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Old October 21st, 2010, 05:30 AM   #16
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My soundman won't call me back, the recorder you speak of is over 4 grand....you know I'm about come full circle to putting the RODE SVM wired on a Boom stand overhead in the middle of the interview section just out of frame. Turn off AGC on the Mk2 and dial in the audio manually and record strait to the mk2. It "worked" before and I don't know WTF i'm doing with this other stuff at this point.....This gig is not major client dealeo - I'm on retainer for photography (with the video extra - video being better than they would get with their flip cam in house.)
Didn't say to BUY the recorder, only RENT it. Checking Trew's website, rental for the recorder, a 4-channel mixer, and an additional hard-wired lav mic should run about $150 per day and there are discounts for weekend, weekly, and monthly rentals.

You have a PAID sound person on a PAID gig and they won't return your calls???? WTF????????
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Old October 21st, 2010, 09:58 AM   #17
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Yes it's probably time to hunt for a few new sound mixers (people) as well as some rental or purchased gear to expand what you have to work with. Trew can certainly help you with all of that.
An example of the type of mixer I'm talking about for fixed-location AC-powered multi-camera activities would be this one from Soundcraft for $259 online:
Buy Soundcraft EPM6 6-Channel Multi-Format Mixer | Unpowered Mixers | Musician's Friend
It will be up to you to determine your ratio of AC-powered to battery-powered activities and whether you want to invest in a true field mixer, but I think anyone that does some recording like the interview you've described can certainly get value out of owning a mixer like this one for a very low cost.
You can also use the insert jacks on this mixer to pull individual preamp feeds to a multi-track recorder, as well as using the left and right mains and two aux sends to feed cameras and two-track recorders or PA systems. I tend to prefer stand-alone compressors rather than built-in effects.
I think the key to making this situation work for you will be recording each mic to a separate channel. This greatly reduces the risk during the live recording, especially when there are closely-spaced mics on interview subjects.
You can then edit each track in post and get the mix exactly like you want it.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 11:18 AM   #18
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I agree with Jay. Hire a pro-sound person with proper equipment and skills for maximum flexibility. If there are phase issues (multiple mics to one track) you're asking for trouble and would not be correctable in post,,, or..
1. Do I feel feel lucky today?
2. Have no need of money or clients.
3. Just don't a give a Sh__.
4. All of the above
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 12:42 PM   #19
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<< If there are phase issues (multiple mics to one track) you're asking for trouble and would not be correctable in post,,, or.. >>

I give a shit but it's turned into a quickie minutes before the house opens type interview before the show with the talent (2 actors). So now it's almost a interviewer with a mic on the red carpet type of affair maybe with just one hand mic and one camera and light.

For the future: the mixer seems like a good solution but I need to record the sound from the mixer. From the mixer would I combine all the tracks into one on the ZOOM or split the interviewer into input 1 XLR port 1 in and the talent (two mics) into the input XLR port 2.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 01:17 PM   #20
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For what I do, "set and forget" has to be standard operating procedure.

-- Not enough physical space to add another body aboard a boat.
-- Severely limited budget.

So I do what I can with what I got.

Four wireless mics are fed into a 4-track recorder, so each person is on a discrete channel. There's also an on-camera mic to provide ambient, post-production sync reference and backup audio.

The recording system is set out of the way and I monitor it through a simple wireless headphone system.

Everything is battery powered.

A limiter on the recorder nicely controls any peaks (people shouting excitedly, hard objects striking the boat's deck). The equipment performs well and the sound quality has always been good. No distorted audio. Dropouts are very, very rare. In fact the only time I lost someone is if a battery goes out or when an angler accidentally cut a mic wire -- he was jigging, the mic wire was dangling near his belt buckle, and the butt of the rod mashed it.

Everything has been carefully thought out and tested over time.

It would be great to have a soundman at hand to rig and monitor. But in my situation its often impractical. And, for now, unaffordable.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 02:15 PM   #21
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Dean

Could you provide a list of your tried and true system? I only have the two XLR inputs on the Zoom h4n - I reackon you are using something else. the XLR inputs are very important right?

Yes I want something that works is all.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 04:33 PM   #22
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Hi Harry

Well, something that works might be as simple as a little portable recorder (Zoom whatever - I use MicroTraks which most people don't like much but they work well enough for what I do) Mini recorder in the pocket, or velcro'd to the belt in back or something, run the wire to the lav, done. Two or three of these recorder/lav sets can come in pretty handy and the whole bunch fits in a small shaving kit sized bag.. The Sony D50 works great as a recorder but it's HEAVY. Come to think of it a mini disc recorder would probably work OK as well (not sure if it will power the mics though)

There are some reasonable 4 track recorders out there for a lot less that $4k - maybe in the $500 range but wiring 2 or 3 people to a single recorder can be interesting if they're moving around much and wireless adds a whole bigger layer of complexity and cost.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 06:19 PM   #23
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Well the interviewer and the talent with be standing so i'm gonna use one camera wide angle with RODE SVM in a low mic stand wired back to 5Dmk2. LED600 with softbox above camera left (talent to right)
The interview will be a quickie before the show so this will be fairly light and quick setup/takedown. Going to dial in the manual audio levels on the camera before and turn off the AGC.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 06:48 PM   #24
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By low mic stand I assume knee or waist high...... Just 1 question, when was the last time you saw a microphone that was THAT far from a person speaking and delivered good audio?
Look around you, singers, press conferences, TV news services, sport interviews, lectern presentations etc. why are the mics placed where they are, and how far away from the person talking are they?
You need to do similar if you want similar sound.....
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 08:50 PM   #25
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Yeah, I think more than a couple of feet from the mouth is about as far as you can get without getting an awful lot of "air" in the sound.

And I don't think thes stereo mic is a great idea either. If it's close enough to sound good it will have everybody sounding too spread out and if it's far enough away to get a reasonable stereo spread it will sound "airy". I'm assuming you don't have any good way to pan everything to center - unless you do it in post.

By the way, a couple of feet from the mouth would be good with a hypercardioid. An omni or cardioid should be closer IMHO. As in maybe six or eight inches - like a lav. Or a dynamic interview mic.

If everybody was sitting around a table a boundary mic might work but not if they're standing on a stage.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 11:35 PM   #26
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Actually did a test with three people and after a little post I thought it sounded good and clean. I can see lav mics on TV etc or boom mics but for the most part mics in movies or tv are out of frame so I have no idea that the mic wasn't waist high and out of frame and sounding decent.
Maybe my partial loss of hearing after a Bloodrock concert in the 70s is making all this a mute point. I don't know the difference.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 06:06 AM   #27
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Movies and TV episodics most often place the boom mic above the talent along the camera line, just above the upper frame line, and positioned such that it points downward at about a 45 degree angle aimed directly at the talent's throat. This typically puts it about 18 to 20 inches from the subject's mouth. For consistent sound the mic has to be kept aimed roughly +/- 15 degrees from exactly on target, meaning the 'sweet-spot' is a circle about 8 inches in diameter centred on the speaker's throat. A two-shot with two talent side-by-side, such as your interview, will either be covered by two boom and two boom operators, each mic following only one person, or with one mic aimed by a boom operator who has the skill to anticipate the flow of conversation and who knows the script thoroughly, continually shifting the boom mic so it always points directly at the sweet-spot of the person speaking at the moment.

There are a number of reasons why below the frame-line, low and in-front of the talent, aren't as good a choice. One is it puts the mic too far away, as other have pointed out. Second is it tends to sound "chesty." Third is, remember the mic is directional and will pickup not only the sound from the speaker but also sounds along the mic axis BEHIIND the speaker. High and in-front, the mic is pointing at the floor behind the talent, not many noise sources in that territory. But low and in-front, or close by the camera line, and it's also pointing at many potential noise sources such as ventilation fans, HVAC ducts, other people moving about in the area, airplanes overhead, traffic on the street, etc, found behind him..

You CAN'T dial-in the manual levels before the fact and have 'em right, other than by pure, blind, luck. Levels must be set using the sound sources you're recording with the mic placed where it's going to live during the shot.

It seems to me that you're overlooking the obvious. You're not going to set this up with the interviewer shouting questions at them from off-camera, are you? So equip the interviewer with a hand-held reporter's mic and have him hold it in front of the mouth of the person answering his question - takes practice for him to learn to aim it at his own mouth to ask the question and then move it to the responder for the answer but it's not too difficult a skill to master.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Simpson View Post
Dean

Could you provide a list of your tried and true system? I only have the two XLR inputs on the Zoom h4n - I reackon you are using something else. the XLR inputs are very important right?

Yes I want something that works is all.
Harry...

It's an Edirol R44 being fed by a pair of Audio Technica ATW-1800 wireless mic systems (each one has two channels).

XLR is the input of choice for me. They're solid and reliable unless the wire gets cut. 1/4" is good, too but the XLR seems to provide a much more solid connection that's less prone to handling noise.

I've noticed a 3-frame drift over an hour, but I have to check on that. Final Cut Pro has an option to import BWAV files as non-drop or drop-frame, and it was set on non-drop. I'll have to see if there's really a difference or if there's that much drift.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #29
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I double-checked the timing.

Even with FCP set to import a BWF file as drop-frame, there is still a 3-frame drift at the end of an hour.

Double-system sound works fine in short takes of a few minutes. But if you're hoping to maintain perfect sync for extended periods of time, you still need a recorder with very accurate timing or somehow sync the camera and recorder.

I recall reading elsewhere on this forum methods and equipment that solve this particular problem.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 04:33 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
I double-checked the timing.

Even with FCP set to import a BWF file as drop-frame, there is still a 3-frame drift at the end of an hour.

Double-system sound works fine in short takes of a few minutes. But if you're hoping to maintain perfect sync for extended periods of time, you still need a recorder with very accurate timing or somehow sync the camera and recorder.

I recall reading elsewhere on this forum methods and equipment that solve this particular problem.
Just FYI, preventing sync from drifting off over time requires the camera and audio recorder each be driven off of a common timebase clock. That can be done by using an audio recorder that can read video sync and sending a feed from the camera over to it, or to work untethered, by using a camera with genlock input, an audio recorder with wordclock input, and a pair of Lockit boxes tuned to each other to provide each device with its sync signal. Such a setup can hold sync to within 1 frame per day.

Always record and edit everything, video and audio, with non-drop timecode. The only time you need drop-frame is in the final rendered broadcast deliverable where the included time code must reflect accurate clock-on-the-wall running time.
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