Micing 60 musicians in procession at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 20th, 2011, 02:34 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 416
Micing 60 musicians in procession

I'm supposed to be capturing the music played by a group of 60 or so marching musicians, both for a bus nearby that will amplify it and for the videographers that are covering the event.

The musicians will be grouped such that the most important ones are towards the front.

My plan is to walk along with a boom and mixer in front of the musicians, monitoring sound over the headphones and keeping levels ballpark trimmed, while the sound guy on the bus trims levels tightly.

I've never done anything like this, so I'm curious for any suggestions (except hire someone with experience... no budget).

One question is whether it's better to stand out front with a shotgun on boom, or to stand in the middle of the group of musicians with an omni on the boom.
Tom Morrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2011, 03:11 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 463
Re: Micing 60 musicians in procession

The Adelaide Christmas Pageant (with many marching bands) normally is covered with 4 shotgun mics fed into radio mic transmitters and then to the OB truck.

The mics are hand held and sort of work in a relay as the floats and bands progress along the road, each mic or group of mics walk with the band for about 20-30m then the next group of mics take over and do the same thing, all the floats have pre-recorded music playing and would be covered with 1 mic the bands are covered with 2 mics [1mic on each side of the road].
If you look closely you can see the audio assists dressed in clown suits [to blend in] and if your really adventurous "ride a unicycle".... ;)

Credit Union Christmas Pageant - YouTube
Unicycle Adelaide Christmas pageant - YouTube
Brian P. Reynolds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2011, 07:37 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,359
Re: Micing 60 musicians in procession

Too bad neither of those YouBoob clips actually let us hear the sound we're talking about.

I once tried to mic a huge brass band (literally hundreds of instruments) in a football stadium. I thought the result was terrible, and I can tell you specifically what I did wrong. I did NOT have the mics high enough. As a result, instead of a good blend of the entire band, I heard a few sections fairly tight, with some overall drone in the background from the rest of the band.

Having gotten bad results once, I am somewhat reluctant to tell you what you shoud do. But I'm a lot older now, and have more experience, so I think I now understand the situation much better.

Blend and instrumental balance are the goals (which I failed to achieve the last time). If I were faced with your project today, I would certainly try to position the mics so there is not too much difference between the distance to the front musicians and the distance to the rear musicians.

Offhand, I'd probably try to get the mics up rather high above ground level, so they could "see" the last row of musicians (looking over the first rows). And I might try to avoid being too close to the first row... trying for a position that's somewhat out in front of the group. Both of these ideas will have some logistical problems.

I think I'd avoid being in the middle with an omni. Many instruments, especially the brass family, project their sound in a rather directional fashion out the front of the bell. If your mic is located in the middle of the group, you will not get a very realistic timbre of the instruments that are in front of you. Instead, you will end up with a "close-up" of the instruments closest to you... presumably not what you want.

Last edited by Greg Miller; August 20th, 2011 at 09:03 AM.
Greg Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2011, 10:49 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 416
Re: Micing 60 musicians in procession

Great advice Greg, and that video of the guy with shotgun mic, headphones, and unicycle sure woke me up!

This page shows what the procession I'm working on will look like:

The Procession | BM Trojan Horse 2011

I may end up standing on the platform of the horse holding up a boomed shotgun.

Another issue that is arising is how to get the signal to the sound bus that will be following, as it will probably be out of the 50-100 foot range of my g3 wireless system. We are thinking of simply dragging an XLR cable between the two, but that has a whole range of logistical issues. I don't really have time to investigate and don't have budget to rent a higher end wireless system unfortunately, but any creative ideas are welcome.
Tom Morrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2011, 11:45 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,359
Re: Micing 60 musicians in procession

Actually, I was going to suggest that you be in some sort of "camera" vehicle (except that it would be a "mic" vehicle) in front of the musicians. So the horse platform might be a great location. I assume the front row of musicians will be some reasonable distance behind the platform... maybe 25' to 50'. Be cautious about using too narrow a shotgun... you still don't want to favor any narrow part of the ensemble; you want to get a good, wide blend. Think in advance about distances and pickup angles; you might end up wanting a hyper or even cardioid. It looks as if this band will be quite loud, so off-axis rejection might not be all that important.

As far as getting audio back to the bus, I'd look into technology used within the broadcast industry. There are many varieties of RPU (remove pickup units) that are normally used to get signal from a remote location back to the main studio. These are designed for fairly long distance (range measured in miles) where line of sight may not be available. Considering the bus to be your "main studio" this would work fine for you. There will be FCC (or equivalent) licensing issues, so do your homework well in advance.

If some of your audio feed "clients" are licensed broadcasters, they may already have RPUs at their disposal, and perhaps you can make a deal to use existing equipment. Just check the equipment thoroughly. Be sure it has adequate audio bandwidth for music, be sure any AGC can be defeated, etc., so that your audio isn't degraded by the RPU link.
Greg Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2011, 01:38 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 416
Re: Micing 60 musicians in procession

Thanks Greg for that suggestion. I'm going to ask the videography head what wireless equipment he might have.
Tom Morrow is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:07 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network