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Old August 16th, 2007, 07:28 PM   #1
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critique my plan

I am going to be shooting a low-budget horror short at the end of October. It's going to be out in the woods by my friend's vacation cabin (95% shot outside). We're mostly using whatever we have on hand already (mainly doing this for ourselves/practice).

The main camera I have to use is a Canon Optura 50 with a ATR35 and a hotshoe shock mount. I'm planning to use this for ambience.

I'm also going to have an Edirol R09 and a boom mic (hopefully this will work out... the people helping me are even more amateur than I am). I haven't decided yet whether or not I'm going to try to use an external mic for the Edirol or if I'm just going to mount it directly on the boom.

My main goal here is better sound than the on-camera mic (and no motor noise).

Can I accomplish my goal with my proposed setup? Should I do something different? I don't have a lot of money to throw at this, so high dollar mics are most likely not going to happen at this time...

Thanks!
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Old August 17th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #2
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Hello Justin,

Make sure if you do try the Edirol on the boom that it isn't you holding the boom. :)

Your comments about not throwing money at the solution tells me you're not ready to make your movie.

There is a lot to learn about good sound. If you don't, your project will suffer and you'll be apologizing for it and privately kicking yourself in the butt (or worse yet, incorrectly blaming someone else for your own lack of knowledge).

Put the brakes on, learn what you need to learn, then go for it. Good audio is not trivial. If it were, sound guys wouldn't be able to make a living.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 17th, 2007, 09:20 AM   #3
 
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Justin,
you don't have to throw money at the situation.
-Do not mount the edirol on the boom. Booms become heavy very fast without a recorder mounted to it.
-which "boom mic" are you planning on using? The ATR 35 isn't a "boom mike" but rather a very low grade on-camera mic. However, it will still be better than no mic at all. Is this your only mic option? If so, you'll need to spend a little money for an extension cable (which is never a good idea for unbalanced mics), or you'll need a transformer and an XLR cable. You're likely gonna need something anyway, if the Edirol is on someone's shoulder or on a table, and the mic cable is running down the boom.

Sounds like a lot of fun, and you'll learn a lot. All of us started out with poor gear, do not let the lack of gear hold you back from making your movie, practice or otherwise. Have fun, learn a lot, do it all over again.
When I was young and couldn't afford a multitrack, I used two cassette machines, dubbing from one while I recorded live into the second one. Crappy way to work, but eventually got a song on Dr. Demento with national airplay.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 09:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin DeAre View Post
My main goal here is better sound than the on-camera mic (and no motor noise).

Can I accomplish my goal with my proposed setup?
Yes, you can accomplish your main goal of recording better sound than with the on-camera mic with what you have in mind, because you'll be getting a mic closer to the actors, which is the #1 way to get better sound. But will it sound really good when your movie is all done? Well, that's a different question, and only you know what your acceptance criteria are for this project. Would it be possible to give it a try without spending any money, to help you make this decision? Ty is probably right that you won't get perfection without buying or renting better sound gear, but if this is just a fun project to get some experience under your belt, then this may be good enough for your needs.

I know neither your camera nor the R09, but a quick look on the web shows no XLR or other balanced audio inputs (nor phantom power) on either one. This doesn't rule out the use of a good microphones, but it makes this path more expensive, because in addition to the mix you'll have to find a way to connect it to your camera or recorder (as Spot explained). If you are shooting in the woods away from any power lines and electrical devices, maybe a cheap extension from your ATR 35 to the camera would work without (too much) interference.

I guess what I'd do is to experiment with the gear you already have before you shoot your movie. R09 on the boom (with a really strong boom operator), ATR 35 on the boom with an extension cable to the camera, ATR 35 on the boom with an extension cable to the R09 if that works) and compare the results.

Good luck!

- Martin
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Old August 17th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #5
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If you're lucky, it might be quiet enough in the woods that the mic distance doesn't matter too much. Hopefully no machinery, noisy water/river/stream/etc., neighbours, airplanes (though you'd wait them out regardless), traffic, etc. The location may be quiet enough that you may not need a boom at all.

2- Definitely always monitor your audio with a good set of headphones. And if you do that, you can also figure out what the sound quality is like.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #6
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Hi guys, thanks for the advice.

The ATR35 is going to be on the camera. The boom mic is going to be a Rode Videomic on one of their boompoles. I have everything except the Rode stuff, which I'm borrowing from someone, so I can play around with the setup before we get up there.

The location is VERY quiet, miles from any kind of busy road, and we're generally the only people up there at this time of year. Also there's going to be a chainsaw in the movie (horror!)

Basically what we're trying to accomplish is better sound than using the onboard camera mic. We're fairly comfortable with shooting etc, so we're making baby steps into sound. But this is not going to be mixed to 5.1 or anything like that... it will be primarily for web delivery.

The Rode has a minijack for output and the r09 has a minijack for mic input... I'm guessing I'm going to be able to plug those 2 together without a problem?

Thanks again!
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