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Old January 6th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #1
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GL-2 Mic for "studio" shoot

Hi, Folks...

I'm going to be doing a 3-camera (Gl-2s) shoot in a few months. The location is a warehouse (not empty; shouldn't be too much echo) and I was looking for advice as to what mic would be effective for picking up my actors' voices within the limited area in which they would be working.

I can position a boom mic if that would be the best. A shotgun mounted on the camera would probably be a good 10 feet away.

I'm an audio novice, at best, so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

-Rusty-
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Old January 6th, 2005, 10:57 PM   #2
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Hi Rusty,

Booms almost ALWAYS sound better than lavs. If the warehouse is indeed not very reflective and with very high ceilings. You might get away with using a shotgun on the boom, otherwise use a hypercardioid.

Unless your actors are very close together and don't move much, a "positioned" boom won't work. You need a boom operator to make sure the mic is in the right place at the right time. This task should not be given to a novice....AND this person should always be wearing headphones so he/she can keep the mic in the best spot of the moment.

You don't say much about the blocking so I can't tell you much more. With three cameras shooting at once, coordination between them, the lights and the boom may be tricky.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 7th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot, TY. That info helps.

Yea, the characters actually won't have much movement. The setting is supposed to be a taping of a cheesy, low-rent cable station show, set in an old "safe room" of a prison. So, I have the luxury of a very limited area to cover the sound.

Within the story, this show was being taped by 3 stationary cameras, so if a character moves out o frame in an unplanned tussle, etc., it will actually add to the feel I'm looking for.

Given all that, a mic (dm50 - AT897, etc.) mounted on a camera about ten feet away would still sound crappy, wouldn't it? Better to hang a stationary boom overhead?

Thanks again.

-Rusty-
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Old January 7th, 2005, 03:37 PM   #4
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Rusty - In your script, is the viewer supposedly watching the "cheesy, low-rent cable station show" itself (as if a cable viewer) or is the viewer watching the production (can see cameras, equipment etc, or a combination of both? If all the on screen actors are participants in the "cheesy, low-rent cable station show", it would be in character for them to be wearing lav mics, and capturing their sound - even if off the set through the lavs, supplimented with nat sound from a hyper or shotgun would be appropriate.

You can run the lavs and shotgun through a mixer, put lavs into on channel, nat sound through the other and determine what mix sounds best in post.

Be happy to discuss/help - let me know.
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Old January 7th, 2005, 05:06 PM   #5
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Thanks, Mike... When it comes to audio, I can use all the help I can get. I'm enthused about this project, as it's based on - and incorporates - a short I've already done, and was very well received.

The short is a monologue by a condemned prisoner who ends up "killing" himself on camera. His eerie videotape is the subject of a panel discussion for "The Brain Channel," which is one of those ultra-low-rent cable stations, usually in the 500s on your digital receiver.

As the panelists discuss the video - in a "studio" in an old safe room of the prison that housed the inmate - he appears from behind their logo banner. He had, of course, masterfully faked his own death.

That leads to my shooting: The psycho has "locked down" the room. The psychologists must now try to defuse this genius-caliber, multiple murderer, who stays one step ahead of them.

There will be skirmishes, but if they fall slightly out of frame, that's good for the feel. This is all seen through the eyes of the 3 stationary cameras that were supposed to be shooting only a panel discussion.

The location is a refrigeration supply warehouse. Approximately 10 foot ceiling, and lots of items stored throughout, save, of course, for the shooting area. The cameras will be set up to shoot the 3 panelists around a coffee table.

The adventure stays in frame, because the murderer (who is in control of the room) is very conscious of the cameras, psychotically wanting this unfolding to take place in a manner that will allow it to be seen by the masses.

I hope that gives you some idea of what I'm up against. I'm actually still on the fence as to if I want to shoot this myself or try to interest a local production group to get involved and handle that end. When I made the short, I never imagined it becoming a feature-length production, in which I would have to be on-camera all the time. It's tough handling that, along with all the production angles.

Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated! :-)

-Rusty-
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Old January 7th, 2005, 09:55 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rusty Williams : Thanks a lot, TY. That info helps.

Yea, the characters actually won't have much movement. The setting is supposed to be a taping of a cheesy, low-rent cable station show, set in an old "safe room" of a prison. So, I have the luxury of a very limited area to cover the sound.

Within the story, this show was being taped by 3 stationary cameras, so if a character moves out o frame in an unplanned tussle, etc., it will actually add to the feel I'm looking for.

Given all that, a mic (dm50 - AT897, etc.) mounted on a camera about ten feet away would still sound crappy, wouldn't it? Better to hang a stationary boom overhead?

Thanks again.

-Rusty- -->>>


If that's what you've got, boom the 897. The sound will definitely suck if you have it on the camera. Again, the boom should not be stationary. It should be moved to cover the action.

A mixer with a good limiter (not an agc) will also improve the sound. For two channels, I strongly suggest the Sound Devices MixPre. You use it forever.

Smiles,

Ty Ford
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Old January 8th, 2005, 08:56 AM   #7
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Thanks again, Ty!

I'm looking into the MixPre right now... One more question, if you don't mind: Is the Senn ME66 superior to the AT 897? If so, I might also invest in that.

Thanks again!

-Rusty-
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Old January 8th, 2005, 12:04 PM   #8
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The K6/ME66 has only one characteristic that CAN make it superior to the AT897 in SOME circumstances. It has considerably higher signal output. In some cases this is actually a bad characteristic. It depends on what you're recording and what you're recording with.
Other than that one aspect that can go either way depending on the specific circumstances, I feel the AT897 is the better choice between those two mics.
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Old January 8th, 2005, 10:01 PM   #9
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Thanks, Jay.

That helps a lot, because I certainly don't want to be investing in a new mic if the improvement is going to be minimal, if at all.

You guys rock!
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