Removing Reverb/Slapback at DVinfo.net

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Old September 15th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #1
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Removing Reverb/Slapback

Now and then interview someone on the fly where I have to use my shotgun mic (camera-mounted). Are there any tricks to tweaking the sound to sound more like a lapel?
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Old September 15th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #2
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A stitch in time

Hi Dana, believe me i have this same problem every time i do an interview or have a talkie scene. Since i've been doing interview shoots for years now and have access to all sorts of sophisticated audio post production software plugins i can safely say that the ambient room echo you're encountering cannot be fixed in post. Not without severely compromising the audio quality at least. Your best bet is to firstly avoid large echoey rooms altogether, but if you absolulely must shoot in one then do what i do, keep a large piece of fabric with you that you can prop up close to your subject with light stands or the like, the soft surface of the fabric will absorb slapback coming in from all parts of the room. The cloth can also double as a flag, a background, a chroma background if its green, etc etc so it's always handy to have one. Another tip is to come in close to your subject rather than zooming in, this applies when you have a camera mounted mic. If your mic is detachable you could try getting a table stand for it and use it like that, unless of course you don't want it in the frame. In that case try hiding it somewhere near the subject, works if you need wider shots. All said and done, i would strongly advise investing in good collar microphones if you're going to be doing a lot of interview work. It saves time and sounds and looks professional both at the shoot and later with your final edit. Remember, audio is half your production, if not more :) cheers.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 11:56 PM   #3
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The reason a lav sounds like a lav is that it's positioned about 6-12 inches from the mouth.

If you could place your camera shotgun mic at the same distance, it would sound a LOT like a lav.

So whenever you have to shoot an interview with an on-camera mic. The first rule is to zoom full wide and walk as CLOSE to the subject as you can.

Mic to subject distance is ALWAYS the critical factor in sound quality.

The closer you get, the better your on-camera mic sound will be.

Period.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 12:55 AM   #4
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up close and personal

Bill, you've hit the nail on the head. Distance really is the deciding factor for good, isolated audio. Dana, you mentioned that you do interviews on the fly. In that case I'm guessing you're already pretty close up to your subjects, if not then you should be. Another thing you could be aware of is your surroundings. Just like you would need to take light into account when shooting you should also keep an eye (or ear) out for acoustics, shooting at less reflective areas whenever you can. If you're doing weddings and need comments from guests for example, you could call them over to less noise areas. Or like Bill says, get up real close!

Also, it helps if you're monitoring audio with discreet looking headphones while shooting. This will immediately give you an idea of how everything's going to sound at the end. Ears tend to have a way of doing away with overly ambient noise which mikes pick up. I still don't know why.

Anyone have a good enough explanation?
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Old September 16th, 2008, 04:07 AM   #5
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Yeah, it's true. I'm always telling people, "It probably seems like I'm too close, but I'm really not." Sometimes I flip over the LCD to prove it.

Mic placement is always tricky. I have a lapel mic on the groom, but even then it's tough to hear him, and harder to hear the bride. Often they are nervous and quiet.

That's a good idea about using a dual-purpose screen for acoustics. Maybe a big soft-box would help -- and also give me great lighting.

Thanks for the ideas.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #6
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Ahem, there is actually a solution.

I wrote it in a post here :
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/all-thing...tml#post923942
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Last edited by Arthur Kay; September 16th, 2008 at 12:50 PM. Reason: link fixing
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