Best external Mic recommendation for the D4

Started Jan 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
Regular MemberPosts: 195Gear list
Do some reading....
In reply to Leswick, Jan 27, 2012

I did a lot of learning the hard way assuming audio was going to be an afterthought and discovering it's 70% of the show! There are huge forums devoted to the subject and they talk mics all day long. 90% of sound guys will snipe at a shooter for using a mic 'on camera' even though most of us don't have a crew. There are good mics for indoors vs outdoors, good mics for reducing echo (reverb) and good mics for picking up everything. One great resource, just to get a basic overview, is here:

One of the first things I learned was the importance of getting the mic as close to your 'talent' as possible. That's why they use handheld all the time, as well as those mics that clip on, called Lavalieres (or Lavs for short). They are as close to the person talking as it gets, which in fancy audio-speak is what they call the 'signal-to-noise ratio'. I think it is a complex subject but only as complex as you want to make it. Just like we shoot. Some shoot and others are scientists. I am more of the former

Even how you deal with the mic is a variable. They have booms that are often used with a shotgun or other mic mounted. These can be on a c-stand or handheld. There are windscreens made from foam that you see all the time, and furry ones that zip up over 'blimps'.

But it all you want is a mic, get one that is safe out in mixed weather and has decent off-axis rejection and quality sound. Rode makes a good all-round mic called an NTG3, which is based on the old Hollywood workhorse from Sennheiser, the MKH-416.

Just remember that some mics require Phantom power, some have batteries, some don't. Also, a good mic usually has a cable that is different from the skinny 3.5mm jack you might have going into your D4. They use an XLR cable.

The fact that you want to invest in a good Mic is already a good start. The better mics have handling noise issues sometimes so they make shock mounts to help. The higher the quality, the more complex it gets. For just picking up a talking head, and not filming a two hour feature film, you can use almost anything as long as you get the mic close to the subject and don't let him or her blast the thing

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