Alright, here’s a problem everyone encounters. I’m shooting a small budget short film, and the mic we currently have picks up way too much outside noise. Ok, maybe this isn’t a problem for the layman, but it’s something I encountered recently. I wanted to get a mic that was priced as low as possible without sacrificing too much quality. The price was a huge factor for me since the mic was going to be used on the Canon 5D that I just spent what felt like all the money in the world on.
Now, by no means am I an audiophile, or a sound engineer, but I have worked production professionally so I know the basics of what I needed to get to achieve adequate sound… that could hopefully be fixed in post. I’ve used the Rode VideoMic out in the field in a variety of shoots, commercials, interviews, event coverage and more. It does a good job of not picking up too much background noise if your levels are set properly. Forget to manually set them, say goodbye to clear quality sound, but that’s also the case with most mics. When I’m my own one-man camera crew, I generally like to keep mine low to keep the room tone down to a minimum. Just make the actors project, they like the attention anyway.
When directing the mic at a specific actor then moving it away, you’ll notice a significant difference in audio levels. Good indicator that the directional portion you paid for works properly, and pretty well for this inexpensive thing. There have been a couple of times I had more takes than needed because of actor/camera movement out of the mic cone direction thingy (I’m totally a sound engineer).
The only downside I’ve noticed it that when I do move the camera, if it’s too sharp of a movement the mic wobbles a bit and picks up the wobbling sound. This is due to the rubber band method of strapping the mic to the camera mount. It came with extra rubber bands, so I just doubled up on all of them and it stabilized it a bit more. Still wobbles a bit, but not as much as a nuisance.