I'm looking to pick up a field mixer and a couple of mics for indoor and outdoor interviews. I'm sure the topic of "what mic should I get" has been discussed to death but there's SOOO much information to go through I was hoping to get some quick and dirty opinions on the topic and I’ve already been reading about it for over 2 hours.
Here's the deal. Both my indoor and outdoor booms will be operated by novices so I need forgiving mics. For example, I would jump on something like an MKH-416 for outdoor use but I’ve heard you should only put it in the hands of an experienced boom operator (which I won’t have). Also, my understanding is that Supercardioid or “shotgun” mics are to be used outdoor and Hypercardioid mics are to be used indoor. So what are just plain “Cardioid” mics used for? Online, I see people saying they use them for indoor and outdoor… it’s confusing. Also, I’ve been told from a self-proclaimed “pro” to use a Schoeps cmc641 for my indoor interviews, but isn’t that a Supercardioid mic? I thought those were for outdoor use?
1. So the bottom line is this. I have novice boom operators. Which mic do you suggest for indoor interviews; and which for outdoor interviews? I want “forgiving” but I also don’t want to sacrifice quality on a cheap mic. I’m willing to spend $500-$1000 per mic if required.
2. Also, I happen to have a spare AG-MC200G lying around (never used it) and it’s a Supercardioid mic which I’m assuming is great for outdoor use. Anyone try one of these out? How’s the quality?
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07-03-2012 07:50 PM
07-03-2012 09:14 PM
Shotguns can come accross as very echoey, and tinty indoors. They have a very narrow pickup pattern which work great outdoors for isolating dialogue without picking up everything else going on. They can work indoors if used in a room with decent acustics, and right up close, like most mics proximity is everything.
For indoor use most budget minded people go with the octava mk's , their cheap and work great.
07-03-2012 09:57 PM
Supercardioid or “shotgun” for outdoor. Hypercardioid for indoor... but what do people use just plain “Cardioid” mics for? I've heard conflicting things.
07-03-2012 10:07 PM
Super cardioid is not a Shotgun necessarily, first of all. and YES this subject is covered to death and well covered.
even the best mic in the world can suck in the hands of an amateur that doesnt know what they are doing or cannot monitor the signal. no mic in the world can make up for lack of know-how. so there is no such thing as a forgiving mic.
if you get a mic that has a wider pick up pattern so the aiming isnt as critical then you're dealing with more unwanted sounds being picked up as well.
rule of thumb, is generally shotguns outside and hypercardiods indoors, since youre not willing to do the homework then just follow these guidelines.
good shotgun in your range 'Rode NTG 3' under 1k , hypercardioid in your range : 'Audio Technica AT4053b' also within your budget, and get wind protection and good shock mounts for both.
07-03-2012 10:08 PM
And basic cardioids are mainly used for stage performance or recording studio.
07-03-2012 10:39 PM
Thanks for the info regarding the "cardioid" explination but there's no reaosn to be rude. I had spent hours reading up on these mics and the one's you mentioned already had made my short list for indoor and outdoor mics. In regards to a more "forgiving" mic, this is where I believe you're wrong. A Supercardioid with a more narrow area of pickup might result in fluxuating audio levels if the boom operator isn't following the subject close enough whereas a more "forgiving" mic such as the NTG-3 (in comparison to a MKH-416) might pick up more noise to the sides BUT would allow that slack in keeping consistant levels on your subject. Like I stated in my original post, I have many of the main concepts down and already have an idea of which mics to get; however, wanted to get some opinions regarding what people like to use.
It's also the result of hours of doing my "homework" that lead to some of the confusion; such as the suggestion to use a Schoeps cmc641 for my indoor interviews even though it's a Supercardioid mic (that didn;t make sense to me). Also, as far as everything I have read, it appeared that a Supercardioid mic WAS a shotgun mic as "shotgun mics" are not used for indoor interviews.
07-03-2012 11:34 PM
I would get the rode ntg3 for your shotgun outdoors mic
then grab a oktava mk12 hyper-cardioid, the mc12 is the same if I recall, just a different packaging name for different parts of the world. but double check, my memory isn't always the greatest.
07-04-2012 01:29 AM
I now standardise on the short shotgun AT875R and find that it is very useful in most situations inside and out, it is also very forgiving for novice boom operators as it can get a good focussed sound, it also has a built in roll off filter at around 80hz so helps with handling noise. I mount them in rode PG/2 pistol grips with WS/6 softies.
Here are a couple of examples of the AT875R on a boom straight into the camera:
and the final indie short is here: http://vimeo.com/44760907
And all the location sound for this film school short was done on a single 875R into a G2 radio system, the last shot also had a G2 lav and all straight into the camera a panasonic HPX371, you can also see the mic in shot used as a practical mic on the lecturn and in the hand of the newsreader, all the young people featured also operated the boom.
I also have some Takstar CM60/61 cardioid and omni capacitor mics that cost less than $50 and they are very useable inside as boom or interview mics on doco's and indie drama.
Last edited by GaryNattrass; 07-04-2012 at 02:37 AM.
07-04-2012 02:05 AM
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As for cardioid's used as boom mics, it's not just pattern that counts. There's also working distance. The typical cardioid needs to be closer by about half the distance as a super- or hyper- could be used - most have an optimal working distance of about 10-12 inches from the speakers mouth, in contrast to the 20 inches or so for the typical super- or short 'gun.
Why use a boom op that doesn't know what they're doing and try to compensate with hardware? You wouldn't do that with picture, would you, choosing a camera with autofocus and autoexposure because you intend to hand it over to an untrained person acting as the camera operator? You know that will produce sub-optimal images unless you're extremely lucky, so what makes you think sound is any different? Train your boom operator to do the job right - they're not just a human mic-stand.
Last edited by Steve House; 07-04-2012 at 02:22 AM.
07-04-2012 05:28 AMWhy use a boom op that doesn't know what they're doing and try to compensate with hardware?