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Need to eliminate sound from speakers in mic

I'm shooting an instructional video with a guitar, voice and piano. Sound is live, i.e. no headphones. Guitar and Piano come out of the speakers, but the mic does not. I have a RODE NTG-1, but no matter where I position the speakers, the RODE picks them up, a lot! (trying to position the speakers in the dead area of the polar pattern appears to do nothing).

I also have a Shure SM58 that does a great job of not picking up the speakers, but it seems to not be nearly as sensitive as the RODE, and doesn't pick up the voice very well unless the subject's lips aren't more than a couple inches away. Whereas with the RODE, the mic could be up to 2 feet away and still sound great. I also notice when I up the gain using the Shure, there's a lot more noise and rumbling heard, practically non existent with the RODE, and I don't have to increase the gain anywhere as much to get good signal from the RODE.

So the question is, is there a mic that can do both:

  1. Allow me to position the mic just above the picture frame so it doesn't have to be an inch from his lips
  2. Not pick up the sound coming from the speakers that the musicians need to hear?

    I came into the Shure mic by accident, so I don't know it's history of usage. Is it possible that there's something wrong with the Shure or is what I described the norm (lips must be no more than a couple inches away to get good signal)?

    Thank you for any suggestions!

Comments

bouldersound Mon, 07/30/2018 - 20:26
The way to isolate bleed is with relative distances. The SM58 (or just about any mic) an inch or two away does that. Because of the inverse square relationship between distance and power, each time you double the distance you need 6dB more gain to get the same level. Of course pickup pattern plays into that to some degree. The Shure has a standard cardioid pattern that's fairly wide while the Rode has a supercardioid pattern that's quite narrow. Nonetheless, from the mic's perspective at that distance there's not enough difference in volume between the voice and the speakers. Possible solutions would be using a headset mic or replacing the speakers with in ear monitors.

Boswell Mon, 07/30/2018 - 23:23
I'm assuming that the vocalist is one of the two musicians and that the voice you are trying to record is an integral part of the song and not some instructional voice-over.

You've not said much about the acoustics of the room you are recording in, and how much the video aspects dictate the positioning of performers and their respective microphones.

Have you thought about using the voice as a guide vocal when recording the instruments and video and then dubbing the real vocal on top with no camera running and where you can use headphones to replay the previously recorded track?

pcrecord Tue, 07/31/2018 - 07:01
SM58 do not introduce noises unless the preamp isn't up to it. Are you recording with the internal preamp of the camera or some external gear ?
If the voice isn't singing, I'd look into a Lavalier mic. You can hide them behind clothes and even if the sound quality is not as high as a SM58, at least you degree of seperation will be better. I have some fair results with the Tascam DR-10L. (which has is its own recorder as well)

MC208 Tue, 07/31/2018 - 08:35
Thanks for the replies, let me clarify. As I mentioned this is a guitar instructional video. There's no singing. Only talking and playing. The guitarist plays something, the piano player gives him a chord, and then the guitarist explains. So again, no singing, only talking while playing the guitar. The environment is a residential (finished) basement, carpeted and sheet rocked. I'm putting either the Rode or the Shur through a Presonus Tube-Pre before going into the mixer, and giving it some gain on the tube-pre. There's plenty of power. Why does the Rode pick up the speakers and the Shure doesn't? I have an old lavalier, but it's a pain in the butt. Open to a small headset mic if it can accomplish what I need. The mic on a boom is most ideal as there's no wires or anything hanging to get in the way. Would there be a way to use the Rode mic without it picking up the speakers? I tried positioning the speakers 90 to 115 degrees according to the pickup pattern of that mic, tried turning them away, all different ways in that position, but the mic picks up no matter where I put them or how I turn them. That's why I think the Shure would be better, if I could just get it to pick up the voice more without having to be a couple inches away at most.

Boswell Tue, 07/31/2018 - 09:38
MC208, post: 458332, member: 49667 wrote: As I mentioned this is a guitar instructional video. There's no singing. Only talking and playing. The guitarist plays something, the piano player gives him a chord, and then the guitarist explains. So again, no singing, only talking while playing the guitar. The environment is a residential (finished) basement, carpeted and sheet rocked. I'm putting either the Rode or the Shur through a Presonus Tube-Pre before going into the mixer, and giving it some gain on the tube-pre. There's plenty of power. Why does the Rode pick up the speakers and the Shure doesn't?
As Marco mentioned, the principal reason the Rode is picking up more external sound than the Shure is simply down to distance from the sound source. In addition, your description of how the room is furnished would indicate that there will be sonic reflections from many of the room's surfaces. A microphone is much more sensitive to any sounds in the pickup area than the human ear followed by the processing and extraneous sound rejection system in the brain.

I can get a picture now of how your video is put together, but what is being played through the speakers? Do both the acoustic guitar and the piano not have enough native sound not to need amplifying when recording the video?

I use a Sennheiser ear-mounted (headset) microphone with a transparent voice tube and a hip-attached radio pack for vocalists who need to move around a stage but not appear to be using a microphone. It's very effective from a audience point of view, and it's possible that sort of thing could work equally well in a video.
MC208, post: 458332, member: 49667 wrote: I have an old lavalier, but it's a pain in the butt.
Lavaliers are supposed to be positioned on the lapel, not elsewhere on the body.

MC208 Tue, 07/31/2018 - 10:05
It's pretty simple, guitar, voice and piano. It's instructional, not performance. Guitarist talks and plays, and piano player gives him chords when he needs them.
The two musicians listen to each other through speakers in the room. Only want the mic to pick up the guitarist's voice, not what's coming out of the speakers. The Shure does a great job of not picking up the speakers, but not a great job of picking up the voice from a couple feet away. The NTG-1 does a great job of picking up the voice from a couple feet away, but it also picks up the speakers way too much, no matter where I position them.

bouldersound Tue, 07/31/2018 - 11:41
MC208, post: 458343, member: 49667 wrote: It's pretty simple, guitar, voice and piano. It's instructional, not performance. Guitarist talks and plays, and piano player gives him chords when he needs them.
The two musicians listen to each other through speakers in the room.

They're in the same room together. Why can't they hear each other?

MC208, post: 458343, member: 49667 wrote: Only want the mic to pick up the guitarist's voice, not what's coming out of the speakers. The Shure does a great job of not picking up the speakers, but not a great job of picking up the voice from a couple feet away. The NTG-1 does a great job of picking up the voice from a couple feet away, but it also picks up the speakers way too much, no matter where I position them.

As has been indicated several times, unless there's a substantial proportionate difference in distance between two sources and the mic, the mic will pick up both sources. Placing the mic closer to the desired source is the solution if you must have speakers.

pcrecord Tue, 07/31/2018 - 13:59
MC208, post: 458332, member: 49667 wrote: I'm putting either the Rode or the Shur through a Presonus Tube-Pre before going into the mixer, and giving it some gain on the tube-pre. T
Not to brag, the Presonus Tube-Pre doesn't have enough clean power to have the shure SM58 at 5 feet of the vocal. You need to be within 6 inches of it to get good isolation..
A head set is a good alternative too.. BUT :
Could it be simpler to not play and talk at the same time ?? Just saying ;)


I have an old lavalier, but it's a pain in the butt.
Boswell, post: 458338, member: 29034 wrote: Lavaliers are supposed to be positioned on the lapel, not elsewhere on the body.
:ROFLMAO:

kmetal Tue, 07/31/2018 - 20:40
pcrecord, post: 458351, member: 46460 wrote: Presonus Tube-Pre doesn't have enough clean power to have the shure SM58 at 5 feet of the vocal. You need to be within 6 inches of it to get good isolation..

yeah preonus stuff is decent, but it their pres get noisy/ugly when used at hi gain settings.

pcrecord, post: 458351, member: 46460 wrote: Could it be simpler to not play and talk at the same time ??

this is what i was wondering. cant you just mulitrack, and edit or gate out the mic your not using. ie mute the vocal mic when guitar is playing and vice versa?

MC208 Wed, 08/01/2018 - 09:17
Boswell, post: 458367, member: 29034 wrote: It comes down to this: video is king, and audio has to subjugate. The compromise here is for the performers to make do with hearing the natural sound from the two instruments and not have monitor speakers blaring away ruining the audio from the microphones.

Yes exactly! Well the Shure that I ordered should be here today, so I'm hoping it helps the situation.

pcrecord Wed, 08/01/2018 - 11:37
MC208, post: 458365, member: 49667 wrote: How in the world would I be able to do that? He's talking and playing and talking and playing constantly
I'm doing this all the time..
I record video and audio seperatly in multitrack via my DAW (interface and computer) Next, I mix the audio in my DAW, with automation for volumes etc..
Then I combine audio and video in a video editing software (Adobe Premiere in my case)
It's a bit more time consuming, but I get the full control of the audio and video.
Of course I'm a audio recording guy before doing video.. so I had all the tools.. ;)

kmetal Wed, 08/01/2018 - 17:17
MC208, post: 458365, member: 49667 wrote: How in the world would I be able to do that? He's talking and playing and talking and playing constantly

in addition to what marco said which is the best advice, you could also run a noise gate which will automatically mute and unmute the mics when it detects a sound source, or you could run a small mixer and tap the mute button. broadcast studios have a 'couch button' to mute coughs momentarily. if your handy you could probably have a footswitch for mute. you could also probably to it via a midi controller in the DAW.

MC208 Fri, 08/03/2018 - 08:49
bouldersound, post: 458404, member: 38959 wrote: Inverse square law at work.

No I don't think so. With the RODE, no matter how far away I placed the speakers and how close I put the mic to the teacher's mouth, that mic would still pick them up. With this new headset mic, I'm able to turn the speakers up to a decent volume and notice on the meters on the mixer, that the headset mic isn't picking up any of the audio from the speakers which is exactly what I wanted. Additionally, when I wear headphones, I can clearly hear what's coming into the left channel and what's coming into the right channel, for example, guitar and backing track that we tested yesterday. Before, when I wore the headphones, I couldn't hear the separation because the mic was messing everything up.

bouldersound Fri, 08/03/2018 - 10:15
A hypercardioid mic has a rear lobe of sensitivity. It may have been getting room sound into the back of the mic. Also, a mic that long likely has ports some distance from the capsule. The effective size of the mic is so large that it can't all get close to the source.

Then you have the issue of relative volume of the sources. If a distant one is louder then you need even more relative distance to isolate it.

Either way, inverse square law applies.

MC208 Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:37
Finally got around to recording with this Shure mic. While it does accomplish fixing the original problem (minimizing picking up anything except for the voice), it does introduce another problem that I'm not liking. The plosives are too much, whether I use the windscreen or not, or position the capsule away from the mouth, it just doesn't sound great. I can somewhat get rid of them by moving the capsule pretty far away from the mouth, but then it doesn't pick up the voice as well.

It would seem like this kind would work better since it's away from the air coming out of the mouth, but do they sound good, and would they still minimize the sounds coming from other sources such as guitar pick, and speakers? If so, what should I get?

paulears Tue, 11/06/2018 - 07:56
You're getting confused again. The mic headset you bought is a cardioid. It's really intended for drummers keys players who need to move around and keep a mic the same distance from their mouths no matter what they're physically doing. Thats why drummers love them, they focus their capture towards the lips, but like all mics in close - wind from breath plosives gets in and it sounds a bit poppy and rough. The other mic in that picture is the exact opposite. They can be extremely high quality and tiny, hence why they are popular for musical theatre, and when positioned slightly behind the mouth edge, are out of the blast. However, they are NOT cardioid, they are omnidirection and their pickup pattern doesn't;t care where the sound is. Two people close together in a stage love scene can be equally loud on just one mic. Its quite common for the sound op to fade one down because two sound nasty and hollow sometimes, nulling each other out. In a noisy environment it will hear everything! It also needs powering of course.

pcrecord Tue, 11/06/2018 - 08:37
I used the WH20 for a while when drumming and I liked it very much.. you can band it and make the placement at the corner of the lips, you'll get less plosives..
In the end, you need to choose the lesser evil and adapt to it.
I also used a wireless headset from AKG for a while (playing guitar at the same time), the same limitations applied, althought it was a cardioid condenser so it sounded brighter and a bit more defined...
https://www.akg.com/Microphones/Headset%20Microphones/C544L.html?dwvar_C544L_color=Black-GLOBAL-Current#start=1

MC208 Tue, 11/06/2018 - 09:38
So it sounds like you're saying I got the best type of mic for the problem I'm trying to overcome. And the tiny ones like in the picture that sit alongside the cheek instead of in front of the lips - those aren't available in cardioid?
I hate being able to solve one problem only to have a new one, crappy sounding breath plosives :unsure::unsure:

paulears Tue, 11/06/2018 - 09:48
It's why you see lots of people who use them sticking on a big foam windshield. Looks daft, sounds better.

The smallness is a feature of an omni. They only need one small opening, as they are pressure operated. Cardioids need two openings, one in front and one behind and work on the difference in pressure between the front and rear - so are always physically larger. Plus, they need aiming, which means the end needs to be capable of pointing at your mouth, exactly where the wind comes from.

dvdhawk Tue, 11/06/2018 - 21:58
The Countryman Isomax Headset is one of the least obtrusive cardioid headworn mics I've used.

Incorporate a high-pass filter to roll off excessive lows and you shouldn't have many problems with 'plosives. They sound good overall, but this may not come as a surprise to you at this point - they're significantly more than $80.

There are others. The A-T BP894 for example is a micro cardioid earset - even more expensive.

But bear in mind, if you use a cardioid angled in from the side of the mouth the null in the pattern is now off to the presenter's side. there may be more bleed in that heart-shaped pattern if the speakers in question are in front of the person wearing the mic.

MC208 Wed, 11/07/2018 - 10:55
The Countryman and the other are definitely out of my budget. I did some hunting on Amazon, and came across this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NP496Y/?tag=r06fa-20

And here is the manufacturer's product page:

https://www.ypamicrophones.com/collections/headset/products/ypa-mh1-microphone

What caught my attention is that it said it's uni-directional, and in one of the questions on the page:

Is this cheaply made? Will it "clip" when speaking/singing loudly even when recording well below 0db? Many of these do.

Answer: No this is not cheap. One of the best mics I own. This is a directional mic, so it doesn't pick up the out side noises. Can't go wrong with the price either. I have shure lapels which don't come close to the quality of this headset.

Any thoughts on giving this one a shot?

paulears Thu, 11/08/2018 - 13:36
There are an awful lot of radio mic users who buy these Chinese mics, and by large, they have few problems. If you do a side by side comparison of the omni versions with the popular expensive ones there are some difference. Audio wise, they'd not so smooth, but a little eq usually sorts this out. The biggest downside is that the little clips that allow sizing adjustments tend to clip off, so just need careful treatment. We use them because kids and amateurs tend to wreck mics. We use DPA and Countryman and at over £250 each, we still wreck a couple a week. when you start putting them on amateurs that goes up badly. So we often swap the expensive ones for the Chinese ones, and if they break these - we don;pt worry or even try to recharge them. The thin diameter tubing is very prone to cracking and folding if you bend them, and the cardioid as we've said, needs careful aiming, which is very difficult to arrange. gentle, and graduated bending can be done if you are careful - but a cack handed bend with one hand is guaranteed to break the tube. The small capsule will still need blast protection. I'm quite happy using the Chinese ones for circumstances where using expensive ones will be problematic.

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