Booming Technique question 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 January 24th, 2008, 09:23 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Hollywood, Atlanta
Posts: 437
Booming Technique question

For Indie Film-making;

Say your in a situation where two actors are 2 to 6 feet away from each other having a discussion. And Say they are both talking at the same time, stepping on each others lines, in a wide shot. -Why? -Because this allows both actors to be as natural as they want, not having to stop and wait for the other to stop talking b/f the other starts up. Perhaps they are improvising as well...
This is the situation i find myself in most often, so my question is;

Am i correct to assume i should be booming from above with the microphone in the center of each actor pointing toward the ground between them - not directly facing either actor. I fear that if i were to point the mic back and forth, this would mean one would sound louder than the other. If the actors are improvising you have no idea when one will interrupt the other and your mic can never predict perfectly to be on the person talking at that moment. So (I'm assuming) your only option is to either have 2 boom mics on both actors (ideal option) - or option 2, take your one boom mic and point down in between both of them. (more realistic option)

Now the probem with the later is the mic we have (AT835b) is a long shotgun mic with a narrow pick up pattern. You really have to hit the actor in a straight line for them to sound good. - Now my thinking is, Shouldn't i have a shorter shotgun with a wider pickup pattern for this situation? Thus, im looking for a shotgun with a more wide pickup pattern. Anyone have some sugestions for what i need my mic to do?

PS; I was looking at the Rode NTG-2, because it seems popular. But im no expert in mics and dont know if this mic is going to do what i need.
__________________
Tyson X
Tyson Persall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lewisburg PA
Posts: 752
Pointing a shotgun (short or long) at the floor won't work very well -- both actors will be off-axis. A good boom op, with rehearsal, perhaps could make it work. 2 booms is the optimal solution if you can manage it.
Peter Wiley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Forest Ranch, CA
Posts: 106
mic

I have that Rode and I like it. No complaints!
Joe Batt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 12:14 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 111
Lavs. Otherwise be prepared to lose things. Even the best boom ops will have trouble in this situation and you may not be able to afford the best.
Abe Dolinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 03:42 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abe Dolinger View Post
Lavs. Otherwise be prepared to lose things. Even the best boom ops will have trouble in this situation and you may not be able to afford the best.
I second this!

On Kings of Appletown, there were a lot of wide shots where I couldn't even come close to the talent because I was going to be in the shot. We had to use wireless in order to make it work. While you may think it's natural to step on each other's lines, be prepared for a lot of takes of this scene because you're going to want to make sure you have everything perfect. The sound mixer is going to have to pay special attention to this scene because they will need it to be very clean. I would ditch any sort of boom and just play the wireless if I were the mixer on this one. It's about the only way you're going to get nice clean lines from both of the actors.

Wayne
__________________
Mics: KMR 82 i, NTG-1, MKH418S, MKH8040, SR77, QTC1, QTC40, SR30
Recorder: Zaxcom Deva 5.8 & MIX-12. Wireless: TRX900 stereo, Lectro 411
Wayne Brissette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 05:09 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
I agree with Wayne and Abe. 'Guns and hypers need to be aimed at the mouth and/or chest of the speaker for optimum pickup - their cone of acceptance is far too narrow to aim it at the floor between two characters 6' apart and have any hope of picking up either one of them very well. Skilled actors should be able to deliver a believable performance without stepping on each other's lines, maintaining the illusion of a heated discussion without actually overtalking each other, yet preserving the emotion of the scene. This would allow you to tighten the scene by trimming in post to achieve the desired pacing. But if your talent isn't experienced enough to be able to do this, your options are either two booms and boom ops, each one devoted to covering one character only, or to put lavs on the talent, in either case recording each mic to its own iso track.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
Posts: 2,650
At two feet, boom in the middle and try to follow the action by memorizing the lines and aiming appropriately. The Schoeps MK41 really shines here because if you're a little off it still sound good. Much more difficult to do with a shotgun. At six feet apart, lav 'em both. Or better, double boom it with identical mics, but prepare to roll your eyes when post screws it up.
Marco Leavitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Hollywood, Atlanta
Posts: 437
Double booming question

Are you saying that when double booming, you should have TWO of THE SAME mic??

Are you saing that if you have two different mics they will both sound differently? I cant imagine this would matter that much, but then again, im not an audio person.
__________________
Tyson X
Tyson Persall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
Posts: 2,650
Yeah, particularly with shotguns it will matter a great deal. Background noise will be drastically different for one thing, meaning you'd have to collect tone from both and sum them which just adds to the noise. Some mics do sound pretty close though. We double boom with the Schoeps MK41 and AKG CK93 and they match pretty darn well.
Marco Leavitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson Persall View Post
Are you saying that when double booming, you should have TWO of THE SAME mic??

Are you saing that if you have two different mics they will both sound differently? I cant imagine this would matter that much, but then again, im not an audio person.
Yep .. you want post to be able to cut back and forth between the mics seamlessly without any apparent change in timbre. Obviously the voices of the two people will sound different from each other and that would usually mask the more subtle differences between the mics, but a difference in the timbre of the room tone itself - say one mic is more bassy than the other - will be glaring apparent when cutting back and forth and compromise the believability of the scene.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 03:41 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Hollywood, Atlanta
Posts: 437
Schoeps MK41

"The Schoeps MK41 really shines here because if you're a little off it still sound good. Much more difficult to do with a shotgun." -Marco

Marco,
Thats what i'm looking for! A boom mic that can still pick up good audio if your boom person is not so accurate because he was the only guy you could find - Look, reality is I cant afford the best, nor can most indie filmmakers - So you got to work with what you have. -Which usually means friends who have never done it before. And often they don't want to do it again after they've done it once. -- What i might can afford is a better mic that can compensate for a boom opp who has never done it before. So id love if anyone can recommend me a Mic like the MK41 that is not as narrow as my current shotgun AudioTechnica AT835b. HOWEVER, HOWEVER, I really dont want to spend 1,500 on a mic unless im convinced its going to make a huge impact on the speed of production. Is there anything in the 300 to 500 range that will be better than my current mic for the situation i described? Im sure all the pros are using 1,500 dollar microphones, but is this REALLY going to make a HUGE difference over a something like a RODE NTG-2 (which someone mentioned earlier)?
__________________
Tyson X
Tyson Persall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 383
Tyson... do yourself a favor and rent a few mics. Go out head of time, take a variety of mics and setup your shot before hand. Try out several of the mics, also rent some wireless lavs, run the same test. Go back and listen to the results. I'm going to guess that you'll end up with the lavs. If you shot is as you say wide, I'm going to guess that who ever is booming regardless of mic isn't going to get great audio. The lavs will probably be your only good audio.

Regardless, when you are ready to shoot your picture, rent the mics that worked the best.

Wayne
__________________
Mics: KMR 82 i, NTG-1, MKH418S, MKH8040, SR77, QTC1, QTC40, SR30
Recorder: Zaxcom Deva 5.8 & MIX-12. Wireless: TRX900 stereo, Lectro 411
Wayne Brissette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson Persall View Post
"The Schoeps MK41 really shines here because if you're a little off it still sound good. Much more difficult to do with a shotgun." -Marco

... HOWEVER, HOWEVER, I really dont want to spend 1,500 on a mic unless im convinced its going to make a huge impact on the speed of production. Is there anything in the 300 to 500 range that will be better than my current mic for the situation i described? Im sure all the pros are using 1,500 dollar microphones, ..
It may not impact the speed of production but it could impact the quality of the production. The pattern of a hyper is not THAT much wider than that of some shotguns, at least not wide enough to disguise gross mis-aiming at any rate. Schoeps even describes the pattern of the MK41 as 'supercardioid,' exactly the same term And the increased sensitivity of a mic like the Schoeps can lead to handling noise problems in the hands of an inattentive boom operator.

A viable lower price alternative worth considering would be the Audio Technica 4053a or the AKG SE300/CK93 combo, both at just under $500. But unless your talent is very close to each other, aim is still going to be pretty iffy.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Hollywood, Atlanta
Posts: 437
6 feet away = use LAVs.

Yes, i agree with everyone that if they are 6 feet away then your shot will be wide and you need Lavs. We have 4 lav mics so we've got that covered. I should have said, 2-3 feet away from each other as this is the situation i need help finding the right mic for.
__________________
Tyson X
Tyson Persall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
But unless your talent is very close to each other, aim is still going to be pretty iffy.
I'm not sure I would even use the 418S and assume it would pick up the dialog between the two if the aim is totally off-axis.

Wayne

OK, reading Tyson's last post, I will say that you're probably going to go with a medium shot and not wide, in which case the 418S might be a nice option for you. If you can (and I recommend this, go on ISO tracks with the audio. Use both the lavs and boom and decide in post which to use). You can always feed the camera from the boom to get a guide track to use.
__________________
Mics: KMR 82 i, NTG-1, MKH418S, MKH8040, SR77, QTC1, QTC40, SR30
Recorder: Zaxcom Deva 5.8 & MIX-12. Wireless: TRX900 stereo, Lectro 411
Wayne Brissette 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 01:34 PM.


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