Better interview mic than an omni?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by peter, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. peter

    peter Guest

    I use an omni interview mic (shure VP64AL) for interviewing guests at
    wedding receptions.

    It works ok except volume varies greatly if the interviewer (or interviewee,
    who often holds the mic himself) does not keep it at a constant distance
    from the mouth. I guess this comes with the omni pattern.

    Is there something that works better? A cardioid? Would it still work if a
    group of people is interviewed together?

    Also, there are lots of background noise in wedding reception. If the mic
    has some noise canceling ability that would be even better. With the omni
    mic, the noise level is automatically reduced since the noise source is
    farther away than the interviewee. However, I wouldn't mind if the
    background noise can be further reduced.

    Another idea is to put a LED volume meter on the camcorder facing out. This
    way the interviewee/interviewer would see the volume as he/she speaks and
    hopefully would learn to keep the volume constant without prodding.
    peter, Aug 1, 2008
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  2. peter

    Ty Ford Guest

    Directional is worse. You have just learned the first lesson in mic
    technique. :)

    Also the first lesson in wedding attendees; some of whom will shove the mic
    into their mouths, some of whom won't.
    No. Can you do a wide shot with a telephoto lens? :)
    That's what they all say. :) Learn to position the folks so they are away
    from the noise. Frequently, but not always, that's with their backs to the
    noise, but if you get the mic too high it'll "hear" over their shoulders to
    what's behind them.
    Not going to happen.


    Ty Ford

    --Audio Equipment Reviews Audio Production Services
    Acting and Voiceover Demos
    Guitar player?:
    Ty Ford, Aug 1, 2008
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  3. My opinion is you want a cardioid pattern mic for that job, but they
    come in varying "widths". I advise you check out the Fullcompass
    catalog because they give a lot of useful tips alongside the
    descriptions for each mic. The somewhat more directional cardioid
    version of the venerable ElectroVoice "hammer" dynamic mic still works
    well for radio and TV journalists the world over: should be good for
    you too.

    A shotgun too close is also going to have problems, usually grabing
    exactly the wrong thing.

    A boundary mic can be useful, used hand-held, it has pretty good
    rejection behind with a pickup pattern to the front that's pretty
    wide. Lay it on a table and it will pick up everyone sitting there to
    some extent, without it needing to be moved around.

    The best auto-gain control is th eone between your ears.
    nobody special, Aug 1, 2008
  4. "nobody special" wrote...
    Those people on TV typically use omnidirectional mics
    (like EV RE-50, which is a 635 inside a big shock-mount
    case). Omnis are not sensitive to aiming direction which
    IS a problem, especially with amateurs. Few things are as
    silly as seeing an amateur holding an end-address cardioid
    mic like a popsicle, aimed at the space above their head.

    Omni mics are also not as susceptable to wind noise,
    handling, noise, or having their back ports accidentally
    occluded by holding them improperly. All very common
    problems with amateurs holding microphones.
    Or even holding it at all for the longer ones.
    Except for very high frequencies (where the boundry is a
    1/2 wavelength), "boundary mics" are no better than omnis.
    They are only "boundary mics" when placed on a boundary.
    Hand-holding a boundary mic makes no sense at all.
    Yes, laying on a table is one of the very few appropriate
    uses of a boundary microphone. Most of the uses of them
    (including attached to big squares of plastic and hung in
    mid-air), are not just silly but frequently dangerous, as well
    Boundary mics went through a fad a decade or two ago,
    but most people have regained their common sense.
    Many camcorders have decent AGC for speech. But
    using a mic too far away from the talker will pick up
    more background noise which will throw off the AGC.
    Richard Crowley, Aug 1, 2008
  5. peter

    drosen Guest

    cardioid and an easily adjustable mic stand (if not a boom op.). tape
    the cable to the floor so no one trips and adjust the height and angle
    of the mic for the sweet spot for your ears and eyes. it will also
    help folks to know where to stand and keep still etc. you may like a
    lectern style cardioid - small enough to be barley noticeable on a
    wide, with enough reach to be framed out out on a head shot. you'll
    need more than 1 though for a group.

    drosen, Aug 6, 2008
  6. peter

    garyjpillon Guest

    Omnis are used for lack of proximity effect, and their forgiving
    nature when passed between interviewer and interviewee. If you use a
    cardioid in this fashion, you're sure to miss at least the first word
    as the mike goes between between narrator and subject. Try for a
    consistant placement (usually chest high) to give you a fighting
    chance to maintain even levels.
    garyjpillon, Aug 7, 2008
  7. peter

    Bob Ford Guest

    I don't shoot weddings but for the few I have done I used my wireless
    Shure SM58 and it worked great. I did NOT have the interviewees pass
    the mic themselves - I handed it to each person myself, showing them
    how to hold it and speak into it.Bob Ford
    Images In Motion
    Bob Ford, Aug 7, 2008
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