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    Looking for film production mic equipment


    Me and some friends of mine are looking to orchestrate a semi-serious film project the summer of next year. There's a big list of gear we're looking to get, and among the gear I'm scouting within my personal 'forte' is boom mics (Shotgun mic + boom pole). The budget on this item (Total for pole and mic, if separate) is under $100, preferably under $80. I know this is crunching it a bit (a lot), but I'm looking for people who can give me advice on reliable items within that price range, not telling me why I should get more expensive equipment (Not gonna happen anytime soon, although you may contact me if you want to make a donation *towards* some fancy gear!) To sum up the items I need in as non-technical terms as possible: Microphone (I guess that would be shotgun mic) to attach to the end of a pole (at least 7-8 feet) to hold above actors (Handheld, not a stand) to capture clear, crisp, conversation audio out on the field. This audio would be recorded either directly into the camcorder (Which has support for external mics) or into my portable audio recorder (Which also supports external mics). Thanks for any help in advance, I hope I can get some good ideas on this.

    Better films through sound design!
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    Hi, I would like to give you a little guidance. I am a sound designer with knowledge on recording equipment.

    I do not see you getting anything 'professional' grade with such a small budget. I very much doubt you will get both good quality AND reliable equipment with the price range you have detailed...its just out of the question. If you are serious about audio, my advice would be to save up and invest in some proper audio equipment. Rode NTG series is at high standard with the NTG2 being a very good start-out microphone due to its relatively low price. Along with a Rycote boom pole which offers durability, practicality and good quality material. At a reasonable price (for the shorter model)

    If you really insist though on spending such a little amount of money (which isn't wise in film production), my suggestion would be to use a microphone like the Audio Technica ATR-6550 roughly $65 along with a pole such as a Rode Micro which is around $45. This would bring your total to around $110. Bearing in mind I'm in the UK and going on prices in this country (converted) so it may differ in your part of the world. I feel a little bit sinful though suggesting the above.

    A little word of warning: you WILL get a lot of noise with an inexpensive shotgun microphone, they just aren't engineered properly for the task. Which is an annoyance for you and a director.

    Although I've tried my best to keep within your budget, its just not possible to get film worthy audio quality with such cheap equipment.

    One thing I have learned in this industry is that you do get exactly what you pay for.

    I hope i've helped you somewhat, and made you reconsider your willingness to invest. smile


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    I have to say I agree with everything you said, it's all pretty much my feelings as well, it's just money is tough issue for 'beginners' like us. Saving up is a good idea. We've built up little by little over time. I'll look into all you your suggestions, though. I did some checking myself, the ART6550 is one of my top three...can you give me thoughts on the Opteka VM-100 and Azden SMX-10 as well?

    EDIT: Quick edit, I looked over the poles (Both Rode Micro and Rycote G5) and the mic (Rode NTG) and I decided the best route as of now is to talk over the possibility of investing on at least a good mic with my director. As for the pole, we'll probably start a low-end on that, somehow I can't fathom spending 200+ bucks on a telescoping stick. Also, do you have any thoughts on home-made boom poles?

    Better films through sound design!
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    Also, do you have any thoughts on home-made boom poles?

    A telescopic pole for window cleaning or garden pruning type jobs from local hardware store should be cheap . They are usually light weight aluminium. Fixing the mic will require good acoustic isolation from the pole and a means to orient the mic to where you want it pointing. I suggest plastic fixtures (like plumbing bits and brackets) again from a hardware store could be modified with a little ingenuity to fix over the pole with a foam cuff barrier. Remember the cable needs acoustic damping/isolation as well as the body of the mic mount. Again, a light foam cuff held with velcro loops. A home made arrangement will be nowhere near as convenient to set up and use as pro kit, but I can imagine getting the bits for a few tens of quid/dollars leaving more to be spent on a decent mic.

    I solved a similar problem mounting area mics to the front of a stage using brackets (designed for fixing 1 1/2 inch water pipes) with foam cuffs around the mic stand poles. It is very effective at isolating the bumps and thumps of footfall and furniture scraping on the stage floor.

    Do let us know how it goes.

    Wibby

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    CGEffex wrote:
    I have to say I agree with everything you said, it's all pretty much my feelings as well, it's just money is tough issue for 'beginners' like us. Saving up is a good idea. We've built up little by little over time. I'll look into all you your suggestions, though. I did some checking myself, the ART6550 is one of my top three...can you give me thoughts on the Opteka VM-100 and Azden SMX-10 as well?

    EDIT: Quick edit, I looked over the poles (Both Rode Micro and Rycote G5) and the mic (Rode NTG) and I decided the best route as of now is to talk over the possibility of investing on at least a good mic with my director. As for the pole, we'll probably start a low-end on that, somehow I can't fathom spending 200+ bucks on a telescoping stick. Also, do you have any thoughts on home-made boom poles?

    Yes the mic is the most important thing. You could find anything long and attach the microphone to it, although a word of warning, you'll get a lot of handling noise without a shock mount.

    The rode NTG1 will do the job nicely for you, at a reasonable price.

    Sorry i'm not familiar with the microphones you asked about, I wont comment.


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