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I'm using a Rode ntg2 and I feel like the sound is less than ideal in a lot of situations. I record mostly indoor interviews (sometimes echoey enviroments) and I am looking for a good mic for that purpose. I realize that it is recommended to go with a hypercardioid or a supercardioid pick-up pattern. Which microphones would you suggest that can deal well with echoey environments, yet still provide a directional pick up? Budget up to 900.

  • Handheld, desk, boom, or lavalier? – Tetsujin Jan 3 '16 at 11:11
  • Boom or lav works for me – Alex Jan 4 '16 at 0:02
  • The DPA 4060 is a fabulous lav mic… but pricey. – Tetsujin Jan 4 '16 at 7:41
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If you have an echoey room, the only solution is to get the microphone closer to the subject. Period. Directionality won't solve your problem. In high-budget productions you see people wearing lav mics for a reason.

Here's a link that tells you all you need to know about sound for video production.

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  • Thanks for the link. I recently had a shoot where I had at ME66 about a foot away from the subject, unfortunately the ceiling were low and metal (horrible reverb). Im curious about the lav however, it has a omni/figure 8 pickup pattern; wouldn't it capture more reverb, or because its so close to the source the level of the voice is alot louder so to speak so there is just a bit of reverb in the background? I've used my ntg2 with a lav before but it wasn't a good lav (rode smart lav) and wasnt impressed by the quality of the sound. I was looking at getting the Sanken COS 11D. – Alex Jan 4 '16 at 0:04
  • Which lav do you use/would you suggest? – Alex Jan 4 '16 at 0:05
  • Another solution is to put something to catch the echo, like a towel or foam. – GiantCowFilms Jan 4 '16 at 1:37
  • Due to the 1/r^2 law of sound fall-off, a microphone really close to the source is going to hear much more of the source than the reverb. Announcers at football stadiums have headsets with mics that are almost right up to the lips, for example. – Michael Tiemann Jan 4 '16 at 1:50
  • The Sanken looks like a fine mic. We use Countryman lav mics--good but haven't spent the time to try to figure out how to make them great. – Michael Tiemann Jan 4 '16 at 1:52
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I like lavalier mics. For $900 you should easily be able to get

  • 2 lav's
  • wireless for both
  • receivers to XLR

Alternately, cabled lav's are fine for a studio situation!

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A professional film sound mixer I used to work with swore by the Oktava Mk12. It's comparatively inexpensive, well-built, and sounded beautiful. He used it on all his interiors; for exteriors he usually switched over to the Senn 416. Even in boomy environments, his raw tracks were amazingly clear.

For lavs, I've never worked with better than the tiny Countrymans for placeability and sound quality. When the lav head is the size of a grain of rice there aren't too many places you can't put it. Try that with a Sanken or a Tram!

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IMHO the NTG-2 is not a great microphone, even the Sennheiser ME66/K6 sounds better. The next step up would be a Sennheiser 8060 or mkh416 or a Rode NTG-3.

That said, they won't help much with the reverb either. In high-end sound terms, a lavalier will always sound worse than a properly boomed directional mic, by its physical characteristics alone, featuring a much smaller diaphragm, at least when comparing a good and properly setup Lav with a good and properly boomed directional mic.

BUT as the others mentioned, distance to sound source is the key to deal with a room with a lot of reflections so you might get better results using a lav in those cases. I would at least record a long room tone additionally (well, always record room tones anyway) but also the directional mic to capture the rooms characteristic during the interview. Then use the reverby directional mic together with the Lavs sound in the mix. Personally I feel that ONLY using a lav as a source sounds really dull.

As for lav mics, in Europe, to my knowledge, the sanken cos11d is pretty much the standard lav, I heard good things about DPA microphones Lavs but never tried them personally.

Generally speaking it is always a good idea to give the sound recordist at least a veto-right in terms of location choice, there are rooms which simply are not suited for recording interviews plain and simple.

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