Deposition Audio Questions at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 26th, 2009, 12:36 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: stuart, florida
Posts: 71
Deposition Audio Questions

I am in the process of researching the equipment needs of "Legal Video Depositions". I know about the various Certifications, but according to local Court Reporters and Attorneys, not required (Florida). I have also done searches on this forum, and found mostly older posts. Most my questions are regarding the audio, so any input appreciated:

1. Mixer - looking at Sign Eng-44 - 4 inputs enough for me, any other mixers I should research, should I go to 6?

2. Table mics? - already have a couple wired lavs, and need some so called "Table Mics". Are Table Mics really just shotgun mics on a stand? I have a couple Shure SM 86's, but know that you must be really close to the mouth in order to get good audio. Placement would be on a table/desk for attorney's, probaly 3-10 feet distance, what model's would work best? Or should each attorney be laved (read numerous posts where a pain and the table mics should be used).

3. Portable Audio Recorder - read where a good idea to give court reporter a CD. Is it okay nowadays to just give them a .wav or .mp3 file? Or still a good idea to give them a CD? I'm looking at Zoom H2, what do you think?

4. Non Audio - shooting with Sony FX-1 - can't seem to get an answer from older posts. I can output Time/Date thru analog, correct? Anyone else do this with FX1, and had any issues with legalities?

Thanks, Rick
Rick Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 27th, 2009, 07:24 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,843
In NY one must be licensed by the bar to do A/V depos... at least to be admissible in court.
I normally use Omnis on desk stands and lavs on the key attorneys & witness'. Video must also have a TOD window burn.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 27th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bothell Washington
Posts: 174
What you are looking for in a table mic is called a "Boundary Microphone"
Mark Boyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 27th, 2009, 02:39 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
In NY one must be licensed by the bar to do A/V depos... at least to be admissible in court.
I normally use Omnis on desk stands and lavs on the key attorneys & witness'. Video must also have a TOD window burn.
That may be true for NY State Court -- I don't know. It is not true for Federal Court.
Paul Tauger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 27th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
Okay, I'm an attorney who takes lots of video depositions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Miller View Post
I am in the process of researching the equipment needs of "Legal Video Depositions". I know about the various Certifications, but according to local Court Reporters and Attorneys, not required (Florida). I have also done searches on this forum, and found mostly older posts. Most my questions are regarding the audio, so any input appreciated:

1. Mixer - looking at Sign Eng-44 - 4 inputs enough for me, any other mixers I should research, should I go to 6?
Definitely get 6 inputs.

You will need to mike:

Noticing attorney
Defending attorney
Witness
Other attending attorneys who will appear on the record
At least one PZM

Quote:
2. Table mics? - already have a couple wired lavs, and need some so called "Table Mics". Are Table Mics really just shotgun mics on a stand?
No, they are PZM mikes: Pressure Zone microphones. PZMs look like pingpong paddles and are placed flat on the table.

Quote:
I have a couple Shure SM 86's, but know that you must be really close to the mouth in order to get good audio.
Definitely not good.

Quote:
Placement would be on a table/desk for attorney's, probaly 3-10 feet distance, what model's would work best?
Bad approach. The space between the witness and the attorney, and around the attorney, should remain clear so that exhibits can be passed back and forth.

Quote:
Or should each attorney be laved (read numerous posts where a pain and the table mics should be used).
Absolutely! The record is the most critical element in a deposition. Lavs are essential for the attorneys and the witnesses. An audio record that has reflections or distortion is absolutely useless. Neither the attorneys nor the witness should have to make any adjustments for either audio or video, i.e. the camera goes where the noticing attorney tells you, and lavs should be used so neither attorneys nor witnesses ever have to concern themselves with "speaking into the mike." The PZMs are there to pick up extraneous sounds, e.g. comments from others in the room, interruptions, etc., NOT for testimony.

Quote:
3. Portable Audio Recorder - read where a good idea to give court reporter a CD. Is it okay nowadays to just give them a .wav or .mp3 file? Or still a good idea to give them a CD? I'm looking at Zoom H2, what do you think?
Give them either a CD or tape (or, if they agree, an MP3) from the audio track of the video and not from a separate source. If you want to use the Zoom H2 as a separate audio recorder from the same feed, not only is that fine, but it's very desirable -- having backups to the system is critical. The last thing you want to happen is get back to the office and find out that "for some reason" either the audio or video didn't record. The best videographers that I work with have backups for both audio and video.

Quote:
4. Non Audio - shooting with Sony FX-1 - can't seem to get an answer from older posts. I can output Time/Date thru analog, correct? Anyone else do this with FX1, and had any issues with legalities?
The legal standard for a video deposition is that it accurately portrays what it purports to depict. In theory, you could tape a deposition with a Flip (though, obviously, I wouldn't recommend it). Time and date stamps should appear in the frame and, moreover, required for providing synced videos that can be used with Videonote, Livenote and other litigation software.
Paul Tauger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2009, 11:32 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,551
I just started doing depositions myself. The Z1U has the ability to record a visible time code, the FX1 can't. The guy who I work for didn't like that 24hr time format, so he uses a program that can read the hidden time code that either camera records and writes in on to the existing footage. Leaves it over night to do its work since its a long process.

He uses the same setup as discussed: lavs for witness and attorneys; boundary mic turned on when the camera man speaks or for when there are more ppl than lavs. He also records to 3 sources: tape, dvd, and portable hard drive.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2009, 06:30 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 121
I use FX1's for depos. As far as I know you can't directly output time and date from it. I use a program called Visual DV Time Stamp. It's an extra step but works well. Takes about 10 minutes or so to run a 1 hour tape. You can output in either 12 or 24 hour.
Like Paul said....everyone that will be on the record gets a lav. I use an Edirol r4 for audio with an output into the camera....simply because my clients got tired of the opposing attorney rattling papers against their lav mics and screwing up the mixed audio. With separate channels on the r-4 if that occurs you can fix it.

Mark
Mark Slade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2009, 07:54 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 205
<<It's an extra step but works well. Takes about 10 minutes or so to run a 1 hour tape. You can output in either 12 or 24 hour.
Like Paul said....everyone that will be on the record gets a lav. I use an Edirol r4 for audio with an output into the camera....simply because my clients got tired of the opposing attorney rattling papers against their lav mics and screwing up the mixed audio. With separate channels on the r-4 if that occurs you can fix it. >>

Both of these are o.k. ideas, but involve post-production. I believe that could actually call into question the accuracy of your depo, because it has been "altered" after the fact. Yes, I know we all recognize you are not changing anything, but once you make any change, it could send up a red flag. btw I'm not an attorney, so that opinion is strictly my own.

Besides... as far as audio, it's much easier and part of the job to actively mix the 4 or more sources during the deposition. Believe me, I feel your pain on attorneys rattling paper, or chewing on something, or sitting their portfolio in the lap to look for something, thus propping the top of it right against your lav! But I believe you can and should take care of it "live" rather than having to do post work.

The time code can also be done live. Even for cameras that do not output time and date, you can buy a time code or time/date generator. Horita makes several of these products. Then you run your video out of the camera through the time/date generator on its way to your DVD recorder or DV deck or whatever you are recording on. An extra step I know, and means your camera tape doesn't have the time/date, but it can be done.

Lots of ways to skin a cat. Have fun!
Rob Neidig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2009, 12:27 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 121
Hey Rob.....totally with you on the altered aspect. I basically use the r4 as a mixer....I run an out to the cam and always use the cam audio. Only if the attorney asks do I do anything with the audio......then it's on him the way I look at it. Then I can isolate because I have everyone on separate tracks. And yes....they pay if they want it fixed......so in essence the only extra post work I do is the time date stamp.....but that's just 10 minutes or so of computer time. I can always find something else to do then!!

Mark
Mark Slade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2009, 08:50 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 205
Mark,

That's a cool idea then on the 4-track. Nice to have if you need it.

Rob
Rob Neidig is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:41 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network