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Old June 3rd, 2003, 08:50 AM   #1
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mic for recording conversation around a table

If I wanted to record audio for a shoot that included six actors sitting around a kitchen table having a conversation what kind of mic should I go with? I need high quality (feature) sound. I would be recording into a portable DAT. Though scripted I will be encouraging improv and want to do some takes that are just improv so having someone trying to follow conversation with a boom might not be feasible. I know little about mics besides the most general knowledge. Eventually if I can get a budget I'd get a sound man but for right now I want to do things myself. Any suggestions?
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Old June 3rd, 2003, 04:33 PM   #2
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I had to record a discussion group under similar circumstances and ended up using several mics to cover the whole table.

They were routed to an 8-channel mixer and then mixed to a stereo recorder.

Had to ride levels all the time as it was noisy outside and the windows didn't do much to knock off passing buses. Also had to constantly isolate each mic as much as possible to keep the cumulative noise levels as low as possible.

With a quiet setting it should be a lot easier although you'll still have to turn down inactive mics to reduce room ambience if the space has a reverb problem.

Dean Sensui
Base Two Productions
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Old June 3rd, 2003, 08:51 PM   #3
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Ian,
One other idea to consider is to use an omnidirectional boundary mic stashed in the center of the table if the scene permits. (For example)

At my former company we had several of these units installed in the boardroom's (long) table for recording certain formal meetings. They did a surprisingly good job.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 05:51 PM   #4
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thanks guys,
I think the final decision's going to made by how much I'll be able to spend when we actually sit down to do it. I do want to test the boundry mic idea though. I could easily hide it on the table.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 07:34 PM   #5
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May be a very small (omnidirectional) mic such as a lavalier will help. That can be mounted very close to the surface of the table.

Important is that the voicesound reaches the mic once and not via reflections of the table. I think that a soft table cloth (at least around the mic) will help too.

What do you think?

Jan

PS: More boundarys can be found here
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