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Old November 11th, 2007, 07:09 PM   #1
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Stereo recording in one man documentary.

I have seen always cameras with ONE mic over it. But, what about a MS pair (for example, A Senheiser MKH 30 and 50) inside a Zeppelin and recording in stereo to the stereo inputs of the camera ? (a Sony HVR-V1 )
Have anyone experienced this ?
Or, perhaps, do you think it isn´t neccesary a stereo recording for a video documentary ?

Many thanks for your advices,

Daniel
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Old November 11th, 2007, 08:46 PM   #2
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I think it really all depends on what it is you're recording and what your audience would expect.

Schoeps makes a rather nice setup for outdoor stero M/S recording. Quite pricey, though. If you rummage through their catalog you'll find it. I've thought about it as I have their mic cartridges already, but it would still be quite expensive and I haven't so far been able to convince myself that I need it.

So far I've concluded that if I were "filming" a musical group outdoors, the camera would be far enough from the group that there might not be much expectation of a wide stereo image on the part of the viewer, but if the recording were for an audio only CD, then stereo might be more appropriate because there wouldn't be any visual mage to give a sense of what kind of stereo image to expect, so the listener would probably expect a stereo image similar to what he would perceive in a concert hall situation.

Just my thoughts.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 12:43 AM   #3
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Usually getting sound in stereo in documentaries is not bothered with. It is difficult if not almost impossible to get a real stereo for dialog, so dialog is shot with mono shotguns even in big money movie productions and placed into center in post. It is possible to record ambience in real stereo for stereo background.

One difficulty is camera/soundfield movement, sycronized audio movement is not necessarilly what we want, that's why on-camera mic is not the greatest idea. Besides all stereo mics have wider pickup pattern than even short shotguns, not good in many situations.

Getting a sensible sound even in mono (handholding the mic to be able to point it to the relevant directions) is difficult enough for a one man band, getting it in stereo is the next step closer to hell...

If you just have to have an on-camera stereo mic, take a look at Pearl MSH 10 and MSH 20 microphones. Compact high quality short stereo shotguns. Those would get the ambience in stereo, but for dialog and other specific sounds you would still need lavaliers, shotguns, separate recorders, mixers etc. If, if it is going to be on-cam mic ONLY project anyway, then using a stereo shotgun would not hurt much...

http://www.pearl.se/estart.htm
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Old November 13th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #4
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Many thanks for your advices.
I´m trying to imagine what to do in the documentarys I would like to do next year.


These documentarys will be in the mountains, places VERY difficult to walk. Dialog will be very important because the documentarys are about people who live in the mountains. These places are very quiet, there isn´t noise that disturb the dialog.

I imagine a pair MS (Sennheiser K6-ME66 / MKH 30 ) in a Zeppelin on the camera (with a very good suspension design), connected to a Sound Devices MP2, connected to a Sony V1.
Perhaps the MP2 connected to an Edirol R4?.

Anyone experienced something similar?. Or this rig is "the next step closer to hell", as Petri says?
Kind regards,
Daniel
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Old November 13th, 2007, 05:46 PM   #5
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stereo on camera mic

Am using an Audio Technica 835ST shotgun on a Sony A1u with relatively good results. I leave it in mid-side mode and use an addin in post to pick how wide a stereo field (or none) I want. With midside one channel is always effectively mono... shooting straight ahead, which can cover dialogue.

If you are shooting in the mountains though, buy the best windscreen you can afford. I'm an amateur, so I'm not going to drag a Rycote Zepplin around, but you may have to, so I suggest you plan for this contingency. The Dead Cat is not enough.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #6
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That's the nice thing about M/S - you always have one mono mic so if the stero isn't what you want, just dump the output of the S mic
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Old November 14th, 2007, 01:06 AM   #7
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Also check out the Edirol CS-50. A little birdy whispered it is OEM'd from Audio Technica. It's shorter and cheaper than the 835ST. A little switch allows you to go from "Wide Stereo" to "Focus"
http://www.edirol.net/products/en/CS-50/index.html
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Old November 14th, 2007, 04:20 AM   #8
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When getting good stereo was all the rage on BBC documentaries, the dialogue was recorded as mono and the atmos track was recorded in stereo. This was usually done M & S.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 08:49 AM   #9
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An important thing that I would like to know is: how many people use a recorder apart, in documentaries? That means 4 or 5 kg more, cables, another rig to be care, etc. In my case, I have an Edirol R4 and a Sound Devices MP2 pre.
Kind regards.
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