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The Best Boom Mic


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#1 Jesse Frank

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 10:44 AM

So I'm going to be shooting a feature this summer, and really need to look for a good boom mic.  FYI I do not want something that is over $300.  Right now I have my rode video mic taped to the end of a light bulb changer pole, and it works but it's not that great.  Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 


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#2 JB Earl

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 07:51 PM

Where will you be using this mic?  What do you have for the rest of your audio equipment?


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#3 Jesse Frank

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 08:21 PM

On set in various environments.

Two Zoom H1's and two Zoom H4N's
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#4 Rakesh Malik

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 08:34 PM

A Rode NTG-2 might fit the bill on the mic side of things; it's inexpensive and has good sound quality, and it's pretty directional though its pickup pattern is wider than preferable for dialog recording. Its sensitivity is moderate, so with the lower end Zooms you'll probably end up with pretty noisy recordings in situations where you can't get the mic close enough to your actors.


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#5 JB Earl

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 09:15 PM

It matters if you'll be using the mic indoors or out, and room conditions on the indoors.  You'll need at least an additional preamp to get decently clean tracks on the Zooms.  Also important- you need someone to handle the recording, if you'll be handling the camera.

 

Look at an AT875R for an inexpensive all around mic, but it's better to have a shotgun for outdoor and a hyper for live rooms.


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#6 John E Clark

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 10:18 AM

So I'm going to be shooting a feature this summer, and really need to look for a good boom mic.  FYI I do not want something that is over $300.  Right now I have my rode video mic taped to the end of a light bulb changer pole, and it works but it's not that great.  Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Does this $300 include a proper pole and shock mount? Or just the mic. Is the audio going to be indoors or outdoors, and if outdoors, have you considered using a blimp to cut down on wind noise...

 

I got a used Oktava MK-012 some time ago, and while it does have some sensitivities it has served its purpose. It has optional capsules for omni, cardioid, and hypercardioid patterns. I have the cardioid and the hyper. The latter I've exclusively used. The cardioid was part of the package...

 

I got a boom pole from a 'starving student' and seems pretty good. Perhaps not the most durable... but for the amount of use I have, it is ok. The shock mount I have is a 'cheap' one, but when held by 'calm hands and arms'... does not transmit much handling noise to the mic. The MK-012 is noted for 'handling noise'...

 

I have not gotten much in the way of wind abatement, other than a foam cover. In the indoor shooting I've done, that has been ok.

 

If you are going to commit to the time to do a 'feature', I'd say increase your budget to get better recording devices as well. I had the Zoom and it was a weak link in the audio chain. I upgraded to the Tascam DR70 in December, but also got a preamp as well. This was in December, and I've not had any opportunity to use it 'in the wild' as I've been occupied with other things... like dealing with getting a significant amount of water damage repaired in the house... but I digress...


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#7 Jesse Frank

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 06:33 PM

Just the mic.  Indoor and outdoor locations.

 

I love my zoomy poo.


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#8 JB Earl

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 07:17 PM

John Clark is right you need a blimp if outdoors  You may find you need some lavs also.  And a mixer....  

A mic is like a lens.  It depends on where and how you're using it, and what it's attached to.

You may want to check dvxuser or some of the sound design discussion boards for more detailed info.  


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#9 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 11:18 PM

I went through a few booms before I found one that didn't leave me unsatisfied. Tried a Rode videomic for like a day and didn't see a huge difference between it and a DSLR's built in mic. Then dropped about $200 on the Rode NTG-2. Was a little better but still didn't pick up the robust sound I wanted. Saw my friends using the AT8035 boom mic from audio technica and thought it had a better sound than the NTG-2.

 

After a year or so of work, someone donated to me a Sennheiser MKH-416 (deemed industry standard by many) which was worth about $1000. Now I know that's out of your budget but some people who work under me have purchased the Sennheiser MKE 600 which costs $300 on the dot and still had a better sound than the other cheap mics I mentioned before. For me, Sennheiser is the way to go when it comes to microphones of that nature.

 

If this is for a narrative feature, I'd recommend just sticking with what you have and taking the time to run ADR over the entire project. A decent home recording setup doesn't cost more than $500 nowadays. It's hard work and very time consuming, but I promise fully controlled sound pays off if you get a mixer who knows what they're doing.


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#10 JB Earl

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 12:08 PM

Macks has a point, ADR is a good option,  (especially if you don't have an audio crew (recordist and boom op)) 

Make sure you get lots of ambience and room tone while on location.


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#11 Sam Javor

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 09:48 AM

It's really tempting to blindly post suggestions but I'd have to hear your current capabilities with your setup in order to offer the best bang-for-buck. 

But if you are still _taping_ things to poles then you need a pole.  Then spend money on learning audio recording.  You can get away with a lot with modern low budget equipment and free software if you work within it's tolerances.  Knowing what those tolerances that you are willing to accept are... and how to achieve those requires an education.

 


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