Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Shotgun mics

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 11:56:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

My wife is traveling to Africa to make a documentary film and needs to
buy a shotgun mic. I'm going to help her with the purchase. I am
assuming that she'll get a short shotgun (she has a lav already). This
will sometimes be used on a boom and sometimes on camera. It will be
primarily for interviews where the mic has to stay out of the picture
(meaning 4 - 6 ft from the subject).

In the past I have used the Sennheiser K6/ME66 combinantion. I find it
a bit too harsh, and has too much sibilance (although the recordings
have been quite useful).

What are your opinions on the alternatives:

Sennheiser MKH-60, 70 or 80
Rode NTG 2 or Rode Video Mic (with integral shock mount)
Audio Technica AT 835b or AT 4073a
Sony C 74
EV RE45 ND (Dynamic)

I have an older AKG 451. How good is the short shotgun capsule for
this (If I can find one used), Will the new short shotgun capsule for
the AKG 460 work with the 451 (and is it any good).

Thanks for the info.

Ken Winokur

More about : shotgun mics

Anonymous
September 19, 2005 9:17:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 19 Sep 2005 07:56:46 -0700, in rec.audio.pro kenwinokur@verizon.net
wrote:

>My wife is traveling to Africa to make a documentary film and needs to
>buy a shotgun mic. I'm going to help her with the purchase. I am
>assuming that she'll get a short shotgun (she has a lav already). This
>will sometimes be used on a boom and sometimes on camera. It will be
>primarily for interviews where the mic has to stay out of the picture
>(meaning 4 - 6 ft from the subject).
>
>In the past I have used the Sennheiser K6/ME66 combinantion. I find it
>a bit too harsh, and has too much sibilance (although the recordings
>have been quite useful).
>
>What are your opinions on the alternatives:
>
>Sennheiser MKH-60, 70 or 80
>Rode NTG 2 or Rode Video Mic (with integral shock mount)
>Audio Technica AT 835b or AT 4073a
>Sony C 74
>EV RE45 ND (Dynamic)
>
>I have an older AKG 451. How good is the short shotgun capsule for
>this (If I can find one used), Will the new short shotgun capsule for
>the AKG 460 work with the 451 (and is it any good).
>
>Thanks for the info.
>
>Ken Winokur
See an ongoing thread
CS-1 vs. 416, CS-3 and MKH60
in
rec.arts.movies.production.sound

or just repost your message there.
A really helpful bunch of guys


martin
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 9:17:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"martin griffith" <martingriffith@XXyahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:D glti1loq7jmshpctfukjhcs9u3tn8nlv6@4ax.com...
> On 19 Sep 2005 07:56:46 -0700, in rec.audio.pro kenwinokur@verizon.net
> wrote:
>
>>My wife is traveling to Africa to make a documentary film and needs to
>>buy a shotgun mic. I'm going to help her with the purchase. I am
>>assuming that she'll get a short shotgun (she has a lav already). This
>>will sometimes be used on a boom and sometimes on camera. It will be
>>primarily for interviews where the mic has to stay out of the picture
>>(meaning 4 - 6 ft from the subject).
>>
>>In the past I have used the Sennheiser K6/ME66 combinantion. I find it
>>a bit too harsh, and has too much sibilance (although the recordings
>>have been quite useful).
>>
>>What are your opinions on the alternatives:
>>
>>Sennheiser MKH-60, 70 or 80
>>Rode NTG 2 or Rode Video Mic (with integral shock mount)
>>Audio Technica AT 835b or AT 4073a
>>Sony C 74
>>EV RE45 ND (Dynamic)
>>
>>I have an older AKG 451. How good is the short shotgun capsule for
>>this (If I can find one used), Will the new short shotgun capsule for
>>the AKG 460 work with the 451 (and is it any good).
>>
>>Thanks for the info.
>>
>>Ken Winokur
> See an ongoing thread
> CS-1 vs. 416, CS-3 and MKH60
> in
> rec.arts.movies.production.sound
>
> or just repost your message there.
> A really helpful bunch of guys
>
>
> martin

Check the thread. It is a superb collection of opinions from experienced
film/video sound pros. If you post a new thread it would be helpful to
suggest your budget range. It would also be helpful to know whether the
shooting loctions will be predominantly exterior or interior, because that
will definitely affect the recommendations you receive.

Steve King
Related resources
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 9:59:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Rick Hollett <r.hollett@nl.rogers.com> wrote:
>Does AKG have anything that resembles a shotgun? Something like an 835
>perhaps? I used one a few years back and seem to recall it being very
>useful, but the situation was very forgiving. My 184 would have done the
>trick.

Yes, AKG has short and long tube capsules for the C460/C480 designs,
and they used to make a different one for the old C451. They are
not as tight as the 416 and 816 but they might be a bit more natural
off-axis for whatever that is worth. And, they don't have the huge
honking presence peak of the 416 (which I consider a disadvantage for
the application). Beyerdynamic also makes a similar shotgun design.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 10:28:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Perhaps I should go back to the beginning and rephrase my question.
What would be the best all purpose mic for somebody to take on a video
shoot - hypercard or short shotgun. Primary use will be interviews
(indoor and outdoor).

My experience in location sound is very limited. I've used the short
shotguns a few times because they were what I could borrow. I thought
that the shotgun would be preferable for interviews or dialogue because
it would cut out more ambience. The recent shoot where I helped with
sound, where we used the Sennheiser ME 66, was in an ordinary living
room. With the mic on a boom, as close to the actors as possible
(about 4 - 6 ft) there was still too much room reverb in the recording
(usable, but not ideal). This was a quiet room so it wasn't necessary
to deal with extranious sound sources.

Also, it might be worth considering that my wife's shoot will be with a
small crew, and there is not likely to be a separate sound guy. If
somebody's holding the boom, it will be either the producer or my wife,
who is directing. Sometimes the mic will be on camera. It's likely
that nobody will be as on top of keeping the mic pointed correctly and
as close as possible (or critically listening to the actual signal).
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 11:09:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

kenwinokur wrote ...
> Also, it might be worth considering that my wife's shoot will be with
> a
> small crew, and there is not likely to be a separate sound guy. If
> somebody's holding the boom, it will be either the producer or my
> wife,
> who is directing. Sometimes the mic will be on camera. It's likely
> that nobody will be as on top of keeping the mic pointed correctly and
> as close as possible (or critically listening to the actual signal).

Then audio is only for background sounds? This doesn't reflect
the kind of priority you would expect to see if, for example, you
were shooting interviews where you actually need to hear what
is being said. OTOH, if the dialog is not in the language of the
finished production, it only has to be good enough for the VO
translator to hear/understand.
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 11:40:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

No, the audio will be the interview itself - essential that it can be
understood and sounds good. She (my wife, Jane Gillooly, award winning
director of POV LEONA'S SISTER GERRY) is working in South Aftrica, in
the townships. I'm sure some of the interviews will be in English (and
probably others in Zulu or whatever - to be translated).

This is only the first use of the mic. There will be many other
productions in the future.
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 1:31:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 19 Sep 2005 07:56:46 -0700, kenwinokur@verizon.net wrote:

>My wife is traveling to Africa to make a documentary film and needs to
>buy a shotgun mic. I'm going to help her with the purchase. I am
>assuming that she'll get a short shotgun (she has a lav already). This
>will sometimes be used on a boom and sometimes on camera. It will be
>primarily for interviews where the mic has to stay out of the picture
>(meaning 4 - 6 ft from the subject).
>
>In the past I have used the Sennheiser K6/ME66 combinantion. I find it
>a bit too harsh, and has too much sibilance (although the recordings
>have been quite useful).
>
>What are your opinions on the alternatives:
>
>Sennheiser MKH-60, 70 or 80
>Rode NTG 2 or Rode Video Mic (with integral shock mount)
>Audio Technica AT 835b or AT 4073a
>Sony C 74
>EV RE45 ND (Dynamic)
>
>I have an older AKG 451. How good is the short shotgun capsule for
>this (If I can find one used), Will the new short shotgun capsule for
>the AKG 460 work with the 451 (and is it any good).
>
>Thanks for the info.
>
>Ken Winokur


-- The larger the tube the larger the amount of colorations and
"phasing" effects ie. swishes at every move. A good windshield set is
also recommended. Despite this, shotguns can add "action" and
"liveness" in documentaries if used thoughtfully -- a practice to
estimate their pros and cons, do and don'ts can be useful. Sennheiser
has a good choice on these microphones and accessories: windshields,
shockmounts etc. In this case, these accessories are as important as
the microphome itself.

{At a shotgun isn't a capsule only that counts, rather it is a tube,
closed at the top with precisely cut side openings, capturing a
(front) portion of sound only, the major part of the (side) sound is
mostly cancelled out by interference. These openings should be intact
so take care not to knock or bend or alter them}.

Edi Zubovic, Crikvenica, Croatia
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 2:35:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I have used the Senn 815 on a boom, or handheld .. If I only had one
mike I would use it. For documentary "pulling good sound out of the
muck" calls for the most powerful tool -- is there something better?
Or cheaper? Please let me know!! ..

Yes the 416/415 is better on a short boom for an interview where you
can control the action but sometimes you need good sound effects,
atmosphere ...

You could also use the on camera mike on a pole into channel two (or
double system) with a lavalier into channel one. Those 3 mikes give you
a lot of options
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 3:43:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Geoff@work <gwood@nospam-audioproducts.co.nz> wrote:
>
>What did you think of the sound of the NTG2 and VideoMic, in comparison with
>mics of similar nature ?

I found them thinner and much, much less directional. The ability to
cut outside noise out, even compared with the cheap Shure was pretty poor,
especially in the midrange. It seems the frequency at which the microphone
becomes directional was much higher. I think they try and compensate
for this with more lower midrange cut, which really is bad.

I'm very big on getting the most natural voice sound possible, but I
understand that usually when you're having to resort to a shotgun, you
are just trying to get anything at all rather than the most natural
sound. That's why the presence peak on the 416, which is anything but
natural, turns out to be a good idea in a lot of cases. But even the
416 has reasonable fullness to the voice.

Needless to say, all of these mikes just sound awful when you get off-axis.
A lot of folks do judge shotguns by how bad the comb filtering off-axis is,
but again, I figure if you are in a situation where this is an issue you
shouldn't be using a shotgun.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 5:30:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<kenwinokur@verizon.net> wrote:
>Perhaps I should go back to the beginning and rephrase my question.
>What would be the best all purpose mic for somebody to take on a video
>shoot - hypercard or short shotgun. Primary use will be interviews
>(indoor and outdoor).

In a humid environment? I'd go with the Sennheiser MKH-50. If you
don't have the humidity issues, I'd pick the Schoeps with the hypercard
capsule.

On a budget, you might try the Audio-Technica AT4053.

>My experience in location sound is very limited. I've used the short
>shotguns a few times because they were what I could borrow. I thought
>that the shotgun would be preferable for interviews or dialogue because
>it would cut out more ambience. The recent shoot where I helped with
>sound, where we used the Sennheiser ME 66, was in an ordinary living
>room. With the mic on a boom, as close to the actors as possible
>(about 4 - 6 ft) there was still too much room reverb in the recording
>(usable, but not ideal). This was a quiet room so it wasn't necessary
>to deal with extranious sound sources.

You'll find that the shotgun basically does nothing about room reverb
indoors. For indoor situations, the hypercard will give you far better
intelligbility and a more natural sound than the shotgun. But sometimes
outdoors in a noisy environment, you need the shotgun.

>Also, it might be worth considering that my wife's shoot will be with a
>small crew, and there is not likely to be a separate sound guy. If
>somebody's holding the boom, it will be either the producer or my wife,
>who is directing. Sometimes the mic will be on camera. It's likely
>that nobody will be as on top of keeping the mic pointed correctly and
>as close as possible (or critically listening to the actual signal).

In that case, consider just going with lav mikes. Mike-on-camera is
always a bad idea, and a boom mike being held by someone without headphones
on is probably just as bad.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 10:19:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<kenwinokur@verizon.net> wrote:
>
> In the past I have used the Sennheiser K6/ME66 combinantion. I find
> it a bit too harsh, and has too much sibilance (although the
> recordings have been quite useful).

The old, discontinued ME80 is a good alternative to the ME66. Similar
pattern, but fuller and darker sounding. These can usually be found on
eBay. Use of a non-standard battery means you'll need to get phantom
power from the mixer (or, if there's no mixer, the camera).



> What are your opinions on the alternatives:
>
> Sennheiser MKH-60, 70 or 80

I use a 60 quite often and like it. Good rejection off axis, and what
it does pick up off axis is less weird sounding that most directional
mics. Note that these are available in both battery powered and phantom
only versions.



> Rode NTG 2 or Rode Video Mic (with integral shock mount)

Never tried either.



> Audio Technica AT 835b or AT 4073a

Ick. Low output, and what's there is pretty thin. Our ENG guys have
835s, and I wish they didn't. One of our freelancers recently bought
the newer one, and returned it the same day. (He wound up buying one of
my old ME80s and is really happy with it.)


I don't know anything about the others you mentioned.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 10:42:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Lorin David Schultz" <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote in message
news:1pYXe.248767$HI.226686@edtnps84...
> <kenwinokur@verizon.net> wrote:
>>
>> In the past I have used the Sennheiser K6/ME66 combinantion. I find
>> it a bit too harsh, and has too much sibilance (although the
>> recordings have been quite useful).
>
> The old, discontinued ME80 is a good alternative to the ME66. Similar
> pattern, but fuller and darker sounding. These can usually be found on
> eBay. Use of a non-standard battery means you'll need to get phantom
> power from the mixer (or, if there's no mixer, the camera).

There are substitute batteries that fit the ME80 battery compartment just
fine. Whatever choice you make for a boom mic, I'd take an Electrovoice
635, because, when everything else fails, it will work.

Steve King
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 2:40:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<kenwinokur@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:1127227241.873968.31750@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> No, the audio will be the interview itself - essential that it can be
> understood and sounds good. She (my wife, Jane Gillooly, award winning
> director of POV LEONA'S SISTER GERRY) is working in South Aftrica, in
> the townships. I'm sure some of the interviews will be in English (and
> probably others in Zulu or whatever - to be translated).
>
> This is only the first use of the mic. There will be many other
> productions in the future.

I don't think you need a shotgun mic at all. As others have mentioned, they
are always a compromise, trading 'throw' and pattern for fidelity and
artifacts.

I would suggest a small diameter (or medium) condenser mic, maybe with
battery-powering option. A RODE NT3 is one such mic. Hell - I saw a
high-profile show to do with world musiic where a C1000 was used !

Alternatively a more esoteric mic with separate battery podule adaptor.

Also take a dynamic (SM57 ?) for emergency backup.

geoff
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 3:04:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Edi Zubovic wrote:
>
> -- The larger the tube the larger the amount of colorations and
> "phasing" effects ie. swishes at every move. A good windshield set is
> also recommended.


I'd say "required" without any reservation. Not that the windshield and
shockmount will cost almost as much as a good shotgun mic.
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 3:05:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Lorin David Schultz wrote:
>
> The old, discontinued ME80 is a good alternative to the ME66. Similar
> pattern, but fuller and darker sounding. These can usually be found on
> eBay. Use of a non-standard battery means you'll need to get phantom
> power from the mixer (or, if there's no mixer, the camera).

There are batteries available now.
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 3:09:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

kenwinokur@verizon.net wrote:
> Perhaps I should go back to the beginning and rephrase my question.
> What would be the best all purpose mic for somebody to take on a video
> shoot - hypercard or short shotgun. Primary use will be interviews
> (indoor and outdoor).

If I could only take one mic, it would be a hypercardioid - or possibly
a Sanken CS-1. And a topnotch shockmount and windscreen.



> The recent shoot where I helped with
> sound, where we used the Sennheiser ME 66, was in an ordinary living
> room. With the mic on a boom, as close to the actors as possible
> (about 4 - 6 ft) there was still too much room reverb in the recording
> (usable, but not ideal).

That's most likely due to the interaction between the off-axis lobing of
the mic and the room boundaries. Try a hypercardioid indoors.





> my wife's shoot will be with a
> small crew, and there is not likely to be a separate sound guy. If
> somebody's holding the boom, it will be either the producer or my wife,
> who is directing. Sometimes the mic will be on camera. It's likely
> that nobody will be as on top of keeping the mic pointed correctly and
> as close as possible (or critically listening to the actual signal).

Pin a lav on the subject.

Beware of zoom motor noises if you hang a mic on the camera -- it's a
surefire way to get mediocre audio.
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 8:21:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <3pdlnsF9rnahU2@individual.net>, Kurt Albershardt <kurt@nv.net>
wrote:

> Use of a non-standard battery means you'll need to get phantom
> > power from the mixer (or, if there's no mixer, the camera).

I stock the batteries...

--
Regards,

Klay Anderson
http://www.klay.com
+801-942-8346
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 10:52:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Steve King <steve@TakeThisOutToReplysteveking.net> wrote:
>
>There are substitute batteries that fit the ME80 battery compartment just
>fine.

Yes, I think it's the PX12. I'm not a fan of the ME80 at all, but again
it kind of works and if you don't have better, use it.

>Whatever choice you make for a boom mic, I'd take an Electrovoice
>635, because, when everything else fails, it will work.

Absolutely agreed. I keep one in the glove compartment of my car and
another in my shaving case. The 635A is absolutely essential. When the
backup fails and the backup to the backup fails, the 635A keeps working.
And sometimes you find yourself needing an omni.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
!