Great Mic/Recorder Pair

Continuing with my last post, I was wondering if it would be smarter to simply get the AT4053b Hyper Cardioid and the Tascam DR-40 instead of the NTG-2.

The main question that I am asking is that for now and until I get the budget, could I get away better with just a Hyper Cardioid mic for outside and inside use or a shotgun mic for the two? Thanks :cool:
 
A hypercardioid will pick up more of the ambient noise in the surrounding area when used outdoors, and it will need serious wind protection, but will do an okay job of it.

As with most things it is a series of tradeoffs. A shotgun mic indoors requires a lot of set prep and precise handling to avoid the "roomy" sound so prevalent in most low/micro budget indie films. Using a hypercardioid is not a cure-all for avoiding that roomy sound indoors, just as a shotgun is not a cure-all for the problems encountered outdoors. When using a hypercardioid indoors you should still do all of the things that I have so often suggested be done when using a shotgun - sound blankets, carpeting, etc.

Solid production sound is as much a skill as cinematography, make-up, writing or any other discipline, which is why I always recommend working with someone competent and experienced if at all possible.
 
Why is that alcove? What is it about shotties that increase the roominess? That kind of confuses me a bit. I would of thought a tighter pick up would pick up less room but a very unnatural room noise that may change with different angles.
I know that this is fact and not disputing this just would like to understand is all.
 
Why is that alcove? What is it about shotties that increase the roominess? That kind of confuses me a bit. I would of thought a tighter pick up would pick up less room but a very unnatural room noise that may change with different angles.
From Wikipedia:

Reverberation is the persistence of sound in a particular space after the original sound is removed. A reverberation, or reverb, is created when a sound is produced in an enclosed space causing a large number of echoes to build up and then slowly decay as the sound is absorbed by the walls and air. This is most noticeable when the sound source stops but the reflections continue, decreasing in amplitude, until they can no longer be heard... In comparison to a distinct echo that is 50 to 100 ms after the initial sound, reverberation is many thousands of echoes that arrive in very quick succession (.01 – 1 ms between echoes). As time passes, the volume of the many echoes is reduced until the echoes cannot be heard at all.

Okay? What you have to keep in mind is that these millions of millisecond and microsecond "echoes" are bouncing off of every hard surface in the room in every direction.

Now you have to take into consideration how shotgun mics work.

From Wikipedia:

Shotgun microphones are the most highly directional. They have small lobes of sensitivity to the left, right, and rear but are significantly less sensitive to the side and rear than other directional microphones. This results from placing the element at the back end of a tube with slots cut along the side; wave cancellation eliminates much of the off-axis sound.

Even though it says "left and right" there are also reflections from up and down.

Are you with me so far?

So because of it's narrow polar pattern a shotgun mic picks up, primarily, the sounds directly in front of it. Since the shotgun mic is pointed at the sound source the sound reflections that are being picked up are the ones that are bouncing off of the hard surfaces behind the sound source, so they are the ones that have traveled the furthest. So because of the way the shotgun mic works, capturing only the longest reflections from behind the sound source, the shotgun mic actually exaggerates the reflective qualities of the room.

Clear as mud, right?

The last thing you have to consider is that a microphone is picking up a very directional way. Your ears pick things up in a spherical pattern, and then your brain actually "edits" the way that you hear things.

Here endeth the lesson.
 
So, even though shotties may pick up less reverb the reverb they do pick up is the worst and most noticable reverb giving a skewed impression of the room making it actually seem more echoey??
A shade more technical, instead of getting a smooth overall ambience you are capturing only reverb with a longer predelay rendering a distinct echo and giving the impression of a large reflective box?
 
I just get stressed out because everything that is said and suggested to me seems to give me only "passable" audio. Is there any combination of mics/recorders under $1000 I can get that will give me excellent or simply good audio.
 
Solid production sound is all about technique - proper set prep, boom handling and equipment settings. Micro budget gear (consumer/prosumer) all have drawbacks that need to be addressed in addition to everything else that needs to be done to capture solid production sound.

Having "real" production sound gear solves a number of the technical problems, but even the best professional equipment will not do you any good without the proper techniques. So if you are thinking that spending $1,000 on a mic and a recorder will solve all of your audio problems, think again. Yes, having better gear will make the job easier from a technical standpoint the rest all comes down to your commitment to capturing great sound. That's why I always recommend hiring a professional or hooking up with talented up-and-comer.

Once you have captured good production sound you now have to put all of the love and attention into audio post that you do into the visual editing process, but that's another topic entirely.
 
The NT-3 is not a good choice. The body is unusually thick, so does not fit into conventional shock-mounts. It's also a cardioid polar pattern, the hypercardioid polar pattern is much preferred for production sound work.
 
Aha! I've been looking for this thread, but I apparently suck at the search function in IT. Thanks to directorik for pointing it out.

Anyway, I've got a Zoom H4n and a Rode NTG2. The next production will be ultra-low-budget, so I'm just gonna have to work with what I've got, and that's what I've got.

I would, however, like to pick up a hypercardioid, because of the reasons mentioned in this thread. Any recommendations in the ballpark of $300 or less?
 
When you start getting into medium and high priced mics there is no "better" except as far as application is concerned (i.e. shotgun outdoors, hyper indoors) or the actual build quality. The AT4053b sounds very nice, so does the SCX1. Which one sounds "better" is very subjective. The SCX1 has "bump" in the 8kHz to 10kHz range, so is a little brighter that the AT4053b. It's up to you if that's the kind of mic sound you want. I liked the extra "cut."

I have a modest collection of mics I use in the studio. Included are the Neumann TLM-103 and the AKG 414-BUL/S. Both are very nice mics, but each has a different personality. When doing VO and commercial work I tend to use the TLM-103 on female voices and the 414-BUL/S on male voices, but that's not always the case. I need to judge each situation individually.

And price is not always a determining factor in whether or not you like the sound of a mic. I have a few relatively inexpensive mics that sound just fine in certain situations. I love my old Beyer TG-X50 for some Foley work, mostly impact sounds; it exaggerates low end - not usually a desirable trait - but for punches and crashes I personally like it; someone else may not.
 
From Wikipedia:

Reverberation is the persistence of sound in a particular space after the original sound is removed. A reverberation, or reverb, is created when a sound is produced in an enclosed space causing a large number of echoes to build up and then slowly decay as the sound is absorbed by the walls and air. This is most noticeable when the sound source stops but the reflections continue, decreasing in amplitude, until they can no longer be heard... In comparison to a distinct echo that is 50 to 100 ms after the initial sound, reverberation is many thousands of echoes that arrive in very quick succession (.01 – 1 ms between echoes). As time passes, the volume of the many echoes is reduced until the echoes cannot be heard at all.

Okay? What you have to keep in mind is that these millions of millisecond and microsecond "echoes" are bouncing off of every hard surface in the room in every direction.

Now you have to take into consideration how shotgun mics work.

From Wikipedia:

Shotgun microphones are the most highly directional. They have small lobes of sensitivity to the left, right, and rear but are significantly less sensitive to the side and rear than other directional microphones. This results from placing the element at the back end of a tube with slots cut along the side; wave cancellation eliminates much of the off-axis sound.

Even though it says "left and right" there are also reflections from up and down.

Are you with me so far?

So because of it's narrow polar pattern a shotgun mic picks up, primarily, the sounds directly in front of it. Since the shotgun mic is pointed at the sound source the sound reflections that are being picked up are the ones that are bouncing off of the hard surfaces behind the sound source, so they are the ones that have traveled the furthest. So because of the way the shotgun mic works, capturing only the longest reflections from behind the sound source, the shotgun mic actually exaggerates the reflective qualities of the room.

Clear as mud, right?

The last thing you have to consider is that a microphone is picking up a very directional way. Your ears pick things up in a spherical pattern, and then your brain actually "edits" the way that you hear things.

Here endeth the lesson.
Hey that's a great explanation I must say.
 
Aha! I've been looking for this thread, but I apparently suck at the search function in IT. Thanks to directorik for pointing it out.

Anyway, I've got a Zoom H4n and a Rode NTG2. The next production will be ultra-low-budget, so I'm just gonna have to work with what I've got, and that's what I've got.

I would, however, like to pick up a hypercardioid, because of the reasons mentioned in this thread. Any recommendations in the ballpark of $300 or less?
I have yet to run across a hypercardioid suitable for production sound work under $500.

I recently got to edit sound recorded by the Audix SCX1 ($500) and it sounded very nice.
What about a tiny cardiod like the Rode NT6 that can be used in tight spaces?
 
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