best microphone?

robotkubo

Member
looking on getting a new microphone for my dslr. I always see the RODE mics around but they are a bit costly. I also see absolutley a ton of other no name shotgun mics on amazon for like $30-50. are these even worth it? should I just pick one with the best reviews? or should I just bite the bullet and buy a high value one?
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
looking on getting a new microphone for my dslr. I always see the RODE mics around but they are a bit costly. I also see absolutley a ton of other no name shotgun mics on amazon for like $30-50. are these even worth it? should I just pick one with the best reviews? or should I just bite the bullet and buy a high value one?
There are several threads here regarding microphones. Have
you looked at any of them?

If you are really looking for the "best microphone" you need to
bite the bullet and buy a high value one. If you are looking for
a cheap microphone then go with one you can afford.
 
Details, details, details! We need more info if you want suggestions that are germane to your situation.

What are you shooting - narrative, run&gun, interviews……?

Which specific camera?

How much sound-for-picture experience do you have?


Firstly, just buying a "better" microphone and plopping it on top of your camera will not get you better sound. Solid production sound is the result of knowledge, skill and dedication to capturing quality production sound.

The optimum position for the mic is above and slightly in front of the actor(s) aimed at the notch at the base of the actors throat. So, unless your actors do not move at all, the aim of the mic must be constantly adjusted to insure optimum pick-up.

Now, on to mics. Rode mics are relatively inexpensive when you consider the fact that professional mics for production sound can run up to and even over $2,000. They are usually connected to additional thousands of dollars of mixers and recorders. So immediately nix the bargain basement mics; they are poorly made, are overly hyped in some frequencies and, as they are Hi-Z mics, are prone to RF and EM interference.

Your project will only look as good as it sounds, because
"Sound is half of the experience"

If your film looks terrible but has great sound, people might just think it's your aesthetic.
If your film looks great and has bad sound, people will think you're an amateur.
Sound is the first indicator to the industry that you know what you're doing.

You should most definitely read "The Location Sound Bible" by Ric Viers; it's a good introduction into production sound.


Depending upon your camera one of the Rode mics will do a decent job as will the Audio-Technica ATR6550.


As always, I recommend that you retain someone to do the production sound for you, or renting what you need.
 

robotkubo

Member
Thanks for such detailed help, I'm gonna save and get the best equipment for audio I can and get a buddy of mine who's working in sound design to give me a hand. I still have much to learn :)
 
I can ... get a buddy of mine who's working in sound design to give me a hand. I still have much to learn :)
See if you can convince him to be your PSM/Boom-op. He (hopefully) already has some technical and practical experience, so he "only" needs to learn a few new techniques/skills. Being a boom-op is HARD, but really good ones make a very nice living. During preproduction you should also do a script consultation with him to get a sonic perspective on your project if he is the one that will be doing the audio post.
 

robotkubo

Member
See if you can convince him to be your PSM/Boom-op. He (hopefully) already has some technical and practical experience, so he "only" needs to learn a few new techniques/skills. Being a boom-op is HARD, but really good ones make a very nice living. During preproduction you should also do a script consultation with him to get a sonic perspective on your project if he is the one that will be doing the audio post.
Thanks, will do. :)
 

robotkubo

Member
Should I get a single boom mic setup or should that also accompany mics on each actor? can I just get away with a simple shotgun mic? There is little to no dialogue since they're are only two people and mostly its one talking directly to the camera. any suggestions?
 
Should I get a single boom mic setup or should that also accompany mics on each actor? can I just get away with a simple shotgun mic? There is little to no dialogue since they're are only two people and mostly its one talking directly to the camera. any suggestions?
The job of the boom-op is to keep the boomed mic accurately aimed, so for most situations one boomed mic is enough.

Again, HOW your audio gear will be used is decided by the PSM (Production Sound Mixer) and/or the boom-op. For your described situation a single mic on a boom-pole would be sufficient. If you are shooting outdoors a shotgun mic is probably your best option; if you are indoors a hypercardioid may be preferable.

Here's a few videos about production sound.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzwm29UdKLA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxpvbwE8Hvw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6LqibtC-5g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft8FgcUZbxU
 
After working on movie sound for a while now I agree with everything that has been said. It is so important and is a dead giveaway if a movie is bad.

-Matthew
 

IronFilm

Member
Sub $100? SUB $50???????

Just hell no.

I wouldn't ever buy any shotgun which is sub $100. (a bit different though if it is a SDC, but they're not shotguns) When you're talking about "best" then you're talking thousands of dollars (and mixers will also own not one mic, but *MANY*.... for instance I own a Sanken CS3 and Sennheiser MKH60, plus *four* Rode NTG3 mics. Look up their costs! And that is but a small fraction of my mic collection)

Just stick with what you've got until you can buy a Deity S Mic 2 (although if you're literally begging on the streets then sure..... settle for a secondhand NTG1 instead? But don't buy it new!), as the Deity S Mic 2 is the "minimum" I'd recommend to start out with. (together with a Zoom F4 recorder, as having a mic on a camera itself will never be a great outcome! You need it out on a boom pole)
 

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