microphone Sound for short films - how to get it right?

Guys, I can't afford a professional sound guy to take care of this for me while I focus on directing. But, I've decided to record my own sound, which lead me to buy a RODE NTG2 and a ZOOM H4n Pro. I've noticed that the sound isn't bad, but the frequency is far too low. Is there anything a can do to get the best out of this set up? I usually make tiny little horror films, such as Lights Out or Tuck Me In.
 
You should have done some more research. It's nice that the NTG-2 is self-powered, but low signal output is the price you pay. I haven't used the H4n Pro, but many low budget digital recorders have weak mic pres. Combine low mic output (a problem with many budget self-powered mics like the AT-897 and NTG-2) with weak mic pres and you get low recorded signal. However, I can sympathize with burning through endless batteries when using the H4n to supply the phantom power.

You'll just have to work hard on getting the best signal-to-noise ratio vs. signal level that you can, unless, of course, you trade in the NTG-2 for an NTG-1 or AT875, or maybe a better mixer/recorder.

I would personally, since your budget seems lacking, work on getting the best signal-to-noise ratio vs. signal level I could and increase the gain of the clips in audio post.

Remember that booming is a art-form. You really need someone competent swinging the boom to get optimum pick-up of the DX (dialog) which improves your S/N (signal to noise) ratio.
 

onebaldman

Member
I made that same mistake, by heading gear advice from YouTube filmmakers. It was only after I bought the NTG2 and H4n that I realized they are a terrible combo.

What I was told was to either buy a new Mic or new Recorder. From what I understand, Tascam has better options to pair with the NTG2, or getting an NTG3 instead of the 2, and not having any issues.
(I also want to mention I even bought a preamp booster plug for the mic, with no real gain in benefit).

You could also rent audio gear for fairly cheap. Most indie filmmakers always recommend renting when working on low budget productions
 
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Scoopicman

Pro Member
indiePRO
Is there anything a can do to get the best out of this set up? I usually make tiny little horror films, such as Lights Out or Tuck Me In.
Good or crappy mic, just get it close. Period. When the audio isn't good enough, rerecord it.

If you are filming Master Scene, which is wide angle of the whole scene, followed by medium and closeup shots, then you can get your best audio with the close ups. You place your mic within a foot or two of the actor's mouth. Even an on camera mic could get good audio at that distance.

The trick comes during the editing where I will make the close up audio takes work for any shot that I want, even long shots. If the lines are identical, you can simply line up the waveform of your closeup shot with the reference audio waveform of any other shot, including long shots. Reverb (early reflection time simulating room size) can always be added.

For short subjects, I rarely have crew. I use a mic stand and an old Sennheiser ME66 plugged right into the camera. For HAG IN THE HILLS, I used the mic stand on almost every shot, except for a couple where I held it in my hand.

Actually, I didn't have crew for my last feature, EXILE, it was just me and the actors. we recorded a lot of the audio, after the fact. Again, it's easy to line up a cleanly recorded waveform, with the crappy waveforms in those windy/noisy takes. You can see that process here:

 

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