Jul 10, 2017

What's the best mic for recording interviews

I do a lot of interview and product review type videos. The audio from lavaliers, or lapel mics is not great quality. I have been on film sets where they have the mic set up by a boom operator but I never thought to ask what type or model of mic they used. Any suggestions?
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The Electrovoice RE-20 is the industry standard for broadcast for close up interviews. There are also many large diaphram condensor mics that will work for product reviews. Here are some: http://www.toptenreviews.com/electronics/articles/best-condenser-microphones-review/ Your best bet is to go to a local music store if you have one near you and audition as many mics
as you can until you find one that sounds best with your voice.
Chances are the boom operator has a shotgun of one sort or another inside that blimp. At a guess I'd say a Sennheiser ME-66 or MKH-416. However...

pinschegavacho is right. One size won't fit all. A little over a year a go an ENG crew recorded a presentation at my work and brought an ME-66. The acoustics in the room wreaked havoc on the mic, so they switched to a lavalier plugged into a portable recorder that the speaker tucked into a pocket. Turns out that was the right tool for the job.

So much of the time the culprit with low recording quality isn't the mic; it's the acoustics in the room. Rooms with hard surfaces tend to have a lot of internal reverberation. This makes recordings sound harsh, brassy, or full of echoes. Even a high quality microphone won't be able to fix bad room acoustics. If you already have a recording setup, take a look at your room treatment first, then start looking at other mics.

One of the most entertaining and most instructive looks at this that I've found is this video from Booth Junkie, in which he converts a shower stall - one of the worst acoustic environments - into a vocal booth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wjc_Hv5xAQ

It's well worth going through his other videos if you're already doing interviews and product reviews. They're chock full of good info, from setting up a recording space to how to set up your DAW to efficiently edit VO recordings, and even include microphone comparisons. Good stuff.
Well...I would need a lot more information regarding the context of the interviews before I can offer any suggestions. Are these in on-location environments, or in a studio? Is it just you and the interview subject, or is there a whole crew involved? How much background noise are you dealing with? Are you using an outboard mic pre or the stock pre? Are we talking XLR or USB? Any relevant info you can provide will help quite a lot.
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