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Old June 12th, 2004, 12:19 AM   #1
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Audio for Stage Performance

Hi
I am planning to video tape a theatrical performance.
To get multicamera coverage I plan to video tape three different perormances from three different postions because I only have one camera. In this situation what is the best way to record the sound so that when the different camera setups are cut together there there is a consistency in micing. Any suggestions would be helpful.
Thanks
Jack
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Old June 12th, 2004, 05:59 PM   #2
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Ahhhh, interesting question! I look forward to seeing how others respond.

I am relatively new at this too, but have tried what you propose to do already. If you have a separate mixer and mics, and a way of covering the whole stage from a standard location for all three shoots, record audio the same way from the same position(s) for each performance. Do not rely on your on-camera mic, as the ambience of the different shoots will be significantly different each time, and will be quite distracting when you edit them together. Whatever you do, you will need to work hard to make the three audio tracks sound as similar as possible in post.
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Old June 12th, 2004, 10:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for Your take

So you're suggesting I run a line from the mixer to the camera.
Or set up a wireless transmiter from the mixer to the camera.
Thus recording the audio from the mixers consent position to the cameras different positions. And another or, would it be possible to record the output from the mixer to harddrive, laptop or Dat and then sync it up in post.
Thanks for your help
Jack
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Old June 13th, 2004, 12:09 AM   #4
 
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Coupla things you can do that make this easy, or you can make it hard. Depending on your NLE, you might find it easy to insert a spike/transient by clapping your hands, dropping a book, whatever.
Capture the audio at the camera via the cam mic, while capturing audio on a DAT, MD, or other digital source connected to the mixer. Then use the spike to line up all audio sources on multiple timelines, use only the audio from the MD/DAT/Dig source.
Bada-bing, you're done.
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Old June 13th, 2004, 10:34 AM   #5
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So it stays in Sync

Thanks for your help.
So once you line up the sound spike, whether your recording is on Dat, Hard drive or CD, it will stay in sync? Or will a spike be needed every ten minute or so?
And to open up the discussion a little more, If I wanted to record enough channels that could be used to create 5.1 surround, a four channel or 8 channel Dat, laptop with some sort of software,
would a spike also work?
Thanks again for taking the time.
Jack
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Old June 13th, 2004, 10:40 AM   #6
 
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It will stay in sync, yes. Regardless of the # of channels.
Biggest "worry" is that depending on your NLE, you want to be sure that the digital device is recording at 48k/16 bit. Some NLE systems upsample on the fly very poorly, and THAT could cause drift.
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Old June 13th, 2004, 05:13 PM   #7
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It could be a bit of a continuity nightmare, if there is any obvious visual or sound discrepancy between the three performances. There's no way you could borrow/hire another 1 or 2 cameras, so you could do it all in one go? (The extra cameras are in fixed positions to give you safety shots, and you follow the action with the main camera.)
Patrick
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Old June 14th, 2004, 08:53 AM   #8
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Here is one simple answer to what could be a very complex set up.

Get a decent stereo mic (like AT 825 or Crown SASS) and find a place
somewhere in the center of the hall to place it.
(Like on a stand that's on the floor in front of the down stage lip or flown
somehow above the stage center some place in the hall).
The closer to the stage, the more stage you'll pick up. The back of the
hall will sound somewhat distant and be heavily dependent on
a 'good' audience (no coughing fits or muffled talking) and FOH mix.

You then can either run mic cables to a mixer & DAT machine or even back to
your camera *IF* you have the proper camera or adapter. If you go the camera
route, make sure to bring enough mic cables (or a 2 channel snake) to reach
the three different camera positions.

You should end up with pretty similar sounding audio depending on the FOH mix
and the audience with *the mic placed exactly the same each night*.

Like all things audio and video, your results will depend on your client's
budget and desires. It seems as if money is low on this gig, so my suggestions
are cheap and fairly effective.

If this is a fully 'wired' show with wireless mics for each actor, then try and
get the soundman to give you an independent *pre fader* stereo mix.
That way your mix will not change with the soundman's.
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Old June 14th, 2004, 11:13 AM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Patrick Bower : It could be a bit of a continuity nightmare, if there is any obvious visual or sound discrepancy between the three performances. There's no way you could borrow/hire another 1 or 2 cameras, so you could do it all in one go? (The extra cameras are in fixed positions to give you safety shots, and you follow the action with the main camera.)
Patrick -->>>

This is right on the mark. Sync'ing between three performances will be a challenge. Been there, done that. If you can get a common location for your mic with the same recorder, that will help. Chances are, even your light levels will change between performances (or not, depends on the settings and operators.) If you can borrow and rent, the better. Also, depending on the client expectations, you need a NLE that allows you to set a reference clip and color correct to it in some of these cases.

Edit PS - use the fixed cameras. Unless you have an experienced operator on the other cameras, you may get too much zoom action (probably the most common mistake for newer users.)
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Old June 14th, 2004, 01:01 PM   #10
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"I plan to video tape three different perormances from three different postions"

I've tried this, and had absolutely no luck whatsoever. There are far too many continuity problems, as mentioned earlier. Actors never do the same scene in the same way. Mic placement is a sticky issue too, but the real killer for me was the audience noise. Never matched from shot to shot. Not once. You really need more than one camera for this, I'm sorry to tell you.
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