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Old May 16th, 2005, 10:41 PM   #1
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Stereo or Mono sound??

I plan on shooting a short movie and need some help. I have never done this before and most of my work has been just for my own enjoyment. But now I have been asked to shoot a 15 min short for demo in a class. So, here is my questions,

Do you shoot the voices in mono or stereo? I would like it to be in stereo for the simple fact that sometimes the person is off to the side and you want the sound to come from there. Also I would like to shoot ambient sound in stereo when the subject is off in the distance while still catching the person talking. BUT, how do you get a setup like this for under $1000????

I have a Canon GL2 and if I hook any other mics to it the onboard mics is shut off. I have the DM-50 and it works OK for close shots but will pick up too much other noise when I am shooting a distance shot.

Is there a place I can see a setup or read about this more it get better info on this subject. Like I said, I am new to all of this extra stuff and do not know much about the different mics, but I have a very high learning curve and catch on fast. You just have to push me in the right direction!!!

Thanks for your help,
LeEarl Rugland
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Old May 16th, 2005, 11:19 PM   #2
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1- Many playback systems actually don't give you stereo sound. Either the wiring of the system only gives mono, or the speakers are too close.

The speakers and the listener's head should form an equilateral triangle with 60 degree angles.

2- Generally speaking, dialogue and footsteps are centered even if the characters are off to the side. I believe people have tried stereo dialogue and it was just too complicated and confusing to audieces.
See http://www.transom.org/guests/review...iew.murch.html (3 part article)

3- Capturing stereo: There are a bunch of stereo microphones that are under $1000.
Sony MS908 (you should listen to it at a Sony store) - $100ish
Audio Technica 822 -
Rode NT4

4- Maybe you should figure out what's most important to you and focus on that aspect. For example, a common problem with many videos is 'bad sound'- you can't hear what people are saying, or the recording has lots of reverb that sticks out. My first goal would be to get clear dialogue.

Generally this involves moving the mic closer to the source... i.e. wired/wireless lav or a boom mic.
Moving the camera closer would also give better sound (if you must use a mic mounted on the camera), but it may not always work for you (wide shots with dialogue?). But hey, that's free.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 11:29 PM   #3
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Thanks Glenn for the info. Now if I was going to go with mono for the voices and wanted to get a boom mic, which one would be a good starter one? I want something that will be wired for right now but will be moving into wireless later. I will be expanding this movie stuff BUT want to just get started right now without spending ALOT of $$.

Another question. How do you get the voices from one mic that is close to the person from a mic in the distance?? I see a problem with sound travel, with the difference you will hear an echo in the film. Is this avoidable?

LeEarl
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Old May 16th, 2005, 11:45 PM   #4
Fred Retread
 
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LeEarl, we've all been there. Welcome to the forum.

I would be inclined to record the voices even of several participants in mono. The stereo imaging in that situation is simply not important in my opinion. But if you want the stereo image it is obtainable. Your DM-50 should handle it better than the on board mic since the DM-50 is both directional and stereo. There are, of course, better stereo microphones to be had than the DM-50 if you are willing to pay the price.

To get good sound from a distant subject in the context of nearby sound in stereo you need a stereo mic or a pair of mics placed for stereo, a wireless lavaliare (lapel) mic for the distant subject and a mixer. The mixer would supply the left and right channel signals to the camcorder whille placing the wireless in the center of the soundfield (equallly balanced in the left and right channels), all through the camcorder's mic jack.

The mics and the mixer would be of the XLR type, which refers to the rugged snaplock connectors and the associated three conductor per channel audio cable which carries the signal in the "balanced" mode, cancelling any electromagnetic interferrence that might be picked up in the room.

If you don't mind having the distant subject in one channel, this item would serve in lieu of a mixer and only cost $200.
http://www.studio1store.com/xlr-bp_3_pro.htm

There is quite an array of mixers available over a wide range of prices. To get a taste, search on "mixer" at bhphotovideo.com, the company generally acknowledged as the best on line audio/video discounter.

You will not be able to get a mixer, stereo mic, and wireless setup of good quality for $1000. If that's your current limit, most people here would advise you to revise your goals in favor of fewer pieces of equipment and go for quality.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 11:54 PM   #5
Fred Retread
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEarl Rugland
Another question. How do you get the voices from one mic that is close to the person from a mic in the distance?? I see a problem with sound travel, with the difference you will hear an echo in the film. Is this avoidable?
LeEarl
Wired and wireless audio signals travel at close to the speed of light so there will be no echo except to the extent that the near mic and the far mic pick up each other's respective sound sources through the air. This effect can be lessened by using directional mics and by any other common sense methods you can devise. But basically, if you can hear the distant sound, the mic next to you can also.

Again, the way to work with two mics is an XLR adapter like the one in the link above, or at www.beachtek.com. The way to work with more than two mics is with a mixer.
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