Decent XL2 Mic Hunt



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  • Decent XL2 Mic Hunt

    I've been shooting stage productions in a smallish theater (120-seater black box) with the stock mike on my XL2. Of course, audience response comes through loud and clear while the actors come through wispy (by logistics, I have to set up in the back of the theater).

    Now, I'm no sound guy, so I need some help...and this is coming out of my own underemployed pocket, so it's not as if a Sennheiser is an option.

    ... what I'm thinking is hanging a mic over the stage (probably five feet over the actors' heads) and running it through one of the XLR inputs into the camera. The actors are usually pretty much all over the stage, so there's that factor, also.

    What'd be the best kind (well, best budget option) of mic to go with this? Ideally, something that can do double duty as a boom for other projects?
    Last edited by Signal30; 07-24-2008, 09:04 AM.
    "Forget it, Jake. It's Hollywood."

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  • #2
    Re: Decent XL2 Mic Hunt

    I have had good luck with a couple of cardioid type mics from Radio Shack. They were about $55 each, I believe. I would try using two mics thru the XLR's , mounted near the floor at stage front, one at about 1/3 stage width from the right and the other the same from the left. Your computer's video editor should allow you to combine the audio tracks if you need to, in order to balance the sound. These mics, aimed properly at the stage, should eliminate most of the audience noise and yet be sensitive enough to hear the actors clearly. You may need to set your audio gain manually, but use as little gain as necessary.

    Make sure to monitor the sound with headphones. If you can, try the setup at a rehearsal first. Try to borrow a couple of mics and cables before you buy. Got any musician friends? They all have cardioid mics.

    I use two XL1s cameras and I once left the mic setting at the on-camera mic position while actually using external mics. I had great video but zero sound. Sounds silly, but it's an easy mistake to make with an XL if you don't monitor the sound. With no headphones, you can still monitor the sound using the bar graphs in the little window on the camera.

    One more thing - I have found that cardioid mics are all different in their sensitiviy. I actually get better sensitivity and clarity from those Radio Shack mics than I do with a $250 mic I own.
    Last edited by billmarq; 08-01-2008, 03:16 AM.
    We're making a movie here, not a film! - Kit Ramsey