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Thread started 16 Mar 2012 (Friday) 08:26
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5D Mark III microphone suggestions for a school play?

 
InterMurph
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Mar 16, 2012 08:26 |  #1

If my 5D Mark III arrives in time, I will be recording an elementary-school play in a few weeks. If it doesn't arrive, I will use my Vixia HF S200 HD camcorder.

I have purchased a TASCAM DR-07MKII recorder, which I will mount on the stage.

In addition to that, I would like to have decent audio on the camera itself. Can anyone recommend a reasonably-priced shotgun-style microphone that I can plug into the camera's microphone input, and mount on the flash hot shoe?

The auditorium is relatively small, with only about 12 rows of seats; my guess is that the camera will be about 40 feet from the stage.

Thanks!




  
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ben_r_
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Mar 16, 2012 11:51 |  #2

Only one I would consider is the Rode VideoMic Pro. But from that far back, Im not sure any mic will make it sound clear or that great...


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InterMurph
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Mar 16, 2012 11:55 |  #3

That's my concern also.

Would I be better off using such a mic at stage front, plugged into the Tascam recorder? I'm not sure how well the Tascam's mics will do.




  
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ben_r_
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Mar 16, 2012 12:48 |  #4

Will the school be micing the event? If they do and you ask really nicely, maybe you can get an out from the mixer board and run it into a line in on your recorder. I have done that before with my Sound Devices 702 and got excellent results!


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InterMurph
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Mar 16, 2012 12:57 |  #5

The school doesn't have any microphones or sound equipment, unfortunately. The kids will be projecting!




  
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ben_r_
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Mar 16, 2012 13:00 |  #6

InterMurph wrote in post #14097804 (external link)
The school doesn't have any microphones or sound equipment, unfortunately. The kids will be projecting!

Ah shame!


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InterMurph
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Mar 24, 2012 22:46 |  #7

So I had a chance to test out my Tascam DR-07 MK II today. It didn't do very well at all. Unless I held it right up close to the kids, the sound was extremely thin.

My friend brought his Zoom H4n, and it did much better. We even hung it from the curtain, about 6 feet over the kids' heads, and it did a much better job of picking up what they were saying.

So I have ordered a Zoom H4n of my own.




  
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ChasWG
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Mar 26, 2012 09:39 |  #8

So how close to the kids was you DR-7 II?

Remember, proximity to the sound source is the friend to any mic. Not all mics are the same in their reach and pick up pattern. Also, was the mic placement the same for both recorders? Maybe having the Zoom overhead was a better option for gathering sound than what you did. Just because you think the sound is the same in two different locations doesn't mean it actually is. The human ear is connected to that large lump of gray matter between your ears and it is designed to "filter" things so that we don't all go crazy. Also, the human ear just doesn't work the same as most microphones do. Most mics are more directional than the pick up pattern of our ears. This is why sound professionals wear headphones and listen to what the mics will be giving them. The placement of a mic is really important. Sometimes when you face a mic upward you'll hear stuff that you may or may not want as opposed to when a mic hangs facing downward from above. The same can be said of mic placement from the sides.

There's a lot that goes into gather good sound. That's why I get paid very well to do it for TV shows. Right now I'm sitting in a hotel room in Syracuse, NY getting ready to head back home after 8 days of shooting a show that airs on HGTV. My ears are tired...


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InterMurph
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Mar 26, 2012 09:59 |  #9

When the kids were 5 feet away, the sound was OK. When they were 10 feet away, the sound was unacceptable.

With the Zoom H4n, 5 feet away sounded great, and 20 feet away sounded OK. I definitely saw a difference in quality between the two devices.

I am a software engineer, so for the most part I know what I don't know. I know that I don't know squat about sound recording. We don't have the time or budget for a real audio solution for our little auditorium, but we plan on addressing that in next year's PTO budget.

I just know that the $300 Zoom sounded much better than the $100 Tascam, so we're going with the $300 Zoom.

Thanks!




  
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MarKap77
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Mar 27, 2012 06:05 |  #10

Don't know if you have the budget, or if it is too late to try something else, but a pair, or even a set of three Zoom H1 recorders might be a good solution. Placing them at intervals across the stage would get you two or three different points and you could combine up in post. I have an H1 and an H4n and find the onboard mics on these devices to be of very similar quality.


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InterMurph
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Mar 27, 2012 06:24 |  #11

We don't have the time (performances start Thursday), the budget (remaining budget is $0), or the time or patience or expertise to combine the audio in post

I got involved in this year's play because I am the PTO treasurer, and was asked to write a $500 check to "the videographer" last year. DVD sales totaled $320. Turns out the guy just brought a standard-definition video camera to one of the performances, pointed it at the state, and hit the record button. From that he produced a plain-vanilla PC with just a single video track.

I said to myself, "I can certainly do mediocre, and for free!" I of course am shooting for something much better than mediocre, but we're not ready for any super-fancy editing.

Speaking of which, here's the promo reel we did for the play:

http://www.youtube.com​/watch?&v=813zBloJKwA&​hd=1 (external link)

That footage was shot with my Canon Vixia HF S200 video camera. My 5D Mark III just arrived last night!




  
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InterMurph
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Mar 30, 2012 08:28 as a reply to  @ InterMurph's post |  #12

The first show was last night. Here is a clip I took on my 5D Mark III with a Rode VideoMic Pro VMP on it:

http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=gTqOMUm1wP4 (external link)

I overdid the gain on this clip, but the kids did a great job of projecting, and that mic worked out OK.

You can see my Zoom H4n recorder on a light stand, in front of the right on the right side of the stage. That audio came out much better. When I edit them together, I will post something here.

Thanks again for all of your help!




  
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ben_r_
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Mar 30, 2012 11:36 |  #13

Cute, but yep, sounds like a camcorder mic. Itll be interesting to hear the comparison with the Zoom's pickup.


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ChasWG
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Apr 03, 2012 12:35 |  #14

Well the video part of the clip was wonderful! That 5D3 is really killer!

I know this is only one camera angle, but man, oh man does this scream for a camera left and right of the stage to get close ups and mid shots of those kids acting. The wide shot is great and works as a failsafe to always have something to fall back to.

If you don't have more than one camera to shoot with, then shooting different performances would give you the ability to have different angles. Did you say you were shooting more than one performance of this play? If so, get other camera angles on during differant performances and weave it all together in the edit. Make sure you run the exact same audio set up for each show. Also, do an audio slate at the beginning of the performance for each recorder so you know which performance is which and they don't get confussed later.
Parents would love to see their kids during some of those more dramatic scenes in something other than a wide shot.

Any luck yet mixing the Zoom in with the video footage?


Chas Gordon
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InterMurph
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Apr 03, 2012 13:35 |  #15

Chas, I agree 100%. The problem is that I am only one man, and I own only one 5D Mark III.

I did shoot 4 performances; 2 shows for each of 2 casts. I will edit the best scenes from each cast's two performances into a DVD.

But I did not get different angles. As my professional photographer friend kept telling me, "What you have is so much better than anything they've ever seen for a school play; don't take any risks trying to satisfy your artistic vision. Just get the play!"

Maybe next year he will upgrade his 5D Mark II to a III, and then we can really talk.

I just got back from filming the final performance; I will start editing tonight or tomorrow. I will definitely post something here when I have the Zoom audio synced, because I think that worked out really well.




  
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5D Mark III microphone suggestions for a school play?
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