March News from Houston MediaSource

Sound Check with Mike

Our resident light & sound guru "sounds off" on mics 

Nothing's worse than playing back awesome video only to discover that your sound isn't.....well, so "sound." Here are some things to consider, based on my own trials, tribulations and triumphs.
Dynamic Microphones

Electro Voice 635 – A hand held mic. The pickup pattern, the area that is the sweet area for the pickup of the audio, is about the size of a volley ball. The pattern is Omni directional meaning that the mic picks up in a globular or spherical 360 degree area. This mic will pick up best if placed a couple of inches under the chin. Best if used by one person talking and not interviewing a second person going back and forth between the two .

Electro Voice RE 50 - is another Dynamic handheld mic that we have available for checkout. The pickup pattern is also Omni directional. The sweet area on this mic is similar to a medium size beach ball.  This mic can be used by one person. It would be the best mic to use if you were interviewing a second person. You would not have to reach and stick this mic under the talent’s chin in an interview.  You can hold this mic a few inches lower that the 635. You would hold this mic about chest level.

You can see both of these mics used in local newscasts.

Electric Condenser Microphones

Sony lavalier 66B –  This is a  clip-on mic. This mic is powered by one AA battery and is connected to the camera by an XLR cable. It's best used in sitdown interviews and when there is no major movement by the talent. It is a uni-directional mic meaning it mostly picks up the audio of the person it is clipped to and voids out most noises in the background.

Sennheiser 100 wireless lavalier mic - This mic should be used when there is movement by the talent. This gives freedom to the talent to move up to 60-80 feet away from the camera with no cables and eliminates the risk of people tripping over cables.  This mic should be used in a crowded atmosphere such as a club setting doing interviews. It would also be the best choice if you have a Pastor or a speaker who does a lot of pacing back and forth. It eliminates the XLR cable dragging behind the talent as they walk. Some of our wireless kits have a plug in transmitter that attaches to the bottom of our microphones and make them wireless eliminating the XLR cable avoiding a tripping hazard.

Sennheiser ME 66 shotgun mic- This is your standard boom mic. It is usually used on a boom pole allowing the mic to be placed just out of frame. The pic up pattern on this is unidirectional. The sweet area is similar to a long cigar shape that is approximately 6 feet in front of the mic. It rejects most audio from the sides, however it does pick up audio from the rear of the mic where the XLR cable attaches. This pickup pattern from the rear is similar to the front but it is 1/18th the size in pickup. It is very useful to know if you are recording two people having a conversation which suddenly turns into a shouting match. At the time of the shouting, point the rear of the mic toward the talent  it will lower the audio to a non distorted useable level. When the shouting calms down flip it back around where the front points to the talent and you will get good usable audio. I used this technique on several films and it work great. You can also make this wireless by attaching the wireless cube transmitter to the bottom of the mic. PLEASE NOTE the battery required is one AA and it goes in the opposite direction. Look at the diagram in the battery compartment.

Best of luck on your next production. Don't forget that our folks in the Equipment Department are available to help, just give us a call or swing on by.

See you in the next newsletter!
Mike Marston
Client Relations Manager/Instructor

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