Elvin from the Audio Blog, Audioneer.com, comes into the studio to give us a little tutorial on how to get the best quality audio from an inexpensive microphone. We are using the Scheops CMC6-U as our benchmark microphone and we are using a Cheap DSLR Shotgun Microphone as our less expensive comparison mic. We recorded the exact same sample into the Zoom H4N digital recorder on two separate tracks simultaneously, as we wanted the test to be as fair as possible with few added variables.
Right away we can hear that the Scheops microphone has more low frequency response since we hear that the bass reproduction sounds better than what the Cheap DSLR Shotgun Microphone was able to reproduce. By using the EQ in Pro Tools, Elvin was able to boost the levels of the bass from the audio sample of the cheap mic in order to get it to sound as similar to the much more expensive Schoeps CMC6-U. The Schoeps also had a more crispy, or brighter sound to it than the less expensive microphone so he also brought up the gain by about 4dB to mimic the sound that the Schoeps reproduced.
The Cheap DSLR Shotgun Microphone also has a low gain. To compensate for this, we would need to boost the preamp, consequently, this will also create more floor noise. In order to remedy this issue, Elvin shows us how by using a de-noiser plugin, he was able to eliminate some of the audio artifacting in our sound clip.
Although Elvin was using Pro Tools, keep in mind that there are other audio editing software options available that will produce similar results. In fact, the video editing software that you may be using should already have a built-in EQ plugin. Floor noise from a less expensive microphone is much more likely to be picked up in quiet environments. In noisy or very controlled settings, this isn’t as much of an issue since the background noise, for example, can cover up the hiss created from boosting the preamp. This is where the de-noise plugin comes in handy. In making your decision to purchase a microphone, take into consideration the mic’s robustness, versatility and the microphone’s longevity. For our tests we used a $17 microphone, this really goes to show you that there are creative ways to work around a shoestring budget.
The Scheops CMC6-U is a balanced output stage and +12 to +48V phantom power supply for the Schoeps Colette series modular capsules. The transformer-less output stage ensures low-noise and pristine audio reproduction throughout. The CMC6-U is terminated with a standard balanced 3-pin XLR connection for use with standard microphone inputs and preamplifiers.
EM-320 DSLR Shotgun Microphone Specs:
Uni-Directional System For Long And Short Distance
Sensitivity: Short Distance:-45dB, Long Distance:-38dB
Output Impedance: Short Distance: 1kΩ, Long Distance: 2.3kΩ
Frequency response: 100Hz-16KHz
Power Source: DC 1.5V