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Author Topic: External microphones for video recording  (Read 1431 times)

Tom

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External microphones for video recording
« on: May 11, 2017, 07:58:19 PM »
The internal mic's in my Panasonic G7 are poor at capturing audio, so I'm looking for an external mic. There are mic's and there are mic's, as illustrated by the polar patterns in this Microphone wiki. I understand the patterns, but which should I buy for recording in a theatre/small concert?
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SeilerBird

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2017, 08:07:53 PM »
The big question is do you want to record the group or do you want to record the group and the acoustics of the building? Since the building will change from one recording to the next you should probably get a mic that records the group and not the building, meaning a directional microphone. But you must remember recording engineers and good microphones cost a lot of money. Don't think you are going to approach anything near professional level with a camera and a cheap mic.
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2017, 08:59:06 PM »
B&H Photo (among other places) has a huge selection of mics. I'm not certain, but you may want a shotgun mic (one of the shorter ones), Tom. There are a number of different kinds of mics that mount on the shoe, which I suspect you want for portability. I suppose you have the 3.5mm jack (stereo, I hope). You can even get XLR adapters but now it's getting away from easy portable use.
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8Muddypaws

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2017, 09:38:06 PM »
Shotgun Mic X3.  Or perhaps one that has switchable patterns. 

I use an old Zoom H2 handheld (or tripod) mounted digital recorder.  It has several microphone models built in but is not quite directional enough for small groups.  When I can I patch it into the sound system.  When I can't I put the recorder as far away from 'people' as I can.  It's old but it does 24/96 samples and produces great results.  I've used it to record a philharmonic orchestra many times.

With all that said - shotgun X3.  Or a mic with switchable patterns.  Turn autofocus off or mount the mic on it's own tripod or as far from the lens motors as you can get it.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 10:41:02 PM by 8Muddypaws »
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2017, 11:18:17 PM »
Thanks everyone. I looked at shotgun mic's, but for some reason dismissed them. Why would they be better for theatre use than cardioid? Time for me to look again.

I figured I'd mount it in the hot shoe, and plug into the 3.5mm jack. The camera has a "silent" mode, but I guess the mic would still pick up the autofocus noise?

FWIW this pro uses shotgun.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 11:26:55 PM by Tom »
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SeilerBird

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2017, 04:42:43 AM »
Thanks everyone. I looked at shotgun mic's, but for some reason dismissed them. Why would they be better for theatre use than cardioid? Time for me to look again.
A cardioid would pick up too much audience and theater reverb noise. The shotgun would only pick up the band.
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2017, 11:31:06 AM »
Audience noise isn't an issue in our concerts; We don't have screaming females throwing their underwear on stage. Applause can easily be edited out.

Maybe I was overthinking this, but I assumed I'd want to capture sound from the theatre's audio system, and therefore assumed I didn't want/need a mic that was "too directional"  ???
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SeilerBird

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2017, 11:51:37 AM »
Audience noise is not an issue. The acoustical characteristics of the hall are the problem. You can't edit that out.
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2017, 11:54:18 AM »
Quote
Audience noise is not an issue.

Thanks. I misunderstood your earlier post:

Quote
A cardioid would pick up too much audience and theater reverb noise.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 11:56:17 AM by Tom »
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8Muddypaws

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2017, 04:17:31 PM »
Audience noise is always an issue.  A cardioid pattern will pick up a sniffle or sneeze very well.  Also camera noise.  (Remember the square of the distance thing from science class.)  A 45db sneeze 5 feet away will be much louder than an 85db band at 50 feet.  Even a shotgun mic is not a complete cure. 

It's a complete pain trying to edit those sounds out.
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2017, 04:24:23 PM »
Thanks Russ.
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 08:54:13 AM »
Quote
A cardioid pattern will pick up a sniffle or sneeze very well.

Re-reading your reply Russ I'm reminded of one performance where someone set up a small digital (audio) recorder on a tripod near the back of the audience. One guy sitting in front of the mic proceeded to "clap along to the beat" on some numbers, and that's all we heard during playback  :o

Meanwhile, the new external mic arrived yesterday. Still playing around with it. Coincidentally, tomorrow I have a meeting at the theatre for our upcoming show, but not having a band or an audience won't be a good test  >:(
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 11:21:11 AM by Tom »
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Larry N.

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 10:01:53 AM »
...
Meanwhile, the new external mic arrived yesterday. Still playing around with it. Coincidentally, tomorrow I have a meeting at the theatre for our upcoming show, but not having a band or an audience won't be a good test  >:(

Not a good test of the equipment response to the audience, but an excellent chance to perfect your setup in other respects. Knowing what you have to work with, what spaces are available to set up, checking camera angle(s), and advance practice on actually setting up can be a great aid (rehearsal, if you will) to getting the best results.

So which mic did you get?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 10:07:32 AM by Larry N. »
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 10:22:21 AM »
Quote
Knowing what you have to work with, what spaces are available to set up, checking camera angle(s), and advance practice on actually setting up can be a great aid...

Coincidentally, we attended a concert at the same theatre a few weeks ago. I had the camera with me, but not a tripod which will be necessary for the upcoming show. That was when I realized how bad the on-camera mic's are.

Since I'll be performing at the upcoming concert, I won't be able to manage the video-taking. I'm hoping I can give my DW sufficient 'training' this week.

Quote
So which mic did you get?

I bought this one. Despite the hoopla, I'm not convinced it's a true shotgun mic.
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Larry N.

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2017, 12:58:50 PM »
Thanks. I looked up the mic's pattern on the BOYA website, and it appears to be (as mentioned on the BOYA website, and in Amazon's specs) a super cardioid, but not as aggressive as many/most shotguns, which for your use might be an advantage. It's an inexpensive mic with surprisingly good specs -- let us know how it works out, and I may get one too, if the audio is pretty decent (my Vivitar shotgun mic is good for some things, but it's not high quality audio).

If yours includes the wind muff shown on the page you linked to, that's a great device to have -- drops wind noise outdoors by a BUNCH (and softens what's left). I have a similar muff for my Sony FX1 camcorder, but would love to have one for my Canon G-20, too (haven't found one yet that will fit).
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2017, 01:03:49 PM »
Quote
If yours includes the wind muff...

It does, but I thought it was a duster  :-[   Goofy looking thing.
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2017, 03:53:42 PM »
Quote
Goofy looking thing.

Yup, but effective. I've compared my FX1 with and without the "dead cat," as some term it, and it changes an almost unbearable (at normal listening volume) wind noise that hides most of what you say while holding the camera to a muffled, only slightly annoying sound, that is a gentle background to your "narration." And that's even in strong winds coming up the canyon high on Trail Ridge Road, with winds I'd estimate to be in excess of 20 knots hitting the mics.

You might note the next time you see press cameras outdoors in the wind and notice the fuzzy things they use -- the same thing. Compare it yourself when you get a chance, and I think you'll find a pleasant surprise.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 03:57:09 PM by Larry N. »
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wb6kwt

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 10:47:29 AM »
Hi Tom, I worked in video production for 15 years before I retired and always asked the audio tech, at an event, if he had an extra audio out that I could use. Most of the time I was able to connect to the audio mixer. Sometimes it would be a 1/4" unbalanced out and if I was lucky a XLR out. I carried different adapters and direct boxes just in case I needed them. My personal microphone that I used for your type of event is the Sennheiser ME66 shotgun microphone. It's not the most expensive one that Sennheiser sells but I've always had good results with it.

Bob
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2017, 12:03:41 PM »
Thanks for the insight Bob.

Quote
... always asked the audio tech, at an event, if he had an extra audio out that I could use.

That was the conclusion I've come to for recording audio (no video). What did you record (audio) to?
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 08:07:21 PM »
Quote
... asked the audio tech, at an event, if he had an extra audio out that I could use.

Met with the sound techs at the theatre today; They can give us a thumb drive &/or link to an audio file of the whole show. Neat! So, even if my external mic' doesn't do a good job, we can dub the "good" audio onto the video.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 06:10:10 AM by Tom »
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Lou Schneider

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 09:15:29 PM »
"Good" audio from the theater mixer might not be as good as you think.

If the band is pretty much filling the hall on it's own, there isn't much for the sound reinforcement to add.  Unless the sound guy is providing a separate recording mix you might wind up a feed that's heavy on the vocalists and light on the band's contribution.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 09:21:05 PM by Lou Schneider »

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 10:47:50 PM »
Hi Lou, you might be right.

Quote
Unless the sound guy is providing a separate recording mix ...

They talked about a "2-track" recording, but I didn't understand what that meant.

Hopefully, it's redundant to what we get on the external mic' on the camera.
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2017, 06:28:35 AM »
Interesting article on 2-track recording:

http://www.deltamedia.com/resource/live_recording2.html
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2017, 06:38:29 AM »
My first experience with an external mic, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was almost half way back in the audience seats and could barely hear these guys talking, but they're definitely audible when I play back my brief test recordings through my new on-camera external mic.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 06:44:46 AM by Tom »
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2017, 07:04:01 AM »
That's great, Tom -- how did it sound? The real test, of course, will be when you record music. I'll be interested to see how the sound quality is.
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2017, 08:09:49 AM »
Larry, this wasn't much of a test, given that these guys were holding a normal conversation, and two of them had their backs to the camera. I was just glad to be able to hear them and make out what they were saying during playback. A huge improvement over the Panasonic's built-in mic's. FWIW I was three rows behind the sound booth, visible adjacent to the right-of-center aisle (see attached pic).

As you say, the real test will be in the concert. My concern now is to not have "too much" volume and end up with distortion; I don't know any way to monitor that while recording video.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 08:38:51 AM by Tom »
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8Muddypaws

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2017, 05:36:15 PM »
Does the camera have built in audio compression?  If it does and you're worried about something being extremely loud in relation to the rest of the material (say something like a kettle drum, cannon, banjo, etc) use it.  Compression is tricky.  Use too much and it sounds horrible.  Use too little and you get clipping and overflow.

It's easier to do than to explain.  :o

Doesn't the camera have a way to set the audio recording level?  Maybe it's done automatically?  Maybe it's magic!?!?!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 05:38:18 PM by 8Muddypaws »
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2017, 06:10:15 PM »
Russ, you're going to make me read the manual, and I don't do manuals  :-[
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8Muddypaws

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2017, 07:15:49 PM »
Wouldn't think of it.

I'll bet there's a YouTube video.   ;D ;D :D
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2017, 07:45:35 PM »
Nope.  Thousands of them!  Watch them all?
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2017, 08:22:27 AM »
Tom, I recorded right to the camera but my camera has 2 XLR inputs so I could set it to record to both channels, camera mic and mixer, or combine the inputs and record just one of the inputs. I understand your camera probably doesn't support two channels. The op who stated the mixer might not be the best choice is right, I've had that happen to me, you just need to work with the sound guy to make sure he is giving you the whole mix. It shounds like you have a workable plan and I'm sure you will be happy with the results.

Bob
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2017, 09:38:18 AM »
Thanks Bob.
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2017, 11:02:05 AM »
Tom,

I see in another thread that you got video from the concert. When you get a chance, let me know how the audio quality was with that BOYA mic.

Thanks,
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2017, 12:25:21 PM »
Larry, I watched several numbers from the show when we got home yesterday. I have no way of properly measuring 'sound quality', but overall I was happy with the results. I had the mic' set to zero on the +/- gain, and I detected no distortion on playback via my PC with the volume cranked all the way up.

The band came out reasonably clear when playing & singing, instrumental, or a cappella singing. Solo instruments and voice also came out reasonably clear.

I have no doubt that, if I'd sprung for a Rode shotgun mic' (3X the price), the results would have been noticeably better. I might return the BOYA and buy a Rode.
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Larry N.

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2017, 12:38:51 PM »
OK, thanks Tom. I'm looking for a decent but inexpensive mic for my D7100, but close enough to a shotgun that it'll also do fine with my Canon G20. Sounds as if it's worth a shot. I appreciate the feedback.

I've looked at the Rodes and the Sennheisers and some others, but they're more than I want to spend for this, at the moment.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 12:41:19 PM by Larry N. »
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2017, 12:53:13 PM »
Larry, it sounds like you're where I was on the decision. One caveat - despite their 'shotgun' hoopla, the BOYA is not a true shotgun mic'. Although audience noise wasn't a big issue yesterday, I could occasionally hear the videographer rustling something. She really came out loud when she yelled for an encore number  ;D
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2017, 02:30:08 PM »
Yes, thanks for the alert Tom -- I spotted that in their pattern, super cardiod rather than true shotgun is actually what I'm after and is one of the things that makes me consider this one.

Thanks,
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8Muddypaws

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2017, 06:50:43 PM »
Can't wait to hear the final results Tom.

I'm recording the music programs Memorial weekend.  Some will be via the built in mics on my ancient Zoom H4 and some will come off the board. 

I'm the sound man unless I'm on stage playing.  One of the systems is a Bose L1.  I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on that!
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2017, 10:34:07 AM »
Now that I've had a chance to view/listen to all the numbers more closely/critically, I think that a mic' change (to the Rode) is in my future for this use. It looks like I need to revert to plan B and replace the audio tracks with an external source.

FWIW here's a link to the playlist on YouTube.

I haven't yet figured out the source of the 'crackling' sounds occasionally heard.

Going forward, we need more practice with the G7/mic' combination at live shows; The stage spotlights sure tax the camera's 'auto' mode. It also became apparent that the G7 is lacking a headphone jack to monitor what's being recorded from the mic'.
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SeilerBird

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2017, 10:59:18 AM »
The problem you are going to always have is that you can't play in the band, run the video camera and do the recording. That is the job of three people. You will be able to do all three jobs but you won't get the professional results you are wanting.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2017, 11:09:42 AM »
Understood. I wasn't taking the video on Sunday; I was on stage, while Chris was seated in the elevated section of the audience, with the camera on a tripod and the external mic' in the hot shoe. My comment that "we need more practice with the G7/mic' combination at live shows" referred to shows that we both attend as audience members.
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2017, 11:52:57 AM »
We apparently have decent audio from a separate digital audio recorder that was set up on a tripod in an aisle by a band member; Some MP3 files are on their way for me to see if I can use them to replace the audio track on the videos.

Meanwhile, we're trying to get the promised '2-track' audio file from the sound booth.
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2017, 01:46:56 PM »
Quote
I haven't yet figured out the source of the 'crackling' sounds occasionally heard.

In "Back in the High Life Again" I heard a couple of spots where it seemed the voices were overdriving the mic, very briefly, though my ears aren't nearly as good as they used to be. I don't know if that's the "crackling" you referred to.

I really enjoyed the performances -- great job by all, though the sound seemed a tad "muddy," if it's not just my ears. I wonder, too, if you have an automatic white balance on that camera? Seems a tad reddish.

Thanks for sharing those videos -- they're fun to listen to.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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SeilerBird

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2017, 01:55:36 PM »
I really enjoyed the performances -- great job by all, though the sound seemed a tad "muddy," if it's not just my ears. I wonder, too, if you have an automatic white balance on that camera? Seems a tad reddish.
It is not your ears, it is muddy. The problem is 60 singers and 60 ukes running into one microphone. It really needs to be at least a four channel recording to be able to tame the mud.
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #44 on: May 24, 2017, 02:43:04 PM »
Quote from: Larry N
In "Back in the High Life Again" I heard a couple of spots where it seemed the voices were overdriving the mic...

Aye Larry, but that's not the very pronounced crackling in a couple of spots on a few numbers. I really had to guess where to set the gain/attenuation on the mic' and on the camera, and was worried I might overdrive it, or have insufficient volume. Prior to the show, I tried to check on what had been recorded during the sound check/warm up but, without a headphone jack on the camera, there was really no way to listen to it.

Quote
.. the sound seemed a tad "muddy,"

No disagreement, and it's one reason I need to get my hands on the 2-track recording from the sound booth. I'm a little concerned that there was not good communication between the various sound techs, and hope they kept the file; Only one of the guys on the crew at the show was in our prior meeting to go through the show step-by-step, but it felt like we were having to repeat stuff during the sound check.

All in all, I'm not really unhappy with the show or the recordings, although both could have been better. We're an amateur band, many of whom haven't previously played a stringed instrument, few of whom have sung in public before, and this was an experiment with a new camera and ext mic'. Our 'appointed' videographer, who did a credible job in the past, couldn't make it; Chris, who is neither a photographer nor a videographer and was using the camera & mic' for the first time, agreed to step in at the last minute. I wasn't expecting a professional recording result.

We learn from every event, and had a short review at last evening's practice.
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #45 on: May 24, 2017, 03:03:08 PM »
Quote
I wonder, too, if you have an automatic white balance on that camera?

I do, and it's set to auto.

Quote
Seems a tad reddish.

Might be able to change that in video editing; Haven't attempted to edit any video yet; I merely cropped the recordings into 1-song clips, and removed some superfluous stuff.
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SeilerBird

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #46 on: May 24, 2017, 03:21:11 PM »
"reddish"

That is from the color temperature being set wrong. It is set for outdoors and the lights are incandescent. You should be able to adjust the color balance with any editing software.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #47 on: May 24, 2017, 03:38:15 PM »
I think what I'm hearing is the muddiness from a monaural microphone.  Single source recording blends everything together including the room reverbrations.

Next time you're at a rehearsal, go into the audience and plug one ear so you're only listening through the other - you'll hear what a mono microphone picks up.

Does your camera support stereo audio?  If so, I'd suggest giving a binaural microphone a try.   Something like this:

Sony ECM-DS70P Portable Stereo Condenser Microphone

Can you give me a reference to the crackling you're hearing?  If it's condenser microphone without it's own battery, it's getting DC power from the camera.  Jiggling the connector can cause crackling if there's DC on it, like a dirty volume control.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 03:45:09 PM by Lou Schneider »

Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2017, 03:42:46 PM »
Thanks Lou. I wondered if I should buy a stereo mic (the on-board mic's are stereo), but I ended up focusing on the mic's recording pattern.
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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2017, 03:47:54 PM »
Quote
Can you give me a reference to the crackling you're hearing?

Hang on, I need to find them.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #50 on: May 24, 2017, 03:50:22 PM »
Another technique is to get a pair of the sharpest shotgun microphones you can find and arrange them in a crossed X pattern.

You'll have to buy or make a Y cord to put one microphone on the left channel and the other on the right.

Aim the one on the right towards the left side of the stage and connect it to the left input of the recorder.  Do the same for the other one, aiming it towards the right side of the stage.

By varying the angle between the microphones you can expand or compress the stereo image.

The problem with using a sharp shotgun mic on the camera is the pickup will change if you pan the camera back and forth.

Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #51 on: May 24, 2017, 05:04:30 PM »
Quote
Another technique is to get a pair of the sharpest shotgun microphones you can find and arrange them in a crossed X pattern.

Neat trick Lou, but it sounds a bit pricey for my limited personal use.
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Larry N.

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #52 on: May 24, 2017, 05:18:19 PM »
Quote
The problem with using a sharp shotgun mic on the camera is the pickup will change if you pan the camera back and forth.

Which is why, to me, the super cardioid, rather than a true shotgun mic, is a good choice for this application.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #53 on: May 24, 2017, 05:33:29 PM »
Larry/Lou, does this mean that what I need (or should have bought) is a stereo super cardioid mic'?
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Lou Schneider

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2017, 10:54:45 PM »
That would be my recommendation if you can find one.   The Sony I referenced has a "unidirectional stereo pattern" which is kind of saying it's cardioid to some extent.  I couldn't find any further description of it's pickup pattern.

The main thing is to get something stereo, then see if the imaging helps a listener separate the instrument/vocals from the room reflections.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 10:56:42 PM by Lou Schneider »

Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2017, 10:58:08 PM »
Thanks Lou. I saw that "unidirectional" description, but didn't know how much to believe it.
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8Muddypaws

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #56 on: May 24, 2017, 11:40:22 PM »
Some of the music editing systems have plugins that can 'spatialize' a mono signal.  They do a fair job too.  I've used them, with filtering, delay, and reverb to come up with a pretty good sounding philharmonic.  You might be able to clear up the mud a little bit but sadly the crackling is fatal.

It's most likely the mic getting over pressured, or the mic overdriving the A to D converters in the camera. (Or both!)  Easy enough to tell by looking at the wave form in an editor.
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Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #57 on: May 25, 2017, 12:09:24 AM »
Thanks Russ.


FWIW I just received the first half of the MP3 files from the standalone audio recorder. Only listened to a couple of numbers; They appear to be an improvement, but they're not as clean as I expected. Still crossing my fingers for a 'good' file from the sound board techs.
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Larry N.

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #58 on: November 02, 2017, 11:56:44 AM »
Tom,

I finally made a microphone choice, the Sennheiser MKE 440, which is a stereo arrangement, but with "mini shotgun" mics (super cardioid pattern) in a "V" formation.

It just arrived Tuesday, and I've only had limited experience so far, but from my back porch it seemed to cut some ambient noise, but with jets overhead and reflections of traffic noise it was hard to do a proper evaluation. I did notice, though, that it really cut the level of my voice narration compared to internal mics. So yesterday I went to the basement, broke out the guitar, and recorded a partial song (along with my 12-string) both with the camcorder (Canon G-20) built in mics and with the 440 on the cold shoe. This was with the furnace intermittently running and a stereo playing quietly behind the camcorder.

From about 5 feet away, the internal mics captured some fairly nice sound, but with (especially in the quieter parts) some background noise, including echoes from the walls (painted drywall, and carpet). The MKE 440 cut out pretty much all of the audible (to me) background noise, and cut the (slightly) too bright sound of the guitar, giving a seemingly more "natural" sound. The difference was even more noticeable at about 11 feet away, as the built in had a more "hollow" sound with a higher (relatively) level of background sound, while the MKE 440 sound wasn't much changed from the 5 foot run.

I then did something similar with my Nikon 7100 and it really showed how tinny the sound is on the Nikon's built in mics -- sound with the MKE 440 on the Nikon was just about as good as on the Canon G-20, a very welcome improvement.

I really won't know for certain how much better it is (for my purposes) until my grandson's first school concert of the year, and that's probably mid-December, or so, but preliminarily I think it's what I was after. BH has a good sale going at the moment with $24 off and a "dead cat" included at no extra charge (normally $50).
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

Tom

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #59 on: November 02, 2017, 01:18:24 PM »
Thanks for the report Larry. I bit the bullet and bought a stereo super cardiod mic which arrived the evening before our recent school concert. I was trying to do so many things concurrently, operating the camera remotely from my phone, taking stills, taking video, playing/singing, sharing my music with a gal who'd forgotten hers, and shooing away a couple of teachers who kept standing in front of the camera during the performance. I forgot to plug the mic into the camera! So all I have is the (poor) sound from the Panasonic built-in mics  :-[
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 02:59:28 PM by Tom »
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Larry N.

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Re: External microphones for video recording
« Reply #60 on: November 02, 2017, 01:34:06 PM »
Hopefully things will get better, Tom. While doing the basement run (above), I once forgot to turn on the 440 on the Nikon, thus had silence on the video, so had to rerun it. Thankfully it wasn't a concert or something I couldn't redo.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

 

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