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Old July 23rd, 2008, 02:41 PM   #1
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Should be an easy one...

Ok,

I have some basic interviews coming up. I'd like to put two mics on these. I'll be using one PZM Boundary mic in front of the talent. I'd also like to put a shotgun mic on the talent.

So here is the question:

If I have a shotgun mic, and a hotshoe isolator, how can I put that on a C-Stand or a light stand in an overhead boom positoin. I won't have a sound person, so this needs to work on it's own for 30 minutes to an hour?

I could try to buy a mic stand with a boompole and mount my SM58 on that, but I'd rather not do that if I don't have to.

Thoughts? Photos would be welcome also.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 03:25 PM   #2
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the simplest way is to just grab the mike in the end of the C stand arm, but this tends to scratch the mic finish up... even still I've done it more then once. could wrap some gaffer tape around the mic. only real limitation is the 40" reach of the arm. for a tight to medium shot it will work ok

2nd best way is a simple basic mic clip in the end of a C stand arm

3rd best way is a shock mount held in the C stand arm

then there is the right way - a boom pole with shock mount + boom boy to hold it in C stand or wide base light stand.

the PZM isn't worth the effort to setup, you won't be happy with the results from it.

you should be using a lav on interviewee. you can get a used ECM-44 on ebay for around $150 or so which will work fine.

the shotgun will probably pick up room slap if there are a lot of hard surfaces. if its an open space thats dead acoustically, shotgun will work ok. depends on the specific mic, its pickup pattern, and the room.

a hypercardiod would pick up less room tone and would be best.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 03:56 PM   #3
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LOL!

Well, considering the $15k in gear we just spent, getting a Lav is out of the question right now.

I think I'll try to figure out a way to fit the shockmount in a C-Stand. This duckbill clamp might get it done.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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Using 2 mics

Here's a set up we used last week in a small room... apologies for the pic quality, it was taken on my iPhone camera..
We used a lav on the talent (Countryman B6) - on her lapel, ~6" from her mouth. This was L channel; we then had the hyper on a boom in a cradle on a C stand. This was on R channel. The editor could then choose which sound he preferred.
BTW, the room was horrible, but was all that was available; there was a constant A/C noise which we recorded as room tone and then subtracted in Soundtrack pro - worked surprisingly well.
In the past I have used a mic stand, standard mic clip and whatever mic we had available. This set-up is far from ideal. The mic at that time was a cardioid and designed for sung vocals rather than spoken, however we made do as it was the only gear we had at the time..
If the room acoustics are at all 'iffy', then the lav approach is most often going to yield the best results.
Regards, Ross.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 04:48 PM   #5
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Ross,

I see you've got a real boom pole there. I don't have one of those... That's why I was looking for solutions.

I am not asserting that this solution will be ideal, or even recommended. I just need to get through this with some reasonable audio.

Thanks for the help so far.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 05:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
LOL!

Well, considering the $15k in gear we just spent, getting a Lav is out of the question right now.
First, Perrone, I'm not picking on you, but why is it that I always see statements like this? We just spent $X and now can't afford anything on the audio... Sorry, but I just hate that. I turned down a job earlier this year where they low-balled me on a bid, I declined and then found out they were using two RED cameras. No wonder they couldn't afford sound, they blew everything on the visual quality.

Anyhow, I would recommend you beg, borrow, or steal (OK, maybe not steal -- how about rent), either a lav mic (wired or otherwise), and/or a boom with a hyper/cardiod mic. As Steve already mentioned the slap you are going to get inside will end up annoying most viewers if they have to listen to it for any length of time and you really can't fix that in post. But a boundary mic won't do you much good in this situation, I would ditch the idea of even using it.

Wayne
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 05:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Wayne Brissette View Post
First, Perrone, I'm not picking on you, but why is it that I always see statements like this? We just spent $X and now can't afford anything on the audio... Sorry, but I just hate that. I turned down a job earlier this year where they low-balled me on a bid, I declined and then found out they were using two RED cameras. No wonder they couldn't afford sound, they blew everything on the visual quality.
Sorry to disappoint you. :)

I get to upgrade gear about once every 5 years or so. It took me 2 years after buying the DVX100 to get a shotgun mic. I've been asking for just over 2 years to get a light kit. Christmas came early this year and I was able to get two of three things. A camera, lights, or lavs. Since I have had to dictate to people what room we could be in, what time of day, for the past 5 years in order to shoot ANYTHING, I felt that getting a set of decent lights was paramount. After seeing what was possible with the EX1, and knowing I wouldn't get another shot at getting a camera for maybe another 5 years, I took the chance. The lavs will have to wait. I need lavs maybe once a year if that, and we've been able to borrow them when needed.

Sometimes you just do the best you can.. ya'know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Brissette View Post
Anyhow, I would recommend you beg, borrow, or steal (OK, maybe not steal -- how about rent), either a lav mic (wired or otherwise), and/or a boom with a hyper/cardiod mic. As Steve already mentioned the slap you are going to get inside will end up annoying most viewers if they have to listen to it for any length of time and you really can't fix that in post. But a boundary mic won't do you much good in this situation, I would ditch the idea of even using it.

Wayne
The issue with renting lavs is that this is not corporate budget, it's coming out of my pocket, and I've got a dozen or so interviews to do over the course of 4 months or so. I am trying to use what I have. My audience for this project is happy with youtube based video and audio. They are NOT going to be unhappy with boundary mics, or even the on-camera audio. I am just trying to get some clean dialog. I am hoping that next year's budget will allow me to get a pair of Lectrosonics to compliment what we've done for our video, but who knows.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 05:49 PM   #8
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or Wayne should of said... if $150 for a used mic is too expensive, what is the cost of shooting it over because the 1st time the audio was bad / unusable ? rental on a hardwire will be really cheap... waaaay cheaper then a reshoot to do it the right way where you'll buy or rent one anyway.

I see the same posts. dump all the cash into a camera, but spend nothing on good audio or lighting gear. good sound & lighting gear will last the next several cameras. not glamourous or sexy like a camera, but a far better investment of cash long term.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
or Wayne should of said... if $150 for a used mic is too expensive, what is the cost of shooting it over because the 1st time the audio was bad / unusable ? rental on a hardwire will be really cheap... waaaay cheaper then a reshoot to do it the right way where you'll buy or rent one anyway.
Look, I'm not new to filming or audio. I've got a library of recorded work behind my head here in racks, and I owned a post-production studio. I am aware of the issues of not getting good sound. I am also aware that for THIS project, the audio I can capture, with the gear I currently have is going to be sufficient. Which is why I merely asked a question on rigging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
I see the same posts. dump all the cash into a camera, but spend nothing on good audio or lighting gear. good sound & lighting gear will last the next several cameras. not glamourous or sexy like a camera, but a far better investment of cash long term.
You're preaching to the choir. But I don't control the budget. I'll give you a for instance with one of my clients. For 4 years, they brought a nationally regarded speaker to an expensive hotel to speak. They used a "friend of a friend" to record this 90 minute talking head. Year one he was recorded from the back of a hotel conference room, with 300 people in attendance, over open mic. The on camera mic on a miniDV camera. There were no lights other than the 2 lights burning on the stage. A white balance was not performed. This video was brought to me to capture and create streaming media. They hired the same videographer the next two years. In both instances, NO AUDIO was recorded at ALL! ZERO. The person running the camera never looked to see that nothing was being recorded. The next year I told them I would not create streams for them again, unless they allowed my guys to go film. The client agreed. My guys jacked into the hotel audio, got sound, but we still had no lights and the client was thrilled. I was nearly embarrassed to show it.

Most of the people I shoot won't stand to be "dressed". So I don't get to put lavs on many people. In the rare instance I do get some time with the talent, I do all I can, but I have to work in very tight budget constraints. There is a reason I am building butterflys and scrims with Home Depot gear instead of calling up Matthews. And honestly, when you have a set of clients that are VERY happy with the on-camera mic for shoots, and you have the choice to buy an EX1 or blow a wad on a set of lavs they don't want to wear, that's an easy one for me.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Jones View Post
The mic at that time was a cardioid and designed for sung vocals rather than spoken, however we made do as it was the only gear we had at the time..
If the room acoustics are at all 'iffy', then the lav approach is most often going to yield the best results.
Regards, Ross.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi Ross,

My concern here is someone might get the impression that a vocal mic is what should be used on a boom for dialog. That's just not how it's done and easily explains the bad results.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 09:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
My concern here is someone might get the impression that a vocal mic is what should be used on a boom for dialog.
What? It's not? ;)

Sorry... Ty, I found this funny after a hard day.

Perrone:

I totally understand your situation. You don't think I bought a $10K recorder straight out do you? I worked my butt off to get my original Deva (I'm on my second for the record). But as a person how makes his living doing sound, I'm going to tell you know that nobody, will not wear a lav if asked. However, that may not be appropriate in this situation and that's fine. But if you're doing interviews, find a way to get a hyper or cardioid mic for the interview if it is going to be inside. I have lots of camera ops (shooters) who I do loan equipment to when they ask. I'm sure if you look around you might be able to come up with a mic that really will work and sound awesome. The advantage of doing this is, next time a similar situation comes around, you can tell them that you were able to borrow a mic as a favor, but you really will need to rent one for a shoot. If the client won't spend $25-30 dollars for renting a mic, I'm not sure I would want to deal with them (I have a hard enough time collecting money from good clients).

Anyhow, this my recommendation. And as usual, Steve has said what I wanted to say more eloquently. :)

Wayne
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 09:45 PM   #12
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Wayne,

Thanks for your thoughts. My situation, at least at work, is a bit unique. And I was flat out told no when I asked about using lavs for one set of my clients. In my business environment, I run essentially small production out of my office. I am tasked with shooting video for other units in my building. So these are a part of my work, not paying clients. Therefore I don't get to tell them what to do. I make recommendations. One particular unit is quite fussy, and if something is not convenient, it's just not going to happen. Period. Since that unit is the one that can tell me to pack my things and find a new job any time they like, I never press the issue.

Now this particular project that I am talking about is happening outside my building. It is not a paid job, it is one I am doing for myself. And yes, I can use lavs if I am willing to rent them. I do have a couple of cardiod mics I can use, but I have no stands. So that is probably the direction I will have to go.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:11 AM   #13
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How about one of these for $89?

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-QUIKLOK-LARG...2em118Q2el1247
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Wayne,

Thanks for your thoughts. My situation, at least at work, is a bit unique. And I was flat out told no when I asked about using lavs for one set of my clients. In my business environment, I run essentially small production out of my office. I am tasked with shooting video for other units in my building. So these are a part of my work, not paying clients. Therefore I don't get to tell them what to do. I make recommendations. One particular unit is quite fussy, and if something is not convenient, it's just not going to happen. Period. Since that unit is the one that can tell me to pack my things and find a new job any time they like, I never press the issue.
Hate to say it but it sounds like you need to get a bit political, pointing out to your employer that if you are tasked to do a job you need to be able to do what it takes to achieve the results they're paying you to deliver. Their approach sounds kind of like instructing you to deliver a ton of coal somewhere but then refusing you permission to secure any means of transportation. Just because you're doing it for your employer rather than paying clients doesn't mean you can't tell them what you need in order to do the job properly - knowing what's needed is probably exactly why they asked you to do it and not someone else - when you tell them you need X, Y, and Z in order to deliver their video you're not being a prima donna, you're doing the job they asked you to do.

Quote:
Now this particular project that I am talking about is happening outside my building. It is not a paid job, it is one I am doing for myself. And yes, I can use lavs if I am willing to rent them. I do have a couple of cardiod mics I can use, but I have no stands. So that is probably the direction I will have to go.
A basic mic stand with side-arm is less than $50 at guitar centre. If push came to shove and you can't get any budget all for that even that minimal amount from the folks for whom you're making the video so it was out of the question to bill them for 'em, I'd just buy a couple out of my own pocket and keep them for personal use after the shoot. With today's prices, your out of pocket cost for proper mic stands is less than the cost of the gas to drive you to work the morning of the shoot. You simply can't do a proper job without the proper tools.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 07:50 AM   #15
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Some good interaction here... I would echo some of the earlier posters and tell you to forget about the PZM. It won't do you any good at all in a situation like that--your on-camera audio would probably be cleaner.

Back to your original rigging question: I would just use gaff tape to tape the hotshoe adapter onto the C-Stand's side arm. And unless you can get it within six inches of your talent's mouth or right up next to a room speaker (poor solution, but it will work in a pinch) an SM58 would be even worse than a PZM which is already going to be worse than your on-camera sound. Use a shotgun of some kind (find 'em cheap on E-Bay and make an INVESTMENT out of your own pocket). If you have to use an SM58, then go get a piggyback mic clip from your local guitar center for $8 and piggyback your mic on the existing mic on your talent's podium. Then run XLR straight into your camera (if you have to make an INVESTMENT in cables, then do it--you can never have too many XLR cables and they really don't lose their value.

The key here is to look at these things as INVESTMENTS in your own business. Granted, you're usually doing this at the place where you work, but the more you own personally, the more stuff you can do on the side. And the better your equipment, the more you can charge your clients.

When I opened my own recording studio six years ago I started with some cheap Behringer mics, a small Behringer sound board, and recorded straight into my computer using a 1/8" cable into my line-in jack. I built a client base of people who trusted me and liked the work I did (though they always liked my work, I always apologized that it wasn't better--they didn't know how bad it was, but I did.) Then when I had a good base built and I started getting more work by word-of-mouth, I INVESTED in a pair of Neumann KM184s and a pair of AKG C414s and some good AT studio mics and a good board with good preamps and an Alesis HD24 and good outboard equipment and a good A/D/D/A converter with a PCI interface for audio ingestion to my computer. Then my clients realized what it was they had been missing and they were happy to pay me more. I've long since paid off all that equipment and I've grown a reputation among my clients for top quality sound at good prices. Making an investment in yourself and your business, even out of your own pocket, is almost always a good thing.
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