How to shoot a public address? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 10th, 2007, 12:11 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 52
How to shoot a public address?

I'm shooting a reenactment of Washington crossing the delaware. My main subject is the person playing Washington. He makes a speech in front of his troops facing the river and there are 1,000s of ppl watching behind him, so I can't get close enough for a boom. He is mic'ed with a wireless lav so his voice is coming over the PA for the crowd to hear.

How can I get the best audio? I was thinking of renting a wireless lav and just putting another mic on him (if they'll let me), but not knowing anything about wireless, is there any danger of me screwing up the PA set-up with my mic? I don't want to ruin this event!

The other idea, since we have 2 cameras, should i have one camera just shoot from the crowd where the speakers are facing to record the audio coming over the speakers? I just wonder if it won't line up perfectly when trying to edit.

I don't know if i can tap into the PA and don't know if i want to get into that?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Mike
Mike Donovan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 10th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Salt Lake City, Ut
Posts: 155
Tapping into the PA would be the easiest. I do that frequently on jobs that I'm on. Something else you might try, if the sound guy doesn't want you plugging stuff into his system, is to mic the speaker. Not the guy who is speaking but the speaker. Just tape your wireless to the top or side of the speaker and get the mic close to the front grill.
Chris Forbes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 10th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 127
Audio guys are cool people. Just walk up to them and introduce yourself. Shake their hand and tell them what you need. They'll give you options. Get there early but don't push them 'til they're all set up. They get cranky if you do.

Chris is right on the money. Getting a line from the mixer is ideal miking the speaker is plan b. The only thing is you'll be connected to the mix by wire which will inhibit movement.

Since you have 2 cameras, I'd plant a wide shot by the mixer (with someone guarding the camera) and use the other camera to get your variations.
Anna Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 10th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Hi Mike..........

You nearly had the perfect solution right from the off.

If you find out what channel / group the speakers Lav will be working on (from the sound guy), just rent a similarly grouped system for the event and just use the receiver to pick up his mic/ transmitter.

Perfect orator voice (assuming he's mic'd right) and you're second channel can be for background/ crowd murmurs etc.

Heck, if you get to know the sound guy pretty well, he might even lend you a receiver for the job!


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 10th, 2007, 08:28 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 127
Chris, he's worried that miking George Washington won't be a possibility. Besides, I don't think he's getting hold of the sound guy until the day of the event in which case it's too late. Not that it would interfere much.

I'd still rather go for the mix. If you mic George you'll have to find him afterwards and all that baloney. If you go through the mix you'll just grab the cable and go. No sense in molesting the talent if you have other reasonable options.

Besides it'll be from the mixer so you don't have to worry as much about tweaking levels. Definitely monitor through headphones though. So many cameramen don't do that and it makes me sooooo mad!
Anna Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 11th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
If you go through the mix you'll just grab the cable and go.
Besides it'll be from the mixer so you don't have to worry as much about tweaking levels. Definitely monitor through headphones though. So many cameramen don't do that and it makes me sooooo mad!
When you say "just grab the cable and go", what exactly does that mean? Would I be tethered to the mixing board with a cable into my camera and not be able to roam and shoot? The talent will be about 20 feet away from me with his back to me if i stand at the board. I have an FX7 with a beachteck/2 xlr inputs.

Can you describe exactly what the set up would be if I tapped into the board?
Mike Donovan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 11th, 2007, 09:41 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta/USA
Posts: 2,507
The setup would be: line out from the audio board (XLR or quarter inch jack) > cable > XLR into your Beachteck. If you can get hold of a wireless transmitter, replace the cable and you won't be tied anymore.

Alternatively you may consider a separate audio recording device. Syncing is not all that difficult: turn on both devices (start recording) and clap your hands. In your editor the audio waveform of the clap will be a sharp spike - slide the audio from the recorder to the same point on the timeline where you see the spike on the camera audio and you're done.
__________________
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
Ervin Farkas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 11th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 621
Be prepared for anything:
Preferred option (best audio/easiest post-production): Talk to the sound guy and see if you can get a wired feed from the mixing board directly to your camera.

Option 2: Talk to the sound guy, and see if you can leave a minidisk or digital audio recorder with him, plugged into the mixing board. It's also possible that the organizers are already recording this way, in which case, see if you can get a copy of their recording.

Option 3: Bring a wireless system and tape the mike either:
1. on the podium (if there is one) where George Washington will be speaking
2. in front of one of the PA speakers (watch levels carefully!)
Plug-in transmitters attached to a dynamic news mike also work well for this purpose, and are less likely to distort if placed in front of an amplified speaker.

Option 4: Bring a handheld, wired microphone with a long XLR cable and put the mike near one of the PA systems and connect it directly to the camera.

If you're not going to have time to set this up ahead of time, I'd bring the gear to do any (or 2 or 3 simultaneously) of these options, and use whichever one(s) the situation will allow.
__________________
http://www.prolefeedstudios.com/blog/
Documentary for the masses!
Brian Standing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 11th, 2007, 05:48 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 127
Mike, I described a 2 camera scenario earlier. Read through my post.

Grab the cable and go meaning grab the cable that you supplied to the sound guy after the shoot and you're out, instead of trying to track down the actor.
Anna Harmon is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:09 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network