What mic should a French person use to record interviews with a Zoom H5?

A dear old friend recently sent me an email asking which mic I recommended using with the Zoom H5. It was an old roommate of mine who had played drums in my band. She continues to bang the drums professionally to this day. This person is also an excellent sound recordist, songwriter, guitarist, and several other awesome things.

She was writing me from Ireland of all places, where she was working on some kind of audio-related job. The question about the mic came up because her associate was¬†working on a video project Paris. The French person had a Zoom H5, and they needed to record interviews in a “live” sounding space (likely a noisy, large area). Continue reading What mic should a French person use to record interviews with a Zoom H5?

Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3

The third and final video in my exhaustive, three-part analysis of the Zoom H5 portable recorder is a shootout of shotgun microphones. I compared the sound of the separately available SGH-6 shotgun capsule against the Rode NTG-2 and NTG-3 shotgun microphones. To keep things interesting, I also included the Audio-Technica AT4053b hypercardioid microphone and the XYH-5 stereo microphone capsule Continue reading Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3

The Basics of Video Microphones

The microphones used to capture sound for video productions are a pretty deep topic, however, the basics are fairly simple, and that’s what I’m going to cover in this blog post. If you’re not in the mood to read, I also cover all of this information in the following video:

I’ve written about on-camera microphones a lot on my blog, however, for the most part, they’re not very good tools for sound capture in video. Continue reading The Basics of Video Microphones

Shotgun Shootout: Sennheiser MKH 8060 vs. Rode NTG-3

Comparing the¬†Sennheiser MKH 8060¬†to the¬†Rode NTG-3¬†is similar to racing¬†a Porche Boxster¬†against¬†a Volkswagon Golf R. Even if the the VW performs impressively against the Porche, it won’t sway the¬†decision making of the people who buy these cars. These microphones are for two very different kinds of users. Generally, the people who buy the Rode NTG-3 are looking for the best sound you can get for under $1000, and the people who buy the MKH 8060 are willing to pay a premium for premium sound.

Continue reading Shotgun Shootout: Sennheiser MKH 8060 vs. Rode NTG-3

The Great On-Camera Mic Shootout 2011

GH2 with Ambient TinyMicJust in in time for 2012… The Great On-Camera Microphone Shootout 2011 is here! I just tested out seven different on-camera microphones, many of which are new models that came out in 2011. The video I made will give you an idea of what these mics sound like, but I urge you to read this entire article. I explain the fine details of each mic, highlighting their pros and cons. Continue reading The Great On-Camera Mic Shootout 2011

Review of the New Sennheiser MKH 8060 Shotgun

In preparation for the upcoming Great On-Camera Microphone Shootout 2011, I had the chance to give the new Sennheiser MKH 8060 shotgun microphone a good, solid test. You can read this entire blog post and watch my review video, but I’ll go ahead and spoil it for you right now… This is one great sounding microphone!

One thing I’ve noticed is that the compact size of the MKH 8060 doesn’t really come through in pictures and on video. Even though it appears to be a somewhat average-sized shotgun microphone on screen, don’t believe what you see. This microphone is much shorter than the average shotgun.¬†Check out my review video to hear how nice it sounds:

The mic was plugged into my Sound Devices 302 field mixer, where it was supplied with 48 volts of phantom power, and then plugged into my¬†Panasonic GH2 camera.¬†What’s remarkable about the sound in this video is Continue reading Review of the New Sennheiser MKH 8060 Shotgun

Overview of the Nikon ME-1 Camera Microphone

For decades Nikon has been one of the leading camera manufacturers on the planet, but, since the announcement of their new ME-1 Stereo Microphone, the question suddenly becomes: how good of an audio manufacturer is Nikon? Still images and audio fidelity are two very different arenas. I recently had the chance to crack open an ME-1 in preparation for my upcoming project entitled: The Great On-Camera Mic Shootout 2011. I figured I’d give you a little overview of this new, camera-friendly microphone.

Before I get down to the nitty-gritty of this cool little mic, I wanted to remind you to check out last year’s mic shootout:¬†The Great On-Camera Mic Shootout 2010. It was inspired by Zacuto’s big camera shootout video series. I’m looking forward to creating this year’s installment, but unlike Zacuto’s 2011 camera shootout, The Great On-Camera Mic Shootout 2011 will be made entirely with HDSLR cameras. Here’s a little teaser video about the ME-1 to get you all pumped up for this year’s shootout:

So, as you can tell from the video, I didn’t let you hear what the mic sounds like. Sorry! You’re just going to have to wait for The Great On-Camera Mic Shootout 2011 to be published to hear the ME-1 in action. I’m a jerk.

Sound quality aside, the basic attributes of this microphone seem quite nice. I love the fact that it Continue reading Overview of the Nikon ME-1 Camera Microphone

R√ėDE VideoMic Pro vs. Sennheiser MKE 400 – Indoors & Out!

Canon DSLR with Rode and Sennheiser on-camera micsIf you’ve been reading my blog for any stretch of time, you already know that mini-shotgun microphones like the R√ėDE VideoMic Pro and the¬†Sennheiser MKE 400 are something I’m very interested in. Why am I obsessed with these little mics, even though I own professional shotguns and field mixers? I just love the idea of having the ultimate¬†miniature ENG kit with me every where I go. I’ve got my compact HDSLR camera, now I just need the perfect little mic to go with it. It’s awesome to be able to produce cin√©ma v√©rit√©¬†style documentary work at a moments notice. This is 100% possible, and having the ideal little shotgun is a big part of what makes it happen.

I’d been dying to get my hands on¬†the R√ėDE VideoMic Pro ever since it was announced in January 2011. From the very first time I saw its size and shape, I could only think one thing: I must hear this thing in a shoot out against the Sennheiser MKE 400.¬†I placed an order for one really early on, and I’ve been using it for several months now. I decided not to write a hands-on review until I received the free DeadCat VMP fluffy windscreen in the mail. As soon as the hairy sock arrived, I pitted it in an old fashioned microphone shoot out against the MKE 400 (and the Sennheiser MZW400 windscreen and the Rycote Mini Windjammer). Here’s how it played out:

Which microphone did I like best? Honestly, I’m not 100% sure. But I will be blunt and tell you this: Continue reading R√ėDE VideoMic Pro vs. Sennheiser MKE 400 – Indoors & Out!

The R√ėDE NTG-3 Torture Test!

Rode NTG-3 and Zoom H4n in a freezerMost professional production equipment claims to be designed to withstand harsh environments, but how often does this gear actually get put to the test? I recently had the chance to torture a Rode NTG-3 shotgun microphone. I subjected it to a nightmare scenario that would make even the strongest microphone capsules shriek in fear!

When you attach a meat thermometer to a shotgun microphone, you know things are going to get ugly. First I waved the NTG-3 above a running humidifier for several minutes. The temperature of the mic rose to the mid eighties (29.4¬į C), and it was completely covered in condensation. I¬†immediately transferred it to a freezer where the¬†temperature¬†was below zero. Here’s a video that will give you an idea of what went down:

Did the NTG-3 survive the abuse? Well, as you can see in the video, it did pretty well. But there was a little more to this test. I made a recording on the Zoom H4n inside the freezer, so I could hear how the mic performed as it transitioned from hot & wet to cold & frozen. Continue reading The R√ėDE NTG-3 Torture Test!

DSLR Mic Shootout: The Rode NTG-3 vs. VideoMic Pro

I finally had the chance to test out some new microphones with my Panasonic GH2 camera. I tested the Rode NTG-3 against the Rode VideoMic Pro. I also included my Audio Technica 4073a in the test, for a little non-Rode competition. Check it out:

I personally felt that the Rode NTG-3 was the best sounding of the three microphones. However, all three sounded good. If you’re not very familiar with professional location sound equipment like the Sound Devices 302 mixer used in this video, I don’t mean for you to come away from this video thinking that a $230 mini-plug microphone is nearly equal to a $700 microphone plugging into a $1300 field mixer. In actuality, comparing these microphones like like comparing apples and bananas. Here’s why…

Continue reading DSLR Mic Shootout: The Rode NTG-3 vs. VideoMic Pro