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Microphone Basics

Contributed By Fred Ginsburg

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.

Music and the Short Film
How to obtain the right music for your piece, the importance of a score designed around cues, sample based music and working with a composer.
Introduction to the Sound Track
An introduction to the elements of the sound track and the composition of each.
Lavalier Microphones
lavalier microphones; history, transparent and proximity lavaliers, specific lavaliers and uses. mics include: Sony ECM-50, Electrovoice CO-90, Sennheiser MKE-2.
Post Sound Workflow
Steps in the post production audio process and the roles involved with each step.
Sound Expendables
Dr. Fred Ginsburg, CAS, offers some practical advice on budgeting tape usage, stock allocation, battery usage and sundry items for a film or video production.