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Thread: simple but good quality mic for videos

  1. #1

    Default simple but good quality mic for videos

    I use my macbook air to record videos but after trying (and failing) several times to record my baritone I am starting to think that the built in mic just doesn't pick up the lower baritone frequencies very well. For that and other reasons I have decided to get a decent mic for recording (mostly for videos involving both ukulele (all sizes) and singing.

    I have read several older threads condenser vs dynamic, stereo vs mono, with and without preamps, etc. And its all a bit overwhelming ('the paradox of choice'). I don't necessarily want to start another discussion of all the details of each. I am just looking for suggestions. $100-$200 is the range I was thinking.

    The zoom mics seem great since i could record video on the go with just my iphone and the zoom or I could plug it into a computer. No preamp required. But which zoom? H2N?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtiestkidever View Post
    I use my macbook air to record videos but after trying (and failing) several times to record my baritone I am starting to think that the built in mic just doesn't pick up the lower baritone frequencies very well. For that and other reasons I have decided to get a decent mic for recording (mostly for videos involving both ukulele (all sizes) and singing.

    I have read several older threads condenser vs dynamic, stereo vs mono, with and without preamps, etc. And its all a bit overwhelming ('the paradox of choice'). I don't necessarily want to start another discussion of all the details of each. I am just looking for suggestions. $100-$200 is the range I was thinking.

    The zoom mics seem great since i could record video on the go with just my iphone and the zoom or I could plug it into a computer. No preamp required. But which zoom? H2N?

    Thanks in advance.
    I have the H2N and H4N and the main difference for me is that I can connect XLR cables to the H4N. If you don't need it, save money and buy the H2N

  3. #3
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    I have a new Macbook Pro Retina which I bought partially to do some easy video recordings for YouTube. When I tried it in the store my quick test said that it sounded quite good although I hadn't tested it fully.

    Anyway your question had me run a quick test or 2. Without fiddling with anything I was getting some funny noise cancelation from the ukulele. I went to System Preferences, Sound ,Input and Internal microphone. Turned OFF the "Use ambient noise reduction". Much better for the Ukulele. No funny noise cancelations. These auto systems have their moments. While your at it you can adjust the microphone input volume. You can do this live with the input level graphic working as you speak. Do a few test runs to get it right. Situation normal when setting up a good microphone system anyway.

    If you have a new Macbook air then like my new Macbook Pro retina the microphone is a twin system with 2 TINY input holes on the left side just in front of the headphone socket. Make sure this area is clear with nothing blocking it. Also for playback use headphones to get the best representation of what you have recorded.

    My initial impressions now after adjusting the microphone settings is that its quite good for a quick recording. I'm going to have to carefully moderate my singing volume to match the ukulele volume and it could do with a little audio effects such as reverb and compression. I'm just experimenting with how I'm going to do that now.

    Anthony
    Last edited by anthonyg; 01-27-2014 at 09:47 PM.

  4. #4
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    H2n.
    As previously posted the H4n has XLR input and a few more options. It may include accessories that are not included with the H2n.
    H2n can be used as a USB mic or a digital recorder, transferring data by card reader or connecting mic to computer and reading card that way. iirc set of batteries are expected to last up to 20 hours.
    H2n will also record via a stereo in jack, so you could, if you wanted, record from a mixer.
    H2n recommended.
    Disclaimer, no connections to Zoom, just a satisfied user.
    h

  5. #5
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    OK, I've done a bit more playing around. I took a video I created quickly in Photo Booth, exported it to iPhoto, exported a Jpeg file to the desktop (or wherever), Opened a new project in Garageband, dragged the jpeg file onto the new Garageband project, edited the sound with things such as reverb, compression and eq till I was happy and then exported the edited video back to the desktop. A bit of eq to add some bottom end and remove some top end harshness does wonders.

    Its going to work just fine for simple recordings. If you want to get more complex then you can add extra tracks in Garageband. Adding extra video's with this technique will be a bit beyond it though. Not as much control as multi tracking from the start but its fine for simple recording.

    EDIT: I don't want to stop you getting an external microphone. There are just a few steps you can try with what you have already.

    Anthony

  6. #6

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    Got a Blue Yeti, works with my Mac, sounds good. I did a quick review here:http://themanwhonevermissed.blogspot...9/new-mic.html

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't call the h2n simple but if you set it up right its very powerful. So far I really like the ms3 setting with low ambient stereo for recording my daughter's piano lessons. It can also be used as a usb mic if desired.

    The problem with using a computer attached usb mic is that you are tied to your computer that probably has a fan that you may not notice until you start trying to clean up the recording...a tablet does help here.

    I also have a samson go mic which produces clean recordings...well except for the computer fan noise.
    Last edited by bnolsen; 01-28-2014 at 04:02 PM.
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    OK, I've done a bit more playing around. I took a video I created quickly in Photo Booth, exported it to iPhoto, exported a Jpeg file to the desktop (or wherever), Opened a new project in Garageband, dragged the jpeg file onto the new Garageband project, edited the sound with things such as reverb, compression and eq till I was happy and then exported the edited video back to the desktop. A bit of eq to add some bottom end and remove some top end harshness does wonders.

    Its going to work just fine for simple recordings. If you want to get more complex then you can add extra tracks in Garageband. Adding extra video's with this technique will be a bit beyond it though. Not as much control as multi tracking from the start but its fine for simple recording.

    EDIT: I don't want to stop you getting an external microphone. There are just a few steps you can try with what you have already.

    Anthony
    Yeah. I will look into this. My macbook air sounds like a plane about to take off when i run iMovie. That is one of the other reasons for an external or stand alone mic.

    Quote Originally Posted by bnolsen View Post
    The problem with using a computer attached usb mic is that you are tied to your computer that probably has a fan that you may not notice until you start trying to clean up the recording...a tablet does help here.
    Exactly.

    The zoom h2n seems like a good option. That may be the one.

    Thanks for all of your suggestions.

  9. #9

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    Hey folks. I got the Zoom H2n and am very satisfied. It definitely picks up the baritone better than my macbook air mic (and with no fan noise). It also just sounds much better than the mics in my iphone of macbook air for all of my ukes (and voice). Plus, I can now place the camera and mic in different locations which also makes a difference.

    It makes me sound like a better player for sure. Or maybe the other mics made me sound worse. Highly recommended.

  10. #10
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    I've been researching microphones for another project and this one looks nice...a little more than the yeti but good reviews and good connection options
    http://apogeedigital.com/products/mic.php
    looks like new version is coming out soon

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