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Experiences with DPA 4097 Micro Shotgun?


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This looks potentially useful to me:

 

DPA4097oniPhone.png

 

That picture (and another of the mic attached to a laptop) is part of this DPA PR article:

https://www.dpamicrophones.com/news/gene-martin-calls-on-dpa-4097-micro-shotgun-for-sales,-rentals-and-field-production

 

This quote from Gene Martin is promising:

“The commercial was shot as a series of video chats from mobile devices and laptops, so we needed something where the actors could be walking around with their phones and not have a large recording device with them,” says Martin. “The client was happy with the video from the devices but was looking to drastically improve the audio. It just so happened that, right at the start of this project, the DPA 4097 Micro Shotgun was introduced. I was originally going to use the DPA 4060 because its higher sensitivity would benefit us being able to have the mic further from actors’ faces. Then, the 4097 was introduced and it was the perfect little microphone for this application; everything from the design to the sound was exactly what we needed.”

 

Interesting. I'd love to hear some second and third opinions. 

 

Has anyone here used a 4097? If so, how did you use it and what did you think of it? Bonus points for sharing experiences using it in a manner similar to how Gene Martin used them.

 

Thanks!

 

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I'll bet the improvement in the audio the phone records is dramatic with this thing.  But I also despair of getting my clients to try something like this with their remote (etc) interview subjects, even if I bought it and loaned it to them for free.  I am so over explaining how to get better remote audio via the "easy ways" like phones and Zoom--it's mostly been a waste of breath.   Maybe radio and podcast etc reporters will use this--might be great for that (ie owner-operated).

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Ya, but this is for stuff I'm producing. My fairly limited experience in sending a box of parts to someone and expecting them to configure everything correctly is really time consuming and not consistently wonderful. A couple people have gotten into it, and gave us a FaceTime/Zoom tour of their location (a house, and an office) to help us find a decent background etc. But others stressed at having to mess with a small camera and all that. So as much preconfiguration as possible seems really good. 

 

My current idea is ship them a laptop and an iPhone. Just about everyone knows their way around smartphones and smartphone software. So potentially the whole "how does this video camera work? what do you mean, 'whitebalance'?" freakout gets lowered. Maybe run Camo which lets you use an iPhone as a webcam. A friend just used Camo to demo his NLE software to a virtual conference; he's picky and was happy with Camo. https://reincubate.com/camo/ And imo, the iPhone 11 Pro and 12 Pro can produce pretty decent images on auto mode. We'd also ship a small smartphone desktop tripod to them, perhaps a tiny battery-powered light (but that's more complexity), along with instructions. 

 

Probably stream/connect via Ecamm Live to Zoom or Skype or something. Ecamm can record a local h.264 file as it streams. And the interface is fairly simple. 

The interviewees (or someone in their pod) would mainly have to connect the iPhone to the computer, launch Ecamm Live (which can be preconfigured to connect to a specific stream/call), and allow the laptop to access their WiFi network (or plug in an ethernet cable). Seems like having them just need to allow our laptop to access their network presents a lower barrier than asking them to install software and hardware on their own machines and then configure everything. 

 

SO ANYWAY... I'm wondering about audio. Lavs seem like an extra layer of complexity for the interviewees. Some of the other iPhone/lightning mics (ie- from Shure and Rode) appear to be low-end and want to be plugged directly into the lighting connector, but we need to that to connect to the computer. And the DPA mic probably sounds great, and could perhaps be preattached to the phone so the person would mainly need to attach the phone to the tripod, plug it in, and use Ecamm Live's monitor to help with framing. But the DPA mic plus interface is $1200...Hmm... 

 

I hope to test something like this within a couple of weeks, though perhaps just using the iPhone's mic for the tests. Drop off the laptop, phone, etc at a couple friend's houses, see if they can configure everything (with help from me at my home). Maybe it won't work, and there's always a risk of things going pear shaped... But if we can significantly lower the risk, that's good.

 

Any responses welcome. Well, any helpful even if critical responses welcome. 🙂

 

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I used it as a plant mic in a car visor. It sounds great!  
 

Maybe paring it with the new tentacle recorder would work since you don’t have to worry  to much about levels with 32 bit. 
 

Also. The rycote windjammer makes noise if you move the mic too much. 

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