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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #1
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What mic for this situation

I have another thread running on the possibility of using a mic for both indoor and outdoor situations, but it looks like that's not ideal, so I will zero in on a more specific question.

We are doing a small-time video series. It will be a cozy living room scene (fireside chat-type) where an adult is reading/telling stories to two kids on either side of him/her. All three are on the couch during the story-time.

I want to know which mic is best for this indoor scenario. There will not be much movement other than jittery kids moving around on the couch, but no getting up and walking around, etc.

I want a mic that I can mount on a boom (without a sound guy). I would like to get the mic located in the proper place and not worry about it during the shoot. I want to be able to point it to the location and pick up sound from all three.

I was going to put the adult talent telling the stories on a wireless lav, but would that even be necessary? Would the overhead boom/mic combo do the trick?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:08 PM   #2
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BTW, I keep referring to an overhead boom assuming this is the proper setup, but if there is something better, certainly let me know! :) Thanks.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lloyd Claycomb View Post
I have another thread running on the possibility of using a mic for both indoor and outdoor situations, but it looks like that's not ideal, so I will zero in on a more specific question.

We are doing a small-time video series. It will be a cozy living room scene (fireside chat-type) where an adult is reading/telling stories to two kids on either side of him/her. All three are on the couch during the story-time.

I want to know which mic is best for this indoor scenario. There will not be much movement other than jittery kids moving around on the couch, but no getting up and walking around, etc.

I want a mic that I can mount on a boom (without a sound guy). I would like to get the mic located in the proper place and not worry about it during the shoot. I want to be able to point it to the location and pick up sound from all three.

I was going to put the adult talent telling the stories on a wireless lav, but would that even be necessary? Would the overhead boom/mic combo do the trick?
A boom mic usually can only work on one person at a time. There's really no way I can see that you can fly ONE mic over such a group and get good results on all parties. If the kids are sitting very close together, a lav on the adult and a boomed hyper aimed at the two kids might work out. I can see the kids on the floor in front of the fire shoulders touching and the adult sitting in a chair reading to them.

You need a sound guy (or gal). There is no such thing as set-and-forget location recording. You wouldn't dream of doing that with the camera ... what makes you think the sound needs any less constant attention throughout the scene? (Sorry, I don't mean that to sound confrontational, just suggesting a reality check is in order.)
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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You need a sound guy (or gal). There is no such thing as set-and-forget location recording. You wouldn't dream of doing that with the camera ... what makes you think the sound needs any less constant attention throughout the scene?
I can't have a sound guy. So what's the next best thing? Lavs on all three? No set-and-forget, but what about clip-and-forget?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:53 PM   #5
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If you run multiple mics, do you have a recorder? or will you be running more than one camera? you could conceivably use three wired lavs if they are not going to leave the chair, you would need a way to record three simultaneous mics.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:58 PM   #6
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If you run multiple mics, do you have a recorder? or will you be running more than one camera? you could conceivably use three wired lavs if they are not going to leave the chair, you would need a way to record three simultaneous mics.
Maybe this is a response for another thread, but I DO have a recorder. It's a Digidesign 003 Rack which I use for my audio studio work. I assume that COULD work, and I'd just need to sync up the audio with the video, right? A problem I foresee with this is I record video to disc, so recording WAV audio and video together could be too much for my computer. I never thought of using these together...

This is what I have http://www.digidesign.com/index.cfm?...26&itemid=5028

The only problem is I wouldn't know how to get it compressed back from WAV to import into Adobe Premiere...

Would something like this work?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:05 PM   #7
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I am not familiar with that unit, but assuming you get the audio into premiere, if you use a mic on the camera, you could then reference from that audio to the recorders audio visually. of before you record, use something like a clicker, so you can both see and hear something as a cue.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #8
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I can't have a sound guy. So what's the next best thing? Lavs on all three? No set-and-forget, but what about clip-and-forget?
"Can't have a sound guy" What does THAT mean? Why can't you have a sound guy?

Lavs on all three won't work because you only have two tracks of audio and putting two lavs on one track is a big problem.

If you want to pull your 003 and out each lav on a separate track and mute or reduce the off mics sounds, that might work, but it's a lot of effort

A boom with a cardioid MAY work, but a LOT depends on the actual volumes of the people speaking and the acoustics of the room.

An auto mixer is also an option. AT and Shure make them.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #9
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"Can't have a sound guy" What does THAT mean? Why can't you have a sound guy?
For the same reason I can't have a Ferrari Enzo--as much as I would like to have both. This is going to be an ongoing shoot (once or twice a week for a year), so I'd like to see it be a setup that can be ongoing and somewhat self-sustaining with minimal behind the scenes staff. As it is now, the current "staff" consists of my immediate family! :) They're the only ones willing to do this for free! HA!

Perhaps the mixer is the best option at this point. I see your point with the Digi 003 being somewhat of a pain.

I just need a solution to get 3 peoples' voices into one camera.

1. Three lavs + a mixer?
2. One mic on a boom?
3. Three lavs + Digi 003 to computer?

I can't think of anything else, that's why I'm reaching out for suggestions. Surely there's a solution out there.... I thought it was the "right" mic + a boom.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:16 PM   #10
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Lloyd,

OK try this. You have three people to light and shoot, side by side.

One's a fair skinned blonde, one's an oriental, one's a very dark skinned black person. How do you light the shot?

Voices can be like complexions. That's why one mic may not work very well.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #11
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Lloyd,

OK try this. You have three people to light and shoot, side by side.

One's a fair skinned blonde, one's an oriental, one's a very dark skinned black person. How do you light the shot?

Voices can be like complexions. That's why one mic may not work very well.

Regards,

Ty Ford
I know you do this as a professional for a living, and I'm getting into this as a fun hobby only. So if I understand you correctly, you're really saying get three different mics since everyone's voice is different? Therefore three mic guys? (Am I jumping to conclusions?)

You, like most professionals in their trade, want it 100% right. I, doing this as a hobby, am satisfied with 95% right. I know the percentages are subject to interpretation, but I think you get where I'm going with this. I'd even take a 90% on your scale since I see how careful you are in your work. (Isn't 90% still an "A" at most schools?)
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:30 PM   #12
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No. I'm saying three mics on three people to two channels of a video camera will suck.

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Old February 6th, 2008, 09:39 PM   #13
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Here's your auto mixer. This would be perfect! Works for free and doesn't complain, either:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ica+mixer&ci=0

And here's the 4-channel and 8-channel from Shure:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...arch&Q=*&bhs=t

One of these would probably work out fine. Just put a lav (ECM-44?) on each person and go.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #14
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If they are sitting next to each other and aren't whispering, a cardioid should be fine, maybe favor the kids if they are more quiet, Just monitor it, if it sounds fine on headphones then it should be fine on tape. just my 2 cents,
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Old February 7th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #15
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Why not stick a lav on the story teller, monitor it on cans and see if the kids come across on it ok. If they are close by they will be picked up quite well if they speak up.

Stick a mic out on a floor stand as a back up and chuck that on the other track.

If your lav is free from clothing rustle and being knocked, compress it in the mix and hopefully the kids will be loud enough. If they are small and close to the grown up they should be on mic ok.

Oh and as for getting 90% that is optimistic. Most lay people would in my opinion be lucky to get 40%. Pro's struggle to get over 80%. Sound is NOT easy.
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