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Old October 19th, 2010, 04:55 PM   #1
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Three person interview setup

Got a three person interview coming up. Interviewer (not talent) and two talents sitting side by side about 5 -7 feet from the interviewer in chairs angled toward front.

So I've ordered a couple of wired XLR balanced lav mics (one is omni and other is a hypercartoid) and I now have the ZOOM h4n. My plan loosely is to possible mic two people sitting together with one lav and the interviewer with the other lav.
Two cameras one for interviewer and one for the talent.I've also got the ol RODE SVM I can put on a boom stand and use too.....

Would I record the two lavs XLRed into the ZOOM in 4 channel or MTR?

Stage lighting but will have the Cool Lights 600 on hand too for fill if needed.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #2
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If you are wanting good quality sound use 3 lav [correctly mounted] mics through a mixer to the camera, ch1 interviewer, ch2 a mix of both guests.
Hire a location audio guy, this is bread and butter work for them..... Or in otherwords if you deliver poor audio on a your production will your client hire you again?
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Old October 19th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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Gotta agree with Brian on this one. 3 lavs to a mixer to the camera or field recorder. If it's in the budget hire a soundperson. If not in the budget, if it were me, I'd get a 3rd lav and borrow or rent a mixer. Run one out to the camera and if you want to feel safe then one out to the H4.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 08:14 PM   #4
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So I need a mixer with at least 3 XLR inputs and 2 XLR outputs. No budget for soundman so what's the best bang for the buck here? Mixer wise. Been reading Jay Rose's book and he mentions an equalizer may do a better job than a cheap mixer. (he's also where I heard about the using one lav for two people who are close together)
I realize you pros have little patience for us photographers trying to video on the cheap....just trying to get the berst output on a budget.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #5
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Will both of the cameras for this interview be your two dSLR's?
How are the acoustics in the recording space?
What is the ambient noise level in the recording space?
Do you have access to any mixer or preamp of any kind?
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Old October 19th, 2010, 10:04 PM   #6
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Yes two DSLRs
Will be on a stage of a large theatre
Ambient noise will be minimal - theatre will be empty
Just the Zoom H4n mixer capability but could purchase mixer if that's what it'll take.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #7
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Be aware that DSLR's have a running time limit. There are also reported concerns over how hot they can get.

Regarding audio, I would opt to put each person on a separate track to allow optimum mixdown in post. This means using a 4-track recorder.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 05:02 AM   #8
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I agree with Dean. One lav on each person, feeding a 4 channel recorder so you don't have to mix lavs in the field and can do it properly in post. No offense, Harry, but you wouldn't cheap out on cameras and lenses in the name of budget yet in an interview situation the quality of the sound recording is far, FAR more important than the quality of the pictures. If you don't have perfect pictures the audience will still get the full benefit of the interview but if your sound is compromised they might as well not even bother watching, there's no point to even doing the production. Your home town is also home to one of the industry's top supply houses, Trew Audio. Pop in over there and see what another lav and a Sound Devices 744 would set you back to rent for the shoot so you can do the job right. To quote user Richard Crowley's tag-line, "Sound without picture is called 'radio.' Picture without sound is called 'dead-air.'
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Old October 20th, 2010, 08:05 AM   #9
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Thanks Steve and all for the great advice. Never had heard of Trew but will defintely give them a visit!!!
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Old October 20th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #10
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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.)
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Old October 20th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #11
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I'm sure the recorder doesn't cost that much to rent, but I hear where you're coming from with a gig like you've described.
Personally I think everybody needs an inexpensive AC-powered utility mixer with 4 XLR mic inputs that have full 48v phantom power.
These can be bought online from many vendors for between $80 and $300 depending on the brand.
Used correctly, they can give you a lot of control for your XLR mics and will generally have quieter preamps than if you've connected the medium-sensitivity mics directly to the H4n or a dSLR.
One important consideration is properly attenuating the various signals you can output from such a utility mixer to work with the mic-level-only or instrument-level inputs on your dSLR's or the H4n, but I'm sure you're already familiar with that from the threads on this board.
I'd suggest buying or borrowing one, I consider it a necessity for so many tasks and it's not an item like your primary mic, camera or lens where you really should strive to buy the very best you can afford.
It will certainly give you more control and routing options than working without a mixer and unless the majority of your work always needs battery-power-only, it's a relatively inexpensive tool to acquire and use for years.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 04:55 PM   #12
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Thanks Jay

<<Personally I think everybody needs an inexpensive AC-powered utility mixer with 4 XLR mic inputs that have full 48v phantom power.>>

Not to put you on the spot at all but are there any that are good at what that is that you may suggest?

I've seen some that provide compression too which I don't know that I need at this stage but i'm pretty clueless. And yes it seems there a Shure Line attinuator that will calm the output to mic level for recording. It'd be great if the mixer actually had a "MIC" out XLR comnnector for that matter.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 05:13 PM   #13
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I've been using a Berhinger 1204 for about 3 or 4 years and while I'm not a top audio guy (like the Jays and many others here) when I need to use a mixer it works just fine for me. I've run 4 mics, DVD player audio and computer with music back thru it with a lead to the camera and a lead to the PA system and it's never failed me. IIRC I think I paid about $150 for it, maybe a bit less.
There are others out there as well but this is the one that I'm familiar with.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #14
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The Sign Video Eng-44 is recognized as a decent bargain for the money in terms of a mixer. I have a 100 series battery operated Behringer that is definitely noisier than the Eng 44 and bulkier too. Both of these qualify as field mixers because of battery power capability, though the ENG-44 is slung around the neck more easily.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 01:48 AM   #15
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I don't think people are understanding the use of an audio mixer on a job like this, its NOT a set and forget item....

As a camera operator you wouldn't accept this job being shot with locked off cameras on auto focus and auto iris, so why should audio be the same.....

To get good sound, the audio guy get the mics in the right place, use HPFilters, ride the levels, use limiters, not use AGC and make sure it gets to the camera at the correct level and finally monitor the return feed with good headphones.
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