How bad is the mounted mic on the XH-A1?

I will recieve the camera, hopfully by the end of this week. But I will start shooting immediatly this weekend. I seriously doubt if I order a shotgun mic, it will arrive on time; and I cant depend on it. I am remaking the scene in Pulp Fiction where they go inside the apartment building and kill thoughs young guys. If I just use the standard mic on the XH-A1, do you guys think I will pick up audio clear enough? I wont be standing more than a few feet away...
 
Just so you know I'm not ignoring you, I've never used my on-camera microphone(s) with my Canon XH-A1. Like Indie said, even if the microphones are decent quality, they are in the wrong place, too far from your subject, difficult to control, and they will pick up every bump, click, and motor noise from the camera. You can't touch the camera without making some kind of bump, rub, click, etc. ... and then there is the distance to the subject and everything in between.

Unless you can afford to dub your audio, do as the wise Indie guy says.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Sound is as important as picture. You're not going to use a VHS camcorder instead of waiting for your Canon now are you? :)
 
Good point. What shotgun mic do you guys use for the XH-A1?
I have 2 Audio Technica AT897 shotguns. You only need one, but I shoot the marching band for my local HS and I like to use 2 shotguns spread out about 60 feet. In any case, the AT897 has served me well. I can't say it's the best mic, because I haven't made side by side comparisons with other mics.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I say do it!

What better way to begin your learning process than to get out
there and go for it? You're shooting a scene from another movie
so you clearly aren't going for something original or a short that
you will enter in festivals. This is for practice, right?

Sound is very important, but so are other aspects of
making a movie. Working with actors and crew, scheduling,
where to place the camera, how to "make your day",
what to do with light and shadow.

Don't wait until you have all the equipment needed. Shoot
that scene right away with what you have. Learn from it.
Right now you are asking, "do you guys think I will pick up
audio clear enough?" - if you shoot it, you will know the
answer to that question from actual experience.

Nothing wrong with learning.
 
Thanks directorik. I will.

I say do it!

What better way to begin your learning process than to get out
there and go for it? You're shooting a scene from another movie
so you clearly aren't going for something original or a short that
you will enter in festivals. This is for practice, right?

Sound is very important, but so are other aspects of
making a movie. Working with actors and crew, scheduling,
where to place the camera, how to "make your day",
what to do with light and shadow.

Don't wait until you have all the equipment needed. Shoot
that scene right away with what you have. Learn from it.
Right now you are asking, "do you guys think I will pick up
audio clear enough?" - if you shoot it, you will know the
answer to that question from actual experience.

Nothing wrong with learning.
 
shoot the scene, then shoot it with the actor's really close to the camera...try to get the dialog really close to what they did just before. Watch the 10 minute film school and listen to the commentary on "el Mariachi" by Robert Rodriguez.

My new catch phrase is becoming "shoot first, ask questions later". If you're not sure, shoot a test with the microphone/camera at different distances, 1ft, 2ft, 5 ft, 10ft. Note the differences in the audio quality. Tape is cheap, dedicate one tape to camera setup and motion/lighting/sound tests. Test frequently everytime you read something online that is new and intrigues you or piques your curiousity. Come back with questions that will come up as you actually shoot these tests, get frame grabs for us to beat up for you, sound files, viddy clips, whatever. Don't think you're going to get perfect shots each time. Here's a thread I started a while ago...my second set of pix is from test that me and a friend shot in my basement, no acting, no clue what we were doing, just some craftsman lights and foamcore:

http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=9597&highlight=lighting
 
Hey Deception, the problem is man, I dont have enough money yet to even buy a boom stick. My intentions were to sell these Murloc Suit Cards I got from Blizzard convention for $200 a piece on ebay. However, by the time I do sell them, and I get the mic shipped, it wont be here in time for the weekend. My finals and project is due next week, so I cant wait any longer, its now or never.... so I dont have much of a choice.
 
Mr. Knightly, as always, I appreciate your posts, thank you.

After I finish the shooting, I will post it up on youtube, and show you guys the film. That is, if everything goes as planned.
 
In indie film making there are only ever five possible solutions to any kit problem:

1) Save up and buy one
2) Make one for yourself out of stuff that's either free or almost free
3) Find someone who already has one and borrow it (and them to operate it)
4) Figure out a smart way to do without, that doesn't compromise your film
5) Do it in some really new innovative way, that no-one has thought of before, using something that generally isn't used to record film sound.

With no money and a microphone being one of those things that are hard to make out of plywood and tinfoil, that leaves 3, 4 and 5

Knightly's given you an acceptable 4 solution -- how to get the best out of what you do have.

My favorite is pretty much always, number 3... find someone with a good mic, windshield, boom pole, mixer and the skills to use them. Then persuade them working for free on your movie is a good idea.

I also really, really like number 5... but, innovative sound recording for film is pretty much as complicated a subject as you'd ever want to get into. So, I'll leave my thoughts on that quiet.
 
Last edited:
lol! I was thinking, what do you guys think, if I get a plastic cup, you know the ones you drink at parties. Put a little hole on the bottom, then squeeze it over my camera microphone? Wouldnt it focus the microphone to only pickup sound directly infront of it, like a shotgun? That way, it wont pick-up anything in the background, because it is blocked off.

If you guys dont understand what I mean, look at this picture.

 
Top