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Old August 14th, 2005, 11:49 PM   #1
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Footbal Games

Okay, Its footbal season again! I stated out doing football games as a videographer using a Pannasonic Palmcam, but of course have upgraded, and I want a good external mike to pick up sound. I have looked through these forums and have seen mentions of shotguns and parabolics. What would be a good mike to use? I will be probably be anywhere from 30-50 ft away from the action, up ontop of the commentary box. What are you all using for football games?
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Last edited by Matt Sawyers; August 15th, 2005 at 01:52 AM. Reason: Added an explanation
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Old August 15th, 2005, 12:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Sawyers
Okay, Its footbal season again! I stated out doing football games as a videographer using a Pannasonic Palmcam, but of course have upgraded, and I want a good external mike to pick up sound. I have looked through these forums and have seen mentions of shotguns and parabolics. What would be a good mike to use? I mean what are ya'll using for football games?
Hi Matt,

The last time I was on a football field the network sound guys were using parabolics, but that was MANY years ago. Not sure if they still use them...

Bye now.

Steph
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Old August 15th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #3
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Pro games use Big Ears. (2-3' diameter clear bowl with mic aiming into the center) and you'll notice they still do that from the sidelines.

From the top of the press box there's no shotgun that'll get anything much in the way of game sound... aside from a thin sounding crunch or the loud sound of the announcer and crowd. If you want to shoot a game for the best sound you need to get as close as you can to the action or else get a wireless hidden on at least one player.

I have a nephew that I really like (and I'm good friends with my brother) so I tape a lot of his games and this is how I do it.

If you want to put a wireless on somebody just wrap the bodypack in some padding and gaffer it in the space under and next to the shoulder pad (there's an obvious place for it when you look at the spot I'm talking about)... then I put the lav on the edge of the pads where they meet at the chest... and use a micro-cat. This works almost perfectly, within the range limits of the system within that particular venue.

With a good shotgun on the sidelines (I mean a GOOD one) you can hear a lot of good stuff also... but the pressbox is just too far.

If you're target audience is parents then they'll still be impressed... because of what they're used to... but if you want to blow them away you gotta' get the mics close... one way or another.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 04:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Matt Gettemeier
From the top of the press box there's no shotgun that'll get anything much in the way of game sound... aside from a thin sounding crunch or the loud sound of the announcer and crowd. If you want to shoot a game for the best sound you need to get as close as you can to the action or else get a wireless hidden on at least one player.

I have a nephew that I really like (and I'm good friends with my brother) so I tape a lot of his games and this is how I do it.

If you want to put a wireless on somebody just wrap the bodypack in some padding and gaffer it in the space under and next to the shoulder pad (there's an obvious place for it when you look at the spot I'm talking about)... then I put the lav on the edge of the pads where they meet at the chest... and use a micro-cat. This works almost perfectly, within the range limits of the system within that particular venue.
When I first read this I was thinking crud, Iam really gonna have to fork over a lot of money, but then I realized a good wireless mike in the shoulder pads is probably going to be cheaper(& better) than getting a really good shotgun mike that probably won't get as good sound.

So let me say a little more on my situation, the high school hired me to do there games, except the only place they want me to video (only place Iam actually allowed to [according to TAPPS]) is ontop of the press box, so this video in mainly for the coach, but the coach encouraged me to sell the DVDs at the end of the year, so I guess now, yes its also for the parents.

Two final questions (OK maybe not, but...) what is a micro-cat & secondly, I have a Countryman B3 mike, what would be a good transmitter & reciever that has a XLR inpout/output that could work for me (guessing a range of no more than 300') Thanks in advance
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Old August 16th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #5
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A micro-cat is a little fur-ball that goes on lavs for situations like this... you can get 'em at B&H (best price for two) or Trew (by the each).

I didn't realize you wanted to run your lav XLR... If you have a hardwired lav and you want to use a plug-on transmitter you probably better do something else. That thing's gonna' get broke.

A bodypack is flat and compact and you can protect the entire unit including the connection. With a plug-on you have a long connection and you still need to get mic power to that lav... so now you're looking at an expensive plug-on option. The cheapest system I know of which includes a plug-on that supplies phantom is $769 (G2) from EVS.

If you get an AT-4073a you'll get plenty of pickup, but I expect that you'll hear 10x the crowd as compared to the game.

Even if you DID pop a lav on a player that would only be good for about a 4-7' bubble of sound... so when you do this it is mainly to follow the game through the ears of one player and the few guys around him.

Can you get somebody to do additional sound from closer in? Even a remote boom op at the front of the stands could use that plug-on safely on a decent mic and get way better sound then the top of the press-box... and then that could be sent back to you're camera.

If none of this is an option then I'd just get a decent external mic and accept the results you get from the top of the press box. To be forced to shoot from that distance basically nullifies the issue of quality sound anyway... it's like saying, "you can shoot this video for us but you can't turn on any lights".

I've got a ck69 long gun and I wouldn't expect anything impressive from it at that range... but if you want to try then the cheapest LONG gun is an AT-4071... As long as nobody expects a fat, up-close sound they'll be happy. Trew has a really nice one in consignment right now for $400. If I didn't already have a good long gun I'd buy it.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 11:13 PM   #6
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Suggest a parabolic and operator.do a google search of parabolic microphones you will find something in your budget.You can also record ambient and crowd to a portable device( aka iRiver, MD,etc) and mix in post
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Old August 17th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Matt Gettemeier
I didn't realize you wanted to run your lav XLR... If you have a hardwired lav and you want to use a plug-on transmitter you probably better do something else. That thing's gonna' get broke.

A bodypack is flat and compact and you can protect the entire unit including the connection. With a plug-on you have a long connection and you still need to get mic power to that lav... so now you're looking at an expensive plug-on option. The cheapest system I know of which includes a plug-on that supplies phantom is $769 (G2) from EVS.

If you get an AT-4073a you'll get plenty of pickup, but I expect that you'll hear 10x the crowd as compared to the game.

Even if you DID pop a lav on a player that would only be good for about a 4-7' bubble of sound... so when you do this it is mainly to follow the game through the ears of one player and the few guys around him.

Can you get somebody to do additional sound from closer in? Even a remote boom op at the front of the stands could use that plug-on safely on a decent mic and get way better sound then the top of the press-box... and then that could be sent back to you're camera.

If none of this is an option then I'd just get a decent external mic and accept the results you get from the top of the press box. To be forced to shoot from that distance basically nullifies the issue of quality sound anyway... it's like saying, "you can shoot this video for us but you can't turn on any lights".

I've got a ck69 long gun and I wouldn't expect anything impressive from it at that range... but if you want to try then the cheapest LONG gun is an AT-4071... As long as nobody expects a fat, up-close sound they'll be happy. Trew has a really nice one in consignment right now for $400. If I didn't already have a good long gun I'd buy it.

Ah says the blind man. I misunderstood you, I never heard of a bodypack, I thought that was just a lav & a transmitter, ya and I see a problem in powering the mike also now. I think I am going to look into getting a Lil' Ear with an opertor sending ito to my camera, or even like a boom operatior like you mentioned. I think I'll get a long gun for a couple of guns, then after I get more money I'll buy a trans/reciever & a lil' ear. Thanks for the help.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 05:08 PM   #8
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A bodypack is flat and compact and you can protect the entire unit including the connection. ...
One other question, what exactly is the difference between a body pack or actually what exactly is a body pack? Is it where the mic is hardwired rather than connected?
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Old August 17th, 2005, 06:04 PM   #9
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Bodypack... CLICK.

Plug-on AKA Butt-plug... CLICK.

Lavs which plug into the body pack use some sort of connection which is fairly compact and easy to protect... usually about the size (or smaller) then your pinky from the last nuckle to the tip. For G2 it would be locking 3.5mm. The bodypack supplies the mic voltage.

Lavs which are hardwired XLR can be run from a plug-on IF it supplies power AND the lav will run on the power that plug-on supplies! If a given plug-on supplies phantom power at all, it will normally run a hardwired XLR (in my experience so far)... but I'd check some specs before you bank on it.

So what's the difference? I don't know about your Countryman, but with my Trams that are hardwired the XLR end is like a 5" long cigar... about as fat as the XLR plug itself. While an XLR connection is normally SUPER-secure... this "cigar" sticking off the end of a "block" offers a lot of leverage for Murphy's Law.

When I place a bodypack under my nephew's pads I find a spot where it won't bother him and it's towards his back and under the shoulder pad. I've also got it wrapped in 1/2" dense foam... and then gaffered tightly in place... I make a foam case by using two halves with a place also protecting the mic connection (and since it's a bodypack it's easy to do).

If you and the coach really wanted something great at the end of the year (and once you can afford it)... I'd get a guy with a short pole and a long gun on the side-lines... Then if you had a mic like the 4071 or similar GOOD long gun, that guy could have the pole straight up with the mic angling down just over the sideline players and coaches heads... and then simply follow the action up and down the sidelines and keep the mic pointing in there... as a bonus he could get some of the sideline conversation as well. Doing this right would take something like the Sound Devices MM-1, but this extra $350 saves $180 for the plug-on needing to output phantom (that's how much extra you pay if you want that plug-on to power mics), and it lets the boom op hear what's going on (headphone out), and it allows him to change levels (fat knobs right where you want 'em). Okay in this last paragraph it may seem like I'm running wild with your project... but take a deep breath and think about it. If you want everybody wishing for Depends(TM) when they hear your video this would do it.

That's where I'm heading. I'll post samples later during the football season.

This is the only thing I dumped on my crappy website from the beginning of last year... it was SUCK conditions and I was more worried about protecting my cam from the rain then doing a decent job. Sorry. The game itself was boring also... better stuff this year I promise... but anyway... CLICK HERE IT IS.

The other thing you'll notice there is that a gun would probably be better for the WHOLE team... a lav gives a fairly intimate feel of the game through one to three people... remember 3-5' bubble of quality and then only whatever is loud enough to get in.
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