The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => The Gear and Tool Review Board => Topic started by: Black November on May 02, 2017, 12:50:55 PM

Title: What Microphone to Use for Outdoor Youtube Videos?
Post by: Black November on May 02, 2017, 12:50:55 PM
What Microphone do you recommend for Making Outdoor Youtube Videos?

I want to start making some quality outdoor video tutorials on various topics like archery, hatchet throwing, primitive fire, firearms, Gear ect. I will be filming on my rural property, so there won't be much traffic, but there may be wind, tree rustling, or bird ambient noises.  I may occasionally interview guests, so I am thinking a shotgun mic instead of a Lav mic. My wife is a good photographer, and already has a nice camera that does HD video. I think it is a Cannon 7D Mark II.

Mic Requirements:
Less than $200
good for 1-3 people talking
Good in outdoor setting
Works with a DSLR

I have heard some good things about Rode.....

Let me know.
Title: Re: What Microphone to Use for Outdoor Youtube Videos?
Post by: ChrisFox on May 03, 2017, 05:50:31 PM
Can't go wrong with either Rode or or Sennhesier. Both make excellent shotgun mics. I've used both the NTG 2 and Sennheiser MKE 600. My first one was the TAKSTAR SGC-598 that I still keep in my bag. For $30 I won't cry if I break or loose it plus it sounds decent. Whichever one you get, buy a dead cat for it. Nothing cuts down on wind noise more. If you get into it may I suggest a portable audio recorder also. I like being able to record audio on the camera and the recorder at the same time.
Title: Re: What Microphone to Use for Outdoor Youtube Videos?
Post by: shadowalker_returns on August 23, 2017, 04:11:45 PM
ChrisFox made some excellent suggestions, I'll add Audio-Technica. If your new to this pick a brand and marry it, master it. You play mix and match After you got a few hundred hours of experience and some exposure to other platforms. I'm going to recommend Rode and a dead cat. Get the Lav. Because you KNOW you'll be recording you. Maybe you'll be recording someone else. Shotguns are good and non-intrusive. A simple handheld wireless can also go a long way. With what your stated needs are I think a Lav is the better choice. Get a two channel wireless setup when your ready to record others. Having a seperate audio recorder means you can repair/replace a damaged track on your video when (not if) that happens. good portable audio recorders are cheap now. When I was doing vids/TV shows and needed an extra wireless (but no budget for one) I used a pocket recorder and mixed/edited the soundtracks in post. It worked when I need it to. Shotguns are not a substitute for Lavs. They also have there peculiarities, such as proper facing, echos and such. Get yourself a two channel Lav setup, a handheld and work up from there. Plan on dead cats and windscreens whenever your outdoors or indoors with fans and loud AC. I wish I could be of more help but I have never used a Microphone at the price point listed. When I was a sound engineer I was working at a professional studio that invested in professional gear. That being said I have seen a lot of inexpensive/budjet setups that could easily rival our top line gear. It was just a bit more finicky. My own mike collection is quite abit lower in price than the pro gear I was used to but I hesitate dto make recommendations with out knowing your situation more as the way to maximize your dollar is to match the mike to the purpose. In general the better the mike for 'All Purposes' the more expensive its going to be. To get the right type of specialized mike requires a lot of decicions from the actual electrics of the mike to dispersion patterns, frequency responce, power needs etc. Hope I've helped  :o .

Title: Re: What Microphone to Use for Outdoor Youtube Videos?
Post by: shadowalker_returns on August 23, 2017, 08:12:53 PM
it occurred to me that in answering your question I really didn't...
Selecting an inexpensive microphone for general purpose filming. I think thats what your actually asking?

When recording for music, film, TV or any pro or semi-pro project there is no one solution to the problem of getting accurate and pleasant sound from one place to another via an intermediate medium.

One of the first desicions you need to make is the Pickup Pattern of the microphone. I can pop 10 off the top of my head but you really only need to worry about 3 or maybe four uuh ok maybe five or six  :o:

1) Omni-directional
2) Cardioid
3) Hypercardioid
4) Bidirectional (aka Figure 8)
5) Unidirectional (aka Lobar)
6) Supercardioid

2, 3 and 6 are often lumped together ( i am of the school that says they are each separate types).

For your needs one or more of these six type will meet your needs by the time you grow beyond them you won't need me or any one else's advice.
 1) Omni-directional -Its exactly that picks up all sounds in a spherical patten around the mike. Its the most common built-in mike and the first mike most people get. Its also the pattern used by most Lav mikes. It picks up everything, which is good for multiple subjects moving subjects and lazy camera/soundmen. Its bad for noise which is higher than most other types of mike. Your Lav should be Omni-directional so you can talk/speak/dictate normally in any position you may record from. Not good in high ambient noise environments or when concentrating on a single subject/performer.
My go to is the Sennheiser EW 112-P G3 Wireless System ain't no way your getting that at your price point. Maybe 3-4x what you want to spend. Rode has their smartLav systems which are pretty affordable and I've known more than a few pros who are happy with them. One friend swears by them. He uses smartlav+ mostly cause its cheap enough that when dumb talent breaks them he don't go Off on them :) Polsen makes some cheap stuff too. I don't go there.

2) 3) 6) (i'm lumping them all in the same category to save space and because at this level they are all variations on the them of Shotgun Mikes. Cardioid is the most flexible. It was my goto pattern for most shoots unless there were really special situations noise/patterns. Its used for most everything. it is slightly directional but should not be confused with a true Shotgun Mike. For inexpensive Lavs I went to the Audio-Technica Pro 70 Lavalier. its got good dynamic range and low frequency roll-off. It will eat over half you mike budget... just for the mike. and you'll still need an omni.. In pattern 2 sweet spot is the Rode VideoMicro ($60-70) I see a lot of the film students sporting this one. I can't speak to it personally but its been highly recommended to me. I have used a lot of Rode's medium and high end stuff and have nothing bad to say about them.

Pattern 3 and 6 are shotgun mikes. Hypers tend to be used to isolate instruments and Supers are loved by most filmers/videographers. The main difference is that SuperCardioid allow for more error in mike placement and Hypers allow more Noise Isolation.  Rode videomike Pro is a good $200 shotgun choice its the least expensive shotgun mike I've used and one you may want to check out. Your not getting a good Hyper for anything close to $200.

Pattern type 5 is Lobar or unidirectional. This is the true unidirectional mike. Its very hard for beginners to use and almost always requires a boom and operator for best use. Stay away.

Pattern type 4 aka the Figure Eight or Bidirectional mike. This one is the goto for a lot of talking head work. This means podcasts, vidcasts, radio interviews etc. Lot of good choices here. The only way to pick is to test out a bunch in your price range and pick the one that pleases you the most. As an aside when picking this type of mike you may want to solicit the opinion of others before you make a choice, as what you hear may not be what everyone else is hearing.

In conclusion I still think a Lav is the best way for you to start off. I just did a quick search and you can get into a Rode smartLav plus for less than $70 that leaves $130 for a cheap wireless setup or another mike. Video quality is easy to get nowadays just pay attention to your lighting. Where most youtubers fall short is their audio quality. Stick with Rode, Senn or AT they won't do you wrong. at this point don't worry about all the other stuff. Just pick a basic mike and start making videos. as you get into more situations/experience you'll discover what you need.

Title: Re: What Microphone to Use for Outdoor Youtube Videos?
Post by: shadowalker_returns on August 23, 2017, 10:52:09 PM
I'm still not satisfied with my answer to you. Part of it is because I used to be a sound engineer and cameraman. Part of it is my OCD.. I was literally just on the phone with a friend that does production video work. I simply said There is a guy on a forum I frequent who wants quality audio on his HDSLR for his youtube channel. Budget is $200. He said it can't be done. The disqualifying word was "quality". The problem is that most HDSLRs have very poor audio. The only real way to get quality audio in that instance is to record it separately. I thought about it and had to agree. I take for granted the high level equipment I typically used and have not really had to step down to a combination camera. The HDSLRs produced nowadays have excellent video quality but are nowhere near the audio quality of a $10000 handheld setup. The cheapest platform I've used in the last couple of years is the Panasonic AG-HPX250 and it was tricked out and jailbroke. so we did some quick brainstorming and came up with a plan to get you into a high quality recording mode.

1) you need two mikes, a lav and a shotgun (supercardioid)
2) XLR cable and adapters for your camera.
3) Good portable recorder
4) Boom, tripod and accessories.

For you a good recorder will be essential as you will record your audio separately and mix it back into the video during post. there are a lot of good recorders and if you spend a little more it can take the place of the lav.
Purchase a Rode VideoMic ($150) and a Zoom H2n ($160) digital recorder or Tascam DR05 digital recorder ($100) or Zoom H1 ($100)
then plan on a Lav sometime in the future. Accessories will be another $100.

The problem your going to face is related to the Canon 7D. Apparently Canon purposely limited the Audio to prevent the dslr from competing with their video camera line. I actually did not know that. This problem is actually known in the video community and there has been aftermarket workarounds developed for the 5D. The 7D can be modded. The Rode Videomic seems to have some success in suppressing the hiss developed by the focusing motors and shutter noise. Realistically you're looking at $350 for a "quality" audio setup. Hope this helps,

Title: Re: What Microphone to Use for Outdoor Youtube Videos?
Post by: Black November on September 05, 2017, 12:41:47 PM
You are going to laugh, but I ended up going with a $30 TAKSTAR SGC-598 ( It seems to do everything I need, and I am happy with it.

Also got a Neewer® NW-MIC-121 Outdoor Microphone Furry Windscreen (