i want to do things right for it.

    I have been reading up a bit on shotgun mics and i read this line frequently... "if used correctly....."

    Can anyone highlight how you have to use these mics correctly??

    I have been checking out the Rode Video Mic which looks like it will do my job nicely and its not too expensive.

    I believe that it is just a mono mic... does this matter?

    Anything has to be better than my built in mics on my camcorder.

    I dont want to buy an external mic though unless im sure it will be an improvement.

    From what I understand of shotgun mics, the sound recorded is very directional. For all my motorsport clips I am aiming at the cars anyways so this shouldnt make any odds?

    For the wedding I imagine that will be good too for speeches, vows etc?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    TIA
    Jonny
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  2. #2
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    If you upgrade to a decent microphone, the difference will be noticable. If you use it correctly, the difference will be worth every penny.

    The "use it correctly" is the crunch.

    Firstly "shotgun" or "short gun" refers to the shape, it looks like a gun barrel and it's a bit misleading in that it can give the impression that it somehow captures sound from a distance. What it does is reject sounds and noises from the sides, so it's more sensitive to sounds from the front, but it won't pick up what you can't hear. In situations like speeches, this rejection of sounds to the sides means that you capture more of what you want to hear, less of what you don't.
    This can mean that if you're not paying attention and don't point the microphone at the subject, you don't get what you want. We're not talking sniper accuracy here, as long as it's pointed at the source.

    They are also quite sensitive to handling noise and should be used with a rubber mount. Since they also are much more sensitive to the top and bottom ranges of our hearing range, they tend to pick up more wind noise that an on-camera mic.

    Edit: When it comes to motor-sports, the sound of the cars will be much better, clearer and with more depth if you use a decent off-camera mic. It's definitely not worth going for cheap though. Anything under about 150 new is dubious and won't be much of an improvement. Once you get into the 300 plus bracket, the improvement is remarkable.

    Good names are Rode and Sennheiser, with some of the more expensive Sony mics also worth a look at.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 06-26-2006 at 07:56 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for that guru..

    all kinda making sense now!

    i dont want to be spending 300 though on a mic as I am only an amateur and as I dont need professional audio quality I imagine that a mic around 100 would probably do my trick!

    Cheers
    Jonny
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    JonnyC
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  4. #4
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    300 quid wont get you a 'pro' mic, more like 1000 believe it or not !

    Shotgun mikes appear to me to do what your brain does. When you listen to a person speaking in a noisy place your brain allows you to concentrate on the sound you want, the voice. In my expirience a shot gun does the same thing. Magic.

    I have a buget s gun, the 100 quid rode and a s/h sony c76 that was around 800 quid new a few years ago. The sony is deffo better, more directional, less coloured, better bass, nicer siblialnts BUT the rode works well and is suprisingly directional given the length, the sound is a bit cloured, a bit warm and muddy to my ears BUT....

    If the sony scores 9, the rode say 5, but on that scale the camera mic would be, oh, 0.3 .

    I would suggest that good sound is all too often overlooked, crap sound - crap video. Crap video but good sound - good video, if you see what I mean.

    Everyone should get hte best mic thay can afford and learn how to get he best from it. Spend as much as on the camrea... really !

    I might do a demo of different mics to show that I mean.

  5. #5

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    cheers mark,

    im with you on what you pay for is what you get etc etc.. the main difference between me and you guys are that probably alot of your movies require good mics for catpuring voice etc.

    Mostly I'm capturing the sound of cars or aircraft or something so it probably doesnt matter as much. Iv got around 400 to spend between a new mic and a tripod/head so its a hard one!

    Either Rode Mic or Sennheiser MKE-300 i think are my options.

    I reckon either of them would do more than ample for what I require.

    Thanks again folks,
    Jonny
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    JonnyC
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    XP Pro
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  6. #6
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    The Sen-300 and the top end of the Rode mics are good and will do what you want, but don't go any lower-end than that or you won't get value for money. It's not that we're saying "Only go for top-end gear" to be arrogant, but that we've all bought cheap microphones at some point and been disappointed with the result.

    Capturing the bass notes from cars and aircraft is just as important as voices, in fact if you have a good range in the sounds of the cars, it'll make the whole video seem more "real". I don't mean to nag.

    As for tripod heads, Manfrotto will be releasing a new video head, especially for larger semi-pro camcorders, in a couple of months, so it might be worth waiting a bit.

  7. #7
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    Thr rode I got is okay, sounsd like I described above, but the suspension system is daft and innefectual, just trying to look 'pro' I think. I am happy with the rode at 100 on my tiny cam but I think the sen at 130 is defintely worth checking out.

    I got my sony for only 200 quid on e bay, worth keeping an eye out cos there is the odd mic bargain on e bay.

    At the risk of going to on... and to all reading this thread I cannot stress to highly the importance of good sound, it makes you work look pro.

  8. #8

    Default

    what you guys think of this package??

    seems a nice price for all the gear.. alot cheaper than on any other site I've came across!

    http://www.proav.co.uk/product_info....44a6e1bf03ae02

    The thing I like about this mic is that it boasts that the battery will provide 100hrs+ operation. Are most mics the same? This one seems to have very low power consumption.

    The Sennheiser MKE 300 looks like it would sit very low at the front of camera.. is there a bracket to ensure that this doesnt affect ur lens at all?

    Jonny
    Last edited by jonnyc747; 06-28-2006 at 05:03 PM.
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    JonnyC
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    XP Pro
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    Sony DCR-TR7000E
    ----------------------------------

  9. #9
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    Sorry Jonny, I haven't used this mic at all. When it comes to quality, Sennheiser is definitely better than Rode according to all the soundies I've worked with, so it's probably worth spending a bit more. The Senny 300 does seem to be the pro-sumer's choice for a budget on-camera mic.

  10. #10
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    Yea, I would prob have got the senn if it hadnt been an end of the month befor payday impulse buy.

    As for the mic being too low I think 'riser shoes' are available to lift the mic.

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