View Full Version : Interview Mic(s) on a Budget
07-09-2004, 05:59 AM
Ok, so I'm shooting a DVD that will be about an hour in length. Lots of interviews. I blew most of my budget for this on the camera, tripod, lights, etc. I have most of what I need, but I still need a good audio setup. My plan was to put a shotgun on the camera and then put a wired lav on the subject and record dual-channel. I just read, however, that you're likely to not get great sound with an on-camera shotgun. I don't have the ability to put a shotgun on a boom at this point. Taking the fact that I'm on an extreme budget constraint here (I was struggling to figure out how to get an me66/k6 and a wired lav) what do you guys recommend? Should I just get the lav and do my best to get good audio from that? Or is it worth spending a bunch of cash on a shotgun that I'll have to mount on the camera about 20 feet away. To be honest, I'd really rather just get the lav, but I'm worried that I won't get good enough sound from that alone. If I do decide to just go with the wired lav, what are some good ones for under $200. Thanks for your help!
if it 20 feet from the camera , use the lav, theshotgun on the camera wouldnt be useful,
for good lav you can use countryman emw , use the shelved version for place the lav under cloths if you dont wont it be vissible in frame .
the phantom powered version is about 170-200 $
thats about interwius *if your set up is correct for hall movie , in case you need take ambience as well ,the internal camera mike sucks and the laviar is not the unsewr .
check the octave mc 12 with hc head , it can do a treac or there are few lo cost Audio technica cardiods mikes under 100$ (dont remember the name but works for some people)
not to think about sound when you get a camera is in some way to buy a car and dont have money for gasoline :-)
Sure lavs are a good buy at about $165 via B&H - just used them in a noisy room shoot. Got 30 foot cables locally.
07-10-2004, 10:15 PM
Or is it worth spending a bunch of cash on a shotgun that I'll have to mount on the camera about 20 feet away. To be honest, I'd really rather just get the lav, but I'm worried that I won't get good enough sound from that
I'm in the same position as you. And, like you, I was tempted just to get a lav. But the quality of a lav, even a good one, is inferior to a decent shotgun mic. So I've decided to get the shotgun mic. Again, like you, I'm shooting interviews but won't be able to mount the shotgun mic on a boom. But I can attach it to a mini tripod and have it within four or so feet of my subject, off camera. That way, I won't pick up any camera noise, it will be about as close as if it was being held above on a boom, and best of all, the sound will be much better than a lav. Is that an option for you?
07-11-2004, 06:57 AM
I have shot two feature docs using nothing but lavs for sound. One of them got transfered to 35 and the other was broadcast on TV. Although I am not going to say sound was a strong point in any of them, they were good finished pieces. Ok, the audio was not top class, but was reasonable considering our restrains (we couldn't afford sound guys on one, and on the other we had to keep "the" minimum crew). I'm starting a setup and I only have a lav for now, but that is for lower quality corporate work and such. The moment I need better sound I will not hesitate to rent stuff and to get a sound technican... Sometimes you have to work under the ideal situations...
07-11-2004, 06:19 PM
This summer I've been working on a documentary regarding a specific segment of the medical industry. We've been doing interviews with doctors from all over the country and we've been around the country... on most of these shoots I was responsible for everything technical... camera, lights, sound.
I relied on the Oktava hyper almost continuously... I tried various lavs, and an AT4073a, but the Oktava hyper ALWAYS sounded the best of anything.
Keep in mind that these were very controlled interviews with fairly predictable sound levels and little movement. I guess you'd call those "static interviews"? Like you see on 60 Minutes or the Jon Stewart Show... 2 person interview...
Anyway, when I did these I used a 30-50' XLR and the Bogen boom stand that you can get from B&H for $118... That stand will let you boom a mic out to about 8' or so... This way I would sit the subject and lower the Oktava to just outside of frame... it worked great and sounded great. Also not having to place a lav on the subjects made a big difference in their comfort level and the quality of the interview. On the few shoots where I had the luxury of a sound guy (lavs and boom) our subjects were like statues... rather then the flowing, natural behavior of my boom-only subjects.
Also being able to run 50' of XLR back to the camera takes care of all the wireless issues...
Of course conditions need to be right for this all to be so simple... but many interviews follow this same, basic format.
As you'll hear here, the Oktava isn't really a "high-end" hyper, but it's lots warmer then the me66... The audio in this clip is at 64 Kbits instead of the usual 96 Kbits so it's a third less clear then my usual audio only samples. Windows media won't let me bring the audio quality up and picture quality down for the same file size.
Click HERE for a sample Oktava setup as described above! (http://www.gettreel.com/Oktava%20on%20deck.wmv)
Sorry I kept my arms crossed! A buddy of mine is giving me hell about that... Anyway you can see the BBG just in the top of the frame... normally I'd close in a bit and crop that out... but this way you can see the working distance in the situations I described. This would have sounded a lot better indoors too... but what the hell... here it is. *:P