To aid in producing this blog series I am going to team up with a friend from Nature Talks and Walks to create some video footage for his business. Through the process I will explain the audio production and show you the result.
Firstly, I need a low cost way of recording his voice outdoors.
He already has a Cannon camera and has got reasonable results using the built-in microphone. He now wants to achieve higher quality audio whilst recording outside.
I have numerous mics that would achieve a great recording; however, he does not want the mic to be too visible in the shot. Also, he needs his hands free so this rules out any kind of handheld mic.
As discussed in “Video Soundtracks on a Budget – Part 1” we will not be using a shot gun mic or boom setup, instead will be looking at some lower cost options.
The answer is a lapel (aka Lavalier) microphone.
Keeping in mind the level of production needed for this video and the fact that cost is an issue I researched lower cost lapel mics.
Here are the final 3 that I considered.
Audio Technica ATR-3350
This is a microphone company that is well-known to me and I very nearly purchased the Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Microphone from Amazon for £21.50 (at the time of writing this). However, I was put off by some of the reviews and also didn’t like the fact that this mic needed a small watch style battery. I also noted that several people mentioned that a Hama mic had given better results for similar cost.
This appears to have some good reviews, but I have never used Hama products previously. The Amazon price of £21 for the Hama LM-09 clip on mic (at the time of writing this) is attractive, but this too required a battery for its operation.
Giant Squid Audio Lab
While looking through reviews I read great things about an independent microphone builder in the USA, Giant Squid Audio Lab. This is the name Darren Nemeth goes by who actually builds his microphones to order (although delivery is a number of weeks). Having heard samples and read good reviews I thought I would try it out. I purchased the Omnidirectional Mono Microphone with 5 foot cable, which cost $49 including shipping to the UK (about £33) so very affordable. Also, it does not require a battery.
Any one of these lapel mics would have been suitable and affordable for our purpose (based on reviews), but I think that Giant Squid Audio Lab appeared to have the edge from the reviews I read and samples I heard.
When I receive the microphone we will be creating some recordings and I will let you hear the result.