Prosumer needs mic for LOUD concerts

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Jeremy Pollard, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. As the subject suggests, I'm a video producer on a prosumer level and I
    do a lot of work for local musicians. Recently I shot a concert with a
    rather impressive sound system (it was at an arena) and ran into a
    bunch of last minute problems so the only audio I was able to capture
    was using my on-camera mic - as you can guess, the audio was very
    heavily distorted. For the future, I would like to have another mic on
    hand; considering the environment will be very loud, am I better off
    with a shotgun or omnidirectional? And is there a specific model or
    padding method that will help to capture a more clear sound? Thanks a

    Jeremy Pollard, Aug 18, 2006
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  2. Jeremy Pollard

    gunnar Guest

    gunnar, Aug 18, 2006
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  3. Jeremy Pollard

    Bill Fright Guest

    The best you're gonna get off the camera is reference audio. That said I
    use RE50s on my cameras for reference. All of this never matters anyway
    as sync never works right from an audio stand point anyway due to the
    differnce between the speed of light and sound. For example a camera
    that is front of house and 50 yards from the stage will only match the
    hand helds on stage by sight - not sound. You'll not find many editors
    using audio to sync. Jam sync timecode is a far better sync option. If
    you don't have that it's all sight.
    Bill Fright, Aug 18, 2006
  4. Jeremy Pollard

    Bob Quintal Guest

    The microphone is probably not the source of your distortion.
    It's most likely that the audio input circuit is what destroys
    the sound.

    To solve that, you need to insert an attenuator between the
    microphone and the mic input of of your camera. Suggested values
    of attenuation would be between 20 and 30 dB.
    Bob Quintal, Aug 18, 2006
  5. Jeremy Pollard

    G. Perry Guest

    I can recommend the Audio Technica AT822 mic for this purpose - I've been
    using that mic to record extremely loud live music performances since late
    2004. Before that I was using a Sony 908c. Both of these were attached to
    my miniDV vidcams - the older Sony TRV38 and my newer Canon GL2.

    With the Sony TRV38 there was no way to control the audio input levels. So
    (as was suggested in another reply) I finally started using the attenuator
    cord between my mic and the camera. With this straight 20 db reduction in
    the level that went into the camera, I was able to record the loudest shows
    and never had any distortion, crackling, fuzz or pops in the audio. The
    Canon has a built in attenuator that I've been using (with the AT822) as
    well as manual audio level controls and the records I've captured since May
    with this new setup have been pretty satisfactory.

    Since I'm pretty much just doing this as a hobby I've always wanted to be
    able to capture the best audio possible directly on the tape and not have to
    worry about synching audio/video in the imaginary post-production
    environment I don't yet have. With a camera, a decent external stereo mic
    and the attenuator cord I've been really, really happy with the results.
    The bands (and friends and fellow fans) that I share copies with are
    constantly saying that they can't believe how good my amateur recordings

    So even though I'm far from an expert whenever I encounter another casual
    fan who's interested in capturing some video with good audio I always say
    that the external stereo mic is absolutely essential but the real secret to
    success is that magic attenuator cord. I'm not absolutely sure about this
    but my understanding is that you'll want to avoid shotgun mics because they
    will record in mono. I tried one out the first week I had my first miniDV
    camera and the one show I recorded did not sound good.

    I have some samples of my stuff at if anyone is
    interested in checking out some WMV video and mp3 audio files of some
    psychedelic/metal/doom/stoner/punk/acid rock bands. I have some mp3 files
    on the site from a show I recorded last December of Blue Cheer who at one
    time was proclaimed "The Loudest Rock-n-Roll Band in the World" - you can
    hear how my mic stood up to that.

    Hope some of this babbling helps.
    G. Perry, Aug 19, 2006
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