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Old August 28th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Eric Vecchi View Post
My immediate project is a "monologue" style interview with a single subject with me (the interviewer, camera operator, and sound guy) off camera. I will be asking questions, but my voice will not be in the edit.

Down the road, I want to do more complex projects. Two people on camera, outdoor shoots, events like a trade show, etc.
I agree with John ... a lav would be my first thought for single person interviews. It doesn't have to be wireless if the subject is seated or standing in one spot; a hard-wired lav is fine, if not even preferrable. The problem with either the hyper or the shotgun when you're a one-man-band is getting the mic close enough to the subject. Hypers should be used about 18 to 22 inches from the subject's mouth, give or take; 'guns are best from about 24 to perhaps 36 inches. As the subject moves, the mic has to move to track with them. That implies it's mounted on a boom and there's a boom operator to constantly fine-tune its aim.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #17
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The problem with either the hyper or the shotgun when you're a one-man-band is getting the mic close enough to the subject. Hypers should be used about 18 to 22 inches from the subject's mouth, give or take; 'guns are best from about 24 to perhaps 36 inches. .
Is that conventional wisdom? I've always followed the maxim of "There's no such thing as too close" with mics.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #18
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Is that conventional wisdom? I've always followed the maxim of "There's no such thing as too close" with mics.
Actually you can get too close - directional mics exhibit a proximity effect where within a certain distance low frequencies get emphasized as the mic moves closer to the source. The tighter the pattern the farther out the effect begins to be noticable. Because the degree of emphasis varies with distance within the range where it occurs, using the mic in this zone makes it difficult to maintain a consistent timbre as the subject moves. This leads to what I think of as the Goldilocks phenomenon where there's a "just right" distance range - closer and you're into proximity effect and the sound can get unnaturally bassy, farther away and you're losing level of the desired sound and the amount of room ambience starts coming up with respect to the voice.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #19
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So for my specific situation, getting a Lav is an equal or higher priority than getting a good mixer?

Thanks for all the help.
Eric
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Old August 28th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #20
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Ok, I've done enough lurking the past couple months... time to contribute.

After looking up your Fostex... I can definitely say that's the weakest link your audio chain. (only 44.1 / 16bit and no compressor/limiter is the biggest issues I see right off the bat)

you have 2 immediate options:

A) If you TRUST your camera to be your only source of audio, (and that's a big if), then get some wired lavs for monologues.

B) If you don't trust your camera (which would be the smart since you bought the camera for what it excel in), then I'd recommend replacing the Fostex with any other decent portable recorder.

Decent meaning.. nothing less than a Zoom H4N. which runs about $350. The Tascam equivalent is about $430. I use the Zoom H4N and like it for overall use.

Yes, another external device means more supervision... however, I bet one of your buds would jump at the chance to learn how to properly record audio for video.

Good luck!
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Old August 29th, 2009, 09:41 PM   #21
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I use the Zoom H4N and like it for overall use.
Good luck!
Thanks Sean! I will check out the Zoom H4N. I've started saving for the MixPre but the Zoom is more in my price range and might be the way to go.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 06:14 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
You sure talked me out of buying a mixer.
OTOH....

Mixers are more than knobs that let you vary the volume.

1. They let you vary volumes without shaking the camera or getting in the way of the camera op.
2. You may need to do that a lot with some people. I ride gain even if one person is talking if their voice fades on the end of each line. You can only do this in a relatively quiet environment, otherwise you bring up the ambient noise.
3. Mixer preamps (good ones) sound better than camera preamps.
4. Good mixers have input transformers that scrape off RF before it get into your audio.
5. Good mixers have limiters that allow you to record hotter, keeping your audio further above the noise floor without distorting.
6. Good limtiers have EQ that lets you roll of LF HVAC noise before it gets into your audio.
7. Good mixers have mulitple outputs so you can feed more than one camera, or separate recorder simultaneously.
8. Good mixers make your sound better. If they didn't pros wouldn't use them.


Regards,

Ty
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