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Old November 21st, 2003, 02:02 AM   #1
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Effective way to use a shotgun in a conversation?

Hello all,
I have the Sennheiser ME-67, which is a long shotgun, and VERY narrow. mounted on a fishpole.
I wanna shoot a conversation between 2 people (short film). Let's say they're sitting on a table across each other (2-3 feet). The frame is filling both characters.

what's the best way to use the shotgun in this situation. I tried aiming the Mic in the gap between them (to record both at the same time), but the audio weakens (coz it's not aimed at a character's mouth).
my other solution was to switching aiming between mouths, whenever they speak. but when they both speak at the same time, I get the problem again.

Do I really need another Mic? I've watched lots of "making of movie", and alot of them use only one shotgun. how do they manage this problem?
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Old November 21st, 2003, 03:44 AM   #2
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I'm far from an expert, but yes they do move the mic between people. If the speakers overlap then you might need some lavs on them, or if you can plant a mic somewhere that might help and then switch channels in the post mix. Is the change in sound due to the off axis mic when you place it between them that bad? Can you adjust it in post to make it sound better?

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Old November 21st, 2003, 05:37 AM   #3
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well, it's not THAT bad, but lower than average. It will need some post work. I wanted something to get me away from post production.

well, I guess I'll stick to switching for now.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 09:01 AM   #4
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I'd suggest going with a hypercardioid mic in this situation unless the ambient noise level is too great.
Even then, placing the mic as low as the frame line will permit and using a static boom on a sandbagged stand will give very even results during the dialog making post much easier. You can usually live with the ambient noise if you're micing as close as possible, properly EQ'ing and editing with some ambient tone to cover any major intermittent noises.
About the best low-cost hypercardioid for this situation is the RODE NT-3, which can be either phantom or battery powered.
They are available from about $120 to $175 depending on where you look. Their only drawback for this is their weight. This pretty much demands a static boom rather than a boom operator.
For outdoor use a heavy foam screen or small fat-cat type furry cover is also a necessity.
If you have phantom available, there are other lighter weight mics available for this situation, but most of them cost more than the NT-3.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 09:42 AM   #5
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Thanx alot Jay. I'll add the NT-3 to my collection. I think it will do the job.

Question: is this mic good for interviewing people (in the streets, handheld)? (I donno what you call it).
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Old November 21st, 2003, 12:01 PM   #6
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Not in the traditional sense of hand-held interviewing.
I could actually see using it outdoors to pick up small groups of people talking, pointing it from several feet away like you would a shotgun but for picking up at a wider angle with greater reception of the ambient scene.
For traditional interviews however, it would be too tight used up close, not to mention large and heavy. I think you'd do better with a low-gain dynamic cardioid or omni for traditional one on one hand-held work.
Again, if you have phantom power available, there would be more models to choose from that might do an acceptable job with all 3 of the scenarios we've mentioned, but they'd be more expensive and wouldn't necessary do any one of the jobs the best.
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