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Old November 26th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #1
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Indoor Use Of Shotgun Microphones

We're not supposed to use shotguns microphones indoors because of the low frequency reflection of sound from the ceiling above the boom microphone and omnidirectional pickup of low frequency reverb, right?

- What if the shotgun microphone is positioned at an angle rather then vertically so it doesn't pick up reflections along its axis from the ceiling?

- What if the low frequencies are selectively removed in post with an equalizer?
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Old November 26th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #2
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I use short 415/416 shotgun mics indoors frequently. Sometimes side rejection is more valuable than consistent frequency response. Depends on the location and mic polar pattern and whether you can afford any low frequency rolloff, and how close you can get the mic to the subject. A great boom-op is a prerequisite else I'll break out the stubby hyper or the cardioid. Lobar still has its place on certain interiors in my opinion.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 08:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Seun Osewa View Post
We're not supposed to use shotguns microphones indoors because of the low frequency reflection of sound from the ceiling above the boom microphone and omnidirectional pickup of low frequency reverb, right?

- What if the shotgun microphone is positioned at an angle rather then vertically so it doesn't pick up reflections along its axis from the ceiling?

- What if the low frequencies are selectively removed in post with an equalizer?
Thre problem with a shotgun indoors is that it's direcdtionality is frequency dependent due to the physics of the interference tube principle. Your idea would work if it was directional at all frequencies but unfortunately at low frequencies they are more like omnis and have poorly defined side lobes so there really aren't any off-axis nulls to put the ceiling reflections into.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 09:38 AM   #4
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Not all shotguns are created equal, pure traditional interference tubes have badly behaved lobes not good for interior, but better new mics like DPA 4017 or multicapsule array short shotguns like Sanken CS-3e are a different breed with consistant pickup patterns at all frequences. Sanken CS-3e can be used more or less anywhere. Of course these cost a bit more also.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #5
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I've read Ty's book, which was VERY helpful.

... But all this talk about shotguns has me scratching my head a wee bit.

From what I've seen and read, the MKH-416 is used indoors all the time. The Mayles brothers used it for their documentaries, almost all of which were shot indoors, AFAICR. So there has to be a way to use a short shotgun inside pretty darn effectively. No?
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Old November 26th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #6
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MOST shotguns are useful indoors when used to about 4 feet or so from the subject. Some are better than others and some are worse than others but that's a general rule. After about 4 feet shotguns a generally not the mic of choice.
That's why they have booms and other types of mics.

Don
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Old November 26th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
I've read Ty's book, which was VERY helpful.

... But all this talk about shotguns has me scratching my head a wee bit.

From what I've seen and read, the MKH-416 is used indoors all the time. The Mayles brothers used it for their documentaries, almost all of which were shot indoors, AFAICR. So there has to be a way to use a short shotgun inside pretty darn effectively. No?
It depends on the acoustic qualities one is after. And 'indoors' covers a lot of ground - are we talking about an average living room, a tile bathroom, or an acoustically treated soundstage? Most shotguns sound hollow to my ears when used in a normal residential room, like speech inside a cave. Some people don't care that voices have that unnatural 'ring' to them and for a documentary may actually lead to a 'captured on the spur of the moment' feel to it. But for dramatic content, I want to hear it sounding as if I was physically present during the scene. Reverb that doesn't match the visual environment leads to a breaking of the 'suspension of disbelief' that is vital to effective storytelling, and while we hear reverb when walking in a tunnel we don't hear it sitting in our living rooms. Short guns are used a lot in ENG but a hypercardioid like the Schoeps CMC641 is usually the 'go-to' mic for dramatic interiors.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
MOST shotguns are useful indoors when used to about 4 feet or so from the subject. Some are better than others and some are worse than others but that's a general rule. After about 4 feet shotguns a generally not the mic of choice.
That's why they have booms and other types of mics.

Don
4 feet! Inside! Not on my shoots.

There is no mic usable for dialog at 4 feet in a typical interior.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old November 26th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
I've read Ty's book, which was VERY helpful.

... But all this talk about shotguns has me scratching my head a wee bit.

From what I've seen and read, the MKH-416 is used indoors all the time. The Mayles brothers used it for their documentaries, almost all of which were shot indoors, AFAICR. So there has to be a way to use a short shotgun inside pretty darn effectively. No?
1. We don't really know how much sound damping material was hung for those shots, now do we?

2. Got examples of that Mayles Bros audio?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old November 26th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #10
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I guess I was trying to be overly generous. :-O

I agree except maybe for moving target news stuff-course then the audio isn't that important anyway. GET THE SHOT---GET THE SHOT!!!! We'll do a VO, get the shot, get the shot!!!

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Old November 27th, 2007, 12:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
4 feet! Inside! Not on my shoots.

There is no mic usable for dialog at 4 feet in a typical interior.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Amen Ty.

The Maysles Bros use the ME66 btw.

The 416 hasn't troubled me yet on interiors. Well, except once but the director wasn't complying with any of my suggestions so I just shrugged it off.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 07:15 AM   #12
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Amen Ty.

The Maysles Bros use the ME66 btw.

The 416 hasn't troubled me yet on interiors. Well, except once but the director wasn't complying with any of my suggestions so I just shrugged it off.
Hello Anna,

An ME66, hmm. The thing about audio (and other things) is that you don't know what "good" is until you hear/see it. The ME66 is significantly less than the 416. If you compare the two (closer than four feet away) the difference is pretty obvious. The ME66 is pretty gritty compared to its more expensive sibling. There are a lot of ME66 shotguns in film & video departments at schools. Students use them and assume that they are OK. They are "OK", but if the 416 didn't sound better, people wouldn't use it.

Similarly, if you compare a 416 with a cmc641 hyper (or super, as Schoeps classifies the mic), you'll hear a BIG difference unless the room is tricked out.

We're shooting a piece of Duff Goldman (CharmCityCakes) this week here in Baltimore. He has a reality show on the Food Channel. We're not shooting that show, we're doing a 1-2 hour "About" piece.

In looking at their office turned set, thay have affixed about a dozen 1" thick 2'X4' Auralex panels to the ceiling to take the sting off the bounce. I was told that they also use rugs during shooting. There's some other rigging. Don't know what that's about yet.

Tricking out the room makes a big difference and a shotgun can then work pretty well. I sometimes fool myself when comparing mics in my studio. "Wow, this shotgun sounds pretty good! Oh, right, I'm listening in a RECORDING STUDIO, not a normal space. Doh!"

The top shelf shotgun mic, if you can find one, is the Schoeps CMIT.

BTW, Anna, Hopefully by this weekend I can get the Lav on the Martin guitar sample that makes it sound like a Taylor.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old November 27th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #13
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B and H Photo had a great article a few months back about this very thing. i was trying to locate it but the link is down now. it was talking about using a small diaphragm indoors. if i can get the link to work i will post
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Old November 27th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #14
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I think this is the article Kevin is refering to:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/new...-Boompoles.jsp
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Old November 27th, 2007, 01:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
1. We don't really know how much sound damping material was hung for those shots, now do we?

2. Got examples of that Mayles Bros audio?

Regards,

Ty Ford
Actually, my bad. It's Frederick Wiseman who, according to the book "Five Films by Frederick Wiseman" uses an MKH-416.

It had a few interesting tidbits BTW. One was that Wiseman actually does the audio on his shoots and holds the boom himself, letting someone else handle the camera.

Perhaps Wiseman has just grown comfortable with the 416, which has been around for a long time. Also, if he's been operating the boom and levels since the 1960's, he's pretty excellent at it.

Last edited by Peter Moretti; November 27th, 2007 at 02:15 PM.
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