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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:31 AM   #1
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Difficult Recording Situation in Car with 4 actors

Hello everyone. I was hoping some of the sound Pros could chime in on this situation.

We start shooting our feature in July. Everything is in order, but I am concerned about the sound. We've got a good plan, but none of us are what you might call a sound 'Pro'. Here's the deal:

We have an old 72 Pontiac LeMans with three actors in the backseat and one driving. I am in the passenger seat filming. No room for anyone else. The best plan we could come up with is to place 4 lavs around the car to pickup as much as possible. Each lav would be recorded onto it's own channel, so we could mix later. 2 mics into my xl-1, separated into L and R, and 2 other mics into my HHB Portadisc, again separate channels.

The lavs would be installed in either the back of the front seats or in the ceiling, if i can hide them well enough. for the driver, I'd install it near his visor.

Now, I want to get the best pobssible recording, but I don't mind some ambient noise. I expect it...obviously driving in a car while recording. I just need to hear the actors as crisp and clear as we can.

How would you Pros set this up? (If lavs aren't the best setup, gimme options!)

Thanks in advance

-Joe
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Old June 17th, 2005, 12:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Winchester
Hello everyone. I was hoping some of the sound Pros could chime in on this situation.

We start shooting our feature in July. Everything is in order, but I am concerned about the sound. We've got a good plan, but none of us are what you might call a sound 'Pro'. Here's the deal:

We have an old 72 Pontiac LeMans with three actors in the backseat and one driving. I am in the passenger seat filming. No room for anyone else. The best plan we could come up with is to place 4 lavs around the car to pickup as much as possible. Each lav would be recorded onto it's own channel, so we could mix later. 2 mics into my xl-1, separated into L and R, and 2 other mics into my HHB Portadisc, again separate channels.

The lavs would be installed in either the back of the front seats or in the ceiling, if i can hide them well enough. for the driver, I'd install it near his visor.

Now, I want to get the best pobssible recording, but I don't mind some ambient noise. I expect it...obviously driving in a car while recording. I just need to hear the actors as crisp and clear as we can.

How would you Pros set this up? (If lavs aren't the best setup, gimme options!)

Thanks in advance

-Joe
Why not film with the car stationary beside a bluescreen and add separately shot moving background images later? Or use the on-camera mike to record a scratch track while shooting and re-record (ADR) the dialog in post?
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Old June 17th, 2005, 01:08 PM   #3
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Lavs in cars can be tough because of the seatbelts. I've got a car scene coming up (tomorrow actually) and have been researching different setups. Some recommendations I've been given: You could put a cardiod (or supercardiod) on a flexmount clamped under the dash for the front seat. You may be able to clamp a second flexmount and cardiod in the back seat as well. You could also try a Sanken Cub1 boundary mic on the dash or the headliner of the front seat. This will pick up the driver very well and possibly the back seat. In my tests, I found the cardiod, flexmount arrangement sounded the best. A lot will depend on whether the driver will be turning his head to talk to the people in the back. That would complicate things greatly. Personally, I'd try to pull this off with two tracks, but that's just me.

For your situation (if the driver is moving his head a lot), I'd probably put a lav in the hair of the driver and a cariod on a flexmount in the back seat. You might also try the Cub1 behind the dome light somewhere for the backseat. It would pick up all three passengers very well. You can rent the Cub1 for about $25 a day from Trew Audio by the way. (Hope the plug for Trew's okay. I don't believe any of our sponsors rent that mic out. If so, get it from them.)
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Old June 17th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #4
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yeah i've been testing the difference between 2 or 4 mics and haven't decided which is better. I might go with a few cardiods throughout the car, that was plan B.

I don't want to shoot in front of a blue or green screen, as it never looks real enough. this feature is shot documentary style, not 'studio' style.

also, i'd like to avoid as much ADR as i can. just one less pain in the a$$ to worry about in post.

Any other thoughts?
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