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Old April 1st, 2004, 03:16 AM   #1
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Shooting a small movie. Need sound advice

A few of my friends and I have gotten together to form a production company. We are about to start shooting our first project together and I am wondering about the audio.

We will have a max of 4 actors in a secen at once and I would like some suggestions about what kind of mic to use. I plan on running the sound into a mixer and saving it on a mini disk recorder. I am also thinking of running a line out from the mixer into my video camera. We have a budget thats is almost not there right now so I am not looking for the greatest but I need something that will be sure to capture the actors voices.

Any ideas on what mics to look at?
Also what should i look for in a decent boom?

Oh I have XLR inputs on the mixer and would like to use those.

Thanks.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 09:55 AM   #2
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What kind of camera do you have and what is the most you want to spend.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 10:03 AM   #3
 
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Are you planning/wanting to use a boom, capture with lavs? If you are on a controlled stage, using a boom is a great option IF you have a means of the boom operator monitoring what's being recorded. Otherwise, using lavs, using boundary mics, or using a sensitive condenser will be your best options. less than great miking is always better than a less than great boom op. Unfortunately, mics do cost money. That said, a 5.00 Walmart computer mic is almost always preferable to an on-camera mic that's 10 feet from the talent.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 10:27 AM   #4
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One thing to remember: don't take the boom operator's job lightly. Make sure they keep that mic close! My experience is that the person who winds up with this job is often the same kind of guy who always gets stuck playing bass when a group of friends decide to form a band. You need someone attentive and motivated, not somebody who wants to be casually involved with your shoot. If you can't find someone like that, then the boom operator should be you. This is the number one area that I've seen people go wrong on their shoots, and it makes the whole experience disheartening.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 11:01 AM   #5
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Guys thanks for all the advice so quick.

I will be working with 2 sony D8 cameras and one Sony DV camera.. Nothing special. We figure that we will use everything we own at first before starting to spend a bunch of money.

Most will be shot inside in a house but there are a few scenes outside on a main street then on an isolated street with no traffic.

We were looking in the $150 range for the mic and I really dont know much about booms but i have seen a few for 60 or 80 bucks on B&H's website. Would cables from a good music store like Sam Ashe be good for this application?

I was going to use a sony zoom mic on my camera during the shots outside but i would love to also be able to use a shotgun and boom in this situation also.

So much to learn.. :-)
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Old April 1st, 2004, 11:23 AM   #6
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The way I started was with a simple short shotgun (wider array but certainly not ambient) audio technica at835b (friend who works on "This American Life" recommended it). I got a realistic boom stand and kept hands off during most shots (most were lock downs). Use a crew person, make sure you have enough slack and a firm grip and feel free to hand hold and point as long as you don't move your grip at all. That worked very well also. booms are good but maintaining a top edge to do so is confusing going under if you can is great because it gives your actors a reference point for their marks... if you can get xlr direct to minidv stock that is the best. Avoids another tape more capture and sync.... if you have 2 XLR jacks use 2 sources... 2 mics 2 stands 2 people in a conversation not movement for audio both tracks constant switch them on and off in post.... simple enough
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Old April 1st, 2004, 11:25 AM   #7
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sorry never use the on camera mic. way too ambient. the at runs $260

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3715006934&category=15198

$185 on ebay

I used it inside outside in cars outside of cars, get headphones and you should be fine for simple low budg it was money well spent.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 11:49 AM   #8
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Music stores are the worst places ever to buy cables. Amateur musicians get screwed in so many ways you can't believe it. You'll get better cables for cheaper at B&H.

Also, unless you have elaborate action sequences, you might want to rethink the three camera shoot. Why not just use the best camera you have and stick with that? Having three cameras is way more complicated, eats up a lot of tape (expensive), and makes booming much more difficult, not to mention the difficulty in making the footage match later.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 12:07 PM   #9
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Thanks guys!!! Keep the ideas coming.

I do have 2 XLR inputs on the mixer and 2 mics did come to mind so i wouldnt have to move the mic between 4 people. I could just have them kept stable between 2 of the actors.

I wouldnt be using the on cam mic. Its one that goes in the shoe on the top and plugs into the mic in jack. I know i will have the chance of picking up other sounds but i cant have everything. There is going to be a lot of give and take on this production but we all view it as a learning experience.

The thing thats driving everybody nuts is lighting a night shot away from power LOL
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Old April 1st, 2004, 12:35 PM   #10
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I just realized EVS in Philly is about 15 min's from my house. I took a look at this and it seems like it might be for me. I know its not going to give me the quality of more expensive mics but is there any reason not to get this?

SCHRIBER ACOUSTIC SA-568
Dual-Mode Shotgun Microphone Kit - Hard And Soft Transport Cases - Windscreen - Shoe / Pole Mount - XLR To XLR - XLR To Mini Cables

http://www.evsonline.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=SA568
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