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Old December 18th, 2008, 08:55 PM   #1
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Two mic setup on a Panasonic HMC-150?

Hi!

I'm about to begin shooting a low-budget documentary on a Panasonic HMC-150? I thought I would mount my directional RODE NTG-2 on the camera, and use my AKG C1000s on a cable positioned close to the person I'm interviewing/filming.

Is this a good setup? I'm a one-person do-everything crew and want to try to ensure good audio. I'm guessing that recording 2 channels on 2 different mics may allow me more flexibility in post-production. Does this setup make sense? Will it be possible to mix the track from the cardioid mic with the (hopefully) more natural sound of the AKG C1000s?

I'm very new to this and would appreciate advice from the experts out there!
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Old December 18th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ray Ambrosi View Post
Hi!

I'm about to begin shooting a low-budget documentary on a Panasonic HMC-150? I thought I would mount my directional RODE NTG-2 on the camera, and use my AKG C1000s on a cable positioned close to the person I'm interviewing/filming.

Is this a good setup? I'm a one-person do-everything crew and want to try to ensure good audio. I'm guessing that recording 2 channels on 2 different mics may allow me more flexibility in post-production. Does this setup make sense? Will it be possible to mix the track from the cardioid mic with the (hopefully) more natural sound of the AKG C1000s?

I'm very new to this and would appreciate advice from the experts out there!
You would want to use a lavaliere microphone over your on-camera mic as the second channel. Other than for ambient at events, on-camera mics are useless.

Dan
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Old December 18th, 2008, 11:57 PM   #3
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If you really want the best audio, hire a sound man. I know you said you're low budget, but this is bare minimum crew for effective documentary work. If you're simply doing sit-down interviews, you can squeak by on your own if you know what you're doing, but for everything else that demands good audio, I wouldn't even try it. Remember - audio before video, especially in interviews.

That being said, a lavalier is great for walk-and-talks and as a backup to a proper boom-mounted mic, but it usually shouldn't be your first option in a sit-down interview. They are prone to noise, particularly if they are wireless. Get a C-stand, a Mafer clamp and a boom for that C1000. Then, when budget allows, upgrade the mic. If you're shooting sound outdoors, get a good windscreen.

Most pros will put a lav on channel 1 and a boom on channel 2, effectively double-miking the talent. This enables you to choose the best audio when you go to post. A backup is a very good thing.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 01:21 AM   #4
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If you really want the best audio, hire a sound man. I know you said you're low budget, but this is bare minimum crew for effective documentary work. If you're simply doing sit-down interviews, you can squeak by on your own if you know what you're doing, but for everything else that demands good audio, I wouldn't even try it. Remember - audio before video, especially in interviews.

That being said, a lavalier is great for walk-and-talks and as a backup to a proper boom-mounted mic, but it usually shouldn't be your first option in a sit-down interview. They are prone to noise, particularly if they are wireless. Get a C-stand, a Mafer clamp and a boom for that C1000. Then, when budget allows, upgrade the mic. If you're shooting sound outdoors, get a good windscreen.

Most pros will put a lav on channel 1 and a boom on channel 2, effectively double-miking the talent. This enables you to choose the best audio when you go to post. A backup is a very good thing.
I totally agree, but I bet he won't have time or budget to hire a sound mixer. Sounds like a one man band kind of shooting. Wireless audio almost always sucks and should never be used unless it is the only choice. A $30.00 XLR cable sounds better than the most expensive wireless systems. A wired lav sounds better and is much cheaper.

I always double mic interviews, it has saved me countless times, especially when there is not a sound mixer and I get weird, uncontrollable ambient sounds leaking in that I can do nothing about. A lav is a lifesaver.

Dan
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Old December 19th, 2008, 04:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ray Ambrosi View Post
Hi!

I'm about to begin shooting a low-budget documentary on a Panasonic HMC-150? I thought I would mount my directional RODE NTG-2 on the camera, and use my AKG C1000s on a cable positioned close to the person I'm interviewing/filming.

Is this a good setup? I'm a one-person do-everything crew and want to try to ensure good audio. I'm guessing that recording 2 channels on 2 different mics may allow me more flexibility in post-production. Does this setup make sense? Will it be possible to mix the track from the cardioid mic with the (hopefully) more natural sound of the AKG C1000s?

I'm very new to this and would appreciate advice from the experts out there!
On-camera mics almost never produce good, natural sounding results for interviews, etc. They're just too far away from the subject for proper pickup of speech. Even your highly directional shotgun needs to be about 2 feet from the speaker's mouth for best results. Shotguns can also be a problem in interior locations due to the way they respond to room reflections. The AKG is a cardiod mic, which is fine for vocals, instruments, etc in studio or on-stage but requires too close a working distance to be very useful in this situation - it needs to be no more than about 12 inches from the speakers mouth for speech, 8 inches or so is the usual working distance. You're on the right track with the idea of using two mics recorded to separate tracks, and choosing the best track to use in post though. Just don't try to mix them together - arrival time differences can cause them to interact in unpredictable ways when mixed. Record them both as separate tracks and choose the one that's best in post, discarding the other. It's just that you've chosen the wrong two mics to do it with. The optimum for an interior sit-down interview scenario would be a hypercardioid such as an AKG Blueline SE300/CK93 positioned just out of frame overhead about 18 inches to 2 feet from the subject, mounted on a boom supported by a C-Stand so the mic is aimed at the subject's mouth at about a 45 degree angle from in-front and above the camera line, plus a lav on your interviewer going to the other track. As Dan suggested in the post above, double micing the subject with a lav in addition to the boom is not a bad idea as well. Just never try to mix the lav and the boom together - if you have one lav on the interviewer and another on the subject, plus a boom mic, mix the two lavs onto one track and leave the boom isolated on the other. (Unless you have multitrack recorder that can handle three iso tracks, of course. Then you'd send each mic to its own track and sort it out in post.)
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