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For THE cleanest outdoor dialogue (narrative film) -- which mic(s) do I buy?
Old 19th October 2013
  #1
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For THE cleanest outdoor dialogue (narrative film) -- which mic(s) do I buy?

Hello Friends,

I want the mic that will reject all the outdoor noises we don't want in film production, even on streets with cars or trucks going by; to most cleanly capture multiple actors' dialogue, and create the simplest sound editing situation in post.

Assuming a single mic setup, I understand that it must ideally be actively boomed from above the actors, as close to the actors as camera framing allows, and face the microphone down.

However, it is unclear -- Do I want a super-cardioid, hyper-cardioid, or shotgun?

I understand that a shotgun has a tighter forward facing pickup pattern, but that is has less off-axis rejection capability than the other types of mics when it comes to lower sound frequencies. Also, it seems the most high end mics are super-cardioids. Why are they not shotguns if the patterns is tighter? Assuming the mic is being boomed properly, would the tighter pattern not result in the cleanest sound with the highest ratio of level of dialogue to level of noise?

Microphone model names would be great. I would absolutely be willing to spend $2,000 on a microphone if it will isolate the actors' voices in a public, run 'n gun situation that much better than a cheaper mic.

A million thanks to whomever should like to answer this highly specific question!
Old 19th October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
Shotguns for exteriors.CMIT-5U
Cardioids+ for interiors MKH50.CCM41
There is no such thing as perfect isolation, Cedar in post might help.
Leakage is real.
Old 19th October 2013
  #3
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Kronfeld View Post
Hello Friends,

I want the mic that will reject all the outdoor noises we don't want in film production, even on streets with cars or trucks going by; to most cleanly capture multiple actors' dialogue, and create the simplest sound editing situation in post.

Assuming a single mic setup, I understand that it must ideally be actively boomed from above the actors, as close to the actors as camera framing allows, and face the microphone down.

However, it is unclear -- Do I want a super-cardioid, hyper-cardioid, or shotgun?

I understand that a shotgun has a tighter forward facing pickup pattern, but that is has less off-axis rejection capability than the other types of mics when it comes to lower sound frequencies. Also, it seems the most high end mics are super-cardioids. Why are they not shotguns if the patterns is tighter? Assuming the mic is being boomed properly, would the tighter pattern not result in the cleanest sound with the highest ratio of level of dialogue to level of noise?

Microphone model names would be great. I would absolutely be willing to spend $2,000 on a microphone if it will isolate the actors' voices in a public, run 'n gun situation that much better than a cheaper mic.

A million thanks to whomever should like to answer this highly specific question!
The only mic. that comes close to what you describe is the Schoeps SuperCMIT - but it costs a lot more than your $2k budget.

Closer to your budget is the Sennheiser MKH 8060 (or 8070 if you need more directivity).

The off-axis is much better with the more modern mics.

If you want a super-cardioid - then look at the MKH 8050 (or MKH 50)
Old 19th October 2013
  #4
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Re the Super CMIT, that mic needs to be in the hands of a really good, experienced boom op to work in a multiactor scene. Since the whole point of its digital technology is to de-rezz off axis sound, you really need to be solidly on-target with the mic, and accurately follow the action really well. This is not a mic for casual use--if the operator is less than very professional I'd suggest something more forgiving, like the non-Super CMIT or Sanken CS3e.

philp
Old 20th October 2013
  #5
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The Sanken Cs3e has the least amount of rear lobe pickup (besides the Super CMIT) and also a bass cut switch. Much of the outdoor city noise comes from the bass frequencies.
Old 20th October 2013
  #6
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tourtelot's Avatar
Also, because of the multi-capsule design of the CS3e, it attenuates low frequencies off-axis better than single capsule designs. Makes it really helpful if the genny is too close (not that this is EVER acceptable but sometimes happens even though no one is "at fault.") Also, because of the same design, it makes it usable inside in some larger spaces where normal interference tube designs suffer from comb filtering. I used mine lots on the stage for interiors where I needed an extra half a foot over my usual MKH50 and didn't want to go out to the radios. Really great mics.

D.

Oh and the "best" exterior gun mic is a Sennheiser MKH816 but there are VERY few boommen these days who can work it. It is about three feet long and in a full zeppelin and high wind cover, at the end of an 18' pole is, simply, a beast. I sold both mine a few years ago because it was simply better practice to use wireless lavs. My first-call boomman (who is actually a woman) boomed an ocean-side walk and talk a number of years back, the boys in swim trunks; she walked in the surf so the mic pointed inland, and it was awesome. Gotta have the skills.
Old 20th October 2013
  #7
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Impressive how the CS3e can reject nearbye buzzing from faulty lights.
Old 20th October 2013
  #8
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I am hearing Sanken CS3e all around!

Having read up on it, it sounds like it would serve the purpose.

However, will it be extraordinarily difficult to boom and capture sound properly with multiple actors? If I should like to learn how to do it.
Old 20th October 2013
  #9
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celticrogues's Avatar
 

Sanken CS3e is my go-to as well. I think it sounds great and I'm usually very impressed by the way it rejects noise.

-Mike
Old 20th October 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Kronfeld View Post
I am hearing Sanken CS3e all around!

Having read up on it, it sounds like it would serve the purpose.

However, will it be extraordinarily difficult to boom and capture sound properly with multiple actors? If I should like to learn how to do it.
Learn the script and practice lens sizes
Its ballet
Its very rewarding when done right
You don't need a video monitor,just inherent awareness of frame size.
The focus puller is your friend.
Old 21st October 2013
  #11
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Learn the script and practice lens sizes
Its ballet
Its very rewarding when done right
You don't need a video monitor,just inherent awareness of frame size.
The focus puller is your friend.
And it is a REALLY hard job to do well. First or second hardest job on the set I think; some would argue that pulling focus well is harder but I'm not sure.

D.
Old 28th October 2013
  #12
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pkautzsch's Avatar
 

Different tools for different tasks. Usual suspects have been named.
I still use the 816 on boom quite regularly outdoors when civilization is nearby.
Lavs, typically omnis, sometimes have more ambient noise than a well-handled boom. However, they are the insurance against "creative" camera decisions or simultaneous wide&tight shooting.

If you really don't know the answer to your question, it might be advisable that you intern or boom for more experienced folks. Location sound is a craft that can only be learned from a mentor.
Old 28th October 2013
  #13
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkautzsch View Post
Location sound is a craft that can only be learned from a mentor.
Doesn't seem to be the case anymore alas. Lot's of soundmen out there that are trying to reinvent the wheel as the call for cheaper rates and the diminished craft that comes from using cheap media (and cheap cameras) has thrown the whole industry into a tailspin.

Not to say that there aren't brilliant new mixers and that there aren't talented cameramen making beautiful images with cheap equipment but the sheer scope of this work makes me one of the grumpy old (trained) guys. Sorry! Rant off.

D.
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