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Oral history / spoken word location recording with elderly gentleman Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 9th June 2015
  #31
PZMs are hemispherical/boundary layer microphones. They will pick up a lot of room noise along with the conversation. They also need a fairly large flat table (don't put them on the floor for this use). I personally would think more about a short shotgun for this application. I guess you could set up a couple of microphones at home and try various combinations until you find one that works for you.

Best of Luck!
Old 9th June 2015
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
PZMs are hemispherical/boundary layer microphones. They will pick up a lot of room noise along with the conversation. They also need a fairly large flat table (don't put them on the floor for this use). I personally would think more about a short shotgun for this application. I guess you could set up a couple of microphones at home and try various combinations until you find one that works for you.

Best of Luck!
Actually, boundary mic's pick up less ambient reflections and noise, as there is one less reflective room boundary for reflections. They are available in omni, cardioid, and hyper/super cardioid, also some with card horizontal and hyper/super card vertical, and not only the expensive Gefell. They don't need a large table, pretty much anything will do.

Not saying a boundary mic is the way to go in this particular scenario, but it is an option.
Old 11th June 2015
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
Actually, boundary mic's pick up less ambient reflections and noise, as there is one less reflective room boundary for reflections. They are available in omni, cardioid, and hyper/super cardioid, also some with card horizontal and hyper/super card vertical, and not only the expensive Gefell. They don't need a large table, pretty much anything will do.

Not saying a boundary mic is the way to go in this particular scenario, but it is an option.
So is a LDC. I agree with what you are saying but in my book PZMs are better for picking up stage musicals and opera but it is only my opinion.

FWIW
Old 11th June 2015
  #34
Lives for gear
.....and don't that forget the table (or wall or floor, depending on what it's placed upon) is not the only boundary for a pzm. You can make it more directional by placing a smaller boundary behind it...say an upturned book or a right angled acrylic bookend, or whatever captures your improvisatory fancy at the time !

Hemi is but one of its many suits...see page 13 and beyond for pzm wrangling:

http://www.crownaudio.com/media/pdf/mics/127089.pdf
Old 11th June 2015
  #35
Lives for gear
....forget that.....
Old 12th June 2015
  #36
Here for the gear
As I mentioned in the other thread there is an association for folks doing this type of thing. Microphones were once a topic of conversation on the mail list, so at the 2006 meeting of the Association of Personal Historians I had people bring their microphones for a comparison which I recorded in a small meeting room using my HD-P2. I found the web page I set up with the recordings, which you can find here. Recording is only one aspect of this. You also need to be a good interviewer. If you need some interview questions or would like to collaborate with someone shoot me a PM and I'll try to help you out. Good luck.
Old 14th June 2015
  #37
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I have 4 CM3s that are very small and have a very satisfactory spoken word capture pattern. Tascam has a great 4 channel recorder that also has a small foot print that will interface very well with any or all 4 mics. The ability to transparently place small mics several feet away from the subject or subjects including the host asking questions and leading the interview is a critical strategy in doing this type of project.
Old 14th June 2015
  #38
Lives for gear
Now that you mention it, I recorded a speaker using CM3s and thought the result sounded good. The speaker was close to the mic and I didn't get much room effect.
Old 25th June 2015
  #39
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Many, many thanks again to everyone for all the amazingly useful info in this thread, not just on the recording but on all aspects of the job.

Here's the update...

I have discovered that there is a researcher/archivist involved, so this takes the heat off me as they can ask the questions while I revert to type, i.e. strictly as a sound-recordist!

I have sent in my pitch for the job, which starts with recording a 'pilot' before taking things any further. I will do this with my go-to portable set-up, which for me means my trusty MacBook Air/Metric Halo ULN-2 as seen in the photo:



After seeing the comments here about the possible satisfactory use of cardioids for this application, I'm going to give it a go with my Gefell M300 SDC pair, either on a table stand (as shown) or low mic stands. (I may not be able to arrange the speakers neatly around a single stereo bar, as shown in the pic.)

(Obviously I'm starting with this gear because I already have it and it involves no extra outlay, for me or the client. The first rule of Gearslutz is that this is doomed to fail and I can smell the headlines now: "GEARSLUT ATTEMPTS TO RECORD JOB WITHOUT BUYING NEW GEAR SHOCK!" )

I guess I'll need some foam on those heads - pop screens not appropriate here I think. Question - will I need to reverse the polarity of one of the mics if they end up being 180º apart?

If the results of the 'pilot' recording are not satisfactory, I will have to find a budget from somewhere(!) and revisit the options as suggested here, which could be any or all of the following: a pair of DPA4060 lavs (or similar), one of the Tascam portable recorders, some Rode shotguns etc etc. Reading through this thread I'm not convinced that spending anything less than $1,000 is going to improve things significantly over what I have, either in terms of logistics or sound quality.

I have explained up-front to the client that my gear is more oriented towards music recording, rather than field recording per se, so we'll see how it works out. And of course, if the alternative to getting the plastic out is losing the job I'll have to sit down and do the sums again!

Last edited by James Lehmann; 25th June 2015 at 11:49 AM..
Old 25th June 2015
  #40
Lives for gear
If you're more than a foot to 18" away from the mics you probably won't need the moulded foam filters, although it can be useful if there are any air conditioning breezes or fans nearby which are directing air at the capsules.

The separate stands idea may be best, as it'll take you further out of the 3:1 rule territory and give each mic its own 'environment' to work within.

You could try a phase flip of just one mic after the recording and see if it results in any strangeness, hollowness in sound due to bass cancellation, or whether it improves background noise reduction....you won't know until you try and it's easy to do.
Old 16th April 2019
  #41
Gear Nut
 
rezident's Avatar
Preemptively tape a velcro'd Gefell M310/Zoom H4n/6"XLR combo to a celing fan or table lamp, gramps won't even notice!
Old 16th April 2019
  #42
Gear Maniac
This is an old thread! What was the outcome?

For what it's worth I record voice using a AKG C414XLS in hyper-cardioid mode - about 6 inches away. Still works OK at 18 inches. (In a dampened room). If you need two voices then the same mic on fig 8 using front and back should work well.
Old 16th April 2019
  #43
Lives for gear
Mkh50 overhead into a Nagra Seven. Simple and perfect for this.
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