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    stereo mic vs shotgun for doco one man band
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    I've worked in narrative for many years. Mostly as a camera op or editor. Recently, I had the opportunity to shoot some documentary material in the Australian Outback and honestly it was the most exciting filmmaking experience I've had for 10 years! I've since decided to strike out on my own as a one man band and go and make a few mini docos of my own.

    I'm putting together a solo sound kit: so far it includes a Sound Devices Mix-Pre 3, and a Sennheiser G3. I also have an NTG3, but have really fallen in love with stereo mics lately. I was thinking about getting the rode svmx stereo mic as an on camera mic, rather than the NTG3, while putting a lav on my main subject. In verite situations I'm worried though that if a second subject (within a few meters) begins to talk that isn't mic'd up the stereo mic won't be strong enough. Would the best bet be the stereo mic or the ntg3 in your experience?

    Thanks! Russ


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    I should also say that wind is a deal breaker for me. I wish someone would design some kind of mini zeppelin system that sits on a camera. I've used a couple of windjammers on my ntg-3 but wind always finds a way in. The Rode Stero mic appears to have a bit more wind protection, though I can't be sure.


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    What sort of camera?
    A shotgun mic and a stereo mic are as different as a fork to a spoon.... Totally different functions.


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    Quote Originally Posted by OzGizmo View Post
    What sort of camera?
    A shotgun mic and a stereo mic are as different as a fork to a spoon.... Totally different functions.
    Exactly. Don't bother with a stereo mic. An on camera mic is just there for scratch reference, to sync up later.

    So just get yourself a Rode VMP or Aputure V-Mic D2 (if using a camera with a 3.5mm input, if you have XLR input on the camera itself then get yourself an Aputure Deity).

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier View Post
    In verite situations I'm worried though that if a second subject (within a few meters) begins to talk that isn't mic'd up the stereo mic won't be strong enough. Would the best bet be the stereo mic or the ntg3 in your experience?
    Get a boom op.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier View Post
    II'm putting together a solo sound kit: so far it includes a Sound Devices Mix-Pre 3, and a Sennheiser G3.

    MixPre3 is too limiting in the medium term. If you haven't bought it yet, then get instead a MixPre6, Zoom F4, or Tascam DR70D/DR701D (a F4 would be my recommendation).

    Ditto the G3, go for Sony UWP-D11 instead if you haven't made the purchase yet.


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    Quote Originally Posted by IronFilm View Post
    Exactly. Don't bother with a stereo mic. An on camera mic is just there for scratch reference, to sync up later.

    So just get yourself a Rode VMP or Aputure V-Mic D2 (if using a camera with a 3.5mm input, if you have XLR input on the camera itself then get yourself an Aputure Deity).



    Get a boom op.




    MixPre3 is too limiting in the medium term. If you haven't bought it yet, then get instead a MixPre6, Zoom F4, or Tascam DR70D/DR701D (a F4 would be my recommendation).

    Ditto the G3, go for Sony UWP-D11 instead if you haven't made the purchase yet.
    I haven't pulled the trigger on the sound devices/sennheisser purchase yet. What is wrong with the MixPre? Only 3 channels? I've never needed more than three channels. I owned a g1 back in the day, and recently used a g3 with a rode lav. It had bursts of static from time to time, but functioned reasonably well. I'm not familiar with the Sony, so I guess I'm just going with what I know. As for the MixPre3, I like that it is mountable directly to a dslr.

    What would the advantage of a video mic pro be over an NTG-3 other than it's able to be powered by a battery?
    Last edited by Soldier; 08-13-2017 at 05:44 AM.


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    I'll be shooting on a GH5 at this stage. Most of my audio will come from the lav, but I guess I like the idea of stereo sound for the bush. It really just brings things to life. I tried a Rode Video Mic Pro as an on camera shotgun but I really didn't like it at all. The wind got all through it. But I figure a shotgun mic is probably going to be better for picking up my subject's non-dialogue audio - footsteps etc, without getting too much extraneous background noise.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier View Post
    But I figure a shotgun mic is probably going to be better for picking up my subject's non-dialogue audio - footsteps etc, without getting too much extraneous background noise.
    Ah... no. The purpose of an interference tube mic (shotgun) is to attenuate any sounds that aren't on-axis. Unless you are pointing the mic at the talent's shoes, it should attenuate footsteps nicely. And this brings up why an on-camera mic is such a really bad idea. Because the placement of the camera is nearly always completely wrong for the attached mic -- which is often pointed at the talent's mid-section -- so it attenuates the sound from the mouth.

    I'm just sayin' that the lav mic is the one-man-band's best friend.


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    Without knowing more about how you are shooting it's a lot of speculation, but...

    A stereo mic on a camera is generally a bad idea. It picks up a lot more camera noise for one thing. Now if you are not run and gun then a mic stand might be an option, or maybe some articulated arm off the camera, if it's in a frame, to get the mic away from the camera. For what you are talking about using it for (general BG, extra sound) a stereo mic is not a bad idea. Not something you will hear me say about stereo mics in production often. As long as you are not trying to use it for dialog and you are not shooting a narrative film AND you are recording to something better than the camera i.e. MixPre3 then you may well get some useful stuff. But you do want to get it away from the camera. Might even want to point it someplace away from the talent? Or rather you should point it at the sounds you want to pick up, so if it's the ambiance then away from the speaker may be a better choice, if it's feet then point it there. This is the other reason you probably don't want it camera mounted, as any camera move will change the perspective and make the BG pretty useless.
    Cheers
    SK


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    Quote Originally Posted by IronFilm View Post
    Exactly. An on camera mic is just there for scratch reference, to sync up later.
    Short answer: no...

    Longer answer: depends on what you're shooting.

    If you're doing narrative, then I'd say yes, it's prob just a "scratch track". BUT if you're doing doc or ENG, etc. a camera nat mic is VERY important. It MAY be the ONLY audio you have. Many times I've been shooting something and asked if I mic'd the people, because the audio was so good off of just the camera mic. I'm not recommending it, just sayin'...

    Both of the camera mics on my VariCam's are stereo, but a stereo mic is not important in most situations, especially in most field/ENG/doc situations.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier View Post
    I haven't pulled the trigger on the sound devices/sennheisser purchase yet.
    Perhaps also look at the RodeLink system; easy to use and won't break the bank.


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