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Old July 30th, 2004, 01:04 AM   #1
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immediate help needed!!!

Hello everyone.

I just got a contract to make TV segments for broadcast. The thing is i am so bad at sound recording.

I will be shooting a lot of one on one interviews in small rooms, probably with airconditioning. What is the best sound recording set-up for a VX2100? Budget is 500usd.

XLR adapters? Shotgun, Lapel or boom mics? What about brands?

Thanks you so much.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 03:48 AM   #2
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I always think you'll get more help if your subject line says a bit more about your problem than, 'urgent help required', but maybe that's just me.

Whatever, up close and personal has got to be the order of things. A tieclip mic on anyone who will speak is imperative, and if you can stretch to a Beachtek DXA-4 or 8 you'll be able to have longer runs of XLR cable without picking up interferrence.

Would it be possible to turn up the A/C and then turn it off for the recording session? If not, do remember to record some room ambience for possible noise cancellation in the NLE.

Mics by Sony, Audio Technica, Sennheiser, AKG etc - avoid names you've not heard of. And why not run a mini disc recorder at the same time? Backup is a wonderful thing.

tom.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 07:49 AM   #3
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Tom, Can you elucidate what you mean by "...remember to record some room ambience for possible noise cancellation..."? That sounds quite interesting.

Joel, I dont have direct experience with it, but have done quite a bit of research and have been convinced to purchase a Sennheiser Evolution G2 series wireless (The EW112P-G2 to be exact). In fact I just ordered one last night. It comes with portable transmitter and receiver w/ XLR cable and omni lavalier and portable Receiver. It also operates in the UHF band for reduced interrference and provides 1440 frequencies within a relatively large band of about 30+Mhz. If you shop around long enough you can find this setup for $450 - $500 US.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 09:32 AM   #4
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Programs such as Sound Forge and Adobe's Audition are able to sample some background noise taken from the microphone position and subtract it from the subsequently recorded conversations. I haven't had the need to use such facilities as I'm a great believer in getting the sound and pictures as right as possible on the shoot, and leaving as little faults as possible to the NLE correction.

tom.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 10:20 AM   #5
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Sure but it's nice to know that if you cant get it right, at least you can potentially cancel it out... interesting. thanks
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Old July 30th, 2004, 12:55 PM   #6
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Tom and Billy,

You guys have been so helpful. Thanks a lot. Wish me luck on this project.

Last question though. Do i have to get an xlr adapter (the Beachtek DXA-4 which Tom reccomended) if i already get the Sennheiser Evolution G2 that Billy recommended? I checked for its prices,and both would cost around 800 to 900 usd. For the mean time i only have 500 usd to spend on audio.

Joel
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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:21 PM   #7
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Try ebay, I have gotten two Evolution 100 wireless sets off ebay for brand new and spent less than $500 on them.

Oh and if you get the evolution kit, you don't NEED an XLR box, it comes with a mini-jack cord to plug right into your camera. (If you are only going to be recording one mic)
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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #8
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Let me add a little to what Tom already said.
The idea of recording a little room ambience ... In the old days of analogue tape, that was the way to cancel noise. Sound is waves, you know. So if you have one track of audio with noise and another with just (the same) noise, you can shift the noise track just a little so it gets out of phase with the other. The up-waves will coincide with the down-waves. Then the noise ideally will be cancelled out when the two tracks are merged into one signal.
Sony has a little app called Noise Reduction, that works with Sound Forge as a plug-in. It automates the process of taking a noise sample and cnacelling out the noise on a track. It also restores the sound of old and scratched vinyl records.

Workin with Noise Reduction, usually it's better to do the reduction in small steps, like -6dB three times is better than -18dB in one go. But you must remember to take a new noise sample after each step. I have removed a dishwasher from dialogue recorded in a small kitchen. I got some hollowness to the voices but the dishwasher was completely gone.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 04:45 PM   #9
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Always get the microphone as close as practical/possible to the mouth. If booming a hyper-cardioid mic you want it JUST outside of frame. Setting camera up on tripod at just below eye level gives you a ton of headroom even though the mic is only 3 inches over the speakers head... mic boomed just in front of speaker and pointing down at mouth. If using lav be sure it's possitioned so no clothing rubs it as speaker gestures and moves about. BRING HEADPHONES and check sound! Try to follow the advice of turning AC OFF. It is FAR FAR FAR easier to take care of audio problems BEFORE you commit them to tape then AFTER. Be sure to just record SILENCE for at least 2 or so minutes before or after the interview... this is called ROOM TONE and you may need it in editing. If you add new dialog later without it you'll hear all the "air" get sucked out as the replacement dialog comes in, unless you lay the new dialog over the room tone. Finally try to deaden the room or at least position the mic where you get the least room interaction... before you start walk around listening to the mic through the headphones while talking into it... you'll hear that some places in a room sound a lot better then others. Since you're doing picture AND sound you'll have to choose setup carefully getting the best result for both. A lav on the chest will have less room interaction then a boomed mic, but it will also sound less natural and detailed. Good Luck.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Let me add a little to what Tom already said.
The idea of recording a little room ambience ... In the old days of analogue tape, that was the way to cancel noise. Sound is waves, you know. So if you have one track of audio with noise and another with just (the same) noise, you can shift the noise track just a little so it gets out of phase with the other. The up-waves will coincide with the down-waves. Then the noise ideally will be cancelled out when the two tracks are merged into one signal.
Sony has a little app called Noise Reduction, that works with Sound Forge as a plug-in. It automates the process of taking a noise sample and cnacelling out the noise on a track. It also restores the sound of old and scratched vinyl records.
Most background noise can't be cancelled out with room tone.

Sony's NR plug-in works on a different principle. It's like a noise gate except it works on many individual EQ bands. It doesn't actually get rid of background noise but can hide it. When there is no dialogue, the plug-in drops the volume to zero. Where there is dialogue, the dialogue overpowers the noise so you don't hear the background noise (but it's still there). That's what I understand of it.

Mild amounts of background noise can be hidden... the more noise there is, the harder it is to fix. It makes a lot more sense to spend your money/time fixing sound problems during shooting instead of after.

Jay Rose's books (Great Sound for Digital Video in particular) have lots of good information on how to get a good recording. It covers things like lav placement, boom technique, etc. see dplay.com on how to buy it.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 11:20 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tor Salomonsen : Let me add a little to what Tom already said.
The idea of recording a little room ambience ... In the old days of analogue tape, that was the way to cancel noise. Sound is waves, you know. So if you have one track of audio with noise and another with just (the same) noise,


The practice of recording room tone is certainly not an "old days" practice. Room tone is essential when you have to transition from one part of an interview to another, or when transitioning between two people interviewed together. If you want ot put a bit of space between the cuts, or of you are cutting between two different people, you underlay room tone so the backround noise matches and /or masks the audible edit.

The technique of removing noise using phase cancelling from two mics is very tricky. The wave patterns must match exactly in spectrum and amplitute or else you get comb filter effects which sound worse than the original noise.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 11:26 PM   #12
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I'm sorry, but I have to ask - are you hoping that the results of this job will earn you additional work? Are you doing this with any expectation that when you submit it that they will like it?

If so, then why are you gambling with such high stakes on a game you admittedly know nothing about?

I really don't mean to sound mean, or glib, but I highly recommend that you hire a sound person. Even an experienced pro shooter who understands audio would not attempt to do a job like this alone.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 03:08 PM   #13
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I agree that you should hire a sound tech for the shoot. If the job is that important then don't fool around and take a chance of botching it. Even hire another local videographer who has the gear and have him/her help you on the shoot. They should already have some audio gear that they could bring as part of the rate you pay them.

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Old August 3rd, 2004, 10:14 AM   #14
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Marty and Ben,

Both of you are absolutely right. I shouldn't risk a very big project like this when i know nothing about sound. That's why i joined this forum in the first place, to get all the help i can.

On the bright side, shooting will start on November of this year so i still have 4 months to prepare. Right now i am doing all the research for sound technique and trying to "shop around" for equipment. Most importatnly. i'm already practicing sound recording. Am i still missing any "steps" for preparing?

Hiring a soundman isn't a bad idea. I will take that into consideration.

Thanks a lot guys!
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 11:18 AM   #15
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Joel,

Glad to hear that you are preparing in advance rather than jumping off the cliff on no more than faith.

Take a look at these two threads on another forum. They discuss a couple of the finer details of production audio.

http://www.uemforums.com/2pop/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=48729&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1#48729
http://www.uemforums.com/2pop/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=48663&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1#48663
http://www.uemforums.com/2pop/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=46084&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1#46084
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