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Todd Ayers

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About Todd Ayers

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  • Location
    Denver
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes
  • About
    Music engineer for years but a noob at audio for picture.

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  1. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    Thanks for sharing that video Jim! The main reason I thought I wanted to use a shotgun is because I do want to keep the mic off camera. Also because the location is not always going to be controlled or indoors so I am looking for isolation as well. The 416 isn’t all i have but as I am just beginning to move from years in the studio to outdoor location work, the 416 seemed the right place to start. The other mics in my kit are: Sennheiser MKH 8040 and 8050 for interviews, two 8020’s for ambience, 416, 2 Beyer 836 shotguns, and the Schoeps 621 wide cardoid. So far the consensus of response seems to be that a shotgun is not necessarily the best choice for this scenario. As I do more research in this forum I am finding that a 41, either paired with a figure 8 for ms or another 41 for xy, used outside may be a better choice.
  2. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    I expect that you are correct in that the 41 cap would exhibit a similar harshness that Ive experienced with the 21 on certain female voices. The 21 cap I have is the free field version without the hf increase. You bring up a good point about on-axis high frequency strength -perhaps simply angling the mic tip a bit would help tame the edge I sometimes experience. Time for more experimenting. The 8020 definitely has more of a smiley face eq than the Schoeps wide cardoid but in general ive found that I prefer sdc omnis for female singers - even a cheap AT 3032 sounds very natural. With its strong low end the 8020 reminds me very much of a nice ribbon mic but without the hf roll off ribbons have. One other thought: I have predominantly been plugging into transformerless preamps; Grace, Millenia, Audient, and Sound Devices Kashmir pres in my MixPre-6 field recorder, perhaps the transformers found in the higher end SD and Cooper mixers help smooth things out a bit??
  3. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    The video hasn't posted yet but I will try for permission to share a short clip. Thanks CrewC
  4. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    I have a 621 wide cardoid that is wonderful on male voices in the studio but has been a bit harsh for females even at a distance. My mic of choice for females has become the Sennheiser MKH 8020 omni. Obviously, these arent the best choices for location so the 41 cap is high on my list for next purchase.
  5. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    The more I listen to the fizz and read comments from experienced 416 users the more certain I am that it was a case of wrong mic for the voice. The singer was a female Bluegrass artist who’s voice had a very strong prescence peak to begin with and the built in peak of the 416 just accentuated that even more. Main lesson learned: Prepare as best as possible for the specific scenario and have an alternative mic available if necessary.
  6. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    Yes! That’s the ticket! Mono Cmit boomed above with some clean stereo ambience added for a sense of space... Exactly the type of sound I’m hoping for. How far was the boom would you say? Thanks for sharing Nate!
  7. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    Yes. Solo singing guitarist in environment with background noise.
  8. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    Interesting that you bring up the DPA as they are located in Lingmont, CO, litereally right up the road from Planet Bluegrass Lyons, CO where my shoot was. The DPA 4017 B also boasts a max spl of 138 that might be useful for any screamers. Good to know the DPA is humidity friendly. Constantin, I know that you use the DPA 4017C as your main mic-do you feel that it would work well for music outdoors? Or do you think a cardoid on a boom would still be better?
  9. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    My top choice for something like this would be my Neumann RMS 190; I like the stereo image to give a little extra life to theperformance. Neumann RSM 190 looks very interesting - I love the idea of ms stereo shotgun. I was actually looking at the Sennheiser MKH 418 since I heard that’s what NPR used on their Tiny Desks program. My understanding is that the 418 is essentially a 416 with a figure 8 added to the mix. Considering my fizzy issue with the 416, the RMS 190 may be a better choice for stereo. For a mono mic I would choose a Neumann KMR 81.  I do like every sound clip of the KNR 81 that I’ve heard. I will have to see if anyone in the Denver area has one to rent.
  10. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    My goal for this type of impromptu solo performance is to simply use one mic boomed so oucamera shot. This was a quick interview and solo performance after soundcheck while the opening band played in the background. Obviously not ideal for studio clean recording. I’m just looking for the best setup for this scenario as I foresee more of these in the future - at bluegrass festivals and such. The “fizziness” sounds like a soft clipping plugin. Acceptable enough for the purpose but hoping to avoid in future if possible. More specifically: the 416 has a repuation for functioning despite quick humidity and temperature shifts. This was the environmental condition I found myself in for this shoot. And it was only the second time I had used the mic. I like the mic and it did work and sounded good but I’m just wondering if there is a better choice for such conditions.
  11. Todd Ayers

    Best Shotgun Mic for Singing Guitarist on Location

    The 416 was plugged directly into a Sound Devices MixPre-6. My monitoring system is my home studio and is proven to be okay. Under controlled circumstances the Sennheiser MKH 8020 is my preferred mic for female vocals as well as acoustic instruments but as I was on location, my reason for using the 416 was to increase isolation from background noise. One other circumstance that may have played into the fizziness was that we had just come from an interview outside in cold rain into a tool shed where the heater was on and the fan moving air around. My understanding is that the 416 is generally impervious to these types of conditions but the mic and situation are new to me as my background is in music studios and I am just beginning location sound. Perhaps my MKH 8040 would be better suited for this type of situation despite background noise?
  12. I recently recorded a female singing guitarist using a 416 for the first time and despite a safe input level to the recorder I noticed a bit of fizz on some of the louder vocal moments upon playback on sppeakers. The guitar sounds great during her solo btw. I’m wondering if the 416 might not have overloaded a bit itself? And if so, what shotgun mic might be a better choice in this type of situation? Todd
  13. So happy for the re-mix and re-record feature! As a nature recorder, I set up an LCR mic array and am always fiddling with the center gain to achieve a natural spread. This can be a but tricky after I’ve just hiked a couple miles and my ears aren’t quite settled. Now I can fiddle with the mix to heart’s content when i get back to tent while listening on the Mixpre’s wonderful headphone amp. Heads up though: left and right record must be armed along with iso channels on the initial recording for remix to work. If you disarm left and right record to save a little disk space and only arm the iso’s then remix will not work upon playback. Todd
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