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Old February 5th, 2008, 12:34 PM   #1
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Recording Interviews - Suggestions Welcome

Hey there,

I am starting a project which will require recording a lot of interviews.

I've never really recorded interviews before and we're going to do some tests to make sure we capture the audio, and video, the way we want.

The video part is being handled by someone else and I think we've got that covered. That cameras will be two Canon XH-A1's.

We have two Rode NT-1 microphones which we could mount on a boom over the person being interviewed. We're going to test with that this weekend to see what we think.

I'd like to hear other suggestions though. Right now we're going to record the audio directly to one of the cameras. We don't have a separate recorder for the audio.

The recordings are more than like going to happen outside and in possibly noisier environments (near a beach for example) just to add a little more information to the question.

Thanks in advance.

Charlie Durand
San Jose, CA
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Old February 5th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #2
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Do you mean NT-1a cardioid studio microphones or did you make a typo and mean NTG-1 shotgun microphones? The NT-1 studio microphone needs to be much closer than will be practical on a boom - 6" to 8" from the speaker's mouth, plus it's VERY heavy to hang out on the end of a long lever arm if you're talking about using a hand-held fishpole boom. OTOH the NTG-1 shotgun on a boom outdoors should work quite well. This is the sort of thing a shotgun is made for.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #3
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Thanks Steve, I did mean the NTG-1. That is what we have.

We will do some tests this weekend with this setup. Sounds like we're OK there.

As far as my question about recording the audio onto the camera vs. a dedicated audio recorder. Is there any benefit to this? It's something I've not done before either so synching would be new to me.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:33 AM   #4
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Double-up your mics (belt and suspenders)

Hi Charlie,

For interview work, your Canon A1s are fine. Are you going to have an audio engineer with a boom mic for your outside noisy environment? If so, your audio guy/gal would probably prefer using a field mixer and perhaps their own recording gear so they can ride volume levels, balance, etc.

Since you have four audio recording channels with two A1s, I recommend you double-up on the microphones. So in addition to your two shotguns, get a couple of good lavaliers and wireless mics, connecting them to the two remaining inputs on the A1s. In post, bring in the audio channels as mono (if you're using Adobe Premiere) so you can autonomously tweak each channel and choose the best audio. Also, there may be times you'll want to do an outdoors wide shot where you can't use a boom mic (assuming it's not practical to do ADR for your interviewee). BTW, windjammers and zeppelins are a must for your boom mics when the wind starts blowing.

Happy Trails, Michael
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Charlie Durand View Post
Thanks Steve, I did mean the NTG-1. That is what we have.

We will do some tests this weekend with this setup. Sounds like we're OK there.

As far as my question about recording the audio onto the camera vs. a dedicated audio recorder. Is there any benefit to this? It's something I've not done before either so synching would be new to me.

If the camera has decent audio then it simplifies post because you don't have as many sync issues to deal with. It is hard to adjust levels while shooting if you send the mics direct to the camera. The best bet is to use a field mixer, feeding the mics to the mixer in the hands of an audio person and then sending the mixer signal as line level on to the cameras.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #6
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How about an example of a "decent" field mixer and maybe a decent recorder?

I agree that getting the levels right using only the camera adjustments is tough.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Charlie Durand View Post
How about an example of a "decent" field mixer and maybe a decent recorder?

I agree that getting the levels right using only the camera adjustments is tough.
The Sound Devices MixPre or 302 mixers are very good. The Tascam HD-P2 is a good recorder if you decide you want to go for double system, as are the SD 702/702T if your budget will go that far. If you want to go top-shelf, the SD 442 mixer and SD 744T recorder are absolutely first rate but they do come with a price tag to match.
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Last edited by Steve House; February 6th, 2008 at 12:31 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Michael Nistler View Post
So in addition to your two shotguns, get a couple of good lavaliers and wireless mics, connecting them to the two remaining inputs on the A1s.
Can you recommend a lavalier/wireless mic setup along the lines of the Rode NTG-1?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #9
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Charlie:

Look at the FAQ section. A lot of the questions you have asked are covered there.

But the general thought around these parts is the Sennheiser G2 is good enough for what most people are doing. The thing is after the G2 series the entry point gets pretty steep.

As far as mixers, also look at the Wendt line (X3, X4), the SD 302 is mentioned here very often but I would bet money that in blind tests most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Functionality wise, it's in the same league as the SD302. The only downside to the X3 is it uses LEDs and I don't really think they are as accurate as a standard VU meter.

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Old February 6th, 2008, 05:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Wayne Brissette View Post
...
As far as mixers, also look at the Wendt line (X3, X4), the SD 302 is mentioned here very often but I would bet money that in blind tests most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Functionality wise, it's in the same league as the SD302. The only downside to the X3 is it uses LEDs and I don't really think they are as accurate as a standard VU meter.

Wayne
I'll agree ... I too have heard very good things about Wendt and would certainly include them in the group as a contender. They've been used on a lot of of feature and network productions.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 03:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Charlie Durand View Post
Can you recommend a lavalier/wireless mic setup along the lines of the Rode NTG-1?
Rehi,

For booms, I also use NTGs (along with Senn 416) which should be okay for your application, although we don't really know your interview specifics - perhaps an affordable hyper cardioid like the Oktava MK012A would be an asset to your collection, which may give you better quality than your boom in some situations:

http://www.sound-room.com/inc/sdetail/474

Anyway, to answer your question, in the price range the of your NTG-1, the Sennheiser Evolution G2 is a solid transceiver although you'll want to upgrade the lavalier microphones. The Sanken COS-II and Tram lavaliers are on the high-end, used by the folks likely to go for booms like the Sanken CS-1 or Schoeps CMC-64 boom):

http://www.trewaudio.ca/store/produc...1&cat=0&page=1
http://www.soundpure.com/showProduct.do?id=619
http://www.coffeysound.com/product.p...&cat=42&page=1
http://www.coffeysound.com/product.p...4&cat=0&page=1

Comparing to the price for your NTG-1, the Countryman B6 is a popular choice for many:

http://www.countryman.com/store/prod...p?id=5&catid=4

And if you're on a budget, shhh - don't tell anyone but the Provider Series PSL6 sounds great for half the price:

http://www.jirehsupplies.com/cgi-bin...&key=PSL6-SENN

Finally, for another purpose (transceiver range at various frequencies), I've performed some tests a year ago on a few of these mics including the stock Sennheiser lavaliers (the Senn ME2 sounds a bit flat w/poor frequency response) - here's the link if you're interested in a relative sound test:

http://www.bridgehands.com/audio

Happy Hunting, Michael
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