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Old May 17th, 2008, 05:54 AM   #1
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New to sound looking for a good basic set up

Hi, thanks for any advice well in advance.

I'm looking to have a nice quality set up for diagetic sound, tell me if this sounds ok.
Having an NTG-1 Mic go into a soundlab mixer and then from that straight into the camera.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 07:07 AM   #2
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Hi, thanks for any advice well in advance.

I'm looking to have a nice quality set up for diagetic sound, tell me if this sounds ok.
Having an NTG-1 Mic go into a soundlab mixer and then from that straight into the camera.
There's nowhere near enough information in your post to really give you a meaningful answer. What are you planning on shooting where? While the NTG-1 is a good mic and a good value, there's no single mic that is the best to use for all situations. One of the first considerations is if the dialog is to be recorded in a normal, acoustically unconditioned thus reflective interior, a conditioned soundstage or studio, or outdoors. In a reflective environment a hypercardioid will usually yield better results than a shotgun like the NTG-1. Soundlab mixer? Not familiar with the brand but a quick look at their web site shows they make a variety of mixers, so which one are you considering? A mains-powered desk might be okay in-studio but wouldn't be very portable for location shooting. EFX that might be handy in a live-sound situation would be totally unnecessary and a negative for a mixer to be used for ENG/EFP style shooting,
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Old May 17th, 2008, 07:24 AM   #3
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Hi Gary I have had over 28 years experience in broadcast audio but have recently been setting up a shooting kit for HDV on a very tight budget.

I have an audio kit which will cover most things and it consists of:

1: rode ntg1 mic in blimp wind gag bought from india with boom pole.

2: 2X Sennheiser 112 G2 radio mics (I also have a sony diversity radio mic)

3: ENG-44 mixer from pink noise systems

4: My Z7 camera has the new sony short shotgun mic and this is very good quality and Ok for general use.

5: Sony ECM-957 stereo mic with minidisc recorder (this can also take a feed from the mixer as back-up or sep recording)

6: Cardioid in-vision dynamic mic (Sm58 type)

7: Sony 7506 headphones.

Most of the kit was sourced from e-bay so have a look around.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gary Douglas View Post
Hi, thanks for any advice well in advance.

I'm looking to have a nice quality set up for diagetic sound, tell me if this sounds ok.
Having an NTG-1 Mic go into a soundlab mixer and then from that straight into the camera.
Hi Gary:

You may find this article helpful http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...ion_sound.html

Dan
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Old May 17th, 2008, 11:33 AM   #5
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The mic would be mainly used in ordinary interiors not conditioned for sound.
I'm looking for boom that is going to give acceptable levels of non irritating diagetic sound.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #6
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The mic would be mainly used in ordinary interiors not conditioned for sound.
I'm looking for boom that is going to give acceptable levels of non irritating diagetic sound.
LOL - "non-irritating!" Just don't let your characters say silly stupid cliche's or make annoying rude noises!

Seriously, for booming in normal interiors an interference tube shotgun mic would not generally be one's first choice. The reason is that the degree of attentuation of sound arriving from off-axis is very dependent on frequncy with the result that some frequencies are strongly supressed while others are barely touched. In a reflective environment the mix of direct sound and frequency-distorted reflected sound can lead to some very strange effects - that hollow, in-the-bottom-of-a-well sound so often associated with amateur videos. For interior booming a sensitive hypercardioid is generally preferred since it doesn't use the interference tube principle that's the culprit with shotguns. Examples that are in the same general budget range as the Rode would be the AKG Blueline SE300B/CK93 modular combo or the AudioTechnica 4053a. A lot of folks on a tight budget are getting good results with the Oktava M012 fitted with its hyper capsule.

Give some thought to your boom, mount, etc, choices as well. The general rule of thumb is the business end of the mic needs to be close enough to the talent's mouth that they could comfortably reach out and touch it without straining.

As I said before, can't really say anything about Soundlabs mixers but looking at their site it appears they are budget mixers designed for live sound situations rather than film/video sound. They'd work but have a lot of stuff you really don't need, aren't battery powered so aren't portable for location use, and lack features such as slate mics and alignment tone generators that are really useful in the film world. What you should be looking for is an ENG field mixer instead. Several that are very popular that illustrate the form factor and features you should be looking for would the the Sound Devices MixPre, 302, or 442 www.sounddevices.com Those particular models might be over your budget (though the MixPre isn't too far over the SoundLabs) but it will give you an idea of the type generally used for serious production.

You concept of mic to camera through a mixer is a good one, widely used.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #7
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Steve any websites I can go on to test the differences between these Hyper's and compared to a super aswell?
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Old May 17th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #8
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Steve any websites I can go on to test the differences between these Hyper's and compared to a super aswell?
Take a look at the link Dan Brocket listed a couple of posts above - he's done an excellent job and has some enlightening comparisons. As you research, remember your specific shooting environment and situation strongly influence your choices as well as does your budget. There's no "one size fits all" mic.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice.

If I were to film in a room that was closed off, say about 15 by 10 foot, concrete flooring and brick walls, with an 8ft ceiling, giving off a sort of hollow sound, a hyper cardioid would be closer to the ideal for those conditions?
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Old May 17th, 2008, 02:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gary Douglas View Post
Thanks for all the advice.

If I were to film in a room that was closed off, say about 15 by 10 foot, concrete flooring and brick walls, with an 8ft ceiling, giving off a sort of hollow sound, a hyper cardioid would be closer to the ideal for those conditions?
That's not a room - that's a resonator! Do you really have to record sound in a bunker?
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Old May 17th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #11
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Why can u hear us from Scotland? :)
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Old May 17th, 2008, 04:32 PM   #12
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Okay, I give you a box with:

A bag of flour
A bag of sugar
A can of baking powder
A pound of butter
A bottle of vanilla extract
A bag of peppermint pieces
10 Hershey Bars
And a variety of cake pans

Can you bake me a truely EXCELLENT cake?

Why not? You have the STUFF you need, right?

Is it because the STUFF used in the process has less impact on the results than the PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE of how baking really works?

Bakers are necessary to make great cakes because they understand what to DO with the ingredients. What to mix first. How to mix it. Does it need time to "rise?" If so, when and for how long? What temperature does THIS kind of cake require to bake properly. How does the altitude of the kitchen location effect baking time? Should you crush the peppermint pieces? And if so, how finely? And on, and on, and on.

Sound EQUIPMENT does not make quality recordings.
PEOPLE with KNOWLEDGE make quality recordings.

If you don't have that knowledge RIGHT NOW, and yet want good results, do yourself a favor. Hire the expertise.

Then perhaps you can watch them and start to understand sound recording and perhaps get an idea of why they do what they do with the equipment they use.

And as you learn what the particular pieces of gear do, you can decide which, if any, of them you want to take the time to learn to use properly.

For example, I've been making corporate video for more than 20 years. I didn't even OWN a boom pole for the first 13. I got a moderate priced one when I had a particular job that required it back in 2001. Then in the last 7 years, I've used it probably four times.

If, like you, I had just ASSUMED, that because lots of guys used boom mounted mics, that I needed to as well - I would have tied up and wasted a nice chunk of capitol WAY before I needed to.

Sorry. But that's the hard truth.

Buying a full kit of audio recording gear - without really knowing how (or even WHY) to use it, is like trying to open up a bakery without every having baked anything.

Not a good plan.

FWIW and YMMV.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #13
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I went the "buy it first" route. But I am commonly found giving advice that I haven't taken myself.

The downsides are as Bill says- you could easily spend money that is wasted- or at least, wasted for now.

Upsides- well, for me I felt that if I spent the money I'd be more motivated to get out there and make things. Secondly, if you don't get your hands on something, you won't get to try it out. I'm a big believer in the old maxim- "I hear, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, I understand".

But there are better ways to try it than spending all that money. Find people nearby. Find rental shops.

I must make myself a .sig that contains an applicable and concise disclaimer. But gosh darnit, I do love voicing unqualified opinions.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 05:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
Okay, I give you a box with:

A bag of flour
A bag of sugar
A can of baking powder
A pound of butter
A bottle of vanilla extract
A bag of peppermint pieces
10 Hershey Bars
And a variety of cake pans

Can you bake me a truely EXCELLENT cake?

Why not? You have the STUFF you need, right?

Is it because the STUFF used in the process has less impact on the results than the PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE of how baking really works?

Bakers are necessary to make great cakes because they understand what to DO with the ingredients. What to mix first. How to mix it. Does it need time to "rise?" If so, when and for how long? What temperature does THIS kind of cake require to bake properly. How does the altitude of the kitchen location effect baking time? Should you crush the peppermint pieces? And if so, how finely? And on, and on, and on.

Sound EQUIPMENT does not make quality recordings.
PEOPLE with KNOWLEDGE make quality recordings.

If you don't have that knowledge RIGHT NOW, and yet want good results, do yourself a favor. Hire the expertise.

Then perhaps you can watch them and start to understand sound recording and perhaps get an idea of why they do what they do with the equipment they use.

And as you learn what the particular pieces of gear do, you can decide which, if any, of them you want to take the time to learn to use properly.

For example, I've been making corporate video for more than 20 years. I didn't even OWN a boom pole for the first 13. I got a moderate priced one when I had a particular job that required it back in 2001. Then in the last 7 years, I've used it probably four times.

If, like you, I had just ASSUMED, that because lots of guys used boom mounted mics, that I needed to as well - I would have tied up and wasted a nice chunk of capitol WAY before I needed to.

Sorry. But that's the hard truth.

Buying a full kit of audio recording gear - without really knowing how (or even WHY) to use it, is like trying to open up a bakery without every having baked anything.

Not a good plan.

FWIW and YMMV.
Bill:

Excellent and relevant advice.

I own a full ENG sound package. Do I know how to use it? Yes, but I prefer to hire sound mixers because they do it better than I do and I am usually DPing, directing and producing. I bought the package at a time when I had a staff sound mixer and it saved me a lot of money, at first, now it actually makes me money because I can hire a sound mixer and I can charge for my sound package in the budget.

So for me, it was a good purchase, but the thing is, to buy a really decent ENG package, you are up in the $4k to $5k range. For a decent EFP/Features/Reality package, more like $30k with a recorder and lots of wireless. Do these investments make sense from a business standpoint? For most people who will not become professional full time sound mixers, no.

A sound mixer is the best investment a production can make in my opinion. I hear it over and over again from the audio post teams, scrimp on everything but the sound mixer. Hire an experienced one who has been doing it for 10 or 20 years and you will be so happy when you go to edit.

Best,

Dan
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Old May 18th, 2008, 03:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Douglas View Post
Thanks for all the advice.

If I were to film in a room that was closed off, say about 15 by 10 foot, concrete flooring and brick walls, with an 8ft ceiling, giving off a sort of hollow sound, a hyper cardioid would be closer to the ideal for those conditions?
The would be less additional colouration added by the mic to that already present in the space if you use a hyper instead of a shotgun. If you want to reduce the influence of the space even further, that might be a place where lavs might be the way to go. Personally, that's such an unusual space that I'd want to record some experimental test footage during preproduction scouting and then sit down with the director to come up with a strategy to insure the production sound would match the look and feel of the scene that the director is trying to achieve, making the mic choice based on the test results.

As Bill put so well, the best way to get good sound is by having a professional on your production team and everything he says goes double when figuring out the best way to record in a space like that.
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