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Subject: Need help buying a mic to use to record games rss

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Chris P
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We run a youtube channel where we play board games. We currently use a gopro and a camcorder, we take the audio from the camcorder for the videos we use. The audio isn't great and we're looking for something better. Live in the US, looking to spend the least amount for something that is good for what we need (not looking to spend $300, but if $100-200 gets us something amazing we're in!). Looking for a solution to our "not so good" audio". I would think 1 good boom mic would work to pick up 4-6 players playing a board game, we want the banter and dialogue captured from everyone at the table. There isn't much other noise in the room besides dice rolls and maybe some unlicensed music as it's a dead end street so not many people drive down it so not much outside noise.

But a friend mentioned getting lapel mics for each person as that would sound good. I'm leaning more towards a boom mic as my limited experience tells me that would be better for us. But if we do that would we also need a powered one or would we be able to plug it into the camcorder we're using? The camcorder is nothing special, a $300 one for home use (has a regular headphone jack plugin). We were using DSLRs but with the limited time they can record it became more of a hassle. So we need help picking a mic and a setup that may be needed with the mic. Thank you for any help!
 
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Michael Coniff
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Shotgun mic is going to be your best bet. Shotgun mic's aren't the cheapest, and if you want something stellar you're gonna spend a lot more than $300.

Lapels aren't bad for sound quality, but getting several lapels, wireless packs, mic preamps, etc. will get expensive really quick.

Another option in your price range is the Yeti by Blue. It has an omnidirectional switch on the back that might work, but you'd have to set it somewhere in frame and whoever is closest is going to sound louder. It would take more work in post to even things up.

---------

Some Possible Options:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/YetiStu
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MKE400
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James Hébert
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Good suggestions, those.

Shotguns are super directional, so if you want to "set it and forget it" you may find the person in its direct line-of-fire will be louder than anyone who is off to the side of it, which may make for uneven sound levels you need to tweak in post production.

Depending on the room and its own acoustics, you may be fine, too, to be fair.

Another option is one of those conference microphones, also called boundary mics like https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000JCBB7K?psc=1&smid=A3C1OYEM4FMO.... It's a type of omnidirectional condenser mic that sits in the middle of at the table and should pick up everyone equally. Activity right beside the mic, or table pounding, will of course be louder than anything else for a moment.

James
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Chris P
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Thank you both for your suggestions! We tried to use a shotgun mic but I'm it was really quite and not picking up everyone in the room. We were plugging it into the camcorder but after looking around I'm guessing it wasn't getting enough power to actually make the mic work 100%. With that said, what should we do? Is there an outside power source that we need to power a mic? The mic plugs into said power source, then the power plugs into the camcorder? Not really educated in this
 
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Michael Coniff
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HitPointsGaming wrote:
Thank you both for your suggestions! We tried to use a shotgun mic but I'm it was really quite and not picking up everyone in the room. We were plugging it into the camcorder but after looking around I'm guessing it wasn't getting enough power to actually make the mic work 100%. With that said, what should we do? Is there an outside power source that we need to power a mic? The mic plugs into said power source, then the power plugs into the camcorder? Not really educated in this


There are all sorts of different technologies, so take my comments with a grain of salt because I don't know exactly what you have or have knowledge on all pieces of equipment. I'm also more of a studio (music) recording guy, so my knowledge is not built around film.

Mics are either phantom powered or not and need a preamp. It's really hard to diagnosis your specific problem over the internet without being able to play with it. Maybe James will have an idea.

-------------

After a bit more research, Shotgun would work well, but only if you had two or so and could aim it at different "groups" of people at the table.

So I'm changing my suggestion towards something more like this:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/73085-REG/Sennheiser_...

or

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/73087-REG/Sennheiser_...

As I mentioned, my background in recording is more studio based; musical instruments, vocals, etc. For the times I was on a film set in university, we always used an H4N with a shotgun mic attached, and also lapel mic'd the actors (hidden of course).

For your budget you're going to want an omni directional super cardioid. Run that through an audio box and into your computer, or run it into the camcorder through XLR.


EDIT

You will need this for those mics above. The ones I linked above are just the mic capsule. You'll need the actual mic system to use the above capsules.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/870380-REG/Sennheiser...
 
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