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class="style8" Mics For Field Work

>Published : 9th January 2004

>I want this mic to complement our AT shotgun mic to get the ambient/wild tracks in stereo. I am thinking of either the Audio Technica 825 or the Beyer Dynamics MCE 82.

>I read a long review of both in Electronic Musician, but wondered if there are any actual users on these forums. I belong to a small multi skilled team, starting to make short films for TV.

>Rob Dunford
Sound man (in training)
Devon, UK


>Robert Dunford wrote :

class="style9">>I want this mic to complement our AT shotgun mic to get the >ambient/wild tracks in stereo.

>What AT mic are you using? 4071? 4073? Other?

class="style9">>I am thinking of either the Audio Technica 825 or the Beyer Dynamics >MCE 82.

>Sorry, I'm not familiar with either of these. A good composer/sound designer friend used an 825 to gather ambience for sound design in a couple shows. But that was at pretty close range. He wasn't trying to grab tracks on a set or on location.

>You might want to set up a M-S (mid-side) system...but how do you want to use this?

>Jim Feeley


>We have the AT 4041.

>I work with a small team starting to make short films on miniDV. We were in Spain this summer shooting a short story with a small cast, our sound gear (all last minute stuff!!) was the AT on a homemade mic boom pole and a Sony portable DAT recorder. No windjammer either. We were VERY low budget. You can imagine the problems I had on the exteriors, but with a will and a steady hand I got some fairly decent recordings.

>We have serious plans to make more short films and aim for a more commercial product, so I have offered to set up a small sound department on a minimalist budget. Obviously I need a proper mic boom pole and a good windjammer and I want to replace the recorder with the Fostex FR2. But I feel I need a stereo mic to capture wild tracks. You know, night sounds, raindrops on the roof, all those sounds that seem to come from everywhere in real life.

>So there you have it, any help, advice is most welcome.

>Rob Dunford
Sound recordist (in training)
Devon, UK


>Robert Dunford wrote :

class="style9">>We have the AT 4041.

>Rob,

>You might start with the basics before venturing into more elaborate setups.

In other words, forget the stereo microphone for the time being.


You'll need a decent boom pole, microphone mount, wind shield (go for the simple Rycote furry), a portable mixer if possible (with LF filters, proper monitoring etc.) and at least two good mics, a short shotgun (Sennheiser 416, AT 4071 etc) plus a hypercardiod for interiors (AT 4053, AKG 480/63, etc). It's better to start with a smaller package consisting of good quality parts and build up from there.....

>The AT 4041 cardiod mic is not the best choice for your intended purpose.

>Good luck,
Karl Lohninger
Sound mixer, etc
Los Angeles


class="style9">>But I feel I need a stereo mic to capture wild tracks. You know, night >sounds, raindrops on the roof, all those sounds that seem to come >from everywhere in real life.

>I've used the Crown SASS-P stereo PZM for this, it's very nice.

>Note it's a VERY wide pattern you'll get 'everything' around you.

>Sam Wells


>Karl,

>First of all, thank you for the advice. On reflection I made an error on the AT we have, it's the 897. Which is probably very suitable for exteriors. But proved a bit of a disaster when we had interiors...stone walls and floors!!!

>I did ask for some serious sound deadening but nothing materialised.

>So the 'hypercardiod' is the best type for interiors, correct?

>I agree about getting the basics right, but still what to do about ambient sounds. I just have this feeling that a lot of them need to be in stereo. You mentioned a mixer, can you point me in the right direction for a cost effective solution?

>Thanks

>Rob Dunford
Devon, UK


>Well Rob,

>I don't want to sound elitist, but you should start out with a decent microphone and until you've got more money forget about the stereo mic thing and just record ambient in mono! Nothing wrong about that!

>Get a used Sennheiser 416 (or a cheaper 415 which is just the same with a different name).

>I don't know how constraint your monetary situation is....the 3 channel sound devices 302 mixer will keep you happy for quite some time - in the US about $1000,00 - check B&H. You can ride levels correctly, set HP filters, it's got a built in limiter, phantom and T-power etc. etc.

>And yes, you're right, shot gun mics and interiors usually don't go well together, that's where the hyper cardiod comes in. I mentioned Audio technica mics, but be aware that the good ones are the 4000 series

>Again, better have just a few but good quality pieces then...

>Karl Lohninger
Sound mixer, etc
Los Angeles


>Karl Lohninger wrote :

class="style9">>Again, better have just a few but good quality pieces then…

>If you are really serious, get a really good mic -- rather than a mediocre one.

>If you are serious about dialog, get a Schoeps. Often available used -- not cheap, but it is, after all, as important as a lens... not to be scrimped on.

>Jeff Kreines