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Old August 21st, 2003, 12:16 PM   #1
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New User with Mic Question

I'm using a Sony TRV900 (and soon 950) to do onsite interviews at regional golf courses. Basically we truck around the course and film interesting stuff and talk to different people. The sound I'm getting out of the built-in mic leaves a lot to be desired. Especially because of background mower noise (we're on the course at 5am)

So, I have two questions. First, what is the best way to go about getting sound when I'm faced with possibly having the speaker in-frame, or possibly not?

I was thinking of a mounted directional mic on the camera along with a wireless on the interviewer? If anyone has any feedback on what the best way to get sound with my camera would be, along with any hardware recommendations, thanks!
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Old August 21st, 2003, 05:37 PM   #2
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Put the wireless on the subject. Two wireless would be better but for shoestring budgets that is tough.

If you use an omni mic on the subject you can direct the talent to speak extra loud towards the mic, but you might want to warn the subject. If the talent is out-of-frame you can use a hand mic mic letting the talent control the mic.

I have hung a wired lav on the talent and put the wireless on the subject. The theory is that the talent is generally more skilled at not tripping over the wire and less likely to be distracted by it than the subject would be.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 07:24 PM   #3
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To handle the mower noise, you will have problems with condenser/electret microphones, directional or not. Dynamic microphones including dynamic lavs, though big, do much better at managing the 'away' sound levels.

I"ve had a dynamic lav on a subject when the next door neighbor was mowing the lawn and we couldn't repeat the shot. Although you can hear the mower, it is very subdued compared to the voice. Manual level control is of course very necessary.
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 07:08 AM   #4
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What if I don't want to mic the subject?

Thank you for the replies, but what if I don't want to mic the subject? The problem with these guys is that we're trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, in that they come in jump off a mower and talk to us for 5 minutes, then depart on their merry ways.

In short, if there's any way to get real quality sound without mic-ing the subject, that'd be the way to go. Is a lav on the talent going to pick up the voice of the subject?

Any specific equipment reccos?

THanks!
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 10:00 AM   #5
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Are you trying to tape them secretly or are you doing some gun and run shots?
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Old September 15th, 2003, 08:09 AM   #6
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Run and Gun

These are really Run and Gun shots. We'll grab guys off equipment and talk to them right there. The problem is that we want to be as unobtrusive as possible - so try not to jam the camera in their faces - but that's seems to be the only way to get quality audio with all the ambient noise...
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Old September 15th, 2003, 10:13 AM   #7
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Nah. Pushing the camera in their faces won't do what you want any better.

Keep the camera at the 'right' distance and have a helper hold a cardiod microphone in something like a supermount (to avoid handling noise) and keep it pointed at the subjects mouth and just out of view. Another choice might be an 'interview' microphone which is a long hand-held. Might be a little to insensitive if you don't want the microphone in the shot.
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Old November 19th, 2003, 07:04 PM   #8
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This sounds like a typical run-and-gun interview situation.

Rather than inconvenience the interviewee with a lav wireless (although I'd love to for better audio), I equip the interviewer with a cardioid hand mic, either wired with an XLR cable to the camera or wireless with a plug-on transmitter. It is completely natural for the interviewer to point the mic alternately at themselves and the subject depending on who is speaking, we have all seen it done on TV since forever.

This gives you the best combination of getting the audio and keeping everybody nice and mobile. Forget about jamming the camera in their face, the onboard mic is never going to be close enough and it will wind up sounding like home video.
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