What's the best mic setup for on-location interviews?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by tuco, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. tuco

    tuco Guest

    Before I run out and buy the wrong equipment, maybe you can point me in the right direction . . .

    I'm planning to record a series of interviews. Usually, just me and one other person in an office, hotel room, or residence. Often, there won't be much control over the environment. Some interviews might even be at cafes, at the beach, etc. All destined to be webcasts and later, collected into a CD.

    So I'm thinking I can go with either lavalier mics (which are typically omni condensors) or hand-held dynamic mics, like the EV RE50, which I've used before. I've never used lavs, but they seem easy to deal with--small and lightweight. And the interviewee wouldn't need any mic technique--they can just relax and talk instead of holding a mic.

    On the other hand, I'm concerned about a too much background noise coming into the lav mics. And more particularly, delay or echo effects--some of the interviewees sound leaking into my lav, and some of my sound leaking into his are hers.

    I'll be recording in 2-track, either to a laptop or dedicated recorder. That's one channel for me, one for the person being interviewed. I want to minimize editing.

    What mic setup would you suggest from your experience?

  2. jasondirckze

    jasondirckze Guest

    I cant tell you what to get, but I can tell you what I use...and give you some ideas of what others are using

    I have a Sennheiser MKH416 in a Rycote softie/windjammer, mounted to an ENG style boom. This gives me great control for capturing dialogue.

    I also use the latest Sony diversity radio mics with Sangken lapels, expensive high quality stuff, but certainly not top of the range. I have some pop filters for the lapels for reducing wind noise etc...

    I mix with a Wendt X5, which also has a built in limiter just in case, and I calibrate it so that 0VU = -20dBFS

    It all depends on your budget I guess, but keep in mind with a setup like mine you are going to running into the $10k mark

    Are you filming aswel?

    I would make sure to get some decent lapels, as the cheaper ones tend to sound really crunchy and noisy.

    I find the Sangken lapels nice, there are others that are better though. Most in the industry are using Lectrosonics radio mics, but these are fairly expensive.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    THe RE50 is one of the widest-used ENG interviewing mics. It is an omni, so head movements, etc. don't cause too many problems. Lavs can be much more placement-sensitive, they are fairly delicate, and when you get to the wireless gear, that's not always "plug-and-play", you may have to futz with it when you don't really have the time to do so. The RE-50 is as tough as nails, very hard to kill it. Good luck!
  4. tuco

    tuco Guest

    Great, thanks! Yes, it's hard to go wrong with the RE50. For off-camera, it's probably the most versatile and toughest solution.

    As far as the lavs go, I've asked around a bit more and narrowed things down to this shortlist (with rough street prices):

    Countryman EMW $187
    Audio-Technica 831 $150
    Sanken COS11 $300
    Tram TR 50 $200
    Sony ECM Series $335

    I'm leaning towards the Countryman or A-T to keep costs down. But I will look into the Sankens more.
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