Capturing dialogue 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 May 29th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 141
Capturing dialogue

Hi. My apologies if this is thread topic too often created. I am shooting a low-budget feature and need to be able to record good quality audio, specifically dialogue. I have an EX1, but doubt it is the best medium to record audio to. What do the pros on a budget use? Obviously I'll need a good shotgun mic, but after that, I don't know a thing about recording dialogue. What are all of the components I'll need to get "good" quality audio? (By good I mean, good enough so that no one can say the sound is bad) I have a budget of around 2-3 grand.

P.S. for curiosity's sake, how much would I need to spend to get pro-quality hollywood sound capturing gear? Probably upwards of $30,000-$50,000...
Spencer Dickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 06:15 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
Hello Spencer,

A good kit has
a shotgun, a hyper or supercardioid for boom, each with wind gear
a boom with a suspension mount
a boom stand for locked down shots
a couple of lavs, hard-wired and wireless
a good omni handheld
a mixer
headphones
cables
bag and shoulder straps to carry the gear
maybe a small hand truck to cart it all around

Depending on what you get, that could be $5k to $15 to even more. Top of the line wireless systems from Audio Ltd 2040 run about $5k each. I didn't use them in coming up with the $15k figure.


Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 10:38 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer Dickson View Post
Hi. My apologies if this is thread topic too often created. I am shooting a low-budget feature and need to be able to record good quality audio, specifically dialogue. I have an EX1, but doubt it is the best medium to record audio to. What do the pros on a budget use? Obviously I'll need a good shotgun mic, but after that, I don't know a thing about recording dialogue. What are all of the components I'll need to get "good" quality audio? (By good I mean, good enough so that no one can say the sound is bad) I have a budget of around 2-3 grand.

P.S. for curiosity's sake, how much would I need to spend to get pro-quality hollywood sound capturing gear? Probably upwards of $30,000-$50,000...
Spencer:

You may find this helpful, it outlines, gear, budgets and the basics of all of this http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...ion_sound.html

Enjoy!

Dan
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 141
Ty, it seems you know a lot about this subject. Could you point in me in the direction of some quality gear? Mics, the omni handled, a mixer etc. Also, what is the industry standard, bread and butter setup? Even though it won't be within my budget, I would like to know, just to have a yardstick to measure gear by.

Dan, I am reading the article. Very good introduction to the subject.
Spencer Dickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 904
Let's assume for a moment that you cannot afford the cadillac of equipment, but want the best quality audio a "reasonable" budget can afford. Further you want to buy equipment that, as you CAN afford to upgrade, will bring back a good portion of its value on resale after you decide to move up. Ok?

That said, here is one lowly amateur's recommendation.

Boom Pole - Gitzo carbon $200
Shotgun Mic AT 4073 $550
Wireless Lavalier Sennheiser G2 $500
Shock mount Audio Technica $60
Wind Screen for shotgun www.thewindcutter.com $60
Blimp for Shotgun $200 (www.dvaccessory.com)
Hand mic (dymanic) Shure 57 $100
Wired lavalier - your choice (I have a couple Sony EC-44's I picked up on E-bay used for under $100 apiece) You may wish to read Dan's article on lavalier's on www.kenstone.net
Field Mixer - Sound Devices MicPre $700
Headphones (cans) Sony 7506 $100
Cables etc ($100 is my estimate. Do not fall prey to the "Monster Cable" myth. Decent cables can be had at a reaosnable price.)

For interior booming, a hypercardiod condensor is a good choice. The Cadillac is the Schoeps, but for less an Oktava MC-012, with a hyper capsule and modded to improve sound quality can be had for around $300. The Schoeps is about 3 times that and IS the Industry standard.

Now will this produce the cadillac sound? Probably not Hollywood Cadillac, but damn close for now as you learn and slowly move up in your gear.

Just my 2 cents. And close to your $2-3K.

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; May 29th, 2008 at 02:52 PM.
Chris Swanberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 12:27 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 141
Wow. That is detailed. I am going to check that gear out. Ideally, I like to buy gear that I don't need to upgrade right away, if at all affordable. As I already own my camera gear and editing equipment, I can afford to stretch and spend 3-5 K if it would get me close to a pro level.
Spencer Dickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 904
For a next step up and candidly pretty darn good stuff would be to make the hyper the Schoeps CMC641, the wireless an Audio technica 1800 (adding AT899 mics to the kit) and a MKH 60 shotgun. You'll find all of that in use on pro sets (although the AT1800 might be passed over in favor of the high end wireless stuff like Ty mentioned.) The wired lav I will leave to you. Read Dan's article and decide for yourself. I suggest whatever you get for a wired lav you buy two identical ones. The field mixer could be upgraded to the SD302, but unless you think you are going to need all 3 channels the MixPre is the same guts on two channels, more or less.

ps. The AT4073 is a nice shotgun for my tastes...I've never done a side by side comparison to the MKH60... but I like its sensitivity and reach. If you need a slightly better rejection and thus longer "reach" you might look at the AT 4071a.

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; May 29th, 2008 at 02:54 PM.
Chris Swanberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 03:15 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 141
Is there a ballpark figure for how much all of this is going to cost?

My current needs are concordant with my ability to secure locations, which at this point is quite low. As such, my locations are going to consist of houses, barns, garages etc. Mainly any larger, open spaces with little ambient noise where I can build sets etc. I don't have a lot of ambitious location shoots on my itinerary just yet. Mostly interiors.
Spencer Dickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 141
The other thing I am going to do is budget for at least 2-3 semi-pro guys to help me shoot my next feature once I have this one completed. I have no idea how much it will cost though. I imagine that people in film schools who want the experience will work for less than fully pro guys. I guess I would need a boom operator and a mixer, and then a DP. It may be prohibitively expensive, but I have to see. Is there an hourly rate most semi-pros accept?
Spencer Dickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 04:14 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 904
My initial post was in line with what you are describing. You then expressed a desire to add to the pot and go higher, and I gave you my idea of the next step up. The first setup will give you good sound. If you are doing mainly interiors go with the schoeps. and see if you can't hold off on the wireless.
Chris Swanberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Swanberg View Post
For interior booming, a hypercardiod condensor is a good choice. The Cadillac is the Schoeps, but for less an Oktava MC-012, with a hyper capsule and modded to improve sound quality can be had for around $300. The Schoeps is about 3 times that and IS the Industry standard.
Is this the same mic you mean?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...phone_Set.html

That set is over six times more expensive than the Oktava. Is it because of the included pre-amp? Can't seem to find just the mic on B&H.
Spencer Dickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 07:29 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
Hello Spencer,

A good kit has
a shotgun, a hyper or supercardioid for boom, each with wind gear:
Shotguns: Sanken CS-3e, Sennheiser MKH 60, Sennheiser MHK 416
Hypers: Schoeps cmc641,

a boom with a suspension mount
K-tek carbon fiber, K-tek or Rycote invision suspension mount.

a boom stand for locked down shots
C-stand or light stand with grip head and boom jig.

a couple of lavs, hard-wired and wireless
Lectrosonic wireless or Audio Technica 1800 wireless
Countryman B6 mics.

a good omni handheld: EV RE50
a mixer: SOund Devices 302
headphones: Audio Technica ATH-M50
cables
bag and shoulder straps to carry the gear: Portabrace
maybe a small hand truck to cart it all around

Depending on what you get, that could be $5k to $15 to even more. Top of the line wireless systems from Audio Ltd 2040 run about $5k each. I didn't use them in coming up with the $15k figure.


Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 141
Call me a newb, (Because I am), but in the article by Ken, I didn't see him recommending either using the video camera to record sound, OR an alternative sound recording device. He said that camcorders are by and large crappy to record to, and that using other recorders will cause syncing problems. I have an EX1, so the sound can't be that bad, but there is obviously a better alternative they use in the industry, I just don't know what it is.
Spencer Dickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 07:58 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
Hello Spencer,

Does your camera output time code? It's easier to slave a time code capable audio recorder to a camera by the camera's time code output.

There are many audio recorders that can be used.

Sound Devices makes excellent ones. I own a 744T. They have just put out the 788T; an eight channel hard drive recorder with excellent specs.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2008, 08:16 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer Dickson View Post
Call me a newb, (Because I am), but in the article by Ken, I didn't see him recommending either using the video camera to record sound, OR an alternative sound recording device. He said that camcorders are by and large crappy to record to, and that using other recorders will cause syncing problems. I have an EX1, so the sound can't be that bad, but there is obviously a better alternative they use in the industry, I just don't know what it is.
Hi Specer:

I have been shooting a lot lately with the EX-1. The sound is okay, not the best, not the worst by any means. The 744T and 788T that Ty is mentioning sound better than ANY camcorder by far. Think about it, in the overall price of a camcorder, how much of the build budget do you think is alloted to the audio chain? Not very much.

The EX-1 does not have a dedicated TC output. With a consumer camera like the EX-1, when used with a professional outboard recorder, you must manually sync audio in post. Not as big a deal as most people think it is. If you are using the EX-1 for a feature or narrative show, if you have a sound mixer, double system sound is a viable way to increase quality. If you are a do it yourselfer and are not hiring a sound mixer, I would advise against double system sound, it will be more trouble than it is worth.

Best,

Dan
Dan Brockett 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 12:11 AM.


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