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    Recording Sound at a High School
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    I'm looking to expand my kit with new microphones and misc. items to help give the audio I turn in sound more natural. Right now the only mic I have is the AT4073b which has been great for me. I've been satisfied with its indoor usage, even outdoor usage, but not quite excited about sit down interviews with it.

    My next project is a short being filmed at a High School. Scenes will take place in long hallways and fairly large classrooms. I don't own any blankets or furnipads, but think that investing in those and strategically placing them will help my cause. First question: What's a rule of thumb or good advice for working with/placing sound blankets down?

    A microphone I'm thinking about buying is the Sennheiser 416 because of all the talk I've heard about it. From what I know, it's a hyper-cardioid mic that does well indoors. Since I already own the AT4073b is this a wise investment? I really want to improve the sound quality for sit down interviews in the future. Since my next project is taking place in a High School, will I be happy with the results using the 416 for the indoor usage?


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    The MKH416 is NOT a hyper-cardioid, it is an interference tube shotgun. Gun's aren't at their best in a reflective environment and those long hallways and institutional classrooms are usually VERY live environment's full of reflections. I'd expect lots of problems getting top-notch sound with a 'gun in that location.


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    I looked back and mis-read that. MKH416 is a super-cardioid shotgun mic. Since this is the case, and what I want is a hyper for indoor long hallway scenes, what is the industry standard for avoiding those reflections? Just saw the last episode of Game of Thrones and there was a scene where one character (Margery Tyrell) was walking with another character (Little Finger) outside through a camp full of activity. Would the MKH416 be used in this situation? The dialogue was flawless, and even though I know the other actors were probably miming the talking, the dialogue was so crisp and clean even with an extensive amount of activity going on around them.


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    Section Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zander Burstein View Post
    I looked back and mis-read that. MKH416 is a super-cardioid shotgun mic. Since this is the case, and what I want is a hyper for indoor long hallway scenes, what is the industry standard for avoiding those reflections?
    What matters the absolute most are placement and handling of the mic. For dialog, the effective working distance is inside of 22", and the closer the better. The mic should be as close as possible without being in frame, boomed from overhead, and just in front of the subject and aimed toward the mouth/sternum.

    Most shotguns, because of their interference tube design (which is what makes traditional shotguns what they are), will not perform well indoors. The interference tube makes them very nice outdoors in most cases, but that same concept makes indoor reflections even muddier. This is a general rule, and there are often exceptions to the rule, but it's a good starting place. This is why hypercardioids are recommended indoors.

    There are several ways to avoid reflections:

    - Pick a location that's non-reflective.
    - If that's not possible, temper the reflections in the location with absorption and diffusion.
    - Close-mic with the proper microphone.

    As far as hypercardioids, there are a few different mics to consider and they're all really based on budget. For low-budget, look at the Audio Techinca AT-U873r or the Oktava MK-012. For a mid-range budget, look at the AT-4053b or the AKG Blueline CK93. If money is no object, or if you really just want to get the best you can now, the Schoeps Colette. Of course, it doesn't matter what you get if you don't have the skill to use it... so read up, record and listen, and practice, practice, practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zander Burstein View Post
    Just saw the last episode of Game of Thrones and there was a scene where one character (Margery Tyrell) was walking with another character (Little Finger) outside through a camp full of activity. Would the MKH416 be used in this situation? The dialogue was flawless, and even though I know the other actors were probably miming the talking, the dialogue was so crisp and clean even with an extensive amount of activity going on around them.
    I can promise you that all the background activity was as quiet as possible, and all the background sounds were added in post. Clean dialog is, again, a mixture of the right mic and the right application. That said, episodics like that are typically on a pretty tight turnaround and often rely on wireless lavs on all the actors. There may be (probably are) shotguns or hypercardioids boomed in certain places. Without having seen that series (I know, I know), I can't tell you for sure, but my guess is that lavs are in there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex H. View Post

    There are several ways to avoid reflections:

    - Pick a location that's non-reflective.
    - If that's not possible, temper the reflections in the location with absorption and diffusion.
    - Close-mic with the proper microphone.


    As far as hypercardioids, there are a few different mics to consider and they're all really based on budget. For low-budget, look at the Audio Techinca AT-U873r or the Oktava MK-012. For a mid-range budget, look at the AT-4053b or the AKG Blueline CK93. If money is no object, or if you really just want to get the best you can now, the Schoeps Colette. Of course, it doesn't matter what you get if you don't have the skill to use it... so read up, record and listen, and practice, practice, practice.
    I'd love a lesson in furnipad placement if you're willing to help me there. I have no control over the location, I'm just expecting worst case scenario.

    I just spoke to a guy out of a sales house and he recommended a schoeps MK41 capsule ($950) saying their quality is the best, and also recommending sennheiser for their durability (especially to humidity). The recommended sennheiser mics were the MKH 8050 and 50 both around $1100. I'm probably basing my choice on which of these are most directional. I'm under the impression that schoeps are all pretty omni-directional.

    As I mentioned earlier I already have the AT-4073b mic. Will the upgrade be worth it? A lot of my work is sit down interviews or indoor doc run n gun.
    Last edited by Zander Burstein; 04-23-2012 at 05:21 PM.


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    Just found an older link. Very helpful as well.

    How does the Audix-SCX1-HC stand up to MKH's 8050 and 50?

    http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread...-Audix-SCX1-HC
    Last edited by Zander Burstein; 04-23-2012 at 05:22 PM.


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    Section Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zander Burstein View Post
    I just spoke to a guy out of a sales house and he recommended a schoeps MK41 capsule ($950) saying their quality is the best, and also recommending sennheiser for their durability (especially to humidity). The recommended sennheiser mics were the MKH 8050 and 50 both around $1100. I'm probably basing my choice on which of these are most directional. I'm under the impression that schoeps are all pretty omni-directional.
    First, that's just a capsule without a power supply and will not work on its own. To get the entire Schoeps Colette system with the power supply and the MK41 capsule is closer to $2000.

    Second, you really need to read up on polar patterns. Why are you under the impression that all Schopes mics are "pretty omni-directional"? Omni-directional is its own polar pattern, and means that the mic has no angle of rejection. Cardioid, supercardioid, hypercardioid, figure-8 (aka "bidirectional") are other, very different polar patterns. You can certainly get an omni mic from Schoeps (CCM2 LG - about $2100), or the omni capsule for the Schoeps Colette system (MK2 - for a little under $900), but the other polar patterns are not omnidirectional. And you don't want an omnidirectional mic.
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    Section Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    The Audix SCX1-HC is another mid-range-budget mic that's gotten some positive reviews.

    But I think, before you invest in anything, you need to start here:

    http://dvxuser.com/articles/dvxshop/SoundDVD/
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    My problem does seem to lie within polar patterns! I've gotten the wrong impression from previous experiences, but being corrected twice now has helped me. No I do not want an omni-directional mic. So the Colette system seems to be the pre-amp body? What are your thoughts on getting an older pre-amp body attached to a MK41 or example. The salesman said that they only had older body's at discounted prices.


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    Section Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Honestly? Sinking $2k into a mic isn't going to compensate for lack of knowledge. Start with the DVD I linked above.
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