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SCHOOL

Microphone Basics

Contributed By Fred Ginsburg

Dynamic
The manual typewriter. Pressure driven generator. General purpose, reporter/interview. Low sensitivity; short reach. Indestructible. Good for containing loud noises (crashes, explosions). Great for narration and voice over (eliminates background). For on-site reporting. Not good for overhead dialogue or hidden miking. When used as a 'hand prop", better to mic from a boom or lavalier. Foam windscreens and shrink tubing can change cosmetic appearance of handheld mics.

Examples of dynamic handhelds include:
ElectroVoice 635a, RE5O,RE10/11/15/16, RE20; AT804, Beyer M58; ShureSM58.

Electret Condenser
Electric typewriter. Meters the sound. More sensitivity and reach than dynamics. Require nominal battery supply, usually built-in.

Examples of ENG shotgun mics:
Sennheiser K3U, ME-80 (short shotgun, general applications), ME-20 (omni, interview), ME-40 (cardioid, effects, music).

Audio Technica AT835 short shotgun is best buy. Also AT815. Most lavaliers are electret condenser.

Condenser Microphones
The word processor. RF Technology. Extremely sensitive. The best for dialogue! Requires external power supply of 12 or 48 volts.

Phantom Power
48 volt. Pin 1-, Pin 2+, Pin 3+

T Power
12 volt. Pin 1 shield, Pin 2+, Pin 3-

T Power red-dot/Nagra Kudelski
Pin 1 shield, Pin 2+, Pin 3+.

Obtain power from battery supplies, KAT 15, use of phase cables.

Examples of condensers:
Sennheiser MKH416/816/70, Audio Technica AT4073/4071/4051, Schoeps CMC/MK41, Neumann KMR 8li/82i.

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Sound Recording
An indepth look at film production sound recording; microphone selection, perspective, recording situations and noise reduction.
Sound for Video
finishing sound for video; splitting the production track into separate elements, "sweetening", "off off-line" first edit. also covered loading camera original and audio, syncing, first picture edit, multi-track and checkerboarding.
Wind Screens
reducing rumble, acoustic/contact wind noise with shockmounts and windscreens. Also: tips on using foam, rubber bands and other items for a clean production track.
Narration
narration use as a story device as part of a film sound track, definitions of "sync to picture" and "wild" narration from a script as well as voice of god and wild line narration.
Boom Techniques
Another great article by Dr. Fred Ginsburg, CAS that covers the practical and technical details on boom mic techniques for movie production sound tracks.