View Full Version : I did this booming an ATR55 cheapy mic.
08-20-2004, 10:10 PM
Hey guys... I thought you may appreciate this. Here's a video I talked my uncle into doing for a Survivor entry.
This is years old... back in the trv17 and atr55 days...
Earlier tonight I was going through old tapes trying to find some more mic info from mics that I don't own anymore... and I stumbled across this.
Don't you think this guy should be on Survivor? Wouldn't you tune in every week to see what he'd do or say next?
Click HERE to behold the sophisticated stylings of Uncle Jimmy. (http://www.gettreel.com/Uncle%20Jimmy%20LOWER%20RES%20FILE.wmv)
08-21-2004, 08:58 AM
Forget survivor. He should have a show of his own! ;D
BTW: Boy, that sound really sucks, huh?
BTW2: Ah, the TRV17. When consumer camcorders were still top loaders... I still use them in my school, for when things get too rough for the PD 150 or DSR 300. (I mean, to avoid security... ;) )
10-12-2004, 12:23 PM
I was trolling through this topic when I came across this. I was curious what's so bad about this sound, aside from the wind of course. The reason that I ask is that I've used an ATR-55 before. It's true that it's not as good as more expensive mics, but I usually get pretty clear dialogue. WHat am I missing?
10-14-2004, 04:58 AM
I never said the sound sucks... I was actually proud of how well it turned out considering it was a $60 mic. If you go to that link and cut the address down to the main video page you'll see there are two versions of this clip... the big one has double the K-bits audio rate... it's actually much better.
There were a few people who talked about the ATR55 and I only posted this to let those people know that I'm pretty familiar with mics that are less then a grand too.
Proper technique (or your best attempt anyway) will get you further up the quality ladder then just throwing money into mics.
Of course if you do BOTH of those things you really get good sound.
10-14-2004, 06:18 AM
Thanks for clearing that up. I know it's said so often that it's almost a cliche, but sound is so often overlooked. I know it's something that I know so little about, despite having been a musician for most of my 38 years. But I want to keep learning.
I bought my ATR-55 last year on e-bay for about 60 bucks. I've used it on some shorts, including one that wrapped a few weeks ago. When I was reviewing the footage with my production partner we were commenting on how good the dialogue sounded. Even when we cranked up the volume there is hardly any hiss or background noise. We were trying to figure out what could be better about the more expensive mics. I'm sure some of them give a somewhat better overall sound, but the one thing I guessed at was the sound level. I have to turn the gain up to about the 2-3 o'clock position on the DVX to get a decent level. Even then, I have to double the volume level on my TV to get it to what I would consider a normal level. (so I'm thankful about how clean it does sound) Does a better mic give you a higher level?
I wouldn't mind springing for a new mic at some point, but right now this one does the job. The camera was a huge investment for me, and I am building a lot of my own lighting and grip gear to save money. For a boom pole I used a vocal mic boom stuck into a piece of PVC, and isolated the mic with a lampshade frame and rubber bands. Of course my technique is something else...
10-15-2004, 02:40 PM
Hey now you took my post a little further then I wanted you to... ;) I agree that my original point was to say that it is possible to greatly improve on the internal mic with a cheap external mic and then use it properly... but to be honest with you I wouldn't compare the atr55 with any of the higher end mics that I use. Even the Guitar Center $99 Oktava Mk012 blows the atr55 away SO much it's laughable.
It's not just the levels... it's a lot of things wrapped up in a better package.
The 3 most important things I'd consider in a new mic are pattern, frequency response, and self noise... after that I'd look at sensitivity. As long as you have phantom power available there's a ton of really great choices for a better mic. If you like AT then the 3031 ($170 USD) is a great cardioid.
Have you heard some of the clips I've posted? Besides this one? Even going with the little $99 Oktava will get you about TWICE the detail into your recordings (over what you're getting now).
So while I don't want to bash the hell out of the atr55... this thread was to say, "Hey! Use your mic as properly as you can and your sound should turn out okay!"... I still think better mics are REALLY worth it! :D
That Octava is an amazing piece of equipment. I've heard it put up against $800 mics and while it isn't quite there the quality is absolutely amazing.
10-15-2004, 03:32 PM
I'll look into that Oktava as well as the 3031. Christmas isn't too far away.
A few things to note though:
The Octava has been known to have some CQ issues. Russian manufacturing isn't very consistent apparently. You should definitely get your hands on some mics and test them out before buying.
10-15-2004, 04:15 PM
Thanks. Well, if mics only get better than the one I've been using, I'm pretty excited about that.