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Old June 9th, 2005, 06:46 AM   #1
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Sound Perspective

Was curious as to whether there is some general rule with regards to mic placement and camera distance. For example, I put a boom over a couple talking, close shot, when they walk away and continue talking I would think that the mic distance should increase to provide a better sound perspective. I suppose it's a matter of testing but thought I'd see what kind of experience there is out there. Using a Senn MKH-416. Thanks
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Old June 12th, 2005, 07:05 AM   #2
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From what I've seen/read (books, dvd making of's) is that they ALWAYS try
to get the mic as close to people talking as POSSIBLE. This means it is JUST
outside of the frame (on some movies you can sometimes see the mic dip a
bit into the frame).

The reason it is being done like that seems to be the audio department wants
to get a clean as possible signal. You can always manipulate it in post to have
it sound the way you want (for example have it fade if a talking couple is
walking away, in this case you have a choice as to how fast to fade it down
and what the viewers can hear and not etc.).
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Old June 12th, 2005, 08:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Best
Was curious as to whether there is some general rule with regards to mic placement and camera distance. For example, I put a boom over a couple talking, close shot, when they walk away and continue talking I would think that the mic distance should increase to provide a better sound perspective. I suppose it's a matter of testing but thought I'd see what kind of experience there is out there. Using a Senn MKH-416. Thanks
Most mikes have an optimal working distance. Record the best, clearest, sound possible in the shoot - you can always "dirty it up" in post by adjusting volume & equalization, adding reverb, background noise & room tone, etc. By leaving it to post to adjust the perspective you can tweak it until it sounds just right and believable, something much more difficult to do on-the-fly on the set where you'll really be just guessing as to the mike placement that will sound just right when viewing the final program.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 08:58 AM   #4
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I have a similar question. I was recently editing a video. I placed an ambient background sound (construction equipment) off screen left. My question is: when I do a reverse camera angle (switch perspectives 180 degrees) should the sound then be off screen right? It's logical but it seemed to make the cut more jaring. Leaving the sound in the same channel when the shot reversed makes no sense but it actualy smoothed the transition at the cut.

I ended up doing about 75/25 split between the channels on wider shots and more like 60/40 on close ups and then reversing on the cuts to a reverse shot. I am new to this aspect of editing so if there are any rules of thumb I'd like to see them.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 09:01 AM   #5
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Oops. I meant I did a 75/25 channel split on the close ups (to make the sound further off screen) and a 60/40 on wide shots so that it sounded closer to being in the frame.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 11:46 AM   #6
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I guess that is why we don't do reverse angle shots most of the time. The question is, did you do the reverse angle on purpose or are you trying to cover up sloppy cinematography in post? If you did it on purpose, switch the sounds too. If you are trying to hide an error, well sometimes you can only do the best you can do. Try blending the channels so the background noise is not so directional, if you have some ambient noise it should be easy.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 12:14 PM   #7
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>I guess that is why we don't do reverse angle shots most >of the time.

Could you explain this more? Reverse angles are used on 90% of the dialogue scenes I see on TV and film. I am talking about well composed reverses (that respect the line) on two people having dialoge--in this case from opposite sides of a street.

>The question is, did you do the reverse angle on purpose >or are you trying to cover up sloppy cinematography in >post? If you did it on purpose, switch the sounds too. If >you are trying to hide an error, well sometimes you can >only do the best you can do. Try blending the channels >so the background noise is not so directional, if you have >some ambient noise it should be easy.

On pupose. The sloppy cimematography occurs elsewhere :). I am actually adding in the construction noise to liven up an otherwise accoustically boring scene. So I can put it anywhere I want. I want a little directionality to it to take advantage of the visual axis of the street running across the frame between the actors.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ball
>I guess that is why we don't do reverse angle shots most >of the time.

Could you explain this more? Reverse angles are used on 90% of the dialogue scenes I see on TV and film. I am talking about well composed reverses (that respect the line) on two people having dialoge--in this case from opposite sides of a street.

>The question is, did you do the reverse angle on purpose >or are you trying to cover up sloppy cinematography in >post? If you did it on purpose, switch the sounds too. If >you are trying to hide an error, well sometimes you can >only do the best you can do. Try blending the channels >so the background noise is not so directional, if you have >some ambient noise it should be easy.

On pupose. The sloppy cimematography occurs elsewhere :). I am actually adding in the construction noise to liven up an otherwise accoustically boring scene. So I can put it anywhere I want. I want a little directionality to it to take advantage of the visual axis of the street running across the frame between the actors.
The line of action runs between the two speakers in a dialog scene. While you are reversing the shoot over the shoulder of each character, you should still stay on the same side of the line. In the 2-shot master, character #1 is on the left and character #2 is on the right. When you're shoot #1's closeup, he should be framed to the left of centre screen and looking into the frame (to the left of the lens from his POV). The camera is positioned at #2's left shoulder. When you reverse, #2 is framed a bit to the right of centre screen, also looking into the frame (to the right of the lens from his POV), and the camera is at #1's right shoulder. This way you never cross over the imaginary line the runs between their faces. If you set up your shots this way, off screen sounds behind the characters will stay on the same side of the screen with either reverse, sounds in the centre behind the line will stay in the centre even though they are to the right of #1 and the left of #2. At least that's how I would do it.

camera never on this side
1 (|-> .............eyeline............... <-|) 2
camera this side for all shots
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Old June 12th, 2005, 09:34 PM   #9
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Good explanation Steve. Big difference between 180 degree shift and 165 +/-.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:22 PM   #10
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Lav perspective ambiguity

Hi folks

Waking up an old thread it seems.

Ive been reading on the whole persepctive thing and there is a strange ambiguity when discussing radio mics.

The typical conensus seems to be that the con about radio mics is they always sound close.... yet when we use a shot gun mic, we want that as close as possible regardless of the camera shot, allowing post to create the perspective from good clean audio.

Does this not apply to a radio mic as well, close sound = good allowing post to create the desired perspective.

As mentioned shotguns mics have the optimal placement and distance, so Im jsut sturggling to find why radio mics are labelled as being close, is a problem?
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Old February 16th, 2010, 07:44 PM   #11
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Lee,
I think you are confusing the close physical proximity of the mic and close sound expression. Lavs tend to have very little ambiance pick up compared to a boom which does pick up room ambiance when used as expected. The lavs can be very useful in a noisy environment or in a shot where a boom cannot be used but they can be too dry a recording requiring additional ambiance to be added back in to sound natural. Changes in presence of the dialog can draw attention to itself ruining the illusion of the film. It is not wise to rely on post to be able to smooth everything out if it can be done well in the field. One thing I do is not mic the close ups too differently than the rest of the scene so I don't move the mic into the closest position if I want it to match a medium shots sound. I try and make it a natural change rather than a big change.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #12
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Lav thing

Cheers for the repy there mate,

I was discussing it after posting, and came to the conclusion it would ahve to be about room tone and presence ratehr than just proximity.

Any other tips for matcing sound perspective to picture... ?

Cheers


Lee
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