Hi everyone!

I'm doing the sound editing for a £2000 budget film that has been shot.

They sent me a test scene and the audio was awful. It's meant to be one continuous scene with each angle change occurring in real time. Naturally with each angle change there was an actual difference in the time it was recorded. This means that with each angle change, the air con level changes, other sounds occur etc.

I managed to fix al, this though it was quite difficult and I'm inexperienced ....but have a questions that is based on the future for me.

I order to ensure that no jobs in the future are so awful I want to get in a hyper cardioid (or shotgun) mic. I'm not professional, in fact this is my first actual bit of real experience.

Obviously as a sound editor I want pretty much audible silence other than dialogue. . .as opposed to what I've been given . . .dialogue with massive amounts of noise embedded.

Could someone suggest the cheapest way I could go about this ? The audio for this film was obviously recorded with the camera microphone. . So I'll be suggesting for our next movie to do it my way (a microphone that gets everything. . Dialogue and ambience (as back up) but also this hyper cardioid or shotgun mic that gives me pretty much NO ambience or sound other than the dialogue. I can then add in the ambience, foley etc.

How would I go about getting a microphone that gives me clear audio dialogue and little else. Is it a case of just making sure the hyper cardioid is pointed directly at the actor? Does the microphone ignore the room noise? Giving me clean dialogue?

If I turn my sm57 on . . It gives a really loud room noise on top of the vocals. . D hypercardoid mikes block this out?

Thanks for any cheap suggestions!! :):):)


3 Answers 3


You can't get NO ambiance from any microphone. You would need different microphones for different locations and situations, outdoors, indoors, wide shots etc

The SM57 is a great mic but its not really designed for sensitivity, its a dynamic mic, it's made to take high sound pressure levels, you would need to turn the gain up a lot to pick subtle sounds up and therefore raise the noise.

Get yourself a recorder, Fostex FR2LE or ZOOM H4N(cheaper) is great for the price and a Rode NTG-3. You can get cheaper products also. But already with just these two purchases you're looking at around £800 or $1200. You'll then need XLRS, blimps and fluffy for outdoors, preamp if needed and then you'll have a scene that needs radio mics or multiple mics.

Have a google and youtube search for recording audio for film, recording sound for film and you'll get loads of info.

  • Oh ho. . .i notice there's an NTG1 available. . .is it good? I have a MacBook pro and Mbox2mini so I can plug the mbox into the laptop and then the xlr into the mike and recording directly into pro tools (saying that the mini only has one input so the microphone has to be a mono xlr, and not one of those mikes that splits into a left and right input :) Thanks for your comments :)
    – Aaron
    Jan 16, 2012 at 1:03
  • In theory it works, in practice it wont. You won't be able to monitor the audio while you are booming, it will also be delayed, the computer is likely to crash at some point and you'll have someone knock it over etc. All dialogue microphones are mono. Might be an idea to take a course or do some reading and research first. Jan 16, 2012 at 2:32

Rather than trying to treat your Mic, you should be treating the environment. when your shooting turn off air conditioner, fridge, and anything else that makes a noise. Make sure to put the air con on super cool to cool the room first or it will get super hot with lights. Good practice on set is to put your car keys in the fridge so you can't leave and forget to turn it back on.

In terms of equipment I have to agree with ed mathews, if your just starting out go with a zoom H4n and a Rode NTG 3. Rode is relatively cheep, yet are still easily on par with sennhizer 416's which used to be the industry standard i think. They come with a 10 year warrantee and everything. Don't bother with an NTG 1 or 2 as they are no where near as nice. Then you need accessories in order of importance would be a pistol grip (just get a rode Pg3) XLR's and then get your wind sock. You don't particularly need a blimp, i make do with out one.

For radios i went which sennhiser G3's. Cheep and decent to start with. This is my gear its super basic but it works http://www.realsound.com.au/?page_id=114 .


Alternative to the H4n, I've got a Tascam DR-100 that I like quite a lot. I'd worked with the H4n in the past, and while I liked some features, I wasn't happy with the way one adjusted gain or the overall construction (too plastic and flimsy). The DR-100 costs about the same (possibly a bit cheaper?) and does basically the same thing.

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