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Interview microphones
Old 1 week ago
Interview microphones

I am in the market for a pair of microphones that will excel at human speech reproduction in a mobile recording application. This would be a table top set up (not boom), and include the ability to capture high quality audio in a variety of environments (all indoor). Good directionality and easily transportable form factor are important qualities. I'm curious about a Shure SM81 or similar, but I really have no experience with this mic. Sadly, I've never seen a mic promote itself specifically for this purpose. Does anyone have any first hand experience with this you can share?
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

this mic may suit your needs. i have been tracking a radio program that does frequent interviews for nearly 20 years and this mic is my new favorite. it has replaced a senn 421. the price is alarmingly low but it sounds, imo, surprisingly great on most voices i've tracked. have been using it about 4 mos.
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

The SM81 is a good mic, but probably not for what you're needing. It's going to be VERY noisy because of its sensitivity.

Take a look at the Shure SM7B and ElectroVoice RE20. They're not quite as small, but they are the industry standards for Radio and Podcasting, which is what it sounds like you may be doing.

They must be close to your mouth though. The further away from you they are (any mic for that matter) the less usable it will be in your case.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

EV 635a, or EV RE50 are nice too...
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

The EV mics are the classic handheld interview mics. The 635 is so rugged it's known as "the Buchanan Hammer" (made in Buchanan) and the 50 is the 635 inside a shock mount casing. However, both are Omni mics and might not be suitable in the situation you're describing.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

Up close though?
Thanks, Chris
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

Well, omnis are always omnis but obviously close sources are louder than distant ones. The issue is that there's no real rejection from any axis. Great for interviewing a subject while walking or in a scrum but perhaps problematic in a more controlled but noisy interview situation. A more directional mic might be a better choice in the latter scenario.

As always, YMMV.
Old 1 week ago
Gear Maniac
Ed Driscoll's Avatar
There's a reason why so many podcasts, YouTube chat shows, and talk radio shows have Shure SM7B s. Back when I was producing a weekly show that aired on SiriusXM, I recorded very usable interviews in crowded convention halls with a pair of Shure SM58 s. In both cases, the cardioid pattern does a great job of reducing the ambient background noise to acceptable levels. (sorry for the spaces after the mic names. Trying to ensure the Gearslutz gear hyperlink algorithm thingy goes to the right product.)
Old 1 week ago
Gear Guru
Brent Hahn's Avatar

The main reason you use an omni for handheld interviews is because it doesn't make any distracting sounds when you move it rapidly between yourself and the interviewee. This isn't a factor when the mic isn't handheld or on a boom.
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