Hi Everyone … My son is going to be doing his Junior year from home due to COVID-19. His major is digital media at Univ. of Colorado at Boulder. One of the requirements this year are his video labs. He’ll have to be shooting a minimum of 4k video on both his Sony a-6500 and iPhone XR. In terms of a microphone what is the best option that is reasonably priced. He mentioned that last year some of the kids he’s associated with used a microphone teamed with an analog to digital converter … not sure if we should go this route or not, but his teachers expect fairly professional results at his class level. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thank you all for your help. Stay safe and best of health to everyone!
In general there are two classes of microphones. There are the all in one kind, like the Blue Yeti, and then there are the ones that are expected to plug into some sort of interface to power them and adapt them to the computer they’re connected to.
The biggest issue that anyone will face is that the path for the audio will be different than the path for the video, and so a sync-up will be necessary. (This is the theoretical reason why they use those “snap boards” known as clapper boards ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clapperboard ) you’ve seen… it produces a visual and a sharp snap noise to allow the two separate signals to be synchronized in post processing.)
Anyway, the choice of microphone has an effect on how it is used and how it will sound. Directional mics are good for a single speaker but need someone to hold it and make sure the actor stays on mic as they move around (like boom mics in the film industry.) Less directional mics (or omni directional mics) pick up more sounds than the ones you want, and thus require sound proof booths or other sound proofing.
I have a USB Blue Yeti, and I think it works well for gaming chat and general web chat, and it has some settings to vary how directional it is, but I’m not sure if it’s considered “professional” enough. They make a “Pro” version that has the XLR out on the bottom that audio professionals would expect, but then you need to use it with some other box to provide phantom power and convert the interface to whatever it’s being connected into.
Some people like the Audio-Technica AT2020 but I don’t know a lot about it. I see there is a USB and non-USB version. I think professionals will expect XLR mics. I think Leo uses something like the Focusrite Scarlett for XLR mics: https://focusrite.com/en/usb-audio-interface/scarlett/scarlett-2i2-studio
Paul … Thank you for the reply. Very much appreciated. I know with the advent of digital audio things have become more complex. Back in my day in the professional video business we had Shure lavaliers and microphones connected via a wired connection into a sound board and then into a Sony “A” roll 1/2" U-Matic video recorder. It was all analog back then … much easier I think. Guess I’m dating myself! We actually had the largest privately owned video studio west of the Mississippi back then. Not germane to this discussion however.
I’ll pass this along to my son and let him do the research. I think what he is looking for is more for remote shooting with his Sony a-6500 camera using an App on his iPhone to capture the audio. That may make for a totally different scenario. Thank you again for your great response. Warren Ezra
Something that might be relevant: the Shure MV88 is a high quality mike designed to plug straight into an iPhone. It gets mentioned in iOS Today 455 at 1:07:55, iOS Today 474 at 1:22:46, and iOS Today 475 at 1:05:33 which also mentions the MV88+ video kit - this gets its own review in Hands-On Tech 30. The use case addressed in all these is shooting audio and video all on the iPhone, but it still might be usable for the separate arrangement your son is contemplating.