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Best Stereo Pair for Recording Street Musician

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Mark Andersen, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Mark Andersen

    Mark Andersen Active Member

    Hi, I'm new here and come form the visual world so Audio is not my forte, but I find it facinating. I need to shoot street musicians with a small crew and am wondering what mics you would suggest? I'm thinking cardioid pattern mics in a stereo (I think they call it XY) type set up. I am planning to put both mics in two seperate blimps for shock wind resistance and set these on together on one stand. Second question is, does this set up seem logical? any suggestions for the new, non-audio expert, would be appreciated.
  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Well, there's unqualified "best" and there's best within a given budget for a given application. I don't know your budget, but you application might be best served by a single stereo mic on a single shockmount with a single blimp. It will be much easier to deploy and handle.
  3. JackHenry

    JackHenry Active Member

    There seems to be a lot of 'odd' beginner questions by several new (or unregistered) members joining in March 2012. Spammers?
  4. Mark Andersen

    Mark Andersen Active Member

    I'm just a film maker looking for some advice from the community. Sorry to cause such alarm.

    PS, still looking for advice.
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Welcome to RO !!
    As previously mentioned, a stereo mic - the RODE NT-4 comes to mind. You would want to house this in a SINGLE "dead cat". Audio-Technica also offers some very effective stereo mics. If you go the 2 cardioids-in-seperate-"blimps" mounted together to form an X-Y array, you are looking at a fairly unwieldy configuration. Not just in terms of set-up but also in terms of positioning. Let the mic manufacture handle the capsule positioning while you concentrate on other things at hand. I highly recommend that you go to the RODE website and see their offerings for the video market.
    To throw the proverbial monkey wrench into the mix, you will have to consider a preamp/mixer of some sort if you are not plugging the mic directly into the camera. There are others here who can comment on that...what camera(s) will you be using?
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The NT4 is a great suggestion for this type of work. You can fit a battery inside the mic so it does not need external power. It comes with its own windshield made of plastic foam, which is OK in gentle wind but not for gusty wind. It also comes with two different connection cables: a professional cable terminating in a pair of XLR plugs and a semi-pro cable that has a 1/8" stereo jack. It's likely that you could use the second one to plug directly into your camera.

    Make sure you switch off the AGC or AVC (automatic volume control) in your camera to avoid a "pumping" sound in the audio track. Even with a decent-quality mic like the NT4, you are still at the mercy of the pre-amp circuits in the camera, and these range from barely adequate to downright awful. An external recorder that you can sync up later with the video may be the way round this, but it's worth trying the mic directly with the camera first.
  7. Mark Andersen

    Mark Andersen Active Member

    I will be recording to a sound devices 702T. I'll have a small scratch mic on the Red Epic to assist in syncing issues if we get working too fast for a slate. I did some tests with the 702T and it seems the internal preamps were plenty to get a good recording. In the test I used a pair of NT5s
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Right. Good choice. The NT4 feeding via its XLR cables into a 702T will give you excellent audio, and you can use phantom power so you don't limit your SPLs. The NT4 has the same capsules as a pair of NT5s, but it's in a more convenient single housing for this sort of work.
  9. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine borrowed my AT822 for a video shoot a couple of weeks ago and said it worked really well connected right to the camera.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    You will never see me recommending this particular mic for ANYTHING except this use. AKG C1000. Seriously. Get a good battery. The AT822 is a nice stereo mic as is the Rode. But for some reason, the AKG which doesnt sound good indoors sounds really good outside. Easily available used from frustrated owners who bought them to do something they are incapable of.
  11. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Davedog, do you like it with or without the hypercardioid adapter?
  12. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I use the NT-4 rather than the pair of NT-5s for this kind of thing simply because the NT-4 can take a 9V battery and connect directly to my camera.

    If mono is acceptable / desirable - I also find the C1000 (with or without the hypercardioid filter) perfectly useable. In which case, I use an XLR adaptor interface / passive mixer to connect it to the camera. Again the 9V capability of the AKG is convenient.

    If you're looking for something durable and fool-proof albeit minus any shimmering high-end, the E-V RE-635 is bullet-proof for general capture and handheld interview rain or shine.

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