AN OLD HOLLYWOOD TRICK
Generally, the main goal in recording better sound is getting the mic as close to the sound source as possible, yet having a boom or handheld mic in the frame isn't always acceptable. One often overlooked technique is to place the mic in the shot, but to hide it behind some set piece or prop so that it's close to the speaker, but hidden from the viewer. Combine a little duct tape (to secure the mic and cable) with a common foreground object—such as a flower vase—and if you choose your camera angle carefully, you might just have an easy-to-implement, effective solution.
Recording clear, professional-quality sound on location can present a formidable obstacle, but with the right tools and a little knowledge of some insider techniques, excellent results are possible for anyone who's serious about taking their productions to the next level.
MICROPHONE QUICKSTART GUIDE
Type: Handheld Monaural Pickup Pattern: Cardioid or omnidirectional Example Models: Audio-Technica 8004L; Shure SM58 Applications: Ideal for visible-mic reporter interviews. Omnidirectional types are often selected for their wide pickup pattern, especially when one mic is shared between two subjects. Long-handled version also offered by several manufacturers.
Type: Lavalier Pickup Pattern: Omnidirectional Example Models: Audio-Technica Pro70; Countryman EMW Applications: Comes with clip-on, tie-tack mounts. Ultraminiature mic capsules come in several colors to match skin/clothing colors.
Type: Shotgun Pickup Pattern: Ultradirectional Example Models: Azden ECZ-990; RODE VideoMic; Sennheiser MKE400 Applications: On-camera mic for distant pickup. Useable on a boom pole or handheld. Often a first-choice mic for on-the-fly documentary, sports or news coverage.
RØDE Stereo VideoMic Pro
Type: Stereo Pickup Pattern: Cardioid directional Example Models: Audio-Technica 2022, Pro-24CM; RØDE Stereo VideoMic Applications: On-camera mic for close-in subjects. Can be used handheld or boom-mounted. Ideal for ambience and music recording, and sound effects collection.