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Portable rig for foley/sound effects recording Condenser Microphones
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Portable rig for foley/sound effects recording

Hi everyone,

I'm a hobby/ amateur sound designer and composer looking to upgrade my (portable) foley/ sound effects recording gear.

What I'm currently using:

- Sony PCM M10

What sounds I'm recording/ what I'm doing with the recordings:

- Anything that I find interesting: (loud) hits, scrapes, textures, "quiet" foley sounds...
- I record at my flat but also outside and at random/ different places, I don't have a dedicated/ treated room for recording
- I process and layer the recordings in order to create sound effects in my DAW (hits/impacts, wooshes, sci-fi sounds, weapons - currently focussing on cinematic sound effects, but I've also done foley for short films and sound effects for a mobile game)
- I want to create sound effects libraries/ sound packs, maybe also including raw/ unprocessed sounds


What I'm looking for:

- Less noise
- Better frequency range
- Better "overall" quality
- Portability
- Better directionality, less ambience/ room noise etc. (i.e. most likely a setup with a shotgun mic)

Budget:

- I'm rather flexible regarding the budget, but I don't think I would want to spend much more than around 1500 EUR at the moment; depending on the path I'm choosing, this would probably include a dedicated recorder and at least one microphone.

I'm well aware that the gear I'm looking at doesn't really match my skill level, but I don't like the idea of spending a bit less now only to have to buy something new within the next few years and going through the hassle of trying to sell used equipment.

Options/ Possible setups:


So from what I've read so far, the main options would be to either try to improve my current setup (which really would just mean to get a PiP microphone), but since the PCM M10 doesn't have XLR inputs, I would probably be stuck with a XY/ binaural setup.

Or I would get a new recorder and at least one dedicated microphone to start with (I have a RODE NT1 A, but I guess what I'm looking for is a shotgun mic).
I've been looking into the new Sound Devices recorders MixPre-3 and MixPre-6, which would probably give me the best quality in my budget range, while the MixPre-6 would be the safest long-term solution due to the additional inputs (not sure if I would need more than 3 inputs anytime soon though).

However, I've also been researching the equipment of professional, i.e. fulltime sound designers. And while most of their gear is not in my budget (and would be complete overkill), apparently Robert Dudzic gets by just fine with using the Tascam DR-680 MkII (which is less than half the price of the MixPre-6).

So this could lead to one of the following setups:


Setup 1:
- Sony PCM M10 + Soundman OKM II Classic Studio Solo (or comparable)
- Cost: ~ 200 EUR
--> I will probably get this anyway, since it's relatively cheap, will improve the recording setup that I can take with me anywhere and binaural sounds interesting.

Setup 2:
- Sounddevices MixPre-3 or MixPre-6 + shotgun mic (e.g. Rode NTG-3).
- Cost: ~1300 - 1600 EUR (depending on MixPre-3 or -6 and the microphone)

Setup 3:
- Tascam DR-680 MkII + Shotgun mic
- Cost: ~ 900 - 1000 EUR depending on the mic

Regarding microphones I'm also not sure yet; I've read good stuff about the NTG-3 and the next best thing seems to be the Sennheiser MKH 416, which costs about twice as much as the NTG-3 where I live (apparently the MKH 416 is also less suited for rather inexperienced users).
Are there other shotgun microphones cheaper than the NTG-3 that you would recommend?

I'm really thankful for any input; as you probably can see from my post, I'm kind of overwhlemed with all the options and possilbe combinations/ setups.

Thanks in advance!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 
ronmac's Avatar
If you are recording outside don't forget to budget for good wind protection. It can easily equal the cost of the microphone.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
MKH 416 is idiot proof, its the industry standard, the Rode comes nowhere close
Plenty used on the Bay
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Neumann KM-81 is the standard foley mic used in Hollywood. It all starts with that.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
MKH 416 is idiot proof, its the industry standard, the Rode comes nowhere close
Interesting, Roger. Have you put an NTG3 through its paces thoroughly? It is certainly different to an MKH416 - most obviously with its slightly wider pattern (slightly more 'idiot-proof' I'd suggest!) - but I and, more importantly many others with better credentials (e.g. Charles Maynes - see https://www.gearslutz.com/board/5866666-post71.html) wouldn't write it off quite so harshly!

I would interested to hear more of your experience.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
I used MKH416 for nearly 40 yrs in every condition known on the planet and it never failed once
They are left permanently rigged in Rycotes over football stadia in the UK which has an Atlantic climate that eats mics
They also sound good , inside and out
Can the Rode match that ?
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
I used MKH416 for nearly 40 yrs in every condition known on the planet and it never failed once
They are left permanently rigged in Rycotes over football stadia in the UK which has an Atlantic climate that eats mics
They also sound good , inside and out
Can the Rode match that ?
I know you have used the MKH416 extensively and just as you describe, and I have no quarrel at all with its excellent reputation (indeed, I have used one since 1984): I was simply interested, given just the sort of work you have done and describe, in your experience of the NTG3 compared to the MKH416, esp. given your negative comments. Have you found problems with its sound or experienced/heard reliable reports of failures? I'm intrigued.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
celticrogues's Avatar
 

The 416 is definitely a solid mic, and workhorse, and far better than the Rode. No arguments there. But it would not be my first, second, or third choice for foley.

The KMR81 is a better choice IMO.

The 416 is a little bit noisier than the 81 and the noise seems to be in a higher register so it’s a bit more noticeable. The 416 also has a kind of intense presence peak in the high frequencies, which, while it works nicely for making dialogue cut through, doesn’t sound that awesome on foley. The KMR81 lends a nice weight to sounds that really helps sell a lot of recordings, especially things like footsteps, cloth noise, body falls, and the like.

-Mike
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Lives for gear
Neumann's never any good in humidity and rain Mike
Lovely mics
Unsuitable for field use imho
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