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Old June 9th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #1
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Audio in a moving vehicle..?

Hello, I am looking for the best way to get good audio from the inside of a moving truck perhaps with the windows down. I am thinking lavs but the shots are going to be first person to person back and forth and the lavs will more than likely be obvious..unless maybe I put them on the sunvisor? Any experience recording sound in this environment would be appreciated.

Thanks!!
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Old June 9th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #2
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I've tried lavs, and they work fantastic. Take off the windscreen and have the mic peek through the shirt buttonhole, rendering it virtually invisible.
Also, if you're using a noisy truck, tow it instead of driving it during the shoot. It will greatly cut down unwanted noise. You can dub in a background level engine noise in post.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #3
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(And of course, there is always ADR.) You can also try putting the lavs up on the sunshades as you have suggested, this is common practice.

The towing idea is a great one.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #4
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I'd like to do ADR just to get some experience with it but then i'd need to build a sound room. The truck is definately going to be an old junk so towing is a good idea but i'd need to record the sound of the inside of the truck for that distance too to add latter.

I'm trying to get an idea for what I am going to need here. Currently all I work with is a AT 875R that attaches to my camera via a XLR adapter accompanied by a set of headphones plugged right into the camera. The camera is nothing fancy, an HV30. So i'm not sure that XLR adapter provides timecode out (i've never had to do that before).
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Old June 10th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #5
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Lavs will work but you may have some issues with clothing rustling if they are moving around while speaking. Most sound mixers use the Sanken CUB-01 fastened to the headliner these days, I wrote about car rigging and audio in cars in my Audio Assist column in HD Video Pro magazine last year. No clothing sounds, more realistic ambient and if you place it correctly, you will achieve a better balance.

Lavs do the trick, but can be a PITA to rig, hide cables and wireless in car shots is not a good idea whenever you can avoid it.

Dan
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Old June 11th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #6
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lav on the driver is often a problem with the seatbelt plus all the body action of steering.
Lav on the headliner or visor is great. Might consider the senn hypercard lav (forgot the model) it's more directional than an omni lav

will there be dialog during the entry from outside the truck getting in? you might need a wireless lav on the driver to cover the outside dialog and then switch to the visor lav once the seatbelt ruins the first lav sound
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Old June 11th, 2009, 10:03 PM   #7
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How about a mic on boom from underneath. In this film at about 1:55 I did that, resting the boom on a pillow across the console with one of the actors steadying. I was in back operating the camera which was also on a boom over actors shoulders.

The Dead of Winter on Vimeo

At the lower speed driving, worked better, and .iIf I had paid more attention to it, we could have gotten mics a lot closer... Has any one gone that route in a car ?
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Old June 12th, 2009, 12:58 AM   #8
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Generally there's lots of space to mount/hide microphones in car shots. The car ceiling i.e. hardly ever gets into the shot, same with the knee area/stick shift area.
Options are:

a) rigging the car with wires; lavs (and tXs) go to the visors. If talent isn't in whisper mode, this works. Also, hardly air movement up there when the windows are rolled down.

b) rigging talent. That's a B6 special as they really can be easily hidden and still look out of under wardrobe. Extra care has to be taken where the safety belt goes. This version might work with whisperers as one can get the lav closer to the source. There will be more noise coming from clothes. Not good if window(s) are open, especially with the B6.

c) Cub1 and similar. Mounted on the ceiling. Might also cover backseat audio if planted somewhere in the middle. OK solution. No cloth rustling, generally no wind troubles.

c) and my preferred method as I don't like any lav audio: Cardiod or whatever you have microphones mounted from below. I have a selection of Schoeps and AKGs all fitted out with knees so I can easily mount them or tape them in the stick shift area and then adjust the capsule. If there's a dialog going on in front, depending on the talents ability to speak up, I'll mount either one or two of these microphones. This also works very well if there's a third passenger in the car positioned in the middle of the back seat. These guys tend to lean forward between the seats when they add something to the discussion, thereby nicely captured too.
I do the same in the back of the car if there's more talent and also depending on the size of the car.
Using 'real' microphones gives by far the best sounding audio. And while these mikes may pick up more engine noise it will sound very organic and natural.

d) if the sound mixer can be seated in the back and there's only a small equipment package available one might try to slide in a short boom between the seats and boom from below. Nothing wrong with that too - if the road's not too bumby.

e) Sennheiser Evolution series wireless systems are not recommended in moving vehicle shots especially with running engines. Their companding artifacts are not nice.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 07:54 AM   #9
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also a small recorder such as an olympus can be put into one of the actors shirt pockets, if they have one, some synching is required after of course since its double system.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #10
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Hey everyone, Thanks for the feedback!

A couple people brought up booming from below. That might be the best possible solution..Can it be done with a short condensor and not sound wierd?

The problem is I currently work with a single short condensor microphone that just attaches to the preamp via 25ft of XLR cable. So knowing that I will have to do this car scene for my script, I want to expand my equipment in the most all around benificial way. I origionally though to get a hypercadrioid microphone so I could better cover audio in doors. But then I thought, well I have this car scene that I might need lavs for since its a truck and i'll either have to have my sound guy sitting in the bed hanging through the sliding glass window or anchor the microphone off the boom somewhere from below in the truck. But then again, I run my audio single system.. It would be nice to get an audio recorder.. but then i'd need to get a slate. One of those timecode ones would be nice.. See now i'm diging myself into a hole!

I just need equipment that will cover most anything I come up against on this shoot really (sorry to avert the topic abit). Most shots will be outdoors but there is a scene in a public restroom that might be difficult. It kind of echos in there as well. Would a hypercardioid do the trick in this situation? Maybe some defusing material on the celing?
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Old June 13th, 2009, 05:13 AM   #11
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I've sat in the back seat with a hypercardioid mic on a four-foot boom going between the two front seats, aimed up toward the driver. Results were quite good, even getting the "normal" operating sounds. I was recording to a MicroTrack digital recorder for later synching.

Most vehicle ceilings have some kind of fabric liner already. Best thing to do is get in the vehicle with the doors closed, yell, and see if it echoes (seriously).

Slates are nice, but not required. If you don't have one, have the talent "call" the shot, then clap his/her hands once on-camera to give the synch point. All you need is a single sound/visual event to align with.

Killing echoes in a room isn't too hard. You don't have to cover the ceiling (most of the time it's a sound-absorbent material, anyway, like acoustical suspended tiles). One way to "kill" an echoey room is to hang blankets behind the camera and crew. I have a couple cheap padded moving blankets to drape over poles on light stands or tape to walls. The closer you can get them to the camera, the better.

Martin
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Old June 13th, 2009, 02:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Lohninger View Post
c) Cub1 and similar. Mounted on the ceiling. Might also cover backseat audio if planted somewhere in the middle. OK solution. No cloth rustling, generally no wind troubles.
I like the idea of using the Cub1. I'd like to capture sound from 2 people sitting in the front seats. So you attach a Cub1 with the omni capsule to the ceiling between them? Does it matter how you attach it? Thanks!
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Old June 13th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #13
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Onto the ceiling between and slightly in front of them, that's where I put them. I use gaffer tape* for all my mounting needs, depending on the situation the paper or the cloth variety.

* Too often one has to deal with car interiors treated with 'Armor all" or similar stuff which makes tapes fall off immediately. I carry a small bottle of cleaning alcohol with me - de-armoring where I want to put my tape! That stuff should be outlawed.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 05:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Karl Lohninger View Post
Onto the ceiling between and slightly in front of them, that's where I put them. I use gaffer tape* for all my mounting needs, depending on the situation the paper or the cloth variety.
Cool, thanks. That makes sense to me. I love gaffer tape.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 04:25 AM   #15
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But be careful.....I've once let production use my 'vintage' car for some shots and the grips mounted some 'lightweight' lights onto the ceiling of the car - with gaffer tape. When they took it off the ceiling cloth came with it ;-( I did get rental paid for the car use but.....next time I think twice ;-) That's where paper tape comes in, maybe even some small strips of Velcro.
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