Choosing the best microphone for your film or project

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Mythbusting

We’ve all heard that more expensive is better, but in my opinion that’s not 100% true. While the most expensive brands tend to produce the highest quality in terms of equipment, we have to realize that in our tech growing world we have access to less-expensive microphone alternatives that work just as well or even better.

Truths

Let’s be honest, most of us want to go for cheaper alternatives. Most of us want to lower our project’s budget to nearly zero. (Unless you work in Hollywood).

English: Canon XH-A1 showing a professional RO...
Canon XH-A1 showing a professional RODE shotgun microphone typical for ENG applications. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First we need to go over some basic audio terms:

  • Omni-directional
  • Directional
  • XLR
  • Phantom
  • Boom (shotgun)
  • Lavalier

Your film most likely won’t use all of these, but we’re learning so let’s talk about them.

Figure out where you’re scene or take is going to take place. Outside? Indoors? Large room?

Next you need to count how many actors you will have in this scene.

Don’t forget to record room tone (this will come in handy in post) make sure you get at least 2 or 3 minutes of pure ambiance.

Knowing those things will help you determine which microphone is best for your scene. Here’s an example:

A man and a woman walking through a busy park (Central Park if you need a visual cue).

You would get two lavaliers, one for each actor, and a boom for covering any footsteps and sounds you want to catch from their props.

 

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Comment below and tell us which mic option is your favorite.

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  • Alex

    One of my favorite topics